After exactly 3 weeks, the frame got personally delivered to my door by CycloCarb’s Michael himself!
Customs are terribly slow in Belgium and our anti-dumping taxes are way high. I could have gotten the frame for 540 euros + 75 shipping directly from Carbonda. Total value is 615, adding 21% tax (129.15) plus 30 euros of customs administration fee makes 774.15 euros, without any special anti dumping taxes that can go up to 48.5%. If Customs think that a frameset plus handlebar plus seatpost plus bottle cages and wahoo mount and some other smaller parts is a complete bike, then another 48.15% is to be added. The calculation above is based on bits and pieces of information. There’s an import tax too somewhere, but I really did not want to get any deeper into this. In general, it’s safe to add 30%.
On top of that is the problem with delivery. Could get really fast to customs, or not, and then sit there for about 3 weeks. Eventually it’s our national post service – bpost – that manages the delivery. They never deliver when you’re home and you can then take a day off to go get it at the post office.
I’ve had it happen to me when I ordered a set of carbon rims, EMS shipping, customs, taxes, bpost,… 3 months and 200 euros later, I finally had gotten my hands on them.
So that’s why I hadn’t bothered buying a Chinese frame earlier. Until I stumbled across Michael’s ad and how excited he was about it. He sells a lot of (top quality) carbon bike parts and components, but didn’t do any frames. He regularly visits the factories in China and was amazed by the build quality and versatility of this frame, so decided to add it to his catalogue (soon to be online).
So last Wednesday the 28th of November at 13h (as agreed early in the ordering process), Michael arrived at my house. He’s a very kind person and we had a good chat about how it all works and bikes in general. He actually rides one of these frame sets himself.
Also, and this is rather important to me, he adds another quality control layer. Just like the community agrees on getting rid of the included bottom bracket and headset, he also replaces the seat tube with a better one. You always have the choice between matte and glossy, and for a seat post with or without setback.
Three weeks delivery, cheaper, better quality, no headaches at all AND a bar of Tony’s chocolonely 🙂