how to go road bike shopping and judge a bike shop?
back in the summer, i got a $200.00 bike from target. scoff at the source and the price as you may, i really like the bike and its gotten me to bike commuting 60 miles or so per week plus going on joy rides. Now I want to upgrade to a road bike, maybe in the touring style or maybe not - for less than $1,000.00. I'm getting serious about the situation, and here's what I'm going to do:
Take the day off and ride my bike around Philadelphia, hitting as many bike shops as possible. I'm open minded: steel, aluminum, name brand, budget brand, new, and used will all be considered. I'm going to take notes on what's being offered - and also what I think of the shops themselves. Then I'll post my findings. So, here's my questions:
1) any tips on how to get the most of this endeavor?
2) any idea on how to fairly assess a bike shop experience? can you think of any sales or service type of question that ought to be answered such that a fudging or "you've got to bring it in" (for the service aspect) is an indication they're treating me as a mark and not a potential valued customer?