Buying a brand new bike


New Member
Jul 21, 2003
After many years I'm finally buying another bike and after quite a bit of research I'm thinking 2021 Trek Madone SL7. I found one very close to me in my size and I'll be heading over to give it a test ride and see if the 1.5 geometry is alright for this aging body :)

My question for those who have much more experience buying brand new bikes from brick and mortar stores is what is acceptable as far as any imperfections in the bikes finish? I know that bikes in the showroom must get test ridden, maybe often, and stuff happens, but if a new bike you wanted to buy had, say, a visible scratch/scuff/mar in the finish or on a component, or there was something like a small cosmetic chip in the paint that wasn't a factory defect, would you normally point that out as reason for a discount or in some other way make a stink about it? Or is that petty and something that is just normally overlooked when getting a new bike?

I don't want to be unreasonable if it's not warranted. on the one hand, if it's purely cosmetic, the bike will probably get some kind of scratch or scuff in the first few weeks I own it anyway, but on the other hand I'll be dropping over $7,000 at the store so shouldn't it be perfect when I get it no matter how much I personally would abuse it after I bought it?

Just want to know what the conventional wisdom on this is :)
Are you going to put the bike on display, or are you going to ride it?
Bicycles in use will get dings and scratches.
Be happy if you buy a pre-scratched item, it saves you from having to obsess about the moment when YOU put Your First scratch on it.
Are you going to put the bike on display, or are you going to ride it?
Bicycles in use will get dings and scratches.
Be happy if you buy a pre-scratched item, it saves you from having to obsess about the moment when YOU put Your First scratch on it.

Thanks for the reply!

Your answer makes perfect sense on many levels, and I just wanted to know what the accepted consensus in the cycling community is. I can see the pragmatic side of your view; that items that are going to be used will immediately become scuffed and scratched, and that is an absolute.

But the other side of this is that I also shoot, and practice archery. If a new gun is scratched or in some way marred, it is discounted and sold as “Blemished”. I recently purchased a handgun in this way which was discounted to me for 10% off its original $1,600 price for a very minor scratch on the slide. Within the first week, I had wear marks on this firearm from practicing with it with a holster. A compound bow I purchased as new and was inspected at the retailer was sent back to the factory and replaced because of a scratch on one of the limbs. So it seems that other industries see “brand new” as something that should indicate “perfect”. I think cars are similar. They see the owner as the one that has the right to first damage :) and will compensate if this isn’t the case.

I think the difference for bicycles, at least for expensive/exclusive ones is scarcity of supply. A kind of “If you get one you should consider yourself lucky” even if it’s blemished in any way. I’m wondering if companies like Trek operate on this premise, or another. if the former it’s an odd attitude to level at a person who spends $7000-$8000 for something, but every industry I guess conforms to its own commercial norms. I guess its lucky that all industries aren’t like this if it’s true :)
I absolutely got lucky! A store a few hours away just received a 2021 Madone SL7 and it just got assembked and placed up on the Trek display stand only the day before!

I didn’t even hesitate and had them put a hold on it. Just brought it home with Garmin rally power meter pedals and a Garmin 1030 Plus computer.

So I didn’t have to worry about test ride damage at all since it had never seen pedals yet lol! and was absolutely spotless perfect over its entirety.

I know these new bike posts must be boring and old hat to most, but I’m extremely excited and I feel incredibly fortunate.
  • Like
Reactions: steve and Mr. Beanz
Not boring at all, interesting to see the opinions of others even if it conflicts with mine.

To me, $7,000 is a lot of money and if I can't have it perfect for the sum, I wouldn't buy it. I myself wouldn't really want a discount, I'd want it perfect.

If not, I'd go find one somewhere that is! I understand that bikes get marked up, but I have taken care of my bikes so that even friends ask if I have a new bike riding my 1998. :D

Yeah, I ride the heck out of them. My Madone has 18,000 on it and I have friends that say that I have the cleanest smoothest running bikes out of all the cyclists they know. We rode with groups of 25 and done some forum rides with 30 plus riders over the years since 2004 so not like they know only 6 riders. :p

I've done a high of 7300 miles in one year including 23 centuries. So not like I don't ride my bikes but I choose to keep them nice. So this is not boring at all. You can ride a bike and keep it nice, no needle to settle unless you don't have the time or energy to care for them.

So in other words, if I spent that kind of money, I'd ride the heck out of it but it would also be kept looking very fine! :cool:

Nice bike! :)
  • Like
Reactions: Feanor