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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Looking for advice

Old 10-18-09, 05:34 PM
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Looking for advice

I plan on going to a LBS to buy my first "real" bike this week or next, and was wondering what are some things I should look for/lookout for/ask about.

I'm not asking for advice on brands etc but more on how the interaction between me and the people there should be, or things a newbie might not think to ask etc.

I forgot to mention, I'm looking for a road bike thats why I posted here.

Last edited by kazuri; 10-18-09 at 05:49 PM.
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Old 10-18-09, 06:15 PM
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Go to a few shops. Ask about their fitting service/process. If you are uncomfortable on the bike, you won't ride it. Try bikes above and below your budget with different groups. It is the best way to get an understanding how they are different or the same. If they try to pressure into one specific bike, walk out.
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Old 10-18-09, 06:18 PM
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I'm a newbie too but this is what I did and do everytime...

When I first entered the LBS, I was by myself and as soon as I came in I was greeted by sales rep. I simply requested I just needed some time to browse the shop. That let me get settled down and gave me a feel for what I was doing there again, it got my mind back on track to take 5 mins or so just checking things out.

When your ready to begin, ask for help, tell them your new with the whole bike scene and ask to test ride something. They'll be glad to help. Usually they'll adjust your seat for you, pump up the tires, explain how to shift and give you a helmet (take the helmet option lol) Then just cruise, test ride, and get a feel for the bike. Place your hands in different positions, pedal backwards and do all the things you do to get a feel for the bike. After a couple mins come back, stop safely, exit the bike and enter the shop. They'll ask you "how was it". Give an honest answer, and ask to test ride something else. When your done, shake hands, say thanks and your going to go do some research and exit your LBS. If your curious about something right now, write it down so you'll remember to ask that question when u enter the shop. Don't be afraid to ask anything, there's nothing wrong with asking questions. Good Luck and explore as many LBS as you can and ride everything. hope this helps
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Old 10-18-09, 07:34 PM
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One thing I recommend is make sure you are the one calling the shots. Don't be rude in anyway but remember your looking to give them a fairly large chunk of change so they should work for you to get what you need/want. Make sure they don't start trying to up sell you, tell them what you can spend and that you only want to see bikes that they will sell in that price range. Above all else ensure that you like and get along with them you will be back many more times and a friendship helps keep prices down.
If they aren't doing these things or you just don't like the people walk. This is all in conjunction with the rest of the advice here. Good luck!
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Old 10-18-09, 07:38 PM
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the staff will try and qualify you; figure out your budget and the likelihood you'll spend it with them. you might not want to give them your final budget. the staff could also downsell you and then fill up your budget with cycling sundries which makes the store the largest margin.
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Old 10-18-09, 08:20 PM
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For the love of Spongebob don't let them talk you into gettin something more than you need. I walked into one LBS and I usually like the place but this one guy in there must have been lookin at gettin employee of the month cause he tried every pitch to get me to get that $2000 bike with all the fixins but totally not my size. "We can adjust it for you" Test drive every bike they have and go somewhere cheaper
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Old 10-20-09, 06:46 PM
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Thanks guys. I'm probably going this friday, any thing else?
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Old 10-20-09, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by iab
Go to a few shops. Ask about their fitting service/process. If you are uncomfortable on the bike, you won't ride it. Try bikes above and below your budget with different groups. It is the best way to get an understanding how they are different or the same. If they try to pressure into one specific bike, walk out.
Pretty much sums it up. I'm not sure how much you're looking to spend on a bike but, if the shop doesn't have a good way to "fit" you I'd probably move on. One of our local shops use the "what ever we have on the floor and looks good" method. I use another shop that uses the money you should have spent to get the right bike to get your "looks good" bike to be at least a close fit.

After some measuring and a session on the fit cycle I rode off on a bike that I felt I'd been on all along. Not a single fit issue and even ended up in a more racing position that I thought possible.
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Old 10-20-09, 08:35 PM
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Do your homework. Get an idea of what is what: 1) frame materials and sizes 2) components and their relative advantages 3) wheels for the type of riding that you imagine yourself doing, not to mention your body type 4) saddles & pedals, etc. Also, try to imagine whether you'll mostly be riding on Saturday mornings along the beach or doing hills; plan on training for metric centuries, centuries; putting on 30 miles a week or 200.
That way you can walk in and look around, and when you're asked you can let them know that you have a particular direction in mind. For example, if you might say "I'm considering a carbon frame, 55cm, with Shimano 105 and a compact crankset" or "I know that most bikes are carbon, but I'd like to see something in titanium, 57cm with a Red group and a CPX33 wheelset. (They probably won't have it, but you get the point -- get a grasp of the basics and then, when the salesman says something about aluminum frames, you aren't thinking of beer cans.)
At least you'll be somewhat familiar with terminology so when the salesman tries to sell you a Dura Ace-equipped machine, you can let him know that Ultegra (or SRAM Force) is plenty good enough for your needs and budget.
Or, if you need your components to say "Campagnolo" on them, you'll understand the price and performance differences between Athena or Record.
Best of luck and happy hunting!
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