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Buying a complete bike from Europe and ship to US?(9 posts)

Buying a complete bike from Europe and ship to US?KMan1
Oct 22, 2001 6:01 AM
Purchasing components in Europe can be a lot cheaper than in the USA. Has anyone purchased a complete bike from Europe and had it shipped to the US. Did you save a lot?
Any recommended retailers?

re: Buying a complete bike from Europe and ship to US?John-d
Oct 22, 2001 7:09 AM
Are you buying an American bike or an European bike? I live in England and have just bought a R800 - it was £1,199 sterling. Take off 17.5% tax and that's the base pre tax price from LBS. Price for price, American bikes are better value over here. More, they are better bikes full stop. Similar priced European bikes tend to be 7005 aluminium with lower spec equipment. A Colnago at £999 for example rated 5/10 in Cycling plus. A R4000 si was rated as sex on wheels, but they cost £2,900.
re: Buying a complete bike from Europe and ship to US?KMan1
Oct 22, 2001 9:45 AM
Prefer buying an an American model since spec'd better. Actually I was looking to get the Cannondale R800 or the 2002 R900. I dont think even in Europe they are allowed to sell Cannondales mail order so other brands would be alright.

re: Buying a complete bike from Europe and ship to US?John-d
Oct 23, 2001 7:47 AM
I have just bought the 2001 R800. It seems to have better equipment than the 2002 model. Especially the wheels. But I do like the Cane Creek headset.

I am biased, but none of the others come anywhere near. Why do the Italians ride American?
In general...muncher
Oct 22, 2001 7:34 AM
I haven't exported, but I have recently brought a new bike here. In general, buying bikes in UK is not straight forward, if you want good stuff - it's ALWAYS worth shopping around lots - book price doesn't seem to exist at the upper end of the market - you can find the same things at a lot of different prices in different stores, esp. frames. Lots of folks seem to think going custom here is a good deal - as a guide you can get a nive steel with daytona 10 for about around £1000. There are lots of places to find european bikes at various prices, but Treks and dales seem to be expensive. See for a guide to comparison of US/Euro prices, but bear in mind this isn't a cheap shop. Have a look here for some special offers -

Have a look on the CX board at "My Donnohue" for some custom info.

You can take 17.5% off as a non-UK tax payer.

Enjoy. M.
re: Buying a complete bike from Europe and ship to US?pmf1
Oct 22, 2001 8:35 AM
I don't think components are any cheaper in Europe. Possibly more expensive. You can get 17% off VAT by being a non-european. I did this visiting Italy. My wife and I bought Colnago frames and had them shipped to the U.S. I bought components here (Shimano) and built them up. The frames were cheaper than what I could get here in the U.S.

btw, Cycling Plus bites.
My son just ordered a bike, less wheels and . . .DCW
Oct 22, 2001 10:35 AM
saddle. The same bike, built up as he specified listed in the U.S. for $3500. Allowing for wheels and saddle credit, it would have run $3200 including shipping. The LBS offered a slightly better price, but still in the $3000 range, with tax. He ordered from SDeals. Price will be right at $2000 with shipping and duty. He could not have afforded the bike otherwise. He hasn't received it yet, so the jury is still out on his total satisfaction. He will have to return it to England for warranty or other claims, if any arise. He is willing to take the chance or endure the hassle.
re: Buying a complete bike from Europe and ship to US?C. Lin
Oct 22, 2001 11:08 AM
I think that it depends what you want. If you purchase a complete bike and ship to U.S. you need to pay 11% import duty on top of the shipping chage. Frames are taxed either 3% or 6% and components are not taxed if I recall correctly.

I did notice that Campy prices tend to be a lot lower in Europe compared to Shimano prices. Campy prices in U.K. (Also check in Ireland) seems quite a bit cheaper than in the U.S. For Shimano, however, I think you are better off buying in the states.

I am getting a custom 853 cyclocross from The bike with Daytona triple, open-pro rims and extra braze ons (canti brake, fron/rear fender and pannier eyelets), Selle Italia seat upgrade for a hair under $1300 usd at current exchange rates. This includes insured shipping but does not include the import duty.

There are a couple of issues you need to know when ordering from overseas. The exchange rate (which greatly favors the dollar right now). How much hassle/time you are are willing to put up with. You need to decide if you can trust a merchant/builder that you mostly communicate with by e-mail. You need to find out how accustomed they are to selling to U.S. customers. What about warrantee issues.

Lastly, be aware that you may not receive the level of service that you are accustomed to. I have heard good things about Donohue bikes from other posters, but sometimes it takes them up to five days to return an e-mail. It is not convinient and expensive to call them on the phone. Plus there is the difference in language nuance between the english they speak and the english of "the colonies". It took several e-mail to clear up what is a "crudcatcher". It has been over two months since I placed my order and I was just told this weekend (after placing a call), that it will probably be shipped out this Wednesday. With the anthrax scare and extra security at our post office, God knows when I will actually receive the bike.

I guess it is true what they say. You get what you pay for. For myself the savings is worth the hassle.

Good luck
re: Buying a complete bike from Europe and ship to US?HYPERON
Oct 22, 2001 3:31 PM

I have ordered a Pinarello Prince Fassa Bortolo with Campagnolo Record 10spd Groupset and Campagnolo Neutron Wheelset + Vittoria Tires, Pinarello Carbon Seat Post, Pinarello Headset, Pinarello Nero Bar, Pinarello Carbon Top Stem, Pinarello Cork Tape, Pinarello Sella Century Saddle. The US list price is $5500, this guy sold me the whole bike for $4000 (including shiping). I got the standard Crank he told me that if I wait till November he'll supply me with a Campagnolo Carbon Crank at cost. WOW.

My brother Dan has ordered a Colnago C-40 (for delivery in November) for $4800 with Camapagnolo CARBON CRANK (he's supplying this at cost price providing I buy a complete bike from him). In Europe, the Carbon Crank is out in November.
If I were to buy this same bike from Reality Bikes / Brittons / Chicagoland it would have cost me $6500.


If you contact hime tell him you were recommended by Mark and Dan, he'll know who we are. May be he'll give you a good deal.