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What do you guys think if this road bike for $500/shipped? Other suggestions?

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What do you guys think if this road bike for $500/shipped? Other suggestions?

Old 04-08-16, 09:59 AM
  #1  
petalpower
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What do you guys think if this road bike for $500/shipped? Other suggestions?

I'm wanting to do some cycling in Italy. We go every year to the same two places for about 10days/ea. Previously I was thinking about buying a quality folding bike, but was turned off about 1. the prospect of lugging it through multiple airports, and 2. The prices.

Thought about buying two used or new bikes instead. Found the mention of this Merlin on a search. Looking to buy two to ship to Italy so I have something reasonably good to ride off the calories I ingest.



https://www.merlincycles.com/merlin-...l?tab=shipping

Full specification
  • Frame: 6061 Aluminium Road Bike Frame
  • Fork: 700c UD Carbon Road Fork With Alloy Steerer
  • Wheels: Mavic CXP-22 Black 700c Wheelset with Joytech hubs
  • Tyres: 700x25c CST Road
  • Chainset: FSA Tempo 8 Speed Road Chainset - 34/50 Chainrings (Not as pictured)
  • Chain: Shimano HG50 8 Speed Chain
  • Front Derailleur: Shimano Claris FD-2400 Front Derailleur
  • Rear Derailleur: Shimano Claris FD-2400 Rear Derailleur
  • Gear/Brake Levers: Shimano Claris ST-2400 Gear/Brake Levers
  • Cassette: Shimano HG50 8 Speed Cassette 11-30T
  • Handlebars: Merlin Alloy Black Road Handlebars
  • Stem: Merlin Alloy Black Road Stem
  • Seatpost: Merlin Alloy Black Seatpost
  • Saddle: Merlin Black
  • Pedals: Wellgo alloy flat pedals & toe clips
  • Weight: 10.4kg
  • Rack mount: Yes
  • Rear mudguard eyelets: Yes
  • Front mudguard eyelets: No
  • Sizes: 50cm, 53cm, 56cm, 59cm

I can buy it and have it shipped to Italy for under $500 USD. I think that is pretty fair given used bikes in Italy of similar quality are going for ~$800 and I'd have to buy sigh unseen.

Any other suggestions?
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Old 04-08-16, 10:07 AM
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That seems like a lot of bike for the money. Who or where do you ship it to in Italy? What do you do with it at the end of the trip?
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Old 04-08-16, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
That seems like a lot of bike for the money. Who or where do you ship it to in Italy? What do you do with it at the end of the trip?
My family's house in one spot.
Wife's family's house in the second.

Keep them so I have something to ride every year we go.

Last edited by petalpower; 04-08-16 at 10:16 AM.
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Old 04-08-16, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by petalpower View Post
My family's house in one spot.
Wife's family's house in the second.

Keep them so I have something to ride every year we go.

Well then heck yeah. I think it's a great idea. As little as they'll get used, they will last you indefinitely. You will have a bike that will be perfectly suitable for your intended use. You won't have a lot of money tied up in something you rarely use. I say roll with your plan. Again, those specs seem good for the money.
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Old 04-08-16, 01:55 PM
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Odd how they don't list the brakes. Even if they are generic side pulls though, that is a decently spec'd bike for the buck.
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Old 04-08-16, 03:34 PM
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Umm....how much is Italian customs gonna charge you?
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Old 04-08-16, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by AlexCyclistRoch View Post
Umm....how much is Italian customs gonna charge you?
If Merlin Cycles is a British company, shipping from the UK.... Nothing!
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Old 04-08-16, 04:14 PM
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It's certainly got plenty of climbing power.
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Old 04-08-16, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by GerryinHouston View Post
If Merlin Cycles is a British company, shipping from the UK.... Nothing!
That's what I assume as the shipping was less to Italy than it is to the USA

ETA: Their cust. support # is a UK number.
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Old 04-08-16, 10:04 PM
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https://www.merlincycles.com/about.html

British through and through!
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Old 04-09-16, 08:20 AM
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You mean that Italy does not charge an import duty tax (customs charge) on $500.00 items from the UK? That sounds to good to be true!
Countries usually set duty/ tariff/ import taxes (custom charges) on items to help protect their own domestic businesses. Since Italy has a large domestic bicycle business I would assume they would have a very high custom charge to import a bicycle,

Last edited by 2 Piece; 04-09-16 at 08:26 AM. Reason: add content
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Old 04-09-16, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by 2 Piece View Post
You mean that Italy does not charge an import duty tax (customs charge) on $500.00 items from the UK? That sounds to good to be true!
Countries usually set duty/ tariff/ import taxes (custom charges) on items to help protect their own domestic businesses. Since Italy has a large domestic bicycle business I would assume they would have a very high custom charge to import a bicycle,

Initially I never even thought to think about the tax implications, but after doing some quick reading, shipping items from within EU countries is exempt from customs/import duties. That's at least my quick understanding.
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Old 04-09-16, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by petalpower View Post
Initially I never even thought to think about the tax implications, but after doing some quick reading, shipping items from within EU countries is exempt from customs/import duties. That's at least my quick understanding.
My brother looked into importing a bicycle into France from the UK a couple of years ago and had a nasty surprise. The price within the Eu was not the same as it was to countries outside Europe. It was hundreds of dollars cheaper, including shipping charges to have the bike shipped to Canada than it was to have it sent to his house in France. Although there are no import duties within the EU, there is still VAT
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Old 04-09-16, 10:31 AM
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VAT, and also, since the bike is almost certainly built in Asia, perhaps customs charges would be leveled.
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Old 04-09-16, 12:16 PM
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Contact the company and ask about taxes before you buy. They will certainly know what taxes are applied by the receiving country. I would suspect that VAT would be applied. Since the shipper is in the UK, they would already have paid any duty when it arrived in GB. It has typical entry level (Shimano Claris drive train) components and side pull rim brakes. There's no name on the brake itself but they look decent, not the stamped crap that comes on BSOs. As long as you have a dry, protected place to store them between trips, it would seem to make sense.
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Old 04-09-16, 12:31 PM
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Merlin are well established firm with a good, but understated, reputation in the UK, that markets its own named bikes, generally from imported far east frames made to their own specs. They have existed for 25 years that I know of.

I don't know this particular bike but I have a 22 years old alloy mtb that I still love riding, and much prefer over the Konas, Univegas, GTs, Marins, that I have owned and got rid of over the years.

Always good quality and good value for money, especially when compared to the big name bikes.

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Old 04-09-16, 12:47 PM
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What do you guys think if this road bike for $500/shipped? Other suggestions?

If you purchase from a UK company you will pay VAT (tax) as part of the price. Prices are usually shown "incl. VAT" (including VAT)
Where the product was originally made (i.e Asia) is irrelevant.

There is no additional customs or tax added when exporting to another EU country (even if that country has a different tax rate).

Last edited by imi; 04-09-16 at 12:57 PM.
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Old 04-09-16, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by imi View Post
If you purchase from a UK company you will pay VAT (tax) as part of the price.
Where the product was originally made (i.e Asia) is irrelevant.

There is no additional customs or tax added when exporting to another EU country (even if that country has a different tax rate).
You are correct. When you select the currency and shipping destination on the site, it automatically calculates the VAT tax for Euro.
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Old 04-09-16, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by petalpower View Post
You are correct. When you select the currency and shipping destination on the site, it automatically calculates the VAT tax for Euro.
There is no "VAT for Euro", (as in "Euro" the currency), rather each EU country sets its own tax rate (between 17% and 27%)

When you select the currency you wish to pay in on the seller's site, you can choose the local currency (in this case GBP), or the currency which is drawn on your debit/credit card (in this case I'm presuming USD).
The actual amount you are charged will either be based on your bank card's exchange rate (if you chose GBP), or the seller's exchange rate (if you chose USD).
Almost invariably your bank's exchange rate will be favourable, thus it is better to choose the local currency of the seller.

edit: sellers will often automatically choose your local currency for you (via cookies I presume)... This means they charge you more for currency exchange... and you end up paying more... Ergo they make more money.

The worst choice would be to choose "Euro" as your currency because the delivery adress is Italy.
The price (in GBP) would first be converted to Euro (by the UK seller), then converted a second time from Euro to USD (by your bank) in order to charge your debit/credit card

tl:dr Always pay in the seller's local currency.... It'll be cheaper for you

Last edited by imi; 04-09-16 at 02:37 PM.
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Old 04-09-16, 01:12 PM
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I doubt the company knows about any, or, particular taxes any certain country may apply to different products. It is the buyer's responsibility. There are just to many countries all with their own special rules and taxes. It sounds like their may not be any custom charges between the EU countries, which is a really good thing.
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Old 04-10-16, 12:02 PM
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People, you are overworking the problem. There are no duties imposed within the EU. Just like there no duties buying from Texas to be delivered to California.

There are VAT differences between countries (just like the states) and there are ways to recover the VAT difference if you overpay. I'd venture to say that the gain for VAT differences between UK and Italy is not worth the effort, but I might be wrong.

The €/$ conversion might cost you a few dollars, but there are credit cards that do not charge a fee.

I think the OP's idea about buying from Merlin cycles and have them delivered to Italy is a sound one. Possibly buying locally in Italy, might be a good deal as well. There must be some Italian manufacturers making a decent bike...
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Old 04-10-16, 12:59 PM
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Are you buying 4 bikes?

I can see the appeal of buying low cost bikes as dollars will add up quickly.

I suppose I would still dream of buying a couple of vintage Colnago/Masi/Bianchi/Torpado/etc bikes. Get your family to start poking around some local bike shops Or, browse on European E-Bay, or whatever the European equivalent of Craigslist is.

Do family members just have loaner bikes, nothing to purchase?

Bicicletta Da Corsa Fausto Coppi Campagnolo Columbus | eBay
Ciclo Olmo Corsa | eBay
Bici Corsa Eroica Epoca Vintage Olmo Colnago Columbus Campagnolo Super Record | eBay
Bicicletta Da Corsa Bianchi Con 2 Telai | eBay
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Cinelli-By-V...-/301894950744

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Old 04-10-16, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by VegasTriker View Post
Contact the company and ask about taxes before you buy. They will certainly know what taxes are applied by the receiving country. I would suspect that VAT would be applied. Since the shipper is in the UK, they would already have paid any duty when it arrived in GB. It has typical entry level (Shimano Claris drive train) components and side pull rim brakes. There's no name on the brake itself but they look decent, not the stamped crap that comes on BSOs. As long as you have a dry, protected place to store them between trips, it would seem to make sense.
Nope. I would almost guarantee it.

Every company I have ever dealt with, both foreign and domestic, looks at abroad VAT and import duties as "not our problem" and "buyer beware". AKA "the buyer assumes all responsibility for local duties/taxes/fees/VAT of their own foreign country". Unless it is the SELLER'S obligation to collect taxes/duties-they consider it buyer-beware almost universally. Especially since every country on Earth is a unique snowflake of taxes and duties-and getting a straight concrete answer requires a customs lawyer on retainer on an individual case-by-country-by-case basis.


Ask and knock yourself out. But the short answer is: they don't know. And I'll be hornswaggled if they say otherwise.
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Old 04-10-16, 01:46 PM
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Both Great Britain and Italy are part of the EU (even if they use different currency). It is quite possible that shipping and taxes would be dealt with differently than between GB & the USA, and would be better organized.

Are you a US Citizen?

Here in the USA, Washington gives special tax discounts to Oregon customers no matter whether the item is picked up in Washington, or delivered across the border to Oregon.

It may also make a difference if you are a US customer buying the item, even if it is not being shipped to the USA.

Anyway, Merlin should be responsive if you talk to them, or they should get the rates right if you put in the bill-to and ship-to addresses.

I hope they would also call to confirm that the bill-to and ship-to addresses are different before shipping the order.
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Old 04-10-16, 01:51 PM
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On a Ferry to Norway from England one of My fellow passengers got his VAT form stamped on the ramp onto the ship, as an Export,
For His Bicycle, as he was going to a Non EU country, could get a VAT refund.


I doubt he declared it when he came back, I presume He has a Norwegian Address to send the rebate To.. in the mean time
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