Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 30 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Not just another "what bike to buy" post (which is why I'm posting here), but more of a general rant.

I'm in the market for a new mountain bike, and while I know generally what I want, there are lots of bikes that, on paper, could fit the bill. I'm looking for a short-med travel FS XC-specific bike that is raceable but will still be fun on all-day epics in the mountains of CO.

So, the wife & I head down to Denver on Saturday to escape the snow, take a road-ride, & shop for bikes. After the ride, I called around some well-known shops to find out what they had built up in my size - here's what I found:

Bicycle Village: Specialized & Trek
Wheat Ridge Cyclery: Specialized & Trek (to be fair, they also carry Yeti & Titus, both of which I'd like to try, but didn't have any built up for me)
University Cycles in Boulder: Specialized & Giant (Maybe)
Excel Sports: No MTBs built (not really a showroom kinda place, plus they're getting out of MTB sales)

So, we went to WRC and did ride around on the spec & trek bikes. Truthfully, I've gotten great service at WRC, and this visit was no exception - I'll probably buy from them if they have what I decide to buy. But here's the thing - this shop is one of the biggest high-end shops in the front range, with lost of floor-space & inventory, but they could only put me on a Trek & 2 Specialized bikes? If they don't offer more selection, who the hell does?

I decided on my last bike (2000 Spec FSR XC Pro) after drooling over pic of it & it's magazine reviews. Ordered it from my LBS without ever riding it. I've enjoyed it, but there are plenty of things wrong with it, such as the extremely steep HT angle + long stem + short TT = endo every time you hit a pebble.

Is this how everyone still buys bikes? From ads & this site, I want to try a Blur, a Spider, a Turner, a Titus, a Yeti, a Moots, a Niota, a Maverick, a ........

Does any shop actually stock these things, or do people just fall in love with pictures of them & order? I can't belive that in this state, with these big shops, all I can find to actually ride beofre I plunk down my $5G are Specs & Treks.

Any ideas? Did any of you actually ride your bike before buying?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,571 Posts
In NJ it is possible to demo bikes on dirt.

Cycle Craft, a shop in Parsippany, NJ, has high-end demos a couple of times a year at a local park. You get to see what a Spyder or Blur or Trek or Ellsworth or something else rides like in the real world.

At the Jim Thorpe Mountain Bike Weekend in late June (about 2 hours west of north Jersey), Giant has demo's of their line available for use on the trail. A couple of other manufactuers also have demos at the festival including some boutique brands (Vicious Cycles comes to mind). Even the Christiani two wheel drive bikes are there.

In the past Marty's Reliable Cycle in Morristown had demo days on dirt with Specialized products. I don't know if they still do.

Finally, my own favorite LBS, Whippany Cycle, has made arrangements for me to ride on dirt with GT (this was in the past when GT was pretty sought after) and Litespeed products. I was also able to borrow a Giant TCR for a day of road riding to get a real feel for the frame.

Before I forget, if you want to demo a downhill bike, you can rent one at Mountain Creek Ski Area (Vernon, NJ) in the summer.

Not a bad choice for a state that does not always come to mind when you think of mountain biking.

You are on your own in Colorado but maybe some of your destination resorts rent higher end bikes. Certainly there are plenty available in Moab (yeah, its not right next door).

If I take the trouble to ride out to Speedtgoat in Pennsylvania I can rent and demo a Titus and a number of other higher end products and put the rental towards a purchase.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
520 Posts
I think

Titus has a few dealers in Colorado that have demo bikes. I've read that Ventanna has a demo program. Check out Ventanna's web site for specifics. Never hurts to contact the builders directly and ask.

Another alternative is to get a custom fitting and use those numbers to match a frame.
 

·
I'm how far behind?
Joined
·
571 Posts
That big a$$ bicycle village in Aurora CO claims to have something like 1500 bikes built and ready to test. But, they are all probably the usual big name nothing really exciting bikes. I stopped by their last summer just to see the beast and they did have some intense, but nothing built. My last three bikes were ordered from the factory with a little bit of measurements given over the phone, not ideal but when they are making the bike for you its not like you can pre ride the thing. I'd suggest that if you have the cash, go with a good local builder. I talked to Dean for a bit, then decided on one of their stock sizes. The nice thing with going to a local builder you can talk and even visit prior to ordering.

Green Mountain Sports may be able to get you on the Yeti and Mav, they have a couple to demo, but may not have your size. Mav is local, maybe they have something if you call them. Blurs-- well just about any SC dealer should have that in stock-- or go out to any Denver area trail and make a friend (their is always at least 5 of them on a given trail at any given time-- you would think that they give them away at Rockies games or something).
 

·
Sofa King We Todd Did
Joined
·
2,262 Posts
This was one of my biggest gripes a short while ago, when I was interested in a Surly Karate Monkey. Had a bit of an exchange with Nick, we advised that I don't order a small one until I try one on for size, just in case, the small size is still a tad too large for me. So I called just about every dealer in the NYC tri-state area listed on the Surly website - not one had any Surly bikes in stock, nevermind a small Karate Monkey. No one had any options for me, no help offered, nothing. "Sorry, you're sh!t out of luck, oh well" was pretty much what I was faced with.

Shame, too, since Nick at Surly was really, really helpful in trying to explain a 29er fit to me. What a letdown.
 

·
Whatever
Joined
·
585 Posts
Try Sports Garage in Boulder for a Maverick

In late '03, I bought My Maverick ML7/DUC32 from the former Sports Garage owner Thom (who now lives near you, in Breck) but the new owners -- who came from Wheat Ridge Cyclery -- still let you demo a bike at a local trail. They have Maverick, Rocky Mtn, Santa Cruz, Titus, Ellsworth and a couple others. They're in Boulder at 28th & Spruce. You should talk them into letting you take a couple to Hall Ranch in Lyons (~18 miles) to test climbing on technical stuff.

I would say for what you are looking for (in my biased opinion) the Maverick ML7 + DUC32 fork is the ultimate all-day-trailbike/part-time-racer for Colorado mountains (and not just the front range stuff). I do almost all my riding in Rollinsville & Nederland which is very similar to riding in Summit County. The Maverick is great for 4-6 hour rides, and still can do a 24 hour race quite well. And at $5K you can build it up sub 25 pounds with discs and still have it durable enough for all day epics (my XL is at 24.5 pounds with 2.1 tubeless tires, discs, carbon DH bars, etc).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,019 Posts
Also helps to swap bikes with people on the trail sometimes. All of my friends will do this (assuming they are near my size) and I've tried many strangers bikes, just as I've let others try mine. The more different bikes you ride, the better idea you get about what you like.

So if you see someone that is about your size, riding a blur, the start by asking how they like it. If they are outgoing, and friendly, they might ride a few miles of trail with you, them trying your bike, and you trying theirs....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,740 Posts
My LBS here in North Vancouver, has all of their line-up built and ready to go for a test ride. This includes the full Norco VPS line, Specialized includingEnduros, Bighits, Demo 8&9's etc., Santa Cruz- all the way from the Jackal to VP Free etc. I can't believe anyone would buy a bike without riding one first. Would you buy a car without a test drive? I guess part of the reason they're able to provide test rides is due the abundance of trails nearby.
bmateo said:
Also helps to swap bikes with people on the trail sometimes. All of my friends will do this (assuming they are near my size) and I've tried many strangers bikes, just as I've let others try mine. The more different bikes you ride, the better idea you get about what you like.

So if you see someone that is about your size, riding a blur, the start by asking how they like it. If they are outgoing, and friendly, they might ride a few miles of trail with you, them trying your bike, and you trying theirs....
 

·
Whatever
Joined
·
585 Posts
lebikerboy said:
My LBS here in North Vancouver, has all of their line-up built and ready to go for a test ride. This includes the full Norco VPS line, Specialized includingEnduros, Bighits, Demo 8&9's etc., Santa Cruz- all the way from the Jackal to VP Free etc. I can't believe anyone would buy a bike without riding one first. Would you buy a car without a test drive? I guess part of the reason they're able to provide test rides is due the abundance of trails nearby.
Sure, most let you test ride in their parking lot! That's what differentiates a good bike shop -- they'll trust you (OK maybe they keep a credit card) but will let you take a bike out for hours on a real trail.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Demo Days

Bicycle etc in Jacksonville florida has a demo day once a month at Hannah Park in Jacksonville. They bring out alot of the high dollar bikes and you get tear around the park on them for free. They mainly sell Trek and Gary Fisher. I bought the last Kona they had in stock. They also have high end bicycles for rent. For $35 bucks a day you can rent a trek fuel or something like a Gary fisher sugar.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
SportsGarage

I contacted Sports Garage in Boulder, and it turns out that they are having a demo-days/festival in Lyons April 23-24, with quite a few impressive names showing up. They're setting up next to a 1 mile trail loop that has a climb, a descent, etc.

Also, apparently the FFTF will be hosting a bunch of manufacturers with sample/demo bikes as well.

I'll be hitting both of these events, and hopefully end up with a bike, or at least a plan.
 

·
Time is not a road.
Joined
·
4,150 Posts
Definitely go to the FFTF. Last year they had bikes from Titus, Intense, Trek, Specialized and Yeti on Demo.

In Ft. Collins on Friday, one bike store will be demo'ing Trek and Rocky Mtn at a local trail. Titus came last year after the FFTF for demos (that was great, got to ride lots of cool bikes).

Go to Moab, you can try just about anything.
 

·
Whatever
Joined
·
585 Posts
Ralph Lomar said:
I contacted Sports Garage in Boulder, and it turns out that they are having a demo-days/festival in Lyons April 23-24, with quite a few impressive names showing up. They're setting up next to a 1 mile trail loop that has a climb, a descent, etc.
Great, they are carrying on the tradition that Thommy started. It's pretty cool to ride basically whatever your ID wants at that time. Sounds like they're doing it at Hall Ranch. I'll definitely show up -- I'll be the guy on the dark blue ML7 w/ Mav fork.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
129 Posts
Ralph Lomar said:
I decided on my last bike (2000 Spec FSR XC Pro) after drooling over pic of it & it's magazine reviews. Ordered it from my LBS without ever riding it. I've enjoyed it, but there are plenty of things wrong with it, such as the extremely steep HT angle + long stem + short TT = endo every time you hit a pebble.
:eek: I just bought a 2004...this little problem has been corrected, right?? :(
 

·
SNGLSPD
Joined
·
1,058 Posts
Fftf

chad1433 said:
Definitely go to the FFTF. Last year they had bikes from Titus, Intense, Trek, Specialized and Yeti on Demo.

In Ft. Collins on Friday, one bike store will be demo'ing Trek and Rocky Mtn at a local trail. Titus came last year after the FFTF for demos (that was great, got to ride lots of cool bikes).QUOTE]

OTE always have some high end demos and during the festival there will be lots and lots to choose from.(maverick yeti,turner, titus and more)
Right now they have: titus,rocky mountain,turner,edge cycles,santa cruz.
otesports.com(the riding is pretty good here also)
fruitamountainbike.com
 
1 - 20 of 30 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top