My wife and I have been riding mountain bikes for the past few years, nothing technical , just rail trails and fire-road style trails in the state park near where we live.
Each spring before we can ride on the trails, we start out getting back into it by riding on the road. We normally try to get up to about 40 miles or so and then ride the 5 borough bike tour in NYC.
We are seriously thinking of starting to take up road biking (in addition to the mountain biking). I am thinking I will probably try to get out 2-3 times a week on the road bike for about an hour and a half so probably I should get up to close to 60-70 miles a week max. Based on that I figure the 105 component set is probably more than we would need, but does not seem like overly extravagant.
I bought my mountain bike at a LBS, and I am very happy with it and I plan on doing the same for both our road bikes. Being an engineer who build all his own home computers, I understand the difference between buying some "hardware" and buying a computer that comes with support, so when I look at a bike on the website that shall remain nameless, I realized that they are just selling hardware and that there is more to buying a bike than just the "hardware", and I am OK with the fact that I will be paying a premium at a LBS, because I am getting a lot more intangibles than just the "hardware". That being said I can get a feel for the cost of the "hardware", by comparing the retail price of my similarly equipped bike at the LBS and the hardware only online store.
So in course of our shopping around we found a bike shop (not the one I bought my mountain bike from), that I think I like. Now they did not have the recommended bike that my wife would ride at the store, and since we sort of wanted her to be able to try it out we found some other dealers that carry the same bike. It turns out they sell the bikes a little ($150) less per bike, they still did not have the bike in stock.
So finally to my question. Given that we will most likely have to buy the bike(s) without even a test ride (I have confidence the shop will fit us both very well), is it unreasonable to ask/expect the dealer to price match the other dealer on the same exact bike? The two dealers are equally convent so it's just a matter of feeling a little more comfortable with one over the other. I realize that one could argue that I am just paying a premium for that extra level of comfort, but looking at the "hardware" cost I feel like I am already paying a pretty good premium to begin with.
So I guess my question is : Is price matching between LBSs for the same exact bike, completely taboo or is it something reasonable to suggest/ask for?