LBS test ride etiquette

helston90

Eat, sleep, ride, repeat.
Location
Cornwall
This is going in the beginners area so no chuckling at the back.

So I have some (personal injury) money and the nod from Mrs to spend £1.5k on a new toy, for this amount of money I wanted to test ride a couple to make sure I'm getting the right thing for me.

My LBS is a Giant branch which suits me fine, I would need to ride an XL but they won't have an XL of all bikes in stock will they? Specifically the TCR Adv 2 which I'm interested in.

So is there value in test riding a similar bike in the right size or do I ask them to get in exactly what I would buy? I'd quite like to test the Propel at that price point as well for comparison, would they ship in a few bikes for me or do I just get to chose off the shop floor in my size to get the general idea.

I ride with SPD's, so would they swap out whatever pedal system is on there for me to properly test it and me turn up in my lycra ready to go for a 30 minute blast around the block?

Sorry for sounding naive, all a bit new for me!
 

vickster

Legendary Member
Ask them. There’s no hard and fast rules. Deposit may be required which may or may not be refundable

I’ve never had an issue with SPD pedals being added but you may need to take your own pedals if they don’t have any in the spares box. Phone and discuss or pop in. They may have no XL in. Most in store bikes seem to be 54-56s

Whether they allow you 30 minutes is also another variable. Do choose a dry day tho if it’s a new bike
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: mjr

smutchin

Cat 6 Racer
Location
The Red Enclave
TCR and Propel are very different bikes. You won't get a feel for the TCR by test riding a Propel. A big company like Giant ought to be able to find stock in the right size and should be happy to call it in for you.

As for pedals, best bet is to bring your own with you - they may well have a set of SPDs in the shop for test ride purposes, but a) you can't guarantee it, and b) they won't feel the same as the ones you're used to.
 
  • Like
Reactions: mjr

vickster

Legendary Member
Is it a Giant store proper or a Giant dealer LBS? I don’t know if the latter could oblige in the same way as the former. You’ll never know unless you ask though!

Oh and if they are fully obliging, take your own saddle with you. Crucial for a serious to purchase test ride!
 
OP
helston90

helston90

Eat, sleep, ride, repeat.
Location
Cornwall
It's a proper Giant store so they should be able to put their hands on things.

Sorry @smutchin I was suggesting that I'd like to test ride both to see which I prefer.

How easy could I tell what a TCR Adv 2 at £1500 feels like if they could only offer me a TCR Adv 0 at £2,700 ?
 

vickster

Legendary Member
It's a proper Giant store so they should be able to put their hands on things.

Sorry @smutchin I was suggesting that I'd like to test ride both to see which I prefer.

How easy could I tell what a TCR Adv 2 at £1500 feels like if they could only offer me a TCR Adv 0 at £2,700 ?
Assuming the same frame geometry, You’ll know if the bike fits but not a lot else, but that’s evidently the most important bit. You might also be disappointed when your 105 bike turns up in place of one with Di2 or whatever

You might also want them to switch stems around, doubtful they’d do it for handlebars say as factory bikes don’t have a range, it’s some random decision based on an average for that size of bike

Call them and explain your situation
 

Milkfloat

Guru
Location
Midlands
[QUOTE 5284900, member: 45"]You can't.

You're the customer potentially spending a lot of money with them. Tell them what you want in terms of a test ride and if they don't go for it then go to another dealer.[/QUOTE]

I think you can tell quite a bit as the frame will be the same size and quality, it will be the components that are different. You may need to ride the Adv 0 to try an checkout the frame and geometry, but then a different bike to see how you get on with lower grade shifters etc. ideally you ride exactly the spec you will buy, but it is often not practical.
 
OP
helston90

helston90

Eat, sleep, ride, repeat.
Location
Cornwall
I already ride a Giant Contend SL 1 which was a Defy (Alu, 105 throughout, sportive geometry etc.) so I can tell what they shifters and components will largely feel like (apart from mine is 10 speed and new 105 is 11).

So it's really checking the geometry isn't something I don't get on with.
 

Milkfloat

Guru
Location
Midlands
I already ride a Giant Contend SL 1 which was a Defy (Alu, 105 throughout, sportive geometry etc.) so I can tell what they shifters and components will largely feel like (apart from mine is 10 speed and new 105 is 11).

So it's really checking the geometry isn't something I don't get on with.
Then in which case I would try the Adv 0 and keep in the front of your mind that you cannot judge some things (weight, gear change smoothness etc) because of the components.
 

smutchin

Cat 6 Racer
Location
The Red Enclave
Sorry @smutchin I was suggesting that I'd like to test ride both to see which I prefer.
My bad - didn't read your post properly. Definitely worth asking to test both, and I'm sure they will do their best to make both available in your size if they don't have them in the shop. After all, it's in their interests to make a sale.

How easy could I tell what a TCR Adv 2 at £1500 feels like if they could only offer me a TCR Adv 0 at £2,700 ?
Well, those two models are built around exactly the same frame and fitted with exactly the same wheels and tyres, and exactly the same gearing, so you'll get a pretty good idea (or as much of an idea as you can get from a short test ride). The only significant difference as far as I can see is Di2 vs 105, but that won't affect the ride feel at all.

Beware though - after test riding a bike with Di2, you might not want to go back to 105!
 

Cycleops

Guru
Location
Accra, Ghana
In my book the customer should be king so don't be afraid, ask them to do whatever. After all they are completing for a sizable chunk of your cash. They should be more than happy to jump through a few hoops for you.
 

Siclo

Über Member
You might also want them to switch stems around
@helston90 That's very pertinent to the TCR, it has an overdrive 2 steerer, it's 1 1/4 inch not 1 1/8 and stem choice is somewhat restricted. It was the deal breaker for someone I know, multiple lengths available from Giant, sole manufacturer I think, but only in 8 degrees I think. Obvious implications for headset bearings.
 
Last edited:

Elybazza61

Veteran
In my book the customer should be king so don't be afraid, ask them to do whatever. After all they are completing for a sizable chunk of your cash. They should be more than happy to jump through a few hoops for you.

All well and good but LBS's do have to factor in the likelihood of a potential customer asking for a certain bike to test ride only to buy online afterwards(this may have happend to us now and then).

If it's a Giant store they should be able to source all sizes easily although some are just franchises so may have to order in and hope the customer buys it and not be stuck with a bike that may have to be reduced later.
 

Elybazza61

Veteran
@helston90 That's very pertinent to the TCR, it has an overdrive 2 steerer, it's 1 1/4 inch not 1 1/8 and stem choice is somewhat restricted. It was the deal breaker for someone I know, multiple lengths available from Giant, sole manufacturer I think, but only in 8 degrees I think. Obvious implications for headset bearings.
Yep Giant are wonderful (as are Specialized) for weird and wonderful fittings,bearings etc
 

al3xsh

Senior Member
Location
Peak district
Last bike I bought was a cube attain SL disc. The lbs ordered the 58 in especially for me to try, and then ordered the 56 in for me to compare against.

They also opened a box of SPD pedals for me to use on the test ride!

(Jejames in chesterfield - very very helpful and knowledgeable staff!)

Alex
 
Top Bottom