The frustration of a (long distance) bike buyer...

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
indy
Posts: 42
Joined: 17 Jul 2010, 6:06pm

The frustration of a (long distance) bike buyer...

Postby indy » 4 Mar 2012, 7:03pm

I'm in the market for a Dawes Ultra Galaxy but if something else comes up thats provably better then I'm open to changing my mind.

First port of call was Evans Cycles in London. The 'salesperson seemed completely clueless and after about 10 minutes ended up advising me to go to the Cycle Surgery round the corner!! CS said they didn't do any Dawes or any touring bikes as there was no demand what so ever for them. He didn't quite see the irony that during the worst recession since the 30's? a customer with an approx £2000 budget was effectively being shown the door. Anyway was advised to go to Evans near Waterloo. As it turned out they had a touring dept. Well if a dept can consist of 1 bike (Ridgeback Panorama) that is! Again got the no call for tourers line but they could order me a new 2012 Ultra Galaxy at full 2012 RRP. I could if I really wanted get the bike sent in for £50 (I think refundable) to check it out with no obligation but got the feeling that I was meant to buy it. I originally got my Super Galaxy (recently nicked) from Halfords but they again want full RRP and payment before placing the non-refundable order.

Went to Dawes website to look for dealers. Most if not all were the 'Mom & Pop' type places that had no stock and would only order on receipt of full payment. Many beamed at the thought of selling an Ultra but seemed to think that it would involve nothing more than relieving me of my credit card details.

All of the chains seem to be cramming in multi thousand £ racing bikes but seemed completely unwilling to maybe have 4 or 5 tourers in maybe 1 of there chain of shops. I feel a bit miffed at Dawes who seem to be doing nothing to 'sell' there bikes i.e. offering say Evans a 'Sale or Return' type of deal on a few top end tourers so potential customers like me can at least get the measure of them in the flesh.

I've spoken to Spa of Harrogate (and couple of other well known dealers) who offered me a good price BUT its a days travel and a £110 rtn journey on the train from my home so all the benefit of using a local bike dealer like Spa would be completely lost on me.

I think I've found a fairly local dealer with an Ultra in stock but can't fully check as they don't open on Sundays not sure about the price either.

So is this the touring bike buyers standard experience when buying a decent tourer in 2012 or am I doing something wrong?

Advice?
Cheers!

johnb
Posts: 793
Joined: 28 Jun 2007, 8:05am

Re: The frustration of a (long distance) bike buyer...

Postby johnb » 4 Mar 2012, 7:16pm

If I had 2 grand to spend I would order a Spa cycles Ti tourer, a Van Nicholas Amazon from Paul Hewitt or one of the Hewitt cheviot se and get one of his legendary bike fits when your there.
The lead Greyhound never has to look at another Greyhounds derrière.

Brucey
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Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: The frustration of a (long distance) bike buyer...

Postby Brucey » 4 Mar 2012, 7:39pm

I guess I'm lucky then; I live in a small city with lots of cyclists and lots of bike shops. I happen to know that there is more than one shop with a Dawes Galaxy in stock even (but not ultra galaxy I think). Even so, all the touring bikes in all the bike shops in the entire city might fit in the back of one transit van, i.e. they are about 1% of all the bikes on sale.

I'm afraid that you are trying to buy a Niche product in an increasingly Nicheified (is there such a word?) market. If you know what you want then you can order it, but getting good customer service with it is going to be a struggle unless you are lucky enbough to live somewhere near a 'specialist'.

I guess if you are in London there are quite a few places you can go which are a less expensive train ride away.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

PH
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Joined: 21 Jan 2007, 12:31am
Location: Derby
Contact:

Re: The frustration of a (long distance) bike buyer...

Postby PH » 4 Mar 2012, 7:55pm

indy wrote:I've spoken to Spa of Harrogate (and couple of other well known dealers) who offered me a good price BUT its a days travel and a £110 rtn journey on the train from my home so all the benefit of using a local bike dealer like Spa would be completely lost on me.

Advice?
Cheers!


It's a good day out, £45 if you book in advance. You'll get a good test ride, plenty of advice and a price to make it worth it.
I'd agree with johnb, for less that you're going to bay for that model Dawes you could have a Spa Ti tourer, a few upgrades, your train fare, a decent lunch, and a look around Harrogate .
You can't really blame big chain cycle stores not stocking a lot of touring stuff, it is a minority interest and you're better off dealing with specialists. If you can do that and save money, it's worth going out of your way.

rualexander
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Joined: 2 Jul 2007, 9:47pm
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Re: The frustration of a (long distance) bike buyer...

Postby rualexander » 4 Mar 2012, 8:06pm

Thorn Club Tour must be worth considering.
14 day money back guarantee on complete bikes so you can buy it and ride it but if you don't like it you can send it back. Alternatively, buy the frame and forks and get 100 days money back guarantee to build it up or get your lbs to build it for you.
Dawes bikes are overrated these days, not what they used to be in my opinion.

LollyKat
Posts: 2828
Joined: 28 May 2011, 11:25pm
Location: Scotland

Re: The frustration of a (long distance) bike buyer...

Postby LollyKat » 4 Mar 2012, 8:37pm

+1 for a Thorn.

Several models, each in a variety of specs. I found them very helpful when discussing what I was looking for, and am absolutely delighted with the bike, an Audax Mk3.

ossie
Posts: 599
Joined: 15 Apr 2011, 7:52pm

Re: The frustration of a (long distance) bike buyer...

Postby ossie » 4 Mar 2012, 8:52pm

rualexander wrote:Thorn Club Tour must be worth considering.
14 day money back guarantee on complete bikes so you can buy it and ride it but if you don't like it you can send it back. Alternatively, buy the frame and forks and get 100 days money back guarantee to build it up or get your lbs to build it for you.
Dawes bikes are overrated these days, not what they used to be in my opinion.


a very tidy 2010 Thorn Club Tour went on ebay this afternoon for just over £500, frame size seemed right having looked at the Thorn site but I hesitated and it was gone. Its a shame that the chance to actually get your leg over a decent touring machine is so difficult with so few outlets.

indy
Posts: 42
Joined: 17 Jul 2010, 6:06pm

Re: The frustration of a (long distance) bike buyer...

Postby indy » 4 Mar 2012, 9:52pm

Rualaxander, the Thorn does look good BUT as a person that doesn't have the knowledge or experience to make informed decision regarding the options the Dawes package although it might not be perfect is definitely a plus.

PH, I hear you regarding buying from Spa. Never really looked into the benefits of Titanium over and above steel especially after the considerable extra cost of Ti has had to be factored in.

Brucey, Yup, your probably right but it doesn't make it any less frustrating!!!

Johnb, Just want to say that 2k would be the very top end limit of the bike and ALL the required touring accessories I'd need i.e. panniers, locks, lights, dynamo etc etc

johnb
Posts: 793
Joined: 28 Jun 2007, 8:05am

Re: The frustration of a (long distance) bike buyer...

Postby johnb » 4 Mar 2012, 10:22pm

Spa ti 1550

Hewitt se 1599

Both supplied with rear racks, but more importantly you get to speak and deal with someone who has knowledge in what it takes to build and spec the bike for your touring needs.

That leaves plenty for front and rear panniers lights etc.

Not to sure about prices for the Thorns mentioned above but prob in around the same ballpark figure
The lead Greyhound never has to look at another Greyhounds derrière.

indy
Posts: 42
Joined: 17 Jul 2010, 6:06pm

Re: The frustration of a (long distance) bike buyer...

Postby indy » 4 Mar 2012, 11:00pm

What are the benefits of Ti in relation to a touring bike?

Brucey
Posts: 34312
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: The frustration of a (long distance) bike buyer...

Postby Brucey » 4 Mar 2012, 11:10pm

never goes rusty, may come with a good warranty.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

rollinbone
Posts: 233
Joined: 11 Jun 2009, 11:18am

Re: The frustration of a (long distance) bike buyer...

Postby rollinbone » 5 Mar 2012, 6:37am

How about considering a Koga Signature or Randonneur
http://www.koga-signature.com/koga-signature.aspx

I got a Signature in 2008 that had XT and with full set of Vaude panniers for just over £1600
You 'build' your bike on-line and it tells you the price as you go along and before you order
Its hand built and delivered from Holland to a store you select

Also the frame has attachment points for disk brakes so I have since upgraded with those and a Rohloff hub
P1010913_1.jpg


I got mine delivered to Cyclesense in Tadcaster Yorkshire - check out the other Koga bikes ->
http://www.cyclesense.co.uk/m1b134s21p0 ... ring_Audax

User avatar
yakdiver
Posts: 1170
Joined: 12 Jul 2007, 2:54pm
Location: North Baddesley Hampshire

Re: The frustration of a (long distance) bike buyer...

Postby yakdiver » 5 Mar 2012, 8:00am

Thorn Club Tour + may not be the best looker but,a lovely bike to ride
Alias Numbnuts

Mattie
Posts: 421
Joined: 23 Feb 2009, 9:19pm

Re: The frustration of a (long distance) bike buyer...

Postby Mattie » 5 Mar 2012, 8:04am

rollinbone wrote:How about considering a Koga Signature or Randonneur
http://www.koga-signature.com/koga-signature.aspx

I got a Signature in 2008 that had XT and with full set of Vaude panniers for just over £1600
You 'build' your bike on-line and it tells you the price as you go along and before you order
Its hand built and delivered from Holland to a store you select

Also the frame has attachment points for disk brakes so I have since upgraded with those and a Rohloff hub
P1010913_1.jpg


I got mine delivered to Cyclesense in Tadcaster Yorkshire - check out the other Koga bikes ->
http://www.cyclesense.co.uk/m1b134s21p0 ... ring_Audax


I have one of these also, a Koga Miyata World Traveller Signature. Mine was delivered to De Vakantiefietser in Amsterdam and they sent it on to me. Living in the smaller of the Channel Islands means it is not unusual to have to go that bit further to get what you want !

Bought mine in 2010 and very pleased with it. Also think it is very good value for money.

niloc
Posts: 138
Joined: 22 Dec 2008, 9:54pm

Re: The frustration of a (long distance) bike buyer...

Postby niloc » 5 Mar 2012, 8:18am

I've spoken to Spa of Harrogate (and couple of other well known dealers) who offered me a good price BUT its a days travel and a £110 rtn journey on the train from my home so all the benefit of using a local bike dealer like Spa would be completely lost on me.


Surely its not just one journey - wouldn't there be another journey to collect the bike and potentially additional trips if any treaking is required and to receive the benefit of aftersales service. So I agree the benefit of a LBS is lost, which is a shame as I have also been considering the Spa Ti tourer.