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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

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Old 05-12-14, 11:36 AM   #26
unabowler
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When I lived in Mongomery, AL I drove to Birmingham (100 miles or so) to hit the bike shops there because the choices were better. I went to three of them and bought my bike at the last one I visited. Not long after that a good shop opened in Montgomery.
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Old 05-12-14, 12:13 PM   #27
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I bought a bike at a shop that is over an hour away without traffic. I would have gone farther if I needed to. I did go back a couple times to swap stems out and once for a tune up. I just called the shop ahead of time and scheduled an appointment. Luckily, there is some nice places to hike not too far from the shop, so I bought it in early, went hiking and picked it up at the end of the day.

You should inquire as to how much the shop will cover in terms of repairs/adjustments/swapping out parts on a new bike. The shop I bought from let me swap the stem, but after a couple months when I wanted to swap again, they were going to charge me, though I mentioned I had no use for the old stem and they decided not to. They did charge me labor for swapping handlebars, though gave me a credit on the old bars. I think there are limits on tune ups as well - e.g. once after 30 days, once after 6 months, etc.
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Old 05-12-14, 01:14 PM   #28
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lol i have 1 within 10 minute walk away, and 10 others within 5km
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Old 05-12-14, 08:34 PM   #29
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All the bigger shops are an hour from me, but I drove three and a half hours last week to get my new ( to me) Pilot I found on Craigslist!
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Old 05-12-14, 09:04 PM   #30
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I drove 3.5 hrs each way to get my CAAD cause it was 300 cheaper than anywhere near me and that state has no sales tax. Win! And no adjustment needed, sometimes you buy a bike and it rattles like a snake.
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Old 05-12-14, 09:21 PM   #31
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I sat on my ass, and then doorbell rang.

For my next bike, I'm going to do the same thing.

And supposedly my area has more bike shops and more cyclists per population than anywhere else in the state.
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Old 05-12-14, 09:48 PM   #32
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A little over a year ago when I put my mountain bike up for sale on craigslist I got a call from a guy who lived 6 hours north of me. We exchanged phone calls the night he emailed me and told me he lives in Monterey and I live down near Los Angeles. We were going to arrange shipping but he spontaneously called me at 10:30am telling me he would like to drive down to pick it up and meet me around 5pm. The dude drove 6 hours down from northern california to pick up the bike, and made another straight shot 6 hour trip back up. Pretty crazy.
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Old 05-12-14, 10:01 PM   #33
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I don't drive. I walk down to my favorite lbs 10 minutes from my house. If he doesn't have it I'll have him order it. Haven't driven for three years and don't intend to again.
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Old 05-13-14, 02:57 AM   #34
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Buying online is just way too easy these days. I've been riding long enough to know what I want, so I hate to even drive at all.

It's rare to find a good shop anyway, so chances are you're going to waste a lot of time for nothing.
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Old 05-13-14, 03:39 AM   #35
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When Rowan and I bought our tandem, Rowan hunted around and found the one we wanted approx. 225 km away (3 hour drive). We made a weekend of it.

When we bought our titanium bicycles, we went to a shop about 140 km away (2 hour drive). We made a day trip of it that included shopping for other things.

And we're now planning a 13,000 km trip (one way ... 26,000 km return) to get a pair of new bicycles.

Last edited by Machka; 05-13-14 at 07:35 AM.
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Old 05-13-14, 05:21 AM   #36
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When I buy bike, bike come to me
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Old 05-13-14, 07:29 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by MarkThailand View Post
I currently live in Bangkok, Thailand.

I have bought bike frames made in Tennessee, Massachusetts, and Minnesota.

I bought the frame made in Tennessee in Bangkok, Thailand. But, the rest of the frames were shipped to California.

I flew from Thailand to California to bring each one of them back; each round trip was 21,000 miles and 37 hours of flying, not including transit, layovers, and pre-flight arrival times...

Mark
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Old 05-13-14, 07:57 AM   #38
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the 1st rd bike I bought, was on a lonely weekend and I needed a project. drove to neighboring state CT to buy a $25 '70s steel bike. it took like all day. 200 miles round trip, maybe? I was so excited though to have the project and spent all night and part of the next day fixing it up.

later on I would drive to NY state for another better bike, (after learning what was better). it was the right kind of bike cromoly and the right size, that took all day too, but really all day! easily 400 miles round trip

both were used bikes. I can't imagine having to venture far for a new bike.
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Old 05-13-14, 08:12 AM   #39
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I still keep playing around with the idea of going to Strong and having a fit done for a full custom TI. That's somewhere around 1200+ miles. Is that too far?

nm.. .I just saw Mark T's post.
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Old 05-13-14, 08:24 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roadandmountain View Post
How far are you willing to drive to buy a bike?
Depends on the bike. When my name comes up in Richard Sachs' queue I have every intention of driving the ~300 miles to his shop to get measured, and then again to pick up the finished product. But if I ever have (?) to buy an off-the-rack bike, I can't see any reason to go farther than ~20 miles...and I can think of a lot of reasons not to go very far at all, irrespective of how crappy the selection at your LBS is.

E.g., You do not want to be driving several dozen miles every time you want to take advantage of that Three Months Free Service deal they offer with a new purchase. I learned that one the hard way.
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Old 05-13-14, 12:08 PM   #41
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Distance to buy a bike is one thing, but distance for future service is another. I wouldn't mind driving 2hrs+ if that shop had the bike I was looking for and was helpful in fitting, etc. Many shops can also find and get the bike you're looking for if you have that narrowed down. There must be a competent mechanic closer than 2hrs away unless you live in the boondocks.
That's me, live in the boondocks. I only have 1 shop local to work and I don't like it. I ended up buying my Giant there because it is near work and I'm there every day through the week, but I wish I visited other shops within a larger radius. He basically had me stand over a frame, said I needed that size and that was it. I love the bike, but not sure I want to bother with taking the bike back to him as I think any work I'd need done, I think I would be a week or more without my bike.

I didn't even visit any shops to check out other bikes. I wish I would have checked out Cannondale, Trek, and Specialized. I did look briefly at a Trek just stopping in somewhere not near home as we were traveling somewhere and didn't like how they were spec'ed out and how they were far more expensive than other similarly spec'ed brands. I saw the Specialized shop and it was a run down place and didn't want to go in there. Wish I would have gone up to the Cannondale shop though.

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Yeah it definitely depends on where you're from. A 90 minute car ride was pretty much the only choice where I grew up if you needed something that Walmart or the feed store didn't carry.
Where I grew up, there was no Walmart. There wasn't any Walmart anywhere except maybe in Louisiana or where ever Sam Walton started.


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It is kind of ironic that one has to drive that far to buy a bicycle. Hopefully those who do will be able to have their bikes serviced nearby home or work on their own bikes - without having to go back there for regular maintenance and tune-ups. I know this isn't for everyone, but to me, one big reason that I ride a bike is to not have to drive.
I ride a bike for exercise, not to not have to drive. I have to drive. Anything I want would be at least a 30 minute drive if not more and that's at 60-70 mph. If I biked to where I needed to go, I average 9 mph on the road with the hills and thus, it would take me almost 4 hours to get there and then I'd have to bike home. I don't have that kind of time, LOL.
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Old 05-13-14, 12:16 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Machka View Post
When Rowan and I bought our tandem, Rowan hunted around and found the one we wanted approx. 225 km away (3 hour drive). We made a weekend of it.

When we bought our titanium bicycles, we went to a shop about 140 km away (2 hour drive). We made a day trip of it that included shopping for other things.

And we're now planning a 13,000 km trip (one way ... 26,000 km return) to get a pair of new bicycles.
That's what I was thinking. I would travel as far as reasonable for a weekend trip somewhere.
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Old 05-13-14, 05:24 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Machka View Post
When Rowan and I bought our tandem, Rowan hunted around and found the one we wanted approx. 225 km away (3 hour drive). We made a weekend of it.

When we bought our titanium bicycles, we went to a shop about 140 km away (2 hour drive). We made a day trip of it that included shopping for other things.

And we're now planning a 13,000 km trip (one way ... 26,000 km return) to get a pair of new bicycles.
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That's what I was thinking. I would travel as far as reasonable for a weekend trip somewhere.

And for our 26,000 km round trip, we're planning to make a whole holiday of it.



This was our tandem weekend ...








Last edited by Machka; 05-14-14 at 04:11 AM.
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Old 05-14-14, 01:14 AM   #44
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...
How far are you willing to drive to buy a bike?
Half a day.
But, I live in Europe, and it is four countries in any direction.
:-)
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Old 05-14-14, 07:15 AM   #45
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It is depend on you how minute you driving speed.Your suggest is nice
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Old 05-14-14, 07:24 AM   #46
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I'd drive five or six miles if that's what it took, but the two bikes I ride were shipped to my front door.
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Old 05-14-14, 10:12 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by mrodgers View Post
Where I grew up, there was no Walmart. There wasn't any Walmart anywhere except maybe in Louisiana or where ever Sam Walton started.
Would you have wanted a Walmart anywhere near where you lived, though?

Quote:
I ride a bike for exercise, not to not have to drive. I have to drive. Anything I want would be at least a 30 minute drive if not more and that's at 60-70 mph. If I biked to where I needed to go, I average 9 mph on the road with the hills and thus, it would take me almost 4 hours to get there and then I'd have to bike home. I don't have that kind of time, LOL.
I guess it was a good thing I said "this isn't for everyone."

My wife and I moved from a suburban city (Lynnwood, if it matters) to Seattle partly because we wanted to be car-light, if not car-free. My car usage has been reduced dramatically - from about 600-700 miles per month down to 50-60. I can go pretty much anywhere I need to go by bike and/or bus. Public transport in Seattle isn't all that great, but it still works reasonably well for me.
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