Author Topic: Bring or buy?  (Read 2882 times)

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Offline Galloper

Bring or buy?
« on: December 08, 2009, 08:08:34 am »
I'm planning a cross country trip early next year and my original thought was to bring my bike over from the UK.   I'm now pondering that and thinking about buying a bike in L.A.   Price is a consideration of course but I figure it will cost me about $400 to ship my own bike to and fro. 

I'll need good luggage capacity so must have something that will take panniers front and rear.   The Specialized Sienna has fittings for this as does the Comp version of their cyclocross bike.   Does anyone have any views on these bikes, I've never ridden either model.   

If you have a view on any alternatives, please jump in.  I think I would have to have a limit of $1000 but would like to save on that if it's possible.   All advice gratefully received.

Cheers

Peter

Offline John Nelson

Re: Bring or buy?
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2009, 10:34:23 am »
Shipping a bike can be expensive so it's at least worth considering buying after you get there.

Note that you'd do best to pre-order what you want from a particular bike shop to ensure that what will work for you is in stock. This includes the racks and panniers and tires you want. I would suggest that you ride the exact model and size for a while before you come so that you know what will work. Perhaps you could rent the bike you are considering buying. It would be a big risk to start a cross-country trip on a bike with which you have little prior experience.

Personally, my risk level would suggest that I bring, even if it costs more. Too many variables when you buy just before the trip. Also note that you'll pay return shipping in either case, so you're only taking about $200 difference.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2009, 11:04:49 am by John Nelson »

Offline indyfabz

Re: Bring or buy?
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2009, 10:41:16 am »
From an economic perspective.....I guess I don't understand why you would spend up to $1,000 to buy a new bike instead of spending $400 to ship the one you own, especially since, at the end of the tour, you are going to have to either pay to ship the new bike home, abandon it or try to sell it before you leave.

From a practical perspective....You would be riding an unfamilar machine that, among other things, may or may not be entirely compatable with your racks and bags (which I presume you already own).

BTW...I could find no mention of the Sienna on Specialized's web site.

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Bring or buy?
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2009, 12:31:36 pm »
$400 seems high, but I will have to take your word.  It used to be $50 oneway to carry a bike onto a flight.
For that price, why not do the S&S conversion.  Then you can ship your bike as luggage anywhere.

I must be anal.  I have read about people who just hop on any old bike and ride across the USA.  That is not me.  I would want a bike I was familiar with.  I would want to do trial trips, where I would twiddle with things for the next trial.  This would all converge on something I felt comfortable with, and then I would ride across the USA (or wherever).
Danno

Offline indyfabz

Re: Bring or buy?
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2009, 04:04:35 pm »
$400 bucks sound about right.  Used to be that on Trans-Atlantic flights, a bike was one piece of carry on and taken at no extra charge.  But more recently, I have heard of people being charged for bikes to and from Europe.  It's likely that he will change planes in the U.S. to get to LA.  That probably requires a second bag check and a new fee.  Some domestic airlines charge well in excess of $100 for a bike.  Northwest is now charging a whopping $175 each way according to their web site.

Offline Galloper

Re: Bring or buy?
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2009, 06:56:59 am »
Thanks guys, I'm used to swapping bikes and seem to be able to adapt to anything fairly quickly.   If I go down this route, I'll bring my own stem and saddle which will help.

I take the point about ordering the bike in advance, that's a must do.

I have a cunning plan.   At the back of my mind is the idea that when I finish the trip, I'll rent a cheap storage unit and leave the bike there, coming back for another trip, perhaps up the Atlantic coast or the Blue Ridge, in the fall.

The Sienna might be a European model, the Globe might be the one I'm after.   Anyway, I'm sure I can sort that out via a vendor's web site.

Cheers

hmoore71

  • Guest
Re: Bring or buy?
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2009, 11:37:44 am »
For that price, why not do the S&S conversion.  Then you can ship your bike as luggage anywhere.

The cost, all said and done, will be closer to $800.00+ with travel case, packing kit and not including shipping and handling. Then you have the problem of forwarding the case to your destination and storing it there.
To me S&S couplers make sense only if you do a lot of base touring.

hmoore71

  • Guest
Re: Bring or buy?
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2009, 11:48:54 am »
I'm planning a cross country trip early next year and my original thought was to bring my bike over from the UK.   I'm now pondering that and thinking about buying a bike in L.A.   Price is a consideration of course but I figure it will cost me about $400 to ship my own bike to and fro.

If you have a touring bike you could box up the wheels and components and put them on a $149.00 Nashbar touring frame once in the USA. http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_173291_-1_201511_10000_201512

I have read a couple journals over on CGOAB that used the Nashbar frame. Just an idea.

Offline Galloper

Re: Bring or buy?
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2009, 03:05:11 pm »
Hmm!   That Nashbar frame looks interesting.   That would chop a lot of weight out of the package I'd need to bring with me.   I also like the fact that it will take 700x38 tyre, lots of comfort there.

Thanks, I shall have to give that some very serious consideration, the build up wouldn't be difficult.

Offline tonythomson

Re: Bring or buy?
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2009, 01:18:30 pm »
Hi Galloper,
I recently flew Gatwick to Orlando to do ST with my bike, they charged me about $60 - I had all my panniers and bike spares etc with me and decided to buy tent, sleeping bag, clothes etc in USA to help keep the weight down. 


Only problem I had was the security insisted on unpacking it in order to x-ray the machine, so take all your packing with you.

Good luck - what ever you decide you'll have fun.
Tony
Just starting to record my trips  www.tonystravels.com

Offline Galloper

Re: Bring or buy?
« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2009, 09:20:42 am »
Hi Galloper,
I recently flew Gatwick to Orlando to do ST with my bike, they charged me about $60 - I had all my panniers and bike spares etc with me and decided to buy tent, sleeping bag, clothes etc in USA to help keep the weight down. 


Hi Tony

Thanks for that, just as a matter of interest, who did you fly with?

One of my options is to use my bike bag and then Fed Ex it back to a friend, but it's all extra cost.

Cheers

Peter

Offline tonythomson

Re: Bring or buy?
« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2009, 11:54:05 am »
Hi Peter,
OK it was either Virgin or BA - need to check out which one for you when Pauline is back.  I'm sure that you have sorted all this out but what route do you plan on taking and how early next year because you still get snow up in the mountains if too early.

I'm in Southampton if you are anywhere close by be more than happy to pass on any tips, route alternatives if you want.  Also spend time in midlands - have a narrow boat there.

Whatever one thing is guaranteed you'll have a great time.
Tony
Just starting to record my trips  www.tonystravels.com

Offline Galloper

Re: Bring or buy?
« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2009, 06:59:49 am »
Hi Tony

The plan is Southern Tier as far as the Mississippi then head north to pick up the Transam then continue east to the Atlantic.   I'm planning to start end of Feb, early March.

I live near Durham so pretty pretty much out of reach and any advice or comments gratefully received.

I had a walk around Edinburgh Cycle Co-Op yesterday and was quite taken with the Specialized Sirrus Elite.   It's within budget and quite well specced.   My only concern is that the tyres are fairly slim.   I also had a closer look at the Tricross and that rose rapidly up the list of possibles.

Decisions, decisions! :)