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Old 01-19-09, 08:54 PM   #1
zeo_max
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Newbie question about test rides

I've never done a test ride. I'm just wondering, what kind of rules do bike shops set for test rides ?

I mean, they must be worried about some things. Like you falling and scratching the paint on the bike. Or you getting hurt and wanting to sue them. Or the wheels getting a little worn out.

Do you test ride the exact same bike that you may later purchase, or that someone else may later purchase, or do they have bikes only for the purpose of test riding ?

I'm just a little uncomfortable with the idea of paying thousands of dollars for a bike that has been riden by many people.
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Old 01-19-09, 09:46 PM   #2
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Are you talking "test ride" or "demo?" A lot of shops will either have a designated demo fleet or demo days (when the company brings a demo fleet) for actually demoing the bike out on a trail. These bikes often get sold discounted at the end of the season. If you're talking about the around the block test ride, you'll just use a floor model, which can potentially be sold at normal price. Not sure what they do about people falling. My guess is that it becomes the discounted floor model at the end of the season. They do usually take a credit card though, so you don't run off with the bike.
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Old 01-19-09, 10:01 PM   #3
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Are you talking "test ride" or "demo?" A lot of shops will either have a designated demo fleet or demo days (when the company brings a demo fleet) for actually demoing the bike out on a trail. These bikes often get sold discounted at the end of the season. If you're talking about the around the block test ride, you'll just use a floor model, which can potentially be sold at normal price. Not sure what they do about people falling. My guess is that it becomes the discounted floor model at the end of the season. They do usually take a credit card though, so you don't run off with the bike.
Yeah I'm reffering to the around the block ride, although like I said I'm very new to this. I wonder if they send somebody out to look at you, or set limits as to how far you can go.

It just seems strange to me, that bike shops would allow a bike to be used and then sell it to somebody else. I mean, it is gonna take some wear, even if it is ridden for just 5 minutes.
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Old 01-19-09, 10:43 PM   #4
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Test rides

I went to my LBS this weekend and liked a Cannondale F-5 . The owner said if I wanted it, I could have it for a markup over the MSRP, even though it has been ridden by countless people. I didnt buy it...
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Old 01-19-09, 10:57 PM   #5
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if a bike shop has oh lets say idk 3 brands they sell, and they carry about hmm idk 8 models in each brand, and each model comes in 4 sizes (s, m, l, xl for guys, xs, s, m, l for women) thats 96 bikes that are would have to be just floor models, lbs type shops will usually have bikes from 400-2000 and a maybe a handful for more but not in every size and they are outliers so w/e. Anyway lets just call the avg bike 500 for my imaginary shop thats $48,000 in "display" bikes i doubt most shops would want that, and that was only a $500 avg

anyway yeah ur gonna ride the floor model, idk about what they do at evevry shop but where i work we havn't gotten mad at the very small number of people who have fallen, but we do make people sign a waiver so that if they fall they can't sue us (its happened at other locations) customers also have to sign a thing when they buy the bike: u can get hurt, wear a helmet, ect ect. We also take a drivers license, and i was told by the manager that we are not allowed to take a credit card, i think they said it was illeagle in this state but that was a while ago may just be company policy
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Old 01-19-09, 11:53 PM   #6
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Its no different than a car dealership. Almost all the bikes on the floor ,can be test rode close to the shop. For trail riding, shops will have demo models that they sighn out. If they don't know you, you have to provide a credit card, then you get the bike for 24 hours to see how it rides. Those bikes as stated by another on here, get sold as demo bikes, when the new ones come out.
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Old 01-20-09, 07:42 AM   #7
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My experience is that shops differ somewhat. It's best to ask if you have doubts.

For "around-the-block" test rides, two places I shop at regularly will just hand me the bike and send me out the door. They don't seem to care -- within reason -- how many blocks I go around. Once I had two kids with me, wanted to test-ride a bike, and the shop owner let each of the kids take out a brand new bike and ride with me up and down the local bike path. That was truly a nice gesture, and I've not forgotten it.

If I damaged a bike, I'd offer to pay up. I'd either buy the bike outright, or I'd negotiate some sort of settlement, so that the owner came out ok. Generally, I do not test-ride bikes that I cannot afford to buy.

Once when I demoed a bike for the weekend, I noticed some minor damage, but wasn't sure whether I was the cause. I took pains to point out the damage to the dealer, who then refused to worry about it because that particular bike was one of the official, Specialized demo bikes that he gets at low-cost specifically to loan out to customers.

I realize from a certain point-of-view that damage from test rides is just a cost of doing business. But the shops I patronize are locally-owned, single-owner shops that are very, very accommodating when it comes to letting me test out whatever new stock they have. In return, I feel I owe them some responsibility when it comes to any damage that I might cause.
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Old 01-20-09, 05:56 PM   #8
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if a bike shop has oh lets say idk 3 brands they sell, and they carry about hmm idk 8 models in each brand, and each model comes in 4 sizes (s, m, l, xl for guys, xs, s, m, l for women) thats 96 bikes that are would have to be just floor models, lbs type shops will usually have bikes from 400-2000 and a maybe a handful for more but not in every size and they are outliers so w/e. Anyway lets just call the avg bike 500 for my imaginary shop thats $48,000 in "display" bikes i doubt most shops would want that, and that was only a $500 avg

anyway yeah ur gonna ride the floor model, idk about what they do at evevry shop but where i work we havn't gotten mad at the very small number of people who have fallen, but we do make people sign a waiver so that if they fall they can't sue us (its happened at other locations) customers also have to sign a thing when they buy the bike: u can get hurt, wear a helmet, ect ect. We also take a drivers license, and i was told by the manager that we are not allowed to take a credit card, i think they said it was illeagle in this state but that was a while ago may just be company policy
Sounds a lot like what my imagination thought it would be. A waiver and the drivers license. It's probably a pain in the behind to explain the whole thing to the customer, but it sounds sensible.
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Old 01-20-09, 06:29 PM   #9
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It just seems strange to me, that bike shops would allow a bike to be used and then sell it to somebody else. I mean, it is gonna take some wear, even if it is ridden for just 5 minutes.
I take it you've never bought a car? Same thing.
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Old 01-21-09, 08:16 AM   #10
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I test rode a $6K Cannondale Super 6 a while back. Then again, my buddy owns the shop.
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Old 01-21-09, 08:23 AM   #11
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Yes, the bike might have *some* wear, but come on... How much wear and tare can a 5 min, 'round the block, test ride generate? It actually may work in your favor. When I was looking for a road bike my local bike guy was telling me that dealers usually don't have much wiggle room with price, but that you can often negotiate a better or extended warranty. Maybe you can say "this bike looks like it's been ridden. I would feel more comfortable if you gave me a better warranty."

Just a thought-
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Old 01-21-09, 09:54 AM   #12
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I've never been able to test ride a bike on the trail; it's been limited to a few minutes on the street. Not very useful except for a cursory idea about fit.

If you're lucky, you live in an area where you can rent a bike you're interested in. I was never so lucky. I relied on studying bike characteristics and owner reviews.

I got tired of changing components so I got into just buying the frame set and building my own. It's more $'s, but more satisfying.

Al
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Old 01-21-09, 11:31 AM   #13
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I take it you've never bought a car? Same thing.
Yes, I have done test rides on cars. I did a test ride on a Mitsubishi Mirage and almost crash it against another car in the dealer doing a parallel park . But cars are insured on test rides, so it doesn't really matter what you do to them. It's not the same as bikes.
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