Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 01-14-06, 08:25 PM   #1
cruzMOKS
just over the next hill
Thread Starter
 
cruzMOKS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Kansas City MO
Bikes: Bianchi Volpe 2006 Fuji Tahoe
Posts: 543
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Is riding around the block enough for a test ride?

We had a good day for a ride. I went with my daughter to the LBS. I wanted to buy a Cat
Eye LD 1000 rear blinky for commenting. While I was there I asked about their road
bikes. They said the most I could test ride it was around the block. I then asked if I could
rent a bike to test ride. They would not do that either. I could see their point, they do not
want to risk the newness of a bike on a test ride.

How would I tell the feel of a bike if I am only permitted to ride around the block?

I have not ridden a road bike in more than 20 years.
cruzMOKS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-06, 09:06 PM   #2
sch
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Mountain Brook. AL
Bikes:
Posts: 3,005
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18 Post(s)
About as well as you can check shoes by walking 10' back and forth on the shoe store carpet. For one thing the fit is going to be very approximate and not having ridden in 20yrs you won't have a clue as to whether a minor adjustment will fix a problem if you even recognize a problem. You really need to spend about 5-10mi on a bike to see how you and the bike get along. This is not practical for a new bike. Another problem is that as you get more experience with biking on your new bike your perceptions of what to expect will mutate. Try looking for an older cheap decent quality road bike and use it for 6-12months and then dive back in if all goes well with a 'nicer' (more expensive!) bike. Road bikes come in a variety of price ranges and you will notice most of the differences when going from $300-500 to 1K-1400 and then 1700-2000. Above 2200-2500 the differences get to be pretty subtle between bikes.
There are a bunch of roadie variants these days and a little experience may refine your judgement. (Not trying to be deprecatory, just practical). : )
Steve
sch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-06, 09:29 PM   #3
cruzMOKS
just over the next hill
Thread Starter
 
cruzMOKS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Kansas City MO
Bikes: Bianchi Volpe 2006 Fuji Tahoe
Posts: 543
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks sch,

Looking for a used bike may be my best bet. As long as I get the right size frame. I'll start looking up the sizing equation.

Scott
cruzMOKS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-06, 09:45 PM   #4
slotibartfast
Duct tape won't fix that
 
slotibartfast's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Covington, Washington
Bikes: 2003 Bianchi Veloce, 2002 Gary Fisher Utopia
Posts: 440
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It's amazing that an LBS would only let you ride around one block for a test ride. They know that's not long enough for you to form an opinion. Since your posting in the +50 forum, I assume you're that old (like me!). If it were my store, I'd look at you as a new, steady customer and let you test ride a bike for as long as you wanted. It's not like you're a young kid that's going to trash the thing. If you talked to the owner and that's their policy, I'd find another LBS. If you talked to one of the salespeople, I'd ask to talk to the owner and see if you could work something out for a longer test ride. I'd bet the owner would accomodate you some way - for example, you may have to agree to pay for any damages that incur on the ride. Something like that wouldn't be unreasonable.
slotibartfast is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-06, 10:41 PM   #5
Digital Gee
I need more cowbell.
 
Digital Gee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Reno, Nevada
Bikes: 2015 Specialized Sirrus Elite, 2012 Masi Evoluzione
Posts: 8,111
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I think I've been to four different LBS's in the past few months. In each instance, I was encouraged to take a nice, long test ride with as many bikes as I had an interest in. The Trek stores always insisted on having me sign some kind of form and give them a driver's license, but the others didn't even do that. But all of them said -- go! enjoy! let us know how it feels!

Maybe you need to find another LBS?
__________________
2015 Sirrus Elite
2012 Masi Evoluzione

Proud member of the original Club Tombay
Digital Gee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-06, 11:55 PM   #6
cruzMOKS
just over the next hill
Thread Starter
 
cruzMOKS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Kansas City MO
Bikes: Bianchi Volpe 2006 Fuji Tahoe
Posts: 543
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks Gary,

Comparied to your experience I guess I need to look somewhere else.
cruzMOKS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-06, 12:06 AM   #7
cheeseflavor
Get A Life - Get A Bike
 
cheeseflavor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Minnesota, You Betcha!
Bikes: Specialized Roubaix, Bianchi San Jose, '87 Schwinn Super Sport
Posts: 1,042
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by cruzMOKS
While I was there I asked about their road
bikes. They said the most I could test ride it was around the block. I then asked if I could
rent a bike to test ride. They would not do that either. I could see their point, they do not
want to risk the newness of a bike on a test ride.
I think I'd find another LBS. That seems like a bad policy to me.

Steve
__________________
cheeseflavor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-06, 09:10 AM   #8
jjj606
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: ohio
Bikes:
Posts: 16
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Two different LBSs here have offered to let me ride as long as I want.
jjj606 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-06, 09:15 AM   #9
DnvrFox
Banned.
 
DnvrFox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Bikes:
Posts: 20,916
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My LBS said I didn't take a long enough ride.
DnvrFox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-06, 04:17 PM   #10
stapfam
Time for a change.
 
stapfam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: 6 miles inland from the coast of Sussex, in the South East of England
Bikes: Dale MT2000. Bianchi FS920 Kona Explosif. Giant TCR C. Boreas Ignis. Pinarello Fp Uno.
Posts: 19,915
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
A friend of mine walked into a shop and told them the bike type he was interested in. They were a bit doubtfull, but he was talking an expensive bike. He arranged that he would bring along his own wheels and if he did not buy the bike he would replace the brake blocks. They agreed to that so a week later I went back with him. The bike was adjusted for fit, and he left his credit card, changed the wheels and came back an hour later. It was a good job he liked the bike as he took it off road and needed a darn good clean before they could sell it.

He paid his money, after negotiating a discount because the bike was well used now, and it proved to be the best fit bike he had ever had.

The only way a bike can be checked is by riding it, but my LBS now sets a bike up on rollers for customers to try out. If they then like the bike, the road test is allowed but with an old pair of wheels fitted and a good secure deposit or credit card, even to known customers. Complete unknowns only get the roller test.
__________________
How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


Spike Milligan
stapfam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-06, 04:25 PM   #11
Digital Gee
I need more cowbell.
 
Digital Gee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Reno, Nevada
Bikes: 2015 Specialized Sirrus Elite, 2012 Masi Evoluzione
Posts: 8,111
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by stapfam
He paid his money, after negotiating a discount because the bike was well used now, and it proved to be the best fit bike he had ever had.
That hardly seems fair to the LBS, since your friend was the one who used it! Or do I misunderstand?
__________________
2015 Sirrus Elite
2012 Masi Evoluzione

Proud member of the original Club Tombay
Digital Gee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-06, 01:48 AM   #12
stapfam
Time for a change.
 
stapfam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: 6 miles inland from the coast of Sussex, in the South East of England
Bikes: Dale MT2000. Bianchi FS920 Kona Explosif. Giant TCR C. Boreas Ignis. Pinarello Fp Uno.
Posts: 19,915
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Gee
That hardly seems fair to the LBS, since your friend was the one who used it! Or do I misunderstand?
At the high prices we pay in the UK. we are always looking for a discount. If you don't ask- You don't get.
__________________
How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


Spike Milligan
stapfam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-06, 05:14 PM   #13
jazzy_cyclist
Senior Member
 
jazzy_cyclist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: North Central Massachusetts
Bikes: Cannondale R600
Posts: 1,281
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by stapfam
Complete unknowns only get the roller test.
I think that this is part of it. I did the parking lot thing originally, because when I was starting out I didn't have any experience on longer rides; it wouldn't have been helpful. NOW, because I've worked with the LBS on many occasions, they would likely let me take out a bike for a couple hours if I wanted.
jazzy_cyclist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-06, 10:08 AM   #14
tom cotter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Cherry Hill,NJ
Bikes:
Posts: 1,172
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Find another shop. There is no way you can evaluate a bike with a ride around the block.

Last year while shopping for a high end road bike I did hour long or longer test rides of several bikes, from several shops These bikes were in the $3500 to $5000 price range. Doing this, I actually determined I didn't need a bike in that price range to meet my needs and bought a less expensive bike. I did the same a year eariler when I was looking to replace my trusty Trek 520 touring bike. I took more than a dozen test rides on bikes ranging from a $600 Fuji to a $4000 Waterford. I settled on another Trek 520 for about $1000. The test rides were the most import factor in making a decesion. My rule on test rides was really simple, shops that didn't allow long test rides were eliminated, period!

That you're new to cycling shouldn't be a factor. The test rides can still give you valuable information as to likes and dislikes. Don't be afraid to take a bike for a good spin.
tom cotter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-06, 11:20 AM   #15
Fred Smedley
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 1,706
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Did they stipulate how many times you could go around the block? Are they going to run out and flag you down the second time around?

I guess my opinion is different than most. In a ride around the block I can assess how compliant the frame is and how the bike handles. What else do you need to know as everything else can be easily changed.
Fred Smedley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-06, 06:09 PM   #16
cruzMOKS
just over the next hill
Thread Starter
 
cruzMOKS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Kansas City MO
Bikes: Bianchi Volpe 2006 Fuji Tahoe
Posts: 543
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks for all the great input. I had no idea how long I should ride to test a bike.
I plan on going on 2 tracks. I will look for a used bike to ride for a while and then go for a new bike when I need a better one.

The bike I have now has served me well. But I am only riding by myself or with my family. And that is the way I want it for now.

In the Spring I may want to ride with groups some.
cruzMOKS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-06, 04:12 AM   #17
pinerider
bici accumulatori
 
pinerider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Hamilton, Ottawa, Maberly, Apsley, Ontario
Bikes: 1985 Nishiki International Touring Bike, 1992 Vitus 979 road bike, 1996 Bianchi Premio road bike, 2002 Thin Blue LIne CO2 mountain bike, 2007 Rocky Mountain Sherpa touring bike, 1964 CCM roadster, 1959 CCM Motorbike, 2002 KHS FXT mtb + more to fix!
Posts: 855
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
One thing I found when I returned to road bikes a few years ago - You feel like you are on a different planet until you get acclimatized to the different riding position. I hadn't ridden a road bike for about 10 years, when I got back on one, it felt really strange for a lot longer than around the block.
pinerider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-06, 09:21 AM   #18
foxden
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 111
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My bike shop told me to take it out and ride like I stole it. Being new to biking even the long rides didn't really help all that much. What I did learn was which features like trigger shifting vs. hand grips I prefered.
foxden is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-06, 10:45 AM   #19
Pat
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Orlando, FL
Bikes: litespeed, cannondale
Posts: 2,795
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
You really need to ride a bike under a variety of conditions to really get a good idea of what it "feels" like. By variety, I mean hill climbs of varying steepness and length, descents, corners at various speeds and a variety of road surfaces from smooth to rattle out your fillings rough. However, most expensive bikes come with good to excellent frames and even the entry level road bikes have perfectly adequate frames so the differences between bikes will be rather subtle.
Pat is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:31 AM.