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Old 02-28-11, 07:13 AM   #1
Tubby
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Question for retailers: price cutoff for ordering a bike without commitment?

I am having a very difficult time buying a bike as many stores do not have much stock in my size (52ish) and none of the stores around me are willing to order in a bike that I won't 100% commit to buying. I know there are differing schools of thought (the "all the good brands make good bikes, just get fit correctly and you'll be fine" vs the "test ride everything") but I would like a chance to test at least ONE bike before I commit! This is esp. important as I am switching geometries (from comfort road to classic road).

So my question is - at what price point/size will you order a bike without a firm commitment? A $2500-3000 size 52 bike does not seem like an inventory hog to me, but for all but one of the stores around me (sadly they don't carry the brands I am interested in) this seems to be too much to ask.
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Old 02-28-11, 08:01 AM   #2
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If they can't accomodate a test ride, move on. I can understand a small store maybe not wanting to tie up the capital, but that doesn't give them the right to play you for a sucker. There's a huge difference between bike models and not all will be what you're looking for. All the "good" (read- the brands that we carry) brands make good bikes, but they all have some crap bikes too.
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Old 02-28-11, 09:08 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Tubby View Post
I am having a very difficult time buying a bike as many stores do not have much stock in my size (52ish) and none of the stores around me are willing to order in a bike that I won't 100% commit to buying. I know there are differing schools of thought (the "all the good brands make good bikes, just get fit correctly and you'll be fine" vs the "test ride everything") but I would like a chance to test at least ONE bike before I commit! This is esp. important as I am switching geometries (from comfort road to classic road).
That attitude by local shops is what drove me to start buying mail order. If you go that route, use one of the comprehensive on line fitting systems.
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Old 02-28-11, 09:45 AM   #4
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Yes, online seems very tempting. But still doesn't help the "I'd like to test ride at least one bike in my size before buying!" issue...
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Old 02-28-11, 11:50 AM   #5
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Yes, online seems very tempting. But still doesn't help the "I'd like to test ride at least one bike in my size before buying!" issue...

As a 5'6" guy who generally rides a 52, it's been my experience that NOBODY stocks that size. They might have a woman-specific frame in that size, but that's about it.
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Old 02-28-11, 02:39 PM   #6
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It's strange, isn't it? Especially since cycling is one of the sports where height is of least importance. I mean Levi Leipheimer rides a 52....
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