Demo rides have traditionally been the preserve of complete bikes and, more recently, saddles, but for 2011, wheel specialists Reynolds are offering potential customers a similar 'try before you buy' service. Their Spin It Up programme will allow riders in both the UK and US to take several models for a test ride.
Six road wheels will initially be available for demoing in the UK – the 32, 46, 66, Attack, Assault and Strike – with some other models available by special request. They'll be fitted with tyres and tubes from Schwalbe, who are sponsoring the service.
A network of test centres is in the process of being set up but the service will also be available through Reynolds' existing stockists. Open to anyone, UK test rides are free, bar a refundable deposit at the shop's discretion.
Riders can drop into a test centre or contact a stockist for home delivery. Lease time is normally restricted to a week, based around a full weekend's riding, and the number of times each person can use the service is limited to two. Prospective buyers needn’t be worried about damaging the wheels, as they're fully insured under the Reynolds Assurance Program (RAP).
Patrick Blake, brand manager at Upgrade Bikes, who distribute Reynolds wheels and manage the demo service in the UK, told BikeRadar: "We started Spin It Up to offer an extra level of customer service and to aim people into their local shop where they can interact with the product. We've kept the programmme simple and uncomplicated, and it's open for everyone to come and have a go, whether you have a big race at the weekend or a monster sportive."
For full availability of each wheel and test centre/stockist contact details, visit the UK Spin It Up website.
The scheme is also available in the US. However, a $100 fee – not deposit – must be paid for each test period. If a rider decides to go ahead and buy the wheels, they'll be given a $100 credit towards a new set. Insurance coverage is the same as in the UK. At present, the wheels offered in the US are limited to the clincher DV46, SDV66 and 46/66 (front and rear).
For full availability of each wheel and test centre/stockist contact details, visit the US Spin It Up website.