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Old 09-11-10, 03:12 PM   #1
CNY James
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Shouldnt shopping for a new bike be FUN?

I spent a little while at a shop today, looking at bikes... perhaps having my 2 y/o daughter with me hindered my good time but I left there feeling more or less unsatisfied... the model(s) that I wanted to see weren't in stock or even available and they didn't have anything comparable in my size.
I found another shop about an hour away has the next step up from a model I am looking for and is having a 30% sale to clear out old models... but not sure I want to make the trip if it's going to end up being a bust anyway.

What do you think, is now just not the time for me or was it just not my day? Or is bike shopping really no different than car shopping, a necessary evil that can grind on one's nerves?
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Old 09-11-10, 03:48 PM   #2
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Sounds like you know what you want, call before you go. If they don't have what they said they would, don't go back.
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Old 09-11-10, 04:14 PM   #3
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I have a love/hate thing with major expenditures. It's fun, but actually spending the money can be nerve-wracking. Just keep in mind that somebody will always make a better deal than you just did. Don't sweat it. If you find a bike that you like, have the $$$ budgeted, then just get it.

Hint: Riding is a lot more fun than shopping.
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Old 09-11-10, 04:57 PM   #4
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The problem you may run into shopping this time of year is getting the right fit. A shop may have the model you want but not in your size. They can't get the right one because the mfrs are gearing up for 2011 models. So, the store will really want to sell you what they have, whether it fits or nor. Be careful. bk
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Old 09-11-10, 05:14 PM   #5
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I feel your pain. I spent two months researching, then going to shops. Started at LBS, then tried one 10 miles away, moved out 25 miles, then moved 45 miles and went to my fifth shop at about 55 miles. My experience was not good. Either tried to sell what was there, but not what I wanted, "can't keep higher end bikes in stock, but we can order one for you," or just to busy to talk. I knew what I wanted, and had a good idea what I needed, just needed some expertise to finish off the process. Just could not find it. One shop clearly had the expertise, but $1,000 to $1,500 apparently did not meet the interest threshold of the literally world renown owner.

Ended up with more research, used this forum extensively, and bought on line. So far, so good. Good Luck...By the way, it was fun to open the front door and see the boxed bike, delivered on the day it was supposed to be. At least that worked as advertised. I would have preferred to by this bike with an LBS "partner" but no one wanted to do enough to take my money.
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Old 09-11-10, 08:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkaapcke View Post
The problem you may run into shopping this time of year is getting the right fit. A shop may have the model you want but not in your size. They can't get the right one because the mfrs are gearing up for 2011 models. So, the store will really want to sell you what they have, whether it fits or nor. Be careful. bk
Unfortunately, my LBS is already into their 2nd wave of 2011 Felts The 2011 F75 is nice but I wanted to get a 2010 for the carbon seat stays.

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I feel your pain. I spent two months researching, then going to shops. Started at LBS, then tried one 10 miles away, moved out 25 miles, then moved 45 miles and went to my fifth shop at about 55 miles. My experience was not good. Either tried to sell what was there, but not what I wanted, "can't keep higher end bikes in stock, but we can order one for you," or just to busy to talk. I knew what I wanted, and had a good idea what I needed, just needed some expertise to finish off the process. Just could not find it. One shop clearly had the expertise, but $1,000 to $1,500 apparently did not meet the interest threshold of the literally world renown owner.

Ended up with more research, used this forum extensively, and bought on line. So far, so good. Good Luck...By the way, it was fun to open the front door and see the boxed bike, delivered on the day it was supposed to be. At least that worked as advertised. I would have preferred to by this bike with an LBS "partner" but no one wanted to do enough to take my money.
It might end up coming to that but too early to throw my hat in. I bought my SS from BD with no complaints whatsoever but that was $370, before I go spend $1000-1500, I want to ride the bike I am going to buy and know EXACTLY what I'm getting myself into. If the SS didnt work out, I could sleep knowing that I spent $370, rode it a handful of times, and turned around to sell it for $250.
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Old 09-11-10, 08:19 PM   #7
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Sounds like you know what you want, call before you go. If they don't have what they said they would, don't go back.
Yeah, at least the one an hour away has the next bike UP... I went to a shop today to look for a Fuji Roubaix 1.0 and they only had it in 54... I need a 56 or 58. So they showed me the Roubaix ACR 3.0 Nicer frame, sure but I want 105+ or Rival+ and that was Tiagra with 105 rd...

I went to another shop on Friday hoping to find the F75 but they didnt have one... for 2010 or 2011... then offered to sell me a Felt F1X for $1000... it's a 2008 model that has been sitting on the rack for 3 years (???) Nice bike, 105/Ultegra but I wasn't really looking for a cross bike... they also tried to suggest that I go with a Z series (full carbon frame, only a couple hundred more $) but I prefer the geometry of the F series.
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Old 09-12-10, 01:21 AM   #8
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I cant stand the process of buying new bikes. I hate dealing with the employees. Im "supposed" to ride a 52 but I prefer a 54. They get all high-step and tell me about stand over height, potential injury, handling, etc.. All I can say is, "I understand but I like riding bigger, I have been for a few years, I want to test ride THIS bike." The employee then gave me a bike that was WAY too big for me. I wonder if he did that on purpose.

I understand trying to suggest these things if the buyer is new to cycling and is asking a lot of questions but this is a store I have been going to for quite a while and I knew exactly what I wanted.

Its the same thing some of you guys have mentioned. You know what you want but they think they know what you need because they work there.

Last edited by johnr783; 09-12-10 at 01:27 AM.
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Old 09-12-10, 06:39 AM   #9
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The shop I was at yesterday recommended that I try 58's. I've always wondered b/c my torso always felt a little scrunched on my 56 but anyplace I ever went always said that I should ride a 56. The guy that recommended the 58 to me (shop owner) just happens to be pretty much my clone in terms of physical dimensions. He said everybody always had him riding 56 but he feels more comfortable on the 58. This guy is worlds beyond me in skill and expertise so I was kind of glad to hear him suggest something that I had always wondered about.
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Old 09-12-10, 07:02 AM   #10
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Looking at new bikes and talking about bikes can be a lot of fun.

When you get down to the detailed nitty-gritty of actually buying a bike - that can involve some frustration. In general, if you have a very fixed idea of exactly what you want, it's better to be flexable on cost. It works the other way too.
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Old 09-12-10, 07:24 AM   #11
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Shopping gets easier when you already had two road bikes and going for the third.

Shopping is easier when you kind of know how much its going to cost. And you aren't hesitant to spend it.

Shopping is easier when you live near me in So Calif where there are more bike shops than anywhere else in the states.
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Old 09-12-10, 09:54 AM   #12
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Quote:
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The shop I was at yesterday recommended that I try 58's. I've always wondered b/c my torso always felt a little scrunched on my 56 but anyplace I ever went always said that I should ride a 56. The guy that recommended the 58 to me (shop owner) just happens to be pretty much my clone in terms of physical dimensions. He said everybody always had him riding 56 but he feels more comfortable on the 58. This guy is worlds beyond me in skill and expertise so I was kind of glad to hear him suggest something that I had always wondered about.
I can understand that and I appreciate suggestions. Im talking about a person believing their suggestion is absolute and MUST be followed.

The situation I experienced, the person made a suggestion and I replied with a, "I've tried that size before, I prefer riding bigger." He responded by telling me, "Well what you like and what you should ride are two different things." I then explained how I had been riding for years on that size and havent had any issues. He came back with "You can buy this size but since it is against our recommendations we cant give you the satisfaction guarantee."

I hate that the following happened, but I didnt like the downtube shifters or the handling. I ended up buying the smaller size because it had better shifters and didnt feel sticky/slow on the turns. The reason I hate that is because it makes me feel like he won, even though I changed sizes for non-size related issues.

In regard to the OP. For me, the process of buying a bike is fun. Research, test rides, the anxiety of making that payment at the register, the feeling of walking it out the door and loading it up or riding it home etc. The interaction with the salesperson ranges from root canal to mutual excitement.

In your case, I think it was the timing. Old bikes people may still be interested in aren't being reordered because 2011's are out, couldnt ride the proper models/sizes, your daughter was with you so it sounds like you couldnt take that 10-20 minute test ride, so on and so forth. As for buying a bike being a necessary evil, I think that depends on the salesperson.
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Old 09-12-10, 10:36 AM   #13
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I haven't bought a New Complete bike in 20 years, don't care for the way the industry
and product managers and marketing.. has dragged the marketplace .

so I get Frames and forks and parts as each things , build wheels to suit ..
Or get a Used bike and sort out it's shortcomings ..

The requirement to have something that seems new every year is folly.

too much sizzle, not enough substance.
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Old 09-12-10, 10:55 AM   #14
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I really don't consider shopping for a bike as a fun experience, that usually comes from riding a bike that is the correctly sized, preferred color scheme, and outfitted to my tastes. I will lessen the frustration/ overwhelming experience of shopping for a bike by doing most of my leg work online before I head down to the LBS.

I don't chase bargains since I have yet to find a bike that meets my needs in stock at any of my LBSs, and with all my current commuters having to be special ordered from the factory.
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Old 09-12-10, 12:27 PM   #15
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Er, no, shopping isn't "fun," unless you're spending someone else's money on things you don't care about.
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Old 09-12-10, 07:46 PM   #16
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the research process has been enjoyable, I'll admit that... I'm sure when I finally find what I am looking for (not necessarily by specific model but by specs & price) I will be much more satisfied... but it kinda sucks to go into a shop expecting that they will have something but when you get there, there are 30 bikes... once you weed out the comfort bikes & mtb's you have maybe 10 road bikes, 8 of them are either the wrong size or the wrong price by a long shot and the other 2 aren't what you have in mind in terms of specs. gonna keep shopping, I'll find what I'm looking for eventually. No rush to buy per se but I don't want to spend the next 6 months walking in and out of shops looking either...
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Old 09-14-10, 01:14 AM   #17
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No, it is seldom fun. If you know what you want and buy something else, it will be unfun for years. Hang tough. You're the one standing around with money in the pocket.
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