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Old 07-05-08, 09:06 AM   #1
TromboneAl
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New-Bike Purchasing Strategy

DW and I have been looking for a used road bike for her, and have decided that if we don't find something by July 20, we'll buy a new bike.

There must be a more cost effective way to purchase a new bike than to walk into the LBS and buy one off the rack, right?
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Old 07-05-08, 09:09 AM   #2
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Going into LBSes and test riding new bikes? Maybe get her sizing and look online at bikesdirect.com
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Old 07-05-08, 10:17 AM   #3
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I'm big in to online purchasing, electronics and what not, but for cycling I always go local (even if it mean driving 50miles). Reason? You get to try the bike out yourself and talk to real people. The LBSs I've gone to have always given me a discount on bikes and accessories. The thing to keep in mind is to stay away from trek/specialized dealerships. Those bike companies demand so much from the shop owners that there's not much room to bargain when buying a new bike. Find a place that accepts trade-ins and will take the time to talk to you about what bike is best for you. You can give craigslist a try before heading to a bike shop if you want to find a used bike on the cheap.
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Old 07-05-08, 11:20 AM   #4
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Test rides...

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Going into LBSes and test riding new bikes? Maybe get her sizing and look online at bikesdirect.com
You should definately go and do some test rides. Nothing will tell you more about a bike than throwing her legs over the seat, doing a ride, and feel differences betwen bikes.

BTW, this is something you cannot do with biesdirect.

This year, it will be tougher to get "deals" on leftovers. We are receiving 2009 pricing, and all prices have gone through the roof. (Factors like prices for aluminum, rubber, paint, etc.) It makes the 2008 stuff more valuable, and a "deal" compared to next years stuff.

IMO, doing the "get her sizing and look online" thing is a low life thing to do. How would you like it if someone came to your place of business, used your time and experience, while knowing all along they had no intention of doing business with you? What would your opinion of them be?

Either make BD earn their $$$ by letting them figure out your size, or find a good LBS, find a good bike in your budget range, and enjoy the ride.

Last edited by The1; 07-06-08 at 09:39 PM.
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Old 07-05-08, 11:51 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by ObjectAgnosia View Post
The thing to keep in mind is to stay away from trek/specialized dealerships. Those bike companies demand so much from the shop owners that there's not much room to bargain when buying a new bike. Find a place that accepts trade-ins and will take the time to talk to you about what bike is best for you.
I am astounded everytime I hear this one.

While Trek and Specialized do ask for a lot out of thier dealers, many dealers tell them to take a flying leap. Trek and Spec are more interested in being in the premier dealers in a given area. They will ask, but dealers will, and have, do what they want to do.

I have sold both Trek and Specialized. I also had both in the shop at one time. The reason they are not "bargained" as much as other bikes is simple. They don't need to be! They are great values, partly because of the size and market share of both companies. They did not become #1 and #2 in the industry by accident. Why should I discount something that does not need to be discounted?

As far as trade ins go, good luck. Many (not all) shops stopped doing trade ins years ago because there is simply no money in it. Simple economics. If a bike was originally, say, $500, and is a few years old, most people won't want to pay more than 50% of the original price, and that is if it is in REALLY good shape. The shop will have to at lest give it a good tune up, maybe throw on some tape and a seat. So they are going to put up a bike for $250, which they will have to "bargain" on. Let's say 10%. We are down to $225, and they have invested about $50 worth of work/parts ito it. It's now down to $175. If they wanted to make normal "bike" margin, which is the lowest margin item in a bike shop, the most they could give the original owner would be about $100 to $125. That is why most people would rather just dump it on ebay, get the $250 out of it, and everyone is happier.

Oh yeah, let's not forget that the first "trade in" that is found in the possesion of the shop that turn out to be stolen. They get the bike impounded, get fined for possession of stolen property, and lose even more $$.

Instead, ask the shop for any "abandoned" bikes. We occasionally have bikes that have repairs done to them, and never get picked up. After a certain amount of time, and notifying the customer of storage charges on top of the repair charges, we will sell off the repair in order to recoup the cost of the repairs. You may get lucky that way.

Last edited by The1; 07-06-08 at 09:40 PM.
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Old 07-06-08, 08:10 AM   #6
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Thanks guys. Yes, I wouldn't feel right choosing a bike at an LBS and then ordering it online, although it is tempting.

Of the four LBSs around here, only one had any used bikes (and it was just one bike).

But...

I've just found a SLBS ("semi-local") 60 miles away that tells me that they have 400 used bicycles!
I'll go there next week, and take my camera.
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Old 07-06-08, 09:31 AM   #7
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IMO, doing the "get her sizing and look online" thing is a low life thing to do. How would you like it if someone came to your place of business, used your time and experience, while knowing all along they had no intention of doing business with you? What would your opinion of them be?

Either make BD earn their $$$ by letting them figure out your size, or find a good LBS, find a good bike in your budget range, and enjoy the ride.
Eh, I didn't mean it in that way. I meant it as figuring out your own size and doing it yourself... it takes about 10 seconds to measure your inseam and another 10 for your TT length. Or, get a professional fitting at a LBS and then get the bike on your own. Ripping off a LBS is a low thing to do, I luff my LBS.

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I've just found a SLBS ("semi-local") 60 miles away that tells me that they have 400 used bicycles!
I'll go there next week, and take my camera.
How is that even close to semi-local?
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Old 07-06-08, 10:01 AM   #8
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Having just bought a new bike maybe what I did will help a bit. First, I started visiting shops. Interestingly one, a Specialized shop, wasn't interested in dealing with me. Maybe it was the gray hair. But, regardless, if you don't get warm feelings when you visit a shop guess what kind of service you are going to get after.

One shop spent a lot of time knocking my old bike. I want a new one. Tell me about those. Don't waste my time critiquing my old one. That shop never did offer to let me ride a bike.

A second shop was friendly and all. But, the staff hadn't a clue. They also contracted out their mechanical work.

The third shop was friendly in a professional way. They got a feel for what I wanted and suggested bikes to ride. They did a rough fit of a bike and sent me off. They repeated that until I found what I wanted. Then they got that one ready for delivery with all the stuff I wanted on it. Since then all I have to do is drop by for any minor adjustments, etc. Aftermarket service is superb.

So, find a shop you can link with on a personal level and that has staff that knows what they are doing. Ride bikes until one fits. Pay the price. The after sale service is worth it.

Oh yes, this is one of the few times I am absolutely opposed to online sales. A bike is as personal as your underwear and more complicated to fit. Getting information from a local shop so you can get one that does fit and then buying it online is stealing; pure and simple stealing.
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Old 07-06-08, 09:19 PM   #9
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I went to a LBs to purchase a bike off the rack,no more now I go back to walmart.
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Old 07-06-08, 09:45 PM   #10
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Sorry...

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Eh, I didn't mean it in that way. I meant it as figuring out your own size and doing it yourself... it takes about 10 seconds to measure your inseam and another 10 for your TT length. Or, get a professional fitting at a LBS and then get the bike on your own. Ripping off a LBS is a low thing to do, I luff my LBS.
Sorry if I misunderstood your original post. Thanks for clarifying....this is good info.
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