Halfords repair

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Hi, just wondered if anyone could give me some advice. My son bought a Carrera Vengence from his friend, a little bit tatty looking but he just wanted it for going out with his friends. He came home with a puncture, so we took it to Halfords for a repair and "free" health check. We were told that the bike would not be released back to us unless the bike was repaired to legal road safety standards. They came back with a very long list of what needed to be done but were vague about the cost. There was a part that needed to be ordered, so we told them to do repairs. 3 weeks later, still no bike, I made enquiries and they assured me they would get back to me. A week later they did and said they needed consent to carry out nearly £200 in repairs. After a discussion, they said the bike really wasn't worth spending that amount of money on but they couldn't let the bike go without doing the necessary repairs, which was brakes and an inner tube. So that's what was done, we picked the bike up my son used it 3 times. The 3rd time he used it the front wheel fell off, he came off the bike in the middle of the road in front of a car and his back wheel fell off too. He was very lucky he wasn't hurt or hit by a car. I went back to halfords who said they would look at the bike. They have now phoned me to say the wheels have been put back on and are secure and they noticed the front wheel hub was in a bad state and that's why the wheel fell off but they have replaced it as a gesture of good will. I really don't have a clue about bikes but looking on the Internet it says a faulty hub wouldn't cause a wheel to fall off. While I'm grateful that the bike has been repaired and my son has not been hurt, I'm a little concerned that this has happened and if it is the fault of Halfords I really think someone should be held accountable.
I would be really grateful for anyone's thoughts or advice on this.
Many thanks in advance.


Charming but somewhat feckless
the bike would not be released back to us unless the bike was repaired to legal road safety standards.

This stands out as the biggest load of bollocks I've heard from Halfords and that's saying something. They have no right to retain your property for that reason.

They're yanking your chain. Complain to head office (although that itself may be pointless) and learn the lesson that it's a rare thing to find a competent mechanic in their store. I avoid them after they screwed up a hydraulic brake service for me where they failed to insert the retaining split pin for the brake pads which then fell out. I found out at a red light where I couldn't bloody stop.

cougie uk

Über Member
I can't imagine how a wheel would fall off due to the hub being in a bad way. And the rear too ?

That said - why wouldn't it have fallen off the first time.

I can't see how you could prove anything - and I'd educate myself on just checking the basics.

Are the wheels quick release or bolted on ? Did you check them for tightness ? How did you get the bike in the car ?
In this case, no one can be sure exactly what happened. It sounds like when the brake pads were replaced they didn’t tighten up the quick release on the wheels but then again the “lawyer lips” on the forks should prevent the wheel from just sliding out and falling out! As @cougie uk says you’d have to prove liability of Halfords.

As for not releasing the bike that sounds like bad customer service unless the bike really is in a poor state!
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They certainly have no right to refuse to return your property - no matter what state it is in

They were just trying it on

I suppose they could ask you to sign a piece of paper saying you had been told it was unsafe to ride on the road - or even film themselves telling you that - but they can;t keep it just because it is unsafe - you might just decided to use it to teach yourself how it works - or something.

This certainly needs to be sent to their complaints department clearly labelled as a formal complaint - they have probably scammed several other people with this one


Ride It Like You Stole It!
South Manchester
It's a £300 bike and they aren't bad, my son's had one about 10 years and he's 21 now ! Labour cost is the killer unfortunately, hence always learning yourself bit by bit. Brakes are essential, and are easy to fix at a low ish cost, but it can take time to do, hense the cost adds up.

They should return it, I can only guess the brakes weren't working, which you could fix with new cables and pads (they are cable pull disc brakes) for £30 or so.


Rain magnet.
Costa Clyde.
Don't waste your time dealing with Hal-fords. You won't get anywhere.
If you want to take it further, it's time to enlist the help of a lawyer. But proving your allegations might be problematic.
Refusing to return your bike to you until it was road legal? WTF is that all about? Do they think they have the powers of VOSA?

Big John

Now I'm retired I work as a volunteer mechanic for a local bike charity. We're just around the corner from Halfords and we get a lot of disgruntled customers bringing their bikes to us because the customer wasn't happy with either the work done at Halfords or the quote given to them for work required. If we had to withhold every bike brought in by a customer that didn't meet safety standards we'd have no room left in the workshop or store rooms. I've never heard of them doing this so it's a new one on me. I'd have asked for that in writing. Then you've got evidence to hit them with. Without that you're stuffed. Unless you can do the job yourself I'd stick to a local 'proper' bike shop.


Senior Member
I once worked in an excellent bike shop in Brighton and asked if the Halfords up the road had caused them problems, to which I was told, No !
It had brought them in loads of work as they messed up so much.


Accra, Ghana
If I were in your position I'd be hopping mad. First they hold you to ransom, which they have no right to do and then they let you have your bike back in a dangerous condition I injuring your son. Bollox the front wheel was in a state, that was caused in the crash.
Write a very strong letter to their MD demanding compensation and/or your money back and say if you don't get satisfaction you'll pursue them in the small claims court.
Unfortunately this is often par for the course for Halfords, you can gather that from the responses I'm sure.
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Ajax Bay

East Devon
The OP is making this up. Halfords are a UK-wide company with an excellent reputation to maintain.;)
:welcome: to the OP nevertheless.
Time sonny Jim and his father took a bit more interest in his new bike.


Thanks for all your replies, it's very much appreciated. I think I will be taking this higher up, especially after many of you have stated that Halfords actually had no right to say they would keep hold of the bike until certain repairs had been made. I will be asking for them to clarify that quote, which was made more than once. I know it would be very difficult to prove the wheels came off as a consequence of their incompetence and have no desire to pursue them in this matter for personal gain, it just scares me what could have happened and if it's not addressed , what could possibly happen to someone else
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