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Customising or Tailoring 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 standard specifications, component upgrades, or complete custom builds. So what do we mean by tailoring, upgrades and custom specification?

Tailoring

Tailoring is a term that covers all of those tweaks, swaps and alterations that help a bike to meet your unique needs, most often without changing the cost of your bike at all.

We all have our own individual body proportions, fitness and riding styles.  We all have different rides and goals in mind, as well as personal preferences when it comes to things like seating position or the priorities attached to performance and comfort.

As well as guiding you in your choice of bike, these individual differences also mean that to make your bike ride at its best we may need to alter things such as stem or crank lengths, handlebar dimensions or saddle widths – in addition to set-up considerations, such as handlebar and seatpost height, which are basic adjustments that usually require no component swaps.

You may also want to make changes to things like gear ratios, perhaps because you live in a hilly area or perhaps because you prefer a narrower span of ratios to eliminate large jumps in gearing.

No-Cost Tailoring

In the following areas we offer a no-cost tailoring service (unless of course you are also looking to upgrade the components to a higher level at the same time) on all* new bikes:

  • Handlebar width/drop
  • Stem length
  • Chainset ratios
  • Crank length
  • Cassette ratio**
  • Handlebar tape colour (we offer a free swap to a colour of your choice from the Deda Professional tape range of over 20 options)
  • Saddle swap to a female specific saddle

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.  Where we aren’t able to source a like-for-like product swap (e.g. where the item is either a bike manufacturer’s own-brand or a factory-only/OE component and there is no exact replacement available) we will fit the following:

  • Deda Elementi Zero (or similar if out of stock) handlebars and stems – at no cost
  • The nearest equivalent chainset or cassette model – there may be an upgrade cost if swapping out an own-brand or FSA/other OE chainset, as their after market Shimano, SRAM or Campagnolo replacements will often be higher level items.  Where standard Shimano, SRAM or Campagnolo chainsets are being tailored there is usually no cost, unless of course your chosen replacement is also an upgrade.
  • Madison Stellar (or similar if out of stock) female specific saddle – at no cost

*Does not apply to bikes sold from our eBay store, ex-demos, or used bikes.

**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 larger ratio set-up we will have to charge for a replacement chain (you are free of course to retain the original).

Upgrades

On many occasions our customers like the look of a standard specification bike, but would like it to be upgraded in a few places, for example with their preferred saddle, a different set of wheels or maybe by adding power cranks or a lighter set of tyres.

Around half of our bikes fall into this category! And if you are thinking about taking a standard “brochure-spec” bike and making just a few changes the most economical time to do this is when purchasing a bike, as we can usually offer some trade-in value for the parts being taken off (unless they are unique to the bike and therefore can’t be re-used), offer discounts on the parts being fitted and do not charge for the labour involved with upgrading new bikes.  Once you have taken a bike away the upgrade costs to components always increase as the trade-in value of any parts that you are replacing will be lower or 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 – our technicians are fully versed in the requirements of different manufacturers.  By far the best time and lowest cost time to make changes to your bike is when first ordering (many changes, as above, are free for new bikes), with the added peace of mind that things will have been installed correctly and in accordance with manufacturer tolerances.  The result will be well worth a little bit of time up front in discussing your requirements, as it will deliver a bespoke bike that suits your individual needs.

Custom specification

Finally, we come to full custom specification bikes – 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 chosen to meet your preferences or needs?

Around 20% of our bikes are built to full custom specifications – and when compared to high-end brochure specifications the costs can often be strikingly competitive, and sometimes 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 bike that we strip down and rebuild for you if the groupset that is fitted to the “donor bike” is not to your liking, but the frameset is exactly what you are looking for while not normally being available on its own.

How do I specify my tailoring 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!

Tuned for Riding (not shipping)

As a UK 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!).