How many bikes did you test ride?
No test rides for me, last complete mtb i bought was back in 93/94 (indian fire trail), every other bike since then i’ve bought the frame i want and built it to my analy retentive/OCD specifications with regard to parts.
I know exactly what i want with a bike build and there is an element of bike snobbery if i’m perfectly honest, been building my own bikes since i was 16 in the mid 80’s and bought a DP Freestyler frame then built it up with what i wanted, my marin ^ there lasted 2 weeks before i had swapped out the drivetrain for middleburn and Hope Ti hubs with mavic 717 rims built by myself along with a set of magura HS33’s and a Manitou 3 fork.
FWIW every single person who’s had a test ride on the mojo’s we have in the shop has bought one, so the test ride element obviously works for some folk.Posted 4 years agoBazzMember
None. I’m not in a position to be spending a grand plus on a frame or even a whole bike, so what ever is avail;able in the classifieds when i’m looking is what i go for. I seem to be fortunate though in that i seem to be able to get on with nearly anything, never had a bike i hated.Posted 4 years agowobbliscottMember
I’m not sure how a bike can be wrong assuming the sizing is right. No two bikes will ever feel the same, are some people trying to get a bike hat feels like their last? (What’s the point in that?), and there is always an element of getting used to different bikes and just adapting. The two MTB’s I’ve got are completely different, completely different geometries and intended purposes, riding positions, weights, handling characteristics, and I’ll choose the bike best suited to the ride I’m about to do. I guess I’m just easy!Posted 4 years agomikewsmithSubscriber
I’m not sure how a bike can be wrong assuming the sizing is right.
It’s not wrong just not right (sometimes for the money). I have had blasts round on lots of bikes, I preferred VPP to single pivot designs, I find some linkage driven stuff OK. There were a couple of sets of forks I really didn’t like. Some bikes were the wrong size despite looking right on paper.
The way something climbs/descends and rides is completely different. I know how I like a bike to feel, and I found several that were just not as good as the competition at certain things, yes they functionally did the job but not in the same way as some others.
These tests were not car park bounces but proper rides out.Posted 4 years agoEuroMember
Had a car park ‘test’ on my minidh. Rode it round in a circle and down some steps. It was my first ever go on a fs bike and it felt horrible. Bought it. When i purchased my dj bike (my plan was to buy a different bike than the one I came home with – but it wasn’t built up in the shop) I had a another car park test. A quick sprint, a bunnyhop and a skid. SOLD!
A degree here and an inch there doesn’t make that much difference to me, as long as it’s roughly* the right size, it’ll do.
* At 6’4″+ all my bikes should be XL. The biggest I have is a large 😆Posted 4 years agoKucoMember
Test rode a Demo 7 before I brought one and I tested 3 road bikes before I got the current one.
But latest mtb I just looked at the onine reviews, e-mailed the company a couple of questions, geometery and what it was I wanted it for and have been very happy with it so far.Posted 4 years agodeanfbmMember
I’m not sure how a bike can be wrong assuming the sizing is right. No two bikes will ever feel the same, are some people trying to get a bike hat feels like their last? (What’s the point in that?), and there is always an element of getting used to different bikes and just adapting. The two MTB’s I’ve got are completely different, completely different geometries and intended purposes, riding positions, weights, handling characteristics, and I’ll choose the bike best suited to the ride I’m about to do. I guess I’m just easy!
I think you only need to demo if you haven’t got a clue what kind of bike you want, to decide what category of bike you actually need.
Demoing may help if you have a short bike history list, where what’s down on paper can’t be related to real life, and you dont have a capable sales person to make clear what is down on paper says out on the trail.
I really dont think you need to demo to get the correct geometry/size. If you’re trying out something new and different, it’s always going to feel different and not like home.
I believe everyone needs to live with a bike to actually find out what it’s like, buying, testing, learning, moving on, buying, testing learning etc is just part of bikes to me. Plus your riding style changes and grows, what you want/need is constantly shifting.
Not blowing my own trumpet, i get to try out a lot of bikes, i haven’t ridden anything for years that hasn’t ridden exactly how i thought it would. I’ve learnt that by taking the plunge and living with bikes.
You also get those serial demoers that never find anything, usually because they’re looking for the moon on a stick. I think the sooner that you grasp, no matter what bike it is, designed for whatever purpose, there’s things it’s going to be good and bad at, there isn’t a bike that exists that has zero bad traits, it’s just impossible.Posted 4 years agoroverpigSubscriber
So, I guess we’re not too good at taking our own advice then 🙂
Clearly not all bikes are the same, but I admire anybody who can decide that a bike is (or is not) for them in a single ride, or even a few days. I spent 8 months doing back to back rides on a Trance and a Five and I’d still struggle to say that one is better than the other. The fact that they were different was obvious from the first pedal strokes, but that just means that they each have different sections of trail where they are better.
Then I have the problem of working out what I mean by better. Strava can tell me which is faster over various segments, but not which is more fun. Do you want the bike that’s fastest, that’s most fun (whatever than means) or the one that lets you get up or down that one tricky section.
To make things even more complicated I found that I could easily swing the balance in favour of one bike or the other with simple changes to the setup and that’s before even considering changing forks, wheels etc.
Personally I enjoy doing test rides and comparing bikes. An appreciation of the bike itself is part of the reason why I love cycling but have no interest in running. But even I sometimes think that I go too far and a part of me thinks that any half decent bike would do the job and there is a lot to be said for just buying one that you like the look of and riding it until it breaks.
Of course, that’s precisely what most people do. They just don’t bother with cycling forums either.Posted 4 years agoEcky-ThumpMember
Tried three different approaches and been happy with the outcomes of all.
1. Bought first proper MTB after just a carpark test. It is a “Trigger’s Broom” of a bike. I have literally changed every component over time. It’s still a rockhopper though. It was good to start with but has got progressively better.
2. Bought a bike blind, bought another bike later and ran both both over a period of a few months, sold the Meta & still got the Five.
3. Demo’d a Patriot, wasn’t 100% sure, didn’t seem as capable as Five on slow-tech. Assumed that this was set-up issues but I hadn’t really gained much from the demo. Bought a frame 2nd hand anyway and built it to my liking. Love it but it bares very little similarity to what I’d demo’d.Posted 4 years agomattjgSubscriber
3. LBS had a demo day that I took advantage of and I bought one I rode, the key benefit of the demo was I knew it fitted, it wasn’t pants, and there was a local dealer for warranty etc who also seemed knowledgeable and had history with the brand.
I would have bought blind based on sizing chart and reviews had I not done the demo.
In practice getting a demo of just the bike you want to try can be a real pain, and the more bikes you’ve owned or built the less necessary it becomes unless you’re a pro looking for exactly the right suspension set up.Posted 4 years agohamishthecatMember
only bike I ever test-rode was the 1st mtb I ever bought. 5 min up the road and back, hopped a kerb and that was it
oh, and boooo to
hamishthecat – Member
1 – same bike to make sure I knew what size I needed – and then bought s/h
🙂 I asked how much the test bike would be and the importer quoted an (IMO) ludicrous price so I found a s/h frame. The importer subsequently sold the test bike for a lost less than they quoted me.Posted 4 years ago
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