Tl;dr version: If you want a road bike for hire in London, this is the place.
Me: Do you have road bikes for hire, or know of a place I can find one?
Employee: Have you tried Barcl--
Me: Haha, yes I'm aware of Barclay's, but I want a road bicycle.
Employee: What do you mean "road bicycle"?
Me: You know, for a longer/real ride. Like that *points to bike*
Employee: Oh! You mean a race bike.
Employee: Yeah...no idea, sorry.
I never thought finding a road bike for hire - in what is seemingly such a pro-bike town (what with Team Sky and the new heavy investment in bike infra) - would be such a monumental challenge! I should've known it would be an uphill battle when I asked some bikey friends from the UK (who now reside in the US) and they had no clue (yes, I also tried Craigslist, Spinlister, and mybikeyourbike.com). Several days into my 5-day stay and a dozen bike shops later, we *finally finally* procured a race bike for hire.
And yes, I tried a Barclay's bike too (had to get home after returning the road bike somehow).
I rented a bike for a weekend coming from out of town. They seemed like the basically the only place I found on Google where it was easy for a foreigner to rent a bike online, but I wish I had done more research. I didn't get the friendly feel of a local bike shop here, but rather the wait times and bureaucracy of a large conglomerate.
I fell off the bike while riding, not sure exactly how but when I went to check the back wheel spokes were a bit off tension, but bike was still perfectly rideable. When I went to return the bike, I was very upfront about this and I wish I wasn't so. They ended up charging me 60 pounds to replace the entire wheel. I ended up paying as I did sign the agreement and I just didn't want to deal with it, but I did not like the way I was treated during the whole process. They charged me full retail price even though they get these things at a much greater discount, without even showing me where the price came from, insisting that even though I rode it in that state a full 40miles, the whole wheel had to be replaced and I had to foot the whole bill.
Anyway, probably your best bet if you need to rent a bike quickly online and you're abroad, but be warned if anything ever so small happens to the bike get ready for a not so pleasant experience!
I was meeting a friend interested in buying a new bike for a rather long ride I persuaded her to sign up for next month. Anyways, when she arrived she said she had been here before and had gotten rather confusing service from them, she had come in a clueless cycling novice and left as a confuse clueless cycling novice so I suppose I can see what the negative reviews here are about.
Today, however, the service was top-notch. I was looking to become a cleat convert and was given a ton of advice, plenty of options and advice on how to get used to cycling with cleats. When they found out my bike was locked up outside they fitted the new pedals within minutes and spent 20 or so mins with me (after I'd paid) giving me training on clipping in and out and making all the necessary adjustments.
My friend received equally fantastic service in looking for a new bike despite the fact that she had made it clear from the start that she may even get a second hand bike from ebay once she had a clearer idea in her head of what kind of bike she needed (although, quite frankly, I think their amazingness may mean she's back there sooner rather than later to purchase one of the bikes she got to test ride around the streets of Bermondsey).
I visit On Your Bike all the time to buy bits and bobs.
I also bring my bike in for servicing, which is always completed competently.
But what I like most about On Your Bike is that the sales people are genuinely helpful. Over the last year, I've had someone remove my pedals, adjust my handlebar height, replace my stem, check my saddle height for me, take my bike on a test run to find out where that incessant clicking sound was coming from, tighten my pedals, and pump my tires (among other things). And they've always done these things for me for free, with a smile.
On Your Bike is a huge, well-stocked bike shop that sells a decent variety of models, from old-style roadsters to mountain and road bikes. I've found the sales staff friendly and relatively helpful when I've needed to buy the odd tool or spare part, but the real reason I'm such a fan of this place is the excellent and reliable workshop they have.
When you drop your bike off for a service at this place in the morning you know you'll have it back later that day - invaluable if you commute by bike as I do. They'll ring you to let you know when it's done, or if they think you need a new part. Their prices seem reasonable too: it's possible that cheaper prices can be had elsewhere, but given their reliability, both in the speed with which they carry out repairs and the quality of their work, and their convenient central location, it'd take a lot for me to go elsewhere. Highly recommended.
On your Bike in London Bridge is a very large store which stocks all kinds of bikes and bicycle equipment. However, the customer service isn't too great and once you put a deposit down on a bike, actually getting it becomes somewhat of an annoying experience as there always seems to be a delay.
The staff are very knowledgeable about bikes but their manner is quite off-putting. I also found the store after looking in other bicycle shops to be rather on the expensive side. I was a first time cyclist in London and I definitely felt that the staff took advantage of that and attempted to sell me a more expensive model than what I actually needed. Luckily I did my own research and purchased a cheaper version. The bike itself is great however, and I haven't experienced any problems so far.
I like this bike shop. It's on cavernous premises. Something of a bike supermarket so it's possible to wander the aisles in awe of all this bike stuff. Stuff you never knew you needed. Or even existed. It's a bit like that. They have so much kit, a pretty exhaustive range of stock.
Drinks bottles (a range). Biking clothing. Helmets. New slinky wheels. New tyres. A unicycle. And lots and lots of bikes. I found the staff really friendly. Very knowledgeable, which you'd expect, all clearly enthusiasts themselves, which is nice. And all together, really well-presented shop with A LOT of bike products.
Pretty good shop actually for shopping around for bike stuff. This used to be just down the road from me so I used to head in often, I don't think I ever needed anything they didn't have. As it is a large store it is very well stocked.
They also have a professional pump inside that you can use to pump up your tires and a space to leave your bike.
I'm a frequent cyclist but know nothing about bikes, and whenever something goes wrong on my bike, this is where I go. They have always been polite and helpful, whether just repairing punctures or carrying out a full service. I've always been able to get seen nice and quickly too. Probably not the cheapest place, but they do a really good job.
And the shop is brilliant - very well stocked with good ranges of cycling gear. It's pretty much impossible to go in and leave again empty handed. Again, it's all expensive equipment and certainly caters for the lycra-clad as opposed to the chic cyclist, but I'd still challenge anyone to go in and not find something they need. It's a brilliant place.
The shop is very brilliant and everything we need for a cyclist is available here. My imported bike parts are not available in common shops. But they have everything we need. The quality of the product really justify the quality.toddler (parentgenius.com)
This is a large, independent bike shop, catering for beginners to pros. I've only had reason to shop here once, and am definitely going to be going back. Service was great, and they were able to build me a wheel from scratch in a day, made exactly to spec.
I think prices are pretty normal, although I doubt this is a place to find 'deals'. All in all, I reckon this is a good place to go if you need some expertise.
More than the actual shop itself I really like its location. It used to be a tunnel back in the 1800's and if you pay close attention you can really see what it used to be and the history behind the arched roof. If you are a bike worm you will feel at home here, they have all the quality bikes such as Cannondale, Lemond, Marin, Gary Fisher, Dawes, Whyte and Brompton. Accessories and clothing range (Nike, Cannondale, Endura, Altura, DeMarchi, Gore and Hind), I recommend their workshop if you have problem with your bike, anything from a puncture to headshok service. However, all these products and services come at a price. One that can be easily avoided by doing a bit more research on what you want and maybe visiting Elephant and Castle instead.
The staff as you would expect are knowledgeable but I was served by a rather snappish lad, maybe he was preoccupied with other stuff but he answered my questions in a bit of a unfriendly tone and he just seemed bored. Overall, real good shop to browse but I don't think I would spend my hard earned cash in here.
A bike emporium! Into your bike porn? This is the place to go. A huge store that is bound to have everything you could ever need or want for your bike. Out front are all the bits and bobs- locks, pumps, lights, clothing (flourescent eat your heart out)- work your way to the back and it's a temple of bikes. Delicious. They have a workshop out the back where they will fix your bike or build your bike but tend to be really busy so often have a waiting list. If you are after bike hire then this is the place too- you can hire a bike for a day, a week or a month- easy as. And if you want somewhere safe as houses to park your bike where it will be under a watchful eye- and won't get rained on then this is your place too. Every cycles geeks dream come true surely?
I went into this shop to get a spoke to replace the broken one on front wheel of my bike and was told that they did not have it and they were not able to order it either. The advice from shop assistant: buy a new wheel Poor service, poor advice
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