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Old 05-01-07, 06:02 PM   #1
Rosie8
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Anyone have problems buying a bike?

I visited the 3 LBS in our town and found one that seemed interested in helping me find a bike. I tried Giant Sedona (felt too squished up even on the correct size frame) & a Giant Suede (didn't like the suspension fork & seatpost). I want to ride mostly where it's flat with some gentle hills. We do have some strong winds in spring so decided on a cruiser, 7 speed, the Giant Simple 7. I might want to run errands or make a short commute in the future. I have no interest in speed, just enjoyment. Well, ordered the bike the 2nd week of April. No bike yet. Whenever I call to check, they say, oh, maybe a couple more weeks. I finally talked to the owner last Friday and he said the color of the bike was the holdup. So I changed my order to black (available now). It was supposed to come in Monday. Still no bike. I called this morning. They said "we'll let ___ know that you called. Haven't you been waiting for months, ha, ha?"

Should I give up and cancel my order? I could drive an hour or two to Sedona or Flagstaff to look for a bike that's available now. The other 2 LBS didn't offer to order a bike for me at all. I have the cash, just want a bike that feels comfy without suspension fork.

The only other bike I felt comfortable on (not squished up) was my old Schwinn Suburban Tourist which unfortunately I no longer have.
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Old 05-01-07, 07:12 PM   #2
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Very unusual story, from my experience. When I've dealt with bike shops in smaller cities, they've been very friendly and helpful.

I'm surprised you haven't made the trip up to Sedona or Flagstaff by now, if for nothing else but to check out some other options. That's a trip I'd love to make again.

I've seen the "Simple" bikes at my LBS, but have never ridden one. They look comfy.
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Old 05-01-07, 07:23 PM   #3
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From my experience there are some nice bike stores in Prescott. If your looking for a road bike, skip Sedona and go to Flag. Several good stores there. Nothing against Sedona but the emphasis is Mt. biking. OR head south to the big smoggy city. Lots of places. I would let the store where you have the bike on order know your ready to go elsewhere if you can not get a confirmed delivery date.

The only other issue is service. Does your local LBS have any issues if they don't sell you the bike?
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Old 05-01-07, 07:33 PM   #4
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That's how I wound up buying an Atlantis. I went to all our local shops here, four places where I've shopped for years and they know me, and told them what I was after: I was a 50-something recreational rider, not much interested in speed, but I wanted comfort for 100-mile days, a triple crank, the handlebars about level with the saddle and room for big tires. Everybody tried to talk me into buying what they had, usually a wannabe racer and often too small (I ride a 64 or 65; most shops don't stock frames bigger than 62cm). Two shops are owned by people I consider friends, and I finally told them "This is probably the last bike I'm going to buy, and if you won't work with me, I'm going to order it online." They stalled, I ordered from Rivendell and I've been glad for four years.
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Old 05-01-07, 07:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosie8
I called this morning. They said "we'll let ___ know that you called. Haven't you been waiting for months, ha, ha?"
That would have set me off

I would go into the shop when the owner was there and let him know in no uncertain terms that I was not getting the kind of service I expect from someone I would do business with. I would let him know that this was his last slim chance to stop me from taking my business elsewhere. If he didn't immediately start applying lips to my backside he would get to watch it walk out the door.
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Old 05-01-07, 08:21 PM   #6
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If it were my ATF bike shop, I'd give them more time because they've earned my respect and business. If this is a bike shop that you have not used a lot or they've been only so-so on performance, then I'd consider looking elsewhere.
I'm fortunate to have over 20 LBS within a 30 mile radius from my house. However, I do not do most of my shopping at the nearest LBS. Based on past experience, I pass four other shops including two of the big names to go to a small local shop about 5 miles from my house that has great service, outstanding mechanical knowledge and will order anything you want.
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Old 05-01-07, 08:34 PM   #7
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It certainly would be best if you could get a bike you like from a local shop. Especially considering that if you buy in Flagstaff, that's about 100 miles away. Having a healthy relationship with a LBS is a good thing.

Of course, that means both parties are contributing to it. You paying them for poor service is not a good relationship ... for you.

I would contact the owner/manager and inquire about the status of your order and would consider mentioning that you had received rude service on your last inquiry.
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Old 05-01-07, 10:26 PM   #8
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Thanks for the feedback. I really wanted to shop locally to support my hometown area and for the convenience of having a bike mechanic nearby in case of problems, adjustment, etc. All the personnel in the 3 shops were polite and gave me some help but the bikes they tried to steer me toward were just not comfortable or what I had in mind. At the entry level, most of the hybrids/comfort bikes have suspensions forks which I don't think I need or want. I tried a Trek Navigator which felt too squished even though it was a 17" ladies. I'm 5'5", normal weight with a normal inseam (30") for a woman. My husband has an inseam of 30" and is 5'11", so I think my upper body length is normal for a woman too.

Maybe I'm looking at the wrong type of bikes or wrong kind of geometry. I thought a cruiser would suit me for slow pedaling and longer body so that I could sit up straight. I have trouble bending my neck up for any length of time since I fell down a flight of icy stairs.

Of the 3 bike shops, one features Giant, one has Trek, the other has a mix of Gary Fisher, Specialized, Sun, Breezer, etc. If I had more cash, the Breezers look the best to me but they start at $600 and up.
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Old 05-01-07, 10:41 PM   #9
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My wife has a Trek Calypso which seems to be similar to the Simple 7. Not a performance bike by any means, but she likes it a lot for short, slow, easy rides.

http://bicyclefitnessco.com/itemdeta...ogId=39&id=549
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Old 05-01-07, 10:59 PM   #10
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Thanks BluesDawg for the suggestion. I have a Trek catalog from the High Gear LBS and that was my second choice. I think I'll go in tomorrow to talk to the owner to see if the Simple 7 bike will be in this week or is lost in limbo. The other shop (Trek) is close by so I could inquire about the availability of a Calypso. The shops here tend to carry mainly MTBs or hybrids. There are road bikes of course which I'm not in the market for. Since Prescott is so hilly/mountainous the shops don't stock cruisers.

Is your wife's Calypso the aluminum model as shown in the picture?
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Old 05-01-07, 11:33 PM   #11
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Sit up straight in comfort with Rans crank forward.
http://www.ransbikes.com/

Arizona dealers:
AJO Bikes
1301 E Ajo Way
Suite 117.
Tucson AZ 85713
ph. 520-294-1434
fax 520-741-8022
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Bike Emporium
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PH; 480-991-5430 FAX:
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Cactus Bike
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Southwest Bicycles
8155 W. Bell Rd. #116
Peoria, AZ 85382
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Sun Cyclery Inc.
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Old 05-02-07, 12:42 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Velo Dog
That's how I wound up buying an Atlantis. I went to all our local shops here, four places where I've shopped for years and they know me, and told them what I was after: I was a 50-something recreational rider, not much interested in speed, but I wanted comfort for 100-mile days, a triple crank, the handlebars about level with the saddle and room for big tires. Everybody tried to talk me into buying what they had, usually a wannabe racer and often too small (I ride a 64 or 65; most shops don't stock frames bigger than 62cm). Two shops are owned by people I consider friends, and I finally told them "This is probably the last bike I'm going to buy, and if you won't work with me, I'm going to order it online." They stalled, I ordered from Rivendell and I've been glad for four years.
I had the same general experience, but I ordered a Rambouillet, and I've had it two years TO THE DAY, AS OF TODAY!
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Old 05-02-07, 01:31 AM   #13
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How many of those RANS dealers are going to have those crank forwards in stock?

I've contacted 7 RANS dealers in Wisconsin and Florida and none of them carried crank forwards. Two of them told me that they didn't like them and would never carry any in stock. One said they used to stock them but couldn't sell them and had to eventually sell off the floor models at a loss.

These were dealers that I located by using the RANS web site. I was trying to find one to take a test ride.

I think the HostelShoppe up in Stevens Point, WI may stock them. That's a bit of a drive for me. I might check them out if I'm up in that region this summer.

In any case, they are rare beasts to actually find in a store. Madison is a big bicycle market, being one of the most bike-friendly cities in the USA. We have at least 17 bike shops in the county, with at least 4 of them selling recumbents and 6 selling crank-forward bikes. I can find RANS bents, but not RANs crank forwards. When I was in Florida this Spring, I checked every RANS dealer from Jacksonville down the coast to Melbourne and inland to Gainesville and Orlando. None carried the crank forward bikes.
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Old 05-02-07, 04:36 AM   #14
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Quote:
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Is your wife's Calypso the aluminum model as shown in the picture?
Yes. Just like the picture.

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Old 05-02-07, 04:55 PM   #15
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I stopped by the Giant dealer today to check on my Simple 7 order. They say it will be here this week, so I will wait to see. Meanwhile, the owner had me try out a Giant Suede but changed the setting on the handlebars so that I could sit up very straight and ride around. The bike was very comfortable and I was able to sit with toes on the ground when stopped because the cranks are slightly forward. I'd like to test ride the cruiser and the Suede one right after the other to compare the rides. I think I'd still prefer the cruiser because it has a rigid fork and seatpost. However, since there are lots of dirt trails around, I'm not sure now.
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Old 05-02-07, 06:02 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosie8
I visited the 3 LBS in our town and found one that seemed interested in helping me find a bike. I tried Giant Sedona (felt too squished up even on the correct size frame) & a Giant Suede (didn't like the suspension fork & seatpost). I want to ride mostly where it's flat with some gentle hills. We do have some strong winds in spring so decided on a cruiser, 7 speed, the Giant Simple 7. I might want to run errands or make a short commute in the future. I have no interest in speed, just enjoyment. Well, ordered the bike the 2nd week of April. No bike yet. Whenever I call to check, they say, oh, maybe a couple more weeks. I finally talked to the owner last Friday and he said the color of the bike was the holdup. So I changed my order to black (available now). It was supposed to come in Monday. Still no bike. I called this morning. They said "we'll let ___ know that you called. Haven't you been waiting for months, ha, ha?"

Should I give up and cancel my order? I could drive an hour or two to Sedona or Flagstaff to look for a bike that's available now. The other 2 LBS didn't offer to order a bike for me at all. I have the cash, just want a bike that feels comfy without suspension fork.

The only other bike I felt comfortable on (not squished up) was my old Schwinn Suburban Tourist which unfortunately I no longer have.
Call Breezer. I wanted a commuter for around town. They were polite, helpful and directed me to a friendly LBS. Love my Uptown 8.

ps: I think the owner of Breezer might know a thing or 2 about bikes. Just a hunch.
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Old 05-02-07, 08:53 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosie8
Meanwhile, the owner had me try out a Giant Suede but changed the setting on the handlebars so that I could sit up very straight and ride around. The bike was very comfortable and I was able to sit with toes on the ground when stopped because the cranks are slightly forward.
I was very surprised by your earlier comments about feeling cramped up in the shoulders on a Suede. I've ridden a Suede three times and found it to be a very comfortable bike. While I'm a hair under 5'8", my upper torso is about the same size as someone 5'11".

Personally I find crank forward bikes to be more comfortable than cruiser bikes.
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Old 05-02-07, 10:52 PM   #18
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Meanwhile, the owner had me try out a Giant Suede but changed the setting on the handlebars so that I could sit up very straight and ride around. The bike was very comfortable and I was able to sit with toes on the ground when stopped because the cranks are slightly forward. I'd like to test ride the cruiser and the Suede one right after the other to compare the rides. I think I'd still prefer the cruiser because it has a rigid fork and seatpost. However, since there are lots of dirt trails around, I'm not sure now.
My wife loves her Suede and wouldn't trade it for anything. The bike handles well on gravel roads and crushed limestone canal tow paths. She rides it on 35 to 40 mile trips regularly, and cruises easily on pavement at about 15 mph.
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Old 05-02-07, 11:11 PM   #19
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That's how I wound up buying an Atlantis. I went to all our local shops here, four places where I've shopped for years and they know me, and told them what I was after: I was a 50-something recreational rider, not much interested in speed, but I wanted comfort for 100-mile days, a triple crank, the handlebars about level with the saddle and room for big tires. Everybody tried to talk me into buying what they had, usually a wannabe racer and often too small (I ride a 64 or 65; most shops don't stock frames bigger than 62cm). Two shops are owned by people I consider friends, and I finally told them "This is probably the last bike I'm going to buy, and if you won't work with me, I'm going to order it online." They stalled, I ordered from Rivendell and I've been glad for four years.
It's no wonder LBSs are crying ,I ordered what could be considered a "non-traditional" bike for that reason. I don't give a $@#& how knowledgeable some shops think they are as far as fit and which bike is right for you,some(most I've seen) just don't listen and take what's said to them seriosly.Pull your bussiness from the ones that stall or manipulate you as a customer.
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Old 05-03-07, 06:09 AM   #20
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BluesDawg, your wife looks very cute perched on her Calypso. Her riding position looks comfortable (to me). Very nice looking bike.

Tom, thanks for your comments on the Suede. I must have come in at the wrong time that first time when I tested bikes. All the shops were preparing for May Bike Month in Prescott so perhaps they were a little distracted. Once I explained about my problem with tilting my head up, the owner adjusted the handlebars very differently on the Suede. I didn't realize how much they can dial them up or down. It's a very nice bike and I felt like a kid again when I rode it. It seemed effortless to pedal around.

Recycle, I was happy to see your comments about your wife's Suede. We have lots of different paths & trails around here: dirt, gravel, concrete, pavement, etc. Does she have the 7 speed or another model? Does she use the saddle the bike came with or did she change it to another? Great that she can ride so many miles in comfort. What air pressure do the tires take? She doesn't have any problems with the suspension fork?
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Old 05-03-07, 10:47 AM   #21
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Recycle, I was happy to see your comments about your wife's Suede. We have lots of different paths & trails around here: dirt, gravel, concrete, pavement, etc. Does she have the 7 speed or another model? Does she use the saddle the bike came with or did she change it to another? Great that she can ride so many miles in comfort. What air pressure do the tires take? She doesn't have any problems with the suspension fork?
Rosie8,

She has a stock 2005 Suede DX Giant photos and specs here.

That model has 12-32T, 7-speed cassette and a 28/38/48 crankset. She manages some pretty impressive hills with that gearing (anything over a 15% grade is impressive to us ) . It has the stock saddle (seat?). Our trips can get pretty far from services, so she added a simple Trek bar bag and a 2nd water bottle cage ... one that straps onto the seat tube. She is considering adding a rear rack for a trunk bag or panniers.

She keeps the tires at the recommended 50psi and has not had a flat in the 1,300 miles she has ridden the bike. There have been no problems with the suspension fork, either. She rode it on a series of day trips from Lake Michigan to the Mississippi River and back last year.
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Old 05-04-07, 01:14 PM   #22
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Thanks Recycle for the info. I just found out someone has a Trek Calypso in stock in a nearby LBS so am going to test ride it this afternoon if I can. I think I'll be able to tell if a cruiser style bike is comfortable as compared to the Suede. The Simple 7 (Giant) that I ordered at the beginning of April still hasn't come in even though he said it should be here by last Monday. The Giant dealer has a Suede I can buy now although I think it's a 2006 model since the price is last year's price, $340. It's the 7 speed with front suspension fork. Will let you know what I end up with.
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Old 05-04-07, 02:11 PM   #23
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Have to admit that I buy bikes from the shop. I do not wait for it to get ordered. I am an impulse buyer and I try the bike in the shop. If it is not right, then I don't buy it. On my road bike bought Last year- I had been thinking of a road bike- and walked into my LBS one day and there it was- Or there were 3 of them. 3 bikes that were suitable for what I wanted to use it for, and all availble to look at and try and compare specs. One caught my eye but the LBS went trough the merits and faults of each one. They made me try all 3 out and I settled on my original choice. Then they changed a few things- Set the bike up for me and then came the cruncher- a good discount- even though it was the current model- Brand new model and in short supply. Bike sold and it went home with me.

Its great to have an LBS that know you better than you know yourself. Either that or they saw me coming and knew I was looking. and got the bikes in at the right time- And all in my size too.
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Old 05-04-07, 02:16 PM   #24
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RECYCLE, have you actually found a rear rack that will fit a suede? We tried to put one on my wifes and the seat is so close to the fender that it just wouldn't work.
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Old 05-05-07, 08:16 AM   #25
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Thanks to all who posted. Test rode the Trek Calypso, Trek Pure Sport Lowstep, Giant Simple 7 and Giant Suede. Ended up with the Suede because it was the one that felt just right. I really love the looks of the cruisers but the comfort level wasn't quite the same as the cranks /pedals forward bikes. Too bad they can't combine the two. The Simple 7 was gorgeous (a glossy black with swoopy top tubes). I did get a few freebies and discounts so feel happy. Plan to ride a little today even though we are supposed to have wind gusts of up to 45 mph!
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