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How Frustrating is Bike Shopping?

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How Frustrating is Bike Shopping?

Old 10-11-08, 04:36 PM
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John W Foster
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How Frustrating is Bike Shopping?

My wife and I just went shopping for new bikes today and came home somewhat frustrated. Presently she has a 25 year old Raleigh Big Horn mtn bike and I have a 7 year old hardware store brand cruiser; and we both love our bikes. We want to get into longer recreational biking trips, more bike commuting for me, and more bike errand running for her. We went out looking at performance hybrids and road bikes because of a desire for more speed with less effort. We just did not find anything we liked the fit or feel of. Normally I like to buy locally, but our closest dealer only sells Fuji and Rocky Mountain neither of which caused an instant love affair with us. Our next step will be visiting a bigger city and looking at a bigger selection. My first question is, will we ever find the level of comfort we are used to in a more performance oriented bike? secondly , is there an "old shoe" factor that a new bike will never feel as good as your old at the start? Thanks John
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Old 10-11-08, 04:48 PM
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Fast bike riding is 10% The Bike.
90% The Motor.
Tune Up The Motor and any bike will be Fast.
The New Bikes are very responsive compared to old bikes.
Brifiters are great.
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Old 10-11-08, 05:09 PM
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I don't know what you are looking for, but I was just browsing the the Fuji website and the Palisade looks like it would make a pretty nice commuter. If you like a more relaxed fit, flip the bars to the more traditional way. It already has a front rack, so small panniers would fit from the factory, though you may want rear also if you intend on carrying bigger loads.
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Old 10-11-08, 05:18 PM
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keep looking : ) that's only 2 bike brands! you'll find what you're looking for eventually
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Old 10-11-08, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
Fast bike riding is 10% The Bike.
90% The Motor.
Tune Up The Motor and any bike will be Fast.
The New Bikes are very responsive compared to old bikes.
Brifiters are great.
Really? I take it that you ride a Target Magna Mountain bike then?
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Old 10-11-08, 08:46 PM
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i love bikes but have little interest in new bikes, unless they're commuters. all this carbon stuff i have no desire for, but i'm an old guy that rides slow. there are some great bikes out there, pm me if you're interested and i can send you some websites...
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Old 10-11-08, 11:58 PM
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Partly it'll be the change in style - cruiser/MTB to road bike is a change! But I think after you look at a few more brands you will find just the right bikes. Have fun!
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Old 10-12-08, 01:54 AM
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One of the things I've seen that make shopping for a bike so frustrating is dealing with bike salespeople. Many commissioned salespeople will tell you whatever it is they think you want to hear in order to make a sale. If you have any knowledgable cycling friends, see if you can get a recommendation for a salesperson to visit. You may want to drop that question in one of the regional subforums here as well. If you can't seem to get a lead on a good salesperson, spend a few hours doing research before you go in to the next shop.
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Old 10-12-08, 05:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Sprocket Man View Post
If you have any knowledgable cycling friends, see if you can get a recommendation for a salesperson to visit.
I agree. Insted of shopping for a bike - think of yourself as shopping for a bike shop or even a bike sales person. When you find the right one (you'll know) the rest will come easy.

I think that there's an "old shoe" factor and also a "reverse old shoe" factor. When you find the right bike sometimes it just seems to surge forward under you like it has a motor. Upgrading from carbon steel framed bikes there is a good chance you will experience this factor.
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Old 10-12-08, 07:57 AM
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I think this is a psychological thing, mostly. What you're comfortable with is what you have. That's your comfort zone and you really don't want to leave it. What you want is something there but different. That means change which we're reluctant to do.

If you're willing to change, then you're going to be in a different place as far as riding. The road bike will certainly be faster, more responsive. That and the longer wheelbase, wider tire, touring bike will take you into longer distances.

You need to say to yourself that you want a change and are willing to experience something different as part of that change. It will be different, out of your comfort zone...at least for now. Then you will experience a new comfort zone.

Many riders have several bikes mostly different.
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Old 10-12-08, 11:14 AM
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well, an experienced fitter an an lbs can try to adapt a road bike to fit you. sounds like you're looking for a more upright/relaxed style. a road bike may not be the way to go then. if you do, it may take some time to get used to the feel (even when the bike 'technically' fits you). when i first started on my roadie, i was pretty upright....high stem angle, saddle about even with bars. over time, i started changing to a more agressive fit.

when i was shopping for my first roadie, the trek pilot and felt z series were the most comfortable fitting bikes for me.

good luck. have fun. ride lots.
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Old 10-12-08, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by John W Foster View Post
...We went out looking at performance hybrids and road bikes because of a desire for more speed with less effort. We just did not find anything we liked the fit or feel of. ... My first question is, will we ever find the level of comfort we are used to in a more performance oriented bike?
Probably not.
Road-racing-style bicycles aren't really made to be comfortable--and there's really not much difference between brands of bicycles. If you pay a lot more for an upright bike it will be lighter and function somewhat better, but it isn't really any more comfortable than a cheaper one.

... secondly , is there an "old shoe" factor that a new bike will never feel as good as your old at the start? Thanks John
Depends on how old the "old" one is. You aren't getting any younger. Poor ergonomics that are merely an annoyance to a younger rider are often significant pain to someone older.

You could take a look at recumbents. Not all recumbents are fast; some are quite slower than an upright bike (but still more comfortable!). The ones that you recline the most are generally the most-aero.

The Bacchetta Strada is a fairly-fast bike that doesn't cost too much, and would probably be far more comfortable than any upright bike you could buy. I'm kinda lusting after a RANS X-Stream right now, though I don't know when/if that will ever happen.
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Old 10-12-08, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Doug5150 View Post
Probably not.
Road-racing-style bicycles aren't really made to be comfortable--and there's really not much difference between brands of bicycles. If you pay a lot more for an upright bike it will be lighter and function somewhat better, but it isn't really any more comfortable than a cheaper one.
I'm sorry. I just don't agree.
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Old 10-13-08, 05:41 AM
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Thanks

Thanks for replies and input. Much food for thought. Since my question was first posted I have gotten two leads on bike shops in a city 50K away. Both have a reputation for fitting people with the bikes they need; one in the $1,000.00 plus range and one in the $1,000.00 minus range . We are hoping for the latter, but would spend more for the "right" bike. Pardon the stereotyping, but it is a city with a very high pecentage of people immigrated from Italy, and there seems to be a large base of serious cyclists in that city. Will keep you posted, thanks again John
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Old 10-14-08, 02:05 PM
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Have you considered used. I have found that some of the touring bikes from the 60's and 70's are really nice for longer rides (especially for errand running where you will be hauling things). They are not that much heavier especially if you have been using a mountain bike. Most have upright style. Finally most will accomodate at the very least a rear rack/panniers even a new one(s). Plus they are usually cheaper. The down side is they will often need a little TLC. Which depending on your ability may require a LBS. That said these are not usually over complecated machines. Some people here would probably disagree but I like the Huffy's from that generation. Still USA made, and my experience with them is that they are hardy bikes.

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Old 10-14-08, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
I'm sorry. I just don't agree.
I agree with your disagreement

You many times get what you pay for and when your educated on what your looking for your even better off! I prefer the 80s-mid 90s bikes, some still expensive but some better than bikes you can easily get new.
Half the fun is searching, enjoy it don't hate it!
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