this is probably a question that's been addressed before, but where do people go around here to try out and/or buy new tri bikes?
has anyone bought on-line to save $?
I really enjoyed my experience at Bonzai (Arlington/Falls Church) about two months ago. Other popular locations are Capitol Hill Bikes (DC) and Contes (Arlington and Bethesda).
If this is your first tri-bike, I'd advise against getting it online. Whatever money you save, you'll probably spend on new stems, saddles, etc trying to get the fit right. Plus building a relationship with a local bike shop can pay dividends down the road.
Good luck! You'll have to share pictures once you have your new ride.
I'm actually in the market for a new bike too... Thanks for these ideas - I was at Revolution Cycles today and didn't think they had a great selection.
Are there any shops (run or bike?) where DC Tri members get a discount?
You can also try the Bike Rack - they are another DC Tri sponsor.
To find out the shops that give DC Tri Club discounts, check out the partners link at the top of the page.
I just visited Cycle Life on K street. I am a very tall person so I wanted to hear their approach to recommending tri bikes. They seemed very knowledgeable about going from your body/ride style to bike choices instead of the other way around.
They also had several choices in the shop as well as the ability to tell you which bike more closely matches the set up a detailed fit would show is closest to your optimal fit.
I agreed with Ryan. Bonzai probably has the biggest number of tri bikes in their showroom than any local stores out there. The only drawback is that they seemed to be Felt and Cervelo heavy but their showroom will make you drool if tri bikes are your thing.
I got my Felt from Hudson Trail Outfitter Outlet in Gaithersburg. Same tri bike at about 35% off MSRP. The only drawback is that they have few if any tri bikes at any given point. Their non-outlet stores do have limited number of tri bikes. I just happened to walk into their outlet store one day and saw the same Felt bike and same size that I was going to pay for at Bonzai but at a 35% discount. Needless to say, I walked out of the store with it.
I would avoid online unless you really know ahead of time what you want. If you have problems with the bike after purchase, it would be difficult to get it resolved. Like Ryan pointed out, it might be more expensive at a local store but the service, discounts in other areas, and the alleviation of potential problems will better serve you and save you more in the long run. It's a lot easier to walk into a store with your new expensive bike to get things resolved than it is to do stuff over email, phone, or UPS.
thanks! bonzai looks like the place
I recommend Bonzai - seems like the most "tri-specific" of the stores, although I have not bought a bike from them. Wherever you buy, ensure they include full FITTING of the bike - that is the most important part. For what it's worth, I really like my Felt S25 - an entry level tri bike that I have now ridden for four years....
Bonzai - If you wait until after Christmas, you can get the previous model year (in stock) at 20% discount, plus 20% off all accessories when you buy them at the time of the bike (ie, pedals, shoes, hydration racks, bike computer).
what do you mean by fitting the bike; looking at your dimensions in relation to those of the bike?
the term "fitting the bike" its a lot like getting a suit at a store "tailored" or "fitted" to you.
like when you goto brooks brothers you use the "tag" number to get a general idea of what your jacket size is, but then the tailor may "fit" the jacket so that its perfect for your particluar body, ie, sleeve shortened or lengthened, back taken in, etc.
same thing with a bike, the "bike size number" is akin to the "jacket size of a suit" its general to get you in the ballpark. a good "bike fitter" is like a "suit tailor" except he/she deals with bicycles instead, ie they will change things out with different sizes and lengths such as crank arms, stems, handlebars, seat height, seat position, cleat position, etc so that the bike "fits or is tailored" for your particular style of riding/flexibility/body type.
Some stores like you to "buy the suit/bike off the peg first" and then "fit it to you by doing small changes to it". Others like for you to get "fitting session" first so that they can then order all the right stock size parts/bike to begin with, sort of like a "made to measure suit".
Then of course you have "full custom" in that the "fitter/tailor" takes all your measurements and then orders the exact parts for you and if necessary will get the bike/parts custom made to your specifications so that the suit/bicycle is a "one off" model.
any questions about buying suits or bikes just ask. LOL.
i wonder if a good fitting will make my ass look hotter. but, seriously, thanks for the info
if the bike is good looking enough and expensive enough anything is possible lol.
Just remember you are going to spend many hours on your new bike - get it fitted right and you'll have no problems!
I got a new 2008 model Felt S32 from Bonzai at 35% off this past June. The 2008 model went on sale as early as Nov. 2008. Same thing this year. The 2009 models went on sale this fall. Just like with automobile models and magazine publishing dates, some bike stores don't begin and end their year on Dec. 31/Jan. 1. Once summer is over, some places start thinking about the following year. This means that you can get some pretty good deals as early as the fall.
I love my Felt S32!