14th June 2010 Words: Ian Cleverly Photos: Roo Fowler
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Bike buyers are increasingly content to buy over the internet, as with any other kind of shopping. More and more of us are happy to hand over large amounts of the folding green stuff for the machines of our dreams, having not actually seen (or ridden) them.
There are risks with this strategy. Order a CD from Amazon and, should it be less than agreeable, the offending disc sits at the bottom of the rack and eight or nine quid has been wasted. Get the wrong bike, though, and hundreds of pounds go down the drain.
Seemingly similar bikes on paper can give totally different riding experiences, as we have discovered with Cycling Active’s tests over recent months. Throw your leg over a Pinarello, Specialized and Trek in quick succession and it doesn’t require an expert to notice a variety of ride characteristics.
Where the big online retailers have the drop over local bike shops, however, is with economy of scale. Your LBS is going to be hard pressed to compete with the prices of the internet big boys.
We have tested bikes from two of the biggest internet players around, Wiggle and Chain Reaction Cycles. We hope it goes some way to informing your choice of new bike. Nothing beats a test ride in our book, but garner enough opinions, get the right size and there is no reason why your mail order mount shouldn’t be just the job.
Click here to view the Verenti Millook bike test…
Click here to view the BeOne Blizzard bike test…
Click here to view the Test verdict…