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Old 02-02-10, 06:50 PM   #1
DougG
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What time to buy a new bike?

I'm planning on getting a new bike for 2010, but in these parts good riding weather doesn't start until late April at best, so I'm not in a hurry to rush out and buy one. Besides, our LBSes don't start stocking new models until early March.

The thing is, I want to be sure to get exactly what I want and am not sure how the mfrs stock enough bikes to supply everyone without a lot of leftovers. For example, in the Cannondale Synapse line there are 9 different models (varying in frame material, control groups, etc.). Each of those models comes in 6 different sizes and most are available in 2 color schemes. That's 108 variations in that one model line!

So how do they build the right quantities (or do they build to demand during the season)? Should I put my money down ASAP to make sure that I get the one I'm looking for? It's hard to take a test ride in 6" of snow and ice, but I've been looking forward to my first (and probably last) serious road bike for a long time now.
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Old 02-02-10, 07:05 PM   #2
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I would look for a 2009 Cervelo R3 or RS dealers discount them since they are '"left over" and they are the same as the 2010.

You can find them at your LBS or mail order.
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Old 02-02-10, 07:57 PM   #3
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I'm planning on getting a new bike for 2010, but in these parts good riding weather doesn't start until late April at best, so I'm not in a hurry to rush out and buy one. Besides, our LBSes don't start stocking new models until early March.

The thing is, I want to be sure to get exactly what I want and am not sure how the mfrs stock enough bikes to supply everyone without a lot of leftovers. For example, in the Cannondale Synapse line there are 9 different models (varying in frame material, control groups, etc.). Each of those models comes in 6 different sizes and most are available in 2 color schemes. That's 108 variations in that one model line!

So how do they build the right quantities (or do they build to demand during the season)? Should I put my money down ASAP to make sure that I get the one I'm looking for? It's hard to take a test ride in 6" of snow and ice, but I've been looking forward to my first (and probably last) serious road bike for a long time now.
Manufacturers have dates the Bike shops must book their orders by and based on those numbers, they build a speculative number that handle the late season orders.

Often they will offer the lbs' significant discounts on end of season inventory they are sitting on. My LBS took a couple of Hardtail S-Works MTB's last year and parted them out.

End of or off season presents the best deals but you may not get exactly what you want. They also just took delivery of some 2010 test bikes and sold them in the first week on the floor at a discounted price. Everyone looks for cash flow at this time of year. At least in the cold weather climates.

You may be able to go in now, negotiate a price, leave a deposit and await your spring arrival.
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Old 02-02-10, 08:23 PM   #4
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It's always time for n+1 !
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Old 02-02-10, 08:33 PM   #5
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What time to buy a new bike?
I normally prefer buying a new bike in the morning. That way, I have the rest of the day to take it on the Maiden Voyage.

But on the other hand, I just ordered a new 2010 touring bike that will not be picked up until August 27 for a California tour. Still going to pick it up in the morning though, (that Maiden Voyage thing again).
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Old 02-02-10, 08:36 PM   #6
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But on the other hand, I just ordered a new 2010 touring bike that will not be picked up until August 27 for a California tour. Still going to pick it up in the morning though, (that Maiden Voyage thing again).
So what you gonna get?
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Old 02-02-10, 08:55 PM   #7
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My approach has been to build a good relationship with one or two LBS. Once that's been established, they often go out of their way to make sure you get the bike you want. I got a great deal on a Specialized S-Works Roubaix even though the LBS had to make some calls to other dealers to find the right size for me. The key for a good relationship between the LBS and me has been: 1. I keep my word. If I say I'm going to buy something I do. 2. I buy things from them they know I could get elsewhere cheaper. 3. I treat them with respect (e.g. don't take up their time when the shop is full of other customers, etc.) 4. I don't argue with a price they've quoted me. If it's more than I can or want to spend, I tell them this up front. 5. When I get good service I send friends to them and tell them to say I sent them. This has resulted in a relationship where one LBS is willing to let me test ride bikes overnight and call or e-mail me when they get a bike in which they know I have an interest.
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Old 02-02-10, 09:09 PM   #8
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I would think that now would be a great time to buy a bike in the colder climates. You could probably get a decent deal on a 2009 or earlier leftover. Buying at the beginning of the riding season would probably mean higher prices.
I'm sure that bike companies build just like other businesses - based on historical data with a little room for growth.
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Old 02-02-10, 09:47 PM   #9
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I would think that now would be a great time to buy a bike in the colder climates. You could probably get a decent deal on a 2009 or earlier leftover.
Yes, in past years, I have seen great deals at this time of the year on older models. But you can't count on finding them in your size and you should never given in and take the irresistible deal in the wrong size.
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Old 02-02-10, 09:50 PM   #10
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My experience has always been that if you test ride a bike, and get comfortable with the size you need, the bike shop can then look at the manufacturer's inventory and find out if they can get the exact color you want. Obviously they'll have more ability to do that earlier in the season than later, but the last couple of times I've test ridden new bikes the dealers were able to look up the manufacturer's available colors/sizes/models while I stood at the counter and waited.
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Old 02-02-10, 09:52 PM   #11
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Yes, in past years, I have seen great deals at this time of the year on older models. But you can't count on finding them in your size and you should never given in and take the irresistible deal in the wrong size.
Oh yeah.
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Old 02-03-10, 07:52 AM   #12
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Good responses all -- thanks much. In this case, my definition of "best" was simply for having the right selection, as opposed to the best price. At 63, this will probably not be my last bike, but it certainly will be my last performance bike, so a few $$$ either way is not a big deal to me. I don't buy new wheels nearly as often as I used to (have owned a lot of cars and motorcycles in past lives), so I want to make the most of this purchasing experience.

I also agree about the LBS relationship. When I was into motorcycles, a good shop was a place where you could drop in just to stand around and talk about bikes with the owners and other customers, a coffee pot was always on, and you often ended up finding some small item to buy before leaving.
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Old 02-03-10, 09:10 AM   #13
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There should be plenty of anything in the catalog available early in the season as everyone is stocking up their showrooms for the spring and summer. Even if your dealer doesn't have exactly what you want, he should be able to get it from the supplier or from another shop. You mostly hear about shortages well into the summer months. Occasionally there might be a specific model that becomes a super hot seller and production can't keep up with the initial demand, but they usually catch up before too long.
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Old 02-03-10, 12:15 PM   #14
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Although the shop may not have much stock- Get them to look on the web for last years models. The LBS staff will know the changes to frames and specs and the bikes worth going for. Thats How I got my TCR-C for a knock down price. Knew that was what I wanted but the 08 models were going to be lower spec and more expensive althoughall the new frame would have was a different colour. I bought in December 07.
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Old 02-03-10, 07:31 PM   #15
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So what you gonna get?
http://www.raleighusa.com/bikes/road/sojourn/
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Old 02-04-10, 10:09 AM   #16
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Great looking tourer, CB! (But how far can you travel in Hawaii?).

After learning to ride on a Huffy (I think), I can still remember coming out one Christmas morning, and there was a black Raleigh "English bike" with advanced features like hand brakes and a 3-speed hub. It also had lights powered by a generator that rubbed against the side of the rear tire (the faster you rode, the brighter the light). I got it probably about 1953 or so and rode it until I was about 15 (1961), when it was stolen from a shopping center. Since I was looking forward to getting my driver's license I didn't miss it much at the time, and didn't ride a bike again until I was in my 30s.
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Old 02-04-10, 10:34 AM   #17
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When your wallet is full!
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Old 02-04-10, 10:35 AM   #18
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If touring and maybe some dirt/gravel road adventure is on your menu, check out Salsa's new Vaya.
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Old 02-04-10, 08:15 PM   #19
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Great looking tourer, CB! (But how far can you travel in Hawaii?).
Pick-up location is a LBS near my middle son's place in San Jose, CA and it will be stored at my youngest son's place in San Diego (with a short stop at my oldest son's place in LA). At some future date it will likely head for my Mom's house in Colorado.

Having a mainland bike has got to be cheaper than airfares for cycles.
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Old 02-04-10, 08:19 PM   #20
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If touring and maybe some dirt/gravel road adventure is on your menu, check out Salsa's new Vaya.
Would have considered it if they had put a triple chain ring and 36 spoke wheels on it.
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Old 02-04-10, 09:04 PM   #21
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Would have considered it if they had put a triple chain ring and 36 spoke wheels on it.
I'm not sold on the compact double either, but if I wanted the bike for loaded touring I could sell the double crank and FD and put a triple on it. Same for the wheels. But a better route might be to buy the frameset and build it just like you want it.
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Old 02-05-10, 08:59 AM   #22
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In my experience, the best bikes speak up and tell you when it is time to buy.
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Old 02-05-10, 10:29 PM   #23
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Probably when you see the bike you want. gcottaysummed it up well. My problem is I have not found a bad time to buy a bike. Between my wife and I there are 8, 5 are mine. And, I just purchased a new frame yesterday. I keep promising to sell 1 or 2, but they just don't seem to leave. I am really going to get rid of my 73 Puegeot PX10 this time, I really am...............
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