Everything you need to know
Bicycles NYC is one of the few New York City bike stores that offer a truly wide variety of wonderful types, brands and models of bicycles. One of the best ways to select the right one is taking test rides to feel how they differ from each other and from your current ride.
In fact, most people feel that this is the best part of shopping for new bikes. However, we're a New York City bike shop and for your safety (and the care of our bikes), we'd like to explain: Our Requirements, What To Wear And Bring, How We Prep The Bike and how you should Test Ride the bike.
What To Wear And Bring
While you're welcome to test ride our bicycles in street clothes, we recommend wearing athletic or rubber-soled shoes so that you'll be able to pedal and get on and off each bicycle comfortably.
For test riding sport bikes such as road and off-road models for training, racing or long-distance riding, feel free to wear your full-on riding gear, shorts, jersey and shoes (you can suit up in our dressing room). This is the best way to compare new machines because it's what you're used to when you're riding your current bike.
Similarly, if you use a certain pedal/shoe system, you can bring your pedals, too, and we'll install them on the bike so you'll be able to ride what you're used to.
If you have a helmet, please bring it, as well. We have test-ride loaner lids, yet yours has been fit to your head so it will feel more comfortable and secure.
Conclusion: You'll focus more on the differences between each test bike if you have fewer distractions caused by other unfamiliar equipment.
As a suggestion, if you're considering a new bike to replace Old Faithful, bring it in and ride it first so you can feel the difference between the old and new bikes. This back-to-back test is a great way to judge the improvement new technology makes.
In order to test ride a bicycle, you must be at least 18 years of age or come into the store with your legal parent or guardian.
We require a valid driver's license (with photo) and a major credit card in order to test ride. We'll put these in a safe place and return them when you finish riding.
If you don't have identification or a credit card with you, please don't ask about leaving other "valuables," such as your car keys, Rolex watch or Gucci loafers. We're sorry, but we can't take responsibility for personal items like this (and believe us, we've had some interesting offers over the years, such as the woman who offered her husband as collateral).
Also, for your safety, test rides aren't possible when the weather's bad or it's dark.
How We Prep The Bike
In most cases, once you've selected a model to test ride, we'll give it a quick once-over to ensure it's ride ready. This includes topping off the tire pressure and checking the brakes and gears. We may also need to adjust the seat to fine-tune the fit. And, if you're using a special pedal/shoe system and you brought your pedals, we'll install them, too.
Please tell us if you're unfamiliar with shifting and braking so we can demonstrate. Modern bicycles have improved considerably. It'll only take a few minutes for us to show you how the test-ride bicycle's shifters and brakes work. This little lesson guarantees you'll enjoy the test ride, while also helping you fully appreciate the bike should you decide to buy it.
The Test Ride
There are several ideal places near our store for putting a new bike through its paces, which we'll explain before sending you on the ride. Feel free to ride far enough to brake, shift, stand and climb a hill, carve some corners and really feel how the bike handles.
We expect you to return in 15 to 30 minutes just in case someone else wishes to try the bike you're on. Also, if you're gone much longer we'll worry that something's gone wrong.
We don't allow testing new bicycles off road because this dirties them and wears the tires, which means the bike isn't really "new" anymore. Please be nice to our bicycles to keep them in new condition, too. Even seemingly indestructible mountain bikes can be damaged when handled carelessly or used improperly.
If you'd like to try a model off road, ask us about bike rentals. When available, our rentals are current models and will give you a great feel for the way a particular bike rides or feels. And it gives you a chance to really try out the full-suspension designs you're interested in.
Thanks for reviewing our test-ride procedures and rules. If you have any questions at all about this or anything cycling, just ask. We look forward to showing you a great new bike sometime soon!