I'm currently in search of a good,cheap and reliable city bike. Does anyone have any suggestions as to where I can get one? What prices I should expect for it? Should I buy a new one? or just get a secondhand one? But I heard secondhand bikes could be a bit dodgy..
i believe that a lot (of not most) of the secondhand bikes are stolen. i've heard some sad stories about people who paid 400 kuai for a new cheapie chinese bike, of which the pedals broke on the second day.
there are a few Giant stores around town (and a Trek one, but I haven't been there). They sell decent bikes - you can get a bike (that would set you back more than $200 in the West) for under a $100 US. i just bought a nice 18 speed city bike (with a lame basket), with front suspension, shimano gears and a bunch of locks and water bottles for a thousand kuai. sounds like a lot, but you can easily spend that much on repairs on shoddily built bikes. also, you can get the plain Giants for about 580 kuai (the prices are fixed in all the Giant stores, I checked :))
just be sure to lock your baby up, you don't want it to fall into that "secondhand" market.
ps. bicycle street - 自行车一条街 (if you're set on getting a cheapie) is at west yulong street - 西玉龙街. another good spot (particularly for the battery bikes) is at the east second ring road, section four (southeast - right across the street from the carrefour there).
I bought my "secondhand" bike for 60元 (with lock and basket) near jiu yan qiao 九眼桥 on the little road just south of the first ring road on the north side of the bridge. There's a lineup right on the street of people selling, uh, used bikes. Be ready to be groped, screamed at, perhaps taken to a dark alley where there are bikes hidden in dodgy ramshackle rooms. Check the tires, brakes, and chain to make sure they still have some life left before pedaling away. If you pay more than 80, then you're gettin' hustled, for sure.
Gonna go check out the 西玉龙街 today! I'll report back and let ya'll know how that one worked out.
paying more than 80 is not being hustled - they have some really quality bikes at jiu yan qiao. i recently picked up a 'second hand' electric bike there for 650. seems a lot, but new it would have been 1700.
i find jiuyanqiao to be full of thuggish, shady figures. never had a good experience there. i bought two jalopes there, each for around 100, and they were crummy, and the transactions not particularly pleasant.
much prefer buying new; from my experience, unless you're a total vigilante, your bike's gonna get stolen at some point. but at least if you buy new, you won't have to pay the equivalent price of the bike in repairs in the meantime.
i just bought a new phoenix for 400 from xiyujie, and it rides quite nicely. although i suspect i could have bargained harder. actually there were some decent deals (under 300) for ok-looking rides, but i wanted a pretty one.
If you're gonna do alot of riding, invest in a decent bike, such as a Giant or a Merida (Merida has slightly better components for your buck). Oh yeah, leave it in your apartment or ask your school to put it in the building! I've had a 2000 kuai bike for 2 years here, and i NEVER leave it on the street! The Trek store in Zongbei as sweet bikes but the prices are nuts....
Seems either way is wrong. If you get a decent bike it will eventually get stolen, unless you take it back to your house each time and never park it anywhere, which is really mafan.
If you get a cheapo bike it's gonna fall apart and maybe stolen. It also seems that the locks sold around the 2nd bicycle market are not save.
Once I read about a device to protect bikes with electro-shocks if somebody else touches it, but it's might be illegal in most countries.