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  1. #1
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    Exclamation Finding LBS bikes with comparable geometry to online only bikes (like BD)

    Hello all. First time poster here, looking for insight from the bikeforums regs...

    Unfortunately my budget constrains me to buying an online-only bike, but after riding a bike that is too small for me for 3 years, I know that I really must get this fit right!

    I have narrowed down my search to two bikes:

    BD Motobocane Fantom CXX
    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/..._cxx.htm#specs
    Nashbar Steel Cyclocross
    http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...9#ReviewHeader

    These two bikes are the only offerings I can find that simultaneously meet my budget and my needs. I admit I prefer the spec on the Nashbar, though only slightly, as well as it's (better) looks, but for my purposes these bikes are an even wash, and FIT will trump any difference in spec or aesthetics, by many orders of magnitude.

    Since I cannot test ride either bike, I'm trying to find bikes at an LBS with geometries that match as nearly as possible.

    For the CXX, the geometry exactly matches a Surly Cross Check (at least at the 54 and 56 cm sizes, the only ones I looked at), and I believe I can find a surly to test ride.

    The Nashbar - I'm having trouble finding something widely available to match (or as close as possible) the 56cm Nashbar frame. (I'd look at the 53cm too, though I suspect it is too small)


    Does anyone out there know what manufacturers/frames this Nashbar bike is modeled after? Or something similar?
    Also, is there something more widely available with comparable geometry to the CXX and CrossCheck, in case I can't get my hands on a Surly?

    ANY HELP AT ALL would be very much appreciated!

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Senior Member awfulwaffle's Avatar
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    I am nowhere close to an expert on bike fit, but I recently picked up my first road bike from BD. Since I have rather stumpy legs, I went for the only size that had a small enough standover for me. When I inquired in the Bike Fit forum about the fact that I felt like I was putting too much weight on my hands, I was pointed to the following website: http://www.wrenchscience.com/

    If you register on their site and use the fit system, you should know what kind of overall reach the bike you need should have based on your physical dimensions and flexibility. For me, this meant buying a stem that was 20mm-30mm longer than the one that came on my bike. I recently found a take-off stem at the LBS that was 20mm longer than mine, and the fellows on this forum who gave me advice were absolutely right; I thought I needed less reach to take the weight off of my hands, but it turned out that I just wasn't able to stretch out far enough to properly support my upper body with my core muscles. The longer stem felt much better (though I'm looking to try one that's 30mm longer before I make a purchase), so I personally have some faith in the Wrench Science calculator. Just my 2 cents.

    I know it's not an answer to your question of what bike will best approximate the fit of the two you linked, but if you are unable to find one I think the above is a good approach.

  3. #3
    Ding! Bandera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TLock View Post
    Since I cannot test ride either bike, I'm trying to find bikes at an LBS with geometries that match as nearly as possible.

    For the CXX, the geometry exactly matches a Surly Cross Check (at least at the 54 and 56 cm sizes, the only ones I looked at), and I believe I can find a surly to test ride.
    So you are going to your LBS to test ride a bike you have no intention of purchasing so you can order a different bike online?
    Is that correct?

    -Bandera
    '74 Raleigh International - '77 Trek TX900FG - '92 Vitus 979 - '10 Merckx EMX-3- '11 Soma Stanyan

  4. #4
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bandera View Post
    So you are going to your LBS to test ride a bike you have no intention of purchasing so you can order a different bike online?
    Is that correct?

    -Bandera
    Or OP could tell the LBS the truth and see what kind of reception he or she gets.

  5. #5
    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
    Or OP could tell the LBS the truth and see what kind of reception he or she gets.
    +1. OP should just try out some used bikes locally.
    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
    There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
    RUSA #7498

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    @ awfulwaffle: thanks for the input and link.

    @ Bandera: Yes that is absolutely my intent. I will also have the bike shop build the bike I buy online when it arrives, and dial in the fit for me. I intend to be honest about my aims from the moment I talk to the salesperson at the bike shop. Are you suggesting that this is unethical? I imagine that people test ride bikes all the time that they don't intend to buy.

  7. #7
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    @ thermionic scott

    I don't understand the logic. I think it makes more sense to test ride a bike from a national chain bike shop that carries hundreds of widely available bikes (that is local to me) (see: LBS), where sales people are paid hourly to allow customers to gently test ride the inventory. Most test rides probably don't end up in sales, but this one will guarantee at least some revenue to the LBS.

    I see the the problem you guys have with this approach, but I would think that test riding a local private seller's bike that I don't intend to buy would be a much bigger waste.
    Last edited by TLock; 08-27-13 at 03:09 PM. Reason: missed quote

  8. #8
    Ding! Bandera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TLock View Post

    @ Bandera: Yes that is absolutely my intent. I will also have the bike shop build the bike I buy online when it arrives, and dial in the fit for me. I intend to be honest about my aims from the moment I talk to the salesperson at the bike shop. Are you suggesting that this is unethical?
    Being completely upfront and honest about your intentions is not unethical.
    It would be interesting to learn of your LBS's response to your plan.

    Those who test rides machines with no intention of purchasing them are indeed unethical and there is a technical term for them.

    When I had a substantial financial stake in a LBS business the conversation might have gone like this:

    Tlock: "Good day sir, I have no intention of purchasing one of your fine machines from you ever but I would like your assistance in selecting the proper frame size for me and providing a test ride on a suitable model so that I may purchase one of possibly similar characteristics online. Rest assured you will receive suitable financial recompense from me by assembling said machine and setting it to exacting fit specifications in the future."

    Bandera: "How excellent that you have been so honest and forthcoming with your plan. However, since you do not appear to be the Dali Lama (the only person whose word is bond in my establishment) my policy is to require in cash the amount of gross profit earned from the sale of the model you desire to test ride in surety for future assembly of your online gem. Additional charges may apply as necessary, refunds are out of the question.
    If these requirements do not fit your plan I can help you find the exit to enjoy this nice day elsewhere."

    -Bandera
    Last edited by Bandera; 08-28-13 at 02:24 PM.
    '74 Raleigh International - '77 Trek TX900FG - '92 Vitus 979 - '10 Merckx EMX-3- '11 Soma Stanyan

  9. #9
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TLock View Post
    @ awfulwaffle: thanks for the input and link.

    @ Bandera: Yes that is absolutely my intent. I will also have the bike shop build the bike I buy online when it arrives, and dial in the fit for me. I intend to be honest about my aims from the moment I talk to the salesperson at the bike shop. Are you suggesting that this is unethical? I imagine that people test ride bikes all the time that they don't intend to buy.
    Perhaps there are people who do this, but that doesn't make it right. But it is a problem generally in retail, where customers use retail stores as a showroom, then buy products for less online. Moral hazard.

    There is an honest way to ride a bike you have no intention of buying. Ask the LBS if you can rent a bike for a few hours.

  10. #10
    Senior Member squirtdad's Avatar
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    The general wisdom on bike direct (or other online sources) is that if you order it is recommended that you be comfortable with doing your own mechanical work. Reports have varied over the years with people getting perfect bikes, to bikes that need grease and adjustments.

    If you plan on buying a bikes direct and then paying a shop to work on it, you will probably end up paying the same as if you bought a bike from the shop. Shop time is expensive.

    and if there are any issues with the bike you don't have brick and mortar to go back to.

    Not to say that there are not some deals, I kinda like the nashbar for a buddy.....epecially if you get another 20% off which happens often but you should beware of total cost...ie bike plus whatever you then have to pay someone else if you don't do your own wrenching
    '82 Nishiski commuter/utility
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    looking for: De Rosa 58cm ELOS frame and fork internal cable routing

  11. #11
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    Realization

    Quote Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
    Perhaps there are people who do this, but that doesn't make it right. But it is a problem generally in retail, where customers use retail stores as a showroom, then buy products for less online. Moral hazard.

    There is an honest way to ride a bike you have no intention of buying. Ask the LBS if you can rent a bike for a few hours.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bandera View Post
    Being completely upfront and honest about your intentions is not unethical.
    It would be interesting to learn of your LBS's response to your plan.

    Those who test rides machines with no intention of purchasing them are indeed unethical and there is a technical term for them.

    When I had a substantial financial stake in a LBS business the conversation might have gone like this:

    Tlock: "Good day sir, I have no intention of purchasing one of your fine machines from you ever but I would like your assistance in selecting the proper frame size for me and providing a test ride on a suitable model so that I may purchase one of possibly similar characteristics online. Rest assured you will receive suitable financial recompense from me by assembling said machine and setting it to exacting fit specifications in the future."

    Bandera: "How excellent that you have been so honest and forthcoming with your plan. However, since you do not appear to be the Dali Lama (the only person whose word is bond in my establishment) my policy is to require in cash the amount of gross profit earned from the sale of the model you desire to test ride in surety for future assembly of your online gem. Additional charges may apply as necessary, refunds are out of the question.
    If these requirements do not fit your plan I can help you find the exit to enjoy this nice day elsewhere."

    -Bandera
    Warning: I sorta got carried away and wrote a little novel here... :/

    I'd like to update you guys on my bike purchase, because after taking some time to think about what both of you said (maybe a week or so), I realized that you were completely right, and I would simply no longer be able to carry out my original plan.

    I had never ridden an aluminum frame, and was dead set on having steel. Local offerings in steel were way out of my price range, but I wasn't comfortable enough with my understanding of geometry and bike fit to be ordering online. So after opening mind to the moral issues of my original plan, I opened my eyes to aluminum frames in my price range available locally. I couldn't be happier with what I found.

    I test rode entry level bikes from Scattante and Fuji and even a steel bike from Charge (which I hated). I completely fell in love with the bottom-of-the-line Fuji cross offering, the Cross 3.0 LE. Full Tiagra is F***ing awesome compared to my old school road bikes of the past with downtube suntour stuff. STI levers are the greatest thing to ever happen to me in my life i swear.... etc etc etc

    The fit is supreme.

    Since buying the bike about two weeks after making the OP above, I have ridden the hell out of it and loved it all. I've been commuting, doing road rides, riding gravel, dirt, some gnarly singletrack, and even placed 4th in an urban cyclocross gravel grinder type race here in ATL (alleycross?). This weekend I'm throwing on the rack and some UL camping gear and taking it out for my first tour.

    So I just wanted to say thanks for the tough criticism/advice. The most helpful advice is often the advice you don't want to hear. I was wrong, you were right, and now I reap the benefits of having come to terms with that. Thanks!

    Here's some photes:

    1898126_10100794671149569_388533800_n.jpg after a fun spin on ~10 miles of singletrack
    1555577_10100783880793529_2570987_n.jpg during one of Atlanta's rare snow events, the only bike on the road

  12. #12
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    Cool- glad it all worked out for you!

  13. #13
    Ding! Bandera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TLock View Post
    So I just wanted to say thanks for the tough criticism/advice. The most helpful advice is often the advice you don't want to hear. I was wrong, you were right, and now I reap the benefits of having come to terms with that. Thanks!
    You are most welcome.

    Glad that you are enjoying the machine.
    I did my time in Decatur and would buy you an adult beverage at "The Brick" if I was still in your neck of the woods.
    I do miss cycling up around Blairsville & the Fish & Chips at The Brick.

    Regards,

    -Bandera
    '74 Raleigh International - '77 Trek TX900FG - '92 Vitus 979 - '10 Merckx EMX-3- '11 Soma Stanyan

  14. #14
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Good Karma all around. There are deals out there at LBS. I stopped into a shop today to buy my son a new urban skate style helmet, and the owner showed me a Tiagra equipped Cannondale cyclocross bike on sale for $900. Last year's model, or something.

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