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Old 06-26-09, 08:18 AM   #1
CCrew
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Ordering a bike issues..

I'm looking at buying a new commuter, and the one bike I really want to see in person is the Trek Portland. Every freaking Trek dealer I've contacted (and I live and work in the DC area, not like I'm in BFE) says "we don't stock them since there's no real demand, but we can order it". or "We've never seen one" Only issue I have is that they all want a non-refundable deposit should I not like the bike.

Ever run into something similar and how did you deal with it? We're obviously the red-headed stepchildren of the bike world from what I'm seeing.

-R
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Old 06-26-09, 08:40 AM   #2
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When I ordered my Cross Check, it was similar. No shops stock them so I couldn't test ride one. Luckily I have a good relationship with the gang at my LBS, and used my fit session to narrow down my choices based on stock setups vs. my fit numbers. There was very little which needed changing on the Surly.
The non-refundable deposit seems a bit severe, IMO. Especially if you're narrowing it down to 1 or 2 bikes which you're looking at, and you're going to buy from that shop.
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Old 06-26-09, 08:46 AM   #3
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No shops stock them so I couldn't test ride one.
Did you find that disconcerting? That's the biggest issue I have ... Talking $1700 bike sight unseen.
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Old 06-26-09, 08:47 AM   #4
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Maybe if they'd stock them there'd be more demand.
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Old 06-26-09, 09:03 AM   #5
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Did you find that disconcerting? That's the biggest issue I have ... Talking $1700 bike sight unseen.
After spending 3 hours in a fit session, it didn't bother me at all. Basically we set up the fit-cycle with the frame geometry from the Surly, threw my B-17 saddle on it, and played with adjustments from there to determine if it would work for me.
In the end, all we swapped out for hardware was the stem.
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Old 06-26-09, 09:07 AM   #6
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Maybe if they'd stock them there'd be more demand.
That was my response. Didn't carry much weight. Bike Dealers must be a confused lot, another bike I'm trying to see is the Trek Valencia. Not a single dealer has even seen one. We're talking 10 + dealers here.. not just one or two

-R
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Old 06-26-09, 10:30 AM   #7
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(and I live and work in the DC area, not like I'm in BFE)

-R
What is BFE?
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Old 06-26-09, 10:32 AM   #8
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nonrefundable? When I ordered my LHT, I had to put down a deposit but if I didn't want the bike I could have returned it, anyway. Mine was the 1st LHT complete this shop handled, but they stock them now, 2 per size.

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Old 06-26-09, 10:45 AM   #9
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That was my response. Didn't carry much weight. Bike Dealers must be a confused lot, another bike I'm trying to see is the Trek Valencia. Not a single dealer has even seen one. We're talking 10 + dealers here.. not just one or two

-R
Are you surpised? Trek probably has 60 or more models now. Can't count because as-usual their crappy website doesn't work for me. There's no way a dealer can stock even a fraction of that - even in a single size.

I think having so many models is poor strategy because people go website browsing and can't find it in the store. In the end, they buy whatever the shop has sitting there - incorrectly confirming that the shop made the right call in ordering whatever they chose to stock.

I don't think I've ever seen more than one or two road bikes EVER sitting on the floor in my size. That's the #1 reason that I don't buy new.
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Old 06-26-09, 10:58 AM   #10
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Are you surpised? Trek probably has 60 or more models now. Can't count because as-usual their crappy website doesn't work for me. There's no way a dealer can stock even a fraction of that - even in a single size.

I think having so many models is poor strategy because people go website browsing and can't find it in the store. In the end, they buy whatever the shop has sitting there - incorrectly confirming that the shop made the right call in ordering whatever they chose to stock.

I don't think I've ever seen more than one or two road bikes EVER sitting on the floor in my size. That's the #1 reason that I don't buy new.
Yeah, I get the reasons but it's such a shame. The Portland is one of the few bikes with both drops and disk brakes. I bet just getting one and sticking in the window of the bike shop would generate interest.
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Old 06-26-09, 11:02 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
When I ordered my Cross Check, it was similar. No shops stock them so I couldn't test ride one. Luckily I have a good relationship with the gang at my LBS, and used my fit session to narrow down my choices based on stock setups vs. my fit numbers. There was very little which needed changing on the Surly.
The non-refundable deposit seems a bit severe, IMO. Especially if you're narrowing it down to 1 or 2 bikes which you're looking at, and you're going to buy from that shop.
Maybe there's an option for CCrew here. I'd bet an LBS would be willing to apply the deposit toward the purchase of another bike, or at least store credit, if decides he doesn't want the Portland.

That seems like a reasonable compromise. CCrew isn't out anything and the LBS is guaranteed some return for taking a risk on CCrew deciding he doesn't want the Portland.
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Old 06-26-09, 05:40 PM   #12
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What is BFE?
It's very close to Maine.

Naw, actually it's a small outpost in Egypt.
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Old 06-26-09, 07:49 PM   #13
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I bet just getting one and sticking in the window of the bike shop would generate interest.
Riding one into a Trek dealer generates interest--from the staff. I've had mine in three other Trek dealers since I bought it not quite two years ago. The typical response is, "Wow! So that's a Portland? I've never seen one before. Awesome bike!"

Still, I can understand the dealers' reluctance to stock them. Mine sat on the rack unsold for two years before I was ready for it. I don't know how many times I looked at it without understanding what I was looking at.

Then one day, I went in with a list of features I wanted in an all-seasons commuting rig, and the manager said, "Oh. I have two. One's even in your size." A little while in the trainer confirmed it. A week later I went for a test ride and put down the deposit.
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Old 06-26-09, 08:07 PM   #14
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After spending 3 hours in a fit session, it didn't bother me at all. Basically we set up the fit-cycle with the frame geometry from the Surly, threw my B-17 saddle on it, and played with adjustments from there to determine if it would work for me.
In the end, all we swapped out for hardware was the stem.
+1

I recommend following this course before ordering a Portland.

My Trek 1000 is a 58cm with a 110mm stem. It fits me perfectly.
My Portland is a 56cm with a 90mm stem. It too fits me perfectly.

WTF?

The geometry and, as a result, the riding position is different between the two--primarily due to the taller headtube of the Portland. It's closer to the discontinued "relaxed geometry" Trek Pilot.

I love them both, but switching from the 1000 makes the Portland feel big and upright. Switching back makes the 1000 feel low, like the bars come out of the skewers. It's hard for me to describe how each one feels so different but fits so perfectly.

In any event, ordering a Portland in the same size as you ordinarily ride might not be the right size in a Portland.
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Old 06-26-09, 09:48 PM   #15
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After spending 3 hours in a fit session, it didn't bother me at all. Basically we set up the fit-cycle with the frame geometry from the Surly, threw my B-17 saddle on it, and played with adjustments from there to determine if it would work for me.
In the end, all we swapped out for hardware was the stem.
I hope you know how rare it is for a bike shop to offer that level of service. Most have salesmen who can't be bothered to swap stems or saddles on the bikes they already have in stock, let alone do a real custom fit (probably wouldn't know how). You're a blessed man, Clifton.

The rest of us are expected to order bikes we've never ridden.
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Old 06-26-09, 10:00 PM   #16
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When I wanted to buy a new bike that no one local stocked, I e-mailed the manufacturer and they referred me to a shop that stocked the bike.
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Old 06-27-09, 09:25 AM   #17
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Find a Raleigh Sojourn, it's a better deal.
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Old 06-28-09, 03:57 AM   #18
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$1700 seems outrageous for a Tiagra equipped bike. No wonder the dealers don't stock them.
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Old 06-28-09, 04:23 AM   #19
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Find a Raleigh Sojourn, it's a better deal.
/hijack
You can find a deal at REI on the Sojourn. $999

I've been contemplating and don't dare go to my nearest REI while in this stage 'cause I know I'd walk out with one.
hijack/
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Old 06-28-09, 07:02 AM   #20
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I went to our local Trek dealership a few weeks ago and inquired about the Portland. The sales person was busy with someone else, so I asked their mechanic. He didn't know what the Portland was. I left the store at that point.
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Old 06-28-09, 04:02 PM   #21
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A small village with ahhh...backward practices.
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Old 06-28-09, 09:12 PM   #22
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Well, I bought what I could look at, touch and ride.

http://www.fujibikes.com/Specialty/C.../CrossPro.aspx

Dunno how long the white bar tape will last, but buying an Ultegra bike at the price I paid ($1049) was hard to resist.
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Old 06-28-09, 09:41 PM   #23
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Well, I bought what I could look at, touch and ride.

http://www.fujibikes.com/Specialty/C.../CrossPro.aspx

Dunno how long the white bar tape will last, but buying an Ultegra bike at the price I paid ($1049) was hard to resist.
Well, you'll never regret the price, anyway...

I think that's a really nice bike. The modest effective top tube and tall head tube and more relaxed (than a typical road bike) head tube angle are going to make it a comfy, stable ride. I'n my experience AL frames don't ride harshly when mated to 32c tires. That and the fork will take the sting out.

I have extensive experience with white handlebar tape. It looks stunning at first, but you'll have to work a bit to keep it that way. Always wearing gloves will help - and you can actually scrub most kinds of bar tape with a rag and some Dawn dish soap. Hopefully you got the white saddle , too.

Congrats on the great deal. Remember the rule about pics.
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