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the test ride(9 posts)

the test ridelilgeerts72
Jan 2, 2002 9:13 AM
i am getting ready to move into the test ride phase of my road bike purchase. i am new to this sport so i don't have shoes, shorts, helmet, etc. to take with me to test ride some bikes. am i still going to be able to take some bikes out or am i looking at purchasing shoes first just to be able to test ride? also, what should i concentrate on looking for in my test ride that will tell me whether or not that bike is for me. thanks for your responses.
re: the test rideDave Hickey
Jan 2, 2002 9:35 AM
Your LBS should be able to put on platform or toe-clip pedals on the bike for a test ride. No need to buy shoes unless you already know what pedals/cleats you plan on using. Alot of LBS's sell bikes without pedals, so the pedals choice is up to you.
re: the test rideTiger
Jan 2, 2002 9:36 AM
Most bike shops will put some "regular" pedals on that you can ride with tennis shoes. Since most bike shops allow only a brief test ride, you can just wear your regular shorts. The drawback to a test ride is that it is probable that the shop will not have a bike that you want to ride that fits you perfectly. Some factors to look for would be:
Does the bike feel solid? How does the saddle feel? (When you purchase the bike, most shops will swap a saddle for one you might like better) How well does it shift? Are the levers comfortable for your hands? You can switch out component groups (depending on price) when you order. Hope this helps somewhat.
Try this.Len J
Jan 2, 2002 9:40 AM
This is a good link to an article on testriding a bike.

re: the test rideSearcher
Jan 2, 2002 9:57 AM
Make sure all the bikes you test have the same pressure in the tires. Tire pressure can make a big difference in how the ride of the bike feels.
test ride helmets, test ridesTig
Jan 2, 2002 12:15 PM
Most shops are required by their insurance to provide you with a helmet for test rides, so don't worry about that part. You should at least have a good pair of cycling shorts though. You'll need them later, so go ahead and buy some now. Just wear them under your pants so you'll be ready to ride without changing.

A few minutes in the parking lot won't help you understand the differences between bikes. That takes longer rides. Let them help you with adjusting the fit and then let them know that you want to ride it down the road and back for X minutes to get the real feel of it. Go out there and shift into a higher gear, then stand up and sprint hard and feel for the frame's flex when you pedal. Take a few curves at a fast but comfortable speed to see how it steers. Repeat above on next bike, etc. These are just basic tests but a good place to start.
Good Bike ShortsKristin_CLS
Jan 2, 2002 12:28 PM
yup yup yup...
good shorts=good ride
bad shorts=painful ride (and the shorts ride too if you know what I mean.)

For a place to get great shorts at a good price goto: . Don't buy shorts at the bike shop, you'll pay too much.
Jan 3, 2002 1:53 PM
DO buy your shorts at the bike shop! If they treat you right and you are trying on different shorts to find the size and fit you like then buy from them!!
Its hard enough for these guys to stay in business without idiots recommending you use a LBS as a sizing outlet for internet companies.
Inspecting the quality, trying stuff on, looking at different styles, etc. Isnt it worth the few $ you supposedly save through internet sales? Whats really tacky is sizing a bike, trying it out and then buying it somewhere else. If youre not serious about it dont make them jump through hoops to help you!
Support the LBS that you like. If they don't have what you want then ask them to carry it. Later on when you feel comfortable with buying without looking go through internet sales if you want to.
Jan 3, 2002 2:07 PM
If you are starting out, how can you tell which shorts or helmet is right for you? Fit is very personal.

People can recommend interent sites where you save a ton of money but what if you are the one it doesn't fit? Mail it back, wait for a different size or maybe it wasn't what you expected or the quality is bad (or a million other things that could have been taken care of in 5 minutes at a LBS).
Are you really saving money? Isn't your time worth anything? The hassle? Not to mention supporting a shop that supports your cycling.

Saying something is "too expensive" is relative. When you are starting out, do it right the first time. Try stuff on. Buy things that fit you properly. Ask questions. Enjoy the process.

Don't put too much stock in penny pinching by surfing the net. It's a short-sighted plan.