How Are You All Demoing?

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Posted: Oct 8, 2020 at 13:24 Quote
All of the demo fleets are shut down and in house demo centers have closed up shop, too. Yet, all bikes are selling out like crazy.

Are people just resorting to parking lot test rides? Nothing against that, you can learn quite a bit by hitting square edge bumps, jumping off curbs, doing a quick sprint down an empty street, etc. but it tells you little about how it behaves on trails.

Or, are you relying primarily on reviews from bike magazines?

Are parking lot test rides even allowed now? Or are shops so paranoid about cleaning that they won't allow it?

Posted: Oct 15, 2020 at 15:27 Quote
mtb1101 wrote:
All of the demo fleets are shut down and in house demo centers have closed up shop, too. Yet, all bikes are selling out like crazy.

Are people just resorting to parking lot test rides? Nothing against that, you can learn quite a bit by hitting square edge bumps, jumping off curbs, doing a quick sprint down an empty street, etc. but it tells you little about how it behaves on trails.

Or, are you relying primarily on reviews from bike magazines?

Are parking lot test rides even allowed now? Or are shops so paranoid about cleaning that they won't allow it?

I can't speak for everyone buying bikes right now, but I don't rely on demos to buy a bike. Once you get an idea of the kind reach, head angle and chain stays you are looking for, read some reviews, both from forums and professional reviewers. It's getting to the point where a lot of bikes in the same category are settling on the same geo. For example, I would say the new nukeproof mega is very average for a modern enduro.

How the suspension feels is an important consideration, but it's unlikely you will get your setup dialed in a demo ride anyway. My advice would be to read other people's forum posts, and try to find comparisons to similar bikes.

Posted: Oct 15, 2020 at 16:50 Quote
I ordered a bike yesterday without relying on any testing and also never tested frames I bought on ebay. For the new bike I was just looking what bikes fit into my budget and then checking out what a few tests, but mainly private people think about them

Posted: Oct 15, 2020 at 19:48 Quote
I demoed about 4 bikes before settling on a Transition Patrol for my main big bike 2 years ago. It was well worth it.

Now I'm more familiar with how I want bikes to fit and geometry, I felt comfortable buying a Transition Throttle hardtail frame and building it up myself. I really like how it turned out and couldn't be happier.

Before I replace my Patrol, I plan to test a few bikes.

I also really enjoy demoing bikes and seeing how they feel. They really are different, and it's fun to see how for myself.

Posted: Oct 16, 2020 at 15:48 Quote
I am extremely doubtful that any modern bike company, using their well-funded R&D departments, racing input, and years of experience, would make a bike in my chosen specialty that I would not like.
For instance, I think my next bike will be a long-travel 29er. I'd like an SB150, Sentinel, Superfoxy, or Firebird 29. I'm sure they all feel slightly different, but would I mind? It's not like one of them is so different that a 27.5 trail bike would feel more like the others, and thus the odd 29er is "bad." I'm sure I'd get used to it and be able to dial in whichever bike I choose.
Maybe I'll attend a demo event, but it's just as likely that I'll read up and buy based on my research and/or what color the bike is. Color matters. Big Grin

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