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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    SE Michigan
    Posts
    62

    Finally buying the new bike -- but where?

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    After testing out about a dozen bikes, I've finally decided on the Surly Ogre -- the very last bike I thought I'd choose. I'm very excited about it as you can imagine, and I'll have the money by the end of February so it'll be sort of a birthday present for me. The question now becomes: WHERE do I buy it?

    No bike shop in my immediate area had an Ogre (or any Surly) in stock for me to try, so I did most of my test-riding at shops 1.5 and 2.5 hours away from home. Both shops were very helpful, and I liked each store's general attitude. Both stores seem to have good reviews in their areas. But I want to be able to have any servicing done locally to me, not a couple hours' drive away.

    My favorite LBS is unable to order the bike for me. So do I order the bike at one of the shops that I test-rode at, and give them the business and the money that they worked for, even though I won't be getting my service there? Or do I order it from a more local shop (which still won't be the servicing shop), even though they didn't do anything to earn my business?

    I'm probably overthinking this, but that's what I do best. Any and all thoughts appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,449
    Quote Originally Posted by ZoneFive View Post
    After testing out about a dozen bikes, I've finally decided on the Surly Ogre -- the very last bike I thought I'd choose. I'm very excited about it as you can imagine, and I'll have the money by the end of February so it'll be sort of a birthday present for me. The question now becomes: WHERE do I buy it?

    No bike shop in my immediate area had an Ogre (or any Surly) in stock for me to try, so I did most of my test-riding at shops 1.5 and 2.5 hours away from home. Both shops were very helpful, and I liked each store's general attitude. Both stores seem to have good reviews in their areas. But I want to be able to have any servicing done locally to me, not a couple hours' drive away.

    My favorite LBS is unable to order the bike for me. So do I order the bike at one of the shops that I test-rode at, and give them the business and the money that they worked for, even though I won't be getting my service there? Or do I order it from a more local shop (which still won't be the servicing shop), even though they didn't do anything to earn my business?

    I'm probably overthinking this, but that's what I do best. Any and all thoughts appreciated!
    I've driven several hours to buy bikes at the right shop, even though I have them serviced locally.

    Bikes earn a lot in mechanical repairs. Go to the local shop you like for repairs, and buy from the place that did the best job sizing and will fit you correctly.


    Cool on the Ogre! I test-rode one once. You can do some serious bike-packing and bring enough water for the day. My Krampus has some similarities, but is more for trail, where that one is for touring.

    I'm very surprised that's what you got. But I know you'll love it. It's not a bike most newer riders would consider buying, but should be very stable and comfortable.
    Last edited by Muirenn; 01-08-2016 at 10:52 AM.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Mrs. KnottedYet
    Posts
    8,976
    Quote Originally Posted by ZoneFive View Post
    I'm probably overthinking this, but that's what I do best. Any and all thoughts appreciated!
    Yes, you are. But we all do that.

    Buy the bike where you had the best experience and/or they have it in stock. Get it serviced in the future at your favorite LBS. The only loss there is if the seller offers the first tune up free, or a bike fit free and many do. You could either take it back for fit and servicing or just use your favorite LBS.
    Custom Road bike ~ Mondonico Futura Legero
    Found on the road ~ Motobecane Mixte
    N+1 new bike ~ Salsa Vaya
    Commuter ~ Soma Buena Vista Mixte

    http://madeinusareviews.blogspot.com/

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,449
    I'm curious what bikes you tested, and why you decided on the Ogre. Was it just the way it felt? Or did you like being able to carry 5 bottles of water? (I would love to be able to carry more!).
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    SE Michigan
    Posts
    62
    Quote Originally Posted by Muirenn View Post
    I'm curious what bikes you tested, and why you decided on the Ogre. Was it just the way it felt? Or did you like being able to carry 5 bottles of water? (I would love to be able to carry more!).
    I tried (in no particular order): Surly Ogre, Troll, Long Haul Trucker, CrossCheck and Straggler; Salsa Vaya 3; Giant/Liv Rove 2, AnyRoad and AnyRoad CoMax; Specialized Ariel . . . that's all I can remember, so let's say I tried ten bikes. The Ogre was about the 6th or 7th that I rode, and it just felt right. The Ariel, CrossCheck and Vaya felt almost spindly in comparison -- which isn't a slam on those bikes, just that the Ogre felt sturdy and still flexible. They only had a size Medium in the Ogre, and it was just enough too tall that I had to mount from a stairstep in the parking lot of the shop, but once I was on I honestly felt like I could ride for hours. (I tried the CrossCheck in a Small, and that frame fit me much better.) I found that I prefer the 29-inch wheels, the shifters are comfortable (bar-end shifters are right out), I love the Jones loop handlebar, and the whole no-nonsense vibe. In fact the only thing I don't like is the color choice -- Blacktacular and Tarnish Grey. Distinctly meh. But if that bothers me after a year or so I can get the frame blasted and repainted for not a lot of money. And even though really long rides -- centuries and multi-day events -- are far in the future, the ability to add carriers is a definite plus.

    I did my best to make a rational choice, but the bottom line is that I felt like I could ride forever on the Ogre, and that made the decision.
    Last edited by ZoneFive; 01-08-2016 at 12:00 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    4,556
    Quote Originally Posted by ZoneFive View Post
    No bike shop in my immediate area had an Ogre (or any Surly) in stock for me to try, so I did most of my test-riding at shops 1.5 and 2.5 hours away from home.
    ...
    Or do I order it from a more local shop (which still won't be the servicing shop), even though they didn't do anything to earn my business?
    I'd get it from the more helpful of the test-ride shops and/or the one that has it in stock (always nice to be able to actually *see* the bike you will buy). I don't see why you would buy from the local shops since it's not your preferred mechanic. You gave the preferred shop the option to order - and they can't. They will understand that you got the bike you wanted, and will still appreciate your bringing it to them for service.
    Most days in life don't stand out, But life's about those days that will...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,449
    Quote Originally Posted by ZoneFive View Post
    I tried (in no particular order): Surly Ogre, Troll, Long Haul Trucker, CrossCheck and Straggler; Salsa Vaya 3; Giant/Liv Rove 2, AnyRoad and AnyRoad CoMax; Specialized Ariel . . . that's all I can remember, so let's say I tried ten bikes. The Ogre was about the 6th or 7th that I rode, and it just felt right. The Ariel, CrossCheck and Vaya felt almost spindly in comparison -- which isn't a slam on those bikes, just that the Ogre felt sturdy and still flexible. They only had a size Medium in the Ogre, and it was just enough too tall that I had to mount from a stairstep in the parking lot of the shop, but once I was on I honestly felt like I could ride for hours. (I tried the CrossCheck in a Small, and that frame fit me much better.) I found that I prefer the 29-inch wheels, the shifters are comfortable (bar-end shifters are right out), I love the Jones loop handlebar, and the whole no-nonsense vibe. In fact the only thing I don't like is the color choice -- Blacktacular and Tarnish Grey. Distinctly meh. But if that bothers me after a year or so I can get the frame blasted and repainted for not a lot of money. And even though really long rides -- centuries and multi-day events -- are far in the future, the ability to add carriers is a definite plus.

    I did my best to make a rational choice, but the bottom line is that I felt like I could ride forever on the Ogre, and that made the decision.
    Sounds perfect. I think it will ride well on and off-road, too. Have you seen the bike-packing set-up pictures online? If you google Surly Ogre, and then click 'images,' you'll see an amazing variety (I've also got Jones H-Loop bars on my Krampus).
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,103
    You have to use a step stool to get on the bike?
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,449
    Quote Originally Posted by Crankin View Post
    You have to use a step stool to get on the bike?
    She tested a bike that was too large for her.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,103
    Maybe I read it wrong.... that was the medium, and she had said that was the only Ogre available.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,449
    Quote Originally Posted by Crankin View Post
    Maybe I read it wrong.... that was the medium, and she had said that was the only Ogre available.
    She hasn't actually bought the bike, yet, because it needs to be ordered, and is trying to decide where to buy it.

    I can see why the OP chose the Ogre even after testing a too-large model. The one I tested was very smooth and comfortable. Easy to pedal. Not overly heavy since the 29er wheels are standard and not mid-fat I just don't need a touring bike-packing rig. My interest is more simple dirt trails. The Ogre will do whatever she needs. Smoother tires could turn it into a great city bike. It's a utility tractor. The Ogre I tested was a medium, which is probably a good test model as it works for testing a variety of average height people. The reach, especially with Jones bars, works even if the bike is too big. Works for taller people in test situations, too. Seems the surly mountain bikes like the Ogre, ECR, Troll, Krampus, and Karate Monkey are sized quite differently than more modern style mountain bikes.
    Last edited by Muirenn; 01-09-2016 at 08:00 AM.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    SE Michigan
    Posts
    62
    Quote Originally Posted by Muirenn View Post
    She hasn't actually bought the bike, yet, because it needs to be ordered, and is trying to decide where to buy it.

    I can see why the OP chose the Ogre even after testing a too-large model. The one I tested was very smooth and comfortable. Easy to pedal. Not overly heavy since the 29er wheels are standard and not mid-fat I just don't need a touring bike-packing rig. My interest is more simple dirt trails. The Ogre will do whatever she needs. Smoother tires could turn it into a great city bike. It's a utility tractor. The Ogre I tested was a medium, which is probably a good test model as it works for testing a variety of average height people. The reach, especially with Jones bars, works even if the bike is too big. Works for taller people in test situations, too. Seems like the surly mountain bikes like the Ogre, ECR, Troll, Krampus, and Karate Monkey are sized quite differently than more modern style mountain bikes.
    Thanks, Sheila -- that's it. I realize I wasn't particularly clear about it, but I'll be ordering an Ogre in Small from Grand Rapids Bicycles, and have it serviced at my LBS. I don't plan on changing anything from the basic setup that it comes with, and will stick with platform pedals at least for a while. I'll be riding on mixed gravel and paved trails, I'm far more interested in distance than speed, and I think the Ogre's gonna be my jam.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,449
    Quote Originally Posted by ZoneFive View Post
    Thanks, Sheila -- that's it. I realize I wasn't particularly clear about it, but I'll be ordering an Ogre in Small from Grand Rapids Bicycles, and have it serviced at my LBS. I don't plan on changing anything from the basic setup that it comes with, and will stick with platform pedals at least for a while. I'll be riding on mixed gravel and paved trails, I'm far more interested in distance than speed, and I think the Ogre's gonna be my jam.
    Couple of things on the Jones Bars. They are designed to be cut smaller, if needed. You'll probably want to make sure the shop you order from does that. They are very wide. I left mine the standard size, buy my shoulders are 42 cm wide.

    Also, I went with Odi locking ergo grips. Very safe and comfortable. You don't want to brake on an incline, grip the bars for dear life while standing, and have the grips twist or lose your hold.

    I love these. http://odigrips.com/store/mtb/mtb-pr...-lock-on-grips

    I also wrapped the remainder of the bars with Lizard Skins tape (which is sticky and helps with grip, plus I like the way it feels). This was a different setup than is standard for Jones bars. If you go to their website, they sell very long, squishy grips, and suggest using slightly less tape. I considered doing that, but really wanted the Odi grips. (And I admit, I liked choosing the end-cap color, and I had them engraved, too).

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Muirenn; 01-09-2016 at 10:44 AM.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,449
    Jones H Bars

    http://www.jonesbikes.com/h-bar/

    Custom fit Jones bag to go on the bars. Don't own this, but wouldn't mind having it. (Pricey).

    http://www.jonesbikes.com/jones-loop...op-h-bar-pack/

    Also, Surly makes custom bags for their bikes that fit perfectly, an Revelate does as well. I have several Revelate products. Absolutely love them. Also pricey .

    Just for future if you find yourself needing to carry more gear.
    Last edited by Muirenn; 01-09-2016 at 08:25 AM.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Buffalo, NY
    Posts
    20
    I find it strange that your regular shop is unable to get Surlys- they're distributed from QBP, one of the largest general bike product distributors in the country, every shop I've ever seen used them and it's very easy to get. Personally, I'd buy it from the shop that helped you out the most since most sales workers live on commission, whereas mechanics generally just get a wage and tips. Surlys are great, though!

 

 

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