Author Topic: Touring bike selection in WashDC area  (Read 3991 times)

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Offline TerdFerguson

Touring bike selection in WashDC area
« on: October 20, 2015, 09:33:47 pm »
Any suggestions for an LBS in the DC/MD/VA area with a good selection of touring bikes? I am having a hard time finding ones that carry more than 2-3 brands of tourers. Thanks!

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Touring bike selection in WashDC area
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2015, 10:27:23 pm »
2-3 brands of touring bikes in one store?  Do you know how lucky you are??  The only stores I've ever seen with more than one kind of touring bike are REIs, with Novara and either Surly or (many moons ago) Cannondale.

Since I expect to ride a new tourer for 10 years or more, I think it's reasonable to dedicate a day or two to trying out bikes.  Spring Saturdays are sub-optimal, since piles of people think "I'll go buy a bike today."  Tuesdays-Thursdays are best for lower shopper traffic and more sales person time and attention.  Try as many as you can, buy the one you like the best.  (If you like a bike, you're more likely to ride it.)


Offline Old Guy New Hobby

Re: Touring bike selection in WashDC area
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2015, 07:34:40 am »
Mt. Airy Bicycles. It's a bit of a ride, but Larry Black has a large selection of everything.

http://www.bike123.com/

Offline hon_cho

Re: Touring bike selection in WashDC area
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2015, 08:45:15 am »
Touring bikes are such a specialized niche for dealers and it's hopelessly unrealistic to expect a dealer,  even in an area as large as the DC metro area to carry a large variety in multiple sizes.  The smaller shops with good service can't afford to stock more too much of bikes that sell slowly and many of the larger shops are mostly slick retailing operations more interested in moving merchandise than helping you get the "perfect" bike. 

I currently own both a Long Haul Trucker and an older REI Novara Randonnee.  Have owned a Cannondale touring bike as well.  I can understand one wanting to get the "right" bike with the correct fit, especially since a good bike isn't inexpensive.   However, it's not an easy task and, from my experience,  I doubt there's a bike sitting on a showroom floor that will be perfect for you from the moment you sit on it.   You may change the handlebars or the stem, probably the seat, maybe even the seatpost (setback or suspension).  Factory tires may not be of your liking.    If you're picky and willing to pay a bit more,  I suggest just finding a frame/wheel size that will work for you in a brand / model that you like and building it up to your specifications. 

If you'd like to try out a 58cm Surley LHT equipped with moustache bars and bar end shifters in the DC area,  send me a note.  I have a couple of friends with different touring bikes and perhaps I can arrange for them to all be in the same location.   

As for Mt Airy Bikes,  Larry Black has a big inventory of new bikes (particularly unusual and exotic ones) and a huge inventory of used bikes.  You can peruse the list of his used bikes on the bike123.com website.  Be forewarned that while he has a lot of things,  it's not a straightforward go and look at the bikes as he has the bulk of his used inventory warehoused apart from his retail operation.      Also,  his prices are fair but it's a business and Mt Airy isn't exactly cheap.  (I paid several hundred dollars extra for a new recumbent tandem from Mt. Airy because he went out of his way to let me and my partner borrow his personal tandem for test rides.  I'm cheap but service is valuable and worth paying for even when the location isn't exactly convenient)

Best of luck to you. 

Offline atodaso

Re: Touring bike selection in WashDC area
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2015, 01:07:27 pm »
Any suggestions for an LBS in the DC/MD/VA area with a good selection of touring bikes? I am having a hard time finding ones that carry more than 2-3 brands of tourers. Thanks!
Do you mind me asking what you're looking for in a touring bike?  I ask because I have a 55cm Van Nicholas made titanium touring bike that I will be selling. It's in perfect condition and looks very similar to this one:  http://www.plsmith.co.uk/van-nicholas-yukon
also:  http://www.vannicholas.com/Touring/5/allbikes.aspx

In terms of size, at 55cm virtual top[ tube, it's probably a perfect fit for a person between 5'-9" and maybe 6' tall. In terms of comfort for long rides it doesn't get any better than titanium. In terms of price, it sells new for roughly $3000 USD and I'm looking for roughly half that.