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I test rode some bikes today

Old 10-08-15, 07:44 PM
  #1  
AFD13
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I test rode some bikes today

So I have been going back and forth and reasearching the heck out of and vetting candidates for my new bike. I really thought that the Canondale Synapse Carbon 105 (non disk) $ 2,240.00 was going to be my bike. I like the brand, I like the black and green color scheme, I like the reviews and I finally got a chance to ride it today. I was OK.. It really was sweet and it really is a million times nicer than what I currently ride. I took out teh 56 and the 58. The bike shop owner taged me for a 56 but I have long legs and he thought the seatpost had to be brought up a touch more than he wanted. The bike is super comfy, roomy and the bars felt huge and plush. I felt very stretched out on both of them and just coulnt seem to get a comfortable hand position but I figure its because drop bars are new to me. I came back and thought this was probably going to be it. He had another bike ready for me. The Trek Emonda carbon 105. $2,099.99 It was a more subdued satin black, 58cm, 23c tires and mostly 105 components. He said its not quite as plush as the Synapse but thought it a good fit for teh kind of riding I am and plan to do. I really wanted to not like it but I took it out all the same. Much to my absolute suprise I REALLY liked it. It felt as though it was a better fit, it felt quicker and was REALLY fun to ride. ...I never make a big purchase the same day so I thanked the owner and headed out teh door with for information and some things to consider.

I then stopped by aother shop as I have been eyeballing the Giant Defy Advanced 2 ($2100). All he had in stock in my size was an Aluminum Deft with Shimano Claris (sp?) components. He tells me that they are both the same frame dimensions just different material. This bike was SUPER comfortable but I was already spoiled a bit by the 105 components on the other two I just rode. There is a HUGE difference is feel. But the dimensions on the Size L frame felt as though it was built for me.

So I have narrowed the pool to the Trek Emonda and the Deft Advanced 2. Same price but the Giant does seem to offer quite a bit more value. It has the full Shimano 105 group and mechanical TRP*Spyre*C 160mm disk brakes as opposed to regular brakes. Ony issue is I cant actually find one to test ride.

Has anyone here purchased a bike without actually trying it out? I really think the Giant is probably the bike I want but a bit hesitant as I cant refuse the special order.

One more question... The prices the shops have given me on these bikes is the MSRP. Do bike shops negotiate price at all? If so how much wiggle room do I have?
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Old 10-08-15, 07:55 PM
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Back in 2011, I took a day and went test riding everything I could get my hands on. I had a very similar experience to you. I rode bikes that I liked, but then I rode the Giant Defy Advanced. It was my new favorite, by a long shot. It was between that and a Tarmac, but they were very different bikes. The following week I found out I had a few little medical issues to deal with, so the bike hunt was off, however, had I been able to buy, it would have been the Defy.

Fast forward to April of 2012. Yes, I ordered a bike from Lynskey without a test ride. I think it worked out pretty well. I really like it and have no regrets. I am NOT sure it's setup right for me, so a pro fit is in my future. The way things work for me, I expect the fitter to tell me it's all wrong and I have to sell it!
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Old 10-08-15, 08:06 PM
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I test rode some bikes today

Curious at Emonds comment "mostly 105". What wasn't 105? As those bikes were to be "full" whatever level be it 105, Ultegra etc
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Old 10-08-15, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Beachgrad05 View Post
Curious at Emonds comment "mostly 105". What wasn't 105? As those bikes were to be "full" whatever level be it 105, Ultegra etc
I stand corrected. I guess I was hinking about the Scott Solace I was looking at that had a different brand brakes on it and something else he mentioned. I guess teh Trek does appear to have it all. The Giant still does have the Disks but not sure if its that big of a deal.
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Old 10-08-15, 09:22 PM
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I test rode some bikes today

If you are not in a wet weather area disc brakes are not all that necessary plus they add weight.
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Old 10-08-15, 11:43 PM
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I've never bought a bike without trying it first, but even that can be deceiving. First, most trial rides tend to be short and don't cover the range of conditions actual riding does (climbing, descending at high speed, sudden turns while at speed, different riding surfaces, etc.). Second, it's easy to think a bike feels better than it does when your brain is being influenced by what I'll call the marketing influence of the components. I learned my lesson when I was vacillating between a Cannondale Synapse with an Ultegra groupset and a Felt Z5 with 105 components. The very savvy LBS owner pointed out to me that the differences between the two groupsets was primarily about minor variations in materials, the benefit of which for the most part related to very slight weight savings (we're talking grams, and not very many of them). I realized I was allowing the whole Ultegra notion to push me toward the Cannondale when it was the Felt that felt best in terms of geometry and fit. The LBS owner further made his point by showing me - as an example - the difference between the cost of an Ultegra rear derailleur vs. a 105; it was peanuts in relative terms, compared to the outlay I was about to make to get the bike that was right for me.

Well, I bought the Felt and couldn't be happier with it. I've logged nearly 9,000 miles on it. I've upgraded the wheels (to Williams 30X with a heavy spoke count, once the original rims started to crack at the spoke nipples, which didn't take long), the cranks, and the bottom bracket, but still have the 105 groupset and brakes except for an Ultegra cassette I put on it, and they've all been bulletproof. The Felt feels like it's part of me when I ride it, and for that reason alone I'm glad I ignored the groupset stuff and bought the Felt over the Cannondale (a very fine bike, but the fit just wasn't as good for me). Originally I remember thinking, "oh, I'll put Ultegra groupset components on it gradually over time", but I've pretty much forgotten about that idea. Sure, if one of my 105 components fails I'll replace with Ultegra, but I'm still waiting for one of them to fail.

Last edited by Stratman351; 10-08-15 at 11:50 PM.
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Old 10-09-15, 06:51 AM
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Originally Posted by AFD13 View Post
So I have been going back and forth and reasearching the heck out of and vetting candidates for my new bike. I really thought that the Canondale Synapse Carbon 105 (non disk) $ 2,240.00 was going to be my bike. I like the brand, I like the black and green color scheme, I like the reviews and I finally got a chance to ride it today. I was OK.. It really was sweet and it really is a million times nicer than what I currently ride. I took out teh 56 and the 58. The bike shop owner taged me for a 56 but I have long legs and he thought the seatpost had to be brought up a touch more than he wanted. The bike is super comfy, roomy and the bars felt huge and plush. I felt very stretched out on both of them and just coulnt seem to get a comfortable hand position but I figure its because drop bars are new to me. I came back and thought this was probably going to be it. He had another bike ready for me. The Trek Emonda carbon 105. $2,099.99 It was a more subdued satin black, 58cm, 23c tires and mostly 105 components. He said its not quite as plush as the Synapse but thought it a good fit for teh kind of riding I am and plan to do. I really wanted to not like it but I took it out all the same. Much to my absolute suprise I REALLY liked it. It felt as though it was a better fit, it felt quicker and was REALLY fun to ride. ...I never make a big purchase the same day so I thanked the owner and headed out teh door with for information and some things to consider.

I then stopped by aother shop as I have been eyeballing the Giant Defy Advanced 2 ($2100). All he had in stock in my size was an Aluminum Deft with Shimano Claris (sp?) components. He tells me that they are both the same frame dimensions just different material. This bike was SUPER comfortable but I was already spoiled a bit by the 105 components on the other two I just rode. There is a HUGE difference is feel. But the dimensions on the Size L frame felt as though it was built for me.

So I have narrowed the pool to the Trek Emonda and the Deft Advanced 2. Same price but the Giant does seem to offer quite a bit more value. It has the full Shimano 105 group and mechanical TRP*Spyre*C 160mm disk brakes as opposed to regular brakes. Ony issue is I cant actually find one to test ride.

Has anyone here purchased a bike without actually trying it out? I really think the Giant is probably the bike I want but a bit hesitant as I cant refuse the special order.

One more question... The prices the shops have given me on these bikes is the MSRP. Do bike shops negotiate price at all? If so how much wiggle room do I have?
I have never bought a bike with out a least a short test ride... however if you liked the Aluminum Defy, I'm pretty darn sure you'll love the carbon version! (I have a Defy Advanced 4). After shopping other brands I always seem to end up buying Giant, because for the money you just seem to get a bigger bang for your buck... I currently have 5 Giants in the stable, and they have all been great rides so far!

Typically there has been very little wiggle room on prices... maybe a few dollars off... I ask about giving me a few bucks off on water cages, pedals, etc..
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Old 10-09-15, 07:09 AM
  #8  
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Originally Posted by Stratman351 View Post
I've never bought a bike without trying it first, but even that can be deceiving. First, most trial rides tend to be short and don't cover the range of conditions actual riding does (climbing, descending at high speed, sudden turns while at speed, different riding surfaces, etc.). Second, it's easy to think a bike feels better than it does when your brain is being influenced by what I'll call the marketing influence of the components. I learned my lesson when I was vacillating between a Cannondale Synapse with an Ultegra groupset and a Felt Z5 with 105 components. The very savvy LBS owner pointed out to me that the differences between the two groupsets was primarily about minor variations in materials, the benefit of which for the most part related to very slight weight savings (we're talking grams, and not very many of them). I realized I was allowing the whole Ultegra notion to push me toward the Cannondale when it was the Felt that felt best in terms of geometry and fit. The LBS owner further made his point by showing me - as an example - the difference between the cost of an Ultegra rear derailleur vs. a 105; it was peanuts in relative terms, compared to the outlay I was about to make to get the bike that was right for me.

Well, I bought the Felt and couldn't be happier with it. I've logged nearly 9,000 miles on it. I've upgraded the wheels (to Williams 30X with a heavy spoke count, once the original rims started to crack at the spoke nipples, which didn't take long), the cranks, and the bottom bracket, but still have the 105 groupset and brakes except for an Ultegra cassette I put on it, and they've all been bulletproof. The Felt feels like it's part of me when I ride it, and for that reason alone I'm glad I ignored the groupset stuff and bought the Felt over the Cannondale (a very fine bike, but the fit just wasn't as good for me). Originally I remember thinking, "oh, I'll put Ultegra groupset components on it gradually over time", but I've pretty much forgotten about that idea. Sure, if one of my 105 components fails I'll replace with Ultegra, but I'm still waiting for one of them to fail.
Sounds like a great LBS!
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Old 10-09-15, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by AFD13 View Post
So I have been going back and forth and reasearching the heck out of and vetting candidates for my new bike. I really thought that the Canondale Synapse Carbon 105 (non disk) $ 2,240.00 was going to be my bike. I like the brand, I like the black and green color scheme, I like the reviews and I finally got a chance to ride it today. I was OK.. It really was sweet and it really is a million times nicer than what I currently ride. I took out teh 56 and the 58. The bike shop owner taged me for a 56 but I have long legs and he thought the seatpost had to be brought up a touch more than he wanted. The bike is super comfy, roomy and the bars felt huge and plush. I felt very stretched out on both of them and just coulnt seem to get a comfortable hand position but I figure its because drop bars are new to me. I came back and thought this was probably going to be it. He had another bike ready for me. The Trek Emonda carbon 105. $2,099.99 It was a more subdued satin black, 58cm, 23c tires and mostly 105 components. He said its not quite as plush as the Synapse but thought it a good fit for teh kind of riding I am and plan to do. I really wanted to not like it but I took it out all the same. Much to my absolute suprise I REALLY liked it. It felt as though it was a better fit, it felt quicker and was REALLY fun to ride. ...I never make a big purchase the same day so I thanked the owner and headed out teh door with for information and some things to consider.

I then stopped by aother shop as I have been eyeballing the Giant Defy Advanced 2 ($2100). All he had in stock in my size was an Aluminum Deft with Shimano Claris (sp?) components. He tells me that they are both the same frame dimensions just different material. This bike was SUPER comfortable but I was already spoiled a bit by the 105 components on the other two I just rode. There is a HUGE difference is feel. But the dimensions on the Size L frame felt as though it was built for me.

So I have narrowed the pool to the Trek Emonda and the Deft Advanced 2. Same price but the Giant does seem to offer quite a bit more value. It has the full Shimano 105 group and mechanical TRP*Spyre*C 160mm disk brakes as opposed to regular brakes. Ony issue is I cant actually find one to test ride.

Has anyone here purchased a bike without actually trying it out? I really think the Giant is probably the bike I want but a bit hesitant as I cant refuse the special order.

One more question... The prices the shops have given me on these bikes is the MSRP. Do bike shops negotiate price at all? If so how much wiggle room do I have?
It depends. If you are looking at last year's model and you show up at a slow time, like late fall or winter, then you might expect some kind of discount. If you are special ordering something that is in demand, then not so much. Though price is important, the quality of the service you get is more important.
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Old 10-09-15, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Stratman351 View Post
The LBS owner further made his point by showing me - as an example - the difference between the cost of an Ultegra rear derailleur vs. a 105; it was peanuts in relative terms, compared to the outlay I was about to make to get the bike that was right for me.
Although your LBS was good to show you that the differences between 105 and Ultegra may not be worth the extra cost, I'll just say that the rear derailleur is probably the worst example he could pick, except perhaps, the front derailleur. A comparison of the cost difference of the STI shifters or crankset would reveal a much larger price difference.
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Old 10-09-15, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
It depends. If you are looking at last year's model and you show up at a slow time, like late fall or winter, then you might expect some kind of discount. If you are special ordering something that is in demand, then not so much. Though price is important, the quality of the service you get is more important.
My Giant Propel was a left over... was not likely to be sold anytime soon and was marked down $700 from MSRP... did manage to get them do come down a bit more but it was less than $50...
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Old 10-09-15, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by AFD13 View Post
I stand corrected. I guess I was hinking about the Scott Solace I was looking at that had a different brand brakes on it and something else he mentioned. I guess teh Trek does appear to have it all. The Giant still does have the Disks but not sure if its that big of a deal.
The discs are not that big of a deal. Some of the advantage other than braking modulation (and that is only if you get the hydraulic disc brakes), are:

1. If your wheel is slightly out of true, it won't affect the braking.
2. Often the bike is designed so that you can use slightly wider wheels/tires than factory spec. But you'd still need to check the chain and seat stays to make sure of this. This would be good if you want to occassionally do some gravel riding.
3. If you're a clyde, the disc wheels normally come with more spokes (28/32). So that can help.

Ask to see the geometry specs on the Giant that you test rode, and the Giant you want to buy, and then compare the specs of the 2 bikes.

As far as MSRP, if they're 2015 (or older) bikes, I'd expect some discount from MSRP. If they're 2016 bikes, then I wouldn't. But you may be able to get discounts on some of the accessories.

GH
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Old 10-09-15, 09:56 AM
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I purchased my current bike without trying it first. I did however have an older used bike I had been riding for a few months so I knew what frame size I was more or less. I had also previously tried the same model at LBS although the model was 1 year newer. The only problem with the bike was the $3750 price tag on it so I didn't pull the trigger. After looking around for a while I found the same bike with a few hundred miles on it in a probate sale and picked it up for less than half the price of the new one.
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Old 10-09-15, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by AFD13 View Post
The Trek Emonda carbon 105. $2,099.99 I really wanted to not like it but I took it out all the same. Much to my absolute suprise I REALLY liked it. It felt as though it was a better fit, it felt quicker and was REALLY fun to ride.
It sounded like you really enjoyed this bike, why would you not buy it? What part about the bike, kept you from buying it?
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Old 10-13-15, 06:41 PM
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I didn't buy the Emonda because I headed out of state on a family vacation (my wife did the Hartford 26.2 and then we headed down to DC where I am now With my family to do some sightseeing. First vacation in 17yrs of marriage and kids!!!,whoohoo!). It has given me some time to think and out of state I stopped at a bike shop that had a Trek Domane 4.3 disk in stock for sale for 2100 marked down from 2700. Nice looking bike! But I didn't have time to ride it. I called some shops back home and found one about 1.5hrs north with my size in stock and he had no problem matching the price. ...so I'm headed back north next week and will take it for a ride if still available. I'll have funds available to take it home. If for some reason it's gone I'll reconsider my options. I do like the idea of disk brake and thru axles with my weight currently.
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Old 10-14-15, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Beachgrad05 View Post
If you are not in a wet weather area disc brakes are not all that necessary plus they add weight.
They are never necessary.
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Old 10-14-15, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by scrming View Post
I have never bought a bike with out a least a short test ride...
I haven't test ridden a bike since I bought my last one from a bike shop in 1992, and that was a stupid ride around the block. Totally worthless. I'm on #5 since, usually built up from a frame I get off of Craigs list or ebay or something. Works for me.
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Old 10-14-15, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
They are never necessary.
Neither is: carbon fiber, 11 speeds, or clipless pedals. And yet here we are.

So what I found interesting is that you're comparing an "endurance" bike (Synapse) to a more "racing" bike (Emonda). That's not quite apples to apples. If you have time and if the shop can arrange it, why not also try the "other" two bikes - a SuperSix Evo and a Domane (which looks like what you're trying to do).

I've found test rides useful. The Domane seemed great on paper, and then I rode one and didn't like certain aspects. (And I'm not even gonna say what it was, to avoid introducing any bias.) When I ended up with my bike it just felt right when I rode it. It's just like how my car shopping goes.
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Old 10-23-15, 08:09 PM
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Got my Bike!! I ended up with a Domane after a test ride. Fell in love with it! Felt a little more snappy than the Synapse did to me. For me - fj to ride! I also picked up a trainer today so I can keep the legs moving through the winter months! Attached are some pics of my new steed! Now just awaiting UPS to deliver the thru axle kit so I can use my trainer. Thanks for the help everyone.


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Old 10-23-15, 08:48 PM
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Congratulations on the bike. Looks very nice.
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Old 10-23-15, 09:29 PM
  #21  
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SO glad color is appearing on carbon. Looks very nice.

I can't test ride; stores don't stock bikes in my size, and Trek is one of the few that offers my size, but only in aluminum.
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Old 10-25-15, 09:58 AM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by AFD13 View Post
Got my Bike!! I ended up with a Domane after a test ride. Fell in love with it! Felt a little more snappy than the Synapse did to me. For me - fj to ride! I also picked up a trainer today so I can keep the legs moving through the winter months! Attached are some pics of my new steed! Now just awaiting UPS to deliver the thru axle kit so I can use my trainer. Thanks for the help everyone.


Pretty. That bike looks "right" and I love the orange accents. Enjoy it.

One quick thought -- they recently recalled the quick releases; I'd make sure they are the new ones for peace of mind.
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