Beijing is a city with a population of close to 20 million people, so driving a car is not an attractive thing unless you want to be stuck in godawful traffic. When buying a bike there are a number things to keep in mind; quality, price (bargaining), new/used…. Last week, Alexander and I found a way to become mobile in Beijing; aka we bought street bikes.
There are a number of people selling bikes in Beijing, but in-order to get something with quality at a relative price you need to know who to approach. Many bike shops will have guys not associated with the shop, standing outside of them selling bikes that are second hand. These bike are of good quality (test ride it before bargaining), but have had a previous owner making them much less expensive. With the premeditated thought process of having to bargain, both sides will high-ball and low-ball. Make sure you cut the price down and walk away at least once:)
The best area in Beijing to buy a bicycle whether it’s new or used would be in Beixinqiao on subway line 5. About 100 meters south of the Southwest exit, you’ll see a bike shop with new and used bicycles. Instead of trying to buy a bicycle from inside the shop, you’ll see a Chinese man selling used bikes in all types of conditions. There’s old Beijing style bikes, flashy semi-new mountain bikes, street bikes, etc. I purchased a like-new Giant speed bike with gears for around CNY400.
- Ryan Huerter