Making the most out of a test ride
Testing a new bike is always a treat. But when you only have an hour on the new ride, it can be tough to get comfortable. There are a few simple tips that can help you get the most out of a test ride, and most importantly, make a wise decision about a bike. A bike is a significant investment that you want to make sure to get right.
Bring your own touch points
When testing a new ride, most people know to bring along their own personal pedals. But there’s another touch point that’s just as personal. If you’ve grown attached to the saddle on the bike you left at home, take it along for your next demo. Between the pedals and saddle, the new bike will feel like your daily driver, leaving you to focus on the merits of your test rig. Go ahead and take it fat to flat, roost corners and push it to the limits. When you’re about to purchase your dream bike, you’ll want that dream to feel as realistic as possible. Riding with your own saddle and pedals will make it feel like home.
Go for a real ride
One of the most common mistakes made on a test ride is just taking the bike for a quick spin in the parking lot. If you're purchasing a cruiser, this type of test may be adequate. However, for most models a lengthier and more accurate test is advised. If you’re purchasing a road or mountain bike, you’ll want to simulate how you’ll be using the bike as closely as possible. While this might not mean you can head out for a six-hour ride, 30 minutes should be doable. During the test ride, try to take the bike on a climb or two, see how it corners and sprints, and determine whether there is anything about the bike that’s holding you back or is uncomfortable.
Test more than one bike
You may feel an immediate attraction to one or two specific models. However, a bike is all about how it feels. Even if you love the first model you ride, it's wise to test a few more just to make sure there's not a better fit to your specific tastes. Ideally you’ll be riding this bike for years to come, so it’s important not to settle and to find the bike that’s truly perfect for you. You'll only be able to do this with confidence if you test more than one bike.
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