How many bikes did you test ride?
Quite agree – everybody says try loads of bikes but it’s not always that easy. I’m a short arse and everybody I ride with’s bikes are too big (that’s if they’d even let me have a go on their pride and joys), and bike shops also rarely have smalls and are funny about ordering them in unless you place an orderPosted 4 years agomtbtomoMember
None. Read the reviews, taken them with a pinch of salt and then bought what I liked the look of.
There are very few bad bikes around nowadays and I know what frame size will fit in general. Frames are fairly easy to sell and get one that you do like, if its no good for you personally.
And other than getting the right size, I’m sceptical how much you can tell from a short test ride.Posted 4 years agoroverpigSubscriber
Whenever somebody asks for opinions on a bike the cry goes up to arrange a test ride on it and usually on a list of other contenders. Fair enough. Good advice. But I just wonder how often we stick to it. So, how many bikes did you test before buying your most recent bike?Posted 4 years agojimwMember
First mtb, no test ride just took advice from LBS, and it was fine
Second test rode in town for 10 mins, worked out fine
Third, test rode two back to back from same LBS as first, an hour on each. Worked out fine
Fourth, bought frame of classifieds without even seeing one in the flesh as it were, worked out fine…
To cut a very long story a bit shorter, only had one disapointing bike so far, I hadn’t ridden in advance, but three others bought blind second hand have been great, two bought new after test rides have been great, so either way can workPosted 4 years agoNorthwindSubscriber
Haven’t done many test rides- bought my Soul because of one, probably wouldn’t have bought one otherwise. Was put off the Mojo HD and Five because of test rides though, that was good, saved me a fortune.
I’ve never seen a demo for any of my current crop of bikes.Posted 4 years agotomhowardSubscriber
None, though I had a demo on a very expensive road bike, with a view to buying it, I didn’t in the end. Not cos it wasn’t ace, it really was, I just enjoyed riding it exactly the same amount as the (must less expensive) one I already have.
This doesn’t mean n+1 won’t force me to buy it at a later date….Posted 4 years agoTiRedMember
MTB: Zero, just bought a Kona Unit 29er off here on the strength of reviews – I knew nothing about off-road and it was my first MTB. Then when that went, I ordered a Genesis io id, as I knew a bit more about bikes, and the sort of riding I do – and how I can convert it to several bikes in one.
Road: 4-5, and will order one of the ones I tested. Spend a lot longer sitting on the road bike. I also spent ages pouring over geometry tables from the brochures. Settled on a high end carbon comfort bike to complement my alloy out and out race bike.Posted 4 years agocrazy-legsSubscriber
All my bikes have been frame only then custom built. Back in my part-sponsored days, we got given a frame anyway so there was no opportunity to test ride and even if you didn’t like it there wasn’t much you could do about it!
However it taught me a lot about bike fit and as mentioned above, there are very few truly bad bikes these days anyway. And even if you do end up with a total dog, it’s easier than ever to shift things on, just stick it on ebay or classifieds and take the loss on it.Posted 4 years agoDanWMember
Very few bad bikes around as others have said.
I looked for a frame which offered the practicalities I was looking for (simplicity, mud clearance, low weight, reasonably priced, etc) and then checked the geometry looked ok. Very happy.
A bike test can be very misleading. Chances are the saddle/ controls will be set up very differently between bikes, tyres vary, suspension set up can take a few rides, might have some shonky/ amazing components which change the feel of the bike… basically too many variables to really nail down if you like the feel of the frame and more often than not you will not have the time on a bike test to ensure it is set up 100% correctly to judge bike fit.
Well that is my cynical view anyway 😀Posted 4 years agobolMember
I’ve never test ridden a bike before buying it. The more bikes I’ve owned, the more I know what I like though. I’ve bought too big, too small, too slack, too racey, too heavy and too light, but all have been fun in their own way. I’ve almost always bought used, so haven’t lost too much along the way. The thing is, I’ve got them all to fit one way or another, and only one was awful.Posted 4 years agocookeaaSubscriber
Most of my bikes are assembled by me which sort of forces you to understand the parts layout and geometry of the bike/frame I kind of tend to assume an off the peg build won’t quite be what I require so then I’d start changing stuff and it wouldn’t be the same thing I test rode anyway plus I don’t buy big budget bikes so trying stuff out, and flogging it on if it’s not right is easier.
Having said all that, a mate of mine is in the market for a new MTB, he’s very much taken with specialized and rather than encouraging him to look at other brands I told him to sign up for his local concept stores next demo day and whatever he chooses to have fitted by the shop. He’s not too sure what he really wants/needs and he’s got a circa 2k budget a brand he likes and a posh shop that does test rides and fitting TBH he’d be nuts not to really.Posted 4 years agofathomerSubscriber
I’m on my second mtb, the first I rode round a car park and it seemed to fit, so bought it. The Soul I currently ride was based on sizing recommendation from Paul at Cotic and a sit on test at 18bikes. Once I had seen it in the flesh I bought it there and then and love it.
I’m currently trying to decide on my first full sus, so far I’ve demoed an ASR5 (didn’t like), Bandit (not bad), Banshee Spitfire (quite liked) and TRc. The TRc is winning, but I can’t afford one but will hopefully be having a ride on the alu one at the weekend, along with a Tallboy LT (to see what all the fuss with 29ers is).Posted 4 years agowobbliscottMember
None for me. I really don’t think it really matters, are you really going to thoroughly get to know a bike on the strength of a test ride? It takes me a good few rides with some tinkering as I go to get used to a bike. I’ve just bought an expensive bike, the most expensive bike I’ve ever had and tried to do the ‘right thing’ and arrange a test ride, but it was just too much of a faff as it is a bike that is not widely stocked. In the end I just pushed the button. Did my first ride on it today and guess what – it’s chuffing brilliant! Shame the conditions were not great so I couldn’t really give it some beans, but that’s just as well as I’d have been gutted if I’d got carried away and took a tumble.Posted 4 years agospooky_b329Member
Tried an early Hemlock demo but didn’t get on with it at all.
Then arranged an extended test ride on a secondhand frame & fork (yeti 575), which I was allowed to take home, build up with my parts, then decide I wasn’t happy with the forks so gave them back and just bought the frame. The seller was a friend of friends so didn’t really know me either 🙂
Both my previous bikes (early i-drive and a Litespeed Niota) I was never entirely happy with the ride/fit, and didn’t get the chance to test ride.Posted 4 years agoask1974Member
5 (including the bike I bought)
The old “just buy one they’re all good” strap line is so off mark as to be hilarious. If you know your bikes (geometry, equipment etc) then this is feasible, but IME bikes with similar spec can feel very different on the trail. If you’re going to off load some heard earned then a demo is essential.
Just make sure each is properly setup for your size and weight and in good running order.Posted 4 years ago
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