Halfords!

by Dunluce   February 26, 2013  

I realise that Halfords do not have the greatest reputation, however my company's cycle to work scheme only operates with them. With this in mind can anyone recommend a Halfords in the London area where they have had good service (it must be possible!)

24 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

That silence you hear is road.cc users (virtually) staring at each other across the bar and shrugging their shoulders...!

Seriously though, I don't know London so I suspect someone will be along to recommend one shortly. In your position, I think I'd just pick the bike I wanted (Boardmans are generally very good bikes) then take it to a local mechanic and pay a few quid for it to be checked over.

If I could have, say, 6 bikes, would it stop me drooling over others that I don't have?

posted by notfastenough [2876 posts]
26th February 2013 - 17:32

like this
Like (1)

I would agree with notfastenough - get it then take it to your local bike shop to give it a once over and pay them £30 or so for a half service. I have used the one in St Pauls with a bike to work scheme - wasn't overly impressed - lots of loose spokes.

posted by stubrant [6 posts]
26th February 2013 - 17:43

like this
Like (0)

Yet, I used to know one LBS mechanic who left and went to work as a mechanic/assistant at Halfords.

To be fair, about the only Halfords staffer I would let touch any bike of mine, but then I had loads of bad experiences with crap LBS mechanics as well.

I now do all my own maintenance.

Best advice is learn how to yourself, especially the straightforward stuff saves time and money AND you'll know the jobs done.

posted by gazza_d [175 posts]
26th February 2013 - 17:53

like this
Like (1)

We have the same problem. But a colleague had really good service from The Old Kent road shop. Also did your company explain that you can get any bike you want not only halfords brands they stock?

posted by gavcsmith [12 posts]
26th February 2013 - 18:53

like this
Like (0)

Thanks for the replies. I guess I might try what you say; ride it a coupel of week and then pay a local shop to give it a once over. It still works out a lot cheaper with the money I save through the scheme

posted by Dunluce [59 posts]
26th February 2013 - 20:24

like this
Like (0)

Sometimes other shops accept Halfords scheme vouchers. Condor Cyckes do acxording to their website. http://www.condorcycles.com/cycle-scheme-faqs Check out who elsewhere before you settle on the limited selection at Halfords.

posted by malcolmclayton [36 posts]
26th February 2013 - 22:59

like this
Like (0)

I may be double posting...but try other shops that will accept Halfords vouchers. Condor Cycles is one I know of - see their website FAQ page for details.

posted by malcolmclayton [36 posts]
26th February 2013 - 23:04

like this
Like (2)

Come to Kilburn if you're nearby. I'm always happy to help. Setup isn't an issue and I personally check and tweak any premium bike that leaves our store. Not only that but we can do virtually any repair on any bike too and we cater for as many disciplines and of levels of rider. only thing i will say is that the majority of the high end stuff is special order..

Hope to see you soon!

George

SpeshRider7287's picture

posted by SpeshRider7287 [75 posts]
27th February 2013 - 0:40

like this
Like (0)

P.s. selection is not as limited as you'd think...

Boardman, Whistle, Cinelli, Eddy Merckx, Kinesis, Tifosi are just a few of the brands we can get on C2W..

SpeshRider7287's picture

posted by SpeshRider7287 [75 posts]
27th February 2013 - 0:46

like this
Like (0)

Have you ever considered a change of career? Devil

posted by londonplayer [671 posts]
27th February 2013 - 0:47

like this
Like (0)

Occasionally haha but few things interest me in the way that the bike industry does.

SpeshRider7287's picture

posted by SpeshRider7287 [75 posts]
27th February 2013 - 0:52

like this
Like (0)

I might just take you up on that. I'll let you know nearer the time the C2W comes out.

posted by Dunluce [59 posts]
27th February 2013 - 10:43

like this
Like (0)

I was in the same position but not being able to test ride a bike was a deal breaker for going through Halfords so I didn't use the C2W scheme in the end.

CraigS's picture

posted by CraigS [135 posts]
27th February 2013 - 12:55

like this
Like (0)

Seriously? Do Halfords not allow test rides? Surprise

FatDadOnABike's picture

posted by FatDadOnABike [13 posts]
27th February 2013 - 13:57

like this
Like (0)

That's what I was told and looking on Google it seems to be standard company policy!

CraigS's picture

posted by CraigS [135 posts]
27th February 2013 - 14:35

like this
Like (0)

FatDadOnABike wrote:
Seriously? Do Halfords not allow test rides? Surprise
CraigS wrote:
That's what I was told and looking on Google it seems to be standard company policy!

I have definitely test ridden a bike from (a fairly small and non-bike specialist) Halfords. I really wanted to see what the Boardman was like. Unfortunately, they didn't set it up properly (at all), so I couldn't actually tell Plain Face

@oddbydefault

oddbydefault's picture

posted by oddbydefault [90 posts]
28th February 2013 - 0:04

like this
Like (0)

notfastenough wrote:
I think I'd just pick the bike I wanted (Boardmans are generally very good bikes) then take it to a local mechanic and pay a few quid for it to be checked over.

I did that. Within a month the noisy BB on my £1k Boardman cost me £50 to have repaired at local bike shop. I complained to Halfords who reimbursed me fully,eventually.

The bike's back in the bike shop, after eight months, to get the BB replaced and new crank fitted at a cost of £180-£200 (don't have final bill yet). Halfords won't be picking that up.

But be warned.

posted by Eyebrox [12 posts]
28th February 2013 - 0:14

like this
Like (0)

I don't know why you spent £50 in an IBD getting the issue fixed. I'm guessing you have the Road team? The bike has BB30 bearings in the frame too right? It's a commonly known issue with BB30 bikes in general that the factory lube used in assembly is often inadequate and not enough so this can show up noises very quickly. A simple 5 min strip, clean, grease and re-torque would have solved it and cost you nothing. In my branch, I do this before the bike goes out so it never becomes an issue for the rider. Assuming there's not another side to this story, I'd say the independant bike shop cashed in on your distrust for Halfords for what was really a very quick and easy fix.

SpeshRider7287's picture

posted by SpeshRider7287 [75 posts]
28th February 2013 - 1:23

like this
Like (0)

SpeshRider7287 wrote:
I don't know why you spent £50 in an IBD getting the issue fixed ... it's a commonly known issue with BB30 bikes that the factory lube used in assembly is often inadequate and not enough so this can show up noises very quickly ... a simple 5 min strip, clean, grease and re-torque would have solved it and cost you nothing.

I could have taken the bike back under warranty. I expected a £1,000 bike to work without screeching noises coming from it within the first week of use - and without having to strip, clean, grease and 're-torque'. I asked my IBD to inspect it and they suggested a new BB30, although they did explain that this rarely solves the problem. But I asked them to go ahead, keeping my fingers crossed. It didn't work - as others have experienced, according to complaints on forums like this. I can't believe that Halfords, and more so a member of staff with an obvious keen interest in his job, accepts this so flippantly.
Halfords to its credit did pay the £50 without quibble (that tells you something) and so the job cost me nothing. I've been more than happy with the service since from my local bike shop and don't grudge them the money. It's an investment.

posted by Eyebrox [12 posts]
28th February 2013 - 19:53

like this
Like (0)

YOU DON'T HAVE TO BUY FROM HALFORDS ON THE HALFORDS SCHEME.

They do every thing they can to imply that you have to, but you don't. Ring up the Halfords CTW scheme and they'll tell you which LBS near you support it.

posted by localsurfer [160 posts]
28th February 2013 - 21:22

like this
Like (0)

I didn't mean to come across as flippant about it. I love my job as you can clearly tell and can also assure you that if you'd have bought the bike in my store, you would never have had an issue. There are plenty of stores who have great people who like myself, ensure that everything is set up perfectly i.e. carbon paste where needed, all bolts set to manufacturer torque settings, fresh grease on all bearings and copper grease on threads etc and the company has an excellent warranty process which ensures that any mechanical issues are dealt with quickly and efficiently. It's our sole aim to make sure that you as a customer, enjoy your purchase and to deal with problems like this effectively and efficiently when they do occur..

I'm all for supporting independent stores too and I use my local IBD as well as my own store as the guys are like minded people who are extremely passionate about what they do. Regarding the new bearings that your IBD suggested, they were right in saying that it probably wouldn't have solved the issue. There are only 2 things that will keep your bb30 running quietly and that's lots of grease and keeping it free of grit. Same goes for any bike with bb30. Grease is far cheaper than new cranks and bearings though so speaking from a mechanics point of view, to me it would have made more sense to try that first.

SpeshRider7287's picture

posted by SpeshRider7287 [75 posts]
7th March 2013 - 18:45

like this
Like (0)

No offence SpeshRider but although there are certainly good stores and good people at Halfords there is a great deal of inconsistency in the quality of knowledge and service and I have found it to be poor more often than not. The reason for this is clearly the HR policy, they pay really badly. Seriously you can do a much easier job for more money in the independent sector even if Halfords is your only experience, if you did well at it that is. I worked at Halfords for two years having previously been in independant, my Bikehut was good, best in the area if the league tables were to be believed, I trained other folk to be mechanics, always got my sales and KPI targets and most importantly the customers seemed to be happy and kept coming back, then I'd lose the bonus that I needed for a living wage because the car guys couldn't be bothered fitting light bulbs and the store manager had overspent her wage budget by paying her friend to come in and do F all with her. There are good points about both working and shopping at Halfords, but there is too high a risk of having to deal with some spotty 17 year old who lost his interest in bikes as soon as he was old enough to get a provisional driving license or worse still having him set up your bike.

posted by drfabulous0 [257 posts]
8th March 2013 - 0:18

like this
Like (0)

"There are only 2 things that will keep your bb30 running quietly and that's lots of grease and keeping it free of grit. Same goes for any bike with bb30. Grease is far cheaper than new cranks and bearings though so speaking from a mechanics point of view, to me it would have made more sense to try that first."

-I've got a BB30 which has developed a bit of a creak, only when I'm out of the saddle. Speshrider, do you have to get the bearings out to re-grease, and if so is this easy to do without dismantling them, or can I just take the cranks off and grease around the bearings in place? (I'm nowhere near Kilburn, or I'd bring it in for you to look at!) Thanks

posted by benezeir [51 posts]
8th March 2013 - 10:43

like this
Like (0)

benezeir wrote:
" I've got a BB30 which has developed a bit of a creak, only when I'm out of the saddle. Speshrider, do you have to get the bearings out to re-grease, and if so is this easy to do without dismantling them, or can I just take the cranks off and grease around the bearings in place? (I'm nowhere near Kilburn, or I'd bring it in for you to look at!) Thanks

Best way is to remove cranks, clean and lightly sand rough areas back to a shine using a fine sandpaper, clean bearing surfaces and around bearing seals, brush a small amount of grease over all contact surfaces and re-fit cranks. If problem persists after a mile of riding (the grease needs to work its way in) then it's either new bearing time or (less likely but still worth checking) a small fracture in the frame..

Apologies for the lateness of my reply. Hope this helps..

SpeshRider7287's picture

posted by SpeshRider7287 [75 posts]
5th April 2013 - 22:52

like this
Like (0)