Part Two: In which alliances are permanently changed and inadequacies are revealed.
If you saw the first part, you’ll be aware of the difficulty that I encountered when I tried to get Fly serviced and the unfortunate case of the slipping third gear. After five return trips to Evans Cycles on the Cut, a complaints email then yet another visit to speak with the chief mechanic at the store, I was assured that I would receive a call and the whole thing would be sorted poste-haste. At this stage the outcome was as follows:
- I received a £20 Evans Cycles voucher.
- I spoke to Raf the Workshop Manager at the Cut store who told me that a) my brakes were fine and b) he agreed that a new hub should be ordered and he would do that then call me the following day.
My observations, two months on, are that firstly, I have yet to hear anything from Evans Cycles and thus have a good idea of what I’d like to do with the voucher I really shouldn’t have settled for; and secondly, it was immediately clear that when I told them that my brake pads had been replaced against my wishes and now they were virtually useless in the rain, they tested them and told me they were fine … dry.
Indeed so close did I come to the end of my tether that I almost came to believe that (as the staff at Evans had told me)my poor bicycle had reached the end of her life span.
That said, I began to research alternatives, including the complete overhaul that I had originally budgeted for when I took Fly into Evans Cycles the Cut in August. It intrigues me that according to their staff my bicycle was both in good shape and ready for the scrapheap at the same time.
Furthermore, the brakes that I hadn’t asked for had resulted in two flats within a month on a bicycle that had never had a flat before, so in a final desperate bid, I paid a visit to The London Cyclist‘s blog, and thanks to this entry, pedaled up to Theobald’s Place one afternoon before work and checked Fly in to The London Bicycle Workshop. Needless to say, by the time I’d made it through their doors I was tired of being in bike shops and keen to just get Fly as healthy as possible, by whatever means. The shop is a comfortable size without any fussy decorations or sales strategies, when I went, it was just two guys and a sense that they really knew what they were talking about and wanted to help. I didn’t feel guilty for not being an expert on bicycle maintenance or for turning up in a summer dress and with flowers around my basket. When I said I wanted new wheels they didn’t ask me why, just checked over my original 1978 tyres and said the rims were ok so just new tyres might be more suitable.
Within minutes they had decided on a course of action: a new pair of road tyres (at my request), a new set of cables and a new chain. Both of the latter, as I had suspected, were rusted, yet Evans had pointedly disagreed and refused to replace them even when the sole purpose of my initial visit had been to get my cables replaced.
The service – both the customer service, and the service done on my bike – was impeccable, and a mere couple of hours after I had dropped Fly off, I retrieved her from the shop and found her practically good as new.
All in all, this is a veritable success story.
And yes, my top gear is now fully functional. Without fuss. And without a new hub.
Without the utter fail on behalf of Evans Cycles, I would probably never have found The London Bicycle Workshop, and those guys honestly are the real deal.