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Customising Your Bike

Very few bikes leave us without being personalised in some way to suit the individual rider – whether it’s no-cost tailoring of factory specification bikes, component upgrades for improved performance or comfort, or complete custom builds. So what do we mean by tailoring, upgrades and custom builds?

Tailoring

Tailoring covers all of those tweaks, component swaps and alterations that we can make to your bike so that it meets your own unique fitting needs – often without changing the cost of your bike at all.

Everyone has their our own individual body proportions, fitness level and riding style.  We all ride over different terrain and have different goals in mind, as well as personal preferences when it comes to things like handlebar shapes, and differing priorities attached to performance vs comfort.  You may also want to change gear ratios, perhaps because you live in a hilly area or conversely you prefer a narrower spread of gears in order to eliminate large jumps in gearing.

As well as guiding you in your choice of bike, these individual differences mean that changing things like stem and crank lengths, or handlebar and saddle widths will improve the ride of your bike.  So tailoring doesn’t necessarily mean upgrades in the sense that we are fitting higher level/cost components, but they are upgrades in that they involve fitting components that better meet your needs.

This is of course on top of basic set-up considerations, such as handlebar and seatpost height, which are simple adjustments that normally require no component swaps at all.

Free Tailoring

In the following areas we offer a no-cost tailoring service (unless of course you are also looking to make component upgrades at the same time) on most* new bikes.

Where we are making a swap to the above components we will aim to fit a like-for-like product (i.e. the same brand and model, in a different size or colour) at no additional cost.  Where we aren’t able to source a like-for-like product (e.g. where there is no direct replacement available because the item is either a bike manufacturer’s own-brand or a factory-fit only component) we will fit items as detailed below.

Handlebars and Stems

For standard (i.e. non-integrated or frameset-specific) handlebars and stems where we cannot source a direct equivalent in your required size, we will fit models such as Deda Elementi Zero, FSA, Reparto Corse etc. according to availability.

Where the bars and stem are integrated or frameset-specific we are not always able to obtain the full range of alternative sizes from our supplier’s UK stock, in which case we may need to place a special order with the manufacturer (and in some cases your preferred size may not be available at all) – this can incur additional cost and delays, but we will of course inform you of this at the earliest opportunity, and work to keep any such costs or delays to the bare minimum.

Chainsets

Where the chainset is from one of the three main groupset brands (Shimano, Campagnolo, and SRAM) we are usually able to source the direct equivalent with different chainring sizes or crank length at no cost, unless your requirements are extremely unusual (e.g. extreme crank length) or you would prefer to upgrade to a higher level item at the same time.

There will usually be an upgrade cost if swapping out chainsets from other brands (e.g. FSA, Rotor, Cannondale) – see Upgrades below.

Cassettes

If a cassette swap requires the fitting of a longer rear derailleur there will be no charge for either the derailleur or the cassette, but if we need to write off the chain because it is too short for the new larger cassette we will have to charge for a replacement chain (you are free of course to retain the original).

Handlebar Tape

We offer a free swap to a colour of your choice from the Deda Professional tape range of more than 20 options.

Female Specific Saddle

If you require a female specific saddle, we will fit a Madison Stellar (or similar if out of stock) women’s saddle at no cost.

*Does not apply to bikes sold from our eBay store, ex-display/demo, clearance, or used bikes. 

*Does not apply to Genesis bikes, Cannondale Synapse Alloy, CAADX, CAAD Optimo, Bianchi Via Nirone 7, Orbea Avant Hydro, Terra Hydro, Orca OME.

Upgrades

On many occasions our customers like the look of a standard “factory specification” bike, but would like it to be upgraded in a few places, for example with a super-light set of wheels or maybe by swapping to power cranks or a top level set of race tyres.

If you are thinking about taking a standard “brochure-spec” bike and making a few upgrades the most economical time to do this is when purchasing your new bike, as we can normally offer a trade-in value for the parts being taken off (unless they have no resale value, for example where they are unique to the bike and therefore can’t be re-used or are highly unusual and therefore rarely sold as individual items) – and we don’t charge for the workshop labour involved with upgrading new bikes.

Once you have taken a bike away the costs of upgrading components always increase, as the trade-in value of any parts that you are replacing will often be nil, and there may well be chargeable workshop time involved in carrying out the swap at a later date.

Please note that many component changes need to be carried out in particular ways to meet warranty requirements of both the components and bike – our technicians are fully versed in the requirements of different manufacturers.  So as well as being the lowest cost time to make changes to your bike, you also get the added peace of mind that things will have been installed correctly and in accordance with manufacturer tolerances.

There comes a point of course where the number of components being swapped means that it is more economical and practical to custom build your bike from scratch, which brings us to custom specifications.

Custom specification

Purchasing a new bike can involve a significant investment, especially at the premium end of most ranges.  So why not consider a full custom build, where every part is specified by you to meet your preferences and needs?

Around 20% of our bikes are fully custom built, and when compared to high end brochure specifications the costs can often be highly competitive – on many occasions are actually lower – while at the same time giving you exactly what you want.

Custom specifications can either start with a bare frameset, which we can work with you to specify in full, or with a full factory specification bike that we strip down and rebuild for you, for example where the groupset that is fitted to the “donor bike” is not to your liking but the frameset is exactly what you are looking for.

How do I specify my requirements?

If you are able to make an appointment to visit us in person this will of course form a key part of our conversations with you while you are here, alongside things like bike viewing, demo rides or bike fitting, but it is certainly not essential to visit.

Many of our customers first make contact with us either by phone on 01584 705042, via email or using our contact page, and each product page also has a further information form where you can send us details of what you need or would like advice on, including options and costs for tailoring a specific model or building a fully custom bike.

Very few bikes leave here without some sort of personalisation, so please do not feel reluctant to ask anything at all – we enjoy answering queries about bike specifications.

Bikes Tuned for Riding (not shipping)

As a centre of excellence for all of our bike brands we pride ourselves on knowing our bikes inside out, especially on the technical front.

Our technicians are some of the best and most experienced in the UK, and are regularly contacted by the manufacturers themselves regarding tuning and technical aspects of bike set-up and optimisation.

When bikes arrive with us from the manufacturers, even ones that are entirely standard off-the-shelf models they are either partially built or pre-assembled using efficient but not necessarily optimal techniques. Factory builds need to cater for speed of assembly, and the requirements of secure packaging for long-haul space-saving transportation.  This is especially so in the areas of cabling, bearing adjustments and installation, and drive-train optimization.

In most cases the factory assembly (if complete) will of course work, but not as well as it could with proper set-up and tuning.

So every bike we sell is either completely or partially stripped down, then rebuilt to ensure the smoothest and most reliable operation possible – whether, amongst many other things, it is accurate gear shifting, precise braking, free running bearings with minimal play and noise, or weather proofed seals (not all bikes are built with British weather in mind!).