Buying secondhand in France vs shipping an old bike over

Questions about bike hire abroad and everything light bike related. No off-topic chat please

Moderator: Moderator Team

Post Reply
DurianGrey
Posts: 39
Joined: Tue Jun 13, 2017 9:57 pm

by DurianGrey

I have in-laws in the pyrenees in France near Andorra, and we're heading there for a couple weeks in August. Really looking forward to the riding. It sounds easiest to just leave a bike there for future visits rather than put mine in baggage from the states each visit.

My question is: am I better off putting everything together here and shipping it over via fedex or what have you, or is the second-hand market there robust enough that I can count on finding something useful?

My french is regrettably not fluent, although I know enough to hack my way around.

C36
Posts: 218
Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2017 3:24 am

by C36

Look on troc-Velo. That's a website purely dedicated to preowned bikes. You can filter by regions.
If by any chance you find something and you need a French speaker to translate give me a shout!


Envoyé de mon iPhone en utilisant Tapatalk

petalpower
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri May 07, 2010 7:52 pm

by petalpower

I had the same dilemma but in my case Italy. I have a home on the Adriatic side, and my in laws are down near Sicily. I spend 2-4+ weeks a year there.

In the end I bought 2 Al Merlins and shipped them there. They were about $400 ea and I'm happy as a clam.

Antoine
Posts: 455
Joined: Tue May 03, 2011 6:36 pm
Location: France

by Antoine

To have an idea you can look there :
road bike region = north east of Andorra https://www.troc-velo.com/index.php?mode=0&search=1&marque=&categorie=10800-10890&modele=&taille=&codepostal=11+30+34+48+66
and there region = north/ north west of Andorra https://www.troc-velo.com/index.php?mode=0&search=1&marque=&categorie=10800-10890&modele=&taille=&codepostal=09+12+31+32+46+65+81+82
light blue => seller is a bike shop
but you'll be lucky to find something good close to your location and with a seller speaking english.

You can also look for a new bike from bike shops in Andorra (supposedly cheap) or online in France (https://www.probikeshop.com/en/fr/road/complete-bikes-road-bikes-c10084.html) (https://www.alltricks.com/C-40958-road) or Germany and have the bike shipped to your location.

DurianGrey
Posts: 39
Joined: Tue Jun 13, 2017 9:57 pm

by DurianGrey

These are great tips, thanks all. I'll keep an eye on troc-velo.

petalpower wrote:I had the same dilemma but in my case Italy. I have a home on the Adriatic side, and my in laws are down near Sicily. I spend 2-4+ weeks a year there.

In the end I bought 2 Al Merlins and shipped them there. They were about $400 ea and I'm happy as a clam.


Do you mean $400 for the frames or the shipping? Bikeflights is estimating just under $300 for one bike box.

petalpower
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri May 07, 2010 7:52 pm

by petalpower

DurianGrey wrote:These are great tips, thanks all. I'll keep an eye on troc-velo.

petalpower wrote:I had the same dilemma but in my case Italy. I have a home on the Adriatic side, and my in laws are down near Sicily. I spend 2-4+ weeks a year there.

In the end I bought 2 Al Merlins and shipped them there. They were about $400 ea and I'm happy as a clam.


Do you mean $400 for the frames or the shipping? Bikeflights is estimating just under $300 for one bike box.



No, I'm talking complete bike. Shipped. I think it was closer to $430USD at the time. Bike came with CX22 wheels and whatever group is under 105, but to be honest with you, the bikes run flawlessly.

Here is the link to the bikes I bought.

https://www.merlincycles.com/merlin-pr7-bike-shoe-pedal-deal-99308.html

AJS914
Posts: 2003
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:52 pm

by AJS914

Buying a bargain bike from one of the UK dealers is also a great idea. Check out Ribble's offerings.

DurianGrey
Posts: 39
Joined: Tue Jun 13, 2017 9:57 pm

by DurianGrey

May be a very good option given shipping costs - I sort of hate to go that route but would do it if it saved a few hundo. Thanks for the tip.

petalpower
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri May 07, 2010 7:52 pm

by petalpower

DurianGrey wrote:May be a very good option given shipping costs - I sort of hate to go that route but would do it if it saved a few hundo. Thanks for the tip.


Yes, I went through the same dilemma. Bringing my good bike was risky and expensive. Trying to find a used bike there was difficult as not only was no one in my family knowledgeable in looking at used bikes, but also the prices were absurd!

I wish I would've bought them 10-15 years ago when I started going more frequently!


DurianGrey
Posts: 39
Joined: Tue Jun 13, 2017 9:57 pm

by DurianGrey

Currently, I've got a spare frame I could build up.

Assuming I use that (a 2005 roubaix s-works), budget $250 for a 105 groupset, another $175-250 for some ebay aksiums or bdop wheel kit, plus the $150 for taking it over with me and another $100 for odds and ends and I'm looking at a total of $750. I have a fairly healthy spare parts bin.

The best value as far as complete bikes that I've been able to find is the B'Twin Triban 540, which comes with aksiums, 105, and an AL frame for 800EUR ($900 USD). No idea if you have to pay shipping or if you can just cruise into a department store and walk out with one of these bad boys.

https://www.decathlon.fr/velo-route-tri ... 64452.html

There are much cheaper bikes, but I'm going to be using this thing for riding around the pyrenees and I'm worried I'll spend large chunks of rides pissed off about some mechanical issue or other.

So is there a better 'value' bike out there, or should I just embark on a new budget build (which would, admittedly be more fun)?

Matt28NJ
Posts: 42
Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2009 3:16 am

by Matt28NJ

Personally - I'd just buy a decent used on in France, and store it there. Get a decent one and it will always have some value to you as a nice bike, even if it isn't the latest and greatest.

Antoine
Posts: 455
Joined: Tue May 03, 2011 6:36 pm
Location: France

by Antoine

you can also look there for details : https://www.btwin.com/en/376-sport-road-bike
the triban 540 is a good value , it's sold only in Decathlon shops or online but they show size S and M only currently available (list "veuillez sélectionner votre taille").
Not sure shops have more stock, you can see their location by clicking on "Mon magasin". There is one in Foix.
You can wait as summer sales are coming soon (from end of june in France).

But I think the best is to bring your spare Roubaix with you or have it shipped, and build it with parts and tools bought online "locally" (from the UK or France or Andorra or Germany). Or in a local bike shop but they are scarce (and probably more expensive) , you'll have to drive to a larger city or to Andorra.
Probikeshop or Wiggle for example can deliver to the pickup station (point relais) you choose in France and it's free or cheap (1-2 euros).

DurianGrey
Posts: 39
Joined: Tue Jun 13, 2017 9:57 pm

by DurianGrey

Just wanted to update this with what happened.

Short version: I built up the roubaix, shipped it with Bikeflights, the frame got cracked but I'm happy.

Long version: I wound up upgrading a few parts on my #1 bike and scrounging some older stuff to get the roubaix put together. Packed it all up with a box from my LBS, and had planned to take it over on the plane with me. Unfortunately my wife had to make some last-minute adjustments to the itinerary, so it had to go via Bikeflights instead, which was the lowest cost option other than the plane.

The shipping process went smoothly, I had plenty of packing materials from other frame trades and no issues with Fedex.

Problem #1: I was charged a hefty import tax (330EUR). I'm in the process of disputing this. We think they may have looked at the bicyclebluebook printout that was included with the papers and taxed based on the highest possible value, so this may be partially my fault given that the frame was stripped of its decals and many other spare parts would put the true value far below what they assumed.

Problem #2: Cracked frame, on the seat tube, not large. More of a gouge than a crack, no idea what caused it. Someone else received the box for me so I couldn't really examine the packaging; everything looked fine when I put it together and all tubes were covered in bubble wrap. At any rate, BikeFlights worked with me on the claims process and I couldn't be happier with them, they were very clear and timely throughout.

Lessons learned: Whatever the largest number is on any piece of paper submitted is what you'll be taxed on, be extremely careful packing, and use BikeFlights if you can't take the thing on the plane with you.

Hope this helps someone else!

AJS914
Posts: 2003
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:52 pm

by AJS914

It sounds like a cheap and easy repair if you don't care about the look of a bare carbon band-aid.

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post