I'm an American living in Shanghai. I found this forum in my search to find the best bike for me. I never knew that Clydesdales rode bikes, but it turns out I'm one of them. Lucky for me there are a few good bike shops around including a Specialized shop a couple of blocks from where I live. Unfortunately though, the prices here are a bit higher due to import taxes.
I've been devouring all the great information here and hope to make a lot of new friends!
Mr Breeze, wondering if you looked into Giant bikes? I have a trip later this year and am considering buying a Giant road bike to bring back with me. My company would pick up the luggage fee to bring it back. I have some local friends that claim that the prices are 30-50 percent what I would pay in the US.
Giant is the world's largest bike manufacturer and was started in Taiwan 30 years ago. They have manufacturing plants in Taiwan, China, and Holland (if i recall correctly). I ended up buying a nice bike made by b'twin (Decathlon's bike brand) here in Shanghai. It's holding up great and I ride it quite a bit. I'm about 320 lbs. and while I don't abuse it, I don't feel like I need to baby it either.
There are a lot of Giant dealerships here and when I bought my bike, my fiance bought a Giant bike that is doing just fine. Unlike me, she's a petite girl and that bike will last forever as long as it doesn't get stolen. I think the Giant bikes are just fine and there are shops all over the city. They are priced pretty well, but I've never compared them to the prices in the States.
If you want, let me know which model you're interested in and I'll go down to the Giant store and see if they sell that model here and get a price for you.
One thing's for sure, there are a lot of Giant brand bikes on the streets around here.
Mr Breeze, I am looking for a TCR 6500 or better. I have looked online and even on Baidu, but not sure what is a scam/stolen and what is a honest price. I am looking to spend less than 4000 rmb. I am looking for at least SORA components, ideally 105.
Funny, on Biadu shopping, some claim, to sell TCR carbon bikes for 100-8000 rmb. I would definitely fork over the money if I found a legitimate TCR 3 for under 6000 rmb.
I'll go check it out in the next few days and let you know. I wonder if they have the same model numbers here as in the US. I'll figure that out too before I go.
I've never used Baidu, but I have used Taobao with success. Taobao is a like lot eBay, but there's no bidding. Everything in China is up for negotiation, so sometimes you can do better than the advertised price, but you do have to be Chinese to get that price. The price automatically increases if you have a Western face. That's where having a Chinese fiance comes in handy.
I mostly use the bike for commuting. It's a lot easier and cheaper way to get around (although taxi rides are ridiculously cheap here). We have a Doberman and he loves to go for runs with us while we ride the bikes. He especially likes chasing me down after I've put about 100 yards on him. Lots of fun.
I haven't made my way down to the Giant bike store, but I hope to get down there sometime this week.
I went to a couple of shops and neither of them stocked the TCR 6500. I found a few sellers on Taobao and most didn't stock it. My fiance did find three shops that had them in stock and they were all the same price - 5295 RMB and no negotiating on the price.