29 May 2008

Just how much do you need to know to buy a new (Euro-Style) Bicycle? Part I

So the easy part is you know you’re ready to buy a new bicycle.

Maybe you’re ready to retire/re-gift/resell/ or keep simply as a back up your current bicycle. Or maybe you haven’t even ridden since, well… it was so, so long ago. At any rate you know you want the Euro-style, Sit Up & Beg, Ergonomic bicycle like the ones everyone loves and has been blogging about. Yes, STYLE does matter!

Now What? How many decisions do you have to make in order to decide which one to buy?

First of all don’t feel overwhelmed by technical specs and ‘bicycle speak’ when you haven’t a clue what it all means. Try not to walk into your local bicycle shop (LBS) expecting to find a great assortment of euro-style bicycles and get yourself all disappointed because the selection is mediocre to non-existent. And please don’t feel overwhelmed by bike sales assistants who ‘advise’ you into settling for something else because it’s in stock. Be warned; in order to hunt down the euro-bicycle of your dreams it’s going to take some savvy on your part. My hunch is that you’re a seasoned and sharp shopper and you’re up for this.

Once you’ve gotten an idea of what you like realize that many euro-style bicycles can only be had by placing an order for them. You can seek out an USA bicycle distributor and you can order your bicycle from them. You can go directly to the website of the bicycle you desire and investigate ordering with them (as long as they are in English.) You can take a trip overseas and buy your bicycle while you’re there.

Question: Why are the LBS in such short supply of euro-style bikes? The whole racer/sports mentality has prevailed for so long that the buying habits dictate what manufactures produce for you to buy. I believe eventually the LBS will have euro-style bicycles if people want them, but apparently the market won't sustain it just yet.

So this is just part one… More to come!


This being far into 2009 this post will be revised soon.