1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
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2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #1
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    Would it be PC for me to ask my LBS to...

    Hi, I'm new. I've been looking around the forums for a month or so but just joined. I've chosen a LBS and bike. I am 6'1", and I was going to get the 20" Felt Nine 80. The LBS only has an 18" in stock, which I rode and seems to be a good fit. But before I pull the trigger I want to at least ride a 20" to make sure I have the best fit for my body. Would the LBS be pissed if I had him order a 20" so I could test ride it, then end up purchasing the 18"?

  2. #2
    29ers Forever
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    You would be better fitted to a 20", and if you were going to do XC riding with it, you would want a 20", not an 18". I am 5'10" and have a 19" bike.
    And yes, you would have to buy the bike if the LBS ordered it for you.
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  3. #3
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    It's not a question of being PC or not. It's an issue of store policy. I've never been to or worked in a shop that allowed orders of bikes folks may or may not buy.

    FWIW, I'm 5'8 and ride an 18" bike. No way you'd be riding something that small at 6'1

  4. #4
    turtles make me hot
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    You can ask them to do whatever you want...
    Whether or not they do it is on them.
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  5. #5
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    Well, if they are a competent shop, I'd think they'd be able to take the time and determine if a 20" would be a better fit for you. You can start with determining what the standover height is for the 18 and 20, and determining which would be better for you. They should be able to help you out with that.

    Just explain your concerns and see what they do to accommodate you. Maybe they have another model of bike with similar geometry in 20" that you can try? Maybe they can simply measure you out to see which would be an optimal fit? Maybe they just happened to be out of 20" frames at the time and have more on the way? Never hurts to ask.
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  6. #6
    Big Gulps, Alright!
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    They shouldn't have much of a problem getting rid of either of those. Not unreasonable to ask them to order one for you. They may want a deposit though.

  7. #7
    Sleek Jamis Exile Rider
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    I was thinking that the shop wouldn't have a problem ordering the larger bike if they knew one or the other bikes would be sold.

  8. #8
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    Ask them if they are willing to order you the 20", knowing you might not buy it.

  9. #9
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    Would it be PC for me to ask my LBS to...

    Quote Originally Posted by MadMacMan View Post
    I was thinking that the shop wouldn't have a problem ordering the larger bike if they knew one or the other bikes would be sold.
    This is what my LBS was going to do when I was considering a bike they had to order. I told them I would be getting either the 16" felt (which needed ordered), an 18" felt (which was in stock), or a 15.5 Trek Marlin (also in stock.

    All they wanted was a non-refundable deposit which would be applied to one of the bikes.


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  10. #10
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    Would it be PC for me to ask my LBS to...

    If they let you buy a bike that's too small for you, I would say look for another LBS. That's just bad business.

  11. #11
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    I can tell you this. Any of the LBS that I frequent would order it as long as I was going to buy one of them. Of course I have a relationship already.

    Do they have any of the other felt models in stock in a 20? They probably have the same geo.

    I could say with almost certainty that a 20 inch would fit you better though unless you have an abnormal body type. (Unusually short torso or something)

  12. #12
    Picture Unrelated
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    Depends on the shop. The only way to know is to ask.

    If the bike is a hot seller it's much more likely they will bring one in for you to test ride because they won't have to worry too much about it sitting in inventory. If the bike isn't in their core group of bikes they sell then it would be harder for them to get rid of and therefore less likely for them to bring one in for you. As always, money talks; if they're confident you're not going to run away then they'll be more likely to accommodate you. If you're confident you are going to buy one or the other put money down, have them order it, and make sure they're aware that you want to test ride it to make sure you don't prefer the 18. At 6' I universally prefer 19"-20" frames.
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  13. #13
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Shops sometimes also know ways for you to get a test ride on something they don't have in stock without either of you having to risk any money. For example, the local Felt rep might have something, or they may know of a demo day coming up.

    Still, 20" isn't a weird enough size that they shouldn't have something from that l line in it. Most shops don't build up every bike they have in stock. So add others have said - ask.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  14. #14
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    I bought the 18" and only 5'7 and its a perfect fit for me. I would definitely recommend the 20" for how tall you are. Good Luck.

  15. #15
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    if they order that bike and you don't buy it, then they can sell it to someone else. it should not be a big deal if it's a decent shop.

  16. #16
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    18 is not crazy out of the range for 6'1 certainly 20 may be better worth trying

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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by CannondaleF9 View Post
    You would be better fitted to a 20", and if you were going to do XC riding with it, you would want a 20", not an 18". I am 5'10" and have a 19" bike.
    And yes, you would have to buy the bike if the LBS ordered it for you.
    This is exactly why you should test ride before you buy. I'm 6 foot and ride 17/18 inch bikes.

    The shop shouldn't have an issue ordering a bike to let you test ride, but keep in mind this time of year the '13 are gonna have to go quick to make any real money. I don't think a restocking fee would be out of line if you didn't buy.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    if they order that bike and you don't buy it, then they can sell it to someone else. it should not be a big deal if it's a decent shop.
    seriously, I went to 12 bike shops before I found my latest bike. It was obvious within a 20 second conversation if the shop was decent and would even try to find me a xxl sized frame to test ride. 10 of the 12 were not decent shops, unfortunately. I guess I'm spoiled living in socal having options.
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  19. #19
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    They should order the bike for you no problem. I know my LBS will as long as it's not too oddball or niche. Its not a $10,000 custom rig or anything, that Felt will run them abou thalf what you pay for it... If they are a VERY small shop maybe offer a deposit if you think it will really hurt their bottom line.

  20. #20
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    The shop I work at would order it if it isn't something high end, niche, or some crazy small size we would never sell because we would have a harder time getting rid of it due to our clientele being mostly people looking for $300 bikes. The only thing we require is a deposit when the order is placed to guarantee that one bike or the other is purchased.

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