How to try and buy a bike

Vorpal
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Re: How to try and buy a bike

Postby Vorpal » 8 Feb 2021, 8:58am

531colin wrote:Thats ridiculous. 5' 9" is reckoned to be average male height. Now I'm in my seventies I have to wear shoes to measure 5' 9".(...I used to be 5' 10" in my socks.) More than half the population is under 5'9" tall.
Anybody who can't fit somebody 5' 8" is either incompetent, not interested or so dazzled by the latest fashion they can't see whats important.
Were these "bike shops" staffed by smirking teenage boys who think its funny to be rude and unhelpful ? I see no purpose in trying to support a cycle shop if its dysfunctional.
I think you have been cycling long enough to know whats important for you. Just get out the geometry tables and find a frame which is capable of getting the saddle and bars where you want them relative to the bottom bracket, and thats most of the job done. Then front centre (if overlap is important to you) BB drop (if getting a toe down is important to you) tyre clearance and perhaps chainstay length. (Have a look at a website called "Geometry geeks" lots of geometries already input by enthusiasts....I suspect you will be better able to work the website than me)
I can design a bike to fit somebody 5' nothing, with drop bars and 700c wheels. I am not a genius, its not that hard. However, I can't do it using forks with fashionable 45mm offset, and it doesn't have a fashionable 1000mm wheelbase.

TBH, I think that the main problem was that they saw I was a woman, and decided that meant I needed a woman's bike, of which they had only hybrids in stock. Also, I generally take one size smaller (or shorter top tube) than my height might suggest because I have a relatively short body, which means the smallest men's size doesn't always suit me due to reach.

Unfortunately, it's not only teenage boys that have done this sort of thing; men of all ages have. They were mostly earnest, occasionally dismissive, and a couple of times overtly sexist. I have always managed to get what I needed in the end, but it wasn't as easy as just walking into any old bike shop. IMO, only a proportion of the bike shops that serve men well, also serve women well. Mostly, they have not given it thought & consideration, and made an effort to serve women well. This is in some ways understandable given the historic lack of inclusion, the marketing by companies that provide parts & services to cycle shops, and an inherently sexist society, but understandable doesn't mean it is excusable. I do find it is very much better in shops where they have women on staff and/or involved in the business, or where they are involved in local initiatives to get people cycling, inclusive cycling, family cycling, etc. I also have experienced less of this in Norway than I did in the US or UK.

I'm not currently in the market for a bike. I'm quite happy with the current collection, and we've got a couple of decent LBSs, though the last couple of bikes I bought for myself were both used.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

Altissima
Posts: 39
Joined: 4 Jun 2016, 12:11pm

Re: How to try and buy a bike

Postby Altissima » 9 Feb 2021, 1:47pm

Just a suggestion from one woman to another. A budget of £2,000 might just about cover a bespoke bike, especially if some parts were taken from another bike. Liz Colebrooke is a well renowned woman frame builder and based in Shropshire.
I know this isn't what you asked in your post so apologies ☺️I don't have any other suggestions apart from I have found Spa Cycles very helpful - I have a Spa steel tourer from them and another bike (Surly Long Haul Trucker) that they built up with my choice of parts from a frame and forks. They let me take several bikes for a test ride and even suggested some routes that were a few miles away from their shop. Very helpful and very trusting

I have had a few issues, like Vorpal, with male shop assistants or owners who have presumed to know what I want without asking me first. It can get really wearing and it's silly because they have lost my business. The bike shop for example that fitted a cheap chainset instead of the Stronglight one that I asked for aren't in business any more. I am really lucky that my now local bike shop are absolutely great so I give my bike servicing etc to them

eileithyia
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Joined: 31 Jan 2007, 6:46pm
Location: Horwich Which is Lancs :-)

Re: How to try and buy a bike

Postby eileithyia » 14 Feb 2021, 9:17am

Altissima wrote:Just a suggestion from one woman to another. A budget of £2,000 might just about cover a bespoke bike, especially if some parts were taken from another bike. Liz Colebrooke is a well renowned woman frame builder and based in Shropshire.
I know this isn't what you asked in your post so apologies ☺️I don't have any other suggestions apart from I have found Spa Cycles very helpful - I have a Spa steel tourer from them and another bike (Surly Long Haul Trucker) that they built up with my choice of parts from a frame and forks. They let me take several bikes for a test ride and even suggested some routes that were a few miles away from their shop. Very helpful and very trusting

I have had a few issues, like Vorpal, with male shop assistants or owners who have presumed to know what I want without asking me first. It can get really wearing and it's silly because they have lost my business. The bike shop for example that fitted a cheap chainset instead of the Stronglight one that I asked for aren't in business any more. I am really lucky that my now local bike shop are absolutely great so I give my bike servicing etc to them

Sounds like the bike shop got what they deserved and I suspect it wasn't just you but other unsuspecting customers, that they possibly pulled that trick on..... regardless of gender...
I stand and rejoice everytime I see a woman ride by on a wheel the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood. HG Wells

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

Re: How to try and buy a bike

Postby LollyKat » 14 Feb 2021, 12:56pm

Altissima wrote:The bike shop for example that fitted a cheap chainset instead of the Stronglight one that I asked for aren't in business any more.


I hope they didn't try to charge you the Stronglight price. :shock:

Altissima
Posts: 39
Joined: 4 Jun 2016, 12:11pm

Re: How to try and buy a bike

Postby Altissima » 14 Feb 2021, 4:32pm

No, they charged a lower price....they just ignored my request to fit the chainset that I wanted and they ignored my request to fit SKS mudguards and fitted some cheaper ones. Now the mudguards fixing has broken after a few years so I have had them replaced with the SKS ones that I wanted and which were actually no more expensive.