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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Chicago suburbs
    Posts
    1,222

    Major disappointment while bike shopping

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    So I finally got a chance to stop at an LBS to look at some bikes today (fully recovered from my 2-week bout with chickenpox...yay!). The shop I went to is a Cannondale, Giant, Specialized dealer...so I already knew what I was looking for before we arrived - Cannondale Synapse Carbon Fem 3, Giant Avail Advanced 1, Specialized Ruby Expert. They had NONE of the bikes I wanted, but did have a lower-end Synapse and Giant Avail, that I was able to sit on for sizing. The Giant was a size small, which is supposedly where I fall based on the Giant Women's sizing chart...yet I felt stretched out (hubby said I looked stretched out). They had an extra small, but it felt like a little kid's bike when I straddled it...just not for me. So...not sure at this point, if a Giant will work for me. They didn't have any Specialized bikes in my size for me to even sit on, so no luck there. On to the Cannondales...they did have a lower-end aluminum Synapse in a 51cm. It felt great, and my hubby said I looked comfortable on it..not stretched, elbows weren't locked. The salesguy said it looked like a "perfect fit", so he went to his computer to check on availability of the Synapse Carbon Fem 3....NONE! With no chance of ordering one for 2010...Cannondale is done with production for the 2010 model year. ACK! I am SO bummed. Never did I think that production of high-end bikes would be finished before the riding season even starts!!! And I'm hearing the same story with many other manufacturers, too. It's so frustrating to go bike shopping only to find that every shop you go to has no bikes in stock, and can't even order the one you want! This dealer was even nice enough to call up a nearby competitor, to see if they had my bike in stock...still no luck.

    The only "bright side" to all of this, is that according to the dealer...the 2011 Cannondales are due to start arriving at his shop sometime in June or July. So if I can wait, I'll have first dibs on a 2011 model. I figure, at this point...I might as well continue to ride my old too-big-for-me Trek for a few more months until the 2011's come in and I can get what I really want. So I suppose in the end, it will all work out...but I feel a little better now that I've had a chance to whine.

    Linda

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    northern california
    Posts
    160
    There aren't any other shops you can try out?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Chicago suburbs
    Posts
    1,222
    I've called a few others in my area, and I'm getting the same story - none of the bikes I want in stock, nor can they order anymore for this year. I guess it's similar to car dealers...once they hit a certain date, they stop production for the current model year. Plus...another LBS told me that bike shops get their inventory based on "allocations". A smaller bike shop may only get 1 allocation for a certain bike...once that allocation is met, they get no more of that particular bike for that year. And since the bikes I am looking at are considered "higher-end" bikes (in the $3k range), most smaller shops don't keep inventory of high-end bikes. There is one high volume shop (Trek dealer) that does keep a stocked inventory of high-end bikes, but it is a major PITA to get to, no parking in the area, and they don't allow outdoor test rides...so, I have a hard time bringing myself to go there.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    4,516
    Quote Originally Posted by nscrbug View Post
    and they don't allow outdoor test rides...so, I have a hard time bringing myself to go there.


    How in the &$*% do they sell bikes? That seems very odd to me...
    Most days in life don't stand out, But life's about those days that will...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    51

    it's true

    I work for a Trek/Felt/Gary Fisher dealership and it's the same for almost every bicycle manufacturer. The numbers that were forecast for 2010 fell way below the actual demand.

    Dealers weren't putting in large orders so they cut production short for most lines.

    If anyone is in the market for a bike I would highly suggest buying as soon as you can because most shops won't be able to even order another in your size/color.

    I've heard that 2011 bikes are being released earlier than expected if the demand keeps coming and dealers can't keep enough product in stock.

    It's funny to say that this is actually a GOOD problem to have. It shows there are a lot more people getting back into cycling

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    So Cal.
    Posts
    501
    nscrbug- Good you are over chickenpox! You are probably itching for a new bike after that! From what I understand, the Giant bikes are a bit longer in the toptube than the 'WSD' offerings of some other manufacturers. If you can find an LBS with a Spec Ruby, you might like it as the top tube is a bit shorter. I've got shortish arms and tend to feel stretched and kinda hokie on most bikes, but my Ruby Expert fits great and soaks up the chatter. I splurged on a CF handlebar (got a frame and built it up) and the Ruby plays nice on my tired old bones while going fast! Love it.

    In 2008 when I went looking for a Felt, Specialized or Giant that fit me, (I'm only 5'1.5") I was lucky to find one Ruby that was maybe a bit big (48cm) but it was ok. I replaced it early last year after a crash, and the dealer had no trouble getting a 44cm 09 Expert frame in a week from Spec. Dealers had stock of WSD bikes, a much better selection than 08 when I drove all over town and found nothing. Now it looks like 2008 all over again. I went looking for a commuter on a tight budget, and just was looking about, and didn't see much WSD. I thought it was due to the economy and had no idea that bike sales were climbing.
    Tzvia- rollin' slow...
    Specialized Ruby Expert/mens Bontrager Inform RXL
    Specialized SWorks Safire/mens Bontrager Inform RL
    Giant Anthem-W XT-XTR/mens Bontrager Inform RXL
    Fuji Newest 3 commuter/mens Bontrager Inform RL
    Novara E.T.A commuter/mens Bontrager Inform RL

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    220
    I don't know what shops you tried, but Alberto's in highland park is a connondale dealer.

    There is also Kozy's, the pony shop, and get a grip.

    I'd just start calling around.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    2,609
    REI has the Cannondale Synapse Fem 5 Carbon in a size 51, and they'll ship it to your local REI. I didn't look up the difference between the 5 and the 3.
    For 3 days, I get to part of a thousand other journeys.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    western Colorado
    Posts
    442
    A friend of mine just bought a bike. During bike shopping in the past couple of weeks she was also told that bike inventories were very low. She looked at and tried a 54cm Trek Madone at LBS. She liked it but wanted to try a Specialized out too the next day. When she went back to buy the Madone it had been sold. They could not order another one.

    She looked all over the state and found another Madone in Denver and put it on hold. We did a road trip over there and she bought it.
    Specialized Ruby
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    Novara Randonee x2
    Motobecane Fantom CXX (Surly Crosscheck)
    Jamis Dragon

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    1,645
    I had this same problem with not being able to find small bikes in stock to test ride or even buy when I was looking to replace my first road bike.

    For the budget you're talking about, it might be worth checking in with some custom builders and asking what kind of delivery times they are estimating for new orders.

    When I ordered my Rodriguez I could have taken one home the same day but since I wanted a different color they said it would be about a 4 week wait. Four weeks later, I had an awesome new bike!
    2014 Bobbin Bramble / Brooks B67
    2008 Rodriguez Rainier Mirage / Terry Butterfly Tri Gel
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    1998? GT Rebound / Serfas Gel

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Ashland, OR
    Posts
    27
    I started shopping for a new road bike about a month ago. After a ton of incredibly fun research, hours of debating whetherit should be wsd or unisex, the componentry type, new or ebay, fueled by an enormous case of bike lust, I settled on the Bianchi Infinito. I confidently looked up dealers and assumed I could run down and buy the bike of my dreams with the components I wanted in the color I HAD TO HAVE. Hah! I wanted the celeste color Bianchi is famous for. I quickly found that there was one very small (48cm) one in the US. I must have called 30 dealers around the country. I finally found a frame in Ireland.

    Then I took stock. I was turning a $2300 bike into a $5000 one. (My husband consolingly said...Everyone has a talent.) So I then talked myself into the blue color. And I'm really happy.

    But I also could not believe that I'd have as much difficulty. I actually was willing to wait until the fall for the color I wanted, but my LBS said I was not guaranteed even then to get the color in the size frame I needed. I came away from this realizing that this economic downturn has retailors truly scared. With the strong demand, things should balance out by next year. A good thing.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
    Posts
    6,984
    Quote Originally Posted by AMP View Post
    I came away from this realizing that this economic downturn has retailors truly scared. With the strong demand, things should balance out by next year. A good thing.
    This is what I have heard also in addition to other posters on this thread. For my new Dahon, things got complicated because there was change in business ownership for Canadian Dahon distribution point-- the new distributor, was scrambling to find sufficient storage space and couldn't fill our order via local bike store.

    So bike had to be shipped from the U.S.

    However I think the underestimated demand and hence, "problem" is probably for the more expensive bikes ie. over $800.00 or $1,000. I see signage for discounted bike prices here in some LBS.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know whatís in a personís heart.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Between the Blue Ridge and the Chesapeake Bay
    Posts
    5,203
    Quote Originally Posted by nbynw View Post

    for the budget you're talking about, it might be worth checking in with some custom builders and asking what kind of delivery times they are estimating for new orders.
    +1!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Chicago suburbs
    Posts
    1,222
    Quote Originally Posted by chicagogal View Post
    I don't know what shops you tried, but Alberto's in highland park is a connondale dealer.

    There is also Kozy's, the pony shop, and get a grip.

    I'd just start calling around.
    Kozy's was the shop I went to over the weekend that had nothing available in my size and could not order me a bike. They also called Get A Grip, and they too had nothing. Have not tried Alberto's (although that is a bit far for me to travel) or The Pony Shop yet.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Chicago suburbs
    Posts
    1,222
    Quote Originally Posted by Pedal Wench View Post
    REI has the Cannondale Synapse Fem 5 Carbon in a size 51, and they'll ship it to your local REI. I didn't look up the difference between the 5 and the 3.
    The difference is the components. I'm riding Ultegra right now, and do not want to downgrade in components. Hence, the reason I want the Fem 3...it is full Ultegra.

 

 

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