Charlotte resident here too…
Encountered the same… asking for a test ride with some with mentality like the LBS are doing us a favor selling a bike, some others were on the ” not spending $5k on a bike, you’re not worth our time” and then the famous parking lot ride around.
I did purchase a new bike last year from a LBS in Charlotte and had problem after problem with it sucking the chain and jamming up. They had my bike for 2 weeks and “forgot to call”… after that I was pretty soured. Nothing worse then buying new at a LBS and felling like you’ve been less than valued.
This year i wanted a nice F/S… I went on Youtube a ton, this site and went on Pinkbike and bought a nice used bike and I do have 1 place in mind to service my bike locally I’ll give a try.
not grouping all the LBS here, but we the customer have already done the research and having some salesperson read the sales card to us is not “selling” anything, we want to test the bike.
The majority people (IMHO) that do test would more than likely be going to about 3 or 4 certain trails around here to do the demo ride on and they would be nothing like Pisgah and pretty tame
LBS’s – We’re in your shop, with cash in hand and willing to build a relationship with parts & service and pretty sure we’re going to see you on the trails