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Evans Cycles - Word of Warning

johndiamondjohndiamond Posts: 50
edited March 2011 in Road buying advice
Hi everyone

Just bought my first road bike, a Cannondale CAAD8, which I bought through Cycle to Work. My employer only allows us to use Evans for the scheme, although I did argue that I would rather use LBS :( .

Went to collect my bike last week, from store and it got its first run out over the weekend. but before taking it out, I thought I'd check it over myself once I got it home. Glad I did as I found:

Front deralieur set up wrong - about 30% of the gearing was out of bounds due to chain rubbing on FD

Hubs hadn't been greased. Nor had the headset.

Tyres were inflated to just under 40psi - far short of recommended psi! I did point out to the assistant in store that tyres felt a little soft, but he didn't offer to check them.

I did haggle them down to £450 for the bike, so I'm happy with the price I paid, but as for Evans' claim of "ready to ride".....? Greasing of hubs might be me nit-picking, but the gearing and dangerously low inflation of tyres seem poor in my opion would you agree?

Halfords bike builds oftern get bad press on these forums, but to me they are a motor retailer that also sell a line of bikes. For a specialist bike retailer to let glaring errors go unchecked seems worse to me.

If the PDI is that poor, I'll be passing on the six week check.

Am I the only person who's had this?


  • V5adeV5ade Posts: 192
    I've normally found Evans to be okay, but as there are so many branches they must have a few fools working for them.
    Have you spoken to the manager at the branch you got it from?
    Somewhere in the Surrey Hills :-)
  • MrChuckMrChuck Posts: 1,663
    That's poor, but I've had pretty crappy things like that from 'proper' LBSs too, and as V5ade points out there are bound to be a few censored branches around, same as anything else.
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    I'd have assumed a CAAD8 comes in a box from Cannondale, and Evans just straighten the bars and screw on the pedals (hopefully greasing the threads first)? Surely they don't come in kit form for the LBS to assemble from scratch?

    The hubs I'd expect to be greased at the factory, no? Even more so the headset which I'm assuming is some sort of sealed cartridge bearing jobbie?

    OK, so they should've pumped up the tyres and checked the indexing of the gears.
  • MonkeypumpMonkeypump Posts: 1,528
    As far I've experienced, Evans as a "specialist bike retailer" really only focus on the "retailer" part of that claim.

    Whilst the staff are generally helpful, and they do stock lots of bikes/kit/etc, most of the staff members' skill levels appear not to extend beyond reading a price ticket and taking your cash.

    The "specialists" always seem to be at lunch, on a day off, or simply unavailable. The guys who are available just don't seem to know much about bikes, and could just as easily be working in a shoe shop or butchers.

    I'll use them if I know exactly what I want, or spot something in the sale, but for advice or expertise I'd avoid Evans every time.
  • danowatdanowat Posts: 2,877
    Just to add balance, I ordered an Allez from Evans last year, took it out the box, and its never needed any adjustment in the 3000+ miles I've done on it.

    Unlike the Kouta Kharma I brought from Primera sports, Indexing was a gear and a half out at the back :roll:
  • spasypaddyspasypaddy Posts: 5,179
    so out of around 40 stores you had a bad experience, one that apart from the tyres (and id go as far as saying that tyre pressure is a personal preference) and gears (which sounds like cable stretch to me) is actually issues with how cannondale produce and supply their bikes. And rather than going in and asking them to rectify the problems (which they would do) you feel fit to moan.

    as someone has already stated bikes come from cannondale and other manufacturers pretty much built. All the mechanic does is put handlebars/bar tape and attach cables. Bikes dont leave store without having been inspected by a mechanic, sometimes things work perfectly in workstands but not when pressure is being applied to the pedals. More so on a basic groupset (id imagine considering what you paid its a sora triple).

    how many days between buying it and riding it was there, tyres can lose pressure in a few days so it probably left the store with more PSI than that in it.
  • Mister WMister W Posts: 791
    I bought my commuting bike, a Ridgeback Nemesis, from Evans. It has Alfine hub gears, which I'd never used before, so the chap who sold it to me spent time explaining how to adjust the gears and how to drop the back wheel out. Excellent service.

    Thought I'd add a bit of balance to this thread :)
  • KaiseKaise Posts: 2,498
    i bought my TT bike from evans due to price but i didnt expect anything more than to buy it from them and walk/ride away and use my LBS for everything else.

    i would have just said to the guy i wanted to borrow the pump they have behind the counter and done it myself, the hubs should be a sealed unit and therefore need no further greasing than they were supplied with, my DT swiss on my MTB arrived and i thought they hadnt been greased, but they had with the stock grease from the factory, like the use on chains when they first fit them, never had anyproblems.

    My experience of evans was actually better than i thought it would be and i have stopped by in an emergency parts search or to borrow a pump, tool whatever and they always help

    just my experience
  • Blue MeanieBlue Meanie Posts: 495
    Cannondale's do indeed come in kit form, normally requiring handlebars to be wrapped, saddle attached to seat post, brake cables fitted as well as a few ancillary items. About 45min in a workstand to do it well.
    PDI is more about BS compliance than set-up.
    FCN16 - 1970 BSA Wayfarer

    FCN4 - Fixie Inc
  • boneyjoeboneyjoe Posts: 369
    Generally find Evans at St Pauls London to be pretty good. Have just wangled me a new cycling computer (which was about about £150) even though I'd lost the invoice for the old one and was only about 2 weeks within the 2 year warranty. Much, much better outcome than I was expecting. If they do come up short on occasion, they're mostly very approachable guys, and will look to put things right.
    Scott Scale 20 (for xc racing)
    Gary Fisher HKEK (for commuting)
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    I brought a few bikes from Evans with no problems.

    But as said, a chain with as many shops as Evans, your bound to find some shops better than others.

    My two local branches are Wandsworth and Wimbledon. Both seem to have mostly knowledgeable and helpful staff.

    I've had worse experiences with more specialist local bike shops.

    Just out of interest, which branch did you get your bike from?
  • UpTheWallUpTheWall Posts: 207
    I got me my cannondale from the Battersea branch of Evans last year.

    The build job was piss poor.

    Stuff like the stem tension was wrong, the rear derailleur was so badly out I didn't have access to all the gears due to limit screws being badly adjusted.

    it may be taken half-built out of the box, but the cycle store has a duty to make sure it's safe to ride and properly built. I would expect nothing less.

    That duty is moral at least, I don't know about legal, certainly selfishly they should do a thorough check to give themselves a trustworthy name.

  • UpTheWallUpTheWall Posts: 207
    can't believe the filter changed p155 to wee wee. That's just gay.
  • JRookeJRooke Posts: 243
    42 days ago i ordered my Pro Machine from Evans, its still not here.

    42 days ago I thought evans were great, now I think they are a proper bunch of morons and will be making sure i can poison anyone ever thinking of using them again, and considering I work for BC, thats gonna be a shhhheed load of cycle people!
  • mattsy666mattsy666 Posts: 91
    Our house has ordered 7 bikes from Evans over the years and never had a single problem ... 6 Cannondales and a BMC, a mix of road, mtb and commuter bikes and not a single issue (well, a missing mavic hub tool, sent in the post the next day with an extra mini tool) ...

    OK, some minor tweaking of a front mech here or there, but then f you can't fix that you shouldn't be buying online ... And i always put my own personal choice of saddle and stem on a new bike so that's another out the box job that i have to do anyway ...

    I've genuinely had more issues with bikes bought from a LBS ... And even once had the annoyance of fixing the gears only for them to mess them up again when they gave it their free service given as part of the sales package ...

    But i guess no-one likes to not moan ... It would have taken 30 secs to throw the chain n the big ring to check for rub before heading out the shop and as for the tyre pressure thing, regardless how little was in them initially, it's an obvious and easy fix ... And you likely let half the air out attaching your gauge to find out how much moaning you might be entitled to ...
  • I picked up Trek wsd from Evans in York a couple of years ago and it was pants!
    Flat tyres, front mech set way out, sticky stuff all over the saddle and a few marks on the frame.

    I thought you had to pick bikes up from the store so the staff could make sure you where happy?

    Bike shop staff are hit and miss at all places, its not just Evans or Halfords.
  • bompingtonbompington Posts: 7,674
    edited March 2011
    can't believe the filter changed p155 to wee wee. That's just good at interior decoration.
  • solsurfsolsurf Posts: 489
    I’m spoilt for brilliant bike shops around here (I cycle past four on the way home, can be costly) so I suppose they (Evans) have to up their game, therefore I have had some really good service off them, driven them hard on price match and then they have fitted the parts for free so no complaints here. Maybe it’s the lack of decent competition in London?
  • lemoncurdlemoncurd Posts: 1,428
    This thread's title should be "BE WARNED !!!!"
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