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Old 07-16-06, 06:55 PM   #1
DAML
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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.
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Old 07-16-06, 11:34 PM   #2
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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.
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Old 07-16-06, 11:40 PM   #3
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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.
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Old 07-17-06, 12:13 AM   #4
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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.
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Old 07-17-06, 03:12 AM   #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.
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Old 07-17-06, 04:00 AM   #6
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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.

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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.
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Old 07-17-06, 12:04 PM   #7
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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.
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Old 07-17-06, 01:05 PM   #8
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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!
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Old 07-17-06, 01:32 PM   #9
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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.
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