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Buying a bike in Cuba

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WS Member WS Member's picture
Buying a bike in Cuba

Hello,

I will be cycling for two weeks in Cuba in the end of December. I have read several times that it is recommended to bring ones own bike to the country as local bikes aren't that good.

Bringing a bike is rather difficult for me (because of my trip before and after I am in Cuba) so I was wondering about the Cuban bikes and if they are really that bad.

I do not need a fancy touring bike with lots of extras, all carbon structure, etc. Any cheap chinese made bike will do the job, no need even to change speeds, up the hill I will push, i've got plenty of time :-)

Has someone of you been already to Cuba and has seen bikes in local stores? What are they like? How much will they roughly cost?
Or is it _really_ worth the hassle to get a bike from outside?

Thanks,
Bernhard

WS Member WS Member's picture
I recently spent two months

I recently spent two months in Cuba. I did not do any cycle touring, but I did bring a bike from Mexico for commuting. The short answer to your question- Yes, you need to bring one. Cuba is completely lacking in basic consumer goods. There simply aren't bike stores or sporting good stores or really mcuh of anything you might expect in 95% of the world. You could probably purchase a bike on the street just by asking around, but you're going to get a piece of junk. By piece of junk I mean literally 20-30 years old, rusting, Frankenstein parts etc. The cost could anywhere from 20-100 USD.
I bought my bike in Mexico City for 100 USD. It came already packaged in the box and I paid about 40 USD to AeroMexico in fees. Very little hassle. I highly recommend that route.

John

WS Member Piotras's picture
I bought my bike in Mexico City for 100 USD

Would you like to give us any details? A link showing a picture of the bike, a place you ordered it etc.
Thanks

WS Member WS Member's picture
Sorry for late reply, just

Sorry for late reply, just forgot about it. Anyway, it was a cheap bike like I said. About $100USD give or take $10. I can't remember the name but there is an area of Mexico City that is about 2-3 blocks long and about 50% of the shops are bicycle shops on both sides of this street. Most of the shops sold identical or very similar bikes, typically mid-range ($500) but some had nice bikes and some also had crappy bikes like this one. I honestly can't remember the location but the hotel staff directed me there and the taxi driver knew also. Anyway, it was a cheap 24-speed mountain bike with no suspension and cheap components, i.e. think a cheap "Walmart" type bike. The shop charged me $10 extra for the bike box which ticked me off but I needed it for the airplane. It was a non-name brand or at least not a brand easily recognizable in the USA. Maybe it was Hoya or something like that. Anyway, I left the bike on Isla de la Juventud in Cuba with my hosts. I was in Cuba for about 6 weeks and it was OK for there.

Sorry I can't help more. Maybe if you contact a local WS host in Mexico City, they can direct you????

John

Unregistered anon_user's picture
cuba

I had a plan to do a cycling tour in Cuba in 2010 and it failed because the bike I rented was not usable. Maybe it changed recently, but why dont you buy one in the location where you will be just before and leave it there when you are finished? It will be a good deed!

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