Desert Biking Club Of Kuwait

Founded in 1999

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Buying a Bike:


Choosing  your bike

The most suitable bikes for Club Rides are cross country mountain bikes with 26” to 29” wheels and fat (2” plus) tyres. Multiple gears, front suspension and disk brakes are now standard. The terrain here is fairly unchallenging apart from the sand and thorns, so a high spec bike is not essential. However, commuter bikes, shoppers, cruisers, hybrids, sports/ racing road bikes and cheap chain-store bikes are not suitable.

The many choices in design and specification can be bewildering so you may need to spend time researching in magazines or websites, looking in shops or seeking expert advice before you buy.  

New mountain (style) bikes can cost as little as $100 (KD30) but these are really only suitable for pottering around your neighbourhood or light recreational use. They usually have heavy frames and cheap components. You will soon find one of these hard work and uncomfortable, especially off road. It will also soon prove to be unreliable and difficult to repair.  Good quality bikes have lightweight frames made from high grade steel or, more usually, aluminium and, at the top end, carbon fibre, plus better quality components such as wheels, brakes and gears.

Make sure the frame is the right size for you, especially if you are quite tall. A small size may seem comfortable in the shop but will be uncomfortable and tiring for riding over any time or distance.

Most new mountain bikes have tyres unsuitable for Kuwait. Get some puncture resistant ones.

Bringing a bike from outside Kuwait means you can choose from a wider selection and it may be cheaper. Cargo shipping can be problematic with Customs. Better to bring as your luggage.


Buying a bike in Kuwait

Only a few good brands are available here, but there is usually something for most people’s requirements and budget. Do not expect much product knowledge, reliable advice or technical expertise in local shops.

Good quality entry-level mountain bikes currently cost around KD220.  Better ones are available but it may not be worth spending more than KD400 until you are sure that you’ll retain the enthusiasm or have a better idea of your requirements. Second hand bargains can sometimes be found but they are rare.

Shops

Extreme Sports Shuwaikh, Tilal Centre, behind City Centre on Jahra Rd No. 80.  Good selection of Trek bikes. Some spares and accessories in stock. Will import to order. Workshop area where they attempt most repairs. Tel. 2225 4567  

Extreme Sports Salmiyah, Hamad Al Mubarak St, next to Jothen Gallery and Red Tag (SANA). Smaller version of above. Helpful assistant, Tel. 2575 5898.
Extreme Sports Mangaf, Coast Road.  Similar to Salmiya shop. Tel 2371 9822

Vib Bikes Salmiya, Hamad Al Mubarak St, between Extreme Sports and Jothen Gallery.  Selection of Orbea and Cannondale bikes. A few spares. Workshop area.  Tel. Manuel 55219829 

Decathlon Marina Mall, Salmiya. Sports supermarket selling B’twin bikes. Some spares & clothes.

Bike and Toy Souk in Sharq; many toy shops; plus chain stores such as Ace Hardware and Sultan Centre have very cheap bikes. Rarely of a good enough quality for off road riding or  suitable for club rides. Usually a false economy.

Bike Parts and accessories
Helmets, lights, pumps, gloves, Camelbaks, car racks, tyres, inner tubes and Slime etc are usually available from Decathlon. Extreme has range of clothing. Ace has lubes. Good tyres, clothing and spare parts beyond the most basic are often difficult to find here.

Useful websites
General cycling information: www.sheldonbrown.com

US based cycling info: http://www.bikeradar.com/

Mountain bike product reviews & discussions: http://www.mtbr.com/

UK online cycle dealers: http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/

                                        http://www.wiggle.co.uk/

UK shops and online sales: http://www.evanscycles.co.uk



DBCK May 2015 


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