How do you buy bike stuff without ever trying it out?

Let me start off by saying I’m a relative n00b. I’ve been riding fixed since about February and riding a hybrid bike for commuting (I was a pretty serious commuter though!) before that for about 2 years. I didn’t make cycling a big part of my life until I started the fixed gear riding. which to this day gives me a semi every time I jump on the saddle.

Anyway, I see people ordering saddles they never sit on, frames they’ve never ridden, etc. The big reason I got a Langster was because I was actually able to sit on it and ride it and feel the fucker. I wasn’t prepared to drop 700-900$ on a bike I’d never ridden.

I guess I can kind of understand handlebars because you can look at bullhorns and imagine what they feel like or something, but something like a frame, I dunno how people can drop 1000$ on a frame they’ve never touched. Or brooks saddles. All I know is that people in general think they are bad ass, but how can you spend 200$ on something you’re not sure you’ll even like, especially when you apparently have to use the thing for 1 year (break-in period) before you can even know it as it is supposed to be?

Anyway, this post isn’t meant to be hateful, like only idiots would buy something they’ve never used/touched, but I’m actually curious how you know you like something and it’s worth the money without trying it first?

Word of mouth.
People who have it say it’s nice.

If youre lucky a friend will let you try their shit.

A lot of idiots buy whatever looks cool.

I’ve bought two bike online, but I’ve owned about a dozen bikes and have probably ridden twice as many in the past 8 years, so I have a pretty good idea of what I want. (Those two bike are my favorites btw.)

Also, I’d never buy a saddle without trying it, but stems, shifters, wheels, cranks… almost anything else you can get a good idea of if you do your research.

^Sorry about the double post.

I bought my crosscheck frame on the interweb but I knew I would like it from looking at the geometry specs and then I got to set it up just the way I wanted it when it showed up. I’d rather buy a frame I’ve never ridden, but know alot about and then be able to set it up exactly the way I want it than buy an off the peg complete that feels alright durring my three block test ride and then feels crappy when ridden for any length of time because of my oddly proportioned body.

Well for the record I test rode at least 7 different Langsters at 5 different stores, and one of the places let me test ride it for a good 30-45 minutes. I got to ride up and down a huge steep hill(s), flats, not well paved roads, super smooth road and the such. I couldn’t drop that much cash on a bike without doing so.

They’re all set up the same because the store gets a big box from specialized and builds the bike out of the parts that were in the box. So therefor, barring size diferances, if you’ve ridden one stock langster you’ve ridden them all.

Well for the record I test rode at least 7 different Langsters at 5 different stores, and one of the places let me test ride it for a good 30-45 minutes. I got to ride up and down a huge steep hill(s), flats, not well paved roads, super smooth road and the such. I couldn’t drop that much cash on a bike without doing so.[/quote]

you’re too picky…as long as you can look like you don’t give a fuck about your numb dick and carpel tunnel havin hands…thats the key my friend…thats the key…

I really only rode 7 different ones just to show the stores than I’m serious about buying one and that I know of other places to buy them, hoping for a better deal, ie “I was riding a langster at a different store…”

Also, they have different handlebars so I rode the new york with flat handlebars, the boston with drops, and the chicago with flop-and-chops. Once I owned the bicycle I immediately threw on my nitto rb-021 so the bike would be the mashiest, skidziest, most tarckstandingable yellow eye-sore anyone could imagine.

^The world is a better place for it.

http://www.roadbikereview.com/defaultcrx.aspx?default=true

[quote=“duckwars”]I really only rode 7 different ones just to show the stores than I’m serious about buying one and that I know of other places to buy them, hoping for a better deal, ie “I was riding a langster at a different store…”

Also, they have different handlebars so I rode the new york with flat handlebars, the boston with drops, and the chicago with flop-and-chops. Once I owned the bicycle I immediately threw on my nitto rb-021 so the bike would be the mashiest, skidziest, most tarckstandingable yellow eye-sore anyone could imagine.[/quote]
There’s a helluva lot more to bike fit than handlebar choice.

mhmm. nothing is worse than trying to make things work after you realize you have a proportionately short torso and your TT is too long.

I buy almost all my bike stuff on eBay, and I’m a smart shopper who looks for bargains. My main goal is to always be able to resell what I don’t want and either break even or profit from it. I’ve done pretty well in this effort, I think.

Also, if you’re a nerd like me who has ridden a zillion different bikes and two zillion components, then it’s kind of easy to know what you’re getting when you’re buying sight-unseen.

What bonechilling said.

Getting what you want to fit right takes time and patience. I think you get a better fit this way then even going into a bike shop because that “riding a couple of new bikes” feeling can be deceiving. Like buying a car… once they get you in the car to drive it you will want it.

What Bonechilling said, as well as researching stuff on the interwebz, asking shop employees, friends’ experiences, etc.

Basically I’ve owned enough stuff to know what I like for what purpose. Of course now trying to get into road/cross bikes, it’s a whole different world and I have to start over at square one for a lot of stuff…

with money

a langster will never be the tarckiest machine… sorry.
sloped top tubes are not tarck. njs is.
oh :bear: :bear: tarckbear :bear: :bear: , give me patience to deal with these people…