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  1. #1
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    Buy in US and ship or buy in UK

    Hello everyone,
    I'm a newbie looking for a little advice. I'm currently in the U.S. and am looking to buy a road bike (never owned one before). However, in late September, I'll be going off to England for university. Does it make more sense to wait and buy the bike when I get there or buy it in the US and then ship? From the research I've done over the net it seems like a bike would be cheaper in the US (with the currency exchange and all), and I can't wait to get riding. Having said that, the shipping cost to the UK would probably be hefty. I realize this is a pretty specific question, so any suggestions/help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks a lot.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Bikes are a lot cheaper in the US. A lot. Often what a bike costs in USD it will also cost in GBP. So a bike that is USD 1000 will cost GBP 1000. Buy in the States and take it on the plane with you, that's what my wife and I often do.

  3. #3
    Senior Member oilfreeandhappy's Avatar
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    A Folder might be better in the UK, especially if you're planning on using the Mass Transit. And it will certainly transport easier.
    Jim
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  4. #4
    No longer in Wimbledon... womble's Avatar
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    Take it on the plane with you, if you can spare half your luggage restrictions.

    On the other hand, are you sure you want to bring a nice bike on-campus with you? Unless you plan to keep it in your room, it's quite likely to be stolen.

  5. #5
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    If you are planning to use your roadbike for daily commuting, weekend tours etc then look for a more practical one with rack and fender fittings, eg a training style bike. Bike security in university towns is a nighmare so most people pick up an old beater for daily travel.

  6. #6
    Senior Member filtersweep's Avatar
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    I am an American living abroad, so I have some experience with this. Most airlines allow free international travel with bikes. Still, if you are moving, you might want to pay for extra luggage-- I guarantee it will be cheaper than trying to ship a bike.

    You should be able to buy a bike cheaper in the US. However, if you want a fancy, European-built bike, it may end up being the other way around (and the dollar is rather weak). I purchased an Italian-built bike abroad cheaper than I could in the US. However, the brands with the bang for the buck (Specialized, Giant, etc.) will come out ahead if bought in the US.

    Finally, in the UK, I have never seen so many folders before. They are everywhere.

    Quote Originally Posted by womble
    Take it on the plane with you, if you can spare half your luggage restrictions.

    On the other hand, are you sure you want to bring a nice bike on-campus with you? Unless you plan to keep it in your room, it's quite likely to be stolen.

  7. #7
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Going to Uni in the UK- Well done. Now bikes are usefull items to ride around the campus or local town/city, or even see the local countryside. I can assure you though- Bikes are commonly stolen in the UK. Especially a nice new shiny one. (Two daughters and lots of Friends that have lost bikes at Uni). If I was you- I would buy a beater bike and they will be cheap enough over here. When that gets wrecked- Buy or borrow another one.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

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    Thanks everyone for their replies. You've confirmed what I was thinking, that a first road bike (maybe not one of the fancy European ones) would be much cheaper in the US. I'm not getting the bike for commuting around campus, so I wouldn't be leaving it unattended. It is for riding, mainly for fitness. I already do quite a bit on stationary bikes at the gym, and I would like to take it a step further and go outside (I realize it will be a completely different experience). I guess I'll try taking it with me on my flight as well... Thanks again!

  9. #9
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DAML
    Thanks everyone for their replies. You've confirmed what I was thinking, that a first road bike (maybe not one of the fancy European ones) would be much cheaper in the US. I'm not getting the bike for commuting around campus, so I wouldn't be leaving it unattended. It is for riding, mainly for fitness. I already do quite a bit on stationary bikes at the gym, and I would like to take it a step further and go outside (I realize it will be a completely different experience). I guess I'll try taking it with me on my flight as well... Thanks again!
    Get a top quality Lock and Chain though. I have my bikes in an alarmed shed but I still secure the bikes together with a kryptonite D Lock and cable in the shed. Lot of Evil baskets over here that will not respect that it is your bike.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

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