This is something I've wondered about for a while, and I thought I'd run it by the sage folks in the 50+ forum.
Say you're looking for a particular bike. A near-by LBS said they could get one for you to try, but it turns out they can't. You call around and find one built up, in your size, ready to ride at an other LBS which is at least a 30-minute drive from home. You ride it, you like it. There isn't anything you don't like about it. They say they can get a frame and built it to your specs. You say you need to think about it (the truth), take their card, and leave.
Next day, you think to check with your favorite LBS which is a 20-minute bike ride away and has an excellent, highly reputable bike builder. This shop (and the owner) knows you. You ask if they could get the bike or frame. They make a phone call and, yes, there are frames available in your size.
Now here's the issue: You want to take another, longer ride on the one in your size already built up at the other store, telling them you want to make sure it's the right size (the truth). However, now you are planning to buy it through your favorite LBS.
This feels.... sleazy to me. If I were totally honest with the shop further away I'd say I'm buying it elsewhere but just wanted another test ride. That doesn't seem right either!!!
Is this just typical bike shopping that all LBSs aware of and accept? I hate this part of bike shopping. It doesn't feel right, but maybe I'm being too extreme about it. It's very important to be sure a bike fits. It's good to go to a favorite LBS who has an *excellent* builder. But it's not the shop that has the built-up bike?