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Ever buy a bike without a test ride?

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Ever buy a bike without a test ride?

Old 09-03-21, 06:12 PM
  #51  
mwdilday
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I bought a 2018 Fuji Gran Fondo Two.1 from Performance when they were closing at a big discount. I only rode it around the store a little bit - not outside. It has turned out to be a great road bike.
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Old 09-04-21, 04:31 PM
  #52  
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Good feedback. Thanks. Sounds like the thing to do before buying a new bike online without being able to try out in person is to know size and dimensions. And of course ask questions of the bike dealer if at all possible. Good to know so many of you have had success buying bike sight unseen.
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Old 09-04-21, 05:31 PM
  #53  
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The only times I've done this were when I bought a frame/fork and then built up the bike myself. One was a Surly Cross Check. The other was a Salsa Warbird. I kept the Surly for 15 years. The Salsa is my main bike at the moment. Every other bike in the last 20 years I've test ridden and all but my current commuter have been sold within a few years.
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Old 09-04-21, 05:51 PM
  #54  
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Didn't test ride any of my bikes. I did get input on sizing and geometry from my LBS, before ordering my first frame for a build project.

Mrs. rjones28, however, test rode both of her bikes before buying.
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Old 09-05-21, 09:56 AM
  #55  
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I didn't test ride the specific bike I'm currently riding, since no local shop carried it... instead, I drove 3 hours away to test the model in which I was interested at a shop full of slightly-arrogant, annoying staff that did not want to help with the pricing at all, then ordered it off an internet dealer.

I like local shops and service, but when the LBS doesn't sell it, and the further-away shops are not going to be servicing it (or are otherwise unhelpful), it does not leave many other options open.
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Old 09-05-21, 03:50 PM
  #56  
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I guess it's probably not a good idea, but after having a total knee done this fall, I decided to jump full on into cycling since running and soccer are out now. Went to the lbs over the winter and they didn't have a bike to even size me on. Talked with one of the employees about the bike I thought I wanted after doing internet research (haven't had a bike since I was about 15 and I'm 40 now) and decided it was a good choice. Employee helped me figure the right size by looking at me stand in front of him. Put myself on a waiting list and crossed my fingers. A few weeks later, I saw there was a bike that fit my needs about four hours away, so I called them and bought it. Had someone that lived in the area pick it up for me and hold it for a few months over the winter until I could pick it up from them. So far so good, but again, my first bike. Bound to be pretty happy regardless I think.
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Old 09-05-21, 06:53 PM
  #57  
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Old guy new to biking this spring. I had a hybrid and was happy. My buddy is a hard man and insisted I buy a Trek Domane listed on CL in my size. I went to look at the bike. The tires were flat. I offered the seller a price, he took it, and I went home with a road bike without riding it. Turns out it is a great bike, it fits, and I ride it a lot. It worked out well, and my buddy's direction was spot on.

Mike
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Old 09-05-21, 07:13 PM
  #58  
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Never have. However, if I was familiar with a particular model I might do it for a used bike.
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Old 09-05-21, 07:14 PM
  #59  
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I don't even test drive cars.
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Old 09-05-21, 10:46 PM
  #60  
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I did not test ride ANY of the road bikes I've ever bought. Lots of pre-purchase research though.

My mountain bike I test rode up and down the street for ten minutes, but only because the shop guy insisted I give it a ride before buying.
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Old 09-06-21, 05:48 AM
  #61  
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when I purchase bikes at the lbs, yes, I test ride them. But, I do buy a lot of bikes on eBay as well, so, no. No test rides
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Old 09-06-21, 11:40 AM
  #62  
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Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
I’ve never test ridden a bike. Had a custom bike built after being fitted on a test jig and at least 5 other bikes online or used. Once you have a bike that fits comfortably you should be able to determine if another bike can achieve the same fit points. Knowing the stack and reach of your current bike and the ones you’re contemplating is essential.
Hi is there a website where I can learn more on how to make this calculation, relating for measurements to the shack and reach of the bloke frame?
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Old 09-06-21, 11:42 AM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by Welshboy View Post
I've had quite a few custom framesets but all of my off the peg bike and frame purchases have been without a test ride. I do study frame geometry charts though and know what to avoid (mainly short head tubes).
Hi where can I learn more about studying frame geometry and what to avoid? Thanks
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Old 09-06-21, 11:44 AM
  #64  
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Originally Posted by Feelgood1 View Post
Hi is there a website where I can learn more on how to make this calculation, relating for measurements to the shack and reach of the bloke frame?
Bike geometry 101: Find out why stack & reach are important | road.cc
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Old 09-06-21, 12:05 PM
  #65  
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Try Geometry Geeks dot bike

also.... yogimd dot net
for a stem comparison tool.
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Old 09-06-21, 12:19 PM
  #66  
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir View Post
This fear is holding me back from N+1.
I wish that was all holding me back from my N+1. I'm a hand cyclist and a MTB handcycle starts at $12k.
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Old 09-06-21, 12:31 PM
  #67  
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Originally Posted by SFC Rod View Post
I wish that was all holding me back from my N+1. I'm a hand cyclist and a MTB handcycle starts at $12k.
I've seen a number of different types of hand cycles and a friend has a son who races them, he's almost flat on his back during a race, but last week I saw an e-assist hand cycle.
This thing was pavement only and looked to be pretty high-end. I said "Hi" to the guy but I guess he didn't want to chat.
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Old 09-06-21, 12:38 PM
  #68  
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Once. But I tweak every bike I buy for fit so I knew it was close and I’d play with it after I bought it.
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Old 09-06-21, 02:13 PM
  #69  
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Originally Posted by NoWhammies View Post
I am toying with the idea of buying a new bike. Early days, more of a pipe dream than anything else at this moment in time. BUT many of the bike stores are out of stock. And the bike I am interested in is not available from many of the local shops.

So, I'm curious. Have any of you bought your bike without doing a test ride? If so, how did it go and would you do it again?

Thank you.
Don't do it. No matter how tempting.

Even if I know the frameset well I always test ride to make sure its built properly. Also some unscrupulous sellers will try to palm of defective parts (i.e. forks or frames that are "fixed). Once you are in possession you'll have far less recourse than if you test ride it.
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Old 09-06-21, 03:08 PM
  #70  
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Originally Posted by Feelgood1 View Post
Hi where can I learn more about studying frame geometry and what to avoid? Thanks
I switched from MTB to road in 1994 and just got lucky with the sizing of my first road bike (21.5") which was a mail order lugged steel bike (all I could afford at the time}. My road club had a frame builder within its ranks and I had took my bike to him to be measured up for a new custom-built bike. At this time I didn't take too much notice of tube lengths and angles until I bought a cheap winter/audax frame and it just seemed to be a perfect fit. Measuring the tube lengths was easy but I had to knock up cardboard angles to work out it was 72 degrees HTA and 73 degrees STA. By now my frame builder had more or less retired and I gave my newly found magic numbers to another frame builder.

After a bad experience with the second frame builder (sizing was spot on but actual build quality was pretty poor) I'm now happy buying frames or complete bikes by mail order or eBay and feel confident in checking out the geometry tables of anything 'medium' or 54cm-ish and taking it from there.

Last edited by Welshboy; 09-06-21 at 11:26 PM. Reason: Spelling
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Old 09-06-21, 05:02 PM
  #71  
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I bought my bike in November 2021 Specialized Diverge Pro Carbon without a test ride. Love it. Would do it again.



Originally Posted by NoWhammies View Post
I am toying with the idea of buying a new bike. Early days, more of a pipe dream than anything else at this moment in time. BUT many of the bike stores are out of stock. And the bike I am interested in is not available from many of the local shops.

So, I'm curious. Have any of you bought your bike without doing a test ride? If so, how did it go and would you do it again?

Thank you.
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Old 09-06-21, 06:21 PM
  #72  
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test ride new bike? or not?

The only bikes I haven’t tested on the road or trail are the ones I refitted from frame out…even my Ryan Vanguard recumbent, tho I spoke with Ryan himself & accepted his assurance of a return. I bought the frame only & retrofitted my road components to it (except the 20” front wheel)

If you buy on line, “buyer beware (I forget the Latin 🥸 😂 ) so check their return policy. If they don’t have one, or refuse a written return policy..look elsewhere.

Just ask yourself - would you buy any vehicle without a test drive?
Even if you buy off Craigs List or fb marketplace or at estate sale, flea market or garage sale- test drive! If they balk…walk away!
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Old 09-06-21, 07:14 PM
  #73  
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Originally Posted by Feelgood1 View Post
Hi is there a website where I can learn more on how to make this calculation, relating for measurements to the shack and reach of the bloke frame?
https://www.slowtwitch.com/Bike_Fit/...er_One_95.html
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Old 09-07-21, 06:40 PM
  #74  
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This summer I bought three bikes I found on the internet from different shops, each a few hours away from me. For each I was able to hold the bike they had in stock, head over and take a parking lot ride, then pay the balance. I more or less knew what I was looking for so no surprises.
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Old 09-09-21, 08:57 AM
  #75  
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I have only test ridden a couple of my bikes prior to purchase . I ride vintage bikes and as was said , once you know sizing and type ( touring or racing) , you pretty much know how they are going to ride. I have bought two bikes without checking the frames etc. and that is a gamble. One on eBay for a VERY reasonable price and the other one right here on BF from a fellow who had some credibility . Both turned out OK. Back in the mid seventies I had a friend who built racing bikes and had a similar build as me so I asked him for a bike suggestion as I wanted to get on a light weight bike. He rode a Kabuki Diamond Formula and said it was a great bike for the money and he could order me one, but first take mine

My last purchase, tested after I bought it, no disappointment.
for a ride and see what you think. I was coming from a Schwinn Varsity! The Kabuki felt like a feather and I was gone for an hour. When I returned he said " So, should I order it?" I said " I'm surprised you haven't already!" Since then I know what I like and would only test ride if it were a different type of bike like CF or something. The bikes I buy usually get torn down and rebuilt after I buy them unless I know/ trust the person I bought from.
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