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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 2002
    Location
    Mrs. KnottedYet
    Posts
    9,066
    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.
    Fancy Schmancy Custom Road bike ~ Mondonico Futura Legero
    Found on side of the road bike ~ Motobecane Mixte
    Gravel bike ~ Salsa Vaya
    Favorite bike ~ Soma Buena Vista mixte
    N+1 bike ~ Brompton
    https://www.instagram.com/pugsley_adventuredog/

  3. #3
    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.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    4,516
    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...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,394
    You have to use a step stool to get on the bike?
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura
    2017 Specialized Ariel Sport

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,394
    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
    2017 Specialized Ariel Sport

  7. #7
    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.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Buffalo, NY
    Posts
    19
    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!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    SE Michigan
    Posts
    62
    Quote Originally Posted by Nandy View Post
    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!
    I was surprised too that my LBS couldn't order the Ogre, but the woman I spoke to checked with the manager, and the answer was that they couldn't. They're good at service, though, and I'll take it there. On the other hand, Grand Rapids Bicycles was very helpful, and I wish they were closer. Actually I wish I lived closer to them, because Grand Rapids has a rather impressive bike culture, from what I've heard. My cycling friends and I will be looking into cycling events around the state this year, and I'll look for some in the area.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    SE Michigan
    Posts
    62
    I've been reading the Ogre build thread and I'm absolutely glazed over. All the variables of gearing and braking and handlebars and fenders and chainstays and carriers and cages and and and . . . . It really brings home how much there is to learn of the hardware. I'd love to know where that tan Ogre frame came from!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    SE Michigan
    Posts
    62
    I asked Manida (the other poster) about the color, too, and I'm waiting to hear back. The Tanish Grey is grey with beige leanings. Manida's tan looks like a real tan, without any grey. But that may be the photo or the monitor changing it, so I asked directly.
    Last edited by ZoneFive; 01-15-2016 at 09:38 AM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Boise Idaho
    Posts
    1,162
    The fact that today is the 17th and ZoneFive started this on the 8th and I am just now chiming in points out how misdirected my life has become! Congrats on what should be a very fun bike! Also as an Intergalatic Surly Dealer - Thanks for buying from the shop that fit you, discussed the bike and assisted in finding the best size for you. While many shops can order a Surly, few understand them. Do look at the Jones Website and note the placement of the brake levers. For some reason, Surly places the levers farther back than Jones does. I place my levers where Jones recommends and find that more comfortable. One quick plug for me - we carry the entire line of Revelate. Your bike is small so feel free to PM me with questions as you'll be loading it differently than those who can ride a medium or bigger I ride a Surly ECR - small and ended up putting an Old Man Mountain rack on for better bike packing options. Congrats!!!
    Sky King
    ____________________
    Gilles Berthoud "Bernard"
    Surly ECR "Eazi"
    Empowering the Bicycle Traveler
    biketouringnews.com

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    SE Michigan
    Posts
    62
    Quote Originally Posted by Sky King View Post
    The fact that today is the 17th and ZoneFive started this on the 8th and I am just now chiming in points out how misdirected my life has become! Congrats on what should be a very fun bike! Also as an Intergalatic Surly Dealer - Thanks for buying from the shop that fit you, discussed the bike and assisted in finding the best size for you. While many shops can order a Surly, few understand them. Do look at the Jones Website and note the placement of the brake levers. For some reason, Surly places the levers farther back than Jones does. I place my levers where Jones recommends and find that more comfortable. One quick plug for me - we carry the entire line of Revelate. Your bike is small so feel free to PM me with questions as you'll be loading it differently than those who can ride a medium or bigger I ride a Surly ECR - small and ended up putting an Old Man Mountain rack on for better bike packing options. Congrats!!!
    Thanks, SkyKing! I'm really looking forward to this purchase, and will be entertaining myself for the next six weeks by planning out every variable of riding that I can think of. I was looking at the Revelate bags, but found myself drawn more to the Frost River bags. Do you think they compare favorably?

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Boise Idaho
    Posts
    1,162
    Both are great options and I had to attach these photos as I am sure it will bring a smile to your face. I have ridden with a Frost River gunflint on the front of my ecr (although not this trip, this is an Ostrich) The Bike Hermit always has his Frost River Gunflint. You can see I also have a Revelate Pika Happy to give you ideas when you are ready Click image for larger version. 

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZoneFive View Post
    Thanks, SkyKing! I'm really looking forward to this purchase, and will be entertaining myself for the next six weeks by planning out every variable of riding that I can think of. I was looking at the Revelate bags, but found myself drawn more to the Frost River bags. Do you think they compare favorably?
    Sky King
    ____________________
    Gilles Berthoud "Bernard"
    Surly ECR "Eazi"
    Empowering the Bicycle Traveler
    biketouringnews.com

 

 

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