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Old 07-25-05, 07:05 PM   #1
fretman
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How to prevent getting ripped off???

I'm thinking about getting the Marin Bobcat Trail bike this weekend. The salesperson told me it's a 2005 model. How can I be sure? Where on a bike is the year marked if it's marked at all? I know this model of bike has been produced the last few years. How do I know I'm not getting a 2003 model or something. Thanks for the help.
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Old 07-25-05, 07:22 PM   #2
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Go to Merlin's website and print out the specs of this year's bike. They should tell you what components are used on it. Look also at the paint scheme. Most manufacturers change the paint every year.

If, by some improbable chance Merlin has been making the exact same bike for several years, then it should matter not when the bike was built so long as it is unused.
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Old 07-26-05, 12:43 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by supcom
Go to Merlin's website and print out the specs of this year's bike. They should tell you what components are used on it. Look also at the paint scheme. Most manufacturers change the paint every year.

If, by some improbable chance Merlin has been making the exact same bike for several years, then it should matter not when the bike was built so long as it is unused.

OK.....but I guess there's no way of telling whether a bike has been used or not? I know that a bike can be taken for test rides though. If there are some scratches let's say, would a dealer be willing to lower their price?
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Old 07-26-05, 01:55 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by fretman
OK.....but I guess there's no way of telling whether a bike has been used or not? I know that a bike can be taken for test rides though. If there are some scratches let's say, would a dealer be willing to lower their price?
If a bike's been demo'd, it's unlikely to have scratches worth noticing. A Bobcat Trail on demo would probably only have been ridden around the parking lot a bit. If you're angling for a discount, I'd suggest trying some other approach such as getting bundled accessories.

It sounds like you're new to biking and nervous about the purchase experience. Do you have an experieced buddy you can bring along to the store?
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Old 07-26-05, 02:51 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by supcom
Go to Merlin's website and print out the specs of this year's bike. They should tell you what components are used on it. Look also at the paint scheme. Most manufacturers change the paint every year.

If, by some improbable chance Merlin has been making the exact same bike for several years, then it should matter not when the bike was built so long as it is unused.
Why would he go to Merlin's site when he's looking at a MARIN?
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Old 07-26-05, 05:28 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by womble
If a bike's been demo'd, it's unlikely to have scratches worth noticing. A Bobcat Trail on demo would probably only have been ridden around the parking lot a bit. If you're angling for a discount, I'd suggest trying some other approach such as getting bundled accessories.

It sounds like you're new to biking and nervous about the purchase experience. Do you have an experieced buddy you can bring along to the store?
Yup....I am a bit nervous and a bit hesitant about a bike purchase being that it's going to be around $650 Canadian and I've never bought a bike before. I guess I would buy a bike like I would buy a car. I would make sure there are no major scratches or dents or anything like that. Would that be considered unreasonable? I know bikes are taken for test rides because I plan to do the same before I buy the Marin but I'm just hoping that nobody has taken it for a test ride and damaged the bike while it was out there.
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Old 07-26-05, 07:18 AM   #7
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Why would he go to Merlin's site when he's looking at a MARIN?
Marin, Merlin, Marlin. What's the difference?
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Old 07-26-05, 08:57 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by fretman
I'm thinking about getting the Marin Bobcat Trail bike this weekend. The salesperson told me it's a 2005 model. How can I be sure? Where on a bike is the year marked if it's marked at all? I know this model of bike has been produced the last few years. How do I know I'm not getting a 2003 model or something. Thanks for the help.
If the components are Shimano.... Compare the details on the components on the said bike, against the details on this page.
http://www.vintage-trek.com/component_dates.htm
It may help,
Steve.
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Old 07-26-05, 11:40 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by fretman
Yup....I am a bit nervous and a bit hesitant about a bike purchase being that it's going to be around $650 Canadian and I've never bought a bike before. I guess I would buy a bike like I would buy a car. I would make sure there are no major scratches or dents or anything like that. Would that be considered unreasonable? I know bikes are taken for test rides because I plan to do the same before I buy the Marin but I'm just hoping that nobody has taken it for a test ride and damaged the bike while it was out there.
Where abouts in Canada are you? (I'm in Vancouver)

If bikes were so fragile that they could be damaged on a test ride, they'd certainly be too fragile to be ridden on the roads, so I think you're worrying unnecessarily. If someone has fallen off a demo bike, you might see some minor scuffs around the ends of the handlebars. But how often to people manage to fall of bikes during a 5 minute ride anyway?

If it's a worry, tell them that you'd like them to put a new bike together out of the box for you. They shouldn't have any problems with that so long as you're ready to give them some time to do it.
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Old 07-26-05, 01:55 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by supcom
Marin, Merlin, Marlin. What's the difference?
Yes, indeed. I would be willing, by the way, to trade my Marin for someone's Merlin, even up. I'll even throw in a set of Wellgo pedals.
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Old 07-26-05, 03:09 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by womble
Where abouts in Canada are you? (I'm in Vancouver)

If bikes were so fragile that they could be damaged on a test ride, they'd certainly be too fragile to be ridden on the roads, so I think you're worrying unnecessarily. If someone has fallen off a demo bike, you might see some minor scuffs around the ends of the handlebars. But how often to people manage to fall of bikes during a 5 minute ride anyway?

If it's a worry, tell them that you'd like them to put a new bike together out of the box for you. They shouldn't have any problems with that so long as you're ready to give them some time to do it.
I'm in Ottawa. Are you telling me that they can put together a bike out of the box? Wouldn't they have to order it first?
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Old 07-26-05, 03:13 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by giantcfr1
If the components are Shimano.... Compare the details on the components on the said bike, against the details on this page.
http://www.vintage-trek.com/component_dates.htm
It may help,
Steve.

Thanks. This should help a lot.
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Old 07-26-05, 03:14 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by supcom
Marin, Merlin, Marlin. What's the difference?
About 3K?
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Old 07-26-05, 03:16 PM   #14
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I'm in Ottawa. Are you telling me that they can put together a bike out of the box? Wouldn't they have to order it first?
Hey fretman, I'm in Ottawa too. If you give me the name of the store I can tell you if I've had good, bad, or no experiences with them.

Beyond that I agree with the other posters. A bike is much like a car, it may have been test ridden before or not, no biggy. Do go over it carefully for scratches or other damage -that may happen in-store too, even if its never been out the door. Don't worry about it too much, though. I'd be far more concerned with how much time the staff is willing to spend with you to fit the bike, answer questions, etc.
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Old 07-26-05, 03:25 PM   #15
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Hey fretman, I'm in Ottawa too. If you give me the name of the store I can tell you if I've had good, bad, or no experiences with them.

Beyond that I agree with the other posters. A bike is much like a car, it may have been test ridden before or not, no biggy. Do go over it carefully for scratches or other damage -that may happen in-store too, even if its never been out the door. Don't worry about it too much, though. I'd be far more concerned with how much time the staff is willing to spend with you to fit the bike, answer questions, etc.
Thanks Pat. The store I went to that has the Marin bike is Fosters on Bank and Maclaren. The sales person was very helpful. He even mentioned to me that if I buy the bike that he would cut the handle bars to fit me. I didn't even know about doing something like that.
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Old 07-26-05, 03:47 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by fretman
I'm in Ottawa. Are you telling me that they can put together a bike out of the box? Wouldn't they have to order it first?
I've never worked in a bike store, so I can't say for certain. However, I don't think many types of store can work by carrying only 1 of everything, then having to reorder an item when one is sold. Especially with a Bobcat Trail, which isn't a strange specialty item. So I'd expect a pretty high chance of them having a bunch of unconstructed bikes in storage nearby. If it is a big deal (and I don't think it is), just ask them.
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Old 07-26-05, 04:25 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by fretman
Thanks Pat. The store I went to that has the Marin bike is Fosters on Bank and Maclaren. The sales person was very helpful. He even mentioned to me that if I buy the bike that he would cut the handle bars to fit me. I didn't even know about doing something like that.
Fosters seems to have a good reputation, I got my bike there. Like all stores I have also heard some bad stories, but nothing that would drive me away. I did like that they let me ride the bike around downtown until I was sure I was happy with it.

Why do you need the handlebar cut?
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Old 07-26-05, 04:52 PM   #18
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Fosters seems to have a good reputation, I got my bike there. Like all stores I have also heard some bad stories, but nothing that would drive me away. I did like that they let me ride the bike around downtown until I was sure I was happy with it.

Why do you need the handlebar cut?
I didn't even know about cutting the handle bar. The frame is a 13" one. I usually take a 15" Norco or Trek but with the Marin he recommended a 13" one and it did feel OK.

Since I'm 5'2" he also recommended that the handlebars be cut a bit so that my arms won't be in such a wide position when I ride. However, I'm not sure if that's really necessary as I really couldn't tell the difference sitting on the bike with my arms as is or 2 inches closer.
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Old 07-27-05, 06:34 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by womble
If it's a worry, tell them that you'd like them to put a new bike together out of the box for you. They shouldn't have any problems with that so long as you're ready to give them some time to do it.
This time of year, if the shop doesn't have a duplicate in the customer's chosen size and color, there could be a bit of a wait to get another one, as most companies are now transitioning to 2006 models.

As an aside, it's good to see that some of the posters here (not in this thread, but in general lately) have been able to increase potential new customers' paranoia as they enter bike shops.
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Old 07-27-05, 10:57 AM   #20
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Fretman,
If I were you I would ride the bike around for a while before I let them cut the bar. You can always cut it later, but if they shorten them and you find them too narrow you will be shelling out more cash for new one.
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Old 07-27-05, 12:03 PM   #21
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As an aside, it's good to see that some of the posters here (not in this thread, but in general lately) have been able to increase potential new customers' paranoia as they enter bike shops.
Why is this a good thing? Bike shops aren't evil, and scaring people off biking isn't a desirable goal. Or am I missing some kind of irony here?

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Old 07-27-05, 04:23 PM   #22
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Fretman,
If I were you I would ride the bike around for a while before I let them cut the bar. You can always cut it later, but if they shorten them and you find them too narrow you will be shelling out more cash for new one.
That makes good sense. Thanks.
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Old 07-27-05, 04:25 PM   #23
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This time of year, if the shop doesn't have a duplicate in the customer's chosen size and color, there could be a bit of a wait to get another one, as most companies are now transitioning to 2006 models.

As an aside, it's good to see that some of the posters here (not in this thread, but in general lately) have been able to increase potential new customers' paranoia as they enter bike shops.
A dealer called me back and told me he just put together the bike on floor and nobody has test ridden it yet. I wonder if that's true.
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Old 07-27-05, 04:41 PM   #24
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A dealer called me back and told me he just put together the bike on floor and nobody has test ridden it yet. I wonder if that's true.
Is it bad if someone test rides it? I mean, you're planning on taking it for a test ride, right?
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Old 07-27-05, 04:51 PM   #25
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Is it bad if someone test rides it? I mean, you're planning on taking it for a test ride, right?
That's true. And if he doesn't buy it, does that mean the eventual purchaser is being ripped off?
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