lanky85 Posts: 82
edited January 2009 in Road beginners
Hey all, just wondering how many other people are put off going to try bikes at a lbs due to being overwhelmed by jargon etc...?

Im wanting a road bike for commuting and occasional blast about but im not your "average build" so I guess I really need to go and try a few etc first... BUT I always feel stupid when chatting to the guys working in the shops as I dont know all the jargon and end up just agreeing but not knowing what I'm agreeing too!

Im tempted to buy online without trying because of this but then run the even more stupid risk of spending much hard earned cash on something that might not fit...

anyone share/shared the same dillema or am I just bein a tart :D


  • iain_j
    iain_j Posts: 1,941
    A decent bike shop will (should!) cater for someone who doesn't know the jargon about geometry, components and all that. I'd advise against just buying one online without trying any, especially as you say you're not average build, otherwise you'll be throwing money away and probably won't get as enjoyment out of the bike.
  • LittleB0b
    LittleB0b Posts: 416
    I feel your pain. Bike shops are nearly as intimidating as record shops in my book. I just bought my first bike and oddly it was the most specialist shop i tried that was in reality the least scary.

    I tried evans - where i was ignored, and a few others which didn't seem to take me seriously or have much choice. in the end it was the shop i expected to be most intimidate in that turned out to have friendly enthusiastic staff, who seemed to want me to take away a bike i would love. If there is a moral from all that it's just go in and try - and if you don't feel like you are being treated well just walk away.
  • jairaj
    jairaj Posts: 3,009
    Don't be worried about going into bike shop and not knowing the jargon. A good shop should be able to explain the pro's and con's at a level that you understand. If you don't understand something eg why a longer/shorter top tube would suit your body better etc just ask them to explain why and the reasoning behind their advise.

    When I got back into biking (about a year ago) I didn't really know anything but a few visits to the local shop helped get me started. I went in a few times for a chat about bikes, they didn't seem to mind it at all. Give it a go your self, pop in have a chat, go home have think about what you've been told any more questions, just go back and have another chat.
  • lanky85
    lanky85 Posts: 82
    Yep I may have a look tomororrow afternoon or over the weekend. Its just the dreaded question when shop staff ask "do you need any help" lol and my brains screaming of course i do!! but my pride replies " nah, mate just having a nosey"

    littlebob which shop did you find helpful as I now live in Scotland too.
  • LittleB0b
    LittleB0b Posts: 416
    It was the Tri-center in Edinburgh.
  • I had exactly the same problem. Found 2 shops that were really friendly and helpful, didn't have the awful few seconds or minutes standing looking like a tube.

    Velo Eccosse in Edinburgh and a wee place in West Calder, Pedal Power.
  • dcab
    dcab Posts: 255
    dont rush into anything! shop around ? each shop will obviously try to sell on the pro's of their own brand. i ended up at p. hewitts in leyland, got a fitting ,good advice, top service and came away with a top bike?
    veritas vos liberabit
  • I am really lucky, my lbs in North Harrow is excellent, they explain things in a way even i can understand, never try to sell me anything that i don't need and are even happy to suggest alternative suppliers in the rare instance that they don't have/can't get what i need. If you live in NW London then its definately the place to go.
    "If you think you can, or if you think you can't, your right" Henry Ford
  • To take the presssure off, kick off with something like "I'm not buying today, but...."

    Then you can ask away without the pressure of a sale at the end. Remember, these guys are going to be keen to help you, after all - without you - they're out of business.

    Hope that helps.
  • Ken Night
    Ken Night Posts: 2,005
    Know what you mean lanky.....and it's not just not knowing the jargon when the sales guy starts asking you what you want, it's assimilating that as you go along, and then making a decision when you're so low down on the learning curve

    It may be good to get a basic bike for the style you intend to ride-/borrowed or second hand can be good if you have a mate to help

    That way, you can learn all about it, keeping expensive mistakes to a minimum, and still have a decent second bike when you do make the plunge

    A new bike will lose around 50% of it's value in a year
    “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best..." Ernest Hemingway
  • Garry H
    Garry H Posts: 6,639
    LittleB0b wrote:
    It was the Tri-center in Edinburgh.

    Brought from the Tri centre last year and agree with you, they're very helpful and friendly.
  • Steve_F
    Steve_F Posts: 682
    I find it best to be honest with these type of thing.

    Tell them up front that you're not an expert and they should be able to ask the right questions to point you to what you need. Only downside to that approach is they have the upperhand telling you what you want to hear to buy a bike. Just try it at a couple of shops and you'll soon know your stuff.

    I sometimes use that approach when I know my stuff, have done it buying a car and it gives me a good idea if I want to do business with them or if they are just out for the sale and stuff the customer's real needs!
    Current steed is a '07 Carrera Banshee X
    + cheap road/commuting bike