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LBS or Internet

equinefunkequinefunk Posts: 323
edited October 2009 in Road beginners
Hi,

Trying to get my first road bike off the C2W scheme, visited a number of local shops & had anywhere from great to poor service. I have narrowed my bikes down but wonder if I should go with the support of a local bike shop more expensive & less choice or from the Internet better value.

I have visited 6 local shops & only 2 have let me ride a bike, but expected me to spend cash with them on the C2W scheme....on that basis I might as well buy blind from the Internet.

Here's my choices
Spesh Allez Sport 18 - Specialized Concept Store good service & good choice
Giant Defy 2 2009 - Internet cheaper than 2010 & available. I've ridden Defy 3 but can't get one until December.
Williers Escape Xenon - LBS very helpful but bike is £800 a bit more than I want to pay

My mate has just thrown a curve ball with the Raleigh U6 X Cross which can be got for £550

I want to buy a softshell jacket & some good lights so need to leave 300 at least for that.

Any helpwould e appreciated
I'm over 6' and have quite a large head.

Posts

  • MothymanMothyman Posts: 655
    LBS for first bike unless you have roadie tech mates..imo

    have fun choosing, test them all out if poss
  • feelfeel Posts: 800
    LBS and negotiate 10 -12.5% discount on future accessories pre the bike purchase. 8)
    We are born with the dead:
    See, they return, and bring us with them.
  • GarzGarz Posts: 1,155
    Agree with Mothy, as your asking the question I take it your not advanced in the way of the spanner.. so unless you got some helpful riding partners or club people to help I would go the LBS route. 8)
  • Thanks I appreciate the help.....I am inexperienced on Road Bikes but an experienced MTB rider.

    The problem is my LBS's are not that helpful apart from two of them, which restricts my choice. They seem reluctant to let me try out any of the road bikes & don't have a vast selection on the sizes on Smalls or Mediums.

    My mate is an experienced Triathlete & keen Cyclist, he suggests no Road Bikes under a Grand & to get a Cyclocross bike.
    I'm over 6' and have quite a large head.
  • I would stick to your LBS for buying a new bike. The internet can help you with other stuff later, but only as you become more savy throwing wrenches at bikes.

    Happy Riding!
    http://cyclingshoesonline.com - your source for shoe news
  • ride_wheneverride_whenever Posts: 13,279
    i'm going to fly in the face of everyone else, go internet, lbs are for trying bikes and buying if they give good service/support

    your mtb background mean servicing will be easy, and once you've got your size sussed trying a few then you'll be fine internet shopping.
  • fnegronifnegroni Posts: 794
    IMHO, go for Internet.

    Sorry, but LBSs need to get their act together. Unless they are run by proper enthusiasts, then with the amount of information and help online, you can simply ignore them,

    Wiggle now extended their 7 days road test to *all* bikes they sell: essentially no more excuse to get the size wrong.

    And I am sure if you don't know anyone, just go to your local cycling club and get _their_ advice. Simples.
  • fnegroni, I agree at least in my area some of the LBS expect you to just hand over your hard earned without having to work for it. They support MTB riders well but don't seem to accomodate the road rider.

    I asked about a Scott Speedster S40 & a Trek FX, the guy in the shop said I couldn't ride one as they didn't have pedals on them!!!!

    I can maintain a bike & have done various upgrades to my bikes over the years. I'm not at all certain about the ride qualities of road bikes. That's why I wanted to try them out before I buy. Most of the LBS's won't let me so I might as well buy online.

    The good bike shops close to me sell Specialized & Williers, Giant's as well but they just can't get stock.
    I'm over 6' and have quite a large head.
  • EscargotEscargot Posts: 361
    Where abouts in the UK are you ?
  • I'm in the North East, Middlesbrough area....
    I'm over 6' and have quite a large head.
  • EscargotEscargot Posts: 361
    Ah, ok.

    Just thought I'd ask as there's 3 great LBS in my area (Buckinghamshire) and they woud most certainly spend the time with you and let you test ride a bike.

    Think there will definitely be equally good ones closer to home though that the guys here could recommend. Have you thought of ringing round and then making a day trip ?
  • Thanks I have rang round.
    I travel with my work from next week & will have the opportunity to go to the North West & Midlands. Been down to Harrogate to the Specialized Concept Store & they were very helpful. But obviously restricted to Specialized bikes.

    I have a young family so the thought of lugging them around Bike shops doesn't appeal to me or them.
    I'm over 6' and have quite a large head.
  • HornettoHornetto Posts: 141
    When I bought my bike (2007 Allez Sport) last year I bought off the internet. However, I did go to my LBS and try out the size beforehand. I would have bought from the LBS but they were selling the 2008 Model for £750 and I got the 2007 model for £500 on the web. They wouldn't discount lower than £700, which wasn't close enough a price for me just because of the model year.

    However, having tried the 2008 bike in the LBS (even only briefly) I was confident I was getting the correct size on the internet. I wouldn't have bought 'blind'.

    Also, be aware that different makes/models are likely to have different frame sizing, so don't rely on a Giant being the same size as a Specialized, for example.

    p.s. I'm very happy with my Allez Sport if that's any help! (although mine has full Tiagra groupset and I think the current Allez Sport has Sora, so can't comment on difference with that)
    Never argue with an idiot - they drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience
  • hodsgodhodsgod Posts: 226
    No point in going to a LBS if they dont let you try thr bike. A good LBS can be a godsend though.
  • GarzGarz Posts: 1,155
    equinefunk wrote:
    My mate is an experienced Triathlete & keen Cyclist, he suggests no Road Bikes under a Grand & to get a Cyclocross bike.

    I wouldn't call that good advice, for the facts that he hasnt helped much. If you dont commute over rougher terrain or do cyclocross riding then is he just being biased, or are you not telling us the whole story?

    We would all love to have £1k+ bikes too btw! :lol:
  • I'm not keeping a dark secret.....here's the details of the ride I'm doing.

    9 mile road commute + something to keep me going during the winter when I can't get out on my MTB.

    I was originally after a hybrid & rode a Spesh Sirrus & Marin Belvadere. I thought they were ok but too close to a MTB. My mate then bought a Spesh Tricross & thought it would be a decent winter bike for me.

    He thought that a Road bike would be overkill for the ride & I would be better looking elsewhere.

    I've just been another LBS again couldn't provide a bike to ride.
    I'm over 6' and have quite a large head.
  • hopper1hopper1 Posts: 4,389
    equinefunk wrote:
    Thanks I have rang round.
    I travel with my work from next week & will have the opportunity to go to the North West & Midlands. Been down to Harrogate to the Specialized Concept Store & they were very helpful. But obviously restricted to Specialized bikes.

    I have a young family so the thought of lugging them around Bike shops doesn't appeal to me or them.

    In the midlands... Call Epic Cycles, tell them what you're after, the guys will preparet wo or three bikes of your size for you to test ride. Top shop and cater for most price ranges.
    Start with a budget, finish with a mortgage!
  • equinefunk: There's a pretty good road-specific bike shop in Great Ayton, have you tried them? Even if you don't get on with them, you can't beat a trip to Sugget's anyway.
  • thanks undercoverelephant I know the shop but didn't think it was that bike orientated....I'll have a runout there plus my wife can get some sweets & the kids can get an ice-cream.
    I'm over 6' and have quite a large head.
  • GarzGarz Posts: 1,155
    equinefunk wrote:

    9 mile road commute + something to keep me going during the winter when I can't get out on my MTB.

    Well this hardly requires a cyclocross to achieve, they are nice and rugged but from my experience offer less variety around the £500 mark (by this I mean a proper cyclo cross spec bike you may get one to buy then the next variety starts at £800).

    I would just get a nice cheap tourer or bog standard road bike to introduce you to how they feel and would make a great winter commute hack as they say. If you then take to road riding you can save up and invest in a summer version over time!
  • daveclowdaveclow Posts: 164
    my LBS will price match internet, and where that isnt possible they'll go as low as they can and fit it for free, which is fair enough isnt it.

    im sure the internet is hurting LBS's. i dont shy away from spending money in them, but sometimes i do use the net too so im as guilty as anyone.
  • equinefunk wrote:
    thanks undercoverelephant I know the shop but didn't think it was that bike orientated....I'll have a runout there plus my wife can get some sweets & the kids can get an ice-cream.

    I should point out that the bike shop's down the road from Suggets. Feed the ducks with the kids while you're there, there's one that looks just like Elvis...

    DSC08113_2.jpg

    Thank-you very much! Uh-huh! Quack!
  • equinefunkequinefunk Posts: 323
    edited October 2009
    Thanks I have been to the shop before looking for MTB stuff a couple of years ago & was underwhelmed....however went this afternoon & had a good sensible chat.

    They recommended a Defy 3.5 as a "winter hack" & first bike as it wasn't that expensive but also recommended that a Defy 2 might be a better bet if I was to use in the Spring & Summer. Building both up this week so I can have a spin on them.

    Had Ice-creams bought Midget Gems, Pontefract Cakes & Cherry Lips (kept the wife happy)...Elvis duck must have left the building.
    I'm over 6' and have quite a large head.
  • GarzGarz Posts: 1,155
    Good stuff equinefunk!
  • Just found an '09 Giant Defy 2 for under £700 or the '10 for £825 or the '09 2.5 for £600.
    I'm over 6' and have quite a large head.
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