Importing a bike from Italy



T

Travis

Guest
has anyone had any experiences with importing a second hand bike from
overseas (e.g. Europe)?

What were the costs, how long did it take, was it a complicated
procedure and would you ever do it again?

Travis
 
Travis wrote:
> has anyone had any experiences with importing a second hand bike from
> overseas (e.g. Europe)?
>
> What were the costs, how long did it take, was it a complicated
> procedure and would you ever do it again?


Travis, your time must be worthless! The amount of time you're wasting
(what's your hourly rate?) you could have bought a new bike by now,
that fits, than an LBS will do a fit for you and set up for you, with
new running gear, no crash damage, no worries about freight or packing
or customs, with a warranty, with bits that you can easily get spares
for etc etc ...

This has been going on for how long now? A month? More? If your ball
& chain won't let you buy a new bike, deal with it, and tell her that
baked beans are perfectly good to eat and that's dinner for the next 6
months.
 
Bleve wrote:
> Travis wrote:
> > has anyone had any experiences with importing a second hand bike from
> > overseas (e.g. Europe)?
> >
> > What were the costs, how long did it take, was it a complicated
> > procedure and would you ever do it again?

>
> Travis, your time must be worthless! The amount of time you're wasting
> (what's your hourly rate?) you could have bought a new bike by now,


Out of curiosity, do you record the number of hours you spend on
non-work related activities, like posting to newsgroups?

If I thought about my time in this way I would work night and day 365
days a year. The true cost of watching a movie could be hundreds of
dollars, I wouldn't have time for proper food so I'd live on a diet of
fast food...

But I don't think about it that way. Apart from your last few posts to
me I've received a fair few helpful answers from the newsgroup about
the various bikes I've been considering.

> that fits, than an LBS will do a fit for you and set up for you, with


I've been fit to a similar bike in an LBS, its definitely my size. If
I have to invest in a new handlebar stem or something I will, its not a
big deal.

> new running gear, no crash damage, no worries about freight or packing
> or customs, with a warranty, with bits that you can easily get spares
> for etc etc ...


Its a Trek Madone SL 5.9, and its going so cheaply I could afford a new
groupset etc and have plenty of money left over. The frame is in
perfect condition. I will, of course, pay via an escrow service (e.g.
www.escrow.com) in order to protect myself against fraud to ensure my
money isn't just funnelled off to Nigeria.

> This has been going on for how long now? A month? More? If your ball
> & chain won't let you buy a new bike, deal with it, and tell her that
> baked beans are perfectly good to eat and that's dinner for the next 6
> months.


She relented in the end and has approved a bike purchase up to a
certain budget. That budget is more than enough for me to afford this
Madone. Heck, even if I did nothing more than turn around and sell it
on ebay locally I'd probably make a profit on it.

Now apart from advice on time management, do you or anyone else have
any experience with importing second hand bikes?

Travis
 
Travis said:
Its a Trek Madone SL 5.9, and its going so cheaply I could afford a new
groupset etc and have plenty of money left over. The frame is in
perfect condition. I will, of course, pay via an escrow service (e.g.
www.escrow.com) in order to protect myself against fraud to ensure my
money isn't just funnelled off to Nigeria.

> This has been going on for how long now? A month? More? If your ball
> & chain won't let you buy a new bike, deal with it, and tell her that
> baked beans are perfectly good to eat and that's dinner for the next 6
> months.


She relented in the end and has approved a bike purchase up to a
certain budget. That budget is more than enough for me to afford this
Madone. Heck, even if I did nothing more than turn around and sell it
on ebay locally I'd probably make a profit on it.

Now apart from advice on time management, do you or anyone else have
any experience with importing second hand bikes?

Travis
Weren't you after a bike for commuting? What's with a carbon frame with racing wheels?

On matters of ebay I take the advice of ASIC, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Look at the vendors ebay feedback. The Trek Madone I found on ebay, currently at $2000, is from someone with a 75% rating.

http://tinyurl.com/fbjet

And why would someone in Italy who joined ebay in the US be trying to sell in Australian currency. He does not accept paypal because his wife is divorcing him and he does not know how much it would cost to send the bike. And the last thing he bought was a softball bat, even though he runs bike tours out of Italy.

hmmmm.
 
In aus.bicycle on Sun, 19 Mar 2006 08:19:47 +1100
sinus <[email protected]> wrote:
>
>
> *http://tinyurl.com/fbjet*
>
> And why would someone in Italy who joined ebay in the US be trying to
> sell in Australian currency. He does not accept paypal because his wife
> is divorcing him and he does not know how much it would cost to send the
> bike. And the last thing he bought was a softball bat, even though he
> runs bike tours out of Italy.


been a member since 2003 and only has 2 feedbacks? Sounds like an
account set up and then ignored and hijacked to me.

ON the other hand, the photos are not the usual "snapped someone
else's that happened to be parked nearby" kind.

The selling in AUD is very dodgy for someone based in Europe. I
suppose they might figure a 2nd hand bike would go for more here, but
it doesn't ring true.

Zebee
 
I bought a 2nd hand bike on eBay from the US. I only did this because I
have a Ti fetish, which is hard to satisfy in Australia. Before
committing, I had extensive email conversation with the vendor. He had
stated he worked as a mechanic in a bike shop, which I checked out. I
asked him a number of questions about the bike and these checked out. I
asked him about his racing activities and verified these on the web. So
finally I was reasonably (not totally) comfortable and went ahead. Then
the postage cost me about $200USD including charges through a freight
forwarder (MyUSA). All up I'm thrilled with the bike, but I do have to
rebuild the wheels shortly (worn rims) and this will cost about $350.
The vendor serviced it with new pads and cables beforehand, and if this
wasn't done or the drivetrain was shagged, there goes another few to
lots of bucks out of the expected saving. So Bleve's advice about
sticking with new bikes (even from O/S) must be given serious
consideration, unless saving about $1000 really makes the difference to
you (like it does to me) and you could only achieve this on a high-end
bike like a Madone. Preownedbikes.com is worth checking out, for a
guaranteed, used, high-end product (Litespeed, Merlin) with significant
savings and high trust. I know someone who bought a new Madone when
passing through Singapore, and claims to have saved lots of $$ c.f.
buying in Oz. Buying offshore also strains your relationships with
your LBS, and that might be worth something to you.

Donga
 
sinus wrote:

> Weren't you after a bike for commuting? What's with a carbon frame with
> racing wheels?


I'm after a bike that won't be ruined by commuting, but would be a good
racer should I decide to get into that, and be of sufficiently high
quality that I could hold on to it for a long time and never end up
frustrated by having a "water pipe bike".

> On matters of ebay I take the advice of ASIC, if it sounds too good to
> be true, it probably is. Look at the vendors ebay feedback. The Trek
> Madone I found on ebay, currently at $2000, is from someone with a 75%
> rating.
>
> *http://tinyurl.com/fbjet*


Yes, that's the one. This $8,500 RRP bike eventually went for $2,550.
The few shipping quotes I've managed to get in the short notice that
this 24 hour listing gave were around $700-1000, though I'm sure i
could have gotten a cheaper price. The buyer got themselves a
sensational deal.

> And why would someone in Italy who joined ebay in the US be trying to
> sell in Australian currency. He does not accept paypal because his wife
> is divorcing him and he does not know how much it would cost to send the
> bike. And the last thing he bought was a softball bat, even though he
> runs bike tours out of Italy.


It was a worldwide listing so people saw it in their own currency
depending on where they were. The 'merkins saw it as a $US
transaction.

However, I noticed several suspicious things;

* User is based in USA, item is in Milano. One might suspect its a
hijacked account.
* It was a 24 hour listing, initiated over a weekend. For an expensive
bike like this surely it would have been worth listing it for the full
ten days to give it time to attract more bids, and would have been
worth the extra few bucks. A naturally suspicious person might suspect
that this was done in order to get the auction finalised quickly before
ebay security staff had time to flag it as an anomaly.
* The seller didn't want to use Paypal. The suspicious types might
conclude that this was an attempt to bypass the security protocols and
also ensure that bank account details for a foreign scammer can be
provided instead of having the money paid to some American softball
fan...
* The bike only had a $610Aus reserve. If I were selling a 2005 Madone
SL 5.9 I'd put a reserve of $5,000 or more because that is what these
things often sell for.

Conclusion, if bidding on this item you should use an escrow service
like www.escrow.com.au. No reasonable seller could refuse to use such
a service and you can refuse to complete the transaction if they won't
use escrow. If they complain to ebay about you just argue that the
transaction looked sus for the reasons above and you wanted to use
Ebay's escrow service but the vendor refused, so you legitimately
suspect its a scammer.
>
> hmmmm.


Using an escrow service is an excellent way to protect against fraud.

Of course, its still possible that while the bike is real it may in
fact be stolen property, or it could have had damage to the carbon
fibre etc which the vendor isn't disclosing.

Anyway, I didn't bid on the bike at all and I took the liberty of
private messaging the winning bidder to suggest they should use an
escrow service because of the suspicious aspects of this transaction.

Nevertheless, I'd be interested to hear about people's experience and
costs with importing bikes. They're often a lot cheaper on
international ebay than Australia, not to mention there being a better
selection of bikes out there.

Travis
 
Travis wrote:

> Yes, that's the one. This $8,500 RRP bike eventually went for $2,550.
> The few shipping quotes I've managed to get in the short notice that
> this 24 hour listing gave were around $700-1000, though I'm sure i
> could have gotten a cheaper price.


Not unless you were prepared to wait several weeks if not months for the
bike.

The last few times I have shipped bikes to Aus from the UK and USA they
have either come via Pickfords, which cost a couple hundred bucks but
took a couple of months, or FedEx, which costs several hundred dollars
unless the sender is a very large FedEx user that can negotiate a discount.

The additional cost and hassle will almost certainly wipe out any saving
over buying locally.
 
Travis wrote:
> Bleve wrote:
> > Travis wrote:
> > > has anyone had any experiences with importing a second hand bike from
> > > overseas (e.g. Europe)?
> > >
> > > What were the costs, how long did it take, was it a complicated
> > > procedure and would you ever do it again?

> >
> > Travis, your time must be worthless! The amount of time you're wasting
> > (what's your hourly rate?) you could have bought a new bike by now,

>
> Out of curiosity, do you record the number of hours you spend on
> non-work related activities, like posting to newsgroups?


I do this for fun, and also to contribute to helping people ride more.
The value is therefore intangeable. You're missing my point though,
but it's not really my business. A lot of people here (myself
included) have given you a lot of advice & suggestions based purely on
a desire to help get you riding something nice. I'm not the only one
that's getting tired of doing it when you keep changing the playing
field :)

> If I thought about my time in this way I would work night and day 365
> days a year. The true cost of watching a movie could be hundreds of
> dollars, I wouldn't have time for proper food so I'd live on a diet of
> fast food...


Or baked beans :) They're quick and easy.


> But I don't think about it that way. Apart from your last few posts to
> me I've received a fair few helpful answers from the newsgroup about
> the various bikes I've been considering.
>
> > that fits, than an LBS will do a fit for you and set up for you, with

>
> I've been fit to a similar bike in an LBS, its definitely my size. If
> I have to invest in a new handlebar stem or something I will, its not a
> big deal.


Ok, here's a suggestion for you. Which I'm sure you'll understand if
you look at it from your area of expertise. If you ask a question,
give us sufficient context such that we can make helpful and informed
suggestions. If someone out of the blue said to you, "Trav, which bank
shares should I invest my $10,000 in?" you'd want to know a lot more
before you gave them advice, right? You may even want to know why
they're considering bank shares, thus, finding out the deeper question.

In the same way, if you're thinking (and obvously you are) about
getting a bike from O/S, then giving us a bit more information means we
can give you better suggestions.

> > new running gear, no crash damage, no worries about freight or packing
> > or customs, with a warranty, with bits that you can easily get spares
> > for etc etc ...

>
> Its a Trek Madone SL 5.9, and its going so cheaply I could afford a new
> groupset etc and have plenty of money left over. The frame is in
> perfect condition. I will, of course, pay via an escrow service (e.g.
> www.escrow.com) in order to protect myself against fraud to ensure my
> money isn't just funnelled off to Nigeria.


Why didn't you say that in the first place?! Now a bunch of people
have been able to follow up with sage advice about buying from ebay and
bike sale scams etc, which is (hopefully!) useful to you. Much more
useful than just "joe's freight Co. charged me $350 and it took 2
months to arrive", I reckon.

> > This has been going on for how long now? A month? More? If your ball
> > & chain won't let you buy a new bike, deal with it, and tell her that
> > baked beans are perfectly good to eat and that's dinner for the next 6
> > months.

>
> She relented in the end and has approved a bike purchase up to a
> certain budget. That budget is more than enough for me to afford this
> Madone. Heck, even if I did nothing more than turn around and sell it
> on ebay locally I'd probably make a profit on it.


Good! Without wishing to ask a rude question, what's the budget now
(roughly)?
And a CF Trek will be a great fast commuting bike, there's a lot of
older 5500's etc around being used for that (and pleasure rides and
racing) and they don't lose their ride quality.
 
Bleve wrote:
> Travis wrote:
> > Bleve wrote:
> > > Travis wrote:
> > > > has anyone had any experiences with importing a second hand bike from
> > > > overseas (e.g. Europe)?
> > > >
> > > > What were the costs, how long did it take, was it a complicated
> > > > procedure and would you ever do it again?
> > >
> > > Travis, your time must be worthless! The amount of time you're wasting
> > > (what's your hourly rate?) you could have bought a new bike by now,

> >
> > Out of curiosity, do you record the number of hours you spend on
> > non-work related activities, like posting to newsgroups?

>
> I do this for fun, and also to contribute to helping people ride more.
> The value is therefore intangeable. You're missing my point though,
> but it's not really my business. A lot of people here (myself
> included) have given you a lot of advice & suggestions based purely on
> a desire to help get you riding something nice. I'm not the only one
> that's getting tired of doing it when you keep changing the playing
> field :)


The playing field changes depending on what's available second hand.
I've checked out LBSs including ones that deal in second hand bikes,
I'm monitoring ebay daily, I'm looking at other classifieds and reading
a lot of reviews. When I came to this NG for the first time I had no
knowledge of high end bikes at all, I'd never heard of STi shifters or
Dura Ace bits, it took me a while to figure out that "Campy" was
Campagnolo, I've picked up useful tips on compact frame bikes, the
drawbacks of carbon and the toughness of bikes. For that I thank you,
though if I am taking too much of your time you're always welcome to
ignore me. I won't consider it rude if you don't reply to everything I
say Bleve.
>
> > If I thought about my time in this way I would work night and day 365
> > days a year. The true cost of watching a movie could be hundreds of
> > dollars, I wouldn't have time for proper food so I'd live on a diet of
> > fast food...

>
> Or baked beans :) They're quick and easy.


I do eat a lot of them actually, the ham flavoured ones on toast are
yummy and a good source of low fat protein, but I digress..


> Ok, here's a suggestion for you. Which I'm sure you'll understand if
> you look at it from your area of expertise. If you ask a question,
> give us sufficient context such that we can make helpful and informed
> suggestions. If someone out of the blue said to you, "Trav, which bank
> shares should I invest my $10,000 in?" you'd want to know a lot more
> before you gave them advice, right? You may even want to know why
> they're considering bank shares, thus, finding out the deeper question.


Sure, but at the same time I had only limited hours to bid on this
Madone and I was hoping for a quick answer like "I paid $400 through
Courier X, customs gave me some hassles over dirt in the tire treads,
but I saved a bundle over all." or maybe "it cost $2,000 and was the
worst experience of my life".
>
> In the same way, if you're thinking (and obvously you are) about
> getting a bike from O/S, then giving us a bit more information means we
> can give you better suggestions.


To be honest, part of the reason for my brevity is because I'm
obviously pissing a few of you (or maybe just you...) off with these
incessant questions, so if I do dare ask anything else I'll try to keep
it as short and to the point as possible...

> > > new running gear, no crash damage, no worries about freight or packing
> > > or customs, with a warranty, with bits that you can easily get spares
> > > for etc etc ...

> >
> > Its a Trek Madone SL 5.9, and its going so cheaply I could afford a new
> > groupset etc and have plenty of money left over. The frame is in
> > perfect condition. I will, of course, pay via an escrow service (e.g.
> > www.escrow.com) in order to protect myself against fraud to ensure my
> > money isn't just funnelled off to Nigeria.

>
> Why didn't you say that in the first place?! Now a bunch of people
> have been able to follow up with sage advice about buying from ebay and
> bike sale scams etc, which is (hopefully!) useful to you. Much more
> useful than just "joe's freight Co. charged me $350 and it took 2
> months to arrive", I reckon.


I know about ebay scams already, and know to use an escrow service if
that's an issue. That aside (and I know its a big thing to set aside)
knowing the approximate cost of shipping a bike would be useful
information if I'm thinking of buying a bike from an offshore vendor.

> > She relented in the end and has approved a bike purchase up to a
> > certain budget. That budget is more than enough for me to afford this
> > Madone. Heck, even if I did nothing more than turn around and sell it
> > on ebay locally I'd probably make a profit on it.

>
> Good! Without wishing to ask a rude question, what's the budget now
> (roughly)?


$3,000, all inclusive and not a dollar more! That includes freight,
pedals, clothing and shoes, lights, spare parts, repair kits, tools,
pumps, extended warranties, membership dues for any clubs I want to
join etc etc. In other words I can't buy a $2,999 bike and then ask
for more money for pedals.

Quite reasonable I think. As a financial planner I am pretty big on
budgets and financial responsibility, as is my wife, so having a hard
dollar limit is ok with me.

> And a CF Trek will be a great fast commuting bike, there's a lot of
> older 5500's etc around being used for that (and pleasure rides and
> racing) and they don't lose their ride quality.


Thanks, that's what I was expecting. Just want to make sure that it
doesn't break too easily.

At risk of annoying all and sundry by changing the playing field once
again, there is an almost new alumnium framed (carbon forks and seat
post, but not seat stays) Viner Pro team with 9spd Dura Ace and a whole
lot of bling in the handlebars etc in my size on ebay. I've exchanged
a few messages with him and he's estimated the cost to build was about
$5K, largely because he built it up with expensive components. Its got
a starting bid of $1,650, no bids yet and he failed to sell it a couple
of weeks ago at $1,900. Its pretty light weight at 7.5kg give or take
and while I'm not in awe of its paintjob its otherwise a nice looking
bike. He says his reason for selling is because the frame is too big
for him. The handlebar stem is very adjustable and wasn't cut down to
shape plus comes with lots of spacers.

I'm finding very little information about Viner on the net, newsgroups
and forums, except that all frames are hand made in Italy and they've
got a good reputation despite their relative obscurity. After some of
the comments made here by you lately I've actually been quite loathe to
ask about it here.

I originally decided on a Trek after hearing lots of good things about
them in this forum, particularly that the build quality was great, and
settled on a OCLV framed one because they're the best Trek frames I can
afford. The problem is, they don't seem to come along all that
frequently in my size. I've seen only two in a couple of months in my
size, plus this Italian one which was a bit dodgy looking anyway, and I
really do want to get a decent bike soon rather than six months from
now.

Does anyone have anything nasty to say about Viner bikes (build
quality, materials or whatever) that might put me off purchasing this?
(I'll take the risk that some of the advice I receive here may be
tainted by a desire to get me to buy my damn bike and quit wasting your
time!) :)

Travis
 
Travis wrote:

> At risk of annoying all and sundry by changing the playing field once
> again, there is an almost new alumnium framed (carbon forks and seat
> post, but not seat stays) Viner Pro team with 9spd Dura Ace


That'd be the show-stopper for me. Ten-speed Dura-Ace became available
in late 2003. Experience suggests that nine-speed DA parts will start to
get hard to find in the next couple of years. Buy that bike now and you
could find you're forced to upgrade to ten-speed if you crash it and
trash an STI unit (and want to keep it Dura-Ace equipped). New STI
units, chain, cassette and rear derailleur will cost almost what he's
asking for the complete bike.

I'm not surprised he can't find a buyer. He'd probably have more luck
parting it out!

In the price range you're looking at, there are very very few bad bikes.
Far more important that the bike fits you well and is set up well in
terms of things like stem length etc. For that reason alone, you'd be
better to buy a *new* bike from a bike shop that will take the time to
sort you out well than to mess around with secondhand carbon esoterica.
You can probably get an aluminium-framed, all-Ultegra bike for your
budget, and it will be more than adequate for your purposes (that's
exactly what I ride as it happens, even though I could have one of any
number of carbon wonderbikes).
 
Travis said:
I know about ebay scams already, and know to use an escrow service if

that's an issue. That aside (and I know its a big thing to set aside)
knowing the approximate cost of shipping a bike would be useful
information if I'm thinking of buying a bike from an offshore vendor.
You may as well save your time in the first place. Escrow is fine, but the people selling $6000 bikes at half price aren't going to play that game. There's too many people buying bikes on ebay to have any real bargains slip through.

Travis said:
$3,000, all inclusive and not a dollar more! That includes freight,
pedals, clothing and shoes, lights, spare parts, repair kits, tools,
pumps, extended warranties, membership dues for any clubs I want to
join etc etc. In other words I can't buy a $2,999 bike and then ask
for more money for pedals.
Mate, I still think you're getting ripped off. She gets a Toyota Yaris, leather lounge and air conditioner. But you get only $3,000 for a piece of equipment that not only is fun, saves money and can extend your life span.

As far as Viner, I've never ridden one and wouldn't buy one unless I had. Italian bikes often have a different geometry than other bikes and may handle differently. You probably should ride one first before committing. Other than that, they're a reputable brand. Just ask Google.
 
John Stevenson wrote:

> That'd be the show-stopper for me. Ten-speed Dura-Ace became available
> in late 2003. Experience suggests that nine-speed DA parts will start to
> get hard to find in the next couple of years. Buy that bike now and you
> could find you're forced to upgrade to ten-speed if you crash it and
> trash an STI unit (and want to keep it Dura-Ace equipped). New STI
> units, chain, cassette and rear derailleur will cost almost what he's
> asking for the complete bike.


Thanks a lot for this tip - precisely the kind of feedback I'm fishing
for.

I hadn't considered the availability of spare parts with the 9sp vs
10sp shifters. While I've figured out that the 9sp and 10sp groupsets
are not compatible with one another I thought I could do without that
extra cog if it saves me some big bucks. (9sp bikes are still being
sold in most of the LBSs I've visited, though its probably last year's
stock) You're quite right of course, if I bang up an STI unit I'd need
to be able to find a compatible replacement - or replace the whole
thing.

Travis
 
Travis

Have a look at Dean Woods Direct (web) at the Azzurri bikes. These are
carbon frames made in Taiwan. You could get a brand new bike with full
Ultegra inside your budget, with no repairs coming up and no risks.
There's another thread going on these frames - they sound fine. Other
dealers carry these bikes and ones like them. Hard to go past.

Donga
 
"Travis" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
>
> John Stevenson wrote:
>
>> That'd be the show-stopper for me. Ten-speed Dura-Ace became available
>> in late 2003. Experience suggests that nine-speed DA parts will start to
>> get hard to find in the next couple of years. Buy that bike now and you
>> could find you're forced to upgrade to ten-speed if you crash it and
>> trash an STI unit (and want to keep it Dura-Ace equipped). New STI
>> units, chain, cassette and rear derailleur will cost almost what he's
>> asking for the complete bike.

>
> Thanks a lot for this tip - precisely the kind of feedback I'm fishing
> for.
>
> I hadn't considered the availability of spare parts with the 9sp vs
> 10sp shifters. While I've figured out that the 9sp and 10sp groupsets
> are not compatible with one another I thought I could do without that
> extra cog if it saves me some big bucks. (9sp bikes are still being
> sold in most of the LBSs I've visited, though its probably last year's
> stock) You're quite right of course, if I bang up an STI unit I'd need
> to be able to find a compatible replacement - or replace the whole
> thing.
>
> Travis
>


Such things are available on Ebay fairly regularly, even if you have to wait
for them to arrive from the US it doesn't take all that long. One thing I've
found after riding a fixie for a bit is that close ratios aren't the be all
and end all. I might take issue with the shift quality of Sora, but I'm
perfectly happy to have only 8 ratios to choose from. The thing to beware
of, as others have said, is shipping and duty and suchlike eating the
savings you made by purchasing 2nd hand. I'd be tempted to point you at the
XACD website, but I don't think you'd be able to get one of those and bits
quite within budget.
 
Travis wrote:

> Thanks a lot for this tip - precisely the kind of feedback I'm fishing
> for.
>
> I hadn't considered the availability of spare parts with the 9sp vs
> 10sp shifters.


I wouldn't be too worried, 9sp stuff will be around for a long time
yet, as there's so much of it on bikes at the moment.
 
Travis wrote:

> > Good! Without wishing to ask a rude question, what's the budget now
> > (roughly)?

>
> $3,000, all inclusive and not a dollar more! That includes freight,
> pedals, clothing and shoes, lights, spare parts, repair kits, tools,
> pumps, extended warranties, membership dues for any clubs I want to
> join etc etc. In other words I can't buy a $2,999 bike and then ask
> for more money for pedals.


Understood.

When I got my first roady, I had about that to spend (4 years or so
ago?). I ended up getting a Trek 1400 (which I still have), shoes,
pedals, a track pump (you want one of these ...), a saddle bag, tools,
tyre levers, bottle cages and a computer. Ie: the full kit & kaboodle.
That bike has now done 56,000km and is fine - the frame's a bit tatty
now from cable rubbing and general wear & tear, but it's still
stucturally sound. The only reason I don't ride it much is because I
got a CF Madone and it's just nicer to ride and its groupset is rooted,
and until I have the readies to put D-A on the Madone and pull its
Ultegra onto the 1400 it'll stay as my wet weather hacker. The 1400
had 105 (and mostly still does) and it's just fine.

> Quite reasonable I think. As a financial planner I am pretty big on
> budgets and financial responsibility, as is my wife, so having a hard
> dollar limit is ok with me.


Sure, and for that you can get a very good quality bike.

> > And a CF Trek will be a great fast commuting bike, there's a lot of
> > older 5500's etc around being used for that (and pleasure rides and
> > racing) and they don't lose their ride quality.

>
> Thanks, that's what I was expecting. Just want to make sure that it
> doesn't break too easily.


If it breaks through normal riding, you get another for free if you're
the original purchaser.

> At risk of annoying all and sundry by changing the playing field once
> again, there is an almost new alumnium framed (carbon forks and seat
> post, but not seat stays) Viner Pro team with 9spd Dura Ace and a whole
> lot of bling in the handlebars etc in my size on ebay. I've exchanged
> a few messages with him and he's estimated the cost to build was about
> $5K, largely because he built it up with expensive components. Its got
> a starting bid of $1,650, no bids yet and he failed to sell it a couple
> of weeks ago at $1,900. Its pretty light weight at 7.5kg give or take
> and while I'm not in awe of its paintjob its otherwise a nice looking
> bike. He says his reason for selling is because the frame is too big
> for him. The handlebar stem is very adjustable and wasn't cut down to
> shape plus comes with lots of spacers.


That's certainly something to be aware of with s/h bikes. If the
fork's been cut down you can't make it longer again, which limits your
fit options. The scariest thing I did with my Madone was to cut the
fork tube with a hacksaw. Get it wrong and it's an expensive mistake
:)


>
> I'm finding very little information about Viner on the net, newsgroups
> and forums, except that all frames are hand made in Italy and they've
> got a good reputation despite their relative obscurity. After some of
> the comments made here by you lately I've actually been quite loathe to
> ask about it here.
>
> I originally decided on a Trek after hearing lots of good things about
> them in this forum, particularly that the build quality was great, and
> settled on a OCLV framed one because they're the best Trek frames I can
> afford. The problem is, they don't seem to come along all that
> frequently in my size. I've seen only two in a couple of months in my
> size, plus this Italian one which was a bit dodgy looking anyway, and I
> really do want to get a decent bike soon rather than six months from
> now.


In all seriousness, have you testridden a Cannondale Synapse? They're
within your budget (the al alloy one, anyway) and you may be pleasanly
suprised by how they feel to ride. How a frame feels isn't just the
material it's made from, but also how it's put together and shaped.
I've seen plenty of CF frames where there's no way that the carbon is
being used to allow flex and stiffness in different directions
(straight seat stays, anyone? tops! they'll absorb vibration ... duh
....they'll sell though ...)


>
> Does anyone have anything nasty to say about Viner bikes (build
> quality, materials or whatever) that might put me off purchasing this?
> (I'll take the risk that some of the advice I receive here may be
> tainted by a desire to get me to buy my damn bike and quit wasting your
> time!) :)


Don't know anything about 'em, I'm afraid.
 
warrwych wrote:

> Travis[/QUOTE Wrote:
> >
> >
> > You know what your problem is Travis? There is too much choice out
> > there for you. And when you finally do commit to a bike and hand over
> > the readies for it, the very next day, I can guarantee you will find a
> > better deal.
> > ;)


True.

I'm actually going to shut up about bikes now, because another option
has come up.

Someone mentioned buying a bike in Singapore and bringing it back wit
them. It was supposedly quite cheap.

I brought this up with my Singaporean wife and she said that as far as
she knows bikes are cheaper in Singapore, however they're cheaper again
in China - and she's probably going to China this July.

She's going to get some colleagues in China to find out what mid to
high end Treks, Cannondales, Pinarellos and Colnagos cost... genuine
ones of course.

So maybe there is a way to get a brand new bike without paying full
Australian RRP.

Do bikes bought in China (assuming they aren't forgeries) also come
with the lifetime warranty?

Travis
 
Update on the Madone from Italy:

I sent a private message to the winning bidder, suggesting that he pay
via an escrow service and listed some of the things about this
transaction which didn't look right.

The seller asked for the buyer to wire the money over immediately and
sent a spoofed ebay email, which ebay verified as fake. They are now
investigating the fraud.

The seller got in contact with me also with a direct email and offered
to sell me the bike for $1,500 Aus plus $150 shipping. This was after
supposedly selling the same bike yesterday for $2,550. He wanted me to
send him my complete name, address, phone number etc.

So our tingling spider senses were correct, this was definitely a
fraud. I have forwarded the scammer's email to ebay as well.

Travis