Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Brazos River valley, south central TX
Bikes: 2005 Surly LHT; 2006 Surly CrossCheck with Extracycle; 1987 Schwinn World Sport as urban cruiser
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Originally Posted by bccycleguy
Anyone done this? There are lots of Europeans on here, how easy is it to buy a decent steel or aluminum frame in a common size for a couple of hundred euros?[/COLOR]
Last fall while living in Bonn, Germany for 6 weeks, I bought a Cube-brand cyclocross bike on sale for 599 euros. Aluminum frame, Deore 27-speeds, generic tires, etc. Spent another 65 euros getting barends, better saddle, stem riser, etc.
The bike was on sale as end-of-season. I looked at frames & while I don't remember specific prices, I do remember it was cheaper just to buy a whole bike. Still the 599 euros was more than I ever paid for a bike before but was the cheapest bike I found in going to 4 different stores (one a ~ BikeMart, 2 small LBS, and the one I bought from, a mid-size LBS). The cheapest bike I saw in all those shops was 550 euros. The Cube was the best, cheapest bike I could find. Of all the bikes, the Scott brand was the only frameset I saw displayed besides the 1000-2000 euro CF 'in-your'dreams' frames displayed.
A thought on this: in Bonn there is a twice-yearly sale of vintage/used bikes held out on the sidewalk in front of the university. Mostly old guys who have renovated old road frames & kid bikes in their spare time & are standing around talking to each other. A few truly vintage bikes. I suppose one could buy one of those & then try to put your own components on it. But what a PITA if the parts don't fit. I went to that sale hoping to find a large frame (I ride a 62+ cm) and there wasn't anything close to my size. That's when I just bit the bullet and bought a new bike. Sold it to a German friend & will 'rent' it back from him this summer when I'm over there. I suspect many communities have similar 'bike swaps' and to find them you'd probably have to contact the local cycling clubs like AFDC chapters.
That's only my limited experience from trying to find/buy a bike in Germany. Becnal, cyclezealot & others will have more specific info about the feasibility of finding a frame to hold your own components. If you're good enough as a wrench, take your bike completely apart, ship it to yourself via Fedex or UPS, then re-assemble there.
They're beautiful handsome machines that translate energy into joy.