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Good LBSs in/around Liverpool?

nimchimpsky82nimchimpsky82 Posts: 82
edited May 2009 in Road beginners
(Not completely sure this is the right forum...)

Hi all

Am new here so will quickly introduce myself -- or explain what got me here. After 7 years without a bike I went on a trip to Eastern Europe recently, rented a bike for a few days, made a few 5-6 hour tours on it, and ... absolutely loved it. Being Dutch (though having lived in the UK for nearly 10 years -- time really flies!) it brought back to me that feeling of freedom that my bikes used to give me when I still lived in Holland. So now I want one again.

I'm looking at road bikes or possibly cyclo-cross as I'll want to use it primarily to get fitter, and also for some light touring (day trips or perhaps slightly longer than that -- I know how to travel light and speed is so important to me that I don't want an audax/touring type bike). Been looking mainly at Kona, Spesh, Marin, but also quite tempted by Bianchi and Wilier. My budget is £800-1000, but for something as sexy as a Mortirolo Mirage I might work up the Dutch courage to fork out a few hundred more :) (especially since I'd then have a decent basis to upgrade). But my ultimate choice isn't what this post is about (there will doubtless be others devoted to precisely that :D) -- and will depend on some test drives anyway.

What I'd like to know at this stage is whether anyone can recommend some good LBSs in the Liverpool area. The closest two stores that I've found with bikes I'm considering are:

Abbey Cycles (Liverpool)
Quinns Bike Centre (Liverpool)

Slightly further afield:

Cycle Surgery (Wirral -- I know, Liverpool really, but try saying that to the locals!! :D)
Cyclehouse (Warrington)
Formby Cycles (Well, the name kinda gives it away, Formby)
Specialized Concept Store (Chester)
Bike Factory (Chester)
The Edge Cycleworks (Chester / Lancaster -- recommended on another UK forum; shame the website isn't up 'n' running at the mo...)

Oh, and then there's Evans in Manchester (2x), but I don't hear too many positive noises about them in this forum...

If anyone has had any experience with any of these, I'd be grateful to get your thoughts, as I'll likely be dealing with them for quite a few years! Also, any reliable stores I may have omitted, do please lemmeknow.

Posts

  • pabloweaverpabloweaver Posts: 444
    ron spencers in warrington if your looking for someone who can sell you a " proper " bike , has a good mix of stuff plus his own brand and he and his staff know their stuff) and then there is harry halls in Manchester

    I have used both of these for many years and have no concerns about recommending them

    also got good things to say about the Specialized store in Chester , Mike is a very good member of staff if you need help
    http://www.northcheshireclarion.co.uk/

    Great club in and around the Warrington area.
  • Thanks a lot Pablo :)

    Ron Spencer looks especially good -- nice range. Shame that the special offers don't include anything for 6'6" tall freaks like me :?. Perhaps XXL frames are not often stored by cycle stores. Oh well, the main thing will be to get something to enjoy for several years to come, and in that context a slightly higher price doesn't matter so much. A visit to this shop could also be easily be combined with Cyclehouse (which has also been recommended to me) and maybe Evans in (brace for impact) the Trafford Centre.

    Looks like I'm gonna have some time to go check some bikes out this weekend, and will make sure to post an update if and when I decide. But before then there may be more questions, after a few test rides :D
  • InfamousInfamous Posts: 1,130
    If you go to chester, you might as well pop over to Graham Weigh cycles in deeside.
  • dd1dd1 Posts: 73
    If you are in the Manchester area, Mike Cookson's in Whitefield sell Trek and have just started selling Willier.

    Bought a Trek from their and have always had good service, For a novice like me, they appear to know what they're taliking about.
    Cannondale Super Six Hi Mod Sram Red
  • Thanks Infamous and DD1 ! Looks like I'm gonna need about 3 orientation trips: one around Liverpool/Formbly, one around Chester, and one around Manchester :) .

    Pity btw that the Cookson website (http://www.cooksoncycles.co.uk/) is so new and has no info yet about their actual range.
  • dd1dd1 Posts: 73
    Think this is because they are under new management. Shop has been around for years and the same staff are all working there so justs looks like a change of owner.

    Although not been there myself, mate of mine uses Quinns in Liverpool and has no complaints.
    Cannondale Super Six Hi Mod Sram Red
  • chip99chip99 Posts: 6
    Hi There

    There is a good LBS in Warrington. D&M Cycles on Hood Lane. The owner Phil is very helpful and stocks Wilier, Bianchi to name a couple. I think there is a limited web site but it will get you the tel number. I bought my last Bianchi from him. Cyclehouse in Warringon is OK and is a Scott dealer. There is also Ron Spencer in Warrington. I think it's on Orford Lane. He stocks a lot of top end stuff.

    Hope you find what you want!
  • Marko1962Marko1962 Posts: 320
    Ron Spencer doesn't have too many bikes out in the shop atm so if you are going visiting expecting the see all the bikes he's a dealer for you will be disappointed, last time I was there just last week he had Rondelli's and a few Giants in the shop and one other brand who's name cannot recall...
  • sub55sub55 Posts: 1,025
    constantly reavalueating the situation and altering the perceived parameters accordingly
  • Thanks dd, chip, Marko, and sub :) Have added the Dolan Mythos to my (not very short) shortlist!

    Am actually a bit hesitant about carbon frames, not least because of my darn-near-14 stone bulk. Not that with my height I'm overweight or anything, but I don't think the bike will care about my BMI :D. Anyway, there's quite a few reassuring noises about this material as well, so I guess I'll just have to see what I find comfortable and then take the plunge.
  • Richard_DRichard_D Posts: 320
    If you are Cycling up around Formby there is Formby Cycles just off the bypass. I have not bought bikes off them. I live about 200 miles away and was visiting family up that way. They seemed Knowledgable and had a fair range of bikes.
  • Richard_D wrote:
    If you are Cycling up around Formby there is Formby Cycles just off the bypass. I have not bought bikes off them. I live about 200 miles away and was visiting family up that way. They seemed Knowledgable and had a fair range of bikes.

    Tx Richard -- it's on my list :). They've got a pretty broad range of brands that I'm interested in and have been recommended to me by a few other peeps as well.
  • Been to Picton and Quinn in Liverpool this afternoon. The guys in both shops were very friendly, seemed like proper enthusiasts themselves, and were in no rush to sell.

    I liked the look of the Orbeas and Cannondales in Picton, and was also quite impressed by the finishing of the Treks in Quinn. Shame they didn't have a 1.7 in, but even the 1.5 looked very tidy. The welds on the Spesh Tricross 27 were a bit less neat -- reminded me of much cheaper bikes I had in my childhood actually. But I'd kind of deleted the Tricross from my list already, as I think I'd rather fork out a bit more and get a full Shimano 105 set or the (very rough) Campy equivalent, Veloce. There's of course the Allez Elite, but they didn't have that one in. In fact they said they weren't gonna get it anymore, which I'm about to post a separate question about.

    Quinn mentioned they could also order a Corratec Dolomiti 105, which has a very similar spec to the other bikes I've been considering, and seems pretty good value at £899. Anyone got any experience with this bike?

    Anyway, ufortunately neither shop had anything in my size, so I couldn't go for a test ride :( In both shops I gather that I'll have to put a deposit down before they order the biggest frame size. I sympathise with the fact that they may not be able to shift the bike if I don't take it, but I think that means I'll have to try my luck in some bigger stores like Evans or Cycle Surgery then, whose stocks are bound to be bigger. If the size feels right and I like the handling, then I may still order it through one of the LBSs. Picton said they'd do me a good deal on an Orbea or CAAD 9!
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