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How far for test ride?

Old 06-06-05, 10:00 AM
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Angus
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How far for test ride?

This may be a noob question, but I'd appreciate your advice. I'm looking to buy my first road bike in 20 years. When I test ride a bike at local shops, the sales person at each shop goes out to the parking lot and waits while I do a couple of loops around the parked cars.

I wouldn't buy a car if I could only drive it in the dealer's lot, and I'm reluctant to spend $2000+ on a bike without riding it for 5-10 miles. Demos aren't a good option because I'm tall and I require a big bike. Should I insist on a longer ride, or is that something that's not done?
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Old 06-06-05, 10:09 AM
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skydive69
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Originally Posted by Angus
This may be a noob question, but I'd appreciate your advice. I'm looking to buy my first road bike in 20 years. When I test ride a bike at local shops, the sales person at each shop goes out to the parking lot and waits while I do a couple of loops around the parked cars.

I wouldn't buy a car if I could only drive it in the dealer's lot, and I'm reluctant to spend $2000+ on a bike without riding it for 5-10 miles. Demos aren't a good option because I'm tall and I require a big bike. Should I insist on a longer ride, or is that something that's not done?
I knew I wanted my Roubaix Pro after one trip across the parking lot. Having said that, Orange Cycles here in the Orlando, FL area will allow you to take the bike of your choice for the weekend to properly test ride it. Find a dealer that does that.
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Old 06-06-05, 12:24 PM
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I agree, you need to find a shop that will allow a proper test ride. The distance isn't too critical, but set up a test that has hills, open flats, and some rough surface. Take every bike you test ride on the same route so you can compare the differences. Tell the bike shop where you are going, if they do not approve invite them to ride along. If they still don't approve, they are the wrong shop, and tell them so. If they are the only dealer of a brand you are interested, send an email to the company telling them that their dealer is not cooperating with a test ride, have the area rep set up a ride for you.
I've taken test rides as long as 50 miles, a good bike shop should work with you to make sure you get what you need. If they won't work with you, don't work with them.
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Old 06-06-05, 12:51 PM
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Depends on the bike shop. Virtually everybody in the business has had somebody ride off with a bike or two so many shops are reluctant to let the bike out of their sight.

The real question is: "If you ride it and you like it are you ready to buy it?" If your answer is "Yes" try this: Work everything else out first. Negotiate the price and get fitted to the bike. Now tell the sales person to write up the sale with the express understanding that if you don't like it after an extended test ride that you have the right to a no quibble return. Given the opportunity to put money in the drawer and the fact that most shops will have some kind of return policy anyway, I think that most bike shop guys will agree to that offer.
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Old 06-06-05, 12:56 PM
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I have had one shop offer to send me home with one over the weekend to take on an extended test ride. I have had another shop where the sales guy took off on a 10 mile loop along with me. I have also seen shops where they acted like I was speaking Urdu when I brought up a test ride. Needless to say I didn't go back to them a second time.
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Old 06-06-05, 01:22 PM
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Most of the bike shops I've been to will let you test ride for a much longer distance then around the block, but of course you've to give them your driver's license or ID while you check out the bike.
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Old 06-06-05, 04:42 PM
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yea the biek shop i went to let me test ride it all they wanted was id and a CC so if i took off wiht it it was paid for i rode it for 2 miles and figured its what i want for now..
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Old 06-06-05, 06:18 PM
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My local shop turned me loose with an expensive Bianchi a few years ago & expressed surprise when I came back after only an hour & a half. You need to keep looking until you find a shop that allows a decent test ride. How else will you know if the bike is right for you? don
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Old 06-06-05, 06:28 PM
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One bikeshop here asks for my ID every time I take a bike out. Another shop lets me loose with it, I'm on a first name basis and they have my debit card info in their machine about 20x over. Another shop I have yet to test ride at.
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Old 06-07-05, 11:05 AM
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"Test riding" a bike in a parking lot crowded with cars on a bike that you are not familiar with is not really a test ride. About every shop i went to had the same approach. "We test ride our bikes out here in the lot." Have fun avoiding all of the cars pulling in and out of spaces and don't mind the fact that you can only get up to 10 mph. WTF?
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Old 06-07-05, 11:08 AM
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I have test riden 3 bikes in the last year, usually everytime I find a 62 - 63 cm I try and test ride it, expecially if it is carbon. Of course none of them have fit me (including my current trek 2100) but I have somewhat made them work, abit a little short top tube wise.

Now I am in the process of buying a bike for my sister, a giant boulder (cheep). She wanted the pink "mens" frame (no suprise). Even with a special order he said... go ride it and come back when you have your decision. I took my sister 10 for a 5 mile loop and once she came back we bought the bike right on the spot. The dealer would have put it on the floor if I did not want it...

BTW it is nice to have another member of the family who will ride a bike... Now we have a new tradition, brother goes and trains for 2 -3 hours, when he comes back he and sister take a nice leasurly ride to the ice cream shop 3 miles away...
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