OPEN MONDAY TO SATURDAY - 09:00 - 17:30
18b AIRTHREY ROAD, STIRLING, FK9 5JR - FREE CAR PARKING AT THE REAR.
EMAIL: info@stirlingcycles.co.uk     CALL: 01786 451559
NEWS
Mar 22, 2017
For this weeks Workshop Wednesday, we're going to look at why spokes break and how correct spoke tension is the most important element in building a wheel that will stand up to the continual stresses and strains placed upon it.
 
The stength of a wheel comes mostly from the spokes being tightened to the correct tension, and that tension being as evenly distributed across all the spokes in the wheel. The rim also contributes to the strength of a wheel, but to a lesser extent than correct spoke tension. This is why the skill and quality of the wheelbuilder is far more important than the quality of the parts. Anyone can build a wheel using the highest quality components available, but if they fail to understand what gives a wheel its strength, then even the most expensive hand built wheels can quickly resemble a Pringle and fail.
 
Most people think that wheels fail due to an impact breaking a spoke. However in reality when your wheel buckles and you inspect the spokes, 9 times out of 10 they're all intact. This is because wheels  buckle when one of more spokes lose tension as a result of an impact. .
 
Spokes usually break when you're just riding along as a result of fatigue. If your spokes are under tensioned, then each time the wheel rotates, the spokes are flexed as the load changes. This continual flexing of the spokes caused by insufficient tension is what breaks a spoke. A wheel which has covered 1,250 miles has been subjected to a million of these load changes, this means a typical road wheel with 28 spokes has been subjected to 28 million load changes! Therefore although the spokes may have started out as perfect fit, they begin to move and flex, and more and more as time passes, until eventually they will fail. The most telling sign of an under tensioned wheel is one which has had many spoke breakages.
 
 
The solution then lies in the wheel being built with the correct spoke tension. If your spokes are tensioned correctly, then the spoke doesn't move as the wheel rotates, meaning they last much longer. Thus a correctly tensioned wheel is one that will last often well after the rim has worn out.
 
Spoke tensions can be roughly measued using the Park Tool TM-1 (seen above), to check that the spoke tensions are equal between spokes, before checking absolute spoke tension with the more accurate Sapim spoke tensionmeter and making any fine adjustments thereafter. Although it is important to achieve equal spoke tension around the wheel, due to imperfections in the rim, there will usually be a very slight difference between the absolute tensions of each spoke.
 
If you want to learn more about hand built wheels, how to lace them and the processes required to achieve a well balanced wheel, then the book, "The Art of Wheelbuilding" by Gerd Schraner is worth a read. It also contains much of the content for the Cytech Level 2 wheel building module.
 
Mar 15, 2017
With the new range of Maxxis road and MTB tyres soon to land at Stirling Cycles, we've chosen to look at the steps behind converting your bike to accept tubeless tyres and the reasons why you'd bother doing so!
 
A tubeless set up offers many benefits to both road and MTB cyclists; lower rolling resistance, more grip, improved comfort and better puncture protection. 
 
By foregoing the inner tube, the friction created between the tube and tyre is removed, reducing rolling resistance and increasing speed. By removing the inner tube, tubeless set ups also completely rule out the chances of pinch flat. Tubeless tyres can also be run at lower pressures without negatively impacting performance. Using lower pressures leads to more comfort and more grip.
 
 
The easiest and most reliable way to go tubeless is with a dedicated tubeless wheelset, tubeless tyres, liquid sealant (we've tried loads and think Stans works best), tubeless valves and tubeless rim tape and while there are conversion kits available, the results are varied and problems can arise from air leaks between the tyre and rim bead seat.
 
In short using a tubeless specific wheelset from the likes of DT Swiss with Stans sealant and tubeless ready tyres ensures a guaranteed fit - hassle free. 
 
So should you make the switch? Well if you already own a set of tubeless compatible wheels (they come as standard on a lot of mountain bikes these days) or are thinking of upgrading your battered old winter road wheels, then it's a relatively inexpensive and simple upgrade to make which can really enhance the feel and performance of your bike, not to mention eliminating pinch flats for ever!
 
For a detailed run down on the steps required check out the video below from Maxxis Tyres!
 
https://youtu.be/HgNCvGZVpls (opens in new window) 
Mar 1, 2017

This week we will have a brief look at the new (ish) Campagnolo Potenza groupset. Some of you may be familiar with Campag but be a little unsure of where this new groupset fits in the range or why it was necessary to create it. Well first of all it sits between Veloce and Chorus. It basically replaces Athena in the range. Why make it? Actually it's partly about trickle down tech from the likes of Chorus, Record and Super Record but it also has it's own unique features which may actually make it more appealing than it's big brothers.

For example the front mech design is very similar to Super Record but uses different materials to keep costs down. The only penalty, of course, is weight. While the rear mech looks very similar and incorporates Embrace Technology which came from the higher end groupsets and allows the rear mech to stay closer to the cassette and didn't feature on Athena. It now comes in two versions. A 55 mm cage version and a brand new 72.5 mm version which will allow Campag users for the first time to ride a 32 tooth cassette. 

 

The introduction of Potenza also sees Campag introduce Campagnolo 11 components. Specifically chains and cassettes. For the first time they are non groupset specific 11 speed components that can be used with any Campag 11 speed groupset and are priced very competitively (the only exception is the 32 tooth cassette which can only be used with the Potenza 72.5 mm rear mech). 

If you are unfamiliar with Campag then their shifters come as either Ultrashift, or in the case of Potenza and Veloce, Powershift. Powershift allows one downshift (shift to a smaller sprocket) at a time on the rear but you can shift up three sprockets at a time. Whatever Campag say about the reason for this I can tell you from personal experience that it has made the lower end shifters much more reliable and enjoyable to use. Higher end shifters (Chorus upwards) use Ultrashift which allows multiple shifting in both directions but because of their higher quality materials (and higher price tag) they are just as, if not even more, reliable. 

 

So for about the price of a Shimano Ultegra groupset you could be riding some beautiful Italian design and now you can keep your granny gear!

 

For more info on Potenza or any other Campgnolo products head over to 

https://www.campagnolo.com/UK/en

Feb 17, 2017

New Koryak dropper post delivers 120mm of unlimited adjustment, internal cable routing and multiple lever options

Designed to inspire confidence through versatility, adaptability and performance synonymous with the PRO name, the Koryak dropper post is a first from the brand.

Weighing in at 520g (including remote and cable) and available in 30.9- or 31.6mm diameter options, the Koryak adjustable alloy seat post brings 120mm of smooth non-indexed travel for on-the-fly adjustability.

The smooth downward movement and quick, responsive upwards rebound of the post is provided by a replaceable air cartridge. The mechanism is operated by an internally routed cable, which runs down the seat post and through the frame, and is connected to a bar-mounted lever by Shimano’s OPTISLICK cables for optimum performance in the face of dirt and mud.

Two lever options are available, a regular up/down lever which can be mounted on the left or right of the bars, or a Firebolt-style lever (compatible with Shimano I-Spec II) for those running 1x11 or a SHIMANO SYNCHRONIZED SHIFT drivetrain, which takes advantage of the free left hand shift lever position for operating the dropper post. A full complement of spares are available including air cartridges and new bushings to prolong longevity. Now available in store £199.99.

PRSP0188anglefront.jpg

Koyrak-Remote-.jpg

Feb 15, 2017

Continuing from last week's Workshop Wednesday post regarding BB30 and PF30, this week we'll take a look at how to remove and replace the bearings in your Campagnolo Power Torque crankset.

You'll need:

Soft faced hammer

Crank puller

Crank plug

14mm allen key

10mm spanner

Flat blade screwdriver

Crown race setter (not shown)

Cardboard pads (not shown)

1. The first step is to remove the left hand crank. Using the 14mm allen key, remove the crank bolt and washer by turning it anti-clockwise.

2. With the bolt and washer fully removed, insert the crank plug into the end of the crank/axle. Place the cardboard pad behind the crank and position the crank puller in place over the left hand crank. The puller hooks should sit behind the crank arm and pull against the cardboard pad, while the centre rod presses against the crank plug.

3. Using a 10mm spanner, pull the left hand crank off by turning it clock-wise. Hold the left hand crank arm to stop the crankset rotating. With the crank arm removed, take off the rubber seal and compession spring from behind the crank. Place the compression spring somewhere safe.

4. Before you remove the drive side crank, you'll first have to remove the small retaining clip located on the drive side BB cup. Unclip it using the flat head screwdriver. With the clip removed, tap the axle while holding the frame by the seat tube to remove the crankset.

5. Remove the non-drive side bearing from the BB cup by tapping it out from the driveside using a flat blade screwdriver and hammer. To remove the bearing from the crank axle, first remove the circlip located just above the bearing, then tap the bearing down the axle using a flat blade screwdriver and hammer. Remove the thinner rubber seal located behind this bearing.

6. With both bearings removed, install the smaller of the two rubber seals onto the crank axle. Next apply grease/anti-seize to the axle and using a crown setter knock the replacement bearing down the axle. Follow this with the circlip. Apply grease/anti-seize to the inside of both BB cups and loosely press the non-drive side bearing into place by hand before fully seating the bearing by tapping gently with the soft face of the hammer.

 

7. Slide the crankset back through the bike and install the compression spring then the thicker rubber seal onto the crank axle. Grease the axle splines. Align the left hand crank with the splines on the crank axle and secure using the crank bolt and washer with a 14mm allen key. Tighten to 42Nm if using a torque wrench. Lastly, hook the retaining clip around the drive side BB cup.

Feb 9, 2017

As we enter the perfect time of year to sort out your cycling requirements for the season ahead, we have listed all of our genuinely fantastic offers on bikes. There is only one of each of each these available and only in the size and colour shown. As such, the prices have been .....SLAMMED!

We have ample free car parking at the rear and a team of enthusiastic, well informed staff keen to match you to the perfect bike.

These offers are not available on Cyclescheme or Finance - Sorry!

Genesis Tarn 20 - Shimano XT 1 x 11 - Size: Medium. Was: £1899 Now: £1299

 

Ridley Helium - Ltd Edition - Ultegra Mix. Sie: Medium. Was: £2199 Now: £1999.

 

Ridley Helium Ltd Edition - Dura Ace. Size: Medium. Was: £2750 - Now: £2499

 

Fondriest TF2 1.5 - Shimano 105. Size: Medium. Was £2299 - Now: £2149

 

Ridley X-Bow - Shimano 105 Mix. Size: Medium. Was: £1199 - Now: £899

 

Ridley X-Ride - Shimano 105 mix - Size: Medium. Was: £1349 - Now: £1199

 

Ridley Fenix SL10 - Dura Ace - Forza Carbon Wheels - Ex Demo (barely) - Size: Medium. Was: £4999. Now: £3100

 

Saracen Mantra Carbon - Deore 2 x 10. Size: 17". Was: £1299. Now: £999

 

 

Feb 8, 2017

This week on Workshop Wednesday, we'll show you what you'll need if you're converting a frame from one bottom bracket (BB) standard to accept a crank of an altogether different BB standard. In our example, we've chosen perhaps the most common conversion: converting a BB30 or PF30 frame to accept a Shimano crankset. 

Many road bikes come specced with an FSA crankset using a 30mm axle, but use Shimano shifters and derailleurs. For those wanting to fit a complete Shimano groupset, it's therefore often necessary to replace the larger 30mm diamater BB to one with a smaller 24mm diameter to accept a Shimano crankset.

But first, what is a BB30 or PF30 bottom bracket shell and how does it differ from a Shimano compatible BB? 

BB30 

Launched in 2006 by Cannondale, a BB30 bottom bracket differs from a traditional threaded BB as the cartridge bearings (no. 6806) making up the BB are pressed directly into a precision-machined BB shell and stop against two retaining clips. By pressing the bearings directly into the frame, a BB30 negates the need for separate bearing cups, helping save weight. The aluminium crank axle also has a 30mm diameter, making for a stiffer crank. The internal shell diameter of a BB30 frame is 42mm.

However BB30 is not without its drawbacks. Because the bearings press directly into the frame, the frame tolerances required are much smaller than a threaded BB, making a BB30 frame more expensive to manufacture. To address this a new standard, PressFit30, was developed.

PressFit30

Developed to address the stringent tolerances and production costs of BB30 frame, SRAM designed the PressFit30 bottom bracket. Using the same 6806 cartridge bearings as a BB30, but this time contained within a plastic cup, the PF30 system gives manufacturers greater tolerances when machining their BB shells as the plastic cups can deform to compensate for irregularities. Because of this, the PF30 system has been widely adopted by both mountain bike and road bike frame manufacturers. Due to the use of plastic cups, a PF30 shell diameter measures 46mm.

Determine your BB

The easiest way to identify whether or not your frame uses the BB30 standard or PF30 standard is to check with your frame manufacturers website. Alternatively you can remove the left hand crank, often held in place by an 8mm or 10mm threaded bolt. Remove the crank by undoing the bolt anti-clockwise and inspect the area around the BB. If the frame uses a PF30, the plastic cups will be visible on the outside of the frame.

Choosing the right converter

Once you've determined whether your frame uses a BB30 or PF30 bottom bracket, there are two different methods for converting your frame to accept a Shimano crankset. The cheaper (and easier) method involves using plastic adapters like the ones below which press into the existing BB bearings, effectively acting like a spacer between the 24mm axle of your Shimano crank and the 30mm bearing. These can often be fitted by hand, requiring no specialist tools beyond the allen key to remove the crank.

 

These simple adapters can however be prone to creaking. To address this, several companies likes Wheels Manufacturing and Praxxis now produce whole BB assemblies with one cup which presses into the frame, before threading the second cup inside. This system provides a solid, creak free solution to converting a BB30/PF30 frame to work with the thinner, 24mm axle Shimano cranks, however this method does require a BB press and Hollowtech 2 wrench along with a 5mm allen key and preload tool for the crank.

Feb 1, 2017

The last week here at Stirling Cycles has seen a lot of our customers bringing in their winter bikes for some much needed TLC. One of the most common issues on a lot of these bikes is drivetrain wear, in particular worn chains. For this week's Workshop Wednesday we'll show you how measure your chain for wear and identify when it is time to replace it.

You'll need:

Chain wear indicator

If you don't have a chain wear indicator, you can measure your chain using a steel rule, but we prefer to use something like the Park Tool CC-2 or CC-3.2 shown above as it makes the job much quicker and easier. Though our example will feature the options from Park, chain checkers from different manufacturers operate in the same way.

It's a common misconception that chain wear is caused by the chain stretching as you ride, what actually happens is that the rollers sandwiched between the inner and outer links become worn. As your chain wears, it also deforms the cassette and chainring teeth. In time, this deformation will lead to inconsistent shifting and poor drivetrain performance. By periodically checking your chain, you can replace your chain at the correct time, before wearing out your cassette or chainrings and alleviating poor shift issues.

Chain checkers are usually available in one of two types; either with a sliding scale like the CC-2, or as a 'go/no go' style such as the CC-3.2. Both tools do the same job and whichever one you go for is as much personal preference and budget as it is performance. Most chain wear indicators will work on all 1/2" pitch chains from single speed to the latest 12 speed SRAM Eagle.

The image below should give you some idea as to how a chain wear indicator works. By placing the hooked end of the tool on the chain, the wear can be measured by pressing the opposite end onto the chain. If you're using a steel rule, you'll want to place the end in the centre of a chain pin and measure 12 complete links. If 12 links measures more than 12 1/8" (308mm) the chain is worn out and should be replaced (depending on the amount of wear, you may also need to replace your cassette and one or more chainrings).

Most tools will have a value indicating 0.25%, 0.5%, 0.75% and (on the CC-2) 1.0%. These values correspond to the amount of chain wear. In the image above, the top chain measures at 0.5% wear, while the bottom chain does not fit on the tool. This would be a new chain. A new chain typically measures between 0.25% to less than 0.5%. Although the point at which a chain should be replaced varies between manufacturers, the following can be used as a guide to determine whether or not it is time to replace your chain in order to prolong the life of the cassette and chainrings.

If your bike uses either a 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9 speed chain, replacing your chain at 0.75% will ensure you squeeze as much life out your other drivetrain components as possible.

Similarly, if your bike uses either a 10, 11 or 12 speed chain, most manufacturers will recommend to replace your chain once you reach 0.5% to prevent premature drivetrain wear. 

Replacing your chain once it measures greater than these guidelines could also result in a new cassette and/or new chainrings being required as the worn chain may have deformed the casstte/chainring beyond the tolerance of that of a new chain and will only result in further shift problems and accelerated wear of your new chain.

That's all for now, thanks for reading!

Jan 27, 2017
 
Happy Friday everyone!
 
Introducing our 'Friday Feature' where we'll bring you some information on something we think you'll find interesting. Won't necessarily be every Friday, just when we've got something to say!
 
We've decided to kick off with a tour of the Ridley factory. For many cyclists, Ridley needs no introduction, but we do get asked where the brand is from, what is its history?
 
With Ridley we are working with pioneering frame design, premium quality materials and production, and a phenomenal riding experience enjoyed by weekend enthusiasts to Tour de France challengers.
 
To learn more about the 2017 Ridley range including the very exciting new women's range, pop in or give us a call. Enjoy!
 
Jan 25, 2017
For our first post we thought we'd start with something that should be simple (and it may well be to some of you) but we get asked about a lot by our customers - 'How to properly fit tyres?'. Replacing tyres or inner tubes shouldn't cause any headaches, but we all know that some tyres are just more difficult than others. So in this post, we'll share a few of our tips on how to replace your tyre and identify the correct sized inner tube.
You'll need:
Tyre levers (we like the wide ones from Park)
Pump (a track pump with a pressure gauge is preferred)
Tyre
Correct size tube
 
1. The first thing you'll want to do after removing the wheel from the bike is to fully deflate the tyre. The less air in the tube, the easier the tyre will come off. With the valve core depressed, roll the tyre back and forth along the ground to help push out the air.
2. With as much air out the tyre as possible, the next stage is to remove the tyre from the wheel. Work your way around the tyre squeezing the the two sides of the tyre together and pulling the tyre walls away from the edges of the wheel rim toward the centre. This should loosen the tyre a little before you begin trying to remove it. Then, starting at the valve, push the tyre down onto the rim maintaining pressure on the tyre. Slowly move both hands away from each other and around the circumference of the tyre while pushing down hard on the tyre. Once you have worked your way almost all the way around the rim you should find a gap begins to appear between the tyre and rim. If you can't quite get it off then, starting opposite the valve, squeeze the tyre together and fit one of your tyre levers under the tyre edge, then push the opposite end of the lever towards the spokes and hook it in place under a spoke.
3. Next, move around the tyre 3-4 spokes and repeat step 2. You should now have two tyre levers hooked under the bead and hooked over a spoke. Doing this will lift an area of the tyre out the rim and make it easier to unseat the rest of the tyre.
4. With the wheel between your knees, pull the second tyre lever towards you (it doesn't matter if the first lever falls out at this point). Keep pulling the lever towards you until the tyre is completely free from the rim on one side. Reach inside and pull out the inner tube. The tyre should come away from the rim easily now, but if it doesn't you can repeat steps 1-4 on the opposite side.
5. With the old tyre off, grab your new tyre and look for any directional arrows that may be printed on the tyre sidewall. You'll want this arrow to point towards the front of the bike. Elsewhere on the sidewall will be a series of numbers, these numbers will determine what size inner tube you will need. In our image, this is 35 x 700C. Our inner tube will need to have a range which would include this size. We've chosen a 28 x 700C - 37 x 700C inner tube. 
6. Inflate the tube slightly, you're only wanting enough air for the tube to hold its shape. Hook one side of the tyre onto the wheel (the opposite of step 4). Align the tyre logo with the valve hole. Pulling the tyre back, insert the valve of the inner tube through the valve hole on the rim and tuck the rest of the tube up inside the tyre. 
7. Starting from the valve hole and using both hands, begin to push the tyre up and over the rim. Work your way round the wheel until the tyre either goes onto the wheel, or until you cannot push the final section over the rim. If the final section is too tight to push over by hand, return to area at the valve and repeat the technique you used to remove the tyre by pushing the tyre down onto the rim. While maintaining pressure on the tyre, run both hands away from each other and around the circumference of the tyre. This will help pull the tyre tight against the rim and should give enough excess to push that final section on by hand. If it still doesn't want to budge, take your tyre lever and place it between the tyre and rim the opposite way to how you used it in step 2 and use the tyre lever to lift the tyre up and over the rim.
8. With the tyre on the wheel, squeeze the two sides of the tyre together to check that the tube is fully tucked up inside the tyre, if the tube is not inside the tyre at this point it'll explode when you come to inflate it. Once you're satisfied the tube is in place, grab your pump and inflate the tyre.
9. With the tyre inflated, check that it is seated properly by looking for any bulges around where the tyre touches the rim. If any bulges are visible, deflate the tyre, check the tyre is seated correctly and reinflate. The tyre sidewall will also show a manufacturer's recommended maximum and minimum inflation pressures. Do not exceed these.
10. Finally all that is left, is to reinstall the wheel in the bike and take it out for a spin!
Jan 23, 2017

 

For the past 2 weeks we have been one mechanic down in the workshop because we sent Ryan down to Aylesbury to undertake an intense 2 week 'Cytech 2' training course and assessment.

Cytech 2 is the recognised industry standard qualification for bike mechanics and Ryan not only passed, but passed with credit!

A credit pass is awarded to those who have demonstrated particularly high standards of work and excellent attention to detail.

A fantastic result, we're very pleased for Ryan and delighted that he tackled the course in this way.  

Every member of staff at Stirling Cycles holds a Cytech qualification relevant/appropriate to their role. This is not an industry requirement, it's simply good practice and we believe in investing in ensuring we have the skills and expertise to deliver a professional job for you, every time.

Jan 18, 2017

Starting next Wednesday (25th Jan), we'll be launching the first of our new 'Workshop Wednesday' posts. These posts will cover all areas of cycle maintenance, across mountain bikes, road bikes and more. The topics will vary from how to correctly set up your bikes suspension forks and shock, to re-cabling a road bike, checking when to replace your chain and how to care for your bike to keep it running smoothly between services.

 

We'll post the 'Workshop Wednesday' link to our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages, so be sure to follow us to always receive the latest post.

 

If there are particular areas you'd like us to cover, pop a comment under the links or tweet us @StirlingCycles and we'll do our best to include as many as we can in our posts over the next year.

 

Until then! 

Jan 2, 2017

Well, that's us closed up for the year! It's a good time to reflect on the year that was, and get excited about our plans for 2017. This is a long post, but don't be deterred. Make yourself a brew or pour a dram (like me) and settle in.


2016 felt like the quickest year of my life to date. Yes, I know that comes with age, but I think it is more to do with the whirlwind year in our business. This time last year we were still operating out of 2 Alloa Road and were only just picking up the keys for the current building.


Since then the workload and learning curve has been massive. That's an understatement. From fitting out the shop, to finding our feet with the all new and massively scaled up retail offering, to recruiting 2 new members to the team, to implementing new systems to support the business, and endeavouring to keep the existing, and the significant new customer base happy in the process. It's a lot to take on.


Has it been fun? Yes. Has it been difficult at times? Yes. But do I have any regrets?......long pause.....Absolutely not!


In 2016 we have created a fantastic place to visit, with what I strongly and genuinely believe are the best team of staff in the business, with huge further potential still untapped. We are also, perhaps more slowly (there's only so many hours in the day), creating a fantastic place to work, with me getting to grips with having a bigger team/business and Grant settling into his role as Workshop Manager.


2017 is our 10th anniversary in business. This is huge! And that's a genuine 10 years, same company ownership, from Stirling Cycle Repairs offering a collect and return service with repair work being performed in my garage, to Stirling Enterprise Park, to 2 Alloa Road, and now to 18b Airthrey Road. Brought there by hard work from us, and consistent support from you.


The word underpinning 2017 for us will be 'ambition'. We are planning a massive year to build on the success we've enjoyed in 2016. We'll have lots of promotions, events and exciting things to get involved with. We'll be doing what my wife did for her 40th birthday, that is to say we'll be celebrating it for a whole year! And why not? In this day and age 10 years in business is no mean feat.


2016 was not an easy year for the bike trade in general (nor was 2015 come to think of it). Despite the widely held belief that cycling is booming and that it's a great time to be in the trade, the reality is that it's an incredibly difficult industry to survive in. Independent bike shops like ours are under immense pressure from the rampant growth and power of online giants, and competition amongst local independents is also very fierce.


Regardless of that doom and gloom, we keep working hard every day to improve and become a better place to visit. We reckon we set ourselves aside from the average bike shop. I genuinely love doing what I do (and I think our team does too), I also believe we are an important part of the community. We bring a vibrancy and air of activity to the local area in which we operate. People come to our shop and leave smiling, bump into friends in-store and share stories. We enjoy talking to our customers, imparting our knowledge to help them make the best decision and to get the most out of cycling, and we also enjoy learning from our customer's experiences.


We know, and we remind ourselves every day, that no-one owes us a living. We cannot demand that people 'support their local bike shop'. It is not enough to turn up and tell people to shop local and support small businesses. You have to create an offering where people want to do that, and that's what we work towards every day. Online shopping will not go away. Consumer shopping habits have changed and many people prefer online shopping over personal service and fantastic after sales support.


But what we do ask of you is to keep doing what you have been doing, which is giving the physical bricks and mortar shopping experience the opportunity to win your custom. In many cases we cannot match online pricing and to expect us to do so is perhaps unrealistic. The big online retailers operate on a tiny margin, high volume basis that would not support our business model. But we are not afraid to have the conversation with you regarding online pricing. You will find us to be frank, open and fair. All we ask is that you come to us with reasonable/realistic expectations and an open mind.


We price our products and our offering to you based on the environment we create for you to shop in, the expertise of our staff, and the outstanding after sales support. We are building a relationship with you for the long term. If you are making a considered purchase, a bigger investment, e.g a bike, wheels, a groupset, a Garmin, or a lot of individual items, then let's work together. We want your business, we will do what we can to give you a great deal, but please look at the overall package and not just at the bottom line. If buying from us costs a few quid more than buying online, the likelihood is you will find we add enough value to the relationship in the long term to make that small additional cost worth it.


I want to thank you all for your support. It is never taken for granted. If I ever fail to show my gratitude, it's not because I have become complacent, it's because I am probably exhausted at the time. To all of you who chose to visit us and spend your hard earned disposable income in our shop, we are hugely grateful and indebted to you.


We re-open on 3rd January with a re-jigged shop layout and a massive sale which we are calling our Green Dot Sale. Everything with a green dot on it is reduced – clever eh?


Thank you for taking the time to read this. Consider it therapy for me. I wish you all the very best for 2017 from the bottom of my heart. Let's make great things happen!

Dec 19, 2016

Hi, it's about time we published our festive opening hours!

Saturday 24th December: 9am - 3pm
25th - 27th: closed
Wednesday 28th - Friday 30th: 9am - 5.30pm
Saturday 31st: 9am - 3pm
1st and 2nd: closed
3rd Jan open business as usual 2017 here we come!!!!

Jul 15, 2016

 

BIG NEWS! This is the weekend launch of the brand new Garmin Edge 820 and the Edge Explore 820, and WE have stock - NOW!

This new unit from Garmin is so hot off the press we only received it late Friday, but we've rapidly taken one out a box and have it set up for you to play with. Come and see us and we'll show you around it.

NEW FROM GARMIN: EDGE 820

The edge 820 is the compact, touchscreen cycling computer for competitors and serious achievers who need GPS navigation and an altimeter to tell you how fast, how high and how far you’ve gone.

It offers advanced performance monitoring like VO2 max, FTP Tracking and new Performance Condition as well as advanced cycling dynamics, GroupTrack, in-ride challenges through Strava live segments and connected features that include full Varia cycling awareness compatibility

Edge Explore 820 - £279.99
Edge 820 - £329.99
Edge 820 Performance Bundle - £389.99.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FaLkTXtG_Z4

We also have stock of Garmin Vector 2 pedals and many other units from the Garmin range.

Dec 20, 2015

We can now reveal that the location of our new shop will be 18 Airthrey Road, Causewayhead, Stirling, FK9 5JR. 

We are moving into the building previously occupied by Sparkle beauticians, right next door to Animal Tails vets.

Target open - 1st Feb. Business as usual from current shop until then.

There is extensive free customer car parking to the rear of the building. It's so close to the current shop you can see it from where we are now, it's just across the roundabout on the sunny side of the street (as you can see from the rather drab photo I have attached, which just doesn't do it justice.)

Large, bright and spacious retail area out front, and extensive workshop area through the back. It's going to be a joy to work with you all there.

Brand announcements will start rolling out from 2nd Jan, along with progress shots of the fit out. It's soooooo exciting!!!!

 

Dec 9, 2015

Good morning to all our wonderful customers!

For almost 9 years now we have been steadily growing our business year after year with your loyalty and support, building a reputation for excellence in bike repair and servicing, hand built wheels and more recently adding Fondriest Italian road bikes to our repertoire.

We are extremely excited to announce that in late January 2016, we are opening a brand new shop in the Stirling area. We will be offering the complete package for cyclists and our aim is to be THE destination for all your cycling requirements.

We'll be stocking an excellent range of bikes from flagship brands. Quality entry level through to high end road and MTB, touring, commuting and well built lightweight bikes for children. We'll also have a fantastic wide range of parts, accessories and clothing.

We will not be losing focus on the workshop, which remains a key part of our business, same experienced mechanics in the workshop, same attention to detail and pride in the job.... much more exciting environment!

Where is the shop? What brands will we stock? Now, if we told you everything all at once, that just wouldn't be any fun.

We will be making further announcements over December and early January, and of course you will all be receiving an invite to our big opening weekend. We can't wait to work with you in our new location and meantime, feel free to pop into the current shop, give us a high five and have a chat about how great it's going to be for everyone :-)

On the back of all this, we are recruiting a full time retail staff member. Don't be deterred from applying if you have more of a workshop background, happy to speak to all excellent candidates.

Click here to see the ACT website for more details.

 

Jun 1, 2014

Well that's the cycling event I've been building up to since January done and dusted, and what an event it was!


On the lead up to the event Grant put his ankle out, it took an eternity to heal, and he was unable to do the event. Doing the 3 Pistes was Grant's idea in the first place so it was a real pity he couldn't make it having been training for months. It was also a real pity for me as I had intended to sit on his rear wheel the entire ride.


Grant and I had a hotel booked in Pitlochry on the Saturday night but with Grant having to pull out,  I changed the booking so my wife and daughter could come with me for a bit of support. We arrived at the hotel to be told there was a bit of a problem and that they were horribly overbooked. "Here we go", I thought to myself, this doesn't bode well, but in a few minutes I find that we're headed to the Atholl Palace Manor House for a complimentary upgrade to a siiiiignifiiiiicantly nicer hotel, with dinner thrown in for the "inconvenience". Thanks Fishers! This put me in an exceptionally good frame of mind.

We arrive at the Atholl Palace to check in, I'm a bit flustered with the whole thing and my wife is going on about how she hasn't brought anything nice to wear to dinner. I get a few funny looks as I am still wearing my work jeans (covered in oil) and Fondriest t-shirt and as it turns out I have oil smeared across my cheek (I left work in a hurry on Saturday afternoon to register in Pitlochry).

We did feel a bit more grounded however when we stumbled across a wedding party that was there on the day and one of the guests announced to us, "we've been here aw day and we're totally pished". And I couldn't disagree with her as she bounced off most of the people in the vicinity. 

A quick scrub up later.... Saturday night at dinner amidst the grandeur of the Atholl Palace I was having to remind myself that I was there to do a cycling event and not to indulge too much in the luxury of the surroundings, although I did let my guard down to enjoy the 10 year old Laphroaig that complimented the butterscotch and banana sticky toffee pudding, according to their menu. Would have been rude not to.

So to the event. Sunday morning, I dragged myself out of my gigantic bed, grabbed a light breakfast, smiled ear to ear at the fact that sun was shining, then muttered under my breath continuously about the injustice of having to ride Logie Kirk style gradients just to get to the start line.  

One of the stand out features of the 3 Pistes Sportive both in the build up and on the day was the friendly accessible nature of the team that put it together. The registration team on the Saturday was organised and efficient, and on the day itself I felt there was a sense of achievement amongst the team that they had been able to pull off what must have been a logistical nightmare of an event to organise. This seemed to transmit to the riders doing the event, creating a really friendly 'we're all in this together' atmosphere that I really enjoyed. There was none of that frantic 'my life depends on this' type riding that I've witnessed at some other sportives.

Since January, I had done around 125, 000 feet of climbing and 2100 miles on the bike in preparation. It wasn't really enough. I hadn't been round the route before so I didn't know what lay ahead. I think this was probably a good thing.  The first big climb of the day (Glen Shee) was not too bad and when I got over it and to the first feed station (which again was well organised, friendly and had everything you needed) I found myself thinking, "one down, two to go, this isn't going to be too bad". I even sent a text to my wife letting her know that I might be getting to the Cairngorms earlier than expected.....that was naive.

The descent from Glen Shee and all other descents on the day for that matter were just bonkers. Very very fast, mostly wide open so you could enjoy them but with a few terrifying chicanes and switchbacks thrown in to make your arse twitch and your brakes make noises you've never heard before. 

It's the relentlessness of the day and the accumulation of climbs that just saps the energy from you. The 3 Pistes are Glen Shee, the Lecht and the Cairngorms, but there are plenty of other notable lumps on the day in between these climbs.  The Lecht was up next and was by far the hardest climb on the day. 20% gradients in places. I also wasn't in the right frame of mind for it because on the first part of the climb which seemed to go on for ever I met Liam Thomson, who is the cyclist who wrote the entertaining review of the route on the build up to the event. What a nice fella he is, but Liam, if you are reading this, no there is not a feed station at the top of that section! Having realised I was going to wait a little longer for food than I had set my heart on, I plodded on with the climb.

When the Lecht climb hits 20%, it was the only point in the day where I saw people getting off their bikes and pushing and I myself nearly fell off as I rode into the gravel at the side of the road (at about 2mph) and lost the traction on my back wheel, I was obviously completely ga ga at this point. I heard someone in a Ronde top quietly saying to himself, "never get off", and I repeated this over and over until I finally got to the top.  

The Lecht was the turning point for me. Until then there were lots of riders together, always a group to ride with, and everyone was feeling pretty chipper. But in a 102 mile ride there will always be highs and lows and my low came after the Lecht. It blew all the groups apart so now I was riding in isolation, the wind had changed direction (or at least it felt like it) and I was just rolling along with my own thoughts, which were starting to sound like this, "my legs really hurt, when will this be over, why am I doing this?".

Finally a few big groups came by and I hung on for a bit before getting dropped and waiting for the next train to come through.  I was just thinking that every mile ticked off without riding on my own was a bonus.  By this point there was kind of amusing silence amongst all the riders. The prospect of finishing up the Cairngorms was a conversation killer.

By the time I was headed for the final big climb of the day I was telling myself that I was almost home and I got a wee lift. Hilariously, the organisers had made the final climb a timed KOM stage. Hhhmm, I don't think I will be competing for that title. I took the start of the KOM stage section as an opportunity to stop, empty my arm warmers, rain jacket, cap and gilet that I had carried round the route and dump them in a bush by the side of the road for collection later. I wasn't fit for carrying any extra weight up there. 

The Cairngorms is very tough at the end of such a big day, but just knowing it is almost over gets you through it. I came across the finish line in 6 hours 54 minutes and typically for me, felt a bit emotional when I saw my wife and daughter cheering me on. But not as emotional as I felt when I got a big bowl of pasta placed in front of me. 

I was amazed sitting at the finishing area to hear some of the times coming in, many of them between 5 and 6 hours and some of them closer to 5 hours, and the riders didn't even look very tired. These people are on a different level, I just cant comprehend riding round that route at that kind of speed, so hats off to the riders that hit those kind of numbers, amazing.

And that's that. The 3 Pistes in the bag. Well done to all involved and thanks for a gruelling but ultimately very very satisfying day out.

Jan 24, 2014

We are hugely excited and delighted to announce that we are now authorised stockists of Premium Italian road bike brand Fondriest.  This is a massive step forward and development for us and we are looking forward to working with the brand throughout 2014 and beyond. Check out the Fondriest section of our website for more details.
Jan 23, 2014
After a lot of hard work behind the scenes and a lot of late nights, we are pleased to launch our new website. We hope you enjoy using it. The new website ties in with a revamp of our hand built wheel range and our appointment as Authorised Fondriest dealers! My goodness it's all happening here I think I need a lie down.