Finding the Right Bike: Top 5 Questions to Ask Your Bike Shop

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By bicyclebluebook October 21, 2013

Purchasing a new bike can be a difficult process, especially if you’re unsure of what questions to ask or how to determine if a bike is a good fit for you.  The best bike shops will work with you to find that new ride, regardless if you’re buying an expensive custom.  Below are the questions Bicycle Blue Book finds assist with success:

1. Can I try before I buy?

When you go shopping for new clothes, most of us try them on before buying.  You want to ensure they fit, are comfortable, and look good.  Same goes with a bike.  Always ride the bike before you buy it.  Even if they don’t have one on display, ask to have a sample built for you or even test a similar model.  Similar models often share frame designs so you can get an idea of what you are purchasing.

2. Do you offer recognized Fit Services?

Easily the most important aspect of selecting a new or used bike is achieving the right fit.  The top tier shops use a recognized fit service such as Serotta Size Cycle or Fit Kit.  Although these sessions can cost anywhere from $30 – $200, they can be the difference in finding a bike that keeps you relaxed and comfortable.

3. Ready to swap?

One of the nice things about bikes is what you see can often be changed.  We are all built differently so many shops will allow you to upgrade parts, sometimes for a discount, to ensure your bike is a perfect fit.  Remember not all saddles and frame sizes work for everyone so don’t be afraid to ask.

4. Do you offer any fit guarantees?

Ask for a written guarantee.  Most shops will offer some type of guarantee in that after you’ve ridden your new bike you need to swap out the bar, stem, or make other adjustments, they will make it right for you.  Look for guarantees that last around 30 days as some elements of bike fit manifest over time.

5. Do they listen to me?

Nothing worse than a sales person that thinks they know your body and what you’re thinking better than yourself.  Steer away from shops that have sales reps that insist frames or other features are “right” for you even when you think they’re not.  Ensure they actually hear you and don’t ignore your opinions, otherwise, get a second opinion.

Remember, don’t compromise when it comes to finding the right fitting bike.  Discovering your ideal position on a bike takes some time, and can be difficult.  Truthfully, the best resource you have is your own experience.  Draw on your expertise to find that bike that feels like a natural extension of your body.

Posted by Bicycle Blue Book – The world’s most accurate source for new and used bike values.

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