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Old 03-29-07, 02:16 PM   #1
Nicodemus
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curious: what percentage of bicycle purchases get a test ride?

I was just wondering how many bike purchases have the buyer doing a test ride.

Surely the higher end are much more likely and lower end less likely.

But does anyone have any thoughts? Maybe some bike shop peeps could give an idea. I would guess (or at least hope) that most bikes over $500 are test ridden.

cheers

(for me, a test ride is essential)
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Old 03-29-07, 02:26 PM   #2
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I test road 4 or 5 bikes before I got my bike a month ago. Then when I went clipless I tryed on shoes and road around the parking lot in them. If it cost more then 100bucks and it can be tested im going to test it imo.

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Old 03-29-07, 02:28 PM   #3
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The more I pay for a bike the LESS likely I am to have test ridden it. Test rides do very little to predict future satisfaction many miles later.
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Old 03-29-07, 02:31 PM   #4
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Good question. I test rode a dozen bikes prior to my recent purchase.
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Old 03-29-07, 07:39 PM   #5
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I test ride all of my bikes bikes before buying them. But a ride around a parking lot is not as informative as a ten mile ride. I found an LBS thjat is willing to let me ride down to the bike path on a nice day.
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Old 03-29-07, 07:46 PM   #6
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I only test ride to make sure the fit is in the ballpark. Takes at least a 50 miler to get a good feel. I usually don't experience any discomfort on anything under 40.

Sometimes it may take several rides while making adjustments to saddle position, hb position etc to get it right.

Parkingl ot rides mean nothing more than making sure the wheels don't fall off!
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Old 03-29-07, 07:52 PM   #7
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I did some test riding to see if a $400 raleigh w/ sora was that different from a $900 trek with tiagra. The shop I did the testride out at had a quarter mile or so deadending residential street it backed out into so this was much better than just the standard parking-lot ride.

The test ride will tell you if the frame size is sane but not much beyond that.
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Old 03-29-07, 10:34 PM   #8
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After years of cycling I pretty much know what I want in a frame. I don't test ride anymore, but if for some reason I build up a frame and don't like it after a while the LBS will sell it for me at the cost I paid for it.
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Old 03-30-07, 07:20 AM   #9
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Almost all the bikes we sell get test ridden.
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Old 03-30-07, 07:40 AM   #10
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I think I've taken all my local purchases out for a spin, but I've gotten at one bike from eBay, and naturally that one was not test ridden (the Raleigh mixte). I've also gotten a frame from a fellow BF member, and of course, that was not test ridden either.

I think some of the general comments are accurate--a test ride around the parking lot will let you know that the wheels aren't going to fall off soon, and if the frame appears to fit. It won't tell you anything about how the saddle will feel after a few miles.

On the other hand, if I don't know more or less what will work for me after acquiring 12 bikes, then I probably should give it up.

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Old 03-30-07, 08:34 AM   #11
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I test rode several bikes before making my choice. I thought that was pretty much the norm.
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Old 03-30-07, 08:38 AM   #12
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I test rode all my bikes back in the day, and was able to infer very little from rolling around for ten minutes.

My last bike I had built in winter, so the first test ride was after... I owned it for a week and a half.

They've all been just fine.
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Old 03-30-07, 08:46 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krazygluon
I did some test riding to see if a $400 raleigh w/ sora was that different from a $900 trek with tiagra. The shop I did the testride out at had a quarter mile or so deadending residential street it backed out into so this was much better than just the standard parking-lot ride.

The test ride will tell you if the frame size is sane but not much beyond that.
So...what was the verdict?
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Old 03-30-07, 09:29 AM   #14
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i bought mine off of ebay.. so it definitly didnt get a test ride. but i also talked to a lot of people before i bought it and did a lot of research and its perfect
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Old 03-30-07, 10:08 AM   #15
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It would make sense to factor out purchases online, obviously.

And if you have ridden so many and so much that you know what to expect it makes some sense.

Though I get the point that you clearly can't tell how it will feel on longer mileage, in my experience there's always a noticeable difference in the ride if I'm comparing bikes.

If it's going to be my "main steed", I want to be sure I've got it right. My last purchase could have gone horribly wrong if I'd made the wrong choice by not riding each one.
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Old 03-30-07, 01:42 PM   #16
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I test rode mine before buying.
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Old 03-30-07, 04:03 PM   #17
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I sold bikes for a few years and all of my customers went for test rides, at least in the parking lot.

The fact of the matter is that the test ride is a great sales tool for pushing bikes under $1000. You can dial in the fit, identify defeaters, highlight advantages and just get customers excited about a purchase.
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Old 03-30-07, 04:12 PM   #18
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Quote:
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I sold bikes for a few years and all of my customers went for test rides, at least in the parking lot.

The fact of the matter is that the test ride is a great sales tool for pushing bikes under $1000. You can dial in the fit, identify defeaters, highlight advantages and just get customers excited about a purchase.
Are you saying a test ride is BS? I suppose for some it might be, the types that aren't doing any serious comparison or just buying more spontaneously.
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Old 03-30-07, 05:33 PM   #19
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Are you saying a test ride is BS? I suppose for some it might be, the types that aren't doing any serious comparison or just buying more spontaneously.
Yeah, for your average first-time buyer the test ride works to the advantage of the sales person.
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Old 03-30-07, 06:04 PM   #20
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I rode an old heavy Schwin caliente for 4 years...about 10,000 miles..Did some research and asked good riders for advice.. test rode bikes a little but they all felt so good I couldnt tell the difference...
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Old 03-30-07, 08:39 PM   #21
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lol... 50 pound Schwin .... 2 years... i am gonna order mine online... unless i find one at a dealer....
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Old 03-30-07, 09:01 PM   #22
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See my avatar? I use that to make customers go on a test ride. I want them to be sure, even if they don't get the bike.
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Old 03-31-07, 03:45 AM   #23
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This thread on testing a bike is interesting but harbors some assumptions about the purpose of a test ride. As a part-time bike salesman for 10 years, I agree that a 15 minute test ride in a parking lot is not going to tell you everything about a bike. But... it will give you a "feel" for a bike that is valuable. For instance, you can tell if you are too stretched out or too cramped. How safe do you feel? That is, is the bike too big or small? My customers frequently ride similiar bikes from different companies at the same price point and love one and hate the other; that's ok. I firmly believe in trying a bike; you wouldn't buy an expensive suit or dress without trying it on. The ultimate test will be the first couple of hundred miles but at least with a test ride, you may know if you are in the right ballpark with the bike. This assumes that you bought the right bike for the right kind of riding and it is fitted properly. Without these assumptions, all bets are off.
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Old 03-31-07, 05:58 AM   #24
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Both my customs were ordered over the phone with no test ride and are by far my best-fitting and favorite bikes.

Bespoke manufacturers I suppose have to be factored out of this, since they're making what you tell them to, but they're one example where the test ride isn't totally necessary if the buyer knows what they're looking for and can communicate it to a competent builder.
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Old 03-31-07, 06:35 AM   #25
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I work in a shop, and I would say that about 80% of people buy the bike go for a test ride first. Those who do not are usually the type of people who will probably never ride it. I have sold bikes to business men, on their blackberry, who pick it by colour and walk out the door with the bike 5 minutes after thay come in the shop. The same can be said about a certain percentage of women, who are pressured by their spouse to buy a bike. They are not interested in riding, so they refuse to go on a test ride.
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