Halfords and Cycle2Work - I know,I know..yawn...


New Member
Jan 30, 2008
I went off on one here so here's the gist:
Any advice whats good to buy from Halfords?
Anyone think I'm crazy to buy a Woman's Carrera Kraken for 150quid?
Any advice on how to spray a frame?
Anyyywaayyy.... On with the rant. Thanks in advance:

I'm going to sign up for Cycle2Work scheme because it sounds like genius - 50% off?!? And all the equipment as well?!

The bad news is I have to buy from Halfords which is just painful. They don't even let you have a test cycle! You're lucky if you can feel the weight of the bike or even see it. That's crazy.. Like a shoe shop where you can't try them on.

Anyway, I spent an hour in there and probably two on the internet trying to make sense of it all. Also the bike world moves on every year and I'm a few years out of it. The last bike I bought was an Eclipse in New Zealand for the equivalent of 70 quid! I loved it because it was good enough.

I've owned three 400 quid mountain bikes in the past - Schwinn Mesa, Schwinn Moab and a GT Avalanche. I got them because they felt so much better than a 200-300 quid bike. Even though they kept getting knicked in London I just loved the ride on my 25 mile commute.

Anyway, I went there and tried to make sense of all the kit. Wow! There's a lot of Suntour and not much Shimano. There's Hydraulic brakes. The rear mech fastens to the frame weird.

I saw 2 GT Aggressors 07 - 2.0 for 270quid and 3.0 for 330quid - and then started to fall for the Carreras. I normally hate the thought of the brand but the kit looked so good. The men's Kraken 08 is 380 with hydraulic brakes and the shop assist is saying its the best thing ever but I don't like the idea of learning to fix a new brake system and and that's expensive for a dull name and boring look.

Then I spot the Women's 07 Kraken. The frame is 18" which is good, the kit seems as similar to the '08 without hydraulics and it only costs 260 quid. The only thing is the frame is HIDEOUS (But I reckon I'll spray it - any tips?) and they talk about women's geometry (The saddle and position seemed fine when I sat on it and I'm only 5'6" anyway). Here's a link to it:


Remember I get it for about half price - 150 quid - which seems great to me but if anyone thinks I'm missing out on getting a bike that'd really make me happy (Kona or Marin?) let me know. I'm a non-snob so I think just the price alone will make me happier than some branding and I'll post a pic after I paint metallic yellow and purple tiger stipes on it.

I've just found out Merida make Carrera bikes and I've loved Merida since about 1990 when a friend bought one and it was the lightest thing I'd ever seen. This is looking like a done deal unless anyone has something to offer. Thanks for making it down this far!!
At the start of last year I bought a hybrid bike from halfords I think it was a Cx10* for about £130 or something. About 5 miles after leaving the shop I got a front wheel blowout. The problem was that they were nasy cheap tyres and tubes an even a tiny bit of glass got through.

So anyway I replaced both tyres with some nice conti hybrid ones and it was a great improvement. The bike itself is still good after over 1000 miles last year, I think it has needed a bit more maintaince than a more expensive one might have done but overall I think it has been fairly bombproof, it has survived a couple of nasty crashes with little more than scratches.

However it is a big lump of metal so it will be heavy and the gears did leave somthing to be desired in both their motion and relaiblity.

I would say go for it and if you get into cycling then replace it in a years time with something a bit more advanced. The thing is that if you go for somthing big now and then dont use it often it would be a waste. As it happens with mine I really got into it and a couple of weeks ago I bought myself a Giant roadie bike, but i'm glad I went for the one I did. It definately helped my fitness and if nothing else improved my mechanical bike skills :D
Don't forget Halfords can get in any bike you want (if the duffus on the shop floor says no just phone head office when you get home) so if you see/want a nice bike you can maybe try then get it on the cheap. Not so nice to the LBS tho..... so I didn't do it. Nowt wrong with the Carrera bikes in themselves but get a bad rep 'cos they often set up so poorly. Now shockwaves are a different kettle........
A work mate ordered a Planet X triathlon bike through Halfords. Needless to say, he never rides it to work. :rolleyes: