Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  

Go Back   > >

Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

User Tag List

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 10-15-08, 12:41 PM   #1
Junior Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 10
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
buying bike bits in cheaper countries?

to cut a long story short (read my other thread), I want to go touring places which my current bike can't really handle.

I live in britain and I'm currently cycling through switzerland and italy, three of the most expensive countries in the world, does it make sense to go to a cheaper country to buy a new bike and give the current one to a friend to look after?

For example, I'd like to head to SE asia, which will be much cheaper in general, but I don't know if bikes would similarly be cheaper or even if they would have the same selection.

has anyone tried something similar or even just checked out the local bike shops on their travels?
edwardmccaughan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-08, 01:01 PM   #2
Spelling Snob
Hobartlemagne's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Plano, Texas
Bikes: Panasonic DX4000, Bianchi Pista
Posts: 2,862
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Very interesting point.
Some things to consider- currency exchange rate (of course), also when you bring it home
certain warranties may not be valid for you. For example- I think Shimano warranties are
world-region specific based on each company division. If you need warranty work or replacement
for a part bought outside your region, the warranty may not be honored.

The first rule of flats is You don't talk about flats!
Hobartlemagne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-08, 03:29 PM   #3
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,554
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 53 Post(s)
In "cheaper" countries, your selection will generally not be very good. Also, many of these same countries have high import tariffs on expensive imported goods. So no, I don't think it's a good idea to wait and hope to buy a satisfactory touring bike in SE Asia at a bargain price.
axolotl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-08, 07:02 PM   #4
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Melbourne, AU
Bikes: Cannondale T800, Northwood tandem, 1970s Gitane fixxed 45x16
Posts: 1,088
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
US is pretty good online as long as the postage isn't too much.
It is about 50% cheaper than Australia, for example (although now that the Australian dollar has crashed the difference is much less)
Cave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-08, 07:20 PM   #5
Professional Fuss-Budget
Bacciagalupe's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 6,472
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 20 Post(s)
Uhm... So you want to spend a lot of money to fly to SE Asia in order to buy a relatively cheap commodity like a bike...?

I have no doubt that if you look around, you can find some cheap junker in the UK, for maybe 50-100GBP than what you'd pay in, say, Thailand. I can't imagine you'll recoup the cost of the flight with what you'd save on the bike.
Bacciagalupe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-08, 08:48 PM   #6
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: somewhere over a tropical rainbow
Bikes: Too Many
Posts: 37
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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
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.
Bridgestoned is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-08, 08:06 PM   #7
Camel's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Waltham, MA
Bikes: Waterford 1900, Quintana Roo Borrego, Trek 8700zx, Bianchi Pista Concept
Posts: 1,541
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
+1 on probike Bridgestoned. Great shop. I only needed some bags&bits, but there complete bike selection was allrite a few years back. Staff was vy helpfull.

Another thing for folks to consider if thinking about buying a bike in South East Asia is size. If you are taller, or have an odd fit (long legs/short torso), getting a proper bike in SEA may be more expensive-or not available.
Camel is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:28 PM.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.
  • Ask a Question
    get answers from real people!
Click to start entering your question.