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Which is more important- bike or shop?

Old 09-18-19, 09:37 AM
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Fredr500
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Which is more important- bike or shop?

Very much a beginner, wife and I are both in our 60's and want to start biking. Paved roads, paved greenways, gravel trails. I know we need a Hybrid, and in the $600 range it looks like most brands are more less equal for our needs.

I have a Trek dealer 3 miles from my house, and an independent shop 15 miles away. From my limited research I can't find anything bad about either (mainly discussing at my gym).

Independent shop carries about a dozen different brands, recommends Marin (would be Felt but they are in short supply) but will let us ride everything in the shop if needed. Trek dealer says Dual Sport 2. Both are essentially the same price.

Recommendation on how to choose?

Thanks.
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Old 09-18-19, 11:26 AM
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Welcome! Given your recent entry into this lifestyle, I would say a good shop will be very valuable to you as you test ride different bikes to see what you like. I agree that, at $600, most hybrids will more or less have the same or similar components and same or similar capabilities. It just depends on what your body finds comfortable. Trek makes great bikes, but other brands do, too. I would give both shops a visit. At Trek, the three models that will most likely appeal to you are the Dual Sport, the Verve, and the FX. A test ride will probably tell you pretty quickly which one of these three you like the best. And maybe you like one model and your wife likes another model.

The independent dealer would be good to visit, too. Most bike brands have bikes similar to the Dual Sport, the Verve, and the FX. But they'll feel different -- they'll have slightly different geometries and dimensions and things like that. Small differences in ergonomics can make a real difference in your riding comfort. Because they have different brands, and hopefully some good selection, you may be able to test ride a number of bikes in the same category to see if one suits you better than others.
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Old 09-18-19, 12:16 PM
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Fifteen miles isn't all that far, so I would say get the bikes that you find most comfortable. You're really only locked in to the shop you buy the bike from for things which are included with the bike purchase (warranty issues, discounts on future service, etc.) For anything else, you can go to the closer shop.

At the beginning of the summer I purchased a new bike from a shop which is about a half-hour drive from my house. They had a really good deal on a bike I had my eye on, and I couldn't turn it down. But the bike turned out to have two separate problems. I had to take the bike back to the shop three or four times before everything got sorted out. It was all covered under warranty, and the guys at the shop were great about it. But I did get tired of making that drive. I only mention this to say that sometimes the distance to the bike shop does become an issue. But that's the exception, not the rule. Most new bikes are going to function just fine, and you'll only be taking them back to the shop for the complimentary tune-up after the new cables stretch.

And even if I knew then what I know now, I would still have purchased the same bike from the same shop. It's perfect for my type of riding, and it fits me well. So I would say the bike matters more than the shop.
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Old 09-18-19, 04:57 PM
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We have a Trek dealer shop so thatís where we went. Iím going on 62, wife just turned 60. Neither of us have ridden since teenagers. We went in to get two Dual Sport 3s, but after talking to us, the shop recommended a Townie for the wife (at a loss of about $300 to them). It has pedals extended more toward the front so she can put her feet on the ground without dismounting the seat. Picked up mine on Sep 3 and just got the call hers is ready to be picked up, so weíll pick it up tomorrow. Iíve ridden mine 6 times for a total of about 30 miles. Longest for 7 miles. Still working on getting the seat adjusted just right to prevent unnecessary discomfort, and ordered a replacement seat right after I ride it for the first time. I really love the bike and went with the 3 over the 2 for the difference in parts quality...and to be totally honest, the awesome Volt color! If the folks at your Trek dealer shop are half as helpful as ours, thatís the one Iíd lean toward.
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Old 09-19-19, 05:25 AM
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A dealer is not much good if they can't help you choose (and have available for a test ride) a quality bike which fits your riding style and which fits you. And the bike is not much good if the dealer can't help you out when the bike needs tuning up (and a new bike will need a tune-up after things start to "wear in"). I'd say both are very important, especially to a beginner who may not yet have the mechanical skills necessary to keep a bike "tuned". So, go for both! Hoping you both have a great experience choosing and riding your new bikes-to-be!
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Old 09-19-19, 06:20 AM
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I am in my mid-50’s and faced similar choices to you back in June. I rode both the Trek bikes (Trek dealer 10 miles away) and Marin (LBS 2 miles away). I liked both brands, and my decision came down to the Dual Sport models. I ended up going with the Marin San Rafael DS2 from my local bike shop, and I love it. The major decision point for me was that my local bike shop offered complementary lifetime adjustments and tuneups. I’ve already been back in there a couple of times and they have been fantastic. Additionally, for me, the Marin’s geometry provided a slightly more upright, and thus more comfortable, ride than the Trek DS2. Both are terrific bikes however, and the lockout front suspension is an absolute must have in my opinion.

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Old 09-19-19, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Fredr500 View Post
Very much a beginner, wife and I are both in our 60's and want to start biking. Paved roads, paved greenways, gravel trails. I know we need a Hybrid, and in the $600 range it looks like most brands are more less equal for our needs.

I have a Trek dealer 3 miles from my house, and an independent shop 15 miles away. From my limited research I can't find anything bad about either (mainly discussing at my gym).

Independent shop carries about a dozen different brands, recommends Marin (would be Felt but they are in short supply) but will let us ride everything in the shop if needed. Trek dealer says Dual Sport 2. Both are essentially the same price.

Recommendation on how to choose?

Thanks.
I am 63 In Very good shape : I started with a Dual Sport , then an FX3 and Finally a Verve which is what I should have bought in the first place . Which is what I bought The Wife and told a couple friends to buy. The dual Sport is nice : I hated the FX3 : But the Verve I can ride anywhere you mentioned : The Dual Sport 2 tires on the Road are akin to knobby's. on a Truck.

I had just ridden a 22 mile ride 2 nights ago on the dual Sport : Last night went for the same ride on the Verve . What a difference : After all You're not getting younger :

Keep in mind it's not the Bike. It's how you feel in the cock-pit (I believe that's the term they use)

At least give a Verve a Test Spin :
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Old 09-19-19, 08:26 AM
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when I car shop, first I decide what car I want. the brand, model & year. then I shop for it, looking for the best dealer & deal. wandering around trying to figure out all 3 things, car, dealer & deal doesn't make any sense for me

good luck!

I buy used bikes, so my process for that is a little different
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Old 09-19-19, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
when I car shop, first I decide what car I want. the brand, model & year. then I shop for it...
I don't mean to sound flip, but you decide the make and model of car without test driving anything? Maybe you've decided on a Toyota RAV4, but a Nissan Rogue or Ford Escape might fit you better? Or maybe there's a super annoying thing the transmission does that you just can't live with it, and you wouldn't know until you drive it?

That's one of the biggest reasons (in my opinion) for shopping different kinds of bikes before deciding what you want. I knew what I wanted when I bought my Giant ARX in 2018. You all know how that turned out (thread linked for those who don't; Cliff's Notes: I didn't like how it rode and I returned it). A Trek Verve and a Specialized Roll and a Cannondale Treadwell will all fit and ride differently, and you won't know if you like one better than the other, or any of them at all, until test riding at those respective dealers.
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Old 09-19-19, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by hokiefyd View Post
you decide the make and model of car without test driving anything?
no, sorry I was referring to the sequence of events. so first I do that by visiting various dealers & private car sales, etc. to determine what I want. THEN I shop for the best dealer/deal for what I decided I want

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Old 09-19-19, 02:15 PM
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Always go with the shop you like the best, and the one that offers the best service. Any major brand bike will ride great when its properly fitted and tuned. You want a shop that will get you there and offer great service after the sale.

Thanks.[/QUOTE]
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Old 09-20-19, 04:38 PM
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OP: tested the Treks today

Wife and I went to Trek today to test ride. We started with the DS 2, her on medium me on a large. We both hated them. The upper bar rubbed my crotch when standing and when riding there was a lot of pressure on my hands and arms. Wife said hers was uncomfortable on her bottom and arms. I tried her medium and it was better but not great.

Then we switched to Verve 2. Both of us on mediums. The difference was night and day for both of us. Very comfortable and fun to ride.

Next step is to go go to the independent shop on Tuesday and ride what they have.
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Old 09-26-19, 07:12 AM
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Rode a Felt

so we got to the shop Tuesday afternoon. It was over 90* and my wife felt she couldnít give a valid test due to the sun and heat so we just planned to look.

They had a 2019 Felt Broam(sp?)60 on sale so I took it for a ride. I wanted to love this bike and take it home but I couldnít. All my weight was on my hands and arms, leaning over hurt my back (felt it for 2 days) and I was uncomfortable on the handlebars with the brakes far from the most comfortable position.

So next cool overcast day weíll head over again. There is no sense having my wife uncomfortable testing or sheíll never want to ride.
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Old 09-26-19, 07:39 AM
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It's possible to get the Felt Broam60 to fit as long as your reach is right. A lot of that is determined by the virtual top tube length. Competitive cyclist has a basic fit calculator that can allow you to take some body measurements and receive recommendations about bicycle frame measurements that will provide more comfort. Once you have a ballpark and experience with what is comfortable, you can tweak parameters to get the rest of the way there. It a little bit of work to get a bicycle that you're excited to ride!

Carrying a lot of weight on your hands is a symptom of having the saddle too far forward on the rails. You'll want to be able to hold your bent over position with no hands while firmly on the saddle, so you're being supported by your core, your legs, and your butt. Unless you are prone to back injuries or are suffering from them, the soreness would seem like you overworked your muscles. If you take the time to strengthen your core, your back won't feel so bad. You could also play with stem length and angle for a more upright position.

If you have arthritic joints and limited flexibility, talk to a professional bike fitter about it and let them fit you, especially if they have experience with individuals with limited mobility.

I'd want the sexier sport bike over a flat bar hybrid too.
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Old 09-26-19, 08:46 AM
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If you weren't comfortable on a DS, and liked the Verve better, then I really think you'd be trying to force a drop bar bike to work. Listen to your body and what it's telling you.
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Old 10-03-19, 10:05 AM
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Most bikes in the $600 range are going to be the same. Most frames in that range are manufactured in Taiwan and components are all the same (Shimano Sram...).

I think the most important part of the process is the bike shop. If you have an issue after you purchase the bike you need to return to the shop for repairs, maintenance, warrantee issues, etc. If you don't feel comfortable with the people who you purchase the bike from you probably won't feel any better when you return to get the bike serviced.

I'm in my 60's also and I've been a customer in this industry for 40+ years. Build my own bikes work as a volunteer in a local bike shop and manage a fleet of bikes at work. I'm no expert but this is what I'll tell everyone who comes to me when they buy a new bike.
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Old 10-03-19, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Jmpierce View Post
Most bikes in the $600 range are going to be the same. Most frames in that range are manufactured in Taiwan and components are all the same (Shimano Sram...).

I think the most important part of the process is the bike shop. If you have an issue after you purchase the bike you need to return to the shop for repairs, maintenance, warrantee issues, etc. If you don't feel comfortable with the people who you purchase the bike from you probably won't feel any better when you return to get the bike serviced.
It's interesting to see the different perspectives on this question, all of which are no doubt based on personal experience.

I have four bike shops within a 30-minute drive of my home. I've purchased bikes from three of them, and accessories from the other one. And without exception I've been highly satisfied with the knowledgeable and friendly service I've received at each shop. So from my experience, the shops are the same.

But as I've shopped for bikes, I've found appreciable differences in the bikes which are available from different brands. When shopping for a mountain bike a few years ago, I purchased a Kona because the front suspension on it had rebound damping and 32 mm stanchions - neither of which were available on the comparable Giant I was also considering. When shopping for a gravel bike earlier this year, I felt very cramped on the Giant but the Fuji felt great; and the SRAM shifting on the Fuji was a lot easier for me than the Shimano road shifters on the Giant. So from my experience, the bikes can be very different.

I say all that not to dispute the opinion above (that the shop is more important), but simply to say there may not be one "correct" answer to the question. It really depends on the quality of the local shops you have nearby and on how similar the different-branded bikes are in what you're shopping for.
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Old 10-28-19, 11:27 AM
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OP back for follow up. Went to another shop and they showed me a 2019 Specialized Roll Elite. They only had a low entry in large assembled (and on sale), so I took it for a spin and fell in love. The turquoise color worked and I felt very comfortable on the low entry (at 64 I don't care what anyone thinks) so I bought it for me. My wife came home, took one look at it and thanked me for buying her a bike. Long story short it fit her fine and I was back to the shop.

He dug around in the back and found an unboxed 2018 Roll Elite (black with some sort of sparkles) for even less money, so I now have 2 Roll Elites in the garage. I only have about 40 miles on mine so far, she has 25. These bikes are so comfortable and easy to ride I never want to stop. Our greenway system here is relatively flat, paved and beautiful this time of year so I can't spend enough time out there pedaling, although around 10 miles my backside starts getting sore. I think my next purchase is bike pants.

Thanks for all the comments here, I guess its time to go tot the Specialized owners and geezer threads.
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Old 10-28-19, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Fredr500 View Post
I now have 2 Roll Elites in the garage.. These bikes are so comfortable and easy to ride I never want to stop.
Awesome! Congrats, and enjoy the riding!
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Old 10-28-19, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Fredr500 View Post
OP back for follow up. Went to another shop and they showed me a 2019 Specialized Roll Elite. They only had a low entry in large assembled (and on sale), so I took it for a spin and fell in love. The turquoise color worked and I felt very comfortable on the low entry (at 64 I don't care what anyone thinks) so I bought it for me. My wife came home, took one look at it and thanked me for buying her a bike. Long story short it fit her fine and I was back to the shop.

He dug around in the back and found an unboxed 2018 Roll Elite (black with some sort of sparkles) for even less money, so I now have 2 Roll Elites in the garage. I only have about 40 miles on mine so far, she has 25. These bikes are so comfortable and easy to ride I never want to stop. Our greenway system here is relatively flat, paved and beautiful this time of year so I can't spend enough time out there pedaling, although around 10 miles my backside starts getting sore. I think my next purchase is bike pants.

Thanks for all the comments here, I guess its time to go tot the Specialized owners and geezer threads.
Congrats, but where are the photos?

Did your wife take the turquoise or go with the black sparkle?
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Old 10-30-19, 05:41 AM
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Photos will come as soon as I hit 10 posts.

Of course I took the beautiful black bike and gave the wife the ugly turquoise. You donít stay married 44 years by making bad choices.
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Old 10-30-19, 09:22 AM
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how long have the shops been in business? how old is the shop owner? how likely is it for the shop to close in your lifetime?

Most bike shops are owned by individuals and once they reach retirement age or die, the shop closes
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Old 10-30-19, 09:25 AM
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If you gotta start the car there isn't any difference between 3 miles and 15 miles.
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Old 10-30-19, 11:17 AM
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Congrats to the OP! I was going to say "shop" since you indicated you're a novice, but also to look around try a few shops to find the one whose owner and managers seem to really have your best interest as a rider at heart, versus just being really good salespeople. Hopefully you live in an area where there are multiple LBSs you can compare (I'm fortunate enough, in West L.A. to have dozens, most are friendly, some not so much, and others exemplary).

It looks like you may have found a good one, so congratulations on the bike and looking forward to your pics!

If in the years to come you get more comfortable self-servicing your bike for routine upkeep like cleaning and lubrication and light cable adjustment...or if you go even further down the rabbit hole and learn how to completely disassemble and reassemble your bike, then you can opt for getting best "bang for buck" by ordering frames and parts online and assembling them yourself. But until then, a good LBS is worth its weight in gold. And a great one should reward its repeat customers with a bit of a break off of MSRP.
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