Forum home Mountain biking forum The Crudcatcher

I noticed a lot of Halfords recommendations recently...

edited May 2017 in The Crudcatcher
Have Halfords suddenly become decent generally? IME, the products they sell are a load of rubbish. I have had quite a few stuff (altho only 1 bike) let me down. The worst one was when the front light fell off and smashed while riding in the dark. The 1 and only bike I bought had a persistent wheel problem and I did eventually get a refund after lots of fuss. As a result of this, I personally despise Halfords but I would be interested to hear if things have improved in more recent years.

I cant help but think Halfords may have PR guys on forums recommending people buy stuff from Halfords.
I'm not a racist! My f'in car is black!
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Posts

  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 8,201
    Halfrauds do some reasonable quality bikes, certain carreras, voodoo, Boardman models are well worth buying. What let's them down is stupid pricing and dire mechanics at a lot of their shops. Loads of stories on here about bikes set up wrong falling apart, not surprising really given the numbers they sell of the cheaper rubbish. A front light can fall off any bike given the vibration they suffer, a thing like that doesn't make it a bad bike though. Lots of manufacturers suffer with the odd wheel problem, some caused by dodgy riders some by dodgy manufacturing so can't really blame them. Would I buy a bike from them,probably not but I do have one that gets ragged around trail centre's pretty regularly with no issues.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • JBAJBA Posts: 2,625
    Halfwits sell some decent kit and some rubbish stuff. It's up to us as customers to do a bit of research and find out what's what.
    I don't see how a light falling off can be the shop's fault. As a rider you should regularly check such things for tightness and secure mounting.

    As oxoman has said, the main problem with Halfords is the huge variation in knowledge and technical ability of their shop floor staff.

    As this is Crudcatcher can the abuse start now? :wink:
    “Life has been unfaithful
    And it all promised so so much”

    Giant Trance 2 27.5 2016 ¦ Bird Zero Mk1 ¦ Giant Revolt Advanced 2 2019 ¦ Giant Anthem 3 2015 ¦ Specialized Myka Comp FSR 2009
  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 22,788 Lives Here
    JBA wrote:
    As this is Crudcatcher can the abuse start now? :wink:
    Seems appropriate given the location.
  • FishFishFishFish Posts: 2,238
    Halfords have a business model that has worked for fifty years and it has changed and developed with time and with the market - - and it sells good quality stuff at good prices. As a strategy, getting the distributorship for Boardman is genius. It has contributed to making biking the new middle aged golf! The specialist or racers would probably find more suitable products elsewhere - not because of the poor quality of Halfords but because of his expectation. Everyone complains about the mechanics. I don't have a problem with them - I've found worse in LBS.
    ...take your pickelf on your holibobs.... :D

    jeez :roll:
  • JBA wrote:
    Halfwits sell some decent kit and some rubbish stuff. It's up to us as customers to do a bit of research and find out what's what.
    I don't see how a light falling off can be the shop's fault. As a rider you should regularly check such things for tightness and secure mounting.

    As oxoman has said, the main problem with Halfords is the huge variation in knowledge and technical ability of their shop floor staff.

    As this is Crudcatcher can the abuse start now? :wink:

    Light slides into holder until it clicks. Holder itself was secured by bolt which tightens clamp to handlebars. The light just fell off (cant even remember if I hit a bump, or if the road was just not very smooth causing vibrations). This means it wasnt well built. Altho it was probably cheap, as it was sold as a bike light (which is somewhat safety critical) there should be a minimum standard. Also the other poster is correct in saying it doesnt mean the bike is bad. This happened to me on another bike than the one I had issues with.

    Earlier this year a friend of mine purchased a £200 Pendleton bike from Halfords. The bike itself seems decent enough (if your a woman) but the brakes are god dam awful. Spongy as a sponge. Why would any decent bike shop let someone ride away on a bike with components not fit for service? Fair enough all these issues have been with one particular branch, but it has certainly discouraged me from Halfords in general.
    I'm not a racist! My f'in car is black!
  • RockmonkeySCRockmonkeySC Posts: 15,247
    Did you check the light was tight before the ride? Things come loose and a tight clamp won't suddenly fall off, it will start slipping first.
    Thr Pendleton is hardly a performance bicycle, it's designed for old women cruising around town, super sharp discs would probably be more of a hazard than a sponge rim brake. I've serviced my neighbours mothers pendleton bike, the brakes were spongey but perfectly adequate.
  • For me, it's nothing to do with the quality if halfords gear. It's the level of service.

    The fact that my local Halfords was pretty rubbish, ended up in me buying a mtb in the first place! So I've got them to thank for something.

    I went in there looking to buy a 16" Carrera bike for my 6 y/o. I couldn't find it on display. I asked one of the staff about it, and he checked their system, and they had 2 in stock. However, they couldn't find one anywhere. At one point, it resorted to us wandering through the whole store in search of it, to no avail!

    So, I went to my local bike shop, and ended up buying my son a decent bike, and bought myself my first bike in many years!

    For me, Halfords is a last resort. Convenient, due to it being open 7 days a week, but that's it.
  • RockmonkeySCRockmonkeySC Posts: 15,247
    Halfords branches are variable. My local is good, they have a better mechanic than my local independent shop and a decent range of stock.
    Some branches are completely useless though.
    It's worth remembering that serious cyclists aren't they're target market. They're going after people who want a bike for commuting across town or thr odd weekend ride.
  • milemuncher1milemuncher1 Posts: 1,472
    Have Halfords suddenly become decent generally? IME, the products they sell are a load of rubbish. I have had quite a few stuff (altho only 1 bike) let me down. The worst one was when the front light fell off and smashed while riding in the dark. The 1 and only bike I bought had a persistent wheel problem and I did eventually get a refund after lots of fuss. As a result of this, I personally despise Halfords but I would be interested to hear if things have improved in more recent years.

    I cant help but think Halfords may have PR guys on forums recommending people buy stuff from Halfords.

    I have some tin foil, you can make a brilliant hat out of it.
  • milemuncher1milemuncher1 Posts: 1,472
    Halfords branches are variable. My local is good, they have a better mechanic than my local independent shop and a decent range of stock.
    Some branches are completely useless though.
    It's worth remembering that serious cyclists aren't they're target market. They're going after people who want a bike for commuting across town or thr odd weekend ride.

    I've got a couple of Halfords bikes. I certainly don't just do "commuting across town or the odd weekend ride". If you upgrade the components they tend to skimp on, in order to keep the prices keen ( cables and tyres for example) the bikes are fairly good VFM. There are far too many clueless 'badge snobs' cycling now. Mostly 'born again' water cooler, c0k Wombling ex golfist types IME. They tend to skew perspectives somewhat.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    I'd happily buy something like a boardman from Halfords as I know how to set up bikes.
    As has been said you get censored skills from some LBS too.

    My favourite is my mates brake blocks put in backwards. Zero stopping power. Cheers LBS. (also serves him right for being so bloody lazy)

    OP you can't blame Halfords for your light falling off. That was your fault. And to say such scurrilous things just because opinion doesn't fit in with your odd view??
  • RockmonkeySCRockmonkeySC Posts: 15,247
    Halfords branches are variable. My local is good, they have a better mechanic than my local independent shop and a decent range of stock.
    Some branches are completely useless though.
    It's worth remembering that serious cyclists aren't they're target market. They're going after people who want a bike for commuting across town or thr odd weekend ride.

    I've got a couple of Halfords bikes. I certainly don't just do "commuting across town or the odd weekend ride". If you upgrade the components they tend to skimp on, in order to keep the prices keen ( cables and tyres for example) the bikes are fairly good VFM. There are far too many clueless 'badge snobs' cycling now. Mostly 'born again' water cooler, c0k Wombling ex golfist types IME. They tend to skew perspectives somewhat.

    I was saying that those types are Halfords target market, not that all their customers are commuters and weekend wobbles.
    Some of their bikes are excellent and decent value.
  • JBAJBA Posts: 2,625

    Light slides into holder until it clicks. Holder itself was secured by bolt which tightens clamp to handlebars. The light just fell off (cant even remember if I hit a bump, or if the road was just not very smooth causing vibrations). This means it wasnt well built. Altho it was probably cheap, as it was sold as a bike light (which is somewhat safety critical) there should be a minimum standard.

    How does that mean the light wasn't well built, although it is a possibility. It probably means it wasn't clicked firmly in to the holder.
    Now, whose fault could that be?

    As for a minimum standard I doubt Halfords are selling illegal goods. Was the light CE marked?
    “Life has been unfaithful
    And it all promised so so much”

    Giant Trance 2 27.5 2016 ¦ Bird Zero Mk1 ¦ Giant Revolt Advanced 2 2019 ¦ Giant Anthem 3 2015 ¦ Specialized Myka Comp FSR 2009
  • FishFishFishFish Posts: 2,238
    Today - bank holiday Monday I bought a camping gas bottle from Halfords in Cambridge. Best experience of my life. FACT.,
    ...take your pickelf on your holibobs.... :D

    jeez :roll:
  • bg13bg13 Posts: 4,598
    FishFish wrote:
    Today - bank holiday Monday I bought a camping gas bottle from Halfords in Cambridge. Best experience of my life. FACT.,

    I got my socket set from there, it's probably the best socket set in the world!
    Loving life in rural SW France

    Orange 5 Pro
    Ribble Audax
    On One Scandal 29er
  • milemuncher1milemuncher1 Posts: 1,472
    I was saying that those types are Halfords target market, not that all their customers are commuters and weekend wobbles.
    Some of their bikes are excellent and decent value.


    Good, then we agree :D
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,747
    Have Halfords suddenly become decent generally? IME, the products they sell are a load of rubbish. I have had quite a few stuff (altho only 1 bike) let me down. The worst one was when the front light fell off and smashed while riding in the dark. The 1 and only bike I bought had a persistent wheel problem and I did eventually get a refund after lots of fuss. As a result of this, I personally despise Halfords but I would be interested to hear if things have improved in more recent years.

    I cant help but think Halfords may have PR guys on forums recommending people buy stuff from Halfords.
    Halfords do sell some cheap BSO, they also sell some really good bikes and always have done, the fact your experience is that they sell a load of rubbish probably says more about your ability to choose than whether or not they have always sold some decent bikes.
  • mcstumpymcstumpy Posts: 296
    I've just ordered a carrera saruna for my daughter, seems like a decent kids bike but I will see in a hour or so how well the shop have built it up.
  • RockmonkeySCRockmonkeySC Posts: 15,247
    mcstumpy wrote:
    I've just ordered a carrera saruna for my daughter, seems like a decent kids bike but I will see in a hour or so how well the shop have built it up.

    My daughter has one. Perfectly decent for what it is.
  • JBA wrote:

    Light slides into holder until it clicks. Holder itself was secured by bolt which tightens clamp to handlebars. The light just fell off (cant even remember if I hit a bump, or if the road was just not very smooth causing vibrations). This means it wasnt well built. Altho it was probably cheap, as it was sold as a bike light (which is somewhat safety critical) there should be a minimum standard.

    How does that mean the light wasn't well built, although it is a possibility. It probably means it wasn't clicked firmly in to the holder.
    Now, whose fault could that be?


    As for a minimum standard I doubt Halfords are selling illegal goods. Was the light CE marked?

    For god sake I was fitting a light to my bike, not LORRI to an interplanetary vehicle. The way some of you go on, you seem to assume I tried to fit the light to my brake blocks or somethin. The fact that over the years I have used multiple different lights and accessories to my bikes, only the Halfords one had failed catastrophically.

    In my experience Halfords = schit. However as has been said, quality varies between branches and Im not doubting other peoples opinions. Im just saying that my experience of the one branch (a schit one) has put me off trying other ones. Once bitten twice shy, suppose I am a brand snob with regards to brands I have personally had a bad experience with.

    Im off to the local red light district to go ride another bike of doubtful quality.
    I'm not a racist! My f'in car is black!
  • bg13bg13 Posts: 4,598
    JBA wrote:

    Light slides into holder until it clicks. Holder itself was secured by bolt which tightens clamp to handlebars. The light just fell off (cant even remember if I hit a bump, or if the road was just not very smooth causing vibrations). This means it wasnt well built. Altho it was probably cheap, as it was sold as a bike light (which is somewhat safety critical) there should be a minimum standard.

    How does that mean the light wasn't well built, although it is a possibility. It probably means it wasn't clicked firmly in to the holder.
    Now, whose fault could that be?


    As for a minimum standard I doubt Halfords are selling illegal goods. Was the light CE marked?

    For god sake I was fitting a light to my bike, not LORRI to an interplanetary vehicle. The way some of you go on, you seem to assume I tried to fit the light to my brake blocks or somethin. The fact that over the years I have used multiple different lights and accessories to my bikes, only the Halfords one had failed catastrophically.

    In my experience Halfords = schit. However as has been said, quality varies between branches and Im not doubting other peoples opinions. Im just saying that my experience of the one branch (a schit one) has put me off trying other ones. Once bitten twice shy, suppose I am a brand snob with regards to brands I have personally had a bad experience with.

    Im off to the local red light district to go ride another bike of doubtful quality.

    Now we're getting this thread where it needs to be.

    Anyone else not capable of fitting lights correctly to their bike?
    Loving life in rural SW France

    Orange 5 Pro
    Ribble Audax
    On One Scandal 29er
  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 22,788 Lives Here
    bg13 wrote:
    Anyone else not capable of fitting lights correctly to their bike?
    :oops: But I always blamed Wiggle.
  • JBAJBA Posts: 2,625
    Well now you can blimmin' well blame Halfords. They sell lights that people can't fit properly. Bar stewards!
    “Life has been unfaithful
    And it all promised so so much”

    Giant Trance 2 27.5 2016 ¦ Bird Zero Mk1 ¦ Giant Revolt Advanced 2 2019 ¦ Giant Anthem 3 2015 ¦ Specialized Myka Comp FSR 2009
  • They seems to not just vary store to store, but person to person. I had a really good experience there a few years back, which was unexpected, resulted in a few purchases from them since and has been positive. I went in the other day after doing my research on the boardman fs pro, had a good chat with the manager about it, test rode it and ended up back with someone else, ready to part with my cash. The guy was so despondent, arrogant and hellbent on trying to impress me with his superior knowledge that I ended up leaving, cash still firmly in pocket. Possibly nose to spite face, but I refuse to hand over money to anyone that acts like that. It'll be a long time before I set foot in one of their stores again.
  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 22,788 Lives Here
    Definitely a touch of nose spitting face, but I get it. Unless you tell the manager nothing will change though. The best thing would be to go back and explain what happened to the manager, you might even get a better deal.
  • FishFishFishFish Posts: 2,238
    veronese68 wrote:
    nose spitting face


    No one in the universe knows what that means. Sounds like the translation of a red indian goats name.


    ...are w allowed to say red indian these days?
    ...take your pickelf on your holibobs.... :D

    jeez :roll:
  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 22,788 Lives Here
    FishFish wrote:
    veronese68 wrote:
    nose spitting face


    No one in the universe knows what that means. Sounds like the translation of a red indian goats name.


    ...are w allowed to say red indian these days?
    No, that doesn't make any sense at all. Should have been "nose spiting face" as in cutting your nose off to spite your face, I suspect auto correct came in to play and I didn't notice.
  • veronese68 wrote:
    Definitely a touch of nose spitting face, but I get it. Unless you tell the manager nothing will change though. The best thing would be to go back and explain what happened to the manager, you might even get a better deal.

    Very much so. I was part of the British Cycling / Sky, big sky ride events this year ( as a BC / Skyride 'main ride leader'). Halfords were giving away 'Silver bike services' for free. I normally don't trust anyone but me, with my bikes. But I was doing some stuff near an eligible Halfords store, so I thought what the hell. I Put the bike in, as arranged ( not one of my better bikes btw). I collected it a couple of hours later, and they had done quite a good job TBF. The gear indexing was spot on, everything was cleaned tightened and lubed nicely. I even got them to stick a new cassette and chain on ( at added cost ). That was done well. However, as I was about to ride away, I noticed that the front wheel ( which had been removed for trueing) had been put back on the wrong way round ( directional tyre and all that). I had a quick word with the manager, who grabbed the technician responsible, and asked him to get the bike on the stand, and put the wheel on the right way round. Job done, no drama.
  • TBH I've lost faith in my local Halfords as I have had a few major issues (9speed cassette installed on an 8speed bike!) HOWEVER the staff are always friendly if not particularly knowledgable about the MTBing questions I ask. Also the Boardmans they stock are quality looking kit (didn't go for the FS Team in the end, and the Pro was out of price range but looks lush) Also in a pinch if they have the basics you need asap in stock, they are fine.
  • Halfords are good for the expendable stuff you don't want to spend a fortune on, I get a lot of my basic car supply there and I've always found my local branch to be friendly and have a relatively good knowledge. Obviously not as much as a LBS.

    They are also good for the odd random sale option.
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