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· Registered
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Going to visit my sister in Grenoble for a few weeks and I want to be able to ride while I am there. I could:

1) ship my bike there and back.
2) rent something while there
3) buy a bike there and then ship it back to the US when done.

If I did 3, would there be any savings by not having to deal with US importers? Would I still have to pay VAT or could I get it waived/refunded once back in the US?

I understand the airline in Europe are much more accommodating with regards to shipping bikes. They are supposedly just "luggage" and not a method to extract a ton of extra money from the traveler. Anybody dealt with this?

I would probably want to go with something Italian maybe a Neo Primato and a Ultegra SL group with a compact crank to climb to Huez and around Grenoble where she is staying. I'd probably take my own pedals and saddle just to make sure I was good to go with equipment that I'm used to.
 

· Big is relative
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11,901 Posts
android said:
Going to visit my sister in Grenoble for a few weeks and I want to be able to ride while I am there. I could:

1) ship my bike there and back.
2) rent something while there
3) buy a bike there and then ship it back to the US when done.

If I did 3, would there be any savings by not having to deal with US importers? Would I still have to pay VAT or could I get it waived/refunded once back in the US?

I understand the airline in Europe are much more accommodating with regards to shipping bikes. They are supposedly just "luggage" and not a method to extract a ton of extra money from the traveler. Anybody dealt with this?

I would probably want to go with something Italian maybe a Neo Primato and a Ultegra SL group with a compact crank to climb to Huez and around Grenoble where she is staying. I'd probably take my own pedals and saddle just to make sure I was good to go with equipment that I'm used to.
The dollar is weak against the Euro. IMO, you would do better to take your own bike and ride it there. If you buy a bike in Yurp, you can get your VAT back when you leave the country but it is somewhat of a hassle. You are correct about shipping bikes on international flights. Unless the rules have changed, it is just another piece of luggage. Use a hard case and pack it with your cycling clothes, shoes, and helmet. You will probably get charged for it being overweight anyway, so you have nothing to lose.
 

· Colorado Springs, CO
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631 Posts
android said:
Going to visit my sister in Grenoble for a few weeks and I want to be able to ride while I am there. I could:

1) ship my bike there and back.
2) rent something while there
3) buy a bike there and then ship it back to the US when done.

If I did 3, would there be any savings by not having to deal with US importers? Would I still have to pay VAT or could I get it waived/refunded once back in the US?

I understand the airline in Europe are much more accommodating with regards to shipping bikes. They are supposedly just "luggage" and not a method to extract a ton of extra money from the traveler. Anybody dealt with this?

I would probably want to go with something Italian maybe a Neo Primato and a Ultegra SL group with a compact crank to climb to Huez and around Grenoble where she is staying. I'd probably take my own pedals and saddle just to make sure I was good to go with equipment that I'm used to.

You might want to check with US Customs too. Your new bike might be considered an import and be subject to duties upon entries into the USA.
 

· duh...
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9,749 Posts
bike stuff ain't nec cheaper in Europe, even when the dollar was stronger... I'd consider doing the reverse if you can get a decent deal in the States- getting/taking something unavailable yet highly desirable in Euroland and selling it there

customs could be easily be fooled upon returning, if the bike is in a bike box with dirty tires, helmet/clothes/shoes/etc. If pristine with receipts you might have some splainin' to do



.
 

· Registered
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219 Posts
android said:
Going to visit my sister in Grenoble for a few weeks and I want to be able to ride while I am there. I could:

1) ship my bike there and back.
2) rent something while there
3) buy a bike there and then ship it back to the US when done.
i wish you could do with bikes like you can with german cars.

bmw and mercedes benz have arragangements where they fly you over there and test drive your custom ordered car. they put you up in a hotel and you test drive it around germany. if you like it, they ship it back to the US.

the car still costs you less than 3% off of a regular purchase. i presume this saves them the price of un-fulfilled orders after cross-atlantic shipment.
 

· Registered
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8,850 Posts
I just flew the day before yesterday from the U.S. to the U.K. with my bike on Continental.

Used the $40 bag from performance bike and $10 worth of bubble wrap and tape.

My bike arrived just fine and they didn't charge me a cent.
 

· Le Misérable
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4,377 Posts
livin4lax09 said:
i think the general rule is everything is less expensive in the US. I realized this after going abroad.
It ain't that simple...I live in France and it really depends on what you're talking about, but in general life here is is quite a bit cheaper. It does, of course, depend on where you are, but I've lived all over the world and never cease to be surprised at what costs what in different places.

But since we're talking about bikes: middle-to-high-end stuff here tends to cost more, even if the dollar weren't so weak, which is annoying...however, if you're into the low-end road bike market, southern Europe is the place to be, as cycling is a much more common activity here and thus needs to be available to a diverse socio-economic crowd. Similarly, you can get decent, functional riding gear here for shockingly agreeable prices, something I was never able to find in the states.

But if you're talking decent road bike, the equation looks like this:

strong Euro + weak dollar + higher prices = bad idea ;)
 
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