Is there one decent bike shop in SE1?

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Monday 27 November 2006 12.21pm
Well, off I trudge to get a replacement bicycle
(walk, walk, walk, "are we there yet?").


First stop On Your Bike, Tooley street.

This is where I bought my last bike, and they have quite a good reputation. I expect some honest advice and to come away with a few good ideas. Sadly, I am dead wrong.

Hard sales and bad (in fact contradictory) advice. Simple questions are brushed aside with broad assertions. I am given very poor advice about frames, gears and locks. I do take one bike for a test ride, unsurprisingly it is not what I am looking for. I decide to look at a few more places.

Next stop Evans, at least three (maybe more) branches in SE1.

In the past I have found them to be a poor show - with disinterested staff and a limited range of kit. I visit both the London Bridge and the Waterloo Road branches. This time to my surprise the staff are quite helpful - enthusiastic even. We talk about what I had, whether I want/need something different, what options there are now and coming up. Good stuff. I test ride something that I would not normally go for and am pleasantly surprised.

Problems come when I ask about whether I can have some alternative parts fitted. While no bike shop ever really has a problem with this (you pay for the extra bits after all), surprisingly the sales guy think that it might not be possible - even though at the other Evans I was assured that it was). This makes me feel uneasy, I will give it a few days thought...


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I will continue the search and buy in SE1 if I can, but it looks less likely now. For those interested, I did have a mountain bike - which I had adapted to make it faster. It was a lot of fun (but eminently nickable). Now I might get something similar, but I am also perhaps interested in getting a proper road bike.

Would you like to go with me?
Where?
Wherever I'm going
Are you *really* asking?
Is that your *real* answer?
Monday 27 November 2006 4.21pm
There's a small place opposite the courts on Newington Causeway. They seem to work to order.
Monday 27 November 2006 4.29pm
THere's the one in Elephant Road (beside the railway at the back of the SHopping Centre between the Old Kent Road and the Walworth Road). My son bought a bike there, no complaints...
Monday 27 November 2006 5.12pm
Decathlon in Surrey Quays are only just outside SE1 and offer excellent value.
Monday 27 November 2006 5.17pm
There is a bike shop on Greet Street, just off the Cut in Waterloo (so round the corner from Evans if you're ever back there). However I have never actually been in and the outside could do with facelift so I'm not sure if it's any good...
Monday 27 November 2006 5.18pm
You're thinking of the London Bicycle Repair Company on Hatfields.

I've had several repairs done there and I've always been very happy.

Editor of the London SE1 website.
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Monday 27 November 2006 5.29pm
Thanks for the advice. I went to Edwardes on Camberwell Road today and they were good. But will also try a few other places and report back. I would say that Edwardes staff were just fine and very helpful - but it is always easier to get good service on a Monday afternoon rather than a Sat/Sun.

Would you like to go with me?
Where?
Wherever I'm going
Are you *really* asking?
Is that your *real* answer?
Monday 27 November 2006 5.50pm
Not SE1, but fairly close by. I know at least three people who have recently gone to Cycle Surgery in Spitalfields and have only good things to say about it.
Monday 27 November 2006 6.47pm
James Hatts wrote:
You're thinking of the London Bicycle Repair Company on Hatfields.
I've had several repairs done there and I've always been very happy.

Lovely chaps in there, didn't laugh at me for being an incompetent female, nor did they do try any hard sell tactics. Had my bike serviced there twice now. Can't vouch for new sales though - I can't afford a new bike (boo hoo!)
Monday 27 November 2006 6.49pm
On Yer Bike always seems to be slightly more expensive than elsewhere, Evans is a lottery, some of the assistants are great, others will argue with you. Cycle Surgery have opened a new branch, also Spitalfields way and I've always found them OK. Bicycle Magic in Aldgate has been recommended to me, as has Edwardes. De Ver in Streatham is owned by Maurice - an ex track racer I believe - a true enthusiast and what a bike shop experience should be like. Just try and get out....

Condor is where I'd head to, although road focussed they do do MTB's and anyway it sounds like you're going a bit more roadie. Their Pista is lovely.

Decathlon do have some fantastic packages - I was looking at their road bikes on Friday and wondering if the decals would come off.

On line it's Chain Reaction and Wiggle hands down for MTB.... Parker and Ribble for road stuff

Remember, keep off those pavements!

ducks....
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