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“All the right parts, but not necessarily in the right places”: Halfords’ questionable bike set-up ridiculed; Master Troll Chris Froome pokes fun at transfer saga drama with timely training photo; Cycling and walking MP steps down + more on the live blog

Having finally bothered to put this Christmas tree up over the weekend, a surprisingly festive Ryan Mallon is back with all your latest cycling updates on the Monday live blog

SUMMARY

11 December 2023, 09:06
“You would never display a bike like this if you knew anything about bikes”: Halfords’ questionable display bike set-up – complete with backwards front fork – ridiculed by cyclists

Remember the old annuals you’d get as a child at Christmas, the ones that would be jampacked with word searches and ‘spot the difference’-style games (and the occasional thought-provoking article, I suppose), designed to keep you entertained while the turkey was in the oven?

Well, it appears that Halfords have capitalised on that festive nostalgia, by treating us all to a pre-Christmas game of ‘Spot the glaring errors in this display bike set-up’:

Spotted them yet? Good.

This, shall we say, interesting set-up (I will refrain from mentioning the shop’s location, to protect the guilty or uninterested) inevitably provoked some festive merriment on the ol’ social media box.

“All the right parts, but not necessarily in the right places,” said Isaac, while our favourite road safety expert Dr Robert Davis asked, “What could possibly go wrong?”

“I fixed a mate’s bike that arrived like that,” added Gordon. “Its handling was, uh, quite exciting. Beyond nimble. I didn’t hurt myself much.”

Meanwhile, while you were all focused on the front fork and suspension, Edouard managed to snag some bonus points:

… And Secret Squirrel also twigged that the “crappy cable lock” was unsecured. Excellent spotting skills!

Other less jovial types, however, pointed out that the bike isn’t properly set up and is just there for display purposes, that it can be easily rectified, and so could everybody calm down, please and thank you.

Though some weren’t as forgiving, with Daneel arguing that “you would never display a bike like this if you knew anything about bikes”.

And some noted the real-world implications of displaying a bike with an inherently problematic set-up, as several Bikeability teachers jumped into the comments, claiming that they see this kind of monstrosity “every week”.

“The number of bikes I've seen like this is quite surprising,” says Richard. “Often it’s the parents having assembled the bikes after ordering online, but to do it in one of their own shops is unforgiveable.”

“Unfortunately this is soooo common,” Bike Futures wrote. “Usually one to three bikes per Dr Bike event.”

“It happens way too often,” The Havering branch of the London Cycling Campaign said. “We think it’s an instore process issue and we've tried to ask Halfords how they think it might be fixed but sadly they don’t seem interested.”

Or maybe we’ve got it all wrong, and Halfords are simply heading back to the 1960s for some design inspiration:

Finally, Canesten summed up the whole thing up: “What the fork are you on about?”

Don’t worry, I wonder the same thing to myself every Monday morning on the live blog…

11 December 2023, 16:36
Another ban for Lotto Dstny as Maxim Van Gils slapped with 25-day suspension for hitting rider in the head during sprint

The suspensions are fairly racking up for Lotto Dstny at the moment, aren’t they?

After their former DS Carl Roes was handed a six-month ban for hitting a race marshal with his team car, the Belgian team’s up-and-coming young rider Maxim Van Gils has been sidelined for 25 days by the UCI for striking rival Georgios Bouglas – with his hands this time – during the sprint for the line at the Japan Cup Criterium in October.

The incident took place just after Lidl-Trek’s Edward Theuns won the sprint finish in Utsunomiya, with TV cameras clearly capturing Van Gils taking his hands off the handlebars to hit 32-year-old Greek pro Bouglas around the back of the head, before turning to berate the Matrix Powertag rider.

The 23-year-old Belgian, who finished second on stage 13 of this year’s Tour de France on the Grand Colombier after impressing during the hilly spring classics, was immediately fined 50 CHF and docked 10 UCI points by the governing body.

Maxim Van Gils punches Georgios Bouglas  during Japan Cup Criterium

> Lotto Dstny pro apologises for hitting rider after reacting to “dangerous behaviour” during sprint

“We sincerely regret the behaviour of our rider Maxim Van Gils in the Japan Cup Criterium. Maxim and the team want to apologise for his gesture at the end of race,” Lotto Dstny said in a statement released shortly after the race.

However, during his own apology, Van Gils claimed that the incident was a reaction to “dangerous behaviour” from Bouglas during the 33km criterium.

Footage of the chaotic sprint finish appears to show the Greek rider taking his hands off the bars to push a Jayco-AlUla rider, who then veers across into Van Gils’ path, almost causing him to crash. However, the 23-year-old accepted that his post-race retaliation was “wrong”.

“I deeply regret what I did and I already apologised to the race jury,” Van Gils said in his statement. “They gave me a fine (50 CHF) and I will lose some UCI points.

“The gesture was a reaction on the dangerous behaviour of another rider, but I know that what I did was wrong. It was a reaction in the heat of the moment, but a wrong one and I should not have punched him and kept my hands on the handlebar.

“I accept the penalty of the UCI and I apologise for what I did. This is also an important lesson for the future to keep myself calm in situations like this and to react in a proper way after the race.”

In a statement released this afternoon, the UCI said that Van Gils has also been handed a 25 day suspension for his retaliatory strike, which will come into effect on 20 January, ruling him out of some early season preparation races.

Lotto Dstny, eh? Can’t take them anywhere…

11 December 2023, 10:58
Chris Froome training ride photo with Cian Uijtdebroeks (Chris Froome, Twitter)
Chris Froome, Master Troll: Four-time Tour winner joins in on the fun with timely training photo with Cian Uijtdebroeks while cycling world descends into meltdown over Belgian rider’s transfer saga – as Patrick Lefevere tells Bora boss “don’t cry now”

Forget your Coronation Streets and your Hollyoaks, because the professional cycling scene is where you’ll find your most outrageous storylines, petty squabbles, and over-the-top characters this winter.

Because, just when you thought the soap opera narrative had finally died down with the definitive quashing of those Jumbo-Visma/Soudal Quick-Step merger rumours, up steps Visma once again with more off-bike drama over the weekend.

If you haven’t been keeping up with the explosive shenanigans surrounding Cian Uijtdebroeks’ future, grab the popcorn, because here’s a quick run-through of the goss…

On Saturday evening, the Dutch team – who will be known as Visma-Lease a Bike from 1 January – shocked the cycling world by announcing that they had signed the promising 20-year-old grand tour contender Uijtdebroeks on a four-year deal.

That piece of news, on the face of it, shouldn’t come as much of a shock. There was clear friction between Uijtdebroeks and his Bora-Hansgrohe teammate Aleksandr Vlasov during the Vuelta, as the pair finished eighth and seventh on GC respectively. And in October the young Belgian added further fuel to the squad harmony fire by publicly criticising the team’s bike set-up and mechanical issues, stating that “it would be nice if my bikes were in order”.

> Pro rider quick to slam Bora-Hansgrohe for "out of order" Specialized TT bikes

So it makes sense that Uijtdebroeks would seek a way out of a team rife with internal tensions, to join Jumbo-Visma – a team, errr, famously rife with internal tensions, publicly played out on the roads of Spain in September. Whatever you think’s best, Cian.

Anyway… After Jumbo-Visma’s transfer announcement, Bora-Hansgrohe immediately hit back on social media denying that any transfer had been agreed, and claimed that the 20-year-old had not signed for the Dutch team, and would be staying with them until the end of his contract in December 2024.

Uijtdebroeks’ agent then claimed that the rider’s Bora contract had been terminated on 1 December, before he signed with Jumbo-Visma, and that “legal proceedings” had been initiated – while Wielerflits also reported that Bora are seeking around €1 million from the Dutch team to buy out the Belgian rider’s contract.

Visma-Lease a Rider, more like. Geddit?

Cian Uijtdebroeks 2023 (Zac Williams/SWpix.com)

(Zac Williams/SWpix.com)

Of course, this isn’t the first time that Jumbo-Visma have been involved in a messy, protracted transfer saga. Back in 2018, Wout van Aert ripped up his contract with Nick Nuyens’ Verandas Willems-Crelan team in order to join the yellow and black outfit, a decision that ultimately resulted in Van Aert being forced to pay his former team manager €662,000 following a three-year legal battle.

And it didn’t take long this weekend for rival team managers to aim a few pop shots at the parties involved in cycling’s latest amateur dramatics production.

Under Jumbo-Visma boss Richard Plugge’s Twitter posts welcoming Uijtdebroeks to the team, Cofidis manager Cédric Vasseur replied: “What is that again for the AIGCP [association of professional teams] president??? You have to respect the rules and resign immediately!!! Get out.”

Meanwhile, it was no surprise that the ever-outspoken Soudal Quick-Step boss Patrick Lefevere was itching to get involved, first pointing out that Uijtdebroeks and his agent should respect their deal with Bora, and that all three parties need to agree to the move under the UCI’s rules, before then aiming this rather bizarre drive-by social media post in the direction of Bora manager Ralph Denk:

“On 21/1/2021 I met Ralph Denk in Brussels. We agreed to wait to do an offer at Remco Evenepoel until at least end of [March] 31 after I released my riders if I didn’t had a future. [March] 8 he did an written offer to the father of Remco. So please don’t cry now,” the always tactful Lefevere wrote.

On the lighter side of things, it was no surprise to anyone that Intermarché-Circus-Wanty’s social media admin soon got involved:

Classic.

While Chris Froome – enjoying his late-career role as the peloton’s resident wind up merchant – decided to wade into the saga’s murky depths by posting this cheeky photo of an Israel-Premier Tech training camp ride yesterday… complete with a plain black-top (and Bora helmet) sporting Uijtdebroeks chilling at the back:

“Good to have Cian Uijtdebroeks join us on the team ride today,” Froome wrote, sitting back in his armchair, cigar in hand, chuckling to himself (I assume).

Oh, the transfer drama – who says cycling can’t be like football? I for one can’t wait for Jim White to appear outside the Jumbo-Visma hotel during their training camp next week…

11 December 2023, 15:56
What do you get if you cross Lawrence of Arabia, Norman Tebbit, the Specials, and Steve Thomas? A delightful reflection on a life-long love of cycling, that’s what…
11 December 2023, 15:22
Time to add ‘bath with ornate feet’ to the ever-lengthening list of things you can carry by bike…

> I borrowed a cargo bike to get a chest of drawers across London – and it was great fun 

11 December 2023, 14:54
Lotto Dstny sports director suspended (RTV)
Former Lotto Dstny sports director who drove into race marshal suspended by the UCI for six months

The UCI has suspended former Lotto Dstny sports director Carl Roes for six months, following a shocking incident at the GP Rik Van Looy in September, which saw Roes knock a race marshal to the ground with his team car as he attempted to rejoin the race route behind the peloton.

In footage captured by a spectator at the side of the road and shared by RTV’s YouTube channel, a marshal can be seen attempting to temporarily prevent Roes – who was off-course as the video begins – from rejoining the race convoy as it emerges from a junction.

However, rather than waiting, Roes then drove into the marshal, knocking him to the ground, before speeding off.

The incident was reported immediately after the Belgian race, with both the team and the sports director apologising to the marshal involved.

Lotto Dstny also suspended Roes, who later resigned from his position as a DS at the Belgian squad’s development team.

> "Very unfortunate and unacceptable": Lotto Dstny sports director suspended for running over race marshal, as police investigate footage

“This is a very unfortunate and unacceptable incident,” the Lotto Dstny CEO Stéphane Heulot said at the time. “As soon as we heard this news we suspended the team leader. There is no excuse for such behaviour, it simply should not happen in a race. We would also like to express our apologies to the signalman and the organisation.

“Carl realises that he has made a mistake. He already spoke to the signalman and apologised. We take this matter very seriously and are now considering further measures. Until then, Carl will no longer take action.”

And now, the UCI has slapped the 55-year-old with a six-month ban from the sport, which will start on 20 January 2024.

“Upon returning to the course from a deviation, Carl Roes, Sport Director and driver of the Lotto Dstny Development Team, ignored the instructions of a race marshal, manoeuvred around him, and pushed him to the ground,” the governing body said in a statement.

“The safety of riders, people in the race convoy, and along the roadside is a priority for the UCI. It therefore cannot tolerate conduct that compromises safety at competitions on its International Calendar and reminds all its stakeholders of the need to comply with its regulations or face disciplinary action.”

11 December 2023, 14:25
Motorcyclist who failed drug test jailed for causing crash which left cyclist needing leg amputated

A motorcyclist has been jailed after admitting to using cannabis before causing a horrible collision which left a female cyclist needing her leg amputated.

Samuel James was jailed for three and a half years at Basildon Crown Court on Friday, which heard that the 29-year-old motorcyclist had “never passed a driving test, had no insurance, and was travelling with fake plates”.

Samuel James/ St Nicholas Lane, Basildon (Essex Police/Google Maps)

Read more: > Motorcyclist who failed drug test jailed for causing crash which left cyclist needing leg amputated

11 December 2023, 14:02
2021 Strava app
Strava appoints Google executive Michael Martin as CEO following year-long search

This afternoon Strava announced the appointment of Michael Martin, a veteran tech, media, and retail executive with three decades of experience working for the likes of Nike, Disney, and Google, as the company’s new CEO, following an almost year-long search that commenced in the wake of co-founder Michael Horvath’s decision to step down in February.

The search for Horvath’s successor began just weeks after the popular ride-tracking app was heavily criticised by its users over a controversial subscription price hike of almost 30 percent, which forced the company to insist that its intention “was not to hide these pricing changes”.

> Strava apologises for price hike controversy

Meanwhile, Martin’s appointment comes hot on the heels of Strava launching a new in-app messaging feature.

“I’m thrilled to join Strava,” Martin, who will join Strava’s board of directors on 2 January after leaving his current role as the general manager of YouTube Shopping, said in a statement today.

“My experience has shown me that motivating people to become more active is a massive and universal challenge. I am in awe of what Michael, Mark, and the Strava team have built. As a member of the Strava community, it is a dream to join this company and have the opportunity to take it to the next level in service of athletes everywhere.”

strava hero

> Strava introduces messaging - you can now communicate with your friends on the app

Hovarth, who co-founded Strava 15 years ago alongside Mark Gainey, added: “I am incredibly proud of what the Strava team has accomplished, especially during the past four years during which we built our subscription with the needs of our community in mind and strengthened our foundation for future growth.

“In Michael Martin, I am confident we found a leader I can pass the baton to and who can build Strava’s momentum even further. I look forward to supporting him as Executive Advisor to the CEO.”

11 December 2023, 13:33
Professional cycling, 2024: The boy band era

It’s new kit season (un unhinged corner of the cycling internet throws their beers in the air in celebration) and – apparently for 2024 – that means only one thing: pro cyclists posing like they’re starring in a late-era Take That music video.

First up was Tadej Pogačar and Tim Wellens – the Robbie Williams and Gary Barlow of cycling, some might say – and their ‘experimental third album’ photo shoot, as UAE Team Emirates unveiled a very white new look for next season (perhaps to make Tadej feel a bit better about no longer being eligible for the young rider’s jersey at the Tour, after 42 consecutive victories?)…

Then Bahrain-Victorious opted for a more S Club 7 vibe:

I’m not sure who’s inflicted more damage on the planet: UAE and Bahrain’s sportswashing activities, or Simon Cowell and Stock Aitken Waterman?

Actually, on second thought, probably best not answer that…

11 December 2023, 12:52
Pass the sick bag! Why do hard sprint efforts on the bike make you want to vomit?

I’d always assumed it was because I’m terribly unfit, but apparently not. Although my definition of ‘hard sprint effort’ may be somewhat to different to most cyclists’, I suppose…

Anyway, what better way to spend your lunch than thinking about vomit?

Why do hard sprint efforts on the bike make you want to vomit Dec 2023

> Pass the sick bag! Why do hard sprint efforts on the bike make you want to vomit? 

11 December 2023, 12:26
Nextbike Penarth
Nextbike cycle hire scheme scrapped in Cardiff after 3,000 bikes were stolen or vandalised since 2018

Cycle hire provider Nextbike has pulled out of Cardiff for good after 3,000 bikes were stolen or vandalised since the scheme was introduced in 2018.

The company said the rate of vandalism this year had made it “unfeasible” to continue to offer a “good service”.

The scheme in Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan has been Nextbike’s most successful across the UK in terms of usage, boasting two million rentals in both counties over the last five years.

However, the news that the South Wales scheme – which was originally contracted to end in 2025 – will judder to a premature halt in January comes almost exactly two years after the hire bikes were initially removed from the region as part of a two-month suspension while damaged bikes were repaired.

Nextbike Cardiff (screenshot via BBC News report)

> Nextbike resumes Cardiff cycle hire following "staggering" vandalism and thefts

At the time, Nextbike – which employs around 17 people in the Welsh capital – hired a private investigation firm to help deal with the escalating vandalism, theft, and threats against staff.

One incident included an employee being urinated on, while another was threatened with a shovel as they tried to recover a bike. Instances of vandalism had also become more extreme since the scheme’s launch in 2018, with some bikes dumped in rivers and others set on fire.

Nextbike’s Jess Strangward said at the weekend: “It is sad that we have had to take the decision to close the Cardiff service as I know it was well used and liked by residents.

“Unfortunately, the rate of vandalism this year meant it was unfeasible for us to continue and offer a good service.”

Despite the widespread vandalism, Cardiff councillor Dan De’Ath told the BBC that the local authority was “optimistic” it could find a new bike share partner.

“The Cardiff and Vale cycle-hire scheme has, despite its challenges, been an immensely popular scheme with a significant number of users,” said De’Ath, the council’s cabinet member for transport, said.

“I want them to know that it is our intention to see a new cycle hire scheme return to the city as soon as possible.

“We now need to find a way, using the latest technology, which will make it harder for people intent on vandalising or stealing bikes to get away with their actions.”

Bronwen Brooks, cabinet member of Vale of Glamorgan council, also said she was “disappointed” that the “popular” scheme was being axed.

“The council will continue to operate the Brompton Bike hire system in Llantwit Major and is currently exploring options to replace the Nextbike scheme,” she said.

11 December 2023, 11:59
UPDATE: Royale European Coaches confirms that driver who told cyclist he was “not really bothered” about killing someone on the roads is suspended pending a “full investigation”

In an update to yesterday’s story on the close passing school coach driver – who nonchalantly told a cyclist that was “not really bothered” about killing someone on the roads during a confrontation – Royale European Coaches, the driver’s employer, has confirmed that he has been suspended amid a “full investigation”.

“We are aware of the incident and social media reporting, and have commenced a full investigation. The driver has been suspended pending these enquiries,” a spokesperson for the company told road.cc this morning said.

School coach driver tells cyclist he’s “not really bothered” about killing someone after close pass (Chapona Bike, X)

Read more: > School coach driver tells cyclist he’s “not really bothered” about killing someone after close pass

11 December 2023, 11:38
Ruth Cadbury MP (APPCG)
All Party Parliamentary Group for Cycling and Walking co-chair Ruth Cadbury steps down to become Shadow Justice Minister

Ruth Cadbury, the Labour MP for Brentford and Isleworth, has stepped down as co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Cycling and Walking (APPGCW), after being appointed Shadow Justice Minister by Sir Keir Starmer.

A former policy advisor for Sustrans, Cadbury first joined the APPGCW upon being elected in 2015, becoming co-chair at the same time. Since then, she has overseen key reports launched by the group, including the 2023 Road Justice Report, and helped boost the attendance of events such as the annual parliamentary bike ride.

She will be replaced as co-chair by fellow Labour MP Fabian Hamilton, the group’s treasurer since 2015, while Selaine Saxby will continue in her role as co-chair.

> “Dangerous driving is a choice”: Cycling and walking MPs call for tougher sentences for motorists driving larger cars, as well as strict enforcement of speed limits

“Being co-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Cycling and Walking has been a hugely important role to me as an MP,” Cadbury said today in a statement. “During my time, we have made some significant progress in enabling more people across the country to walk and cycle, but there is still a lot to do.

“Although I won’t be involved with the group, I will continue to be a vocal champion for active travel, and all the benefits that it brings.”

National Active Travel Commissioner Chris Boardman added: “Ruth has been a staunch advocate of Active Travel and during her time as Chair, she managed to make this a strong cross-party issue.

“We will miss Ruth’s authentic and passionate leadership of the APPG. I have no doubt she will remain committed to the lifelong mission of ensuring everyone has the right to travel under their own steam.”

11 December 2023, 10:29
ASMR, but for maintenance-conscious cyclists

With the number of people commenting “This is so satisfying” in the comments, I reckon we could be onto something here – the latest trend in bike-focused relaxation techniques perhaps?

Or maybe we’ll just stick to Froomey doing it the old-fashioned way:

> Chris Froome dives into the world of ASMR with surprisingly funny Factor video… and even touches the disc brake rotor

Ryan joined road.cc in December 2021 and since then has kept the site’s readers and listeners informed and enthralled (well at least occasionally) on news, the live blog, and the road.cc Podcast. After boarding a wrong bus at the world championships and ruining a good pair of jeans at the cyclocross, he now serves as road.cc’s senior news writer. Before his foray into cycling journalism, he wallowed in the equally pitiless world of academia, where he wrote a book about Victorian politics and droned on about cycling and bikes to classes of bored students (while taking every chance he could get to talk about cycling in print or on the radio). He can be found riding his bike very slowly around the narrow, scenic country lanes of Co. Down.

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27 comments

Avatar
wtjs | 2 months ago
0 likes

I've had my own problems with Halfords (Intercity folder) but that was purely the tyres which were duff and there were no new ones available for the rare 20" wheel variant they'd chosen, and I built it myself. When I ordered a Boardman from Lancaster Halfords in 2020 on behalf of a now 82 year old, it was both an excellent bike and well assembled- everything was in the right place. I haven't had to do much to it since then, except fit the rather good Halfords mudguards which was hard work, as mudguards always are. I redid the wheel cones as I always do, but they weren't bad.

Avatar
fwhite181 | 2 months ago
1 like

As a Cardiff cyclist, the loss of Next Bike is a shame, but unsurprising. The police were essentially useless and did nothing to discourage theft and vandalism of the bikes. They're a very distinctive design and so any bike of that shape without the electronics/lock was obviously stolen. However, I repeatedly saw police officers just stroll past people riding what can only be stolen bikes, doing nothing about it. Same with people vandalising bikes still locked into stands. 

I applaud Next Bike for trying to stop it with their own investigators, but if the actual law enforcement give not a fig, it was always a dead horse being flogged. 

Hopefully somebody can come up with a less-stealable version of the scheme. 

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to fwhite181 | 2 months ago
0 likes

A little surprised at this as they've been operating in Glasgow for years now and indeed in plenty of other places.

Places that have quit have often been startup operators or dockless IIRC - there seems to be some kind of correlation between more "free and easy" (like Edinburgh's justeat bikes) the more theft / vandalism.

Not sure if Cardiff has worse anti-social behaviour, or crap policing or whether there are any differences in the NextBike operation there?  Looks similar e.g. docking locations rather than dockless?

Avatar
BIRMINGHAMisaDUMP | 2 months ago
1 like

Against my advice a nephew of mine bought a bike from Halfords. I went round to check it and lo - the forks were facing the incorrect way. Typical, methought.  What are the chances of that; a Halfords' bike with the forks facing backwards? Well, according to the Bikesbility instructors about 1 in 3 chance. The things that gets me - especially on the display version mentioned here, is don't they even notice that the disc brake rotors are not symmetrical? I.e. one rotor is on the left side of the bike and the other is on the right side. Wouldn't that strike you as being 'odd'? 

Avatar
eburtthebike | 2 months ago
2 likes

My Halfords story is that when I used to fix bikes for a living, I had a spate of bikes with the front brake cable wrapped around the head tube, so that when you turned, the brake was applied.  They were all assembled by Halfords, and one customer said that he queeried it, but was assured by the mechanic that was how it was supposed to be.

Not Halfords, but at a Dr Bike, the owner had assembled it himself and the curved brake blocks were, incredibly, curved the wrong way, so instead of matching the curve of the rim, they touched in two points.

Avatar
wycombewheeler replied to eburtthebike | 2 months ago
0 likes

eburtthebike wrote:

Not Halfords, but at a Dr Bike, the owner had assembled it himself and the curved brake blocks were, incredibly, curved the wrong way, so instead of matching the curve of the rim, they touched in two points.

most brake blocks only have a single point of contact witht he rim, but these have two, so twice as effective.

Avatar
Bigfoz | 2 months ago
2 likes

I checked a bike fit for a friend who bought a bike on Ride to Work, via Halfords. Was shocked to note after 1 short ride the brake blocks were all half out of the holders. Yup, fitted wrong way round, all 4. It was a deathtrap. Instead of checking his basic fit, we ended up spending half a day rectifying faults, including incorrrectly fitted brake blocks, bad cone adj, loose Sti levers,  wrong size seatpost, and a loose front brake caliper. Only think I buy from there now is screenwash

Avatar
NickSprink | 2 months ago
0 likes

I haven't bought a bike from Halfords since 1994.  I learned my lesson

Avatar
Matthew Acton-Varian replied to NickSprink | 2 months ago
3 likes

The Boardman range are pretty decent, I'd just advise not to ask for it assembled, and take it down to your LBS who are much more competent.

It might cost a bit more overall but at least you know your bike will work properly. I'm still riding a 12 years old model (albeit I had bought it second hand nearly 7 years ago) and it punches well above its weight.

The more expensive Boardmans are availble online from Tredz, but I don't know of any independent retailes who stock them. But as most LBS don't stock bikes at the same price point they are unlikely to be offended.

Some even offer services for Direct To Consumer brands to build them up for you.

Generally speaking the markup on new bikes is much smaller than that on spares and workshop jobs, so it's a nice service to have.

 

Avatar
mark1a replied to Matthew Acton-Varian | 2 months ago
1 like

Matthew Acton-Varian wrote:

The more expensive Boardmans are availble online from Tredz, but I don't know of any independent retailes who stock them. But as most LBS don't stock bikes at the same price point they are unlikely to be offended.

They're all available from both Halfords & Tredz across the whole range now, there's no difference. The independent Boardman dealers have all gone now, and there's no longer a Boardman Elite range as such.

Example, top of the range SLR:

https://www.boardmanbikes.com/gb_en/products/2360-slr-9.6-disc-2021.html

Links to buy are here:

https://www.halfords.com/bikes/road-bikes/boardman-slr-9.6-disc-mens-roa...

https://www.tredz.co.uk/.Boardman-SLR-9-6-2023-Road-Bike_228746.htm

 

Avatar
Matthew Acton-Varian replied to mark1a | 2 months ago
0 likes

The SLR9 range is rarely seen in store though. In fact the Halfords near me has hardly any drop bar bikes in stock. I've only ever seen and ADV8.8 and a womens ADV8.6 and that's it.

Avatar
mark1a replied to Matthew Acton-Varian | 2 months ago
3 likes

I think the expectation is to order online and have delivered to store - I've done that myself (obviously selecting "do not build" on checkout).

Avatar
NOtotheEU replied to NickSprink | 2 months ago
4 likes
NickSprink wrote:

I haven't bought a bike from Halfords since 1994.  I learned my lesson

I worked for them for a few months pre-Christmas 1990 building display bikes. They asked about my experience & took it on face value when I said I'd been fixing my own bikes since childhood. I'd never worked on anything newer than friction shifters and cottered cranks but the mechanic was amazing & taught me a lot. He only touched repairs though & the other employees knew less about bikes than me. All the manager cared about was building as many as possible as quickly as possible so I imagine things are still the same.
The beautiful white & peppermint green Raleigh Equipe I got with an employee discount made it all worthwhile.

Avatar
peted76 | 2 months ago
3 likes

That ASMR video makes me want to clean my own jockey wheels... 

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levestane replied to peted76 | 2 months ago
2 likes

Is this the most satifying maintainence job of all?

Avatar
Tom_77 | 2 months ago
0 likes

Once upon a time, I bought a new bike and it arrived like this with the handlebars turned 90 degrees. I turned the handlebars 90 degrees the wrong way so they ended up backwards.

I noticed it was wrong the first time I got on the bike, the toe overlap was rather severe.

Avatar
GMBasix | 2 months ago
4 likes

Well, I bought my Carrera and it seemed to run OK, but I saw the display model in the shop when I went in to buy some left-handed screwdrivers they said I'd need, and it was completely different.

So I went back and rectified mine straight away.

Takes a bit of getting used to, but safety is paramount, right?!

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Kapelmuur | 2 months ago
1 like

I started cycling in 2012 to get fit and bought my first road bike from Halfords.

It was presented to me fully assembled, but as I started to pedal proudly away from the shop I suddenly descended painfully onto the top tube.   They had forgotten to tighten the seat clamp.

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Rendel Harris | 2 months ago
0 likes

Additional bike set up point (Not quite as egregious as the forks, obviously) is that the saddle looks to be a good 6 inches below the level of the handlebars, so unless this has been set up for somebody 6 feet tall with a 26 inch inside leg…

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bigwheeler88 | 2 months ago
2 likes

That Carrera is an accident waiting to happen. Don't normally say this but I hope whoever rides it is wearing a helmet, because it might actually make a difference for once!

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Flintshire Boy replied to bigwheeler88 | 2 months ago
1 like

.

Right again, Ren Dell. You da man.

.

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Gitaroo | 2 months ago
1 like

There's a bike shop in Newcastle (Backyard Bike Shop) who have a YouTube channel dedicated to Chilled Builds.

https://www.youtube.com/@JimmidNicholls

Worth checking out if you want some more ASMR adjacent bike content.

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brooksby replied to Gitaroo | 2 months ago
0 likes

Was that grass or human hair that the Instagrammer was extracting from inside the jockey wheels? 

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Reiver2768 replied to brooksby | 2 months ago
0 likes

I really hope it was grass.

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andystow replied to Reiver2768 | 2 months ago
1 like

Reiver2768 wrote:

I really hope it was grass.

Yes, if you get all the grass out, the cyclist will stop recording motorists and reporting them.

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Steve K | 2 months ago
8 likes

I caught the end of an interview on the early business news section of the Today programme this morning with someone from FedEx.  The interviewer was asking about the implications of the growing number of delivery vans, and it was great to hear the interviewee (unprompted) bigging up cargo bikes as part of the solution.

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OldRidgeback | 2 months ago
4 likes

I've seen loads of bikes assembled like the Carrera pictured. I've sorted out quite a few when I've had a set of Allen keys with me and I've advised quite a few parents that their kids' bikes are unsafe and shouldn't be ridden until they've been sorted when I haven't. 

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