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Old 04-20-09, 05:32 PM   #1
zeo_max
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What to look for when doing a test ride ?

I did my first test ride ever a couple of days ago. It was a new Giant Yukon, listed at $650 but the LBS owner would work it down to $575. I know in theory this is supposed to be a very good bike, but when I got up on it for a test ride it was a disaster. I heard noises coming from the drivetrain, and the Hayes MX4 disc brakes didn't feel any more powerful than the V-brakes I currently use. I guess it also didn't help that the bike was not fitted for me, I had to ride standing up all the time. Overall it felt like it needed some adjustments.

So I'm looking for some tips to help me assess bikes on future test rides. I mean, how can I overlook the problems that arise from the bike not being fitted for me and really determine if you like how the bike feels ?

What are the crucial points you check on your test rides ?

Also, if you were on my position, would you still consider that Giant Yukon, or would you have discarded it already ?
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Old 04-20-09, 06:03 PM   #2
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Yeah my first test rides, I was worried about which bike shifted smoother. One had a tire that needed aired up and that turned me off it. I also test rode a rode bike at speed and when the rear tire broke loose under hard braking, I determined it wasn't the right bike. ( all of these were cosmetic problems that could be corrected with tune ups and better tires) But first impression can be a hard thing to overlook. That's why I'm gonna suggest having you talk to the bike shop just as honestly as your are talking with us. Ride more bikes, and when you come back tell them what you would like to change about the one you just rode. Good luck
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Old 04-20-09, 06:17 PM   #3
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Yeah my first test rides, I was worried about which bike shifted smoother. One had a tire that needed aired up and that turned me off it. I also test rode a rode bike at speed and when the rear tire broke loose under hard braking, I determined it wasn't the right bike. ( all of these were cosmetic problems that could be corrected with tune ups and better tires) But first impression can be a hard thing to overlook. That's why I'm gonna suggest having you talk to the bike shop just as honestly as your are talking with us. Ride more bikes, and when you come back tell them what you would like to change about the one you just rode. Good luck
Thanks.

I didn't even dare to shift the gears on my test ride. With that noise from the drivetrain and it being my first test ride I was scared that something would break and they would make me pay for it.
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Old 04-21-09, 05:24 AM   #4
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Don't worry about drive chain noises (well, too much), your gona get that on any bike if it's in a bad gear and the mechs can be adjusted (just make sure the shop does this before you buy it).

If you just go out and ride more bikes they'll be some which just feel "right". Once you've got a list of those start looking and which one has better components etc.
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Old 04-21-09, 06:19 AM   #5
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Uh...I look at fit. Test riding a bike in the wrong size won't give you a true idea of how the bike will ride.
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Old 04-21-09, 05:11 PM   #6
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Uh...I look at fit. Test riding a bike in the wrong size won't give you a true idea of how the bike will ride.
+1 test ride bikes until you find a few int the right size and you will notice which ones are better.
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Old 04-21-09, 05:48 PM   #7
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Uh...I look at fit. Test riding a bike in the wrong size won't give you a true idea of how the bike will ride.
But what if the bike shop doesn't have it, like it happend to me ? What shall I do then ? They won't order it just so I can test ride it.

Most of the lbs near me only have one bike of each model from a particular brand line. You test ride that one and then they order you the configuration and size you want. It's because of lack of storage space. It's quite a hassle.
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Old 04-21-09, 06:06 PM   #8
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Feel...

How it steers, how it brakes, how it accelerates off the saddle. Behavior issues really and "fit" comes into that. A bike that wheelies nice usually has good air-born qualities, if that matters.

Test a bike that has the majority of parts or specs you already want (or need). Less upgrading, the better.

Disc brakes usually get stronger AFTER some breaking-in period. Most LBS display bikes have disc brakes that aren't broken in yet, so make some allowance for that.

Then I ask myself:
• does it please me every time I look at it, or is there something about it that bothers me?
• will it be relevant 5 years from now?
• will it make my wife happy?
• does it smell good? (I kid)

.
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