Am I Missing Out

Max_Man Posts: 185
edited October 2007 in Road beginners
I've been seriously looking at getting my first road bike and been to all my local LBS's numerous times and usually see the same assistants in the shop', it's pretty simple to see that I'm a complete novice and need all the help I can get and to be fair they always chat away and give me a bit of advice but I never come away knowing exactly what size frame I need and whether the thing is going to fit me right. Also I've never been offered a test ride and no-one has really tried to get a bike to fit me right in the shop...should I be getting this service?, am I being fobbed off with the bare minimum?

Please comment on what service you receive from a local shop when trying to get a new bike.



  • fizz
    fizz Posts: 483
    I found that by browsing around it doesnt really help you, your best bet is to go up to an assitant and say

    I have cash to spend, I want a bike, but I dont know what size frame I need, I'm going to use it for x,y and z and can you help get the bike fitted t oyou. If they are a LBS thats any good and their staff are trained properly they'll help you, if they dont after that, go to a different LBS.

    if you just ask a series of random open ended questions you wont get anywhere, so think about what you want help with and then get stuck in. If you're not confident and a bit bewildered by the process then write a list down on a bit of paper before you go into the shop.
  • scapaslow
    scapaslow Posts: 305
    My experience is that LBS's are extremely variable in respect of their service when buying a bike. Your description matches my experience.

    The irony is that the best service i've had comes from small local shops which did not stock the bikes i was interested in and generally do not carry a great deal of stock anyway. Most of their trade comes from servicing and selling of cycling accessories, they don't make much from selling the bikes themselves.

    I was interested in the Bianchi C2C, Cannondale Synapse and Specialized Roubaix. Off i went to Edinburgh hoping to see the bikes and get a test ride. The Bianchi dealer only had large sizes of the bottom of the range C2C in stock and did not have a clue about which size would fit me best (in fact did not see to know anything about the C2C bikes at all). He told me to go and measure up my existing bike and come back and he could then order one up which would take several weeks, handed me a glossy brochure and disappeared.

    My next port of call was the Edinburgh Bike Coop. The shop didn't seem to be that busy but i couldn't get hold of an assistant despite several attempts. With a lunch date looming i walked out after half an hour and never returned. I called in on my LBS on the way home who stock Trek/LeMond bikes who waxed lyrical about the LeMond bikes and knew them inside out but could not offer a test ride.

    I then took to the internet and ordered a Cannondale Synapse in the size i thought suited me best. A change of stem and saddle and several thousand K later i'm glad that i did.

    It's a lottery. Depending on where you live try and find out which shops actually offer test rides and have stock of the bikes you are interested in, in your size and be prepared to travel to get one. You may be lucky. Or take to the internet for reviews of the bikes you like, check the manufacturers websites for geometry to get some basic sizing and order one up with the proviso you may have to change a few bits and pieces. You'll find some sites offer excellent customer service that would shame many a LBS.

    Really, it ought to be much easier.

    Recently, i had call to be in Glasgow and called into Dales (a large shop about which i'd heard some bad tales). I bought a saddle with some help from an assistant who said i could bring it back (only if unmarked) after trying it out on my own bike. He suggested putting tape on the rails to avoid marking. Apparently they offer all day test rides of bikes as well.

    So there is decent service out there, it's just hard to find. Good luck :!:
  • ash68
    ash68 Posts: 320
    Agree with Fizz, tell the assistant what you want from the bike, your price range and any preferences over make etc and take it from there. Off course you should be able to test ride as many bikes as you like, for size,comfort etc. But do be prepared to leave a deposit or car keys to cover when you go out on the test ride.If you get no joy from one shop simply move on to the next. I'm always amazed there are so many people without good LBS. Feel lucky to have two so close to me who give very good service.
  • mea00csf
    mea00csf Posts: 558
    The bike shop aren't going to offer test rides and bike fittings to people who look as tho they're casually looking. It sounds to me that you might be coming across as the casually looking type. Chatting away in open ended meandering conversations probably won't help you're case.

    Start thinking hard about what you want the bike for and what your budget is. Let the assistant know that your serious about buying a bike, and you'll start to get more focussed advice and if you manage to narrow choices down ask for test rides etc. If your still not getting anywhere as a serious buyer, walk away and find a better bike shop.
  • giant_man
    giant_man Posts: 6,878
    I think the comments on here are pretty accurate, if you go in there and speak to someone and you know what you're talking about and you are genuinely interested then you will get real help and support in your choice of bike.

    And if they have a demo machine, you will get a test ride.