Where to buy

Bikes and kit are by any standards expensive in Dubai. In defense of the local dealer pricing, it is really quite expensive running a business in Dubai, rents and hidden fees often make profit margins slim.  However that is not your problem, you are simply trying to get a reasonably priced, well specified bike, so there are many possibilities for how you go about buying your first, N+1 (see rule 5) or your cycling kit.

BUY NEW IN DUBAI 

If you want the convenience of buying a new bike and kit in Dubai, as well as having expert advice, support and service, then you are spoilt for choice.  Dealers include;

Many of these bike dealers organise clubs and rides, so they do definitely add value and expertise to the  cycling community.  A deeper review of our Local Bike Shops (LBS) as well as the cycling clubs will be added soon.

SECOND HAND BIKES

2nd hand bikes in Dubai can be a bit hit and miss, unless you know the owner and how well they have looked after the bike.  Dubizzle is a real option, however if you do not know what you are looking at, you can well end up getting the wrong bike, size, or a worn out clunker.
Things to consider when buying second hand;
  • Is it the right size for you?
  • Has it been crashed/damaged or not serviced.
  • Are the gears, chain, wheels, bearings, tyres all in good condition or worn.
  • Does it feature an older groupset (gears and brakes) which has a lot to do with it’s value.
  • Do you get any warranty or support.

IMPORTING BIKES AND KIT

Importing a bike and your cycling kit is often a lot cheaper than buying in Dubai, as most UK and European websites remove the 20% VAT if you select shipping country as UAE.  Likewise consider buying a bike when you are on holidays, as you can often claim tax back on the way out.  Currently with the weak Euro, AUS$ and GBP, there are some really good deals to be had.  Examples include:
  • Giant Defy Advanced bicycles from Australia (or indeed any Giant bike), usually the dealers do at least 10-15% discount on published prices.  Note they but do not ship.  I brought mine back as checked luggage, on an Aussie holiday and got the 10% GST back as well. As an example my bike cost AED10,600 the Dubai list price for the same bike is AED24,999.
  • PlanetX in the UK does some good bikes like the RT58 and will ship to the UAE.
  • There are other great bike deals in the UK (especially in Winter), have a look at Evans CyclesWiggle and Merlin all remove VAT, bike shipping starts to the UAE at around £85, generally they go to Karama Post Office, which is not that big a problem.
  • Evans CyclesWiggle and Merlin are among the UK’s go to places for bikes clothing and parts.  As mentioned all remove VAT and some like Merlin offer free postage to UAE if over £50 on stuff that is not too heavy (shoes OK).  If you keep the value of your purchases below about 900AED you don’t pay import tax to the UAE.

Analysis of Giant Defy prices from US, Dubai, Beijing and Australia here

From our experience importing bikes, parts and clothing, savings can vary between 30-50%.

Needless to say if you are importing your own bike, it will arrive in a sturdy cardboard box and you will have to assemble it or find someone to do that for you.  As a guide this takes about 30 minutes, so is not terribly complicated. have a look on our Tech section on how to put your bike together.

However you also need to get the bike fitting you properly, for both comfort and to get the best out of the bike and rider.  Most of the LBS can offer a fitting service of various degrees of complexity and cost.  While it is optimal to get a proper bike fit, it is not that hard to achieve yourself with a little research. There is a load of good information here and there is even an app that can do it for you.

@B
Boxed up after holiday in Aus
@B
Ready to be put back together

I do know of someone who can do this for you, if you are stuck, usually for a bottle of red grape juice!

 

2 thoughts on “Where to buy”

    1. Yes, absolutely, but you have to know what you are looking at, as sometimes with wear and tear it can be poor value if the chain, gears and tyres are past their best, or the bike needs an expensive service to bring it up to scratch.

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