So I have been living in South Korea for about a week now and it is fantastic but I really miss riding a bike!!!!!!! I finally found a bicycle shop near my house but, as with almost all bike shops in Korea, its mostly mountain bikes and REALLY heavy folders. However, they did have this.
It is 350,000 Won which equals about $300-325 US Dollars, maybe less. It is basic and on the medium to lightish side. The brakes look pretty chintzy. I have read that these bikes are cheap but reliable. The bike has a cool set of stem shifters and most components are shimano. It is called a Lespo Rally. What do you all think? It has braze ons abouve the rear dropout for a rack i think but I did not see anywhere on the seat tube to attach the top part of the rack. The clearance above the tires does not look sufficient for fenders but I maybe willing to not worry about that too much.
My other option is to go to Seoul which is 5-6 hours away by car, which I dont have, where there is a surly dealership. I looked at their website and they have cross checks but no Long Haul Truckers Maybe they could order one?http://www.plushbikes.com/html/main250.html
I would like a bike that would be good for all purpose duty while I live here but also be able to do some light to moderate touring. The LHT would be ideal though i think it will cost something closer to $1,500 over here because of the import tax. Also, most people ride around on these 200-250 $ bikes so I would be a lot more worried about the surly getting ripped off.
Do you all think I should go get the surly LHT or Cross check or by the cheap-o road bike and sell it when I leave? I think most of the touring I am likely to do will be at the end of my stay here so I could ride the cheap bike as a commuter and then sell it to buy a Surly and do my touring with that bike. If I pay the extra for a surly it will come back the the states with me for sure. If the Lespo is a good bike I may ship it back with me as well.
Thoughts? Suggestions? Anyone read Korean to tell me more about this website? http://www.plushbikes.com/html/main250.html