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Halford bike build £40 vs Evans bike build £110

odessoukyodessouky Posts: 264
edited May 2017 in Workshop
Aloha every one

Has anyone used or tried Halfords bike build service for £40?

I am in the process of building a new bike. I have bought a frame, and sourced all the parts. Its a Cannondale Synapse carbon, with a full SRAM Force 22 drive train, except for a Red 22 BB30 crankset.

I was planning on doing it myself, but I think the build itself is a job too big for me.

I have booked a bike build service at Evans, which is basically a GOLD service, @ £110! Quite expensive.

The other day I was buying the kids some bike gloves at Halfords, and asked if they can build up a bike, and they said no problem. No appointments needed, just bring in the bike any time, and they will do it...£40 only?

Halfords are not renowned for their technical work, but so is Evans? Has anyone done this before, and any feedback?

Thanks
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Posts

  • gethincerigethinceri Posts: 1,016
    Nobody's going to be able to build a bike properly, safely for £40.00 without losing money.
    What guarantee will they provide?
    Walk away.
  • odessoukyodessouky Posts: 264
    gethinceri wrote:
    Nobody's going to be able to build a bike properly, safely for £40.00 without losing money.
    What guarantee will they provide?
    Walk away.

    Ditto..

    I thought so..
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 7,774
    For forty quid they're probably only expecting to build up a bike as supplied new in a box with wheels to fit and handlebars to turn etc. I personally wouldn't let them change a number plate bulb let alone build a full bike.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • StillGoingStillGoing Posts: 5,166
    odessouky wrote:
    I am in the process of building a new bike. I have bought a frame, and sourced all the parts. Its a Cannondale Synapse carbon, with a full SRAM Force 22 drive train, except for a Red 22 BB30 crankset.

    I was planning on doing it myself, but I think the build itself is a job too big for me.

    Seriously, do it yourself. It isn't rocket science as you can't fit something in the wrong place. If indexing is your problem and you can't follow a YouTube video, build the bike assembling all the components and take it into your LBS for them to do the indexing for you.
    I ride a bike. Doesn't make me green or a tree hugger. I drive a car too.
  • daniel_bdaniel_b Posts: 8,605
    I was in a similar position with my CR1, and an Ultegra groupset, and various other carbon components.

    I decided to self build, and it was the right choice - good learning experiencce, and I now know how it all goes together.

    Most of it is simply bolting things on - even the headset and cutting the steerer were not that big an issue.
    Off the top of my head, the REALLY simple jobs are:
    Fitting the cassette onto the wheel
    Bolting on the brakes
    Fitting the derailleurs
    Fitting the bottom bracket
    Attaching the crankset and pedals
    Fitting the chain
    Installing seatpost and saddle
    Affixing stem, handlebars and shifters (Once steerer is cut assuming it is required)
    Putting the chain on

    The more time consuming bits are the things you will likely want to get pefect, ie cable outer lengths, wrapping the bar tape etc, where as some person in a shop will likely just be bunging it on.
    The halfords £40 offer is definitely for a bike in a box with the bars turned and needing the front wheel fitted - and think of the value of all of the components you have, would you want to trust it to either of those places?

    If you have no bike tools at all (?) I would have thought you could get everything you need for sub £150 - so only £40 more than the Evans cost, and you have all those tools to use going forwards which will save you even more money.

    *You would also need a bike stand if you want to have a chance of indexing your gears.
    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18
  • lesfirthlesfirth Posts: 1,027
    Do it yourself.
  • sheffsimonsheffsimon Posts: 1,282
    Daniel B wrote:
    I was in a similar position with my CR1, and an Ultegra groupset, and various other carbon components.

    I decided to self build, and it was the right choice - good learning experiencce, and I now know how it all goes together.

    Most of it is simply bolting things on - even the headset and cutting the steerer were not that big an issue.
    Off the top of my head, the REALLY simple jobs are:
    Fitting the cassette onto the wheel
    Bolting on the brakes
    Fitting the derailleurs
    Fitting the bottom bracket
    Attaching the crankset and pedals
    Fitting the chain
    Installing seatpost and saddle
    Affixing stem, handlebars and shifters (Once steerer is cut assuming it is required)
    Putting the chain on

    The more time consuming bits are the things you will likely want to get pefect, ie cable outer lengths, wrapping the bar tape etc, where as some person in a shop will likely just be bunging it on.
    The halfords £40 offer is definitely for a bike in a box with the bars turned and needing the front wheel fitted - and think of the value of all of the components you have, would you want to trust it to either of those places?

    If you have no bike tools at all (?) I would have thought you could get everything you need for sub £150 - so only £40 more than the Evans cost, and you have all those tools to use going forwards which will save you even more money.

    *You would also need a bike stand if you want to have a chance of indexing your gears.

    Nope.
  • fat daddyfat daddy Posts: 2,632
    sheffsimon wrote:
    Nope.

    correct ..... but ..... get a bike stand they just make everything easier

    If ISIS blew my garage up right now, the first thing I would replace would be the bike stand ... then I would start looking for bikes to go in it

    As the others have said though .... build it yourself, it really isn't hard. I knew nothing about the mechanicals of bikes 1year ago since then I have built 2 bikes, converted others and wouldn't dream of taking a bike to a workshop now unless something was seriously fooooked ..... it really isn't hard and the more you do, the more tools you accumulate and servicing, repairing modifying all become part of the enjoyment.

    If I can do it ... anyone can do it
  • odessoukyodessouky Posts: 264
    I have a bike stand, and a few basic tools..

    My main worry is:

    Its a carbon frame
    Cutting the carbon steerer
    Fitting the BB30 bottom bracket in to the BB30A shell
    Fitting all the carbon stuff
    I do not have a torque wrench
    I have a WIFE and TWO KIDS!!!!.... :shock:

    I'll never be left alone for 4 hours or so to build a bike!! Even though I am pretty sure I can do it...
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,358
    Just do the bits you can do with allen keys - so that's most of it and then take it into your LBS for the fiddly bits.

    I'd send the family off to the cinema to get a bit of free time. ;-)
  • perfectmarkperfectmark Posts: 117
    I have used Evans before without issue, but as others have said, you are better off trying to do it yourself. I would recommend getting one of the bike toolkits from Aldi/Lidl (around £20-£30) if you go down this route.

    Another option is if there are any decent bike charities near where you are. I have one near me run by the Salvation Army, where they will do custom bike builds for less than Evans etc charge. Many of them even offer courses where they have engineers who will work with you to help build up your bike.
  • crescentcrescent Posts: 1,076
    +1 for DIY. A few basic tools is genuinely all you need - I'm talking about Allen keys, adjustable spanner etc. For the £40 Halfords are asking for you could buy a hex head torque wrench set that would allow you to snug the bolts correctly. It is pretty straightforward, easier with a work stand but it is not an essential. Plenty of videos on YouTube for every part of the task if you get stuck. You will reap the rewards in years to come as you will know every single nut, bolt and spacer on your bike and can carry out your own repairs and maintenance. I can't think of any task on my bike that I would not tackle on my own now. I would suggest avoiding press-fit BBs though as these require a bit more specialist tooling.

    Edit: just re-read your original post and see the BB is indeed press-fit, maybe get a LBS to fit that for you?
    Ribble Gran Fondo
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    “When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. “ ~H.G. Wells
    Edit - "Unless it's a BMX"
  • VslowpaceVslowpace Posts: 189
    For peace of mind if I had a shiny collection of expensive bits I'd be taking it to a proper bike shop and paying them £100+ to build the thing properly. I can, if I have the inclination or desire learn how to do the general maintenance at my leisure.

    Whether I would describe Evans as a proper bike shop is another matter.
  • drlodgedrlodge Posts: 4,824
    Best option is to build it yourself and have a local club member nearby who knows all about putting a bike together and can offer free advice.
    WyndyMilla Massive Attack | Rourke 953 | Condor Italia 531 Pro | Boardman CX Pro | DT Swiss RR440 Tubeless Wheels
    Find me on Strava
  • jgsijgsi Posts: 5,025
    £40?????
    They'll 'shag' it basically for that money.
    Evans I'd trust even less but at least their price is a bit more realistic.

    To be frank , a decent bike build done to a high standard is fair few hours of labour.
    How much are you pricing someone's expertise?
    The sort of expertise where they dont break expensive components fitting them.
    Not very highly by the sound of it.
    As usual such knowledge is undervalued by people.

    My price would be £200.
  • mrb123mrb123 Posts: 2,438
    Are Halfords and Evans your only two options? Don't you have a reputable LBS anywhere near you?
  • CiBCiB Posts: 6,098
    Another +1 for DIY. It is easy, is v satisfying once completed and makes future maintenance a doddle as there's nothing scary about how a bike fits together.

    Having a wife & kids isn't much of an issue. Kids go to bed and [ime] wives seem quite happy being left to their own devices for an evening whilst man of t'house is elsewhere busying himself productively. Even more so when you tell her it's saved you the best part of thirty quid so here's some flowers and a chinese to save her cooking. ;) (she doesn't have to know everything...)
  • odessoukyodessouky Posts: 264
    mrb123 wrote:
    Are Halfords and Evans your only two options? Don't you have a reputable LBS anywhere near you?

    I live in WImbledon area, South West London.

    Any suggestions?
  • odessoukyodessouky Posts: 264
    CiB wrote:
    Another +1 for DIY. It is easy, is v satisfying once completed and makes future maintenance a doddle as there's nothing scary about how a bike fits together.

    Having a wife & kids isn't much of an issue. Kids go to bed and [ime] wives seem quite happy being left to their own devices for an evening whilst man of t'house is elsewhere busying himself productively. Even more so when you tell her it's saved you the best part of thirty quid so here's some flowers and a chinese to save her cooking. ;) (she doesn't have to know everything...)

    Yeah...I hear you, but when will I have the time to do it? And tools?

    I have a tiny shed, and cannot do it there. In the garden would be impossible.

    If I dare do anything in the house, SWMBO will probably neuter me... :mrgreen:

    Also..

    Cutting a Carbon fork for the first time? Tools, skill etc?

    No torque wrench? Installing the BB30 crankset which is 68mm in a 73mm BB30A shell, needing to remove the preload retainer from the non drive side on a Carbon SRAM Red 22 Crank...

    Setting up the headset ...Need to buy a Press..

    Arranging all the internal cabling on the frame etc...

    Loads of tricky things that need time, time...and then maybe a little more time...

    And most importantly EXPERIENCE and SKILL...

    Too much of a risk on the parts and frame I bought..
  • lesfirthlesfirth Posts: 1,027
    odessouky wrote:
    I have a bike stand, and a few basic tools..

    My main worry is:

    Its a carbon frame
    Cutting the carbon steerer
    Fitting the BB30 bottom bracket in to the BB30A shell
    Fitting all the carbon stuff
    I do not have a torque wrench
    I have a WIFE and TWO KIDS!!!!.... :shock:

    I'll never be left alone for 4 hours or so to build a bike!! Even though I am pretty sure I can do it...

    Unless you can get one of your kids involved, I retract my advice to do it yourself. You need time to sort the first problems if you have not done it before.It will take more than 4 hours. Get it done for you ,where I do not know. Use your very precious time to ride it.
  • luv2rideluv2ride Posts: 2,357
    I've had a local Hargroves cycles build a bike up for me (was between 50 and 80 quid a couple of years ago). The set up in the shop has the workshop visible from the shop floor. This allowed me to hang about and chat to the mech as he worked assembling the parts to the frame. I got them a pack of beer for the trouble so they seemed happy enough with me watching and chatting. The upshot was I learnt loads! Still haven't fitted my own press fit BBs or cut my own carbon steerers though. They always go to the LBS for that, but I do the rest myself. Get a torque wrench, you'll use it plenty of times...
    Scott Solace 10 disc - Kinesis Crosslight Pro6 disc - Scott CR1 SL - Pinnacle Arkose X 650b - Pinnacle Arkose 1x11 "monster cross" - Specialized Singlecross...& an Ernie Ball Musicman Stingray 4 string...
  • 2Phat4Rapha2Phat4Rapha Posts: 258
    Try Sigma Sport in Hampton Wick. I'd have them do the BB anyway - you can't bodge a press fit. And get them to check your wheels over too - spoke tensions evened out, bearings greased and adjusted properly. I'd also leave cutting the steerer if poss. Ride it first, then cut.

    The rest you can do at home. Wrapping the bars can take a bit of practice but it's well worth learning. Internal cable routing can be frustrating. Doesn't have to be in one session. Take your time.

    Otherwise ask Sigma to quote for the whole build. Remember, they're not making a profit on the parts so it's pure workshop time for them.
    I may be a minority of one but that doesn't prevent me from being right.
    http://www.dalynchi.com
  • odessoukyodessouky Posts: 264
    Try Sigma Sport in Hampton Wick. I'd have them do the BB anyway - you can't bodge a press fit. And get them to check your wheels over too - spoke tensions evened out, bearings greased and adjusted properly. I'd also leave cutting the steerer if poss. Ride it first, then cut.

    The rest you can do at home. Wrapping the bars can take a bit of practice but it's well worth learning. Internal cable routing can be frustrating. Doesn't have to be in one session. Take your time.

    Otherwise ask Sigma to quote for the whole build. Remember, they're not making a profit on the parts so it's pure workshop time for them.


    Great advice..
    Thanks

    By saying "DO NOT CUT THE STEERER, RIDE IT FIRST THEN CUT", how is that possible?

    It's a new frame, and the steerer looks very long to me? Is it possible not to cut it at all? I would rather do that first?

    Thanks
  • drlodgedrlodge Posts: 4,824
    You can have the spacers either on top or below the stem, no need to cut. Once you have set the height and are 100% sure, then you know exactly where it needs cutting. Measure twice, cut once.
    WyndyMilla Massive Attack | Rourke 953 | Condor Italia 531 Pro | Boardman CX Pro | DT Swiss RR440 Tubeless Wheels
    Find me on Strava
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,286
    Believe me, you'd be a lot more careful about it than Halfords.

    I built up my CR1 too. Admittedly I had a garage to do it in, but it wasn't difficult, and I just did a bit each evening till it was finished. The carbon steerer I cut by eye with a junior hacksaw; it was a lot easier than cutting an alloy one. The headset cups needed pressing in; I got a DIY press made of threaded rod, nuts and washers for a fiver off Ebay. Never used a torque wrench, just common sense.

    It's immensely satisfying, I know it's all properly put together, and I know how it all works so I can confidently adjust / fix / replace things when needed.

    The internet is awash with technical info, guidance and YouTube vids of people doing just about everything bike related, and there's loads of people on here who can give advice, some of it even useful...
  • odessoukyodessouky Posts: 264
    Try Sigma Sport in Hampton Wick. I'd have them do the BB anyway - you can't bodge a press fit. And get them to check your wheels over too - spoke tensions evened out, bearings greased and adjusted properly. I'd also leave cutting the steerer if poss. Ride it first, then cut.

    The rest you can do at home. Wrapping the bars can take a bit of practice but it's well worth learning. Internal cable routing can be frustrating. Doesn't have to be in one session. Take your time.

    Otherwise ask Sigma to quote for the whole build. Remember, they're not making a profit on the parts so it's pure workshop time for them.

    Just called Sigma...they seem very helpful...

    Booked it for next month...

    In the meantime I will keep researching doing it myself.. :mrgreen:
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,286
    odessouky wrote:
    By saying "DO NOT CUT THE STEERER, RIDE IT FIRST THEN CUT", how is that possible?

    It's a new frame, and the steerer looks very long to me? Is it possible not to cut it at all? I would rather do that first?

    Thanks

    Steerers are all made long enough so they'll fit all frame sizes and allow room for adjustment. If you have a smaller frame you will have a lot of extra steerer, and you may well need to chop some off before it can be safely assembled to ride. Most manufacturers stipulate how many spacers can safely be fitted above and below the stem, but they are usually pretty cautious. Better to have a couple extra at first till you're sure.

    I had to lop a second bit off my steerer to get it just right. Carbon's surprisingly easy to cut though.
  • £40 is building a boxed bike, my store is usually an £80 Gold service for what you want.
    While I'd love to be able to suggest you do it all yourself the 2 main advantages of using a shop (Halfords/Evans/LBS)

    1)they'll have all the right tools, including some specialist ones that cost £100+ and you'd only use once
    2)whoever you go for, whatever their reputation (and there's nothing to stop you chatting with them to gauge their skills) they take responsibility for the build, if they break something they have to fix it
  • odessoukyodessouky Posts: 264
    keef66 wrote:
    odessouky wrote:
    By saying "DO NOT CUT THE STEERER, RIDE IT FIRST THEN CUT", how is that possible?

    It's a new frame, and the steerer looks very long to me? Is it possible not to cut it at all? I would rather do that first?

    Thanks

    Steerers are all made long enough so they'll fit all frame sizes and allow room for adjustment. If you have a smaller frame you will have a lot of extra steerer, and you may well need to chop some off before it can be safely assembled to ride. Most manufacturers stipulate how many spacers can safely be fitted above and below the stem, but they are usually pretty cautious. Better to have a couple extra at first till you're sure.

    I had to lop a second bit off my steerer to get it just right. Carbon's surprisingly easy to cut though.

    Well, its a Cannondale Synapse 56cm with a 18.6cm headtube length?

    Do you think I can get away without cutting at ll? Guess its a pretty long head tube, which is why I chose the synapse in the first place.
  • onionmkonionmk Posts: 100
    I would avoid Halfords. At that price they're probably expecting you to bring them a boxed up bike with little to no assembly required. Anything slightly technical and they have no clue what they're doing- I say this from several nasty experiences.

    I would say do it yourself but you may not have all the tools required. I've had great experience with Evans mechanics. They usually do small technical jobs for me for free (I.e removing a stuck crown race). At £130 though it seems steep!

    Try google a few local bike shops for quotes. They're usually more at home with bike builds and I imagine will charge less.
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