Tips from buying my first bike. If you're unsure, see if they can put the bike on the trainer or let you ride it around the block to see how it feels.
Pick the bike up to see how much it weighs (something you should probably do when looking for a bike). Well, let's just say carbon fibre makes a big big difference.
Think about going back to the shop - is after-care pleasant?
Make sure you feel listened to, is the recommended bike going to suit your needs?
2Wheels Deal: For the next 2 weeks, quote 'Love 2wheels' when purchasing a bike and get 10% off or receive 15% off clothing, accessories, service, and even that little bike basket you've always wanted ;)
AMAZE-balls! Follow @2wheelsie on twitter.
Along with my trend of being original, and by that, i mean completely not original. I am tagging on to the whole bike theme that WAS Giro d'Italia. The excitement was immense, the cool part was that the event was so international; from local Irish to Australians, Americans, and Italians. It was really cool to hear the different languages being spoken and all the media from around the world in the finishing zone.
I'm just going to tell you about the shopping experience I had here in town (Dublin).
Now, this is my first ever road bike so I am completely oblivious to a lot of things. Frame sizes and geometry, cranks, pedals, components, brands…. there is just so much to consider. I'm glad a few of my friends chimed in to help me out. Also, S & my good friend Al were an instrumental part in educating me in what to look for. My understanding is that most of the brands would be the similar or comparable at the price-point I was looking. One other thing to note, is I came out with something completely different than what I expected to get.
I visited a few bikes shops here in town, each, generally carry different brands. A major consideration is that they are helpful in service, as you will inevitably be back for a second fitting adjustments, and technical help. If it is out of the way, or they are not nice, you won't want to go back!
Cyclebike - MARY'S ABBEY
Giant, Lombardo, Cube, Bianchi
This was a trendy store with lots to offer, from cruisers and hip-bikes ('hip bikes, because what is a hipster bike'), to hybrids and racers. I was impressed with the selection and the knowledge of brands here, however was slightly put off by the fact that I went in with a defined idea of a road bike that would comfortably do 150 km - with room to grow. Instead, I was recommended a hybrid bike for everyday; and while flat handlebars would be comfortable for my back, I felt that there would be too much resistance and I didn't feel completely listened-to. Knowledge was good and standard. Back to positives, the Lombardo road bike was pretty convincing because it was affordable and had great components for the price. Campagnolo components are supposed to be pretty good and pricey - so it was a deal.
Think Bike! - RATHMINES
I didn't end up shopping for a bike here, however they have been very helpful in-shop and on the phone. They've helped me fix my other bike & always pump up my tires up free :) - also sold me a pump. One major consideration is after-care, so I think these knowledgeable guys would take good care of you if you were in the area and to go back regularly.
Free Wheeling - PEARSE STREET
Giant, Bianchi A pretty standard bike shop, close to work. This was the first place I checked, and they offered me a deal on last year's model, which was quite attractive to me. I wasn't entirely convinced, but it was a great start. The gentleman had me straddle the bike and gave the standard 'if it's about 1-2 inches below your crotch, then you're ok'. They have a selection of cruisers and vintage bikes as well.
Cycleways - PARNELL ST.
Specialized, Canondale, This was one of the best shopping experience on the road, the guys were so helpful, knowledgable, and resourceful. Unlike some, the first thing they'd do is hold the bike so I could not only straddle the bike, but get on the seat and feel the height and reach of the bars. Also, I came back and tried the bike on the stationary Tac-X trainer which was super helpful to a nube like me. There is no messing here, they are service-oriented, responsive, and go over and above all the other shops. The down-side was that they didn't have the size or bike I needed in stock and the price was slightly higher. They taught me about geometry of different male/female bikes, the reach, and the different proportions of men & women on the bikes.
2Wheels - SOUTH WILLIAM ST.
FELT, Specialized, Scott, NEW! Canondale The last stop on the shopping trail was 2Wheels, recently transitioned from Eurobaby/Eurocycle. I had heard about this shop in Sandymount, super helpful and great selection and now it's in town! The best way to make a great shop accessible to city folk like me.
Eoin and the guys are great, they're experienced riders themselves and gave me a very indicative idea of what to expect. Although I got a little up-sold, it's all grand, they set me up with a sick bike for a pretty good deal. I'm stoked to get on my bike every time because it is such a pleasure to ride.
One of their bike technicians is the official Scott mechanic, so that put me at ease. Guys, they (and most other good bike shops) throw in the first service for free and so far have been very very accommodating to all my silly questions and issues. They put me in contact with a bike group to go out with and now it's rockin'!
Theses guys are SO smashing, that they are helping me out by sharing a little discount with you! For the next 2 weeks, quote a 'Love 2wheels' when purchasing a bike and get 10% off or 15% off clothing, accessories, service, and even that little bike basket you've always wanted ;)