Mail order road bikes - experience?
10:17 Wed, 2 Jan 2019
I'm looking for people's experience and feedback on online only mail order bikes, I'm looking to get one but I'm a bit worried about the lack of try before you buy. In particular there are a couple of Merlin and Ribble bikes that look decent with great specs (and British companies which I have a soft spot for), but in the interests of keeping the thread useful for others I'll take feedback on Canyon, Rose, Dolan et al.
10:17 Wed, 2 Jan 2019
Ive had no problem with online bikes
the biggest potential issue is sizing and whether a particular bikes geometry suits you,if possible try to find one to sit on at least
ive bought three bikes online
1 Bianchi, frame only from a italian vendor with no issues
2 Ridley second hand ebay bike, no probs
3 Planet x defective fork on arrival,but they promptly posted me a replacment
Be aware that some companies delivery times are horrendous Canyon had a 6 month backlog on popular models a bit ago so do confirm that they actually have the frame you want in stock
17:37 Wed, 2 Jan 2019
I've also generally had good experiences.
My main suggestion, like Andy says, is to make sure you know what you want in terms of sizing/fit before you order. Swapping things like stems and seat-posts is a much slower process if you can't just nip back to the shop.
Also, take note of any weird proprietary parts - integrated bar/stem combos, aero spacers, over-sized stems, etc. Without a dealer network you're reliant on the manufacturer's direct-order for any replacements, and after a couple of years parts for older models can be hard to find. If you're planning to have it for a while I'd suggest buying spares of some of the commonly-broken small parts when you order the bike (e.g., mech hanger, cable-guides, funny-shaped spacers, etc.). Will only cost a few quid extra, and will save you a ton of headaches down the line.
21:24 Wed, 2 Jan 2019
I ordered a Canyon and came within 3 days from Germany and has been an amazing investment. All larger mail order companies have robust returns procedures.
I would suggest having a bike fit before you buy too
21:45 Wed, 2 Jan 2019
I bought my Cube MTB from CRC. No issues.
13:43 Sat, 5 Jan 2019
RichO 8:15 PM Sat, 29 Jun