Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    Grounded Inkwolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Wisconsin, Land of the Cheeseheads
    Posts
    900
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Test riding something that isn't there?

    Suppose you want to test-ride a bike, but your LBS doesn't carry that model.

    Do you go somewhere else to test-ride it? If you buy it where you test-rode it, do you change LBS's? Should you ask them to order you one at your LBS (and if you do, what happens if you decide not to buy it after trying it out?)

    I'm debating trying to save up enough for a good touring bike next year, but I don't really think any of the local places carry any of the specific bikes I'm considering.

  2. #2
    hehe...He said "member" ChipRGW's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Fort Lauderdale, FLA
    Posts
    630
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Just looks at other bike shops.

    I went to my nearest LBS this weekend. I am looking for a new bike. Admittedly, I don't know what I'm looking for really, but when I mentioned getting a bike that "fit" me, he said, "Just pick out a bike you like, we can just adjust it to fit you." Hmmm. I'll be checking out some other shops this week.

    ChipR

  3. #3
    Slow Moving Vehicle Jean Beetham Smith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Norwood, MA
    My Bikes
    Felt F-70, Terry Madeleine, Novara Safari fully customized by me
    Posts
    1,067
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Some of us can walk into any LBS and they can properly adjust most of the bikes on the floor to fit them. After all, average is pretty average. But for those of us that are outside the average, especially shorter women, less than about 5'2", that is not possible. Giant's compact frame is supposedly able to fit down to 5'2", but I suspect that is for men of that height. Some brands will only send a demo bike to an authorized dealer shop. Many others will accept an order from a non-authorized dealer shop. Your LBS may be able to order a demo bike they don't carry and be able to return it if you don't like it. The only way you can find out is to ask them. I have bought bikes at other shops. Since I am pretty far out of the normal range, it doesn't bother them. Besides, I buy enough lube from them, not to mention lighting systems, replacement batteries, chargers, gloves, etc., that we still have a good working relationship. I've had them do some work that I wasn't ready to tackle myself, and I've gone back to the shops I got the bikes from for some stuff. Basically, if you are a special enough size or have other unique requirements that don't fit your LBS's business model, they may not be able to help you with the bike, but if you come in & buy other stuff often enough, they will forgive you.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    England
    Posts
    12,258
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I would discuss it with your LBS. If you like them and want to lay down $1.5k on their counter then they had better listen. In the UK, good bike shops will get the model for a test ride, with no obligation.
    Test rides are important, esp for spotting badly integrated parts on a touring bike, but you should know where your points of contact are right now from your current bike.

    Besides the Trek 520, Bruce Gorden BLT , Cannondale and Rivendell there isn't a whole lot in the touring bike market at reasonable prices. Of the bunch, the BLT is probably the best in smaller sizes.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Greg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    771
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If you know a specific bike you'd like to test, go to the brands' official web site and search for your closest LBS rep.

    It may be closer than you think.

    Good luck.

  6. #6
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    www.ci.encinitas.ca.us
    My Bikes
    1959 Capo; 1980 Peugeot PKN-10; 1981 Bianchi; 1988 Schwinn KOM-10;
    Posts
    14,824
    Mentioned
    6 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Originally posted by Inkwolf
    Suppose you want to test-ride a bike, but your LBS doesn't carry that model.
    ... If you buy it where you test-rode it, do you change LBS's? Should you ask them to order you one at your LBS? ...
    First, buy only what YOU want, and only what fits you properly. If your preferred LBS cannot provide it cost-effectively and reasonably quickly, buy it where you can find it. If you still prefer your original LBS, you can continue to give them your service, parts, and accessories business.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
    Capo [dschaw'-poe]: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger, S/N 42624
    Peugeot: 1970 UO-8, S/N 0010468
    Bianchi: 1981 Campione d'Italia, S/N 1.M9914
    Schwinn: 1988 Project KOM-10, S/N F804069

  7. #7
    Very Senior Member MikeR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Central Pa
    My Bikes
    2000 Bianchi San Remo and a mint 1984 Trek 720
    Posts
    1,762
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    My LBS carried the brand but didn't have the model I wanted.
    When I told them that I wanted to test ride a SanRemo they got Bianchi to send one to them so I could test ride it - no obligation.

    I bought the SanRemo from them.
    It's better to cycle through life than to drive by it.

  8. #8
    A Heart Needs a Home Rich Clark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Posts
    1,387
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    This is not always an easy question to answer.

    In general, my approach is this: narrow down the field by research and by test-riding what *is* available. Try to get to a point where you have a good working understanding of (1) what sort of bike you believe will suit your needs and (2) what will fit you.

    It's certainly likely that there will be no local shops that will have a sample of the bike you want in your size. Especially touring bikes. So you'll have to work with a local bike shop that will order the bike you've identified, in the size that you need. You will almost certainly have to put down a deposit.

    There has to be clear understanding on both sides. They understand and agree that if you don't like the bike, you're not obligated to buy it. You, on the other hand, need to be serious about buying a bike, and ready to complete the deal if there's no problem with the bike. Don't order it just to test ride it, if you really aren't prepared to buy.

    Once you've ordered a bike from a shop, it's hard not to carry through with a purchase. It may not be the bike you first ordered, but they will probably want to keep trying to find you a bike you *will* want to buy. You can turn your back on the whole deal _- but it might be hard to keep using that LBS in the future.

    Some of the more popular touring bikes -- Cannondales and Treks -- are a bit easier to find if you call around, but not if you're distant from urban centers with lots of big bike shops. Sometimes you can make inferences: ride a Novara Randonee at an REI store, for example, and that will tell you something about how well you might like a Trek 520 or a Bianchi Volpe or a Fuji Touring, all of which are somewhat similar in geometry and frame design. (Emphasis on the "somewhat.")

    RichC

  9. #9
    opinionated SOB cycletourist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Branson, Missouri USA
    Posts
    968
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I have spent several thousand dollars at the local Trek dealer and still he will not order a 520 for me to test ride.

  10. #10
    Very Senior Member MikeR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Central Pa
    My Bikes
    2000 Bianchi San Remo and a mint 1984 Trek 720
    Posts
    1,762
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I have spent several thousand dollars at the local Trek dealer and still he will not order a 520 for me to test ride.
    Iíve heard others express surprise that my LBS did this for me. I'm just glad that he did. Maybe my LBS knew that they would be able to sell the Bianchi if I didn't want it.

    Maybe I looked like I was sure to buy it (I had ridden a model very similar to the SanRemo and liked it).

    All I know is that now I'm a faithful customer.
    It's better to cycle through life than to drive by it.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •