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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 05-11-14, 03:32 PM   #1
roadandmountain
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How Far Are You Willing to Drive To Buy A New Bike?

The local shops (within 20 minutes drive) are all abysmal as far as sizes and selection of models.

It gets noticeably better 50 minutes out, and my favorite, high quality shop is 2 hours or more of a drive out.

I've ruled out all local shops and want to buy from the shop 2 hours out. Obviously, a tuneup is basically out of the question, and their flexibility in exchanging stems and saddles is basically meaningless since a round trip would take at least 4 hours and cost $30 in gas each trip.

I may buy from them anyway, and then arrange a visit for a 1st and 2nd tuneup based upon when I'm in town. They have a good selection of models, an excellent selection in sizing, and the best staff for fitting and mechanical work.


How far are you willing to drive to buy a bike?
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Old 05-11-14, 03:47 PM   #2
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Depends on how bad you really want the bike and how many (or few) other options there are.

Off the top of my head, if I really wanted something I would probably travel 250 miles. But I'd check that bike out like Inspector Closeau before I left.
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Old 05-11-14, 04:17 PM   #3
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Buy from the shop far away and learn to do your own tune-ups.
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Old 05-11-14, 04:25 PM   #4
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I live 3 hrs away from Portland OR or Seattle WA. That is my good bikeshop driving radius.
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Old 05-11-14, 04:37 PM   #5
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It all depends upon how much you like bikes.

Personally speaking, if it was a great deal on either the SOMA Smoothie Triple SS, or the Triple Cross, I'd easily drive over a thousand miles!
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Old 05-11-14, 04:43 PM   #6
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I'd make the drive without a second thought. Get the bike, and don't take it in for tuneups. You're going to have to do derailleur adjustments several times a week in the beginning. Jump on youtube and learn the basics.
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Old 05-11-14, 04:49 PM   #7
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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.
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Old 05-11-14, 04:56 PM   #8
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Zero

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Old 05-11-14, 05:22 PM   #9
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If it's something I really want.... probably 6 hours and just make a weekend road trip out of it. 2 hours.... I wouldn't even bat an eye, that's how long my morning commute is sometimes to work.
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Old 05-11-14, 06:02 PM   #10
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My favorite shops are 4-5 hours away. I am not going to comprise on something when I am spending thousands of dollars. The last bike I purchased was a 2 month wait and the one before that was 6 month.
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Old 05-11-14, 06:41 PM   #11
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I would drive as far as needed to get the bike I wanted. I keep bikes for a long time so a few hours drive wouldn't bother me. I have thought about flying to Italy, buying a bike there, riding around the country and then bringing it back.
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Old 05-11-14, 06:54 PM   #12
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I would be willing to make a drive. My car gets 50mpg hw

It has to be an awesome deal for me to make the drive though.....and the deal +gas has to be substantially lower than the local prices. As far as selection, I would make about a 2 hour drive to truly find a bike that fits me.

I visited my parents and gf who live 3 hours away, picked up my year end caad10 while I was there as well. I'll be honest...if I did not want the bike, I probably would have not visited them lol. Even though I despise the color.....The drive was more than worth it to get the bike.
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Old 05-11-14, 08:41 PM   #13
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If you enjoy driving, have a fun car, or have a friend to go along, a long drive is enjoyable
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Old 05-11-14, 09:41 PM   #14
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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...

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Old 05-11-14, 10:37 PM   #15
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you mean how far are you willing to bike to buy a new bike lol
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Old 05-11-14, 10:52 PM   #16
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you mean how far are you willing to bike to buy a new bike lol
Haha, that's me. Luckily, my LBS is about 5 miles away so I almost always bike there. Not all their people are cool, but they have a couple of great mechanics that I believe I can depend upon.
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Old 05-11-14, 11:00 PM   #17
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out to the porch, or front gate, depending on the driver.
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Old 05-11-14, 11:30 PM   #18
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It really just depends on how much money you make (or rather, how important your time is to you). When I was unemployed, I would drive a very long way. Now, not so much. Anything further than 20 minutes away is too far away now.
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Old 05-11-14, 11:31 PM   #19
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I have about 5 quality bike stores all within 5 minutes. Anyway if a shop far away has the bike I want I'd go far, but not 2 hours.
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Old 05-12-14, 08:28 AM   #20
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I know everything is relative but 2 hours really is not that long.
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Old 05-12-14, 08:47 AM   #21
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I know everything is relative but 2 hours really is not that long.
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.
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Old 05-12-14, 08:55 AM   #22
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I drove 2.5 hours once for a mountain bike and 7 hours for a road bike. Granted, the 7 hour trip also served as a long-weekend vacation.
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Old 05-12-14, 09:41 AM   #23
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Back when I began ridng again, I lived in Trenton, NJ and bought my bike in Philadelphia...45 min drive...1hr 15min train trip. I got all of my stuff from there because I liked the guys at the shop.

Cheers,

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Old 05-12-14, 10:05 AM   #24
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I'd be willing to drive pretty far, perhaps two hrs each way and maybe more if it was a particular brand/model of bike that I had to have but wasn't available locally. I've always done my own work and anticipate continuing to do so, so that trip would happen only once for the life of the bike...unless there was a warranty issue that required I return the bike to the store, which would be bummer, because that would likely be two round trips, one to drop off the bike and another to get it when it was done.
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Old 05-12-14, 10:28 AM   #25
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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.
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