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Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

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Old 07-31-09, 08:43 AM   #1
BummBull
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Where to buy Touring Bike

Hello, I'm interested in purchasing a touring bike. However, none of the LBS around me carry them so I have to have them order it for me which means I have to pay the full MSRP price. I just can't do that. I'm consider myself very frugal, and I just can't buy something at MSRP price. I feel like I'm getting ripped off. I was wondering where all of you have purchased your touring bikes at? Thanks in advance!
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Old 07-31-09, 09:01 AM   #2
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I can only speak of Surly as far as touring bikes go but the price will be the same no matter where you buy it from unless you find some place that is trying to sell NOS (new old stock). If you look on the internet you'll see the various prices for bikes (you'll also see that they are pretty much the same everywhere) and see if your LBS will do a price match. Let me just say that if you do get into touring, your LBS could be a real value to you in so many other ways for you to expect to buy things at the lowest price out there is what makes small shops go away. Think about that in your purchase decision. Many shops will swap out parts the fit you better for no additional cost or help you with a fitting etc. But be warned that if you do decide to snub the closest shop to you, don't expect them to bend over backwards when you return with a product you bought on the cheap.

Just sayin...
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Old 07-31-09, 10:01 AM   #3
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It can be challenging, as they are not a stocked, high turnover item.
If you want to look at a Trek 520, you'll have to:
1. Call around the Trek LBS's in your area to see if a shop has one.
2. Ask flat out and cormfirm that they have the time and expertise to work with you regarding sizing and component options.
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Old 07-31-09, 10:34 AM   #4
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none of the LBS around me carry them so I have to have them order it for me which means I have to pay the full MSRP price.
Why would ordering one mean you have to pay MSRP? I ordered one from one of the LBS and paid nowhere near MSRP, and I didn't even haggle. I just asked them what it would cost, and they quoted me a price far under MSRP. I paid it.
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Old 07-31-09, 11:08 AM   #5
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I bought mine from my local bike shop for full price. I want my shop to stay in business, I depend on them for service and parts, and I trust them that they are fair to me and give me the right bike.

If you want to go cheap buy a bike off Craigslist or Ebay. You may get the wrong size, a worn out bike or a stolen bike, but at least you won't feel so "ripped off".
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Old 07-31-09, 11:12 AM   #6
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You can also call around to see if any shops have last year's models - not likely on touring models, but not unheard of (example: I was in a bike shop last week loking for a $1500 2009 Jamis Aurora Elite to test ride and they had several '08's on closeout for $1,050).

REI puts their Novara touring bikes on sale 2x or 3x per year.

Craigslist.

eBay.

Call around and find a bike shop that will order a bike for you for less than MSRP. See comments above.
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Old 07-31-09, 11:16 AM   #7
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Edit, Like BB said...)REI has multiple touring bike models and a good range of accessories.

http://www.rei.com/product/776887
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Old 07-31-09, 12:55 PM   #8
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I bought mine from my local bike shop for full price. I want my shop to stay in business, I depend on them for service and parts, and I trust them that they are fair to me and give me the right bike. .

My point exactly.....
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Old 07-31-09, 01:16 PM   #9
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REI has some great deals right now. But whatever bike you buy, I'll bet you love it.

Here are some reviews
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Old 07-31-09, 09:24 PM   #10
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I am enjoying the Kona Dew Drop I bought the 2nd of July. I have about 650 fun filled miles on it. I LOVE the bike. Disc brakes, Conti tires, a real ride with gears suitable for the hills of Tennessee.

It was worth the MSRP I paid. My (new) LBS is worth supporting. A great crew there!

I rode in rain last week, and the Disc brakes are as good as folks say they are. I could not tell any difference in braking. The Conti tires did their job well.
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Old 07-31-09, 11:22 PM   #11
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Look at it this way. You could buy a bike online and get a better deal but consider the total cost after shipping and then compare that to the difference in getting it at the bike shop.

Is the labor involved in assembling and tuning the bike worth anything to you? Is the advice you get in swapping any parts worth anything? I think the difference in price won't be that great and you ARE getting something in the way of support and such from your local shop. In this economy we all should be supporting local businesses as much as possible unless we want to see all the small bike shops go away. Consider is charity if your frugality is overwhelming you.
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Old 08-01-09, 09:40 AM   #12
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Local bikes shops around here have the 520, Jamis Aurora, and Rocky Mountain Sherpas in stock. I don't know about which sizes they carry. The local Trek dealer had several 520's. I bought my LHT mail order from Jenson USA. The price was pretty standard.

It was a little disconcerting to buy a bike I hadn't ridden, but I had done extensive research. I'm very happy with it.
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Old 08-01-09, 12:08 PM   #13
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I knew this question would rub some people in the wrong way! I do support LBS with repairs that I cannot do on my own. I have purchased my last 3 bikes on Ebay as I do extensive research about fitting, riding style, components, brand reputation, etc. I consider my own research better than LBS assessing me for 10 minutes or test riding few bikes at the parking lot. Or, I would have to pay hundreds of dollars for fitting that I can do on my own.
This is strictly my opinion, but I think bikes are way overpriced at MSRP just like most everyday stuff if you had to buy at MSRP. I mean, who in these days buy things at MSRP? I've never bought a car, computer, appliances, etc at MSRP. I understand that touring bikes are not commodity and more of a luxury, and there aren't enough supply or demand for it, so we have to pay the price for it. Even on Ebay, I can't really find new or barely used ones. So, I just wanted to ask to see where y'all have purchased your bikes to see if I've missed to look somewhere.

About supporting LBS, I would love to, but when I analyze the benefits and costs of whether to purchse it from online or from a shop, many times to me, cost outweighs the benefits by purchasing at LBS since I feel like I'm knowledgeble enough about bikes. I'm not a bike expert, but I know enough to do simple adjustments and such where I don't need their help that much.
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Old 08-01-09, 01:24 PM   #14
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Frugal, eh? Then get yourself a Rivendell Atlantis frameset, build it up a la carte, and call it done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BummBull View Post
This is strictly my opinion, but I think bikes are way overpriced at MSRP just like most everyday stuff if you had to buy at MSRP. I mean, who in these days buy things at MSRP? I've never bought a car, computer, appliances, etc at MSRP.
My limited experience (as a customer) in bicycle retailing is that the spread between MSRP and street price is narrower than for most goods. This applies even to the online retailers. For example, a cursory look at Google Shopping for the Surly LHT complete shows only one or two retailers offering the bike for 10% less than MSRP. And those are retailers I've never heard of and wouldn't trust for a big transaction like a bike, at least on a first go.

Honestly, the main reason I'm bristling a bit at your comments is that your approach doesn't really seem like frugality. Frugality would be outfitting one of your last three eBay bikes for touring. Squeezing someone's profit margin for an umpteenth (new) bike is more miserly than frugal.

Last edited by FLYcrash; 08-01-09 at 01:36 PM.
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Old 08-01-09, 01:49 PM   #15
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I find that many online retailers are actually LBSs with good websites. They're just not local to 99.9% of the population.

I support the LBSs if they are within a small percentage of other retailers, whether local or online. Obviously, shipping costs, ease of returning defective/damaged merchandise and other considerations factor into the equation as well
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Old 08-01-09, 02:30 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by BummBull View Post
I knew this question would rub some people in the wrong way! I do support LBS with repairs that I cannot do on my own. I have purchased my last 3 bikes on Ebay as I do extensive research about fitting, riding style, components, brand reputation, etc. I consider my own research better than LBS assessing me for 10 minutes or test riding few bikes at the parking lot. Or, I would have to pay hundreds of dollars for fitting that I can do on my own.
This is strictly my opinion, but I think bikes are way overpriced at MSRP just like most everyday stuff if you had to buy at MSRP. I mean, who in these days buy things at MSRP? I've never bought a car, computer, appliances, etc at MSRP. I understand that touring bikes are not commodity and more of a luxury, and there aren't enough supply or demand for it, so we have to pay the price for it. Even on Ebay, I can't really find new or barely used ones. So, I just wanted to ask to see where y'all have purchased your bikes to see if I've missed to look somewhere.

About supporting LBS, I would love to, but when I analyze the benefits and costs of whether to purchse it from online or from a shop, many times to me, cost outweighs the benefits by purchasing at LBS since I feel like I'm knowledgeble enough about bikes. I'm not a bike expert, but I know enough to do simple adjustments and such where I don't need their help that much.
Your question doesn't bother me at all, but I don't understand what the problem is. Just keep calling bike shops until you find one that will sell the you the bike at a dicount. Or buy used.
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Old 08-02-09, 07:40 PM   #17
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I bat about .500 from the catalog. The saddle bag I re-sewed, blinky didn't fit, helmet was exchanged for a different size and the tires bought on a huge sale sat in my inventory for a year.

Now I'm loyal to my LBS and vice versa. They know I can shop Nashbar, Ebay and Bikedirect so they keep it reasonable. Based on my fit dimensions on file my LBS sold me a $600 winter bike end of season for $500, swapped single pivot brakes for dual pivot, took off hybrid redundant brake levers, up graded seatpost, changed the stem to fit me and sold me pedals at Amazon pricing. I get 10-20% off list for most accessories and have never bought something that wasn't as good as the catalog.

I would have bought a $600 bike and spent $150 to get the fit half as good. My LBS gives me good deals and advice and they get my business.
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Old 08-03-09, 03:22 AM   #18
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My point exactly.....
I bought 2 LHT's last year one for me and one for the wife. My local shop can get them but had none in stock so I called around and found a shop in Tampa that had one in my wife's size and one in my size already ordered. I got a quote from them ( a very good quote) and took it to my local shop to see if they would match it but they couldn't so I bought the bikes from the Tampa shop. There were no hard feelings with my LBS because I gave them a chance to match the deal, it was their call. I often ride my trucker up to see them and they have sold a couple of Surley's because people got to see mine and liked it. I still get great support and discounts from them because I was up front and didn't try to beat them up on price. I really believe in supporting your LBS they are the one's that will take care of you in the long run.
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