First post but I had been lurking this and other forums doe some time. Sorry if this is not the right sub-forum to post my questions.
Right now I'm riding and old (2003) and cheap (very cheap), Raleigh SC-30 that I have modified a little to move it closer to the light (actually very light), XC mountain bike category and out of the "comfort" category. I'm looking to buy a new mountain bike probably by December or January.
One thing that always gets my attention is that almost everybody says that a LBS should let me test ride a bicycle before buying it, but that has not been my experience. I have already visited 6 shops in my area, with the exception of two stores they have very limited models on floor to look at them and I said look because that's all you can do. They won't let you test ride any bike and with the limited stock must probably I will have to ask them to order it for me.
Now, I'm not an cyclist athlete, neither an experience rider, a little overweight and not in decent shape. So they don't see to take me too seriously and when on top of that I ask about a test ride they tend to either ignore me, excuse themselves and go to other customer or plainly tell me no.
So do I have to force the topic and tell them no test ride you won't get my money? (I don't think they will care much). Is really important to test ride when I'm not an athlete and have no previous experience? If by any chance I found one store that allows me to test ride, where should they let me go with that bike and for how long? What do you recommend to people like me that is taking more seriously cycling and have no previous experience. I hope this won't make me loose too much money.
No comes the question that you wont probably like. Since I can not test ride and I will have to ask the LBS to do a special order for me anyways, Is buying a bike online a bad idea? You should know which online store I'm specifically talking about. Not need to mention it to avoid a flame war. At least I can save a couple of bucks that way.