We are an English couple on a bicycle tour of South America and have reached southern Uruguay and will cross in a few days to Buenos Aires.
I have a technical issue and need to have the back wheel rebuilt with a new rim.
Can anyone recommend a bike shop in BA?
If possible, one that has some experience in Rohloff hubs and can speak a little English to offset my terrible Spanish!
I have been to BA, but I was on foot as a tourist. Buenos Aires is a major metro area, and I would imagine you would have no trouble with repair, although I suspect you may have to abandon your hub in favor of a pre-built wheel. Your terrible Spanish may be more of an issue than the wheel. Godspeed!
I lived in Buenos Aires for six months and was pretty frustrated with the bicycle scene there. It seems like the bike shops are pretty dichotomous: either staffed by people who don't really know anything about bikes, have very poor quality products, and are trying to swindle you; or way top-of-the-line, catering to the extremely wealthy, selling all brand new incredibly expensive products, staffed by hunky argentine guys who seem more like business men that bicycle mechanics.
I found one place (and I did visit MANY places) that seemed to be what I was looking for, down in La Boca, about ten blocks south of Parque Lezama. The guy who runs it seems genuinely knowledgable and friendly, although it's a pretty small shop. I bought a beautiful antique aluminum framed bicycle with all campagnolo parts (I was delighted to find a bike that was neither a multi-thousand-dollar, brand-new, carbon-frame racing bike, nor a rusty junker).
Bici - Vazquez Bicicletas A La Carta
Azara 602, Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires, Capital Federal, Argentina
+54 11 4300-2081
Good luck! Enjoy the empanadas, pour out a Quilmes for me!
Thanks for all the comments.
We are first having to deal with the Argentinean post office (Parcelforce delivered it to Argentina first). They apparently tried to deliver the new rim yesterday but the hotel we are staying at 'rejected' it. Both are blaming the other party. Not sure who to believe but it is now in the system / process to be sent back to the UK. Trying desperately to stop that happening!
Once we have that resolved one way or the other, will take the wheel along to a bike shop. We are staying near Retiro in the downtown area so one near there would be ideal. If not happy, with that will try the one down in Boca or uptown in Villa that you guys recommended.
Thanks again for your help. Will keep you posted how we get on.