Halfords Free Bike Health Check - Worth it?

I know some of you guys are riding thousands of pounds and wouldn't dream of locking your bike up within a mile of a Halfords store... BUT... for me with my old Raleigh Edale of five years old ... still working fine but could have a bit of a service, could this free health check be worthwhile?

I know a local bike shop / specialist will probably be better. But they also would only stock what I'd imagine to be expensive and quality components, and charge accordingly... Halfords on the other hand... maybe they've got some cheap suitable bits knocking about their workshop they could throw together for a lesser cost to keep me going for a bit until this bike falls apart at not too much expense.

Have any of you tried this service and if so, how did it go? Would you recommend it? Cheers.
 

CanucksTraveller

Macho Business Donkey Wrestler
Location
Hertfordshire
Don't worry, any normal bike shop won't just be stocking expensive and quality components, in fact most will fit "basic" parts unless you specify otherwise. Often they offer you a choice up front, so maybe you have a snapped gear cable and ask for it to be replaced, an LBS will generally offer a choice between a generic basic cable or a "better" one, like Jagwire for instance.
But I think know what you might mean... one or two shops local to me are high end places with wall to wall carbon Emondas and Dogmas and yes, even I would be put off taking a Raleigh into those. Is that what yours is like? If you go into a normal LBS, tell them what's not quite right with the bike, and that you need a basic fix with basic components, they should do that with no issues. (And by the way what isn't right with the bike? You didn't say). If it's a basic health check to put your mind at rest (and things just haven't been looked at in 5 years), I'd ask the LBS.

I have no issues with Halfords, although if I needed work doing my bike would go to the original dealer LBS just because I know he's very good and he knows his stuff. He does happen to be a retailer / dealer for Genesis, Brompton etc, but it's a proper workshop, and not expensive for repairs.
Halfords don't really have "cheap suitable bits knocking about the workshop", they have access to a pretty full range of basic spares for the ranges that they sell, plus a few that are a bit better, so much like any LBS.
They're actually very good for parts if your bike came from there, my daughter bent the derailleur hanger on her Carrera and I was in and out in exactly two minutes with the correct replacement part to swap at home.

The free healthcheck at Halfords is, (I'd imagine), designed to drum up business in the form of repairs / replacements from people who may not have naturally gone there for anything anyway. Maybe people with neglected bikes that haven't been out of the shed in ten years or more.
 
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OP
sabcycling

sabcycling

Active Member
(And by the way what isn't right with the bike? You didn't say)
Thanks for the reply!

The brakes work, but I've poorly adjusted them over time as much as I can accidentally have managed to do (using the twists and adjustments which I'm sure I didn't get perfect). The pads are now wore down to the backing plates / unevenly and I can't seem to find the bits online. They're too charred / ruined and dirty to tell in person.

I took the gears / derailleur to be adjusted at one of the local / reputable LBS workshops nearby in 2017, hoping he'd tune up my gears properly. Since I got it from Halfords gear 4/5 never really sat right (I suspect actually that either the handlebar clicker or the gears didn't add up or weren't compatible to be honest) so I was hoping to have that sorted... When I came back, he had fitted an entirely new derailleur (a noticeable older model, not sure if it was used) and charged £30. Now, a few years on, it's also loosened up and though it works, is rather sludgey from chain oil and weather and periods of no use taking their toll.

I suspect the wheels may be slightly bent too... not badly, but just not true... Maybe they have a quick way to correct this?

The tyres are also worn too, I was going to ask them if they are worth replacing and for the cost.


You see, my issue is, the pads, the tuning of the gears, two new tyres and a wheel true, is it worth doing to an old bike which was £220 new and in the end up sold for £70 new? Probably not. Hence I bought that cheap little folding bike on my other thread - it's going to be returned due to not being right for me and now I'm digging out this old bike, cleaning it up and hoping to get maybe another year from it. If I can keep it up, I could get a real beauty of a bike from the cycle to work scheme.

Maybe I should just run it into the ground? The brakes are capable of stopping it fine, the tyres aren't cracked and it's screwed together well, that much I am confident of.
 
OP
sabcycling

sabcycling

Active Member
By the sounds of it I think you should treat yourself to a new/good second hand Bike ^_^
There are some beautiful Trek FX models ... oh who am I kidding, every year they bring out new ranges of stunning new FX models.. as well as all the other good brands. My problem is I pick cycling up around this time of year, do it quite a lot for a few months, then forget about it for 3/4 of the year. Seems okay for a cheap bike to sit, but a darn shame for a beauty to go to waste.

This is the first year I'm eligible for the cycle to work scheme though... a good investment maybe?!
 

T4tomo

Guru
He does happen to be a retailer / dealer for Genesis, Brompton etc, but it's a proper workshop, and not expensive for repairs.
Who / where is it? (you have Herts down as your location) I could at some point to with the seat post sleeve on my Brompton replacing, but no longer commute into London so unsure of where to get it done - certainly not halfords :smile:
 

CanucksTraveller

Macho Business Donkey Wrestler
Location
Hertfordshire
Who / where is it? (you have Herts down as your location) I could at some point to with the seat post sleeve on my Brompton replacing, but no longer commute into London so unsure of where to get it done - certainly not halfords :smile:
It's Paul's Bikes in Hitchin, he does an awful lot of work on Bromptons as there are loads of London commuters in the town. In fact he specifically books repairs in to suit the train times of his commuter customers:
http://paulsbikesdotnet.blogspot.com/p/history.html

@sabcycling
Yes it sounds like your repairs might not be all that cost effective if it was a cheap bike to start with, I think I'd be going down the Cycle to Work scheme path. I did exactly that ten years ago and got a new Trek 7.3 FX and all the add-ons to enable me to start commuting.
 

All uphill

I didn't recognise you but I knew your bike
Location
Somerset
All machinery needs some maintenance, failing which you will find yourself in this situation!

If you decide to buy a new bike, that's great, but please don't scrap your old one. It almost certainly has the potential for another 50 years of use, if treated to a little regular maintenance.

Give it to a recycling project, get it repaired, or best of all do-it-yourself, with help from YouTube.
 
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