Buying bikes in Mongolia

Cycling the Silk Road
dettusz
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Buying bikes in Mongolia

Postby dettusz » Thu Aug 03, 2017 8:46 am

Hey guys,
We arrive by plane in Ulaanbaatar at the very beginning of September. The plan is to buy 2 trekking bikes and cycle in Mongolia. We have 27-28 days for the (round?) trip, leaving for home from Ulaanbaatar at the end of September.
We have already planned and arranged almost everything (sounds pretty self-confident, haha), but there are still a few big questions, which doesn´t let us sleep :roll:
- Where to buy proper but not-so-expensive trekking bikes? Is it worth to sell them after the trip?
- Whether we can cover Altai NP and parts of Gobi whithin this 4 weeks? To make some teleports (as the time is short) we might take public transport. As there are no trains to these destinations, the only option is taking a bus. But such as bus schedule doesn´t exist, does it? How can we figure out the route map and an approximate time table? Can we take the bikes by bus at all?
Many thanks for your help in advance.
If you are around at this time, let us know. ;)
Ciaooo,
Detti and Noemi
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steven
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Re: Buying bikes in Mongolia

Postby steven » Sun Aug 20, 2017 6:39 am

Hi dettusz,

sorry I could not be of any help. Did you find out anything useful?
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dettusz
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Re: Buying bikes in Mongolia

Postby dettusz » Tue Aug 22, 2017 5:32 am

Hey Steven,
Not really. We arrive on the 1st / 2nd of September. What we heard and read, that there is a so called Black Market in UB (actually the biggest one in Mongolia), where you can buy almost everything. So after we arrive, we will jump immediately into the bike-hunting business there. We hope the best, keep your fingers crossed for us. :)
I will update here, how we succeeded.
Last edited by dettusz on Wed Aug 23, 2017 6:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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jfdesfosses
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Re: Buying bikes in Mongolia

Postby jfdesfosses » Tue Aug 22, 2017 3:50 pm

Well, my girlfriend and I arrived in Khovd 5 days ago. Yesterday, with the help of a woman who served as a translator, we bought 2 new mustangs 200. We went to the police station first in order to make sure we could. They said that we can buy them, and resell them within 30 days without putting plates or registering them. We needed to make sure to get the proper import papers with the sale from seller.

We bought the bikes, went to the police station with the papers they said all looked ok, but to go to the transport department to make sure everything was perfect. We saw the transport department officer who looked at out papers and said everything was in order.

I don't know if it helps you, but it might !

So we're off tomorrow! Wish us luck, well do the same to you!

Cheers

Jean-francois
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dettusz
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Re: Buying bikes in Mongolia

Postby dettusz » Tue Aug 22, 2017 6:39 pm

Every comment helps, of course, so many thanks. ;)
However we wanna buy 'bikes for cycling', it seems everything can be bought, which is a really good news. Were you at the Black market? How did you get to know that lady who helped with the translation?
What is your route? We might run into each other on our ways, would be nice. :)
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dettusz
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Re: Buying bikes in Mongolia

Postby dettusz » Tue Oct 03, 2017 10:36 am

Hey everyone,

We just got back home from Mongolia, so let me answer my own questions. ;)

Where to buy bikes?
- There are three main options.
- One is the Black Market (Narantuul), where there is a quite big ’bike department’ at the back of the market where you can buy bikes and equipments (fixing tools, helm, lamps, inner tubes, etc). Everything is Chinese, so don’t expect a good, reliable quality, but it’s cheap. If you are lucky, you can find used bikes from well-known brands.
- Another option is to buy a new bike. There are some well-equipped bike shops, we went to Alton (https://www.facebook.com/AltonMongolia/), and bought 2 Limestone bikes with Shimano gear for about 190€ each. At the end of the trip we selled them to our acquaintances staying in UB for the next couple of years. But I’m sure you can sell your bikes at the Black Market, just be tough enough as they are quite crafty.
- The third option is to rent a bike. We asked two random shops for the prices, both had Merida bikes, but the daily price was pretty expensive (around 20 €), so we decided to buy new bikes.

Altai NP and the Gobi desert.
- Well, we decided not to go the Altai NP, and it was a good decision. From UB to Olgii it goes uphill, the roads after Kharkhorin get more and more bumpy, asphalt is rare as is the opportunity to get a ride if the roads are too bad for cycling. So from Kharkhorin we headed south to the Gobi (also mega bumpy and no asphalt at all). A proper GPS and a looooot of water are essential.

Teleporting and public transport.
- There are buses from UB to almost each aimag (province) capital. Schedule is chatoic, ask the people at the supermarket of the town when the next bus leaves (mostly weekly 2-3 times). But to travel between aimags or even smaller cities / towns, it seems there are no buses.
- We could take our bikes by each bus in the luggage storage and by each van roped to the top of the vehicle. Once we had to bribe the driver, but in other cases we didn’t pay extra fee for the bikes.
- If there is no bus or van, you also have to go to the supermarket. They might know someone who knows someone who might give you a ride. It takes a lot of time and a lot of effort to communicate with people, but it’s funny (and the real face of traveling).

If you have any questions, feel free to ask. ;)

Ciaoo,
Detti
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