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Old 07-16-06, 01:31 PM   #1
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Having LBS order bikes

I read here a few times that one can ask LBS to order a bike
if they do not have certain model (say, Trek 520) or specific size in stock.
I have not had occassion to do that and since I have a road bike and
a MTB that I like, do not intend to buy another for a long time.
But I am just curious to know, if one does get the LBS to order
one, are you in fact obligated to purchase that bike (before you actually
get to test it) or if you do not like it after test ride, are the LBS
taking a loss on that bike by ordering it but no buyer and the bike now
sits on their floor for nothing?

Just curous how that works..thanks.
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Old 07-16-06, 02:21 PM   #2
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Ask them.
My dad ordered a 21in 520 and it didn't fit and got a 23in, no issues. However, you need to discuss this possiblity.
A much better option is to find a shop that has one in stock. There's gotta be a 520 in damn near every size in SoCal. Note that you may have to travel, but if its in stock you won't have to pay retail. I paid $900 for mine new (thats $300 off list) by finding a shop that had had it for a year. They still made a profit as they paid $600 wholesale. If you order, your shop will charge you retail.
Call trek, they probably know who has what.
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Old 07-16-06, 04:29 PM   #3
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There was an active thread about this several months ago. It covered an amazing variety of aspects. I would only add if the lbs can't/won't order for you, ask what they want to assemble one if you just mail-order it. If I had not lived an easy ride from the builder of my current best bike I would have done that.
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Old 07-16-06, 06:27 PM   #4
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Some shops have the Fit Kit system and can tell you what size would be ideal. I have been riding long enough (30+years) that I know what size and geometry of frame I can and will ride. Also quite a bit can be done by changing out stems, seat posts, saddles, etc. I ordered a Redline 9.2.5 about a month ago, sight unseen. It fit almost perfectly and I am very happy with it. I would definitely discuss ahead of time what happens if you don't want/like it. At my local LBS they take a non refundable deposit (usually $50-$100) I would assume that it will cover their time and trouble and the unwanted bike will go on the showroom floor. One reason I really like my LBS, even though they aren't commuter/touring oriented, is that they know that I buy touring and commuting type products. Several years ago I had been in and purchased a mountain bike to use as a general purpose bike. I had looked in the current Giant catalog and had seen European utility bike the Giant Excursion. It was way over my budget, but they remembered my looking at it. Nine months later they called and asked if I would be interested in a "good deal" on one. They were able to get me on in my size at about a 50% discount, seems the distributor had gotten stuck with a few. They have my business for a long time to come.

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Old 07-16-06, 06:59 PM   #5
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I ordered a '06 Lemond last September before they had started shipping, got it in December, waited couple of weeks for the upgrades to arrive and I picked it up Dec 24th. Changed the stem 2 mo. later.

I knew exactly what I wanted. I had a typed list of every up grade and detail which I gave the LBS in advance. I talked to 4 Lemond dealers within 100 miles, only one was willing to bring it in without a deposit, and the condition that I would only take the bike if I was happy with the fit. We decided on the price and upgrades before it was ordered. When it arrived, I rode it on a trainer for a hour and decided the frame would work for me. I gave the LBS a cheque for $1000 as a deposit and they proceeded to order the upgrades (wheelset, crank, BB, cassette, tires, saddle, pedals). Got a 10mm shorter stem later (n/c).

It worked well for both me and the LBS. We both knew exactly where we both stood at all times.
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