Once you’ve found a trustworthy bike shop and you’ve decided on a bike that fits your style, riding goals, and price range…
This is the 5th tip in our series: “7 Road Bike Shopping Basics” which is also available as a FREE eBook at www.GearedUp.biz/ebooks/7-road-bike-shopping-basics.
…it’s time for the fun part… the test drive!
At the bike shop, there are several checks you should do with the salesman to ensure that you get an accurate feel for the bike on your test drive. Here is a good checklist to follow:
- Make sure it’s properly adjusted – Make sure the seat’s adjusted for both height and tilt.
- The nose of the seat should be level with the back, and even small variations here can make tremendous differences in comfort.
- Make sure you set up each triathlon bike you’ll be testing to the same height (Even small changes in seat height can have a dramatic effect on how a bike feels)
Have the bike shop salesperson take a look at your position on the bike – make sure this is done with your hands on the lever hoods.
They may notice that you’ll need a shorter or longer stem.
- Check the Tires – have each bike’s tires inflated to the full rated pressure in front of you. The bike shop may insist that the bikes have full tires, but it’s very important that the bikes you’re comparing have tires that are at the same inflation. This is essential in accurately comparing and testing bicycles.
- Know the Gears – ask the bike shop salesperson to run through the gears on a stand so you know exactly how they’re supposed to work, and ensure that they’re properly adjusted.
Once the bikes are ready to go, you’ll be ready to take off on your test ride. Depending on the bike shop, and your personal riding comfort level, there are a few ways you may be permitted to test ride the bikes.
Parking Lot Ride – this ride around the bike shop parking lot is good for having the salesperson to check your position on the bike
Road Ride – the bike shop may even have a longer “course” worked out that includes various conditions and descents to test the bike’s performance