The beginning – Buying the bikes

Arriving in this far away land, we were keen to get on the road, but we had a delayed start due to the Vietnamese visa taking longer than expected and also due to the fact that we didn’t have any bikes…

We recommend bringing bikes from home, saving you time shopping on arrival and ensuring you have the most appropriate bike for you. Buying out here can be a risky option if you’re of a taller height as the shops will stock bikes for the local, petite size. Luckily for Cynthia she is 5ft4!

After a few days of researching bike shop options in Bangkok, we purchased bicycles in a second hand shop. There was a huge selection of all kinds of bikes, but finding one to fit Max's size was like finding a needle in a hay stack.

Max is a larger frame, 190cm/ 6 feet 3 inches and there was only one real choice, a French brand, with a suitable frame size and of a good quality material. Cynthia having taken a similar bicycle in terms of gears, size of wheel ect. (It’s handy having the same size wheel and tyre, meaning only having to carry the same replacement inner tubes ect.)

We brought new brakes and installed them, along with bells (very useful if loud enough, however ours weren’t and fell on deaf ears in the hustle bustle on the streets of Bangkok). We also installed handle bar extensions to offer a bit of alternative positioning.

The wheels, 28″, were larger than the average size which we didn’t think to be a problem until a later stage..(see Laos..)
Both limited to 7 gears each…again a problem in later stages (see every mountainous section)

We then took a couple days to see the city, this was a worthy idea as it was soon established (after two frequent punctures on Cynthia’s back wheel) that we had to tape the rim to protect from a piercing spoke.

On the plus side, both bikes had a light system which were powered when we rode. Initially not bothered but came to importance in the later stages.

Buying the bicycle- Bangkok

Buying the bicycle - Bangkok

However, if you don’t feel like taking the risk with a second hand bike, there are several bike shops in Bangkok with prices ranging from 250USD up.
There is a list of the available retailers on the link below
http://www.bangkok.com/cycling/recommended-bike-shops.htm#promo

We brought our bikes at Sombat Kanamuji. Search it on facebook and see what they have to offer. We brought ours for a combined 13,000 Thai Baht.
Address and number
5-7 Chula Soi 28-30
Buntadthong Road

Tel: +66 26117832, +66 814231438

It is not too far from the main train and metro station Hua Lamphong.

 

Have a look how we got on with these bicycles on our first trip out of Bangkok...

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