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  1. #1
    Older than dirt CCrew's Avatar
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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

  2. #2
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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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.

  3. #3
    Older than dirt CCrew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
    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.

  4. #4
    Senior Member tjspiel's Avatar
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    Maybe if they'd stock them there'd be more demand.

  5. #5
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CCrew View Post
    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.

  6. #6
    Older than dirt CCrew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
    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

  7. #7
    xtrajack xtrajack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CCrew View Post
    (and I live and work in the DC area, not like I'm in BFE)

    -R
    What is BFE?

  8. #8
    GATC
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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.
    Last edited by HardyWeinberg; 06-26-09 at 11:35 AM.

  9. #9
    not a role model JeffS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CCrew View Post
    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.

  10. #10
    Senior Member tjspiel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffS View Post
    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.

  11. #11
    Senior Member tjspiel's Avatar
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    Quote 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.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by xtrajack View Post
    What is BFE?
    It's very close to Maine.

    Naw, actually it's a small outpost in Egypt.

  13. #13
    tsl
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    Plays in traffic tsl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
    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.
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
    The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library.—Peter Golkin


    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

  14. #14
    tsl
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    Quote Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
    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.
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
    The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library.—Peter Golkin


    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
    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.

  16. #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.

  17. #17
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    Find a Raleigh Sojourn, it's a better deal.

  18. #18
    Senior Moment grinningfool's Avatar
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    $1700 seems outrageous for a Tiagra equipped bike. No wonder the dealers don't stock them.
    People say I'm stupid and apathetic. I don't know what that means, and I don't care.

  19. #19
    pedaler baldsue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crhilton View Post
    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/

  20. #20
    long time visiter Alfster's Avatar
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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.

  21. #21
    Old AND Slow Bill Shanks's Avatar
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    A small village with ahhh...backward practices.

  22. #22
    Older than dirt CCrew's Avatar
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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.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by CCrew View Post
    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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