The lady in this shop was the most friendly and agreeable on price. As a rough estimate they were asking for 3,00,000 VND ($150 US) for a new, no name 17” bike with shimano gears and shifters (though we were not totally convinced that they were genuinely shimano). This was including a rear pannier rack, a helmet, a lock and light. On Ba Trieu Street the bikes don’t have the prices written on them and vary depending on the salesperson you speak to so it’s worth your while to shop around. There are shops on either side of this one that each sell similar brands of bikes and accessories and are generally happy to negotiate (with much difficulty). They speak very little English on Ba Trieu street but with a pen and paper and many numerals we managed to get our message across. In the end we decided against these bikes, as they felt heavy, uncomfortable and made of poor quality material. If you are on a tight budget though these bikes will get you there (Dan and Casey did), but it might be less comfortable.
ANTON’S BIKE STORE
Facebook: Duong Mac An Ton
Adress: 100 Hang Bong Street, Hoan Kiem District, Vietnam
This is a boutique bike shop on one of the main streets of Hanoi. The owner Anton speaks English and is happy to show you his collection of new and used bikes and accessories. The bikes are all good quality but out of our price range. The bikes were going to cost approximately 6,000,000-8,000,000 VND and this price was not factoring in panniers, lights and helmets. The downfall of this option was that we would have to find someone to sell them to in HCMC or send them back to Anton’s (1,000,000 VND) and he would buy them back off us for half price. This option was out of our price range so we decided against it. This shop was very useful for all the biking accessories, we bought a multi-purpose tool, a combination lock and water bottles there.
The Hanoi Bicycle Collective
44, Ngo 31, Xuan Dieu
Ha Noi, Vietnam
+84(0) 4 3718 8246
NOTE: this place is closed on Monday
The Hanoi Bicycle Collective is 5 kilometers out of the old quarter of Hanoi and is best reached by a taxi. From the moment we walked in and were greeted in English by George to the moment we left with our bikes it seemed right. We decided to hire a TREK and a SCHWIN and payed 3,000,000VND each to hire the bikes for the month (approximately $5 US a day). The bikes came with racks, bells, stands, helmets and locks. We decided to buy some waterproof panniers and lights and a speedo. What sold us about THBC is that they had an affiliation with Saigon Cycles in Ho Chi Minh City. This meant that we could ride the bikes to the shop and they would send them back for us. This way we did not have to worry about trying to sell them or have to organise to send them back. This made the decision to hire the bikes here very simple. We payed a deposit of 4,000,000 VND and received it back at Saigon Cycles. Everything went to plan and we returned the bikes, received our deposit back and walked out of the shop feeling lighter than when we walked in.
It is also possible to hire or buy the bikes at Saigon Cycles and do the reverse. Eugene was very helpful and spoke English very well. Here is there website;
OTHER USEFUL SITES
These blogs were our first port of call when we were toying with the idea of cycling through Vietnam. These guys made it all seem possible and were very helpful when we emailed them with our questions and concerns;
This is Dave’s bog; http://bicyclevietnam1.blogspot.com.au/
Bike touring inspiration http://travellingtwo.com/