When I belated realized I have to start training for riding from San Francisco to Boston, I ended up buying a bike that I can’t use for the trip. It was too good a deal to pass on despite it not being the right kind of bike. I bought a two year old, used Trek SL1000 from one of the local Trek stores in Beijing. It was one of their rental bikes so it had a fair number of dings and maybe was not in perfect condition. But I felt for 2000 RMB (about $300) it would do well for the several months I had before going back to the US for the trip.
A few of the Chinese customers were shocked that I would buy a used bicycle. People are wary of buying used things here whether they are bicycles, apartments, or cars. Considering buying things new is tricky enough (notorious ‘Made in China’ quality) many assume that buying something used you will just get cheated. The only problem that I see is that the wheels will have to be replaced. The wear strips on the wheels are almost gone. I figure that can be done when I return to China after my trip. Even replacing the wheels, it will be cheaper than the most expensive road bike at the local Decathlon store that is nowhere as good a bicycle.
It is not designed to take a rack so I can’t use it for that. I have been taking it for two-day trips up into the hills north of Beijing. Anything that doesn’t fit into my hydration backpack doesn’t come. I have started putting small stuff sacks into the water bottle holders. That seems to do well since I use the bladder instead of water bottles. Continue reading My Beijing Road Bike