Monday, November 06, 2006

Bicycles Available in Dhaka

Someone asked about bicycle availability in Dhaka. Basically there are two kinds: the traditional ones (Phoenix is a popular brand) and the newer Mt Bikes from China. Although I have not tried either in recent years, what I hear is that the Chinese Mt Bikes, meant for kids or leisure use, are flimsier than the traditional ones.

If you plan to bicycle a lot in Bangladeshi countryside you will need a sturdy Mt Bike. Your best bet is to bring one from abroad. They can be boxed and checked in as airline luggage (may be excess baggage?) We brought our (somewhat older) bikes from the US in our shipping container. Also get some basic tools and spare spokes and tubes. (My Schwinn recently broke 5 (!) spokes and I had a heck of a time getting it repaired here.)

There is also the Bangkok option. Several expats I know picked up a Mt Bike when they were in Bangkok, and checked it as luggage. You can get some good ones there, including a brand called Trek which seems really nice.


Anonymous said...

For Bangladeshi uses, one of the Chinese/Indian "gas-pipe" bikes (the name because of the hefty frame tubes) isn't a bad idea. Al (or worse, some other Alloy) mountain bikes will always be a bit too fiddly for Bangladesh: the frame wall thickness makes them vulnerable, and you don't want to deal with the derailleurs in that climate. The lack of changeable gears and the absolutely horrendous gearing on the chainring on the Trad bikes are a problem, but that can be solved by buying/having fitted a good set of Sturmy-Archer gears. Shimano makes them and you can get them mail-order overseas. This way, you have the gearing coupled with the advantages of having a tough bike that can be repaired by pretty much any local mistry.

Good luck riding and I know it looks dorky, but please do wear a helmet! Maybe I can come along next time I am in Bangladesh!

Shahed Aziz (

PS: Try this website --
You can get a "desi" bike kitted out with the right components to be exactly like that.

Sonnet said...

Great blog. I need to ship few bicycles from USA. I dont think i can check them as luggage with my flight.

I agree on the spare parts. It can be so difficult to find rear derailluers, spokes, brake rotors, etc. I think i will also purchase a local MTB bike while in Bangladesh to use as a beater bike. I just dont want to leave my GT MTB behind because of emotional value.

Thank you for the wonderful suggestions.