It has been a while since I have been here, lotsa work and even, gasp, riding!
I had a very interesting thing happen this last weekend that I thought fit very well into the Beginner's Corner.
I had just finished a loop of some very easy trails with my wife and dog when a young couple pulled into the parking lot with two very new looking bikes on the car. My wife wanted to go off and do a flat trail with our dog and I was going to go do the "difficult" loop. But before I left I wanted to see who had just bought the new bikes.
When the guy and gal got out of the car I had to do a double take, they were both about the same size but the bikes they had on the back of the car looked like they should have been for two very different people, now I just had to wait!
They pulled the bikes off, the woman got on a bike that looked like it was about a 15 inch frame and the saddle was way too low - she looked as if she was riding a BMX bike! The man got on his and it looked "ok" but it seemed as though he was reaching for the pedals. I just shook my head and started to head to the trail. I decided that I couldn't just leave them to be miserable. I really enjoy the sport and I want others to, also. So I turned around.
I started the conversation by saying something like "New bikes?" It turns out that they bought the bikes from a dealer that I know, but they got them on "sale" and the sales person said they were the right size.
I said I worked in the bike business and could I make a few suggestions. They welcomed this since no one at the store really made any adjustments to size the bikes. I moved the guy's seat down about 2 inches and he said it felt much better. I told him that the bike looked the right size but he may want to have a lower stem if he rode more off road.
The woman... well, there was no way she was going to fit that bike. After raising the seat post to the max mark she had ok leg extension but the saddle to handlebar reach was way to short. She looked like one of those students you see on college campuses that are still riding the bikes that they got in middle school.
I told her in my opinion that the bike was way to small and I suggested that she return the bike for the right size. She didn't think she could do that, she didn't feel right. I asked if she felt right riding the bike?
I suggested that they go to a different bike shop and get properly sized and that she would feel a lot better on the bike. I gave them my e-ddress and asked that they contact me if they had problems. I got this e-mail this morning:
"Tad- Thank you so much for helping us at the trail. After you took off we decided to go right back to ***** and get the right size. The owner *** helped me this time but didn't have the right size in the bike I wanted but they did give my money back. We went to ***** and got sized on the Bike Comfort system you told us about. Wow, what a difference! I spent more money then I wanted but I got a bike that really fits! It feels great! Thank you for taking time to talk to us!"
Bottom line to the story - get the right sized bike and don't go for the deal! Make sure that you are getting fit for the bike; if it is from a modern system like the www.bikecomfort.com system, or just a good person in a shop taking time and watching you ride. Then go out, get dirty, have fun!
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Thread: Lesson learned
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