Demoing bikes. Why so difficult?

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  • Demoing bikes. Why so difficult?
  • Premier Icon mikewsmith

    Basically, I can’t understand how a bricks’n’mortar shop can hope to sell something that it doesn’t actually hold in stock!

    Probably the same way the internet does, most shops will have a deal with the distributer to get a bike sent out to test.
    But before that my LBS’s up in the lakes used to have heaps of bikes on the floor that you could size up on and spin out round the car park on/

    Premier Icon cinnamon_girl

    Try being a woman, no chance of finding anything!!


    Where are you?
    Beeline in oxford have top spec bikes, and top top specs bikes, in stock, and don’t mind you taking for a spin.

    A long way from Sheffield, but what you need is somewhere like Epic Cycles.

    We run an extensive demo fleet of over a hundred road bikes covering 90% of our range, so test rides are available on most of our road bike models


    Rutland Cycles? [/url]


    I’m tentatively looking for a new roadbike. My current one (a Santa Cruz Roadster) is a 12 year old frame with 10 year old wheels & groupset, and it’s all a bit tired. I’m in 2 minds as to whether to upgrade the SC with new gruppo & wheels or to splurge on something new.

    Problem is, I have no idea what’s what and how modern stuff fits, rides and handles. To that end I’ve been wanting to try lots of different stuff. Only I can’t. Ultimately I’d be looking to buy fairly high end, and very few shops seem to carry even the basic spec versions of the top framesets, let alone in a medium. (surely, by definition the average size bloke = medium, so why is all the shop stock at the ends of the fit spectrum??)

    I’m interested in stuff like the C’dale Synapse Hi-Mod. Giant Defy Advanced & TCR Advanced, Trek Madone & Domane 6 Series, plus a few other outside choices. I’ve just been round all the shops in Sheff and no-one has anything even vaguely close for me to have a sit on. They all seem to stock maybe 1 bike over £2k… (The exception being the very nice chap at La Bicicletta, but he’s tiny a tiny shop and very specialist, so I can understand him not holding oodles of stock)

    Initially all I want to do is have a 10 minute ride up & down the street on the right frame in the right size to see if it excites me or not, so getting the shop to order in a demo bike, when at the moment I have no intention of buying until I’ve ridden a few different things is a bit cheeky. Once I’ve whittled the choices down, *then* I’ll want to demo something for a day that’s as close to the version I’d actually buy as possible.

    Basically, I can’t understand how a bricks’n’mortar shop can hope to sell something that it doesn’t actually hold in stock!

    (…and lets not get me started on spending £3k+ on a bike with an average wheelset and own brand finishing kit, or £2.5k on a frameset that doesn’t even come with any suspension – how is a Synapse Himod F&F only £100 cheaper than a Nomad carbon??)


    I had this problem when I started looking for a Raleigh Militis, so I got in touch with Raleigh Customer Service. Their answer was great “Buy one, we are sure you’ll love it”, erm, no, I’m not spending £2.5k on a bike I’ve never seen.

    I was then told by the local area manager there were none left in stock and then another person in the sale organisation suggested the same as CS!

    I put the purchase off until just recently, as Raleigh were billed as being at the Welsh Cycle Show… they weren’t, so I had a nice chat with the nice folk from KTM who directed me to a dealer about ten minutes drive away. He had the right bike in stock, in my size and after riding it I bought it.

    In short, try an e-mail to the distributors of the bikes you are interested in, and they may well be able to tell you where you can find one.


    The Giant Store at Normanton, opposite shore of the reservoir to Rutland Cycles, have most of the top end Giant road bikes available to hire for a few hours.


    probably because so many people WILL go and test then screw the shop over for a few quid saving and by online from a boxshifter with a cheap website and one store in the a*se end of nowhere…


    . Because they have to buy them. That’s a lot of cash tied up that may not ever sell. Tight margins for the smaller shops.

    LBS shop in Cheltenham will let you test any road bike around the block as long as the roads are dry outside.Trek/Merida/Bianchi.

    Premier Icon drewd

    I know Rutland cycles has been mentioned, but they have a demo day tomorrow. Its less than an hour and a half from Shefield, and they are only asking £10 deposit to try the bikes.

    It is short notice but worth considering if you are free tomorrow.


    You can test ride any bike at Edinburgh Bike Co op.

    A guy tried out a Roubaix and Synapse hi mod this week in 52/51 in my (the smallest) branch.

    +1 for Al’s place. Always found EB to be quite relaxed about this stuff, and to have a good, varied range in stock.

    b r

    My old LBS could get in pretty much any bike from the brands they sold, £35pd which you got back when you bought.

    Premier Icon colin27

    Get yourself to Wheelbase – plenty of Cannondale Hi-Mod’s and Trek Madone/Domane’s in 4, 5, 6 and 7 series, not to mention all the rest (Wilier, Colnago, Cervelo, Focus, Cube). No problem to get sized up and have a little test ride.


    Why not try one of the bikes at Planet-X? They are just past Meadowhell and have loads of road bikes that you can try, in fact you can demo anything they have on display. Sounds like a RT58 or N2a might be in your ball park.


    Dead simple order something custom and be delighted with what you receive ;0)

    Premier Icon Northwind

    Raouligan – Member

    Dead simple order something custom and be delighted with what you receive ;0)

    That’s the nature of ordering a full custom bike isn’t it, you’re committing to liking it before it even exists 😉


    Could always resort to Evans for the cannondale and treks just for a test ride, they have them in stock at the warehouse anyway and you can always buy elsewhere


    York is only an hour a way? York Cycleworks has a few higher end demo bikes and there is a Giant Store, not been in there yet so can’t comment on demo bikes. Cyclestreet is worth a visit too.


    I cannot recommend JE James in Chesterfield. The guy in the road cycling dept upstairs looked at me like a dog egg when I politely asked if a test ride was possible. True story.


    Can you get to a Giant Store? They stock a wide range of demo bikes in several sizes. They actively encourage you to use and abuse. I took a Defy Advanced racing. They wanted me to thrash a Trance hard around Swinley.

    Anyway – Buy a Defy Advanced. It’s a great bike for almost every type of riding, including racing.

    There’s a Giant shop in Sheffield, yeah.

    I test rode a few bikes from Edinburgh Cycles before buying mine – they were very relaxed about it, although I wasn’t spending as much as you, and from what I could see they have limited stock of the more expensive stuff.

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