Three UK Bike Shops Better Than Halfords

Skip the big retailers for your next bike purchase.

If you’re thinking about buying your next bike or are buying for the first time then why not take your money to an independent seller instead of a big retailer?

Buying a new bike is an exciting investment that you shouldn’t take lightly. Before you rush straight to a major retailer with a big wad of cash, you should consider buying from one of the many independent bike shops that are scattered all across the UK. Cycling is truly a Great British tradition and there are loads of small businesses out there who specialise in crafting solidly built, unique bikes. So many, in fact, that it would be silly to buy a mass produced bike when you could purchase a far superior machine for pretty much the same price.

When you buy from an independent bike seller you’re more likely to get the bike that is best suited for your needs. Larger retail stores will tend to employ more enthusiastic staff who are more knowledgeable and less likely to treat you as just a sale. The smaller, independent stores are also likely to be quieter so you’ll have more time to chat to the people there and you won’t feel rushed into making a purchasing decision. You can also feel safe in the knowledge that if something goes wrong with your bike then you can take it straight back to the shop and have them look at it for you, rather than having to go through the usual rigmarole that larger retail stores will stick you with.

It’s always best to check out what gear your local bike shop has for sale as you never know when they might have used or refurbished models for sale. Still, if you fancy embarking on a bike-based pilgrimage then you could do a lot worse than these independent establishments:

Temple Cycles, Bristol

Set up by Engineering graduate Matt Mears in 2014, this Bristol-based company just moved into their first store, seamlessly making the move from the online arena onto the High Street. Their range of bikes are simply designed and put together with meticulous care in their Bristol workshop. You can pick up their Classic Singlespeed model for a modest £575 perfect for riding in the city, but for all-terrain purposes their newest model, the Adventure Disc, is the one to go for.

Tokyobike, London

Whilst you might not benefit from quintessential British design when you buy from Tokyobike, what you will get is a quality ride that emphasises comfort over speed. As the name suggests, the company was founded in Tokyo (or the suburb of Yanaka to be more precise) where the concept of ‘Tokyo Slow’ led the founders to design bikes that prioritised the relaxing nature of cycling over the more aggressive, adrenaline fuelled aspects of the sport. Their basic models start at £580.

Cloud 9 Cycles, London

For those perfectionists who want to get the ultimate optimised ride (with no objection to paying through the nose for it) Cloud 9 Cycles is really the best place to go. You might have to shell out up to £6,000 for your 2-wheeler, however this kind of money will buy you a machine that will not only stand the test of time but will also be perfectly suited to your build and cycling style. These craftsmen only make bespoke bikes, so you’ll need to book an appointment to get the ball rolling.

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