Thinking of getting a new road bike? The cycling scene in Bangkok has been booming lately, with more and more shops popping up everywhere, especially around Skylane. To save you some time, I have put together a list of the best (foreigner-friendly) Bangkok bike shops and where you can find them.
Let’s be honest – Bangkok isn’t the best place for cycling as it’s always hot, there’s busy traffic, dirty air etc. But if you already live here, are a true cycling enthusiast and know where to ride, you can overcome the shortcomings and make it work. Now let’s take a look at bike shops in Bangkok where you can get your new bike (or service) and I will also share a few tips that you can consider before making a decision.
Bangkok bike shops – where you can buy a road bike in Bangkok
Some of the more affordable brands are Giant, Canyon, Focus, Merida, Trek and Cannondale, to name a few. On the other hand, more expensive models can be found at Specialized, Colnago, Pinarello, Cervelo and other brands. Many of them have some sort of presence in Bangkok in the form of brick-and-mortar retail shops located all around the city. Below is an overview of the most popular ones that are also foreigner-friendly.
|Orbea, Pinarello, Focus, Lapierre
|Specialized, Merida, Bianchi, Colnago, Pinarello, Fizik
|BKK Canyon Bike
|Orbea, Cipollini, DMT, 3T, Lazer
|Sarto, Litespeed, Rotwild, Jamis,
|Pinarello, Factor, Storck
|Giro, Canyon, Specialized, Storck, BMC, Pinarello, Trek
|Attaquer, Factor, Canyon
|Scott, Giant, Cannondale, Bianchi
|Nakornthai Bike Shop
|BMC, Look, Trek, Bianchi, Cannondale, Cube, Orbea, Merida, Fizik
|Rama 3, Lumpini
|Saengthong Bike and Part
You may discover that many of these websites offer limited information on the store’s selection and stock, meaning you will probably have to go there in person anyway. Being clear on the model, or at least the brand, will help save you from traversing the city and wasting valuable time.
Before you go shopping – how to buy a road bike in Bangkok
If you are new to cycling, here is a quick buying tip. Before heading to a local bike shop right away, do some research at home and ideally learn some basics about cycling (YouTube is a great resource for this). Why? It will help you with two things. First, save money down the road because you will gain a realistic expectation of the bike prices on the market. And second, you will know an approximate component quality you should later look (I am talking particularly about drivetrain).
When you get stuck in the decision-making process, your lifeline can be the trio of price-design-quality factors. In an ideal scenario, you want to consider all three when selecting your new road bike – you should like the design, the components should be of satisfactory quality and all that should fit within your budget. It wouldn’t be a good idea to buy it based on only one of these factors alone, as you are risking a compromise in other areas. For example, you may buy a beautiful bike sporting low-quality components; expensive bike that doesn’t look nice etc. You get the point.
I learned this the hard way. I knew very little about what makes road bikes good and ended up choosing mostly based on aesthetics. Result? Many bikes at a similar price point to mine have higher quality drivetrain. No, it’s not the end of the world, but a little research would have definitely steered my decision in a different direction.
The way it works in Thailand – style over substance
There is one thing to look out for in Thailand – unlike anywhere elsewhere I have ever been been, most cyclists in Bangkok (or Thailand in general) tend to gravitate towards super expensive high-end bikes you would normally only see in the professional peloton. If you have unlimited budget, buy a pro-level bike, but I believe this is an unnecessary investment for most beginners and even more advanced riders alike. Since the terrain in and around Bangkok is flat, weight of the bike is a small contributor to your overall performance. Moreover, the quality of tarmac altogether with heavy traffic makes it sometimes difficult to avoid obstacles on the road. Surely, last thing you would want is to damage your expensive carbon wheels in a pot hole. All in all, unless you are a seasoned professional or want to take your performance to the next level, buying a high-end bike just doesn’t make financial sense if you only plan to ride in Bangkok.