Can anything good come from buying a frame/bike you haven't test ridden?

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  • Can anything good come from buying a frame/bike you haven't test ridden?
  • RealMan
    Member

    My 4 main bikes were never test ridden. I love them all (well except the winter road bike, that rides like a pile of crap, but then it was the cheapest thing I could find).

    cynic-al
    Member

    Of course it can, you may go through a few lemons first tho.

    SH makes it all more affordable.

    Premier Icon scaredypants
    Subscriber

    haven’t tested a bike for ages and very happy with mine. guess I could be missing out in a big way and may never know.
    I’m not that fussy or rad either, though

    aP
    Member

    I don’t think I’ve ever test ridden a bike. Tell a lie, I did in 1992, not since though.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    Reality is, it’s often not possible to testride a bike. I’ve bought most of mine blind, haven’t really regretted any of them tbh, even the bad choices were interesting.

    juan
    Member

    I’m all for supporting your LBS but if they don’t stock what you want to buy, or even if they do and you can get it online for several hundred pounds cheaper, and you don’t want to take the p!ss by test riding at the LBS and then buying online.

    Service costing money shocker!!!

    mrmo
    Member

    think of it this way, very few people ever admit to buying crap so reviews are basically worthless.
    A test ride on a bike, well it will only ever be roughly right, so not worthless but not really that helpful
    bike parts get changed, tyres get changed. Almost anything you buy will work for you with a few tweaks.

    Look at the market the bike is aimed at, is it you? really? if yes you can probably get it right for you.

    tazzymtb
    Member

    I know what frame geometry fits me and what I like so it’s usually spot on.

    The only time I was disappointed was following a load of glowing reviews I got a 2010 marin mount vision…..hateful thing!

    v10
    Member

    I havent test ridden a bike for years and never had a lemon, for my latest purchase I actually did and it rode fine, 5 rides in and im totally uninspired and find it abit boring, go figure!

    tpbiker
    Member

    How many local bike shops can you actually test ride a bike, ie give it a good off road hammering, rather than a pootle round the car park for 5 min to try it for size?

    Can’t think of many in the edinburgh area other than alpine bikes at GT, and even then its 40 quid per bike to try out. Or am I just not asking nicely.

    Premier Icon shortcut
    Subscriber

    Not bought a complete minger in the last few years. Disappointments have mainly been SH a Fisher Ferrous – just too flexi and the EBB didn’t work well, also a Cotic that had a rubbish paint job that I got resprayed.

    Did test a couple of Whyte 29ers and didn’t like them, so those were useful test rides.

    No …if it looks purdy…I’ll buy it

    I haven’t test ridden a bike since 1998 when I bought a second hand GT Zaskar. Every other bike I’ve just bought it.

    Rorschach
    Member

    You’re either not good enough to notice the differences ,or you’re good enough to ride round any ‘deficiencies’.
    Or you’re dead picky about the colour. 😉
    Most buying mistakes are because people buy the wrong model of bike…not the wrong brand.

    Premier Icon somafunk
    Subscriber

    I’ve never test rode any bike i’ve bought as an adult in over 20 yrs riding, i know my preferred position regarding standover height, reach, handlebar/seat position etc and it’s easy to compare this from one bike/frame to another according to manufacturers data sheets but what this doesn’t take into account is how a bike “feels” and for this i’ve always went on gut instinct…..and how it looks as well if i’m honest.

    Not had a dud bike in over 20 years apart from one terrible-terrible mistake in buying a Marin Mount Vision Pro in 1997, this abomination leached the passion i had for cycling from my soul and i sold it 6 months later with less than 50miles use.

    Kuco
    Member

    Brought a few frames i’ve never ridden and really liked them.

    neninja
    Member

    Over the past few years I’ve bought several bikes without testing them –

    Succesful –
    Nicolai Helius CC
    Giant Anthem X (did have a test ride on a larger frame so gambled the smaller one would be right and it was)
    Kona MuniMula

    Unsuccessful mainly due to fit/geometry
    Mongoose Teocali
    Genesis Core
    Specialized Hardrock

    Premier Icon jambalaya
    Subscriber

    I bought my BFe without a test ride, great frame. My other two bikes I’ve test ridden (both stocked by LBS so straight forward). I’d imagine the vast majority of bikes ridden have never been test ridden.

    Premier Icon ratadog
    Subscriber

    Only one I test rode was my first adult MTB and, on the advice of the staff at an LBS with an excellent reputation, I finished up with the wrong size.

    All subsequent frames have been by internet albeit I do look at more than the seat tube length before deciding on frame and size. Most expensive purchase had almost identical geometry and numbers to bike that fitted me well and has been no problem.

    PeterPoddy
    Member

    The only bike I’ve ever had NOT fit me properly was one I test rode…..

    All 4 I have now were bought unridden, and are the best bikes I’ve ever had.

    I just think some people are too fussy, TBH. 😉

    MrSalmon
    Member

    I’ve had a go on all of mine except my Roadrat, which is OK but doesn’t feel like it’s a great fit for me.

    Obviously a nip round the car park isn’t a proper ride, but I think it’s still useful. I’d probably happily buy another Giant online though going off my XTC.

    Premier Icon stratman
    Subscriber

    Bought a couple of hardtails without a test ride, one being a Marin indian fire trail from the lbs – the most money I’d ever spent on a bike – both were/are great. Had a toddle on a fuel ex9 fom the lbs and wasn’t sure. Tried out an anthem x at giant store in Rutland for a extended ride, loved it, then tried a remedy in the car park and didn’t.

    All were last year’s models, so reasonably priced.

    Moral of the story: I probably paid a bit for the service, but I’m glad that I tried the fs bikes, as I’m sure that I’d not have enjoyed the fuel like I do the anthem.

    Premier Icon Lakes_Puma
    Subscriber

    I know in an ideal world you should test ride a bike before buying but in this age of internet shopping and some of the bargains to be had it’s not that easy.

    I’m all for supporting your LBS but if they don’t stock what you want to buy, or even if they do and you can get it online for several hundred pounds cheaper, and you don’t want to take the p!ss by test riding at the LBS and then buying online.

    So can buying ‘blind’ ever work out?

    jota180
    Member

    I’ve never test ridden any bike I’ve owned, can’t say I’ve ever had anything that didn’t suit

    Besides, most shops want you to pay for the privilege
    Compare that with my local motorbike dealer who’s going out of his way to get me all 4 models I’m interested in for a test ride, no obligation, no fees

    _tom_
    Member

    Didn’t test ride any of my bikes and I’m happy but i also knew what i was after/expecting from each one. Would say my bullit is a bit too high standover for me but still happy with it.

    druidh
    Member

    ratadog wrote:

    Only one I test rode was my first adult MTB and, on the advice of the staff at an LBS with an excellent reputation, I finished up with the wrong size.

    You are me.

    jedi
    Member

    i have never test ridden any bike i have owned 🙂

    juan
    Member

    I just think some people are too fussy, TBH.

    So true.

    organic355
    Member

    Just built 2 bikes this year without test rides, and love them both, Turner Flux & kinesis crosslight pro 6. there is a small niggle with the flux in that I am wondering whether I shold have test ridden a 5 spot just to rule it out, but the flux seems to do everything I want at the moment.

    Premier Icon tomhoward
    Subscriber

    Bought all of them blind/without a test ride, only one I didnt get on with I could have put up with, but a better bike came up for sale so I sold it and bought the other one 😀

    d45yth
    Member

    tpbiker – Member

    How many local bike shops can you actually test ride a bike, ie give it a good off road hammering, rather than a pootle round the car park for 5 min to try it for size?
    A lot depends on whether the bike belongs to the shop or the distributor. For most high-end brands you should be able to get something for a day, if not the weekend.

    Regarding buying blind though, you’ve to watch out for more than just size, especially if buying a full-sus. Depending on what you’ve been used to riding before, the feeling of the suspension can be a lot different. Things like that can mostly be sorted out with a shock tune, but it all adds cost.

    rocketman
    Member

    Have test ridden quite a few MTBs but they nearly always feel good/better because one inevitably compares them with one’s current POS.

    And as above I kindof know what geometry suits me so a shortlist won’t contain any surprises.

    I just think some people are too fussy, TBH

    +several million am amazed at how unadaptable some people are. The stem has to be here and the bars have to be there and the seat has to be at this height and this angle 🙄

    m1kea
    Member

    I’ve built three bikes this year;

    a new time trial wagon
    a carbon HT
    and a alu full sus

    None were tested beforehand though ironically I did have test rides of a SC Blur TRc and Giant Anthem X1

    The TT and full sus were frame only and the HT came straight from CRC.

    Come to think of it, all my previous purchases have been without a test ride.

    perthmtb
    Member

    The nearest thing I can get to a test ride round here is a circuit of the car park, which tells me nothing, as any bike thats not your current one will feel strange A.the first time you ride it, and B. wearing jeans and a pair of trainers and riding on a flat tarmac surface!

    So, the bike I bought last week I’d never even sat on – but it was my third Giant in 18 months so I knew what it’d ride like and what size I needed – just one advantage of buying a boring mass brand instaed of a niche product!

    Steve77
    Member

    No test rides for me either. As long as it’s the right size you’ll likely get used to it however it is. I put a lot more trust in the size charts on manufacturer websites than the LBS trying to sell me what they’ve got in stock

    Premier Icon ChrisL
    Subscriber

    I’m rather tall so test rides of even common bikes are quite hard for me to sort out. When an LBS is able to sort out a decent demo ride of something I’m interested in, that works significantly in my favour.

    Currently I was able to demo 1 of the 3 mountain bikes I currently have.

    Premier Icon cookeaa
    Subscriber

    If I was spending thousands of pounds on a shiney new bike then yes I’d want a proper test ride, but seing as the majority of my bikes are assembled from a mixture of 2nd hand and cheap parts then nope I buy it build it and if I don’t get along with it then I flog it on and accept the relatively minor loss incurred as the price of gaining a bit more experience of what works for me…

    I did once take a mate to Cwmcarn for an uplift I was suprised He’d persuaded his LBS to give him a shiney five to test out for the weekend, especially as He’d not really ridden DH and the bike was built up more towards the XC end of things, needless to say he stacked it several times and bent the front wheel, turned out he’d told the LBS he’d just be riding it round his lcal trails… Got the wheel trued up and queitly slipped it back to his LBS, a few weeks later he bought a Reign.

    I think the fact that a proper test ride often serves to eliminate a bike from a customers shortlist and it probably won’t get treated with total respect is what tend to put shops off of making test rides so available…

    mogrim
    Member

    Are there any bad bikes out there, these days?

    Because if not: assuming you get the right fit, and don’t get completely the wrong bike for your riding – then a test ride would be nice, but not that important.

    DrP
    Member

    I got my meta 5 based on pictures and it seemed a popular choice……!
    I’m pretty generic in terms of physical parameters, so a medium seemed an obvious choice!

    All in all, 100% please with this decision.

    Ergo, buy a medium meta 5 and you’ll be happy….

    DrP

    Only bike I’ve ever test ridden was a Transition Covert.

    Loved it, tried to buy one, but the shop owner was such an arse to deal with that I gave up on it.

    bigyinn
    Member

    Never test ridden a bike EVER. Nobody has demo bikes for 6’5″ people. 🙁
    Just go by reviews etc that are in mags and internet.
    My dimensions seem to fit most normal bikes. Not into nicheness so off the peg suits me fine.

    fasthaggis
    Member

    Same as him ^^

    I found it was better to find out the right size ,and the rest was only ever tweaking bits and bobs .

    I read all the reviews and made up my minds on new bike(s). Then demo-ed them both and really hated them! Demo-ed more and found what suits me (surely this is the point as very few bad bikes these days), so convinced that this is the way forward!

    Premier Icon lunge
    Subscriber

    As above, at 6’4″ you struggle to get a bike to sit on in the shop let alone a test ride. My last few bikes have all been based in estimated guess work on the sizing and all have worked out OK. The road bike has needed some stem and seatpost based tweaking but now fits fine so I can’t complain.

    Never have done a test ride, just do your homework. I mean how wrong can you get it, it’s only a couple of triangles welded together (maybe with some bouncy bits too)

Viewing 45 posts - 1 through 45 (of 49 total)

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