I'm making a list of road bikes under £500 that look like they fulfil my requirements. I've got to the point where there are about 3 or 4 that are all equally desirable on paper and to make the best choice I'd like to be able to at least ride them a few yards just to check for comfort and fit. This seems a lot easier said than done. Some places seem reluctant to let you try before you buy, some places only deal online, some places are far away. I'm very interested to know how other people have gone about whitling down their last few options to the one they want and if they were able to do comparative test rides. Or is this only available to reviewers in magazines, who's word we just have to trust? Bikes are such a personal thing and fit and comfort such an important aspect that I am dismayed at how difficult it is to do some comparative test rides. How many retailers claim to make sure that they do everything to ensure that you get the right bike but still don't let you ride one around the carpark. Or is it just that one has to spend thousands before this option is available. I live in fear of forking out for a bike only to discover a few months down the line that I should have gone for one of the others on my short list. Am I being unreasonable?