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Old 01-23-12, 08:34 PM   #1
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Is Thailand the next Japan for vintage velo, or what?

In terms of vintage velo obsessions and eBay.

I've had about a half dozen eBay sales to Thailand in the past year, including one that just ended tonight. That's more sales to Thailand than to Japan. Always for quality vintage parts that don't go cheap, often French. Always to bidders with a history of buying *nice* stuff (stuff I'd love to buy myself... and sometimes way out of my own price range). Always paid promptly. No complaints. Does Thailand have a burgeoning vintage bike obsession that I've been unaware of?
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Old 01-23-12, 08:40 PM   #2
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I have friend who was over there recently. He said there are fixed gears all over Bangkok, but they mostly seem to be a style statement. They don't have clips or toe straps so everyone is riding around in slow motion.
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Old 01-23-12, 08:45 PM   #3
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Don't know but I too have sold an number of vintage bit to buyers in Thailand. As long as they keep funding my addiction, I am all for it!
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Old 01-23-12, 08:46 PM   #4
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I have friend who was over there recently. He said there are fixed gears all over Bangkok, but they mostly seem to be a style statement. They don't have clips or toe straps so everyone is riding around in slow motion.
Bangkok has been the destination of most of my Thailand sales, but the buyers buying my stuff are also buying tons of vintage French and Swiss stuff from eBay.fr, like TA/Stronglight/Normandy/Edco/Maxicar/Simplex/Huret/etc. Not your typical fixie fixin's.
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Old 01-23-12, 08:58 PM   #5
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Same here - all of sudden, this year sales to Thailand went through the roof. Nice folks.
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Old 01-23-12, 09:02 PM   #6
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thailand has a lot of farang.
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Old 01-23-12, 09:03 PM   #7
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Could be - but I had to canx two of my four sales there because of repeated requests to lower the Customs values on the forms. Legal issues aside, I wasn't hanging my ass out there on the insurance side of things if the item got lost, so I sold to the next highest bidder in those two cases.

And funny enough, one of those guys left me a neutral feedback - which he wasn't supposed to be able to do. Sigh...

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Old 01-23-12, 09:40 PM   #8
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I have a buddy who has been teaching in Thailand for the past 2 years, and is the best bike mechanic I’ve known. He is generally pretty negative about the place, but expresses that Cambodia may be the best undiscovered touring country in Asia. If anyone has any specific questions about Thailand, I’d pass the question along. Although, he is intentionally out in Thailand countryside so may not be up on the metropolitan trends.
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Old 01-24-12, 06:01 AM   #9
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I have friend who was over there recently. He said there are fixed gears all over Bangkok, but they mostly seem to be a style statement. They don't have clips or toe straps so everyone is riding around in slow motion.
[off topic]You don't need clips or toe straps to go fast[/off topic]
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Old 01-24-12, 06:17 AM   #10
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[off topic]You don't need clips or toe straps to go fast[/off topic]
No you don't, but the congestion pretty rules out the practicality of clipping in or strapping in. It's too hot to go fast there, anyway.

Thailand is a good place to have a bike, but not one of those smooth road, 100-mile solo ride, take it for granted, places.

I've been there twice. That society has about a hundred layers of stuff I'll never understand. China is simple by comparison.

As far as the bikes I saw there, well, there's Chinese bikes and there's the other bikes. If you have a good bike, the internet is the best friend you have. The choice between paying $125 for a $75 crankset vs. putting a nice bike in the scrap heap is an easy one for those owners.

Perhaps the niche market for French bike stuff is like the Taiwan niche market for Campy. Dedicated, loyal, and enthusiastic. When I sell C&V parts overseas, I always invite them to BF C&V. It would be way cool to have those folks on the forum.
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Old 01-24-12, 06:26 AM   #11
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Anyone know of any good stores/markets for vintage bikes in Thailand? I've been to the "Vespa" market, but it only had a couple sellers of bike parts. I'll be back there in a couple weeks...
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Old 01-24-12, 07:45 AM   #12
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To those have sold to Thailand recently, by what method are you shipping? The USPS Priority Int'l Small Flat Rate box is a good deal, but when something won't quite fit it seems the price goes from $16.95 to almost $40 (neither with insurance or tracking).
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Old 01-24-12, 08:53 AM   #13
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It's sr70guy's fault, he moved there last year...
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Old 01-24-12, 09:05 AM   #14
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The Thai MTB forum often has some really nice vintage Zunows up for sale. i haven't had any luck getting the sellers to talk to me though.
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Old 01-24-12, 09:12 AM   #15
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To those have sold to Thailand recently, by what method are you shipping? The USPS Priority Int'l Small Flat Rate box is a good deal, but when something won't quite fit it seems the price goes from $16.95 to almost $40 (neither with insurance or tracking).
I was wondering the same thing. If you want to be able to track something, the price goes through the roof, unless there's an option I don't know about. I got burned a while back on an item that 'was never received'. Maybe it wasn't; I'll never know, but you can guess who Ebay/Paypal sided with. I don't do a lot of selling and when I do I usually say domestic only. But it would be nice to know if there is a reasonable option for trackable overseas shipments.
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Old 01-24-12, 06:30 PM   #16
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twiddling thumbs until Freek posts a thoughtful essay on bike culture in bangkok .
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Old 01-24-12, 09:49 PM   #17
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U even dare to send there?? u are brave man. Some asian countries is a risk because u never know if the stuff arrived to destination then ebay gets you big time, u lose the item and the money. Unless is japan i dont send to asia, the same with some south american countries.
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Old 01-25-12, 09:57 AM   #18
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U even dare to send there?? u are brave man. Some asian countries is a risk because u never know if the stuff arrived to destination then ebay gets you big time, u lose the item and the money. Unless is japan i dont send to asia, the same with some south american countries.
I haven't had a problem so far and have been happy with my dealings with Asian bidders. Never a deadbeat bidder. By default, I state that I only ship within CONTUS so that I can use my discretion later when a bidder from a distant land ignores that restriction. This gives me a legitimate opt-out of the transaction if I check into the bidder and see that he has poor (or insufficient) feedback. I always include insurance on my shipping quotes, so if the item never arrives, there is some recourse for me as a seller. But so far, in 13 years of selling on eBay and 550+ feedback, I've only had two bidders claim they never recieved their stuff-- and both times it was for cheap (<$20) items, so no big losses for me. Knock on wood...
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Old 01-25-12, 04:51 PM   #19
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If you have a fixed gear you damned well better or you can't stop.
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Old 01-25-12, 04:53 PM   #20
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[off topic]You don't need clips or toe straps to go fast[/off topic]
If you have a fixed gear you damned well better have clips or you can't stop.
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Old 01-25-12, 09:24 PM   #21
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If you have a fixed gear you damned well better have clips or you can't stop.
No. Fixed gear bikes and brakes are not mutually exclusive. I have a friend that rides fixed with BMX platforms with no retention and puts about 17k miles a year on various bikes.
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Old 01-26-12, 11:11 AM   #22
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In terms of vintage velo obsessions and eBay.

I've had about a half dozen eBay sales to Thailand in the past year, including one that just ended tonight. That's more sales to Thailand than to Japan. Always for quality vintage parts that don't go cheap, often French. Always to bidders with a history of buying *nice* stuff (stuff I'd love to buy myself... and sometimes way out of my own price range). Always paid promptly. No complaints. Does Thailand have a burgeoning vintage bike obsession that I've been unaware of?
Yes.
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Old 01-26-12, 11:16 AM   #23
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twiddling thumbs until Freek posts a thoughtful essay on bike culture in bangkok .
OK, missed this thread until Marty pointed it out to me to me only minutes ago. Tomorrow (hopefully) I'll give all of ya a well thought out essay about the Thai classic and vintage bike culturre!
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Old 01-26-12, 11:20 AM   #24
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thinking that fixed gear = no brakes is like thinking road bike = tubular tires. it's an outdated and ignorant idea.

...carry on.
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Old 01-26-12, 02:15 PM   #25
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OK, missed this thread until Marty pointed it out to me to me only minutes ago. Tomorrow (hopefully) I'll give all of ya a well thought out essay about the Thai classic and vintage bike culturre!
Be really interested to read that, Freek. I was on a tour of Thailand in November, my first trip. What an amazing country and really wonderful people. My son married his Thai girlfriend so we got to do more than the usual "tourist trail" - stayed in Bangkok, Udon Thani, Nong Khai and Phuket, (the rest of the country was unfortunately still quite flooded). We did get to see a lot of the country though and in different reasons. Naturally, in a country I'd never visited before, I was on the look out for bicycles as well as visiting temples, having an elephant ride and all the other stuff.

The only racing bikes I saw were two modern American bikes, a Specialized and a Cannondale, being ridden very fast by two riders racing each other on a road parallel to the main highway from the airport into Bangkok city. Also at Udon Thani in the night market I saw two really "blinged up" custom straight bar fixies - full high dollar hipsters - really quite impressive but not C&V and their owners didn't ride them while I was there, just leaned on them stylishly while they smoked and checked out all the pretty young ladies. A pretty cool fashion accessory for some seriously cool looking dudes!

The vast majority of bikes and there were many, were strong little utility bikes with 15" to 18" frames and 20" or 24" wheels, many with sloping double down tubes (poor man's mixte?) rather than horizontal top tubes. These performed serious transport duties, carrying crates of produce, kids to school and so on. I surmised that the small bikes might be due to the overall shorter stature of Thai people and the robustness of their mounts a response to the generally rougher roads than we are used to? In any event, the bikes were being ridden, not adored or ignored in garages so I guess it's all good!

In the only bike shops I could find to visit, the entire inventory was also these small, rugged bikes and parts for them. Did I miss a particular area where there are C&V road bikes? I'm sure there must be some out there somewhere!
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