Today I are been mainly at the bike shop



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J

Just Zis Guy

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And what a fine group of people they are. Ricky finally redeemed his dismissal of my trusty Claud
Butler as "obsolete" by doing a same afternoon turnaround on my 'bent - the Magura disc brake mounts
needed fettling (there is a Special Tool which looks a lot like a milling cutter to me).

Andy, the boss, has the Giant semi-recumbent prominantly on display, and the fairing from Jason
Queally's 2001 world HPV record attempt on the wall. The Sith are moving in :)

I bought an 11-32T cogset for the Stinger, which should be better now I've started taking more
devious routes home for extra climbing practice, and should allow me to take on a wider range of
rides, and I spoiled myself with a pair of Tacx sealed bearing idlers, which are lovely and quiet.
If somewhat purple.

And I picked up a copy of the Reading Cycle Campaign newsletter
<http://webspace.netmatters.co.uk/slim/rcc/CycleReading%20Winter%202003.pdf>

Two odd things: there's a Giant bike with automatic transmission on show (why? it's got a Nexus hub
gear - how much easier does it need to be?) and some bloke with a set of 16-spoke aero wheels with
gnarlies! What's that about?

Guy
===
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Mr [email protected] \ -Lsqco

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"Just zis Guy, you know?" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> And what a fine group of people they are. Ricky finally redeemed his dismissal of my trusty Claud
> Butler as "obsolete" by doing a same afternoon turnaround on my 'bent - the Magura disc brake
> mounts needed fettling (there is a Special Tool which looks a lot like a milling cutter to me).
>

*Which* bike shop, Guy? Us Redingensians are blessed with an amazing number of these (there is one
at every corner of the town/city) ;)

Alex
 
J

Just Zis Guy

Guest
On Sat, 8 Feb 2003 18:41:29 -0000, "Mr [email protected] \(2.3 zulu-alpha\) [comms room new build]"
<[email protected]> wrote:

>*Which* bike shop, Guy? Us Redingensians are blessed with an amazing number of these (there is one
>at every corner of the town/city) ;)

The clue was in the name of the owner, Andy (Wilkins). AW Cycles. As distinct from Wilkins Cycles,
home of the Student Special, owned by his brother. Note interview with PC Stratton, still
enthusiastically present in Caversham, on his splendid police bike.

Actually I wonder how many bike shops there are in Reading? The one on Oxford Road closed when
Chris, the owner, was killed - very sad. Berkshire Cycles are a load of Berkshire Hunts, there's
Action Bikes with the /seriously/ cool manager, and just across the road Freewheel the
Bromptonmongers. Blazing Saddles (please!) in Prospect Street, Caversham, is closing out his bike
range (not a big surprise; I wonder if he'll keep going with the fishing tackle?). And of course
Wilkins in Whitley, the largest selection of used bikes known to Man. An honourable mention to Bob
Bristow, Reading's premier blind bike mechanic and wheelbuilder. Any others you know of?

Guy
===
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M

Mr [email protected] \ -Lsqco

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"Just zis Guy, you know?" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> On Sat, 8 Feb 2003 18:41:29 -0000, "Mr [email protected] \(2.3 zulu-alpha\) [comms room new build]"
> <[email protected]> wrote:

> Actually I wonder how many bike shops there are in Reading? The one on Oxford Road closed when
> Chris, the owner, was killed - very sad.

I remember that - it happened very near where I live. IIRC HM Coroner opined that the chap had been
so busy looking after his customers bikes in the shop, he had neglected the maintenance of his own
personal machine! A defective mudguard on Chris's bike fell into the spokes at speed on a busy
junction at the Reading/S Oxon border; he was killed in the RTC that occured.:( [1]

> Berkshire Cycles are a load of Berkshire Hunts,

Hmm - they've been fine with me and my friend ( at least in the East Reading one). They have fairly
good reviews on the "yoof" webguide knowhere, which is compiled (mostly) by all the ravers,
students, skaters and hippies of Reading (as does Wilkins). I guess with any service place, staff
can be variable..

there's Action Bikes
> with the /seriously/ cool manager,

I guess you mean Richard ;) He deserves praise for getting a same day turnaround repair on my bike
sorted out in the week before Xmas, although he
* is* very persistent at trying to sell "up" (i,e the more expensive kit). I suppose that is what he
is taught to do in sales training - I tend to inspect the low, middle and high end of all
purchases and their features and end up finding a middle ground (or I have often already made my
selection *before* going into Action Bikes)

and just across the road Freewheel
> the Bromptonmongers.

Blazing Saddles (please!) in Prospect Street,
> Caversham, is closing out his bike range (not a big surprise; I wonder if he'll keep going with
> the fishing tackle?).

I always thought it was way too near AW to be viable!

And of course Wilkins
> in Whitley, the largest selection of used bikes known to Man. An honourable mention to Bob
> Bristow, Reading's premier blind bike mechanic and wheelbuilder. Any others you know of?

There's one place selling general outdoor gear as well as mostly mountain bikes in Pangbourne, I
think another LBS in Theale (just outside Reading).

Alex
 
J

Just Zis Guy

Guest
On Sat, 8 Feb 2003 19:42:40 -0000, "Mr [email protected] \(2.3 zulu-alpha\) [comms room new build]"
<[email protected]> wrote:

>> Actually I wonder how many bike shops there are in Reading? The one on Oxford Road closed when
>> Chris, the owner, was killed - very sad.

>I remember that - it happened very near where I live. IIRC HM Coroner opined that the chap had been
>so busy looking after his customers bikes in the shop, he had neglected the maintenance of his own
>personal machine! A defective mudguard on Chris's bike fell into the spokes at speed on a busy
>junction at the Reading/S Oxon border; he was killed in the RTC that occured.:( [1]

I remember it as well. Somwhere in amongst the stock of that shop is a yellow sunhat belonging to
Michael, my elder son. We bought the Adams Trail-A-Bike from Chris - he was alwyas very pleasant and
helpful. The crash happened on the road up to Caversham Park Village, IIRC - I quite often used to
see Chris riding down the Henley Road as I rode home.

>> Berkshire Cycles are a load of Berkshire Hunts,

>Hmm - they've been fine with me and my friend ( at least in the East Reading one). They have fairly
>good reviews on the "yoof" webguide knowhere, which is compiled (mostly) by all the ravers,
>students, skaters and hippies of Reading (as does Wilkins). I guess with any service place, staff
>can be variable..

Indeed. After three failures at getting the shifting fixed on Michael's bike I took it to Bob
Brstow, who spotted the problem immediately. Now, if a blind man can spot the problem that quickly,
a shop full of sighted mechanics really ought to have had some clue, shouldn't they?

>I guess you mean Richard ;)

Black guy, excellent haircut, has been known to dress inna Jean Paul Gaultier stylee, at least from
the waist down?

>>Any others you know of?

>There's one place selling general outdoor gear as well as mostly mountain bikes in Pangbourne, I
>think another LBS in Theale (just outside Reading).

Oh yes, I've ridden past the Theale one. Don't recall the Pangbourne one though.

Guy
===
** WARNING ** This posting may contain traces of irony. http://www.chapmancentral.com (BT ADSL and
dynamic DNS permitting)
NOTE: BT Openworld have now blocked port 25 (without notice), so old mail addresses may no longer
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R

Richard Goodman

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Today I are being mainly fixing my gears myself. It took me half an hour to remember the H/L stop
screws didn't adjust the indexing and another half an hour of fiddling with the cable tension screw
to realise that wasn't working either because the cable itself needed replacing. As it happened I
already had a replacement cable too, which I'd been putting off putting on. Shame! Not one of my
best days...

Rich
 
M

Mr [email protected] \ -Lsqco

Guest
I forgot a footnote from my last post: which was

[1] Given the appalling weather that will no doubt afflict us for the next few months, I am
considering deploying an appropriate set of mudguards (I've got a crud catcher on the down tube,
but the rear wheel is unprotected..

Howver, I would like a set that cannot succumb to the catastrophic failure that affected the late
Chris's bike. Can anyone suggest a suitable make, bearing in mind I also have a rear rack and
conventional MTB mudguards would foul this?

Alex
 
J

Just Zis Guy

Guest
On Sun, 9 Feb 2003 13:38:48 -0000, "Mr [email protected] \(2.3 zulu-alpha\) [comms room new build]"
<[email protected]> wrote:

>Howver, I would like a set that cannot succumb to the catastrophic failure that affected the late
>Chris's bike. Can anyone suggest a suitable make, bearing in mind I also have a rear rack and
>conventional MTB mudguards would foul this?

SKS mudguards have a breakaway mounting on the front, and will fit an MTB with rack (there are four
such bikes in my family, all equipped with SKS guards).

Guy
===
** WARNING ** This posting may contain traces of irony. http://www.chapmancentral.com (BT ADSL and
dynamic DNS permitting)
NOTE: BT Openworld have now blocked port 25 (without notice), so old mail addresses may no longer
work. Apologies.
 
D

Dr

Guest
"Just zis Guy, you know?" <[email protected]> wrote

> Actually I wonder how many bike shops there are in Reading?
<snip>
> Any others you know of?

I'd like to give a mention to Smiths in Whitley Wood Lane from whom I have bought a couple of bikes.

17 years ago I bought a 531 tourer which, though various upgrades make it nearly unrecognizable from
the original, the basic item is still doing 12-15 miles a week.

Last year I picked up a Cannondale road bike. It was 13 years old, apparently unridden and seemed an
excellent entry machine at the price. Down tube shifters and single pivot brakes seem really low
tech now but to a road bike newby it feels like a real thoroughbred. Very responsive and for the
first time a bike that feels comfortable and natural for climbing out of the saddle.

When I last went in about 6 months ago they had a ladies Gazelle and a rather elegant looking
Raleigh tourer on display.

I know they have a bad name in this group, but in the name of fairness, H******s has 4 branches
in the area.

David Roberts
 
M

Micheal Ra

Guest
> Oh yes, I've ridden past the Theale one. Don't recall the Pangbourne one though.
>
The "Pangbourne one" is, I believe, Mountain High on the Reading Road. The chances are that you've
never been past it because the best way to Pangbourne from Caversham is down the Warren, through
Mapledurham, past Hardwick House, and through Whitchurch.

To return to the subject of Reading cycle shops. I bought the Chilliwack from AW Cycles and found
them to be good. The "after running-in" service really did make a difference. Since then I've bought
a cycle computer and SPD pedals and shoes from Freewheel on West Street. They've been cheaper than
both AW Cycles and Mountain High for all these items (and that's without the CTC discount, Demmers),
and they've pretty friendly too.

Mountain High is the nearest shop to me, but it's expensive. They sell GT-85 (or whatever that stuff
is called) at £1 per can more than Halfords! When I asked if they stocked Cateye as well as VDO
cycle computers the salesperson said they no longer stock Cateye because of reliability problems.
FUD, if you ask me. (Actually I chose a Cateye because its manual i comprehensible, unlike the VDO.
You can get both on the Web.)

Mr. Chilliwack
 
J

Just Zis Guy

Guest
DR wrote:

> I'd like to give a mention to Smiths in Whitley Wood Lane from whom I have bought a couple
> of bikes.

I must check them out

> 17 years ago I bought a 531 tourer which, though various upgrades make it nearly unrecognizable
> from the original, the basic item is still doing 12-15 miles a week.

Perfectly standard tourer then :)

> I know they have a bad name in this group, but in the name of fairness, H******s has 4 branches in
> the area.

I stopped buying anything from Halfwits except in extremis a long time ago. I don't like the way
they stock the 80% of stuff which accounts for most of the trade in bike or car bits, undercutting
and killing local independents, but don't stock the remaining 20% which are the bits you always need
on a rainy Thursday.

--
Guy
===
I wonder if you wouldn't mind piecing out our imperfections with your thoughts; and while you're
about it perhaps you could think when we talk of bicycles, that you see them printing their proud
wheels i' the receiving earth; thanks awfully.

http://www.highwaycode.gov.uk/09.shtml#103 http://www.highwaycode.gov.uk/09.shtml#104
 
J

Just Zis Guy

Guest
Micheal Ra wrote:
>> Oh yes, I've ridden past the Theale one. Don't recall the Pangbourne one though.

> The "Pangbourne one" is, I believe, Mountain High on the Reading Road. The chances are that you've
> never been past it because the best way to Pangbourne from Caversham is down the Warren, through
> Mapledurham, past Hardwick House, and through Whitchurch.

Ah, but the *only* way back is out on the Reading Road, turn right towards Sulham and up
Sulham Hill :)

> To return to the subject of Reading cycle shops. I bought the Chilliwack from AW Cycles and found
> them to be good.

I persuaded my MIL to buy a bike from them. A Chilliwack!

> Mountain High is the nearest shop to me, but it's expensive. They sell GT-85 (or whatever that
> stuff is called) at £1 per can more than Halfords! When I asked if they stocked Cateye as well as
> VDO cycle computers the salesperson said they no longer stock Cateye because of reliability
> problems. FUD, if you ask me. (Actually I chose a Cateye because its manual i comprehensible,
> unlike the VDO. You can get both on the Web.)

I always tend to distrust a company which comes up with vague asserions about "reliability problems"
for a product which is used as widely as the Cateye computer. Much more convinving if thay can give
a genuine example of superior design on the product they offer (sensor clips more robust, less prone
to interfere with HRMs or whatever).

Having said which, retail staff are so badly paid that you have to be grateful if you get someone
who knows which way up the saddle should go.

--
Guy
===
I wonder if you wouldn't mind piecing out our imperfections with your thoughts; and while you're
about it perhaps you could think when we talk of bicycles, that you see them printing their proud
wheels i' the receiving earth; thanks awfully.

http://www.highwaycode.gov.uk/09.shtml#103 http://www.highwaycode.gov.uk/09.shtml#104
 
D

David E. Belche

Guest
"Just zis Guy, you know?" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:<[email protected]>...
>
> Two odd things: there's a Giant bike with automatic transmission on show (why? it's got a Nexus
> hub gear - how much easier does it need to be?) and some bloke with a set of 16-spoke aero wheels
> with gnarlies! What's that about?
>

Gnarlies? Is this an alternative term for knobblies? If so, not as odd as you think; tri- and
quad-spoke wheels from the likes of Specialized and Spinergy are quite popular on 'cross bikes for
those with ample cash [1] (i.e. not me), and so just as likely to be seen in the mud as on some
dragstrip TT course. It's all to do with the small number of spokes, apparently - less of them means
less chance of picking up huge amounts of mud.

David E. Belcher

Dept. of Chemistry, University of York

[1] The same category of 'cross riders who can afford to stock up on Dugast tubs, no doubt.
 
J

Just Zis Guy

Guest
David E. Belcher wrote:

> Gnarlies? Is this an alternative term for knobblies?

Yis.

> If so, not as odd as you think; tri- and quad-spoke wheels from the likes of Specialized and
> Spinergy are quite popular on 'cross bikes for those with ample cash [1] (i.e. not me), and so
> just as likely to be seen in the mud as on some dragstrip TT course. It's all to do with the small
> number of spokes, apparently - less of them means less chance of picking up huge amounts of mud.

Aha. Thanks for clearing that up.
--
Guy
===
I wonder if you wouldn't mind piecing out our imperfections with your thoughts; and while you're
about it perhaps you could think when we talk of bicycles, that you see them printing their proud
wheels i' the receiving earth; thanks awfully.

http://www.highwaycode.gov.uk/09.shtml#103 http://www.highwaycode.gov.uk/09.shtml#104
 
M

Mr [email protected] \ -Lsqco

Guest
In news:[email protected], Just zis Guy, you know?
<[email protected]> typed:

>> I know they have a bad name in this group, but in the name of fairness, H******s has 4 branches
>> in the area.
>
> I stopped buying anything from Halfwits except in extremis a long time ago. I don't like the way
> they stock the 80% of stuff which accounts for most of the trade in bike or car bits, undercutting
> and killing local independents, but don't stock the remaining 20% which are the bits you always
> need on a rainy Thursday.

It is indeed a moral dilemma - but an unfortunate aspect of the free market.... IMO the online
stores are surely worse for undercutting LBSs in the manner you mention than Halfords, having less
overheads?

Also, when purchasing small value items or things like tools when I know *exactly* what I want (and
have seen it on Halfords shelves) I do admit I tend to use Halfords - not only because they are
slightly cheaper but I considered it would surely be better that the LBSs staff time would be better
used in assisting *another* customer with the purchase of a higher margin item, or sorting out a
repair (which would surely bring more profit to them than me buying a can of GT85?).

What I do *not* like though is the way Halfords try to pass themselves off as a "bike shop" being
able to offer repairs etc, which appear to be delegated to junior staff who are pressed to complete
the repairs as quickly as possible as well as serving other customers (this being the impression I
get). I certainly would not let these people loose on any bike of mine!

And the "BikeHut" idea could be a threat to LBSs - but then again all the younger people I know (and
many of the older ones) wouldn't admit to buying a bike from Halfords. An inner tube or a brake
cable maybe - but not a whole machine. And Halfords in Reading *don't* sell decent accessories like
racks etc. Plus I wouldn't buy major parts from there (even though they sometimes sell them) in case
I need advice or assistance with fitting them.

Even with this situation the LBSs in Reading Town Centre don't seem to be doing badly at all - I
think they combat the influence of Halfords by dealing with niche markets like Bromptons, BMXs,
*decent* road bikes etc.... I think Reading LBS stocking levels and levels of customer service are
far better than Halfords for them to pose a serious threat - although speaking to the Halfords staff
they are aware of the custom they get from cyclists for small items and value it (I have been told
it is why they are keeping the Reading town centre store at least for the moment!)

I don't however recall many bike shops shutting down - and in Reading there does seem to be enough
business for *everybody* - these shops always seem busy. I guess there are a lot of cyclists here
(maybe due to the University, and the popularity of Reading with people from the Far East?) which
keeps feeding them with business.

Alex
 
D

Dr

Guest
"Just zis Guy, you know?" <[email protected]> wrote
> DR wrote:

> > I know they have a bad name in this group, but in the name of fairness, H******s has 4 branches
> > in the area.

> I stopped buying anything from Halfwits except in extremis a long time ago. I don't like the way
> they stock the 80% of stuff which accounts for most of the trade in bike or car bits, undercutting
> and killing local independents, but don't stock the remaining 20% which are the bits you always
> need on a rainy Thursday.

I think they were better when they did the Real range. Its some time ago now I finally learned that
their inner tubes aren't suitable even on rainy Thursday's.

David Roberts
 
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