Genuine question from somebody who’s only ridden a couple of bikes: shouldn’t sizing be the easy bit of picking a bike without actually having ridden it?As a buyer, I'd use the experience only once I was 99% sure it was the bike I wanted (within spec differences) and I needed to be sure about sizing.
So I'd likely buy a bike but it might not be the demo bike.
Makes it all a bit tricky.
Seems like measuring your current bike and comparing with the geometry spec charts should identify the right-sized bike pretty easily most of the time.
Surely it’s harder to understand whether the particular model will suit you (kinematics, playfulness, etc) in the abstract, and that’s where a long-term test ride would be particularly useful.
Or are the differences between bikes really only noticeable to a small proportion of riders (eg reviewers who have ridden hundreds of different bikes)? And thus is bike buying typically really more about picking the bike you like the look of/got good reviews/mate recommended/ridden by your favourite rider? (Which in all honesty is pretty much what I did. Mate and I rode a Remedy and Fuel EX back-to-back for three days, and both bought the one we preferred, but it was hardly a big pool of bikes we were choosing from, and I’d hope I’d make a more considered decision next time by riding more bikes first).