Almost a year ago I bought a bycicle at Recycle on Elephant Road and am very happy what I got for what I paid - just under £100. It looks battered (only cosmetic) but I think it is the best quality bike I probably ever had. Apparently, the frame was from a police auction and the rest was a bit of a mix and match to make it complete.
Just wanted to follow up on my original reccomendation for Recycle at Elephant Road.
I still think one can be lucky and get a good bike for a good price there.
The repair service however seems to be another matter!
In spring, I had my bycicle serviced and had to show up about three times untill it was eventually started and finished. They just kept sending me back saying I shall return in two hours.....I wasn't happy!
Last Friday I went there to have the gear switch cable replaced:
Arriving five minutes past opening times, they first wouldn't want to take my bike as it would come into the way opening up the shop - I should come back later. After making clear this was not an option my bicycle was accepted. I could return anytime in the afternoon to pick it up. At 6.15pm I got a phonecall saying my bicycle had not been repaired, I can pick it up tomorrow morning first thing. On Saturday at 4pm it's still not done.....after waiting there for ten minutes the cable was replaced while I waited....
It's a shame, but I think I shall try a different place for the next repair - if only to find out whether all places are like this!
The Jacs find the bicycle shop on Newington Causeway (opposite the courts) very good and very reasonable for servicing bikes. Efficient friendly and usually come in under estimate. We have also been very happy with the secondhand bike we purchased for one on the mini jacs(actually not so mini it was a full size bike)
just had another repair and service done at the Bicycle Repair Shop on Hatfields - those boys are fab.
I pointed out some damage to my (don't laugh at my spelling) derailleur and gear changer thingy (result of a few too many vinos at a book club I think) plus the need for a couple of replacement spokes, and a slow puncture and .... well actually there was about 6 different things.
They fixed the lot for a very reasonable fee, plus a full service (appears to have been included in the price), had it ready for me to collect on time, and were really friendly to boot. It's all very down to earth and reliable in there - just like my dear ol' gran told me customer service was supposed to be.
Thanks for the reply Al W - I have actually ended up buying a lovely (new) bicycle from Bobbin Bicycles who are based in Clerkenwell (www.bobbinbicycles.com) - I'd really recommend them. It was, as I say, not second hand , but their prices are very reasonable and it didn't cost much more than a second hand Dutch bike made by one of the big brands. The bike is great, I love it. The people who run the shop were so helpful and enthusiastic so if anyone else is after something similar I would recommend checking the shop out.
That article was interesting, though! You do see quite alot of Dutch bikes around. And they aren't that bad up any of the hills SE1 could throw at you :)