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last minute help(6 posts)

last minute helplilgeerts72
Apr 4, 2002 1:27 PM
Well, after months of saving and research, and a lot of time spent on this website, i am going in tomorrow morning to buy my new bike. sorry everybody, i'm not buying it used simply because it is my first road bike, and i want the back up of the shop in case i can't figure something out. i was just wondering if anyone had any last minute advice on buying it, stuff i shouldn't forget, what to expect. thanks for all your advice in the past and any help on this topic too. you will be hearing from me soon on some actual bike questions. thanks.
re: last minute helpDave Hickey
Apr 4, 2002 1:37 PM
If you have them, bring cycle shorts and shoes for the test ride. Don't be afraid to ask the shop to swap out the saddle if the one on the bike doesn't feel good. Any good shop will gladly make a saddle swap.
re: last minute helpMikeC
Apr 4, 2002 2:07 PM
Good luck!
I won't argue with a new roadie buying a new bike from a shop, because there are a number of advantages. I'm sure you already know most of them. Except for the first point, they're in no particular order...
1) Fit is absolutely critical. Don't compromise because you fall in love with a particular bike, or because you feel like you're being a pain in the butt.
2) Don't just make sure the frame fits, make sure the bars fit, too. I've seen too many big riders who can't breathe properly or get shoulder pain because the bars are too narrow. A bike shop will usually swap out bars for you if the stock one is too small.
3) Ask questions about the pedals (if they're included), and if not, ask questions regarding your options. Are they single- or double-sided? What kind of float do they have? What shoes are compatible? If you haven't ridden clipless before, ask for tips. Will you need shoes? If so, will you be walking in them much? If so, find out what they look and feel like with the cleats attached.
4) Does the bike have a pump peg? Is one important to you?
5) Will the stock saddle suit you? They tend to be pretty bare-bones (no pun intended). Will the shop give you credit toward an upgrade?
6) Will the store give you a discount on accessories? Many shops offer up to 20% off accessories with the purchase of a new bike.
7) Make sure the shifters suit your hands and riding style. If they're Sora, you won't be able to shift from the drops. Some people with smaller hands don't like Campy hoods, while others like the slightly wider/flatter platform.
8) Is the steerer pre-cut, or will it be cut to suit you? If they're going to cut it, you might want to have it on the long side to begin with...you can always get them to cut it down later.
9) You may be able to get them to throw in something like a cycle computer for free. Get a bottle or two at the least.
10) If you've never change a tire on a road bike, don't be embarrassed to ask them to show you how. Today's clinchers can be a bear!
11) Ask them about basic maintenance issues (the manual will probably be worthless). Ask about lubes, routine adjustments, etc.
12) If you don't own cycling shorts, don't start riding without them.
13) Make sure that you get the details on after-purchase service. Bike shops will give you a no-charge tune-up after break-in.
14) Buying from a bike shop gets you a relationship. Their expertise is part of the purchase price, and the best way to access that expertise is by being a recognizable face with a personality attached to it, not just an in-and-out credit card.
15) Let them know you'll be around. You're not someone they'll never see again.
16) This may sound dumb, but make sure you like the color. My wife bore a grudge for two years because I nudged her toward a dull green bike which I respected instead of the electric blue bile that made her feel good when she was on it.
17) After the sale, be sure to get some miles in before doing any fancy riding. Some of today's hot rides are twitchier than the 10-speed you grew up with, and no-hands riding can be harder than you remember.
18) Do you have a pump? One with a Presta fitting? You'll be putting 100+ psi into those tires.
19) If you're interested in group rides, ask the shop about local clubs.
20) If you're going to ride with groups, do you need a rach to get to the meeting place. If you have an MTB, make sure the rack will fit your road bike.
Have fun, and congratulations on taking the plunge!
a couple other itemsKEN2
Apr 4, 2002 2:23 PM
the above list is very good and almost exhaustive; however, two more obvious items aren't mentioned: saddle height & fore/aft position (and tilt), and stem length and rise. These are critical to fit and a good shop will set up your seat height, then the fore/aft position, and then your stem (which might involve a swap-out).
....and one more.grzy
Apr 4, 2002 6:12 PM
Take your time in making your purchase decision. Don't get pressured by yourself or anyone else that you absolutely have to decide that day. You're going to own the thing for a long time (or lose money selling it off) so take the time to try lots of bikes, visit several shops, talk to the people. They need to get to know a little bit about you and you need to do the same. Since price isn't your only concern (used is cheaper) you need to get things like the fit and the relationship with the shop right - take advantage of what they have to offer - experience. A good shop will be committed to helping you do it right - a not so good shop will try to hurry things along, get your money and send you on your way - they may even offer a "deal".

You should absolutely test ride every bike you are considering - they may all feel alike to you, but you may find some that you really like/dislike. The hard part may be that you're not used to the position of a road bike. If they get you all low and racey it might feel fine for 10 or 15 minutes, but you may be very uncomfortable after a couple hours. After some months of riding this may work out for you or it may cause you to stop riding. Realize that the whole saddle thing is mostly trial and error. The stock saddles usually aren't that good, but you don't have enough experience to know what is going to work for you either.

Don't be scared off by a shop that sells a lot of high dollar bikes - they usually know what they're doing or they wouldn't be able to sell them. If they talk down to you then head for the door. If the shop is mostly MTB you might want to look for one that has a more even mix.
What they said, and......Len J
Apr 4, 2002 6:41 PM
don't be surprised at the cost of accessories. Helmet, Cycling shorts, gloves, shoes, pedals, underseat bag w/ extra tube, tire irons, and utility tool, Pump, cycling jerseys, Shatterproof sun glasses.

And have the shop show you how to remove and replace the wheels from the frame if you've never experienced quick release hubs and "lawyer lips". (Ask the shop).

Good luck & Congrats.

Len