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  1. #1
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    What to expect from first LBS purchase

    I'm ready to take the plunge and buy my first nice bike. I've settled on a Jamis Coda, which I've test ridden at one of our four local bike shops. However- up to this point, I've either ridden a dept store bike (that got stolen within 6 months of purchase - guess that a blessing in disguise ) or used bikes. So I don't really know what to expect when I go in to actually plunk down the cash. Some specific things I've been wondering-

    Is some type of service pretty standard, like free adjustment/tuneup in the first six months or so, or is it just dependent on the lbs?

    Are bikes generally sold as they're displayed on the floor? One of the shops here has all sorts of accessories on their floor bikes (saddle bags, computers) that don't seem like they'd be part of the 'standard package'. That's not the shop I'm buying from, they don't carry Jamis, but going in there made me second-guess. If not, then are there parts that I should expect to have to pay extra for (kickstand, bottle cage)?

    How long does the process take? Can I expect to go in and walk out with a bike 10 minutes later, or is there some sort of pre-sale inspection/adjustment/clean/lube process that takes a while? I ask because the shop that carries Jamis here is open pretty much banker's hours, so I get to pick between going on my lunch break, after work (30 min before they close) or waiting until next weekend.

    Are there any other quirks to the lbs experience that I should know, or risk getting laughed out of the shop?

    I realize I could call the shop and ask them all this stuff, but I prefer the anonymity of the internet!

  2. #2
    King of Typos rickyhmltn's Avatar
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    Well I'm not really qualified to answer your question as I have yet to buy my first real bike but I did make the call to one shop and visit another to ask these questions:

    1.) Free first tune up within 6 months.
    2.) The floor models with everything on them are sold like that specifically. They aren't to display what can go on it. For instance the Cannondale Quick 4 with bottle cage, and other things attached gets sold like it is. The other Cannondale Quick 4 that is standard is sold as IT is.
    3.) If the bike you want (Jamis Coda) is not in stock, they'll fit you for it and order it.
    4.) if it is in stock they will fit you on the spot (some for a fee) and send you on your way same day.


    Again I have no real experience in this process just from what 2 separate LBS have told me.

  3. #3
    Senior Member lucille's Avatar
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    I got free tune ups for 2 years and unlimited tweaks. Cables on your new bikes will stretch and need adjustments. Unless you can do it yourself, you will be back at the LBS a few times, probably. It's good to establish a relationship with LBS, buying a bike there is a great first step. Do they have a day that they're opened longer? What about the weekends?

    They will probably fit you to make sure you're getting the right size. There may be some adjustments needed to make the bike fit you better, like changing the stem. Take your time, fit is probably the most important thing. If that's not necessary, you should be able to walk out with the bike pretty much after you pay for it unless you want to change tires, have a rack or fenders mounted, swap parts etc. It's a good time to do all those things, as most stores will give you a discount if you buy accessories at the same time. It's probably only 10% off, but it adds up. You may want a helmet, bell, lights, mirror, fender, rack, water bottle holders and bottles, spare tubes, pump, chain grease etc. It all adds up, so it's nice to get a little discount.

    Don't worry about being laughed at, we all have to start somewhere. If the sales person is giving you the attitude, it's probably not the person you want to deal with. Make sure to post a picture when you get it.

    Enjoy your bike!

  4. #4
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    I just bought my first bike (Trek) Friday.

    They gave me my first free tune up.

    The bike was not a display model. I had ridden one to test, but they had one boxed in a warehouse. Saturday they brought it over put it together and tuned it.

    They allowed me to test before I paid to make sure no problems plus the bike mechanic rode first to make sure there were no problems before I got on it.

    If I had bought my pedals from them they would have put it on for me.

    I am not sure how every LBS does it, but I had a great experience with mine.

  5. #5
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Is some type of service pretty standard, like free adjustment/tuneup in the first six months or so, or is it just dependent on the lbs?

    -- Completely dependent on the lbs. You'll have to ask, but don't be surprised if there's no special adjustment/tuneup service. Oh and don't fall for the "lifetime tune-ups" nonsense. If they offer it for free, fine, but don't base your decision to take one bicycle over another on that. Next year the place could be out of business, and there goes your "free lifetime tune-ups".


    Are bikes generally sold as they're displayed on the floor? One of the shops here has all sorts of accessories on their floor bikes (saddle bags, computers) that don't seem like they'd be part of the 'standard package'. That's not the shop I'm buying from, they don't carry Jamis, but going in there made me second-guess. If not, then are there parts that I should expect to have to pay extra for (kickstand, bottle cage)?

    -- The bicycle is sold as just the bicycle ... no additional accessories. You will have to buy any additional things you might want such as bottle cages, racks, bells, lights, bags, etc. etc. You may even have to buy your own saddle, pedals, and handlebar tape. Occasionally, some of that stuff may come with the bicycle, but you'll definitely want to ask what is included or not included. The tag on the bicycle might tell you.


    How long does the process take? Can I expect to go in and walk out with a bike 10 minutes later, or is there some sort of pre-sale inspection/adjustment/clean/lube process that takes a while? I ask because the shop that carries Jamis here is open pretty much banker's hours, so I get to pick between going on my lunch break, after work (30 min before they close) or waiting until next weekend.

    -- Depends on the LBS, and depends on what you want to add to the bicycle (i.e. bottle cages, saddle, pedals, rack, etc.). Chances are you'll go in and select the bicycle and all the stuff you want with it. Then you'll go away, and they'll install it all. A week or so later you'll go back and if they are a good shop, they should spend an hour or so with you doing the fit and setup. Don't leave without a fitting. Insist on it ... and depending on the shop, you may have to get quite insistent.


    Are there any other quirks to the lbs experience that I should know, or risk getting laughed out of the shop?

    -- Ask to get fitted. Ask about service. Ask what's included with the bicycle. Ask how long you have to try the saddle. Chances are you won't like the one the shop puts on and will want to exchange it with something else. Be sure to ask about that. Ask if the shop has classes to teach you basic bicycle maintenance. If they don't, ask where you might be able to find such a class.

  6. #6
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    Shops generally will give at least one free adjustment/tune up but I've also seen one shop give free lifetime tune-ups. It is highly dependent on the shop. Some shops will switch out the stem and saddle for items of similar value if you like.

    I've never seen a bike with accessories installed as a display model, but that doesn't mean it doesn't happen. All the bikes I see on display here are just the bike and whatever the manufacturer puts on them. Some models come with racks and/or fenders for example.

    You probably could get a bike in 10 minutes, but this assumes you've taken it on a test and you like it. Some shops will do a quick 5-10 min inspection before they let any bike out of the shop be it for a test ride or sale.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    Why ask us? Ask the bike shop in question.

  8. #8
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    Apparently the OP would like to get a leg up on things...Not being blind-sided is a good thing!

    - Slim

  9. #9
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    You are correct slim! Also when I posted the shop was already closed for the weekend. Thanks for all the advice. The bike + fenders (I have all the other accessories I want- for now anyway) is close to the high end of my budget so I'm hoping there are no surprises. I know they have my model/size in stock as of last Wednesday, so hopefully I'll have a shiny new bike and pics by Tuesday or so.

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