Does the value-for-money benefits of a bike bought online trump not being able to test-ride it? We try road bikes from Canyon, Rose and Planet X In this era of internet shopping we buy a lot of things without seeing them first. Books, electronic gizmos, even clothes and shoes. But bikes? Can you really decide on a bike – especially a flashy carbon fibre-framed one costing north of £1,000 – without first having a test ride? The answer is yes, and a lot of people do. There’s a few reasons. Firstly, if you already own a bike of roughly the same style you can compare the frame dimensions and angles and have a pretty good guess at what might work. Also, the fiddly elements – stem length, saddle adjustment etc – can be amended or swapped without too much fuss. Then, as with most internet shopping, if you get the frame size wrong you can return the whole bike, albeit in a very big box. Finally, the internet is awash with bike reviews, giving an impression of how a particular model feels, its strengths and quirks. But most of all, people buy bikes over the internet because it can bring astonishing value for money. A series of web-only bike brands have sprung up over recent years, eschew...