October 03, 2006

Local cycle spares and repairs

Cycle repair shops near campus:

Coventry
*Albany Cycles 199 Albany Road, Earlsdon CV5 6NF 024 7667 3353 (closed Mondays)
*Coventry Cycling Centre 140 Far Gosford Street CV1 5DY 024 7622 2997
*Halfords 36 Foleshill Road CV1 4NU 024 7622 9434
*Hawk 82-92 Foleshill Road CV1 4JJ 024 7622 2783
*Jardine Cycles 100 Jardine Crescent CV4 9PP 024 7646 0880
*Ride 6 Holbrook Lane CV6 4AB 024 7668 1102

Kenilworth
*Mike Vaughan 3-5 High Street CV8 1LY 01926 853944 (won’t repair bikes bought elsewhere)

Leamington
*Atkins – Leamington 32a Clemens Street CV31 2DN 01926 430211
*Broadribbs 56 Bedford Street CV32 5DY 01926 421428
*CH Smith 26 High Street CV31 1LW 01926 425742
*Halfords Unit H, The Shires Retail Park CV34 6RH 01926 311700
*Kelvin 61 Kelvin Road, Cubbington CV32 7TG 01926 423308

The closest shops to campus are Albany Cycles, Jardine Cycles and Mike Vaughan.

Albany Cycles is about two and a half miles by bike from the library, Jardine Cycles is just under and Mike Vaughan just over three miles. TravelCoventry bus route 12 passes though campus and close to both Albany Cycles and Mike Vaughan cycles.

Puncture repair kits are sold by a larger number of shops. Tips on avoiding punctures

Please comment if you find an error or ommision in the above information.


- 35 comments by 5 or more people Not publicly viewable

[Skip to the latest comment]
  1. Chris May

    There’s another shop in Leamington, on the High Street / Radford Road; I think it’s called ‘Smith Cycles’. The contact details I have are: 26 High Street, 01926 425742 – which may or may not still be correct.

    Also, Halfords in Leamington has an uncharacteristically well-stocked bike department. Whilst I wouldn’t necessarily rely on them to do complicated repairs on an expensive bike, they’re very handy when you need an inner tube at 7:30pm on a friday evening!

    03 Oct 2006, 12:42

  2. not a biker

    Albany is probably the easiest to get to if you’re relying on public transport (due to a broken bike for example…)

    03 Oct 2006, 19:07

  3. Travel Coventry bus service 12, which runs though main campus, also runs close to both Albany Cycles (Earlsdon Avenue South – Earlsdon Street/City Arms stop) and Mike Vaughan (Abbey Fields).

    To get to Jardine Cycles, you have to change at Hearsall Common from service 12 to service 34.

    03 Oct 2006, 20:53

  4. Hero

    Costcutters in Leaminton has puncture repair kits.. and they are open until 10.30 at night! booyakka

    05 Oct 2006, 12:31

  5. Thanks. I’ve updated the entry accordingly.

    05 Oct 2006, 13:12

  6. Catherine Fenn

    I’ve always found Mike Vaughan’s staff friendly & helpful.

    Although he’s flagged here as ‘spares only’ I have managed to wheel my bike inside when passing by and beg a quick borrow of specialist tools for fiddlesome minor adjustments. I don’t think I get special treatment for the bike being bought from them (I’ve had the current model for over 15 years now!)

    Bit confused by the Virtualbike listing as that seems to be a private address just up the road from my home?

    05 Oct 2006, 14:28

  7. I was suspicious of Virtualbike.

    I just copied the list from BT directory enquires, adding Halfords & Hawk as I know they exist but weren’t listed.

    I know the following exist

    Albany Cycles, Atkins Coventry, Halfords – Coventry, Hawk, Jardine, Ride, Mike Vaughan, Atkins Leamington, Kelvin.

    And have opinions about them (what a contrast, price-wise, between Mike Vaughan and Hawk!). But I know nothing of the others.
    Do you know whether
    *Barnett 96 Evenlode Crescent CV6 1BX
    really exists and is usually open?

    05 Oct 2006, 18:56

  8. Wiggle is my supplier of choice for most things cyclistic.

    08 Oct 2006, 11:26

  9. Greg Barton

    Virtual Bike is owned/run by a guy called Tony Ingram who’s either doing some post-grad course or teaching (I can’t remember which) in the engineering department at Warwick – I’m not entirely sure what Virtual Bike does though!

    John Atkins in Leamington is excellent – very helpful and if you mention you’re a student at Warwick you can often get a good deal, which would probably put the price roughly in line with Wiggle (and various other online retailers), Max – and you’d get proper customer service too…

    08 Oct 2006, 21:31

  10. Thanks for the info on virtual bike.

    I suppose in compiling the list I was thinking of places where you could wheel in your bike, say “looks like I need a new one of those things” and (at minimum) get a replacement to fit yourself. Most of normal shopping hours, at least say 30 hours in a week.

    I see no point in listing web retailers – it’s so easy for people to find them themselves.

    A few from my bookmarks file:

    www.bikeplus.co.uk www.bikemagic.com www.brookssaddles.com www.byercycles.co.uk www.bournesports.com www.camza.biz www.cyclestore.co.uk www.downlandcycles.co.uk www.dutchbike.co.uk www.gbcycles.co.uk www.gearshift.co.uk www.orbit-cycles.co.uk www.settlecycles.co.uk www.spacycles.co.uk www.sjscycles.com www.wiggle.co.uk www.rutlandcycling.com www.bonthronebikes.co.uk www.cycle-heaven.co.uk www.gearshift.co.uk

    08 Oct 2006, 22:27

  11. I see no point in listing web retailers it’s so easy for people to find them themselves.

    I think that personal recommendations are as important (or more important) for web retailers as for real shops. Have you bought things from all those sites that you listed?

    09 Oct 2006, 12:06

  12. I’ve bought things from all the Coventry bike shops listed, apart from Jardine. I’ve removed the line about Barnett, as when I rung the number earlier this afternoon I was informed that they ceased trading two years ago.

    As for web retailers, I’ve bought things from

    I suppose I’m more interested in getting the right product than worrying about the retailer. So I browse the websites for the the sort of thing I’m looking for.

    If I think one of the two cycle retailers I pass on the way to campus has what I want I check them first. If they do I’ve the chance to see the thing before I buy. I don’t like the bother of returning things bought over the web. Obviously postage & packing charges are a factor.

    09 Oct 2006, 16:56

  13. Greg Barton

    Are you deliberately leaving out a certain large-scale web retailer from Northern Ireland? Fair play if so – it’s good to support the local shops when possible after all, not to mention the better levels of service that they provide.

    10 Oct 2006, 15:14

  14. The retailers listed in comment 13 are just the ones I’ve used – it wouldn’t surprise me if there are plenty more web retailers which are just as good. I want to restrict the main entry to retailers within, roughly, 10 miles of main campus.

    When you visit a retailer, it’s often useful to let him/her see your bike. E.g. Catherine Fenn thought she only needed new gloves before going to a bike shop. But the retailer, seeing the state of her bike, pointed out that new grips were vital.

    10 Oct 2006, 16:46

  15. Robert O'Toole

    I’ve had experience of Broadribbs in Leam and Mike’s in Kenilworth (the nearest to my house).

    Broadribb’s were utterly woeful. Given the task of performing a full service and replacing a few simple components (at great expense), the spotty 16 year old mechanic completely failed. Not only were they a whole day late, but they missed most of the specified work and didn’t even bother setting up the gears and the brakes. The chain was still jumping off the sprockets! Just don’t go there.

    As for the fabled Mike’s, his policy of servicing and repairing only bikes that he has sold plays straight into the hands of the big chain stores and internet retaillers. I bought my Marin at a small independept shop in Oxford. That shop is prepared to help anyone with a bike from anywhere. Hence they provide support for other independent retaillers like themselves. Mike seems to be saying: “if you want to be able to get your bike serviced anywhere in the country, buy it from Halford’s”. Just dumb.

    I now take my bike to another excellent shop in Oxford (a city with a much stronger bicycle culture): Warland’s on the Botley Road. I might try John Atkin’s next time if people think that is worth a go.

    11 Oct 2006, 21:11

  16. Robert O'Toole

    I’ve posted a link to this blog post on the Cycling Forum (recently set up by Marting Davis of Engineering, but not yet receiving much publicity).

    11 Oct 2006, 21:14

  17. Catherine Fenn

    Interesting to see how easy it is to be mistunderstood!? (see 15)

    In reality I use the internet to browse for stuff but support local shops when purchasing. Repeat business more likely if I get a smile, they take an interest in what I’m looking for and/or a bit of friendly banter. (This doesn’t just apply to bike bits).

    I’m not often in Kenilworth these days (Kenilworth kid exiled to Cov by house prices) but happened to pass Mike’s during opening hours on the way back from driving to an appointment.

    Thanks to the web I knew exactly what I was looking for. Mike’s helpful staff answered my questions, I tried on lots of gloves and tested out the grips before purchasing. Job done :-)

    12 Oct 2006, 09:29

  18. Re Robert O’Toole’s comments

    There’s certainly a concern among cycle retailers about repairing “toy” cycles. The sort you buy from B&Q (or Hawk) for £99 or even less.

    Most repairs to such bikes only last a short time. The customer comes back complaining that it’s the repairer’s fault.

    So I’d sympathise with Mike Vaughan’s view. But there’s nothing to stop a repairer examining any bike before accepting it for repair and accepting bikes with made reasonable quality materials. I know it says on Mike Vaughan’s website that they don’t repair bikes bought from other shops, but if that’s the shop closest to you it might be worthwhile trying to get him to make an exception for you.

    Perhaps before anyone allows their bike to be serviced, they should insist that the mechanic who does the job is suitably qualified.

    In the 10 year campus development masterplan, there is a statement regarding the establishment of a “cycle repair centre located on Campus”. But don’t hold your breath!

    12 Oct 2006, 09:41

  19. Robert O'Toole

    There was no exception. And it certainly isn’t a toy bike. It’s a Marin, bought from a reputable small bike shop in Oxford. None of these things mattered to Mike’s Bikes. They were just not interested in supporting other small outlets.

    before anyone allows their bike to be serviced, they should insist that the mechanic who does the job is suitably qualified

    One assumes that a reputable bike shop would ensure this. I suspect it isn’t a matter of qualifications, in the case of my experience of Broadribbs, it seemed that they just didn’t care.

    15 Nov 2006, 15:56

  20. Mick

    Regarding Mike Vaughan’s, I’m a regular customer of the shop, they treat me well and I am very friendly with them. However the do sell a lot of bikes, and hence have a great deal of bikes to service. Due to this fact they seem to have decided on a policy to only service bikes they’ve sold – they have only got two workshop bays, so if the mechanics are always busy, then there’s no need for them to take on additional work. It’s also not a very big shop, if you’ve ever been out the back, there’s not much space at all.

    Really, you wouldn’t expect any other service profession just to give you an appointment to service/treat you or a product you have bought from elsewhere, there’s no reason why the bike industry should be different.

    You wouldn’t take your Ford to a Renault garage to be fixed would you? They wouldn’t have the parts and/or knowledge to fix it, plus then there’s buying in additional spares for models you haven’t sold. Good business sense doing it that way? I think not.

    17 Nov 2006, 22:04

  21. You wouldn’t take your Ford to a Renault garage to be fixed would you? They wouldn’t have the parts and/or knowledge to fix it, plus then there’s buying in additional spares for models you haven’t sold.

    I bet Mike Vaughan sells Marins and repairs the Marins he’s sold. In general bicycles are built from the same set of components – the assembler gives them their brand name.

    I do think the rather poor service offered by too many bike shops is one of the many factors which put people off cycling. Still if bike shop owners were better business people, they wouldn’t be in the bike business!

    17 Nov 2006, 22:22

  22. Graeme

    Some very interesting comments here …
    As an agent in the cycle trade and with 25 years + experience in the industry, and a partner in a cycle retailer to boot, it’s always interesting to read opinions about the way the trade works, “real” people’s practices in terms of how they go about buying, the decisions they make and how they arrive at them …

    A couple of bits of info that posters and users might find of use:
    There is system of qualification for cycle mechanics, called CyTech which has a realtionship back to the Nvq system – Nvqs 1 and 2 are CyTech-approved (and therefore supported by a wide caucus of manufacturers), Nvq3 is non-CyTech approved and supported by a narrower range of manufacturers … but CyTech 1, 2 and 3 can be awarded outside of the NVQ framework, the standard of assessment is at least as high, and C3 outguns NVQ3 in virtually every respect.

    As one poster pointed out though, just the qualification isn’t enough – the culture of the store and of the workshop has to be right.

    I agree that poor service does put people off cycling, and poor servicing of bikes makes them harder and less safe to ride, and there is no excuse for that. The basic technologies are not that complex, and all that is in general needed is a bit of application on the part of the mechanic and a good system of supervision and quality assurance.

    I’d take a bit of issue with:

    “Still if bike shop owners were better business people, they wouldn’t be in the bike business!”

    Bear in mind that some of us (many of us in fact) don’t work in the industry for want of the ability to do anything more taxing, or for want of a capacity to do anything more challenging in business terms … most bike shop owners are passionate about what they do (or at least were when they started!) and do it, as I do, because they love it. It’s pretty hard to be a squillionaire cycle shop owner, so it certainly isn’t the money, and some of us are actually quite bright, so it’s not a matter of intelligence – so it must be something! I’ll grant that there are some pretty poor business people in our industry, but they don’t in general survive very long – retail can be pretty Darwinian, believe me.

    I’d recommend Jon Atkins and Ride in Coventry, Jon Atkins in Leamington – I know they have good mechanics, the JA staff are CyTech trained and assessed – plus they are involved in niches in the sport and pastime of cycling which says a lot about the passion that they approach the business with.

    HTH

    22 Nov 2006, 18:48

  23. Well I’ve been in my local bike shop when a potential customer has come in with a puncture and the person behind the counter had refused the business.

    I’ve also heard other bad stories. My particular gripe is when they haven’t got something in stock they say they will order it, but the actual re-ordering is unusual unless the item costs over £20. I’d wish they’d be more honest, admit that it might be months before they re-stock the item and say that if I want it soon I should go elsewhere.

    While my personal experience of bike shops is rather biased towards the ones closest to me, I’ve read similar concerns raised in other parts of the country. Comment 16, for me, shows just the tip of the iceberg. Consequently I don’t want to name names, either positively or negatively.

    I wouldn’t want to see any bike shop close, they are too few and far between as it is. I think if bike shop culture improved, the whole market would grow. Not only with more people cycling but also by weaning some of us from doing our own repairs and maintenance. Or buying goods from the web.

    23 Nov 2006, 10:26

  24. Graeme

    Well, I can see that you are having a pretty poor time of it & TBH, I know that mmany shops don’t really cut it – what I had to say in my post wasn’t designed as an apologia for the cycle trade as a whole, but whilst there are some pretty awful shops out there that couldn’t organise the usual alcaholic function in a brewery, there are some (indeed I stiil think most) who really do give good customer service.

    When we’ve had seven days’ work backed up in the workshop with the guys going spare wondering where we are going to put any more bikes if they come in, we’ve been known to turn repair work away – because we can’t do the work on the spot and we don’t have room to securely store the customers bike. Something similar may have been occurring at your LBS – the difference I guess is that maybe they didn’t explain that (on the assumption there was a good reason).

    My guys are also instructed to refuse repair work bicycles that can’t be made roadworthy, and we have a brutally honest approach where customers say things like “just fit a new tube in the rear and don’t worry about the fact that the frames is bent” or whatever – in circumstances where the customer is very insistent that we do the work, we ask them to sign a disclaimer – as we are potentially liable for ANY injury that results from ANY failure of the bike if we were the last to look at it. That’s how it works :-(

    Although you are away from us in Bedford, maybe you could come and see us and hopefully that might help to dispel your disillusionment with the cycle trade …

    Cheers
    G

    27 Nov 2006, 23:00

  25. Robert O'Toole

    “you wouldn’t expect any other service profession just to give you an appointment to service/treat you or a product you have bought from elsewhere” – so you are telling me that I should go back to the small shop in Oxford to get my bike serviced? And if I am on holiday somewhere I should expect no help from the local cycle shop?

    Mike’s attitude is nonsense. I’m sure that if one of his customers went to Warlands in Oxford they would get help, and that is just a small independent shop as well. He acts in bad faith, relies on the good will of other small shops around the country, and gives nothing in return.

    Someone said that these attitudes put people off cycling. I am close to giving up. And definitely tell other people not to bother considering it as a serious method of commuting. CYCLING IS BAD NEWS! – now try to convince me otherwise.

    30 Nov 2006, 21:19

  26. Robert O'Toole

    Just to make this absolutely clear: I bought a quality bike from a small shop in Oxford, as I was living in Oxford at the time. After a few years I moved to Kenilworth. The bike shop in Kenilworth, Mike’s Bikes, refuses to do any work to help me with my bike, even small things like changing an inner tube or adjusting the gears. MY LOCAL BIKE SHOP!

    I conclude from this: do not buy from a small independent shop if you ever plan to move to another town or take your bike on holiday.

    Of course that is nonsense, as every other small independent dealer I have been to is happy to work on bikes bought from other small independent dealers.

    01 Dec 2006, 11:36

  27. Nate

    I am a first year student here at warwick and my bicycle’s tire just got flat, possibly with puncture on it. As the repair shop is so far although puncture repair kit is available at Wilkinson, but I have no idea how to use it. So, if anyone of you here has experience in fixing the puncture of the tire, please kindly contact me at N.Hoonkaeo@warwick.ac.uk and I will be more than happy to give you some money for your help repairing the tire.

    Thanks a lot, Nate

    18 Jan 2007, 22:52

  28. I’m contacting Richard Hicks who used to be a professional cycle repairer and who works on campus.

    Anyone wanting to know more about puncture repair might be interested in this webpage (if that link doesn’t work try this one and look for puncture repair).

    To keep the retail price down, most bikes are sold with cheap, poor quality tyres. They have short puncture ridden lives. If you find you’re getting too many punctures consider buying the most puncture resistant tyres known to your bicycle retailer. Generally not only do back tyres get more punctures than the front ones, the back wheel is more difficult to get off than the front.

    19 Jan 2007, 10:46

  29. More bicycle repair videos

    Failing all else, take the wheel off (see Quick Release levers video) and take the Coventry bus as far as Earlsdon where Albany Cycles should be able to fix it (phone first? 024 7667 3353)

    19 Jan 2007, 11:49

  30. Steve Rumsby

    I’m around most days, and generally carry the tools necessary to fix a puncture. Drop me an email on Monday and we can probably sort it out at lunchtime. I’m based in University House, so you’ll need to get the bike, or just the wheel, there somehow!

    20 Jan 2007, 11:21

  31. Well volunteered! The BUG mailing list does have an impact!
    You have emailed Nate directly?

    20 Jan 2007, 12:17

  32. Steve Rumsby

    Indeed I have. We’ll get him up and running again in no time!!

    20 Jan 2007, 17:00

  33. Kathryn

    Ah – that is so feelgood.

    Albany have offered to service my £99 value cycle (been off road nearly 2 years now) for £30 while Mike Vaughan only service bikes thay have sold. Luckiliy I have a car and can get my bike over to Earlsdon though I live in Kenilworth

    13 Apr 2007, 15:52

  34. I bet they won’t give too long a guarantee.

    13 Apr 2007, 18:52

  35. Wow! Lot of great information here.

    The Go Outdoors store on Canley Road, CV5 6RN (near the railway station) sells bikes and does repairs as well.

    12 Sep 2011, 14:13


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