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Old 04-21-11, 09:38 AM   #1
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How to test ride a BIKE

Hi guys,

I looking into buying a bike and have test ridden several from several different bike shops. Main thing I'm curious about is to know when test riding a bike if it's not a good bike or the shop hasn't tuned it well enough. I'm sure it's a little of both, right?

You see, I've had some minor shifting problems on most of the bike I've tested. FYI, I know about cross chain and that wasn't it. I did have 2 good ones and they were a $600 & a $900 bike. Both felt great and shifting was solid.

So, is it more the shop builder or the bike itself which is just designed better? Or, do some bikes just have more problems than others no matter what you do to them? Because all of the bike shops looked at the bike after I test rode them and they seemed to think it was either me or they didn't find really anything wrong with it.

I know this is mostly common sense but wondering if anyone has any tips on knowing if the bike needs tuning or it is just a bike to avoid when test riding them.

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Old 04-21-11, 12:58 PM   #2
These go to 11.
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It could very well be that there was nothing wrong with the bike at all, nor you. First decide what kind of riding you want to do? Road, trails, commuting? Do you want something fast & furious or laid back & upright or something in between? Now figure out your budget & let the bike shop know what you are looking for along those guidelines & ask to ride some bikes.

Don't assume it's a problem with the bike. It might just be something as simple as lowering or raising the seat post or swapping out a stem, trying bikes with different handlebars, saddles etc etc. Ride the bikes then give the bike shop some feedback about your comfort as far as arm reach & saddle height etc. A few tweaks can turn the wrong bike into the right bike. A good bike shop will ask you questions to better fit a bike for you. If they are unwilling to help you, find another shop.
Melancholy is incompatible with bicycling. ~ James E. Starrs

Last edited by DavidLee; 04-21-11 at 01:02 PM.
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Old 04-21-11, 02:40 PM   #3
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David is right on. Personally, I don't think test riding a bike is of much use. This is different than I use to think but I've gained a lot of experience since then. Now I can easily buy a bike online and never have seen it in person and be sure it'll work for me. Since you don't have this experience, make sure to find a shop that does have it. They'll get you set up. Just be honest on what you want to do.
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