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Do You Test Drive a New Bike Before You Buy It?

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Do You Test Drive a New Bike Before You Buy It?

Old 05-10-12, 06:09 PM
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Do You Test Drive a New Bike Before You Buy It?

I went to a Schwinn Bike shop back in 1985 and bought a Mountain Bike. I had never road a Mt bike. I seen an ad in a magazine for this Schwinn Mountain Bike and decided I had to have one. Back then I was so uninformed about bikes, I did not know that bikes came in different size frames. I thought all 26 inch bikes were basically the same size. The shop I bought the bike from never offered to let me ride the bike and they didnít say a word about size. It turns out that I bought a bike that is way too big for me. So I have been riding a bike that is too big for 25 years. When I was younger that was ok but at my age I am tired of riding a bike that I have to almost lay it down to get off of it.

Today I went into six bike shops looking at bikes. The last shop I went to was a Trek Shop. A lady waited on me at the Trek shop and I told her I was looking for a comfort type bike that was easy to get on and off of. She showed me a, Pure Sport 21 speed. This model bike only comes in one size, 16 inch. I asked her if I could sit on it and she said ďYou can take it outside and ride it.Ē None of the other shops I went to today offered to let me ride a bike. In fact this was the first time in my life a bike shop has offered to let me ride a bike before I bought it. The more I looked at this bike the more I liked it and I really wanted to ride it. I didnít because I was afraid I might get a scratch on it or damage it in some way. I always test drive a car before I buy it but I know the car as insurance on it if I damage it. Now this lady was serious about letting me ride the bike because she tried to get me to take it outside three times. I didnít buy it because before I spend $615.00 (thatís with sales tax) I wanted more time to think about it.

Do most people test drive New bikes before buying?

I have never had a shop offer to let me ride a bike before buying, so I was a little shocked when the Lady told me 3 times that it was ok for me to ride it.
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Old 05-10-12, 06:22 PM
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I test drove my current bike. The shop offered to let me take it out. Didn't even ask me for my license.

Test drive the bike. You don't have to buy it.
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Old 05-10-12, 06:23 PM
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You simply cannot tell a bikes fit without riding it. Is it even close? If I were buying a medium to expensive bike, I'd want to try it out several times before buying. It's pretty hard to fix a bad fit after you paid for it. You have to be careful about shops selling you what they have rather than what you need. bk
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Old 05-10-12, 06:34 PM
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I not only test rode my last bike twice before I bought it, I also rode a half dozen other bikes as well. Don't pick a bike by it's looks, you have to see if it fits.
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Old 05-10-12, 06:52 PM
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Take that bike out for a test drive before you buy it

My bike shop is a Trek dealer, too. When I purchased my road bike he let me take it for 3 days just to be sure it fit and was what I wanted before I spent the money for it.

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Old 05-10-12, 07:22 PM
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I just bought a new bike in March and you can believe I rode it before I bought it.
Any bike shop should allow you to ride a bike before you buy.
In fact they should let you ride a couple of different bikes as long as you are a serious customer.
You just have to ask. And, if you're not sure about something, like "How do I shift the gears?" Or, "How do I adjust the seat?" be sure to ask that before you set off on a test ride.
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Old 05-10-12, 07:43 PM
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My LBS lets me take the bike for a weekend for a thorough test ride. If I'm spending $$$ I'm going to check it out as well as I can. Of course I have a very good relationship with my LBS so I can't say they would do the same for everyone but they do allow good test rides.
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Old 05-10-12, 07:49 PM
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Bike shops I have visited freely allow you to test ride their bikes. My problem is that they rarely have my size to try. I ended up driving a 160 miles for a hybrid in my size to test. My road bike I never got to road test and bought it without first trying it. I didn't have much of a choice. But I did my homework first and was pretty comfortable that the bike I ordered would work.

Price of being 4'10.5"
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Old 05-10-12, 07:58 PM
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Back in the early 80's I bought a new Peugeot 501 (yes I test road it a few times). When I decided this was the bike I wanted I was able to make payments on it. The bike shop wouldn't let anyone who was buying on payments take the bike home with them until it was paid off but they would let you come in and ride your bike on their Saturday and Sunday rides. I thought that was pretty cool.

I would suggest you always test ride multiple bikes before you buy!
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Old 05-10-12, 08:01 PM
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Always try before you buy.
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Old 05-10-12, 08:03 PM
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Welcome to the forum Grandaddy! Don't be bashful about the testride... Go for it!
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Old 05-10-12, 08:20 PM
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I don't always try the exact bike before I buy, because it is often not available in my size or in the model I want, but I ride enough of what is available to get a good idea what I want.
I have never heard of a bike shop that does not allow test rides. Most encourage it. The LBS in my town has a small fleet of very nice test bikes that they loan out frequently and it has really paid off in increased sales of higher end bikes. Don't hesitate, ride the bike. Ride a few.
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Old 05-10-12, 08:27 PM
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The LBS I use didn't have a bike I was interested in my size put together--so, they went in the back and put one together for me to test ride.
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Old 05-10-12, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by GrandaddyBiker View Post

Do you test drive New bikes before buying?
No I test drive OLD*bikes before buying them. *Don't know what I would do with a new bike.

Last edited by Mort Canard; 05-11-12 at 06:11 AM.
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Old 05-10-12, 09:27 PM
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I test drove everyone I was interested in as I have never had a road. Bike I made my choice and going for a fitting tomorrow.
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Old 05-10-12, 09:36 PM
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I went to a Trek demo held in a High school parking lot where they had a full line of bikes. They made me sign an insurance waiver and handed over the bike. I put about 10 miles on the bike.
I would always take a test ride if I were considering buying the bike.
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Old 05-10-12, 10:22 PM
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Do you try on a new pair of shoes before you buy them?
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Old 05-10-12, 10:34 PM
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The test ride is what I do once I've finished building it.
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Old 05-10-12, 11:08 PM
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Before I bought my bike I went to a number of shops that were brand specific. The larger shops like Bike America had a "path" in the store to try out the bike. Thought it was a joke and moved on. The smaller shops and particularly the LBS I had dealt with with my mountain bikes over the years insisted I take out more than one bike for as long a ride as I wanted. Now i'm looking to upgrade my wheelset and he is offering me different wheelset to use over a weekend.
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Old 05-10-12, 11:48 PM
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I wouldnt be too worried about scratching a new bike during a test ride. the shop can easily return it to the mfg if its damaged. with that being said, ride as many as you can. if a shop doesnt offer you a good long test ride, go elsewhere. you can even bring your own pedals and shoes if you ride clipless. if the testride feels weird most shops will swap stems with another bike in stock so you can try different lengths and angles, seats too.
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Old 05-11-12, 12:30 AM
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I'm surprised you found any bike shops that didn't offer a test ride. I can't remember ever not getting such an offer. Last two times I've purchased a new bike, I've gone to multiple shops, test ridden bikes at each, narrowed it down to my top two, and gone back for 2nd test rides on those.
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Old 05-11-12, 01:09 AM
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First road bike and it would not have mattered if I rode it or not. After 16 years of MTB's I did not know what a road bike should feel like so the LBS set two bikes up for me for size and I took the one that fitted better. 1 year later and I knew what I wanted and tested quite a few and not only from my LBS. The owner had a Boreas as his bike so I borrowed it and WOW. None of the others I test rode were right but this was- so got one built up. 6 months later and the first bike had to be replaced as it was no longer up to my standard. I had test ridden a Giant TCR-C3 and just ordered one but with a twist. They had a lightweight frame and for an extra charge they would swop the frames. Everything else would do except the wheels so changed those aswell. That bike was bad until I changed the wheels back to something more compliant. I can't take a stiff frame with stiff wheels and could not keep it on the road. It took a year to get it sorted but has turned into the long or hilly road bike and is good.

Now latest bike and I test rode several last Autumn. Went back to the LBS to order the bike I wanted. A CX but it was not available and would not be for a while. Not only the CX- every Giant that was in my style and price range was "Not Available". But that testing last Autumn and two other bikes stood out and one was a Cervello and the other a Pinarrelo FP1. They were Pinnie dealers so sat down with the geometry tables and worked out what I wanted in size. The FP1 was no longer available but the replacement was the FP UNO. Similar spec except a few upgrades but also $300 more. It was only going to be a runaround bike and was a bit heavier than my others and only Tiagra Groupset. Still looking for a runaround cos the Pinnie is superb.

I have never had a problem in getting test rides --once I have convinced shops that I am a serious buyer. When I got Boreas- I went back to one of the shops that did not treat me right. They were into triathlon and competition bikes and I just wheeled the bike into the shop-They allow it for their customers- and started looking at Gloves. The sales assistant looked hard at Boreas- realised who I was and then asked why I had not come to them and I pointed out I had but they did not seem to take "Old Gits" who were just browsing as possible customers.
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Old 05-11-12, 04:47 AM
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The lady sounds like she was a good sales person. It does a bike shop little good to send a customer out the door having purchased a bike he or she ends up not liking. It's in the shop's best interest to facilitate a good marriage between riders and bikes. You "time to think about it" will be much richer if included in what you are thinking about is how one bike handled/felt compared to another, based on an actual rides of the bike considered.
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Old 05-11-12, 06:06 AM
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I have test ridden every bike I have purchased except for my first and last bike. The first bike was a birthday present and my wife had already purchased it. Lucky for me that the LBS was able to calculate the correct size from her description of me. I didn't get a chance to test ride the Colnago because neither of the two dealers in Tampa had that bike in stock. But since the frame dimensions were almost dead on to my Defy's frame, I went for it without a test ride and the bike fits like a glove.
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Old 05-11-12, 06:54 AM
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Some riders get this notion that a certain bike, when ridden, will somehow "speak to you, buy me".

I'd go with the pro's. They simply ride for the money and the team supplies whatever, especially the paycheck. If you're good enough, you'll ride most any top level bike (no test rides). If you're not, then you get to be picky. Sounds silly but that's the way it is.
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