The other outdoor activity I really like is bicycling. That, along with rock climbing is what led me to lose about 35 pounds and get into a more healthy lifestyle. It’s been nearly 2 months since I’ve ridden a bicycle and I really miss it. My plan all along has been to acquire a bike when I got here and use it as my primary means of transportation. Not sure why but for some reason I figured it would be easy to acquire a decent quality used bike for not a lot of money ($150 to $200 is what I was thinking…) Turns out that is completely false. So, what are the problems I’ve had:
- If I was in Bangkok it might be easy as it looks like there is a plethora of bike shops. But in Krabi province there are only 2 that I know of. Most cycling shops are selling cycling tours / renting bikes. Not actually selling them. There are also several streetside vendors selling used bikes but they are really shitty mountain bikes and they give me the “special” farang price that is more than I would pay for the same thing back home. No thanks. Which brings me to another thing that has been bugging me about Thailand. Unless shopping in a department store, prices are rarely marked. I never know if I’m getting a fair price or ripped off just because I’m a westerner.
- For some reason mountain bikes are really popular here. It’s hard to find road bikes even though it seems most people are riding their mountain bikes on the road.
- Now back to the 2 shops I know of. I was hoping to find a fixed gear or single speed bike. I rode a single speed around San Francisco a lot. Even with the hills it wasn’t too bad and I liked the simplicity of the bike. Where I am in Thailand, it’s relatively flat and the easy maintenance for a single speed or fixed gear bike would be nice. Turns out, none of these shops sell them.
- Even if the shop did sell them, the frame would be too small. Apparently I am a towering giant in Thailand despite my pretty much average height of 5 feet 10 inches. So even finding a geared road bike or mountain bike that fits me will be difficult.
- After lots of searching I found a distributor that has Fuji Feathers. Reading up on this bike, I started to really lust after it. It’s more than I wanted to spend, about $500 USD but I was willing to put down the extra money to get a nice bike that fit me well. Turns out, they only have the 52cm frame in stock which is too small for me. For that much money I don’t want to buy a bike that fits me poorly.
So, what are my options?
- Get a bike that doesn’t fit me and try to make it fit me.
- Go to Bangkok for a few days to shop for a bike.
- One of the shops did actually have a used fixie franken bike that was a decent fit. The shop owner offered it to me for I think it was ฿19,500 which is about $609. For a used franken bike? Seems awfully expensive. Is this the special farang price? I don’t really know.
- Order online.
Not really liking any of these. Any other suggestions?