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Test Ride Tips

Old 02-26-16, 07:24 AM
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Test Ride Tips

Buying my first road bike this weekend, plan on test riding 4 to 5. Complete newbie with the bike shops here in Greenville SC. My hybrid came from REI. We have some great shops w all the national brands.

I test rode some roadies in shorts and sandals last year but want to be ready to actually pull the trigger this weekend. Do you guys wear full kit to the shop or at least bike shorts to get the full experience? Also do you bring your own shoes and pedals or just wear tennis shoes?

I don't want to feel ridiculous walking into these serious bike shops so just wanted some pointers from the masters here.

I know to have them inflate tires same psi, saddle height same, etc. If there's any other tips on setup that'd be appreciated as well.
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Old 02-26-16, 10:32 AM
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My thoughts on test-rides: https://www.bikeforums.net/road-cycli...ml#post8127515

In terms of what to wear, I usually wear bicycling shorts or bibs under regular shorts. If it seems like a shop will let you take the bike for a longer ride, you can always leave the regular shorts in your car. I wear athletic shoes into the shop but I also bring my own pedals and cycling shoes; I hate riding without clipless pedals. I bring a multi-tool with me on the ride, just in case the shop doesn't get the saddle height right. Some shops will supply a saddle bag with a patch kit and tire levers, but most won't. Again, if I'm going on a longer test ride I'll make sure I bring these with me or at least have a cell phone so I can call the shop if anything goes wrong.

If I find a bike that I want to buy, I'll then spend more time working with the shop on setup issues (if there are any). I tend to fit pretty well on most 54cm frames so the stem and saddle are usually the only things I might want to swap and those changes aren't critical for a test-ride.
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Old 02-26-16, 11:01 AM
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full kit + helmet ( can have baggy shorts over for the window shopping/talking part)
my pedals and my shoes
muilti tool

Don't feel rushed, the sale guy will likely hold your DL anyways.
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Old 02-26-16, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by sstorkel
My thoughts on test-rides: https://www.bikeforums.net/road-cycli...ml#post8127515

In terms of what to wear, I usually wear bicycling shorts or bibs under regular shorts. If it seems like a shop will let you take the bike for a longer ride, you can always leave the regular shorts in your car. I wear athletic shoes into the shop but I also bring my own pedals and cycling shoes; I hate riding without clipless pedals. I bring a multi-tool with me on the ride, just in case the shop doesn't get the saddle height right. Some shops will supply a saddle bag with a patch kit and tire levers, but most won't. Again, if I'm going on a longer test ride I'll make sure I bring these with me or at least have a cell phone so I can call the shop if anything goes wrong.

If I find a bike that I want to buy, I'll then spend more time working with the shop on setup issues (if there are any). I tend to fit pretty well on most 54cm frames so the stem and saddle are usually the only things I might want to swap and those changes aren't critical for a test-ride.
Those are some pretty good tips.

For a longer test ride, a lot of shops offer group rides with someone from the shop leading the ride. If they normally won't let you take a bike for a longer test ride, then ask if you can take it on the group ride.

GH
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Old 02-26-16, 03:16 PM
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This is great everyone thanks for the info. I'll post pics if I find a winner tomorrow.
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Old 02-26-16, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by sstorkel
My thoughts on test-rides: https://www.bikeforums.net/road-cycli...ml#post8127515

In terms of what to wear, I usually wear bicycling shorts or bibs under regular shorts. If it seems like a shop will let you take the bike for a longer ride, you can always leave the regular shorts in your car. I wear athletic shoes into the shop but I also bring my own pedals and cycling shoes; I hate riding without clipless pedals. I bring a multi-tool with me on the ride, just in case the shop doesn't get the saddle height right. Some shops will supply a saddle bag with a patch kit and tire levers, but most won't. Again, if I'm going on a longer test ride I'll make sure I bring these with me or at least have a cell phone so I can call the shop if anything goes wrong.

If I find a bike that I want to buy, I'll then spend more time working with the shop on setup issues (if there are any). I tend to fit pretty well on most 54cm frames so the stem and saddle are usually the only things I might want to swap and those changes aren't critical for a test-ride.
Wow, that's a lot of stuff to bring for spinning around in a circle, lol. That's all I could do is take it out in the parking lot when I bought my hybrid.
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Old 02-26-16, 06:40 PM
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If you're just going to ride around in a circle in a parking lot, why bother. Might as well order off the internet at that point.
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Old 02-26-16, 09:55 PM
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Originally Posted by mrodgers
Wow, that's a lot of stuff to bring for spinning around in a circle, lol. That's all I could do is take it out in the parking lot when I bought my hybrid.
I don't do business with shops that only let you ride around the parking lot...
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Old 02-27-16, 12:02 AM
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Originally Posted by sstorkel
I don't do business with shops that only let you ride around the parking lot...
Back when I bought a bike for my wife the LBS near us wouldn't allow ANY test rides. Turns out they'd have to clean it after we were done so... we went elsewhere. We weren't price sensitive, she's not a fussy rider, it would have been an easy sale.

Oh well. Now I have to drive 5-10 miles further for bike stuff.
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Old 02-27-16, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by sstorkel
I don't do business with shops that only let you ride around the parking lot...
This. Last time I was shopping I'd stopped in on my commute home, they swapped my pedals over, held on to my (now pedal-less) bike and DL, and said 'be back in 30 minutes'. Didn't buy from them that day, but I've purchased 4 bikes now from that shop. My next ones will likely be from them as well
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Old 02-27-16, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by sstorkel
I don't do business with shops that only let you ride around the parking lot...
Well, I wanted a bike. It's the only shop. So, that's where I did my business. Not much choice when it's the only shop.
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