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  1. #1
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    Advice on buying a new touring bike / possibly reselling it after the tour...

    I'm from the States and and have fallen in love with the idea of touring. I am traveling to England and Ireland this fall, and as part of the trip I've planned a month-long tour of Ireland.

    I'm fairly short on available cash for the trip, so at first, I thought of taking my old mountain bike (a 1993 Bianchi Nyala) -- I hauled it down to the LBS where I discovered that about everything on it was shot except the frame. I got a quote of $300 - $600, depending on parts, to fix it up -- which amounts to more then I initially payed for it.

    I can't really afford to buy and keep a new bike, so I cooked up a different idea, buy a new touring bike in the States fly it abroad for the tour, then resell it while I'm hanging around England afterwards. I'd hope to be able to take advantage of $1 = £2 to make up for some of the depreciation, but I'm not certain if there's enough of a discrepancy in prices between the U.S. and U.K. to really effect the resell price.

    I've a fairly limited knowledge of cycling, so I don't particularly trust myself to purchase a bike online (used or otherwise), so I would like to stick with the LBS, which sells Cannondale (looking at the Touring 2 for about $1300).

    So, has anyone tried this before -- or would I just be wasting my time? I'd prefer not to lose more than $400 on the deal, so how much would I be able to expect to resell the bike for in the U.K. after riding it for a couple of months?

  2. #2
    Left OZ now in Malaysia jibi's Avatar
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    Good luck trying to sell a used bike in the UK.

    Resale values are very low in my mother land. Most of my friends and I have lots of bikes hanging up rather than sell them for peanuts.

    But.....

    why not buy a second hand bike cheap while in the UK or Ireland.

    george
    ---------------------------------------------------
    https://sites.google.com/site/imjibi/home

    Photos of present tour of South East Asia
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  3. #3
    Senior Member BengeBoy's Avatar
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    I've been intrigued by the idea of buying a used bike or demo Thorn from SJS Cycles:

    http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/category-...-Solos-770.htm

    http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/category-...-Solos-671.htm

    And then letting them sell it for you when you're finished:

    http://www.thorncycles.co.uk/letussellyourbike.html

    I don't know anyone who's done this, but might be worth a thought...

  4. #4
    Senior Member aRoudy1's Avatar
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    Not to burst your bubble, but you've got the exchange rate wrong. It's $2 = £1.

  5. #5
    Newbie
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    Thanks for the links BengeBoy, I didn't really consider buying a used bike in the U.K. because I was afraid I wouldn't be able to find one suitable upon arrival (since I would tour shortly after arriving) -- but I might looker deeper into that avenue.

    aRoudy -- My bad, mixed up the signs when I was typing it out, but the principle remains the same.

    The idea of buying a bike in the states to transport came from friends who buys electronics in the states to sell when traveling abroad (comparing the apple websites, a MacBook Pro in England supposedly runs £1299/$2,546.16 whereas in the States its £1019.84/$2000). I was hoping the same principle would apply to bikes - particularly if the depreciation didn't run over the difference in starting cost. But I guess if, jibi's right and there isn't really a market for used bikes over there, then I might just have to abandon this idea.
    Last edited by Bowlich; 04-16-08 at 12:57 AM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Nigeyy's Avatar
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    If money is really tight, but you have a little time to play with and you are not hung up on having a purpose tourer, I have to say I'd recommend buying a good quality early 1990's/late 1980's mtb from craigslist, investing in some bar ends for more hand positions, rear rack, 3-4 new inner tubes and putting on some 26x1.25 slicks. You would probably be able to get a decent bike for $200 or less with a drivechain with plenty of life left in it (remember, I said if you have the time to wait for the right bike to come up), inner tubes and tyres for around $50-$60 and a rack from a place like Nashbar for about $30.

    However, your idea might work really well -but the problem I'd be concerned with is that you'd be on a schedule to have to sell it -and can you afford not to if it doesn't sell?

  7. #7
    Mechanic/Tourist
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    Sheldon's advice on touring in Europe: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/euhansen.html

  8. #8
    Macro Geek
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    If money is tight, you are comfortable riding your existing bike, and it is structurally sound, it makes sense to shell out $300 to $600 to upgrade. It sounds like a lot of money, but you will be hard-pressed to find a new bike of decent quality for that amount. You may be lucky and find a used bike for less, but it really is a matter of being in the right place at the right time. Selling a bike overseas sounds financially risky to me. What if the bike does not sell quickly? The closer to your departure date, the less negotiating power you have.

    Consider the pleasures of owing a bike that you have tweaked to fit your needs, and continue to enjoy it for years... or decades. $300 - $600 is reasonable because there are always maintenance costs. I bought a touring bike 22 years ago for $450, and over the years I have spent triple or quadruple that amount to keep it rolling. When something wears out, I try to replace it with something of equal or better quality. This strategy has paid for itself many times over. For example, the original hubs lasted three years, whereas the Campy replacements are still going strong 19 years later.

    So if the bike fits, wear it!

  9. #9
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    How much would you pay for a $1300 bike, used for a couple months, with no warranty, sold by a foreigner who is about to leave the country?

    Maybe you should contact some LBSs in Ireland about renting a bike for the month. Or, since you are willing to lose about $400 on the deal, shop around for a reasonable used bike and keep it afterward? Or buy a cheap department store bike in Ireland, use it for a month, and then donate it to a charity (or just abandon it).

    you could also learn how to work on your current bike and fix it yourself. If the LBS was going to charge $3-400 to fix it, you could almost certainly do the work yourself for half that.

  10. #10
    Senior Member sykerocker's Avatar
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    Re: Bianchi Nyala - do the upgrade. I've got about 1500 miles on mine since I built it up last year, and love it. Not great on speed, but it'll certainly go anywhere. Drop me a pm if you've got any questions.
    Syke

    "No wonder we keep testing positive in their bicycle races. Everyone looks like they're full of testosterone when they're surrounded by Frenchmen." ---Argus Hamilton

  11. #11
    working on progress treebound's Avatar
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    Here you go, even comes complete with panniers, and the price doesn't look too bad either
    http://newcastle.craigslist.co.uk/bik/628543934.html

    Mans Trek 3500 21 gears, this bike also comes with panniers, front bag, pump and spare seats. Ideal touring and off road machine one of Treks best sellers. This bike retails at £200 will accept £99.00

    Location: Carlisle
    I just went to the Great Britain Craigslist and started hitting every city until I found one. I have no idea why the London bikes section is blocked for me though, I"ll have to check that one out from home.

  12. #12
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    For this tour, money in your pocket will be ever so much more important to you than the quality of your bicycle. Ireland is wonderful, but it's expensive for an American on a budget. It's also a very forgiving place to ride -- the distances are short, the hills are gentle. (Great place for a first tour!)

    As others point out, it makes almost no sense at all for you to buy an expensive new touring bike; it'll lose a great deal of its value the moment you "drive it off the lot," and selling it in Ireland after your tour will not be any less difficult than buying a bike in Ireland before your tour would be. Besides, you just don't need this much bike for a month's tour in Ireland.

    Almost any bicycle will be adequate, and you've got one you're already friends with. Take the mountain bike.

    I don't believe for a minute that it needs $300-$600 of repairs and parts replacements. Cross that shop off your list and take the bike somewhere else. Do not tell them you are going on an international bicycle tour -- just tell them you want the bike tuned up for the summer, and you don't want to spend more than $100. If they find that some component is truly wrecked, they'll let you know.

    The extra $1,200 in your pocket will make you much, much, much happier on your tour than an expensive new touring bike would -- you'll be able to afford hotel rooms when it's cold and rainy, restaurant meals when you need comfort, phone calls home when you're lonely, the price of admission to a museum you'll never pass again. You will also avoid an unquantifiable amount of accumulated fear that your expensive new investment will get stolen while you slip in somewhere cosy for a pint. Finally, if something should give way on your old bike, it's Ireland, not the Sahara -- you'll also have money in your pocket to get it fixed.

    Best of all, it gives you a whole summer of weekend rides to tinker with your gear and solve problems you haven't imagined yet. You'll hit the road in Ireland a much more confident tourer than you'd otherwise be. Have fun!
    Last edited by Takara; 04-16-08 at 01:21 PM.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Nigeyy's Avatar
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    A word of caution though with the UK -it is very expensive to get around in a car (e.g. London to Carlisle is about 350 miles -and I would think you would probably go into London? Even if you have a car that gets 50 miles to the British gallon will cost you about $70, each way. Hey,the UK is small, just not that small ) You can of course take a bus or train, but again, if you're trying to get to a place off a bus/train line, you have to get there somehow. And of course, that's not taking into account that the bike is what is described and has to be right for you.... otherwise then you'd have to start looking again and incur the cost of travelling again!

    Add in the fact you need to get used to your bike, and I don't think I'd recommend buying a bike once you get there (plus of course you would be under the gun to get a bike, and you may not find one for the price you want to pay that is suitable.) I think the best route is to either repair your current bike or get another one.

    Edit: forgot to say, it all depends on what your Bianchi needs, and what bargain you can find in the meantime. I was too hasty to initially recommend getting an mtb without knowing what was wrong with your Bianchi. You may be able to fix up your Bianchi for short money, or then again, you may be able to find a bargain mtb in excellent condition that is cheaper than the cost of you Bianchi parts and labor anyway.

    Either way, I think $200-300 is a realistic target to have a bike suitable for touring.


    Quote Originally Posted by treebound View Post
    Here you go, even comes complete with panniers, and the price doesn't look too bad either
    http://newcastle.craigslist.co.uk/bik/628543934.html



    I just went to the Great Britain Craigslist and started hitting every city until I found one. I have no idea why the London bikes section is blocked for me though, I"ll have to check that one out from home.
    Last edited by Nigeyy; 04-16-08 at 01:53 PM.

  14. #14
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    Another variation would be to buy a very nice second hand tourer from the aforementioned Thorn website, they will do all the measuring and fitting out for you and deliver to where ever you want.

    You then do your tour on a very nice bike,

    Then take it back to the USA and sell it.

    I think you will find the cost of a second hand Thorn in the USA is higher than the UK

    Even if you don't quite break even on the deal, you will still have done a long tour on a decent bike, much better than trying to do it on a cheap bike

  15. #15
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brains View Post
    Another variation would be to buy a very nice second hand tourer from the aforementioned Thorn website, they will do all the measuring and fitting out for you and deliver to where ever you want.

    You then do your tour on a very nice bike,

    Then take it back to the USA and sell it.

    I think you will find the cost of a second hand Thorn in the USA is higher than the UK

    Even if you don't quite break even on the deal, you will still have done a long tour on a decent bike, much better than trying to do it on a cheap bike
    Good idea - except you won't want to sell the bike when you are done the tour...
    safe riding - Vik
    VikApproved

  16. #16
    Mister Bleak! mconlonx's Avatar
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    A week before you go on tour, check ebay.co.uk and find a likely bike for sale in a locale you can reach relatively easy when you get there. Like Dublin or London. Better choice of bikes in the city, too. Pick half a dozen bikes that look to be likely candidates and ask the seller if they're willing to do local pickup (seems to be the preference on UKebay). Narrow it down and bid away.

    Of course it would suck if you didn't win in time for your trip, so pick a likely candidate within your price range by checking out other final sales prices on similar rigs and bid a bit over accordingly. Or start looking earlier and find a reputable seller willing to hold it for a few days or weeks until you get there.

    Large amount of trust factor there, but I once arranged a vacation to ride an ebay motorcycle back to ME from CA, and sold it once I got back--I was more out for the adventure and the ride than the bike, and sold it quick for a bit of a loss at the end of the deal.

    You say you'd be willing to lose $400 on the deal? OK, your max bid is now [UK Pounds]200. Buy a bike like that, tour, leave it leaned up against a lightpost at your last stop and see how long it takes for a new owner to come along. Or, last day you're there, put it up on ebay for a one day auction with a buy it now price of half what the next lowest bid to your winning bid was, listed as local pickup only, next day at your hotel.

    Oh wait:
    "I don't particularly trust myself to purchase a bike online (used or otherwise), so I would like to stick with the LBS"

    Sorry. Good luck. Maybe buy a cheaper bike used, have your local LBS tune it up and go over it, then leave it in the UK when you return.
    Last edited by mconlonx; 04-17-08 at 02:44 PM.

  17. #17
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    These guys got touring bikes for less than $50. If you used Craig's List you could do the same.
    safe riding - Vik
    VikApproved

  18. #18
    Year-round cyclist
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    I haven't seen your bike nor the list of suggested repairs, but I once visited a well-renowned shop with my then 20-year-old bike and was told something similar.

    Basically, the rear derailleur was broken. The "senior mechanic", who was about 30 years old had never used friction shifting. So he told me that I needed:
    - A new rear derailleur (this I new). Only problem, "new derailleurs are all 8-speed" (wrong)
    - "But you need new shifters, because these are only 6-speed compatible!" Then he said "7-speed" when he saw I had 7 speeds.
    - "But then, you'll need a new cassette. Oh wait, this is a freewheel, so you'll need a new rear wheel so you could have an 8-speed cassette!"
    - "But then, you'll need a new front derailleur to be compatible with your new shifters, and a new crankset...

    Guess what? Another shop that only repairs bikes and is located closer to the inner city fixed that problem for 30 $.
    Michel Gagnon
    Montréal (Québec, Canada)

  19. #19
    Senior Member
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    Bowlich: I don't know if you have a proper winter in South Dakota, but here in Montreal, spring just exploded and it's the time of year where the online classifieds and Craigslist are burgeoning with cheap cool bikes. I'm sure if you look hard enough, you'll be able to get a nice ride that's been sitting in a garage for a couple of years.

    Michel: Do you mind telling me the name of that shop so I make sure I never go there? Sounds like Pierre P. in Laval...

    Vik: Nice bikes. I actually have an old mountain bike like that, which I use to run errands and that I'm not afraid to leave (locked) at the metro (subway) station or downtown. I guess with a little patience, I could scrounge up enough parts to bring it back to its full glory... Lovely link.

  20. #20
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by vik View Post
    I keep wondering, what is that orange bar/tape thing that looks like it runs between the bottle cage and the front wheel? I'm sure there's a logical explanation...

    Steve

  21. #21
    Senior Member xilios's Avatar
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    Probably keeps the front wheel from turning, helps when fully loaded. I use a small bungee cord.
    Last edited by xilios; 04-18-08 at 12:41 AM.

  22. #22
    Senior Member
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    Fascinating. I thought lowriders were supposed to make the steering more stable?

    Steve

  23. #23
    Senior Member xilios's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevage View Post
    Fascinating. I thought lowriders were supposed to make the steering more stable?

    Steve

    They do, while riding, but on a kick stand while trying to get into one of the panniers it can be a pain.

  24. #24
    Senior Member
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    Oh! You don't have the bungee on when riding then?

    Steve

  25. #25
    I'm made of earth! becnal's Avatar
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    If I were you, I would fix my own bike and bring it back after the tour. A bike is for more than just one vacation.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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