Test Riding Troubles

Discussion in 'Beginners Forum' started by blackfish, Apr 26, 2010.

  1. blackfish

    blackfish New Member

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    Hello, first time poster. Apologize ahead of time if this has already been discussed, but I didn't see that it had been.

    I'm a somewhat new bicycle consumer having never really purchased a bike from a LBS. It seems practical to me that one would want to test ride a bike before purchasing. But it also makes sense to me that shops aren't going to stock every model in every size in each brand of bike they carry.

    Which leads me to my dilemma. I am interested in two specific bikes, but calling most of the shops in their dealer list that carry their brand within a reasonable distance to my house has yielded zero bikes. Any thoughts on this?

    Happy to have joined!
    blackfish
     
  2. hophead

    hophead New Member Tavern Member

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    Welcome to the site!

    What specifically are you looking to buy?
     

  3. blackfish

    blackfish New Member

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    Hey hophead. Is your name a reference to hops? Beer is my first love.

    I'm looking at the Redline Metro 9 and the Torker Graduate. Both are made by the same company which is, in fact, located in the same city I live in. Local shops carry the brands, as do many across the country so getting either one to a shop is just a matter of waiting a day or two or three. The problem is that if none of the shops happen to have any in stock, it becomes a "special order, " which essentially means that I have to buy the bike for the shop to order it. I wish I knew someone at Seattle Bike Supply (they make the bikes)....
     
  4. Industry_Hack

    Industry_Hack Total noob (& forum admin) Admin Staff Tavern Member

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    A factory in Taiwan makes them. SBS just imports them. Actually, they may be made in China, but we can hope for Taiwan.

    Sadly, even though you live in the hometown of this giant conglomerate of brands, it sounds like you're being under-served by them. That leaves you with a couple of options:

    Do the dealer search on their sites, and find the closest dealer, even if that means traveling.

    Convince a local dealer to order one in your size for the purpose of testing. Unless you're really tall or short, this would only be an issue for the dealer if a) the dealer sucks, or b) the bike sucks, and the dealer won't order one unless they know they can sell it.

    Go with what your local shops actually stock. They either have it in stock because they move them quick enough, or (we hope not on this one) they have it in stock because it's crap, and no one will buy it. (See above option)

    Buy online. (While this is a viable option for some, I don't recommend it for you at this point)

    Harsh? Maybe. But if you want a Redline or Torker, those are your options. If you wanted a Haro or Masi, I could at least get you in touch with someone that could make it happen. SBS seems to be a little too big for that to happen, although I may have a contact there. I just don't like the odds of things trickling down to the individual retail level.
     
  5. hophead

    hophead New Member Tavern Member

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    Yup, I'm a big fan of the malted beverage and the more hops, the better. I home brewed for around 10 years, but haven't had the time or space for it lately. I do still drink my fair share though.:D

    The advice that I give to all beginner cyclists is to select a bike from what is available at your LBS. If you have more than one to choose from, even better. The reason being is that they will be able to help you find what's right for you and what fits properly and service it when needed.

    Now, if you have your heart set on one of those two bikes and you have found a local shop that will order it for you, they should be willing to swap out pieces if need be. For instance, you may need a different length stem or maybe a different saddle. As long as the frame is the correct size and the geometry is right, they should have no problem fitting it you to. You of course, are not going to be able to test ride it first if you go this route. You could test ride another bike with similar geometry and frame material. A commuter bike is not quite as fit critical as a full blown road bike, so you will probably be fine if you go this route.

    Hope this helps and good luck!
     
  6. blackfish

    blackfish New Member

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    Hello Industry_Hack. Not harsh at all. I appreciate the honest response. You provided me with an idea and those are all I'm looking for. Thank you.