So, I've been eyeballing the Trek 520, online and in magazines. It looks like the perfect bike for my commute. I decided to stop by my local Trek dealer and have a look at one in person.
Sales rep #1: "Can I help you?"
Me: "Yes, I'd like to take a look at a Trek 520."
Sales rep #1: <blank stare with a dash of bewilderment> "Our Treks all start at 1000."
Me: "Okay, thanks, I'll just look around a bit."
(Now, I overhear him talking to another rep, behind the counter, who then thumbs through through the Trek catalog before approaching me.)
Sales rep #2: "So, why are you looking for a touring bike?"
Me: "Why? Because, I like the geometry, setup and..."
Sales rep #2: "Well, what are you going to use it for?"
Me: "To commute to work."
Sales rep #2: "But, you're not planning on riding across the state or anything, are you?"
Me: "No, but I do ride over 35 miles, everyday."
Sales rep #2: "Let me show you this 1000. I think it has everything you want."
He has me get on the bike and starts fitting it for me. I mention that it seems a bit smaller than what I am used to. He said that I he would be surprised if I rode a bike any bigger than this one. I again said that I thought this might have me a little scrunched, in the long run.
So, he starts throwing around shop talk, with a little pause to then "explain" what each term means.
This just irked me, so I began asking about the features on the 520 that I knew for a fact were not on the 1000.
He had an excuse for each like how I really didn't need to have that wide a gear range and the suspension seat on the 1000 would make up for the rougher ride on aluminum.
I was beginning to get a bit fed up and started to leave when he said, "Let me show you this Pilot."
We had almost the same conversation over this bike as we did over the 1000 except that the carbon fiber was purported as the material that would make it ride just as smooth as cromoly.
Seeing that I wasn't biting, he says, "You see, the 1000 is a 'comfort road bike' and the Pilot is a 'relaxed fit road bike' and this is really the trend in bikes. You're going to be hard pressed to find any more touring bikes on the market and cromoly is kind of going the way of the dinosaur."
I left feeling like I had been crammed full of crap, like the christmas goose. It made me feel sorry for the noob who walks into their LBS and gets 'the pitch' so that the salesman can sell whatever bike he has sitting on the showroom floor.