Bike Shopping: Oasis Bike Works

I wanted to make sure to visit Oasis Bike Works because I knew they carried Kona bikes, and I wanted to test ride the Kona Dew, which I had run across in my bike research. Not surprisingly, the owner of the shop pointed me to the $399 Dew after I went through my usual routine. He also recommended the $499 Redline R540 as a bit of an upgrade, a little bit lighter, faster, better components. I’m pretty much clueless when it comes to what better components really means, and which ones are better than others. Plus, there are good brands and makes for shifters and derailleurs, and totally different ones for wheels and frames. So I’m pretty much reliant on the bike shop expertise for help there.
I test rode both the Dew, which they only had in a slightly small size for me (which meant that I was riding a little more hunched over than usual) and the R540. I personally thought either one would have been fine for me. The R540 had skinnier tires and would have been a faster bike overall, I’m sure, but could take slightly wider tires and fenders according to the owner. I’d have to make sure of that before deciding (it seemed a tight fit to my uneducated eye, plus there were no rack braze-ons, though he said it could take a rack as well), since the Dew could definitely do both of those. I do have two other dealers to visit, and one carries Kona and the other Redline, so I’ll see what they have to say as well.
Oasis had the best overall experience thus far, with a knowledgeable helpful owner, and small shop feel without being skeezy. I could definitely see myself buying a bike from them, as they could also special order for me.