Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: somewhere over a tropical rainbow
Bikes: Too Many
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Living in SE Asia, I can say that the major bike brands here are well represented and the shops have no qualms selling a bike at near wholesale prices just to p*ss off their competitors. Sales taxes hover around 7 - 10 per cent and this is routinely knocked off as well.
Group sets and components are relatively affordable as well, unless compared to closeout/stock clearance prices of major online retailers in the US. I got an XTR 9 spd RD for about US $55 and a pair of XT non disc hubs at $45, but these were 2006 models sourced from a buying house in Taiwan which I was told, usually clears 'old' stocks at $10 - $20 a piece.
On weekends there's no shortage of eye candy bicycles to look at on the bike paths and off road trails, but the pricey ti and carbon fiber stuff gets quite monotonous after a while. The rich in these growing economies just cant get enough of the latest and best. Sadly full on custom touring bikes are rare, but rising steadily. A friend sold 2 dozen LHT frame sets last year, 80 per cent of which have gone home overseas with their new owners. It cost a very tempting US $330 then, but has risen to about $500 now.
The closest thing to sourcing a touring bike in Bangkok or Singapore is to get a good deal on a rigid mountain bike or cyclocross bike and do the requisite mods.
For starters look at www.probike.co.th/www/v2/showroom.php
They should stock the 520.
SEAsia is great place for bike touring. Summer all year long and maybe an added bonus of getting a bike and, ahem, even making a profit selling it off back in Europe. It's been done many times before.
Last edited by Bridgestoned; 10-15-08 at 09:00 PM.