London Bike Shops - a short tour

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by John B, Feb 5, 2006.

  1. John B

    John B Guest

    It was an afternoon of drooling yesterday when a trip to London allowed
    visits to half a dozen bikie emporiums.

    The son (now 13 coming on 14) needs a new bike - probably a hybrid that
    can be used for some sporty rides like the Round The Island, trips out
    with his friends, and rides to buy me cakes down the local shop :)

    First stop was Evans near Waterloo - a mass of fat tyres and indifferent
    staff. Little impressed, so it was around the corner to their other shop
    in The Cut. Stock was better here, and a lot of nice roadie machines
    which also showed the growth in bikes for smaller ladies. Only thing
    that took our fancy was a Brommie bag - Carradice, not the rather
    cumbersome own brand Brompton make). No suitable bikes stood out for son
    though.

    A bus took us over to Holborn where the large new CycleSurgery store
    beckoned. Lots of bikes here, but again London must be covered in
    extreme off-road mountain trails and downhill tracks from the stock. The
    staff were again pretty unethusiastic to providing any form of
    assistance.

    Condors was next - and the best service. Here drooling was the rule but
    the staff were also very helpful and not at all pushy.
    First choice was the Colnago Ferrari CF2 - apparently only about a dozen
    in the UK and at around six grand. What a beautiful machine but just a
    tad outside our price range ;-)
    Quite who would ride such a piece of art goodness knows.
    Here we saw customer service at its very best. A lady of 60-ish who
    hadn't cycled for over 40 years was having all the benefits of a £250
    town bike explained to her with lots of patience and support. She left
    completely enthused. I found out she only lived 12 miles up the road
    from me so she also left with a cycle-training leaflet.
    Meanwhile son was settling on the Marin 'Urban' range and in particular
    the Muirwoods or the Novato - fairly standard hybrids but with the
    option of racks and guards for touring rides. Does anyone have
    experience of these?

    BikeFix, just a short walk away was next, with its laid-back 'real' bike
    shop atmosphere. Son doesn't want a 'bent - shame, as many were here. I
    particularly liked the look of the Grasshopper and the Scorpion, but he
    dragged me away :-(
    BTW - lots of Brommies here for off-the-peg sale.

    Last stop was the usually ubiquitous Action Bikes under Charing Cross.
    Lots of Treks and Marins, again the latter taking our eye, but the staff
    left us to wander around and sit on machines - they were more interested
    in watching a downhill race on the TV.

    As an aside, following comments here, we didn't see one cyclist jump a
    red light - all were waiting patiently.

    So we were off home - armed with a heap of catalogues and an idea of
    what type of bike will be best.
    We'll probably be over to our LBS soon to make an order, or back to
    Condors :)

    John B
     
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  2. POHB

    POHB Guest

    "John B" wrote
    > As an aside, following comments here, we didn't see one cyclist jump a
    > red light - all were waiting patiently.


    Sunday cyclists.
     
  3. John B

    John B Guest

    POHB wrote:

    > "John B" wrote
    > > As an aside, following comments here, we didn't see one cyclist jump a
    > > red light - all were waiting patiently.

    >
    > Sunday cyclists.


    'cept it was Saturday ;-)

    John B
     
  4. LSMike

    LSMike Guest

    John B wrote:
    >
    > BikeFix, just a short walk away was next, with its laid-back 'real' bike
    > shop atmosphere. Son doesn't want a 'bent - shame, as many were here. I
    > particularly liked the look of the Grasshopper and the Scorpion, but he
    > dragged me away :-(
    >
    > John B


    LOL, that reminds me of when I went to try a 'bent or two there last
    year. Stuart kept miniMike as a ransom to make sure I'd bring the bike
    back, just as described earlier by another URC member. :)
     
  5. John B

    John B Guest

    LSMike wrote:

    > John B wrote:
    > >
    > > BikeFix, just a short walk away was next, with its laid-back 'real' bike
    > > shop atmosphere. Son doesn't want a 'bent - shame, as many were here. I
    > > particularly liked the look of the Grasshopper and the Scorpion, but he
    > > dragged me away :-(
    > >
    > > John B

    >
    > LOL, that reminds me of when I went to try a 'bent or two there last
    > year. Stuart kept miniMike as a ransom to make sure I'd bring the bike
    > back, just as described earlier by another URC member. :)


    Heh.
    I didn't mention it but one reason I suspect my son dragged me away was from
    a deep-seated anxiety resulting from a previous visit.

    When he was about 6, I too left him there 'on deposit' while I pedalled off
    round the block on various folders ;-)

    Perhaps the experience of being imprisoned in the dark-side cave scarred him
    for life.

    John B
     
  6. Chris Smith

    Chris Smith Guest

    John B wrote:
    >
    > LSMike wrote:
    >
    >> LOL, that reminds me of when I went to try a 'bent or two there last
    >> year. Stuart kept miniMike as a ransom to make sure I'd bring the bike
    >> back, just as described earlier by another URC member. :)

    >
    > When he was about 6, I too left him there 'on deposit' while I pedalled off
    > round the block on various folders ;-)
    >


    Hmm...

    Bike... Kid...

    Bike... Kid...

    Bike... Kid...

    I'd find that a tricky one to resolve; best I don't try that with any of
    ours. ;)

    --
    chris
     
  7. Tony Raven

    Tony Raven Guest

    Chris Smith wrote:
    >
    > Hmm...
    >
    > Bike... Kid...
    >


    Bike every time. You can always make a new kid (and its quite fun) ;-)

    --
    Tony

    "The best way I know of to win an argument is to start by being in the
    right."
    - Lord Hailsham
     
  8. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Tony Raven wrote:

    > Bike every time. You can always make a new kid (and its quite fun) ;-)


    Fun aside, not everyone can, and that can be :-( :-( :-(

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch Medical Physics IT Officer
    Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Univ. of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
    net [email protected] http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  9. In article <[email protected]>, Chris Smith
    ([email protected]) wrote:

    > Hmm...
    >
    > Bike... Kid...
    >
    > Bike... Kid...
    >
    > Bike... Kid...
    >
    > I'd find that a tricky one to resolve; best I don't try that with any of
    > ours. ;)


    New families can be had for free from various charitable institutions,
    but a new bike costs Money.

    No contest...

    --
    Dave Larrington - <http://www.legslarry.beerdrinkers.co.uk/>
    Tip of the Day: 20%
     
  10. Danny Colyer

    Danny Colyer Guest

    LSMike wrote:
    > LOL, that reminds me of when I went to try a 'bent or two there last
    > year. Stuart kept miniMike as a ransom to make sure I'd bring the bike
    > back, just as described earlier by another URC member. :)


    I left the wife as a deposit. She should probably be thankful that the
    test bike wasn't red.

    --
    Danny Colyer <URL:http://www.colyer.plus.com/danny/>
    Subscribe to PlusNet <URL:http://www.colyer.plus.com/referral/>
    "He who dares not offend cannot be honest." - Thomas Paine
     
  11. In article <[email protected]>, Tony Raven wrote:
    >Chris Smith wrote:
    >>
    >> Hmm...
    >> Bike... Kid...

    >
    >Bike every time. You can always make a new kid (and its quite fun) ;-)


    Yes, but there's years of hard work and expense too, unless they will
    accept small babies as deposit.
     
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