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Category — bikes

Bike Shopping

The U S of A is often a real backwater hole on this planet. When I was shopping for a new car two summers ago, I was very angry when I saw what was available from Toyota in Europe versus what was available here. Basically, not much was available here and what was available cost more. All the good stuff was overseas. It’s the same way with cell phones. Look at what you can get in Japan and then look at what is available here. Old fashioned garbage is what is available here. I’m finding the same thing is true with bikes.

I want a simple, comfortable upright bike with 7-10 speeds. Specifically, I need to have handlebars like a cruiser bike. Also, I want a bike that will fit in the carriers on the front of a bus. The type of bike that comes closest to what I want is made by a company called Retrovelo in Germany.

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Looks like a great simple bike, doesn’t it? It’s perfect for a commuter. It’s perfect for cruising about town. It’s a steel frame that will last forever. It’s simple, too. There are no fancy parts on this bike. Anyone could maintain it with a few simple tools. So, what’s the problem? The problem is there are only a couple of dealerships in the U S of A and the bikes retail for over $2000. That’s right. They’re beyond expensive. There are some similar bikes out there that are from Europe and they’re all over $1500. It’s crazy.

The only thing similar here is from Electra. They have the Amsterdam series. These are nice looking but they’ve already been recalled because the chain can fall off and hurt you. They’re also very expensive at around $900 and their elongated frame does not fit the carriers on the front of buses.

Both of these bikes are very much like the “Flying Pigeon” from China. This is the transportation backbone of India and China. It is the BIKE and it costs $50 overseas.

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So far, on line, I’ve found one dealer in the U S of A and they want $500 for the single speed version of the bike. Someone is offering one on Ebay for $275.

Why are we getting hosed? I can’t understand it. It would be cheaper for me to have a friend from India or China pack one of these on a plane and bring it to me than it would be for me to buy it here. That’s not right.

Continuing my rant, I think part of the problem is bike shops. These guys try and sell average schmoes fancy bikes that they don’t need and that make them look stupid. The last time I was in a bike shop they were working their best to sell an overweight 40-something a carbon frame road bike. That’s not right.

I’m going to find a way around this. I’m not going to pay thousands of dollars for a simple steel frame bike.

August 14, 2008   No Comments