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Old 03-26-09, 12:49 PM   #1
Ed in GA
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Buying mistakes....

Have you ever bought anything without doing adequate research only to find out that it might not be what you actually needed?

Well, I'm think I'm guilty of this with my Bike purchase.

When I bought my Madone last year, it was one of those "Hey, that's a hot road bike and I really have to have one.". The Madone is a great Bike for someone who is a hard core roadie or racer. But, that's not me.

What I should have done was a bit more research to find out that I wanted a road bike, but one with a bit more relaxed geometry and therefore, comfort.

Had I done so, I would have saved myself a lot of hassle, and money, trying to make my Madone into what I needed instead of what I thought I wanted.

Is it just me? Or, has anyone else duplicated this action?
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Old 03-26-09, 01:11 PM   #2
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Have you ever bought anything without doing adequate research only to find out that it might not be what you actually needed?

Well, I'm think I'm guilty of this with my Bike purchase.

Is it just me? Or, has anyone else duplicated this action?
Kinda, now I wish I would have bought a Tarmac SL instead of my Roubaix Expert in 2007.
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Old 03-26-09, 01:17 PM   #3
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I may have told this story before so skip ahead if you've heard it.

Last summer we spent a week in Destin during which I was able to take a nice long ride, both on and off bike paths. I took my old steel Trek 520 and wore SPD sandals. One day I happened upon a 30 ish couple with new Madones and we rode about 20 miles together. Back at the grog shop the young lady was complaining about how uncomfortable her bike was and how much her neck and shoulder hurt.

Her bike shop had told her nothing about compact frames, comfortable positions, handlebar risers, or anything else. She felt like she had been sold something well above her needs.

So, yes, it happens to others.

But it has never happened to me on any level for anything. Not for houses, cars, boats, planes, tools, computers, or cell phones.
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Old 03-26-09, 01:32 PM   #4
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Yes...but it is typically not about the lack of research but more that things and objectives change and one cannot anticipate everything.

BTW...before I purchased my Cervelo R3, I had a 2006 Madone 5.2. I thought the ride was very good on that frame and the setup can be altered to match your seat to bar drop requirements. Also, the Madone 5.2 comes with wheels that are fairly soft to give a better ride plus I had a triple on mine. Most "hardcore" roadies or "racers" prefer stiffer wheels and a stiffer frame. I suspect the Madone is about as compliant a carbon frame bike that is available. It is potentially more comfortable than bikes made of steel and titanium. I chose my R3 because it was comfortable and the frame technology is suited for shock absorption which some of the "relaxed" geometries may or may not provide. Beauty is always in the eyes of the beholder.

And there is Ebay and Craig's List. If it does not workout, sell it.
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Old 03-26-09, 01:44 PM   #5
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Last summer we spent a week in Destin during which I was able to take a nice long ride, both on and off bike paths. I took my old steel Trek 520 and wore SPD sandals. One day I happened upon a 30 ish couple with new Madones and we rode about 20 miles together. Back at the grog shop the young lady was complaining about how uncomfortable her bike was and how much her neck and shoulder hurt... She felt like she had been sold something well above her needs.
I've been preaching about this for probably 20 years. I used to write cycling stories for my newspaper, and I heard so many people say they'd tried cycling and hated it that I started poking into why--how could they dislike something I enjoyed so much?
More often than not, the problem was just that--they'd either insisted on a "racing bike" when they didn't intend to race (most common among guys) or been told they NEEDED a racing bike when all they wanted to do was ride with their kids or go to out for breakfast on Sundays (common among women). One of our local shops followed up by advertising "the bike you NEED--we'll never try to sell you up," and got a lot of business.
Re your Trek 520--what a great bike. I bought one used 15 years ago and still have it, now converted to singlespeed. It's every bit as comfortable and versatile as my Atlantis. which cost 15 times as much (but is WAY cooler...).

Last edited by RonH; 03-26-09 at 03:26 PM.
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Old 03-26-09, 03:22 PM   #6
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Yeah, I just did.
I just bought a Topeak MTX DX rack trunk which is designed to mate up with the Topeak Explorer rack on my new LHT touring bike. The whole quick release idea works great and the bag is a quality product, but after installing it on my bike it just doesn't look right. What I mean is - it's just not "me". You'd think I would have figured that out first, but nooooo...that makes too much sense.

Guess I'm gonna have to sell it.
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Old 03-26-09, 04:04 PM   #7
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Yes- my first road but- but the other way.

I was a serious Mountain biker and as such had good machinery that had been adapted - upgraded and set up for the use I was giving it. But when I went road- I thought that just to test the water- I would get away as cheap as possible without going too cheap. Bought a Giant OCR3 and sorry but for my cycling experience- it was way below me. Heavy- and poor quality wheels. Didn't make the same mistake a year later though.
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Old 03-26-09, 04:45 PM   #8
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I think sometimes you need to find out what works and what doesn't through experience.
I have stuff I don't use any more, but it was useful on my journey to what I use now.

Example: Splash guard and one of those clip on tail fenders. Useful, but eventually I got full fenders.
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Old 03-26-09, 04:58 PM   #9
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I think sometimes you need to find out what works and what doesn't through experience.
I have stuff I don't use any more, but it was useful on my journey to what I use now.

Example: Splash guard and one of those clip on tail fenders. Useful, but eventually I got full fenders.
I got the clip on fenders for the tandem and when the water was thrown in my face from the front wheel due to insufficient coverage, I purchased the full fenders.
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Old 03-26-09, 05:29 PM   #10
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If you live by the motto of "build one, then you'll understand how it works", then you build a lot of c***. Interesting c*** but still...........................




speaking of which, it must almost be time for an unannounced contest...
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Old 03-26-09, 05:57 PM   #11
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There are no buying mistakes. They're tuition payments in the School of Hard Knocks.

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Old 03-26-09, 06:02 PM   #12
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Who doesn't? For me it was looking for long dependability, secure stopping and low maintenance. Then the answer was a touring bike. I haven't enjoyed it for the last 2 years and still planning on getting a decent road bike.
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Old 03-26-09, 06:05 PM   #13
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I need a new clothes pin to hold the cards on my fork, anyone know where I can get one made out of aluminum?
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Old 03-26-09, 06:26 PM   #14
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While I have had purchase regrets, I only buy used. So I have been able to undo the mistake without losing a lot of money. I made two such buying mistakes last year, I ended up making a little money on both of them.

I don't buy anything new, other than electronics.
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Old 03-27-09, 05:42 AM   #15
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I need a new clothes pin to hold the cards on my fork, anyone know where I can get one made out of aluminum?
Hollywood Pin-Up. In going after the big buyers, Alcoa was not neglecting little markets. Typical was the "Hollywood Pin-Up," an aluminum clothespin. Its inventors were two neighbors in Van Nuys, Calif., who got tired of hearing their wives grumble about ersatz clothespins. Alcoa helped them perfect the pin, licensed them to use its color process, "Alumilite," at a nominal royalty. Del E. Webb, contractor and co-owner of the New York Yankees, financed them. Last week, the Del E. Webb Products Co. was busy shipping out 80,000 pins a day, expects to use 2,500,000 pounds of aluminum a year.

You will have to do your own research. The reason for that will be immediately obvious after one or two google clicks.



Any other questions?
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Old 03-27-09, 06:54 AM   #16
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I find the whole thing massively confusing. DW and I seemed to have lucked out on our decision to buy Tricross Comps but we went largely with written descriptions and talks with store employees. Test rides just don't work for me - I need to spend a long time on a bike to be sure whether it is a good ride. Same with seats. Skis are even worse. How do you check out skis when the only things you can rent are clunkers?
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Old 03-27-09, 07:00 AM   #17
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It even has a name - Buyer's Remorse.

Which model Madone is it? As I recall they come in two varieties: race and more relaxed. Be interested in knowing what's been done to try to make it comfortable . . .

Tony
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Old 03-27-09, 07:31 AM   #18
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I do understand this, as although I REALLY love my new Jamis MTB but with our lack of permenent auto transport, financies and the idea that my wife just isn't going to be a "DIRT rider" at heart, I really wonder if we shouldn't have bought "hybrids"??

Not "comfort bikes" but something like the Specialized CrossTrail or Ariel series, using 700cX45 tires so it can handle some dirt trails. We seem to be riding more MUP's (mixed surfaces, dirt/asphalt/concrete), rather than pure dirt double/singletrack trails and the Mrs. is pretty tenitive on the harder dirt part of the MUP's so my idea of us boming long miles of lovely singletrack in the the amazing mountains of CO. may be nothing but a "fantasy" and my poor MTB having to suffer the pain of "being a forced semi-road bike"

Oh well, I'll just have to put a rear rack and short fenders on my MTB and be looked down upon by the "hardcore MTB'ers" as only a mere wanabee so I can enjoy riding a bicycle with the wife and sneak in some singletrack at the local area foothills here in Colorado Springs and dream of the trails of Crested Butte! SIGH!
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Old 03-27-09, 09:06 AM   #19
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Oh well, I'll just have to put a rear rack and short fenders on my MTB and be looked down upon by the "hardcore MTB'ers" as only a mere wanabee so I can enjoy riding a bicycle with the wife and sneak in some singletrack at the local area foothills here in Colorado Springs and dream of the trails of Crested Butte! SIGH!
I remember a 70's song by Lee Michaels, (I think) titled "stuck in middle with you" that seems to fit your situation.
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Old 03-27-09, 09:15 AM   #20
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I don't have to buy mistakes. I make my own.
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Old 03-27-09, 09:23 AM   #21
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Ed, so sorry the Madone isn't what you thought it would be. These things aren't cheap. In the early days of my cycling life (1970s) I was fortunate enough to work in a bike shop and could test ride anything I wanted to for days at a time. I learned a great deal about what I like and dislike through those rides. My tastes have stayed pretty true to form over the following decades. Hence, when I buy a bike, I have a pretty good idea of what I'm getting. I did purchase a Trek Alpha 2500 SL road bike six of seven years ago that I regretted, because the aluminum frame was a real bone rattler. While the paint scheme was different the frame was the same as the one attached below. I didn't think anything could be quite that stiff, and I was mistaken. However, I bought it from a bike shop with which I had built a strong relationship, and they were more than happy to accommodate an exchange.
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Old 03-27-09, 09:50 AM   #22
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The Bike is a Madone 4.5.

I actually don't have "buyers remorse" as I would readily buy a different bike and spend the same money. My situation is that I bought what I "wanted" and didn't give much thought to what would have been the right bike for me.

Fortunately, I can do some adjustments that will make the bike more comfortable for me.
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Old 03-27-09, 10:13 AM   #23
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I sure have purchased the wrong items for my needs quite a few times in my life!

As far as bicycles are concerned, I was also fortunate enough to have began cycling in the 1970's and works for some years in a bike shop. This experience allowed to build my latest bike to what I needed rather than what the shops thought I needed. I ended up with a reasonable weight steel bike that I can ride with comfort, rather than a stiff racer wanna-be bone shaker that seems to still be the rage.
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Old 03-27-09, 10:28 AM   #24
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There are no buying mistakes. They're tuition payments in the School of Hard Knocks.

I'm working on my Ph.D.
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Old 03-27-09, 10:54 AM   #25
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I'm kinda curious what is a good way to test a bike before you buy it? Ride it on the worst road as possible? Rent one if you can?

I just bought a old aluminum gt road bike off of CL and it works for me but it really sucks on crappy roads.
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