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  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Notvintage View Post
    ... a mental retardation test. I paid $0 to test drive my first BMW M3 (E46) ... at $59k.
    test drives cost auto dealers relatively little in comparative costs, maybe.

    i went to the acura dealer one afternoon to pick up new floor mats i had ordered for my '92 integra. saw the '95 integra in the showroom, and i left with a new car instead. no test drive needed... just like every 56cm vintage lightweight i've ever owned.

    moral: buy online.
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  2. #27
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    If by "bike"you mean hooker and "test ride" you mean, wink wink, nudge nudge, then yes, that sounds about right.

    Otherwise I'd have told the guy I'd buy the bike cheaper on line.

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by SPlKE View Post
    So was the LBS going to customize the bike for the test -- install your pedals, move the seat to fit you, etc.?

    If there was custom fitting work and minor modifications involved in order to make the test ride tailored to your riding specs, I can see the hundred bucks.

    If it was "go ahead and take around the block" for 100 bucks, I'm not seeing it. In this case, I can sort of understand the LBS owner's frustration... since the LBS is selling a mass market brand like Specialized, the LBS owner figures you're going to see if you like it with a test ride, then go off and buy it online somewhere for a lot cheaper than the LBS.

    Brick and mortar stores are going the way of the dinosaur. Kind of sucks for everybody except the online retailers.
    The OP doesn't say if it was a Specialized bike or not. I believe Specialized does not allow their bikes to be sold online so you can't just bypass the shop

  4. #29
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    I am the OP. It was a 2017 Roubaix. $4700. It has suspension in the handlebars and seat. It might be my gravel bike. They have 5 bikes sitting there 2 are woman's sizes most of them were DI-2. They are designated demo bikes. I doubt that these are available online. We never got to any discussion of what they were going to do for a setup ride. I would have only needed the pedals off my bike which takes 1 min.
    When you have 5 demo bikes sitting there they are not for $100 a pop demo rides. A demo ride for me is 1 hour maybe or maybe 2 if I am going to buy. The store was empty with 3 employees just twiddling around and it is full of hundreds of bicycles.
    As I told them in last night's email I am not some jerk off the street killing time. I spent a lot of money last year on some toys and I am not done yet. I ended the email with "big mistake". There are other bike stores in the area that will gladly hand me a bike to demo.
    Last edited by siclmn; 03-17-2017 at 06:39 AM.

  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trek_5200 View Post
    probably not. my guess is they size up their customers and if they believe the customer is serious they don't charge. they probably feel taken advantage of. they may get it wrong sometimes and right others. just my guess.
    So you think they're trying to profile their customers? And that such profiling is actually good for their business?

    I doubt many would agree.

  6. #31
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    op don't take it so personally.

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by siclmn View Post
    I am the OP. It was a 2017 Roubaix. $4700. It has suspension in the handlebars and seat. It might be my gravel bike. They have 5 bikes sitting there 2 are woman's sizes most of them were DI-2. They are designated demo bikes. I doubt that these are available online. We never got to any discussion of what they were going to do for a setup ride. I would have only needed the pedals off my bike which takes 1 min.
    When you have 5 demo bikes sitting there they are not for $100 a pop demo rides. A demo ride for me is 1 hour maybe or maybe 2 if I am going to buy. The store was empty with 3 employees just twiddling around and it is full of hundreds of bicycles.
    As I told them in last night's email I am not some jerk off the street killing time. I spent a lot of money last year on some toys and I am not done yet. I ended the email with "big mistake". There are other bike stores in the area that will gladly hand me a bike to demo.
    Like I mentioned earlier, I had store let me take out an s-works venge vias out for a spin. I even let them know I had no intention of buying one at the time. I only went for 8.5 miles but only because I didn't know the roads well enough in that particular area to do anything longer. I wasn't charged anything. If these were specifically dedicated demo bikes there is even less reason to charge for rides. A different store let me borrow a demo stumpjumper 6fattie for a whole weekend without charging me a cent. I was in the market for a mtb at the time and eventually bought a different model from them but there was no condition of sale involved when I took out the demo. Sounds like a crappy store to me.

  8. #33
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    $100 is a little stiff, but if I'm really intrigued about a bike after reading all the reviews about it online, and all I needed to do was to actually test ride it to make the decision, then I would be willing to spend $50-$100 to rent the bike for a day, and have my rental money go toward purchasing if I decide to buy it.

    But no way I'm paying $100 for a few pedal strokes around the parking lot

  9. #34
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    I was down to a choice between a Roubaix and a Domane. The Specialized shop took weeks to get a 54 in hand and then they were kind of like "Take it to the MUT na don't take too long." The Trek shop got a demo from the regional rep within a couple of days and said "keep it until you're sure" - they didn't even take an ID. I chose the Trek.

    If either of them had suggested a fee for the demo it would have been all over town within hours. That just isnt done.

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by pedalbiker View Post
    So you think they're trying to profile their customers? And that such profiling is actually good for their business?

    I doubt many would agree.
    I know for a fact that this happens around here.

    And yes, the owners feel as though their profiling is good for them, that it saves them wasting time on losers. They think they know who has money and doesn't, and they only focus on those they profile as having money.

    Doesn't matter who agrees, it's a fact. Around here in at least two shops it is.


    I think at the core it's not based on much but laziness, self-righteousness and arrogance. The owners I speak of aren't the most successful of the bunch, I can tell you that.
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  11. #36
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    I am with Migen on that one, I too have been in that shop exactly once. I bought my Specialized at Universal Cycles in West Seattle which I know is a drive from Issaquah but much better service. If you really want a Specialized and a shop that is closer I would suggest Edge & Spoke in Redmond the guys there seem to be really willing to work with their customers. The other shop I would recommend is Element Cycles but they don't sell Specialized. Depending how far you are willing to drive there are a lot of really good shops in the area, most less than an hour away.

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  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMsRepBike View Post
    I know for a fact that this happens around here.

    And yes, the owners feel as though their profiling is good for them, that it saves them wasting time on losers. They think they know who has money and doesn't, and they only focus on those they profile as having money.

    Doesn't matter who agrees, it's a fact. Around here in at least two shops it is.


    I think at the core it's not based on much but laziness, self-righteousness and arrogance. The owners I speak of aren't the most successful of the bunch, I can tell you that.
    I've never paid for a test ride but its been a long time since I walked into a shop with the idea of buying a bike there. The last bike I bought from a shop was a Colnago I ordered and built to my specs, so a test ride wasn't in the cards. Now that shops carry bikes that cost potentially 5 figures I could see there being some desire to avoid tire kickers but to me the whole idea of paying for the privilege of a test ride is so infuriating that I would have walked out too.

  13. #38
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    A friend was looking to buy a MTB and told me the local shop wanted to charge him $50 for the test ride...but I believe it was for the weekend.


    Personally I've never paid for a test ride and would not want to.

  14. #39
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    Car dealers profile people all the time. If you go to a dealership and they don't think you are going to buy, they give you the newbie salesman.

    In that vane, there is a company that manufactures cement trucks about 30 miles down the road from me. One day, the son of the owner of the company (in his early 20s at the time) went into a local dealership (I know the chief mechanic, which is how I know the story) about a mile from me. He had been working on a construction project at the factory and was wearing dirty jeans and a T-shirt, so the sales manager palmed him off on a salesman (also in his early 20s) who had started only two weeks ago.

    A couple hours later, the sales manager sees the new guy pulling a bunch of forms out of the filing cabinets and asks, "Is he buying a pickup?"

    The new guy says, "No... he's buying ten of them."

    New guy was salesman of the month.

  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveG View Post
    The OP doesn't say if it was a Specialized bike or not. I believe Specialized does not allow their bikes to be sold online so you can't just bypass the shop
    yes. So can't really be much fear of 'showrooming'

    I am just mystified that you folks have shops with the exact bike in your size in stock. That never happens for me. My test ride is always the first ride after I bought the bike or the first ride after I build up the frame I bought online! Bought 6 bikes in last 3 years. one a used frame, three ti frames new from online, and 2 mtb I ordered-in at two separate local LBS.

  16. #41
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    I've never heard of any LBS doing this. If an LBS doesn't know you, it isn't unfair for them to hold your driver's license or credit card while you are test riding.

    Also, $100 seems high even for a rental, but maybe not if they will let you hold the bike overnight.

    I don't know about bike shops, but ski centers often have rentals with an option to use the rental fee toward a purchase.

    Quote Originally Posted by arai_speed View Post
    A friend was looking to buy a MTB and told me the local shop wanted to charge him $50 for the test ride...but I believe it was for the weekend.
    This doesn't sound unreasonable for a whole weekend. And quite generous if they deduct the rental from a bike purchase.
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  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by aclinjury View Post
    but to be fair to the LBS, there are probably a ton of people who test ride their bikes, or go in to their shop to check something out, only to buy online. LBS probably seen it all too often.

    if you go into a Ferrari dealer asking for a test ride, they probably say no unless they know you're a potential buyer.
    I had a friend who worked next door to a Ferrari dealership so he became friendly with a few of the sales guy. Once out for drinks, we bumped into these guys and I asked if they sell allot of cars. They said no. I asked if they can tell who can afford it and they joked they can tell who can't afford it. I asked how, they said people who buy a Ferrari don't typically ask what it costs. I thought that was pretty interesting.

  18. #43
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    who needs to test ride a bike anyways????

  19. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by factory feel View Post
    who needs to test ride a bike anyways????
    I sold many a bike over the years due to the test ride. I would get people coming in and upon seeing our prices would say things like "I can get a full Ultegra bike at XX shop for $500 less than your 105 bike." I would ask them if they had ridden that bike and send them out on our bike. If they had not test ridden the other bike I would tell them to go ride it. Seven out of ten would buy our bike. Why? Because the cheaper bike was being sold for barely more than the Ultegra group cost, so that meant that the frame was a piece of crap. A test ride showed the difference.
    Life is short... enjoy the ride.

  20. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trek_5200 View Post
    wish seven cycles had a program like that is all i'm saying.
    Seven's are highly customized (like lots of other custom builders). Measurements, stiffness, handling. It would be pointless to test ride one unless it happened to be made for you or someone with very similar size, weight and desires. Which, obviously isn't feasible for Seven to make enough test frames so everyone can test ride and see that their Seven will be like.

  21. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by factory feel View Post
    who needs to test ride a bike anyways????
    bike demo days are a big thing in MTB community. They'll set up at the trailhead and can try out many bikes.

    but it is true, a road racing bike of same geometry is not going to feel much different than another road bike. With a mountain bike, the variables are much much much more substantial. hardtail/XC full sus/downhil full sus, 26er 29er, Plus bikes, Fat bikes, ultralight racers, ultraheavy trail bikes with sophisticated suspension, tires form 2.1 to 3.0 and 5.0 inches even, sticky vs hard, chunky vs fast, etc.

  22. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMsRepBike View Post
    I know for a fact that this happens around here.

    And yes, the owners feel as though their profiling is good for them, that it saves them wasting time on losers. They think they know who has money and doesn't, and they only focus on those they profile as having money.

    Doesn't matter who agrees, it's a fact. Around here in at least two shops it is.


    I think at the core it's not based on much but laziness, self-righteousness and arrogance. The owners I speak of aren't the most successful of the bunch, I can tell you that.
    Except it does matter who agrees. If customers don't agree with being profiled (which no one should), then they won't have customers and they won't stay in business.

    Sounds like they're already well on their way to their own demise.

  23. #48
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    I once paid 3k to test ride a bike and was told to keep it afterwards...

  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by pedalbiker View Post
    Sounds like they're already well on their way to their own demise.
    My crystal ball agrees.
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  25. #50
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    With the amount some of the yappy mouth pieces in this place ride a program as this would likely save them money.

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