First road bikes - unable to test before I buy?



aeiea

New Member
Aug 30, 2009
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Hello everyone!

I've been shopping for my *first* road bike (been mountain biking it, but with my new 1.30 hr commute each way, time to make the next step), and while I looked at Cannondales, Treks, Litespeed, and others, I really cannot resist the Bianchi Dama She (alu carbon/ultegra mix triple)

However, the bike store that carries this line does not have it in my size, as I'm 5'0 (we tried others and I was struggling), and they will have to order it. Does this mean I cannot test it (and say no) before I buy it? So many people here emphasized making sure it is the proper fit. Also, if it's not, what could I "customize" to make it so?

I'm new at anything road bike, so any recommendations or advice welcome!
 

Meek One

New Member
May 5, 2004
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aeiea said:
...but with my new 1.30 hr commute each way

Really?!? :eek: If you are going to be in the saddle for 3 hours a day, you better like your bike. Find a different bike and go test them now!
 

daveryanwyoming

Well-Known Member
Oct 3, 2006
3,857
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aeiea said:
...they will have to order it. Does this mean I cannot test it (and say no) before I buy it? ...
That depends on the shop, their policies on special orders and any agreements you arrange with them before the order is placed. I sure wouldn't agree to buying a sight unseen bike that I haven't ridden, especially if fit is a concern.

So ask them straight out if you are expected to commit to this sale when they place the order and I sure wouldn't put down any deposit or make any agreements to purchase a bike that might or might not work for you. If they balk at those terms then find another shop, hopefully one that has your desired frame size on hand.

Fit is the most important thing about a bike and at 5'0" you're looking at one of the smaller available frames. Here's some other woman's specific bikes you might want to think about:
Team Estrogen: Guide to Women Specific Bikes
or
Bike 101-Bikes Designed For Women

You don't necessarily 'need' a woman's specific design, but WSD bikes tend to fit the short torso longer leg characteristics of 'typical' women better and are often built up better in terms of saddles for wider sit bones, shallower drop and narrower bars, installed brake/shifter shims for smaller hands, etc.

Good luck and definitely spend the time and effort to ensure a good fit with room for adjustment over time as your riding position evolves. IOW, don't get talked into a bike that just barely works with the seat slammed all the way down or when outfitted with an ultrashort 40mm stem as you'll have no wiggle room for subsequent adjustments. That probably means a 46 to 49 cm frame from most manufacturers, but some measure differently so don't go by numbers alone, definitely test ride them at a shop you trust.

Good luck,
-Dave
 

swampy1970

Well-Known Member
Feb 3, 2008
10,098
428
83
aeiea said:
Hello everyone!

I've been shopping for my *first* road bike (been mountain biking it, but with my new 1.30 hr commute each way, time to make the next step), and while I looked at Cannondales, Treks, Litespeed, and others, I really cannot resist the Bianchi Dama She (alu carbon/ultegra mix triple)

However, the bike store that carries this line does not have it in my size, as I'm 5'0 (we tried others and I was struggling), and they will have to order it. Does this mean I cannot test it (and say no) before I buy it? So many people here emphasized making sure it is the proper fit. Also, if it's not, what could I "customize" to make it so?

I'm new at anything road bike, so any recommendations or advice welcome!

Aeiea,

What city/town are you from? Maybe someone could recommend a different bike shop close to you.

What size where you looking to order on the Bianchi Dama She? A quick check between that bike and the Trek Madone 5.1 WSD shows that the frame has a similar geometry for the 50cm size.
 

alfeng

Well-Known Member
Jul 23, 2005
6,723
254
63
aeiea said:
I've been shopping for my *first* road bike (been mountain biking it, but with my new 1.30 hr commute each way, time to make the next step), and while I looked at Cannondales, Treks, Litespeed, and others, I really cannot resist the Bianchi Dama She (alu carbon/ultegra mix triple)

However, the bike store that carries this line does not have it in my size, as I'm 5'0 (we tried others and I was struggling), and they will have to order it. Does this mean I cannot test it (and say no) before I buy it? So many people here emphasized making sure it is the proper fit. Also, if it's not, what could I "customize" to make it so?

I'm new at anything road bike, so any recommendations or advice welcome!
Are you currently riding a Hardtail OR full suspension MTB?

If the former, then for a few hundred Dollars ($200-to-$1200) you could readily convert it ...

You can simply retrofit it with 'slicks' + ROAD bars & (Campagnolo) shifters ... and, change the outer chainring to a 48t chainring.

BTW. If a Hardtail -- solid fork OR suspension fork?