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Buying a road bike in Korea
« on: May 17, 2020, 01:04:53 pm »
Hello everybody,
So I recently moved from Seoul to Incheon and I now live near an area that's great for biking/walking along a river and relatively quiet (the best part!). Despite being here for four years I've never embraced biking and instead focused on hiking. Well, my knees have been hurting like hell lately, especially going downhill on trails. Time to get into biking and take some pressure off my old-man knees.

There's a bike shop near my place that has bikes for around 200,000 won (so he claimed to my wife), but that seems way too cheap for a decent bike. I don't want to spend an entire paycheck on a bike, but I don't want something that's going garbage.

Getting to the point, should I be focusing on Gmarket to purchase a bike? Are there any local brands that are cheap-ish, yet decent quality? How much should I be spending to get something that will last? I will be using it every weekend.

Any advice would be great. Thanks for your help.

  • Cohort 2019
  • Expert Waygook

    • 554

    • August 17, 2019, 08:09:23 pm
    • 90S.- 0'E
Re: Buying a road bike in Korea
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2020, 03:36:06 am »
I used to cycle 30 km. to school and back daily.
Durability: mountain bike 7 or 10 speed Shimano Durano, kevlar aluminum frame, tyres don't matter.
Learn on Youtube how to replace disc brake pads, chains and cassettes and your yearly maintenance costs are reduced to materials only. <$100 You can wear your tyres down till they're gone. I'm on 3rd year of use.

My advice: exercising in Seoul air?

If the Covid-19 death toll in Iran tells you anything, your lungs matter, so don't.
Strangely, in Seoul it might be ''healthier'' to exercise indoors, so think huge air purifier with a magnetic spin bike in your One-room and download biking videos of the Alps instead.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2020, 05:24:35 am by Cohort 2019 »
incumbo studiis

Re: Buying a road bike in Korea
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2020, 06:29:06 am »
I would recommend picking up a decent second-hand road bike on a site like Craigslist.  There are often bargains to be had (there are a few on there right now).  I bought my Felt on there for just over a million won 8 years ago (most Felt bikes cost around 3 mil+  new from a Korean store) and it's still going strong.  Most of these used bikes have never seen conditions other than a sunny day on the Han river cycle path and because of their price are kept in the apartment away from the elements -so don't let that secondhand tag put you off.

I recommend you get one of the recognized brands Cannondale, Specialized, Felt or a Giant at the very least.  I have been here over 12 years and had nothing but bad experiences with the local brands.  You will probably have to spend 1-1.5 mil but the bike will last you a lifetime and it will be easier to resell it if you think it's not for you. 

Re: Buying a road bike in Korea
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2020, 07:45:26 am »
Thanks for the replies.

@Cohort 2019 I have actually strongly considered a spin bike setup. I do have a room with an air purifier and plenty of plants that would be a nice area to spin bike in. My biggest fear is that this will make me become a bigger homebody than I already am. The idea of watching soccer games while biking is appealing, however. I will keep it in mind for sure!

@jimskins Thanks for the advice. I didnt want to sound negative, but I suspected that the local brands would be poor quality. Seems your experience is evidence of this. I was hoping not to have to spend that much on a bike, but it is what it is and in the long run will be worth the price.