- Bikes & Gear
- Training & Nutrition
- Ride Maps
Always ride before you buy. If a shop doesn't have your size on display, ask to have a sample built up. Or, test a similar model from that brand; product lines often share geometries, even whole frame designs.
2. What about parts swaps?
Not all saddles and stems work for everyone. A shop should be willing to swap a part here and there to ensure proper fit, and it may offer upgrades at a discount.
3. Do you use a fit service?
A good shop uses a recognized fit service, like Fit Kit or the Serotta Size Cycle, which has a defined methodology and offers technician training. (Serotta requires it.) A fit session will cost between $40 and $200, depending on the complexity of service you want, but it can be a worthwhile investment.
4. Is there a fit guarantee?
Some elements of bike fit, such as reach to the bar, bar height and cleat position, manifest themselves only over time. Is the shop prepared to help you dial in those issues as part of your bike-buying investment? Look for a written guarantee that lasts at least 30 days.
Most bike shops are great, but beware if you encounter any of these things
They say no test rides: A few shops have stopped offering test rides for liability reasons. We recommend steering clear of them because it could lead to potential future headaches on fit issues.
Your objections are overruled: If a salesman insists a frame is the right size and you think it's not, seek a second opinion at another shop. The first shop may be trying to get rid of old inventory. A key tip-off here is low levels of floor stock, especially if you're considering a discounted model from last year.
You get attitude, or ignored: If the salesman seems uninterested in you, go elsewhere.