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Buying a full bike online - have you? Experiences and opinions?

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  • Buying a full bike online - have you? Experiences and opinions?

    Folks,

    I've come to a situation where the bike I'm interested in buying is not available and not orderable from any local bike shops. I've found an older model at a somewhat-local shop that I'm going to look at today… but the exact model I want *is* available from an online retailer.

    I've never bought a bike online (or even parts!). Has anyone here have an experiences with that? How'd it go? Would you recommend it? Would you do it again, yourself?

    The online shop isn't actually far from me, it's bikeman.com which is two hours away in Maine (I'm in Mass.). Has anyone bought anything from Bikeman?

    Thanks, all!
    [ briandigital.com | @briandigital ]

    Take your bike rack off your car when not in use, save 10-20% on gas. And have a forest left to ride in.

  • #2
    Carver? Maybe you can get your LBS to carry them, or at least facilitate the order?
    "Everyone I know in bicycling is at least a little bit crazy, present company included." Sheldon Brown

    semass

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    • #3
      I would say I buy a majority of my stuff online (mainly because I do a lot of my own wrenching). I have purchased several things from bikeman over the years...frame, parts, etc.

      They are legit. Very active in the New England cycling community and beyond. I doubt very much you'll have any issues in dealing with them.
      http://www.cnhnemba.org

      http://manarea.blogspot.com

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      • #4
        I purchased a complete MTB via Competitive Cyclist. They are now owned by Backcountry.com out of Utah, who also owns Real Cyclist and Huck-n-Roll (now folded into Competitive Cyclist). Their customer service was very helpful throughout the process, especially when discussing sizing/fit and when pricing different options. Overall, pricing was good (no tax, potential for free shipping), and I was able to build a bike that would have cost significantly more at a LBS. The bike arrived nearly fully assembled, and had been tuned in advance. I just had to slap on the bars, wheels, and pedals, then off to the trails. All manufacturer warranties still apply, and Backcountry stands behind their products and will help with problems if they occur.

        The experience was nowhere near the personalization of buying a bike at a LBS, and working through your LBS is much more convenient if issues arise. Unfortunately, I know that I will be treated differently than if I bought my bike at the LBS, but hopefully we'll still get along considering I am still spending a bit of $$ on parts and service.

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        • #5
          They're excellent and they do have a store front. So for some it could be their LBS. Located at 115 Main St., US Route 1, Woolwich, Maine. Also sometime's there is a coupon in the NEMBA Singletracks for Bikeman.
          Last edited by bikerdom; April 6th, 2013, 07:24 AM.

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          • #6
            if it's only 2 hours away... I'd drive and take it for a test ride first...

            I have ordered odd parts here and there from them.. never an issue, usually fast ship... can't say about returns/Warr as I've never gotten anything that I'd use those services from them.
            Always wear a Helmet and Glasses when riding!!

            Southeastern CT NEMBA with trial locations, trail reports, and list of local events...
            www.sectnemba.org
            SECT NEMBA on Facebook..
            https://www.facebook.com/groups/585044744912146/

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            • #7
              It'd be worth the trip up to Woolwich. Great shop. I have ordered and would recommend them if they have what you need and don't have the time for the trip. I'm in Quincy and still consider Bikeman a LBS. All that said, I will add that any friendly LBS can get almost everything you see online......
              If you worried about falling off the bike, you'd never get on.--Lance Armstrong

              http://www.semassnemba.org
              http://www.trailwatch.org/
              www.friendsofwompatuck.org
              http://mountainbikechurch.blogspot.com/index.html
              http://www.mountainbikechurch.com/
              email:SteveC@semassnemba.org

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              • #8
                Thanks all for the replies. I wound up buying the 2012 model at the LBS -- well local as in only 50 mins away, vs. 2hrs. In the end, I decided there just wasn't enough difference between the '12 and '13.

                If anyone is interested in the backstory, it's apparently a difficult thing to order a Salsa bike (full kit). My more-local shop (Pinnacle/Beverly) couldn't order a '13 Vaya at all, but their rep suggested I check with this other shop (Wheelworks/Belmont), which had one in stock—but it wound up being a 2012. They told me 2013s were completely gone for the season! I really wanted the '13 because it had BB7s (vs. 5) a slightly wider gearing, and an x.9 rear der. After a day of messing around with the bike (unfortunately unable to take a proper ride yet, combo of crazy wind chill and kid duty), I have the sense I may have been right on the brakes and the gearing… feels like it could use a bit lower of a bail-out gear. But the Apex rear der. shifts fine.

                About those brakes, one of my "fears" of ordering online was what if there was something that needed mechanical attention that was beyond my skill set? Well, when I got home, the back wheel wouldnt spin a quarter turn because the rear brake was so badly out of position. I think I would have noticed that on the 30 minutes or so I had the bike on a test ride, so something must of got haywire during the final mech check before I took it home. Irony, I suppose.

                Luckily, I have the BB5s on an old hard tail, and have had to work on them in the past. I was able to get them aligned, though it's a bit of labor to get done. Since the rotors are slightly out of true (I imagine most are), I have to wear these brakes in a bit ("bedding in process") I think to get them to be completely silent.

                This should be a fun bike for me. I have the gear to use it as my commuter, but I chose the Vaya for its dirt prowess… the plan to is to ride the road to some of the preserves around here whose dirt roads and trails are too mild for a proper MTB. More time in the saddle and less in the car, plus some exploration of the local back roads. Should be a good time.

                PS: if you're looking for a Vaya, Pinnacle has a '12 in 56cm, and Bikeman has (at least) a '13 in 54cm.
                [ briandigital.com | @briandigital ]

                Take your bike rack off your car when not in use, save 10-20% on gas. And have a forest left to ride in.

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                • #9
                  I have extra sets of 7s, I'm sure we come to an arrangement for really short cash if you want them. I actually have a new set of pads to go with them as well.

                  Anthony

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                  • #10
                    Then there's the thing--if something goes wrong that you need help with, your 'local' LBS is just a short drive away. I'd imagine that having to ship a bike back for service may be quite painful and expensive....
                    Glad it worked out for ya :-)
                    If you worried about falling off the bike, you'd never get on.--Lance Armstrong

                    http://www.semassnemba.org
                    http://www.trailwatch.org/
                    www.friendsofwompatuck.org
                    http://mountainbikechurch.blogspot.com/index.html
                    http://www.mountainbikechurch.com/
                    email:SteveC@semassnemba.org

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by agabriel View Post
                      I have extra sets of 7s, I'm sure we come to an arrangement for really short cash if you want them.
                      Thanks! But I think I'll just stay with the devil I know at this point.
                      [ briandigital.com | @briandigital ]

                      Take your bike rack off your car when not in use, save 10-20% on gas. And have a forest left to ride in.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        if something goes wrong that you need help with, your 'local' LBS is just a short drive away.
                        Normally, yes, but here it was. LBS was an hour away, and my rear brake was not setup properly. What happened? I dealt with it myself, just as if I had bought it from Bikeman (2hrs away).
                        [ briandigital.com | @briandigital ]

                        Take your bike rack off your car when not in use, save 10-20% on gas. And have a forest left to ride in.

                        Comment

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