This spring, I helped a friend new to long-distance riding shop for a road bike—one that wouldn't get him laughed out of the STP ride

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Least Intimidating Place to Buy a Road Bike

Velo Bike Shop

This spring, I helped a friend new to long-distance riding shop for a road bike—one that wouldn't get him laughed out of the STP ride but also wouldn't cost him more than a newbie should spend. We hit 10 bike shops in two weeks, and he left most of them dispirited or put off: Either we were left to wander the aisles for a quarter-hour before being noticed by the employees, or we endured condescending explanations from true-religion bike geeks, or we were pushed to spend a grand-plus for a starter bike. Then we found Velo Bike Shop. There the daughter of the owner, whose outfit didn't include a single stitch of sweat-wicking fabric, spent 30 minutes talking to us about Velo's stock, teaching my friend how to feel for the proper fit, explaining any jargon, and searching out catalogs for the bike brands he was most interested in. Even better: The Giant she sold us cost about $100 less than we spotted anywhere else.—Jonathan Kauffman

 
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