Today I are been mainly at the bike shop

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Just Zis Guy, Feb 8, 2003.

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  1. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    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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  2. "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
     
  3. Just Zis Guy

    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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  4. "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
     
  5. Just Zis Guy

    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
    work. Apologies.
     
  6. 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
     
  7. 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
     
  8. Just Zis Guy

    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.
     
  9. Dr

    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
     
  10. Micheal Ra

    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
     
  11. Just Zis Guy

    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
     
  12. Just Zis Guy

    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
     
  13. "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.
     
  14. Just Zis Guy

    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
     
  15. 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
     
  16. Dr

    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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