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Traveling to the UK


Gunston
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I am traveling to the UK (Central London) in about two weeks time and was wondering if it was worth taking an almost empty suitcase and stocking it up with cycling goodies on the other side? I browsed the websites of a few UK based bike shops and they dont seem much cheaper than what we get the stuff for here. I would love to come back with a decent set of racing wheels (even maybe a new/additional bike if its a good deal...) and some triathlon kit as the stuff is super expensive here (and it seems there too).

 

If anybody has some tips and places to visit while I am there to do my cycling/tri shopping, please share....

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you are right if anything they are more expensive. what i do find is availability and range of products, especially clothing and in particular for cold weather, so look for stuff you dont find here rather than bargains

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I was in Ireland a few weeks ago and went to the chain reaction retail store which was opened in Belfast. The stuff there was pretty cheap, especially for spares and clothing.

 

My advice pack light, research prices beforehand and then go wild when you there. Make sure you cut all the labels with the prices off else the guys at customs may have a field day with you.

 

You can buy a bike while you there, just try ride it and get it a bit dirty so SARS dont think its new.

 

Bottom line, the world is a small place and pricing is becoming more similar each year. The biggest differences I found was obviously food and drink. That aside, stuff was pretty much the same price BUT THE VARIETY IS INSANE!

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Its more about the experience of a great bike shop: try get to an Evans at least.

 

But for most parts, its easier just ordering from CRC

Edited by kosmonooit
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You simply have to visit the Condor shop they are based in Central london cant remember there exact address but check out there websight

http://www.condorcycles.com/

The stock the Rahpa range which is just brilliant (a little expensive but try it on and you will buy it)

 

Also check out the Foska Range there is a bike shop next to Embankment tube station that stocks some of there range but worth checking out there websight and maybe pre-order some stuff

http://www.foska.com/

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You're allowed to bring back R5000 worth of goods in your luggage VAT and duty free.

 

Generally, if you're ordering parts online it's cheaper to get them shipped to SA and pay the 14% SA VAT rather than getting them shipped to the UK and paying the 20% UK VAT.

 

If you're ordering clothes online, it's cheaper to get them shipped to the UK and bring them back in your luggage. That way you only pay 20% UK VAT and not 14% SA VAT + 45% import duties.

 

Some shops, like Evan's Cycles, offer VAT refund schemes. You have to buy the goods in-store and then get a form stamped when you leave the EU. Post the form back to them and they then refund your UK VAT. Evans' in-store prices are often quite a bit higher than their web prices, though. Also check the charges - some VAT refund schemes charge a hefty commission.

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You simply have to visit the Condor shop they are based in Central london cant remember there exact address but check out there websight

http://www.condorcycles.com/

The stock the Rahpa range which is just brilliant (a little expensive but try it on and you will buy it)

 

Also check out the Foska Range there is a bike shop next to Embankment tube station that stocks some of there range but worth checking out there websight and maybe pre-order some stuff

http://www.foska.com/

 

Grays Inn Road, fantastic shop

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I just got back.

 

Evans Cycles (.co.uk) will give you an idea of pricing.

 

Bikes are no cheaper.

 

Where you will do well is on winter accessories:

1. wet and wind proof booties (£25)

2. Gloves - as above

3. Lights (£30)

 

Dont write off stopping at the LBS in the odd towns. Often better for the above than the retail chain stores.

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I buy regularly from Evans and they are WAY cheaper than anything you will find here.

 

Normally bring it back with friends racing in europe.

 

Eg: S-Works Prevail helmet - bought new for R 1 600-00

S-Works MTB Team Helmet - bought new for R 960-00 (was on special)

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Friend of mine Mike Blackburn from CT runs a large bike shop at London Bridge. Great guy who will be only too happy to sort you out.

 

 

They also have London's largest lock-up bike park upstairs if you are looking for somewhere safe to keep your bike whilst you're in the city.

 

Evans have a store a couple hundred metres away if you are going to shop around.

 

http://www.onyourbike.com/stylesheet.asp?file=1_1_2_about_on_your_bike

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Generally, if you're ordering parts online it's cheaper to get them shipped to SA and pay the 14% SA VAT rather than getting them shipped to the UK and paying the 20% UK VAT.

 

Some shops, like Evan's Cycles, offer VAT refund schemes. You have to buy the goods in-store and then get a form stamped when you leave the EU.

 

 

I travel to the UK regularly and always manage to find great deals.

 

Ignore the UK VAT as you can always get it back in terms of the UK tax laws. Have the store complete and stamp the VAT declaration.

 

There are VAT reclaim counters at all airports. Show them the goods before you check in your bags and they will calculate the refund which is typically a bit less than the 20% but usualyy around 18%. They then have the ability to refund the money straight into your card or pay it out to you in cash. Take the cash to the duty free booze shop and buy yourself a nice bottle of whisky.

 

If it is one or the declining number of businesses who do not use the direct refund scheme, post your form into the mailbox at the airport and you will get your refund on your card.

 

There are always sales on. In (their) autumn buy your summer gear and vice versa in spring.

 

Don't buy a full bike as you will be stopped at SA customs. A frameset without wheels does not attract duty and can often be brought in under your dutyfree limit.

 

big warning:

 

The Rand has significantly depreciated against the GBP over the last two weeks and rememebr you will be paying an inflated spot rate. The goods currently in the SA stores would have come in at a much better exchange rate and even if markups here may be higher, the difference could be eroded because of this.

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Ignore the UK VAT as you can always get it back in terms of the UK tax laws. Have the store complete and stamp the VAT declaration.

Not all stores take part in the Retail Export Scheme. Evan's do, but some of the smaller shops I asked don't.

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