Cycles and cycle accessories - here's how I do it. For annual servicing and repairs, I use my local cycle shop which is Jack Parker in Burscough - as a non-car owner, a local cycle shop is the only sensible option. These days, however, there are such a wide range of new cycles and accessories that a visit to the biggest bike shop in Manchester is highly educational. If you are in the market for a new cycle, get yourself a copy of the latest catalogue (a work of art!) from Edinburgh Bicycle Co-operative then visit the store - EBC has six stores across the UK.
The Manchester branch is housed in a former Jaguar car showroom - the floor area is huge enough to display examples of every type of bike and accessory *and* still have space for lovely wide aisles which are a pleasant change from the claustrophobic layouts of most small cycle shops.
Whilst prices for high-end road and mountain bikes can go through the roof, EBC also feature their own extensive 'Revolution' range of cycles and accessories which are generally much more affordable. If you're a leisure cyclist, it's probably some kind of hybrid bike you're after. The Revolution Trailfinder mentioned by Kirsten is such a bike, and currently sells for £250, which is a pretty good price for a reliable bike brand. Do talk to the staff, who I have found very knowledgeable and friendly. Maybe have a look at more interesting cycles that are out there these days - such as the Cannondale Bad Boy, with its fat, slick tyres or one of the low maintenance designs featuring hub gears or single speed gears - and have a think through what type of bike best meets you're needs. But if you look at the bike racks around the city, you will see a lot of Revolution brand bikes chained up.
And don't forget accessories. The left side of the store is for cycle clothing and footwear, plus the repair shop. On the right are the bikes and other accessories such as pedals, locks, luggage, etc. The right accessories can definitely transform your cycle experience, from bike locks to removable lights, quick release luggage, clip pedals, track pumps, cycle carriers and more - and every type of kit you will find well-displayed in EBC.
Having said all this in favour of EBC, I have also visited several other cycle shops in the area, such as Evans Cycles (Deansgate), Harry Hall (off Oxford Street), Winstanley Cycles (Pemberton, nr. Wigan), all of which inspired confidence. And don't forget Bicycle Boutique (near MMU Student Union) which also does cycle hire as well as bike sales and repair.
I was lucky enough to win a £200 voucher to spend in this store. So I went in a few times to browse around before deciding what I would spend my money on. Each time the staff were friendly and seemed eager to help, but were equally as happy to leave me to have a browse if that was what I requested.
I ended up purchasing a lovely blue hybrid Revolution Trailfinder after discussing my options with a very helpful and knowledgeable young lad who let me try out the bikes in the store. He not only helped me to select the right bike for my needs and budget, but went out of his way to find me a suitable helmet for my weirdly-shaped head. In the end, as the only weird-head helmet had been out on display, he had to order one in for me, which I had no problem picking up at the same time as my bike. I also bought my bike when there was a 15% off everything deal going on, which effectively gave me a free helmet. You also get a free bag, water bottle and bike check with every bike purchased, which are all nice touches.
As for my bike, I've used it to cycle on roads, through forests, to the airport and down various stretches of the Trans Penine Trail and it has been brilliant for all of these purposes. I've had no problems with it at all, and if I did then I wouldn't hesitate to pop back into this shop for some expert advice. As well as bikes, they stock a wide range of clothing and accessories and offer weekend cycle maintenance courses.
I'm not a massive fan of cycling. This could be because I'm incredibly unfit, but it could also be because I once went cycling with a friend, accidentally touched the front wheel to the side of the kerb whilst cycling on the road, and ended up flipping into the middle of the road. Mmmm, physical weakness or psychological trauma? What a pleasant dichotomy.
However, Edinburgh Bicycle Co-Operative is almost enough to turn me back. They sure know their stuff, with friendly staff, a tumultitude of bikes (no, that's not a word, I just made it up) and bike parts. They can repair your bike, or sell you a new one, or anything in between. It's a veritable smörgsbord of biking delights.
So if you're looking for cycling goods in Manchester, this should probably be one of your first ports of call.
The address "Daimler House" says it all. Not so long ago this was a large Jaguar/Daimler dealership. Students used to delight in trying to steal the huge jaguar sculpture from the pillar on Oxford Rd.
Nowadays it's a massive bicycle shop. Pretty cool. I'm sure all the students find it useful :)
The Edinburgh Bicycle Co-Operative is not only a big name in the world of bikes (27 letters)+, but it's also a bloody big shop. It's a bit like a supermarket for bike stuff.
There's a decent range of bicycles (from entry level stuff right up to racers for enthusiasts and smart retro bikes) and absolutely everything else you'd need as an accessory.
The accessories are extensive, with stuff for people entering competitions as well as BMX clobber, jackets, mountain biking bits and... well... everything.
I wandered in and, to be honest, I was a bit surprised at how none of the staff seemed to notice my existence, especially in light of the fact that I was stood looking rather confused for a good few minutes. That said, I'd probably moan if they jumped out at me with horrible shit-eating grins demanding to help me.
Anyway, it's a great place for people who want to buy stuff for bikes and, if rumours are to be believed, superior after-sales service when compared to the nearby Bicycle Doctor.
An excellent bike shop with a huge range of bikes and accessories. Massive choices of bikes to choose from and they certainly know how to build them before delivery, they offer great after sales support as well.
The bikes are aimed at the serious sportsman, no £100 Apollo's here!, bargains are available during their sales which usually happen a couple of times a year in the summer and winter. The friendly staff will give you sound advice for all things on two wheels!
Well worth a look if you are a cycling fan, whether it be road, race or mountain biking, they are bound to have something for you.
"The revolution will not be motorised", you're told as you walk into this spacious affair. So many bikes! If you're not even into bikes, when you come out of here you will be. They have everything from fixed wheel models, massive chunky mountain bikes, vintage commuters to super slim line road racers. You gather that this place is the Mecca of Manchester's two wheeled community.
If something ever goes wrong with your beloved point it towards this store and the guys can sort you out, lovely blokes very enthusiastic about their machines they will give you any advice you need. The store has a full workshop for repairs (they'll inflate tires and sort minor bits for free) and local biking groups often advertise their if you fancy something dynamic such as a race or meeting like minded commuters.
The store hosts every single bit of bike kit you could ever need, want to fully don yourself in lycra? No problem. Actually come to think of it (for the guys) you can't buy razors to shave your legs with, but there is a Superdrug right next door.
Had a fantastic experience of purchasing a bike here and Kevin who looked after me was brilliant at explaining everything and I had the bike set up so I could test it in the park opposite before I purchased it. The whole team seem very experienced and nothing was too much trouble. The fact its a cooperative is also a reason to buy here and the Revolution Range is great value compared with other ranges and very high spec. I would highly recommend using this company . Its a large store with a great selection of bikes and well as kit.
As stated above, a one stop shop for all biking needs and very very knowledgeable staff. Why have I not given it 5 stars? Because it is pretty pricey to match. Good value, but undeniably high end.
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