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New bike help - LBS test rides, what to look for?(3 posts)

New bike help - LBS test rides, what to look for?loki_1
Jun 13, 2003 5:47 AM
Have been reading the posts for a while now, have learned a lot (and been left more confused too).

Background: Started out riding a dime store hybrid, several years later when I stayed with it I upgraded to a nos Raleigh Pro (AL) with Shimano 105 group (7 speed rear)components. Ten years and an upgrade to STI later, I am ready to start thinking about a new bike and starting from scratch with the fit.

My rides: Roughly 100 miles a week (if it ever stops raining here on the east coast). Average 19-21mph, sometimes faster depending on grade, tailwinds, etc. 99% of my riding is solo. As a result, I dont really know the lingo, secret handshake or why the hell someone would even attempt a "bump drill". I ride because its the only place I can escape those voices in my head (actually the voices get louder, its the thought of those extra beers that keep my motivation up.)

The questions: I am 6'2, 195#. What I find in my LBS is that they do not have the bikes built up in my size. I have spent some time peddling different setups around my LBS parking lot, but am finding it difficult to decipher the difference in feel (how can I tell which frame is going to be comfortable after a long ride) and fit (cause the frames are too small). What should I expect from a decent lbs as far as guidance and providing bikes for test rides goes? Along with the secret handshake, can someone enlighten me to the secret bike tests to perform?

I have narrowed the frame down to steel, aluminum with a carbon fork, or all carbon (ok, I haven't really gotten that far, but have ruled out Ti as I cannot justify spending over 3 grand no matter how perfect it is). I dont mind spending the money for the right bike for me, but also want to resist getting a full carbon bike if a steel frame is going to be better suited to my needs.

Thank you in advance for your help, flames, grammar and spelling corrections, etc.
Web pagegeeker
Jun 13, 2003 6:23 AM

This assumes a better-stocked, more accommodating and capable LBS than I've ever seen, but it's an ideal to shoot for...

I have the same problem finding big bikes to test ride (1/2 inch taller). Don't know how to get around it. Have been able to test ride a couple of 60cms, which is close. I've read of some really high-end mfrs (eg IF Ti Crown Jewel) offering to ship out frames for test rides, but that's out of my price range.
Another suggestionOverStuffed
Jun 13, 2003 1:35 PM
I found that I was more sensitive to the feel of new bikes after I'd been riding a while already. I would suggest doing moderate ride before you do your test rides, that might bring out some subtleties you might otherwise miss in the frames you ride. I also found that different sizes of the same model frames don't have the exact same feel. Finally, your test ride should get you out of the parking lot. Most shops will give you 20-30 minutes. Use them all.