What's a reasonable test ride?

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What's a reasonable test ride?

Postby nezumi » Thu Sep 19, 2013 3:49 pm

If you are taking a $2k-$4k bike for a test ride, how far would you want to go?

Would you ask to join the shop on a shop ride?
Would you expect the shop to assess your ability before letting you go?
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by BNA » Thu Sep 19, 2013 4:12 pm

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Re: What's a reasonable test ride?

Postby TraceyG » Thu Sep 19, 2013 4:12 pm

Personally I would want a test ride that was at least as long as a typical ride for me. If you are doing 5km commutes then your tolerance of a less than comfortable bike is going to be much greater than 25km commutes or 100km rides.
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Re: What's a reasonable test ride?

Postby nescius » Thu Sep 19, 2013 4:45 pm

If I was test riding a bike before buying I would expect an absolute minimum of half an hour and would want to ride for more like one to one and a half hours. I wouldn't expect the shop to assess my ability before letting me go, that's certainly nothing I've ever experienced before.

Mind you, I didn't even test ride the last two bikes I bought so I might not be the best person to ask.
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Re: What's a reasonable test ride?

Postby eeksll » Thu Sep 19, 2013 4:48 pm

I would want to ride where I normally ride. So if your usual ride is 3 hrs, I'd want to take the bike out for 3 hrs.
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Re: What's a reasonable test ride?

Postby toolonglegs » Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:01 pm

I just do my research and buy... haven't test ridden a bike for 15 years.
I would not expect a long test ride unless it is a "test" bike ... can't see a shop letting you take out a new bike for 3 hours, it wouldn't be a new bike anymore after that.
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Re: What's a reasonable test ride?

Postby thecaptn » Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:07 pm

Our LBS has some great shop bikes and is happy to lend one to you for a week or more, I had a bike like mine for a week before I bought it and they lent me another nice bike before that. Pretty spoilt realy.
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Re: What's a reasonable test ride?

Postby eeksll » Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:54 pm

toolonglegs wrote:I just do my research and buy... haven't test ridden a bike for 15 years.
I would not expect a long test ride unless it is a "test" bike ... can't see a shop letting you take out a new bike for 3 hours, it wouldn't be a new bike anymore after that.


yeah that is the exact issue I have hit. Oh well new bike on the way now anyway :D.
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Re: What's a reasonable test ride?

Postby toolonglegs » Thu Sep 19, 2013 6:08 pm

eeksll wrote:
toolonglegs wrote:I just do my research and buy... haven't test ridden a bike for 15 years.
I would not expect a long test ride unless it is a "test" bike ... can't see a shop letting you take out a new bike for 3 hours, it wouldn't be a new bike anymore after that.


yeah that is the exact issue I have hit. Oh well new bike on the way now anyway :D.


If your a "normal" size then they might have floor demo models ... if you want something at the extreme of the range then it is pretty unlikely :lol: ... that's my problem anyway, although it isn't really a problem, Steve Hogg's best fit drawings will always tell me what is workable :) .
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Re: What's a reasonable test ride?

Postby briztoon » Thu Sep 19, 2013 7:25 pm

Really depends on a number of factors.

The main ones being your relationship with the LBS.

If you've never stepped foot in there and are not known to them, I can understand their reticence to let you take a long test ride.

Ask them how far, how long, and where they are happy to let you test ride the bike.

My recent experience. I test road it for half an hour. I road my other bike in and they used the measurements to set up the other bike. Came back next day and asked for a proper fit on the bike, took it for another half hour ride. Came back and asked for some minor adjustments and took it for an hour ride. Yep, I was happy with it, and bought it.
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Re: What's a reasonable test ride?

Postby trailgumby » Thu Sep 19, 2013 8:55 pm

My (new) LBS let me take a couple of 29er bikes out for the weekend (not simiultaneously), and invited me to a ride day up the coast. And they sharpened their pencils on the price too.
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Re: What's a reasonable test ride?

Postby BillR » Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:46 am

The two LBS I test rode road bikes at let me go for a 10 minute ride.
So I rode as hard as I could.

I returned to the first one and they let me ride a second test to the end of the street and back (about 800m).

Ideally, half and hour would be a minimum IMO for a good test.

But like the second LBS said, avoid the puddles, I still have to sell this bike!

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Re: What's a reasonable test ride?

Postby jacks1071 » Mon Sep 23, 2013 11:20 am

nezumi wrote:If you are taking a $2k-$4k bike for a test ride, how far would you want to go?

Would you ask to join the shop on a shop ride?
Would you expect the shop to assess your ability before letting you go?


Unless the shop is going to do a setup duplication from your existing bike "test riding" is a waste of both yours and their time.

Add to this it takes professionals around a month of daily riding to form an opinion of a bike in order to review.

I don't know what people hope to achieve in a 20km lap around the block on a bike that's not setup for them?

I havn't test ridden a bike ever.
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Re: What's a reasonable test ride?

Postby trainedmonkey » Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:26 pm

I was able to get demo rides on mountain bikes from two different shops. They let me take the demo bike out to ride some of the local trails. I found that invaluable for making a decision.
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Re: What's a reasonable test ride?

Postby JessicaAlba » Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:07 pm

I've also never test ridden...any of the bikes that I have bought, but I absolutely love my Felt, which I bought sight unseen and based purely on extensive research. Honestly, I don't think I could have gotten the choice any more right.

I have tested the odd bike, out of pure interest and no more than around the block, but I do believe there is merit in taking a bike out for a day, or weekend if permitted, to at least get some idea of basic fit and feel. Certainly cannot hurt.
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Re: What's a reasonable test ride?

Postby jacks1071 » Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:59 pm

trainedmonkey wrote:I was able to get demo rides on mountain bikes from two different shops. They let me take the demo bike out to ride some of the local trails. I found that invaluable for making a decision.


Probably some merit in testing an MTB on the trails. Even so, unless the bike is setup with correct seat position, suspension sag etc then it'd be a pointless exercise.

I've had my current MTB for two months and I'm still fiddling with the setup on it.
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Re: What's a reasonable test ride?

Postby trainedmonkey » Tue Sep 24, 2013 1:29 pm

jacks1071 wrote:
trainedmonkey wrote:I was able to get demo rides on mountain bikes from two different shops. They let me take the demo bike out to ride some of the local trails. I found that invaluable for making a decision.


Probably some merit in testing an MTB on the trails. Even so, unless the bike is setup with correct seat position, suspension sag etc then it'd be a pointless exercise.

I've had my current MTB for two months and I'm still fiddling with the setup on it.


Two months? Seriously? :shock: You're obviously more sensitive to your setup that I am. I had both demo bikes long enough to set the sag on the forks and shocks, put my own pedals on, set the tire pressure and adjust the seat. It was certainly enough to get a feel each bike.
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Re: What's a reasonable test ride?

Postby eeksll » Tue Sep 24, 2013 5:18 pm

jacks1071 wrote:
nezumi wrote:If you are taking a $2k-$4k bike for a test ride, how far would you want to go?

Would you ask to join the shop on a shop ride?
Would you expect the shop to assess your ability before letting you go?


Unless the shop is going to do a setup duplication from your existing bike "test riding" is a waste of both yours and their time.

Add to this it takes professionals around a month of daily riding to form an opinion of a bike in order to review.

I don't know what people hope to achieve in a 20km lap around the block on a bike that's not setup for them?

I havn't test ridden a bike ever.


you can test the same bike of different sizes. Some people ie me would have liked to test a slightly smaller bike.

you can test different types of bikes e.g Giant defy (comfier) vs a racier bike (TCR).

You can test out if its worth paying for the carbon over the aluminium or for that matter different grades of carbon e.g defy/defy composite/defy advanced.
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Re: What's a reasonable test ride?

Postby nezumi » Tue Sep 24, 2013 5:47 pm

Something I would love is the opportunity to let my other half have a decent try of a flat bar, drop bar endurance and suspension hybrid to feel the difference and decide what she might like to get.
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Re: What's a reasonable test ride?

Postby MarkG » Tue Sep 24, 2013 5:50 pm

I've never ridden a test bike mostly as I tend to buy the frame and groupset, bars etc separately and build it up.

I have a decent enough idea of what to expect, ie a Venge / Foil / TCR etc are going to be a harsh, fast ride, so it's not a real surprise when it's built that it rides more or less how I thought it would.

In fact, the only time I ever really test rode a bike was out the back of TBE Willeton when I bought my first bike, a Colnago CLX, purely so the guy could set up the seat and stem!

IMHO unless you take it on what would be a typical ride you normally do, like Deon says, a ride around the block would be pointless, and I don't know many shops who would let you take it that for a ride, cos it's at risk of all kinds of things!
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Re: What's a reasonable test ride?

Postby CouchPotato » Tue Sep 24, 2013 5:50 pm

I recently purchased a trek domane 4.5 2013 $2299.

I rode it for half an hour. Luckily the shop I bought it from had a hill nearby to test lateral stiffness and some rough road to assess its vertical compliance.

I found that half an hour on a bike told me what I needed to know. But it all depends on your needs and what type of bike you are after. I also tested another brands bike somewhere else as well afterward.

In my case, I found I made the right choice for me. I finish an hour in saddle much fresher than I thought possible compared to my scott speedster 20 (alloy frame).

I am an average road rider for fun & fitness, not a pro or an amateur racer.
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Re: What's a reasonable test ride?

Postby MarkG » Tue Sep 24, 2013 5:53 pm

toolonglegs wrote:I just do my research and buy... haven't test ridden a bike for 15 years.
I would not expect a long test ride unless it is a "test" bike ... can't see a shop letting you take out a new bike for 3 hours, it wouldn't be a new bike anymore after that.


You could always get a friend to test the bike for 3 hours, and then walk in after and make an offer on a bike that's now a 'used bike' ahaha
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Re: What's a reasonable test ride?

Postby toolonglegs » Tue Sep 24, 2013 6:48 pm

I don't know anyone who rides a frame my size :-(
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Re: What's a reasonable test ride?

Postby twizzle » Tue Sep 24, 2013 7:39 pm

toolonglegs wrote:I don't know anyone who rides a frame my size :-(

Liar. :P


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Re: What's a reasonable test ride?

Postby MarkG » Tue Sep 24, 2013 7:50 pm

toolonglegs wrote:I don't know anyone who rides a frame my size :-(


Ya big bastard!
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Re: What's a reasonable test ride?

Postby toolonglegs » Tue Sep 24, 2013 8:14 pm

twizzle wrote:
toolonglegs wrote:I don't know anyone who rides a frame my size :-(

Liar. :P


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Your a bit far away twiz!.
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