Halfords

dellzeqq

pre-talced and mighty
Location
SW2
I'm not looking for essays, although, if you've got something to get off your chest, then be my guest. I just want to know what you think of Halfords.

I'd like to know
a) your personal experience - and putting a date to it would be interesting
;) your perception based on other people's experience
c) whether your opinion of Halfords has in any way been shifted by the racing team

And, if I may prevail upon you further
d) your suggestions

my starting point is that having a decent high street bike chain is/would be a good thing.
 

Globalti

Legendary Member
Fine if you know exactly what you are looking for and it's something bog standard like a cable.
 

AndyCarolan

Do you smell fudge?
Location
Norwich
a) your personal experience - and putting a date to it would be interesting
;) your perception based on other people's experience
c) whether your opinion of Halfords has in any way been shifted by the racing team

And, if I may prevail upon you further
d) your suggestions

my starting point is that having a decent high street bike chain is/would be a good thing.
a) Helen bought her Carrera Fury there last year as part as the cycle to work scheme. The bike is superb, but the set up and service weren't. They even left a crank-arm bolt very loose after the "service" and couldn't setup the gears correctly either. But thats just our experience with them

:wacko: Perception is pretty much accurate with what I have heard and read of other's experiences.

c) I dont pay any attention to the racing team

d) Halfords would be a lot better if they invested in training for their staff (or staff who care better about the service they give)

As for a decent chain for high-street-stores, yes, possibly. But there are also plenty of good Local Bike Stores out there, its just a case of finding them I guess :/
 

Howard

Senior Member
dellzeqq said:
I

I'd like to know
a) your personal experience - and putting a date to it would be interesting
;) your perception based on other people's experience
c) whether your opinion of Halfords has in any way been shifted by the racing team

d) your suggestions
a) Was interested in buying a Boardman Team Carbon - but thwarted by general lack of staff enthusiasm and inability to test ride. TIMEFRAME: Jan-Apr 2010.

:wacko: Perception of them isn't great, but then again, most chain bike stores seem pretty hopeless. Even Condor has exhibited that strange no-desire-to-sell-you-anything-take-it-or-leave-it-mate attitude on occasion. Odd.

c) didn't know they had one. Good for them. Hopefully some passion will trickle down.

d) it's all about the staff on the ground. They must be able to instill confidence and have a desire to sell.
 

Norm

Guest
a) I bought two kids bikes from the Maidenhead store last year.

The first one, in June, the chap seemed knowledgeable and gave the pretence of caring. Went through all the options, the pros and cons of each model and was so good we decided to buy a second bike from the store.

The second one, just 6 weeks later (we made the purchase when we took the first bike in for its free service) could not have been more different. Unfortunately, Small Norm II had spent a few weeks looking forward to her new bike so we didn't have the option to walk out. I was grateful that I knew a little about the bikes because the salescreature hadn't got a clue.

The bikes themselves (both Apollos) seem to be sturdy with serviceable rather than decent components, but as they were around 1/3 the price of a branded alternative, they'll fit the bill until full-sized bikes can be sorted.

;) My perception is that this sort of hit and miss service is not unusual.

c) They have a racing team? I didn't know and, now that I do, I could not care less, so I guess my opinion is unaltered.

d) Get some consistent, decent, personable staff who are mature enough to be able to converse with their customers, rather than moving people around seemingly at random, thus denying them the chance to forge any relationships. Oh, and allow test rides.
 
U

User482

Guest
We had to get an insurance replacement bike for Mrs R through Halfords. The bike was supplied with brake levers that went right back to the bars, without actually engaging the brakes. The "mechanic" had signed off an inspection sheet stating that everything was adjusted and ready for use.
 
A) Staff know the basics, and in my local branch, they are willing to try and help. Although knowledge is sparse, but I found it impressive that I got refunded for something that they had to break to get off my bike.

;) That they're crap.

c) Only heard of them yesterday, and no.

d) Train their staff or get staff that know bikes.
 

Mad Doug Biker

Bikeoholics Anonymous
Location
Craggy Island
Howard said:
a) Was interested in buying a Boardman Team Carbon - but thwarted by general lack of staff enthusiasm and inability to test ride.
Indeed - you have to actually buy one, take it out for a ride and then return it, and when they get arsey at you, explain it's their own fault for not letting you have a test ride!! ;):laugh:

I sat on one once and it seemed comfortable enough, but simply sitting on it and riding it are two different things!
After that I'm sure they would let you test others. Hopefully anyway.

I still say that if I saw someone with one I'd ask if I could have a quick go on it. Saves a lot of hassle otherwise.
 

rh100

Well-Known Member
dellzeqq said:
I'm not looking for essays, although, if you've got something to get off your chest, then be my guest. I just want to know what you think of Halfords.

I'd like to know
a) your personal experience - and putting a date to it would be interesting
:wacko: your perception based on other people's experience
c) whether your opinion of Halfords has in any way been shifted by the racing team

And, if I may prevail upon you further
d) your suggestions

my starting point is that having a decent high street bike chain is/would be a good thing.
Time frame - since last August to now

a) Varied, but mostly poor, occasionally asking at the counter has paid off
with the right advice, one even tightened the BB on my old MTB for free. But that MTB was bought from a Halfords in about 2003, completely wrong size for me. I pretty much treat it like a supermarket to buy things from, but I don't expect high quality advice.
b)A poor perception of them now I've hung around here for a bit, not a good reputation in the cycling community is there?
c)what racing team?? ;)
d) It needs knowledgeable staff rather than kids, and some kind of quality control I guess, based on the horror stories you hear about them. I think a wider range on the shop floor would be better also, OK they have Boardman bikes, but the rest seem to be Apollo and Carrera and Raleigh, and the parts they sell seem to be more budget option stuff - just needs more of a spread I think.
 

hulver

Fat bloke on a bike
Location
Sheffield
a) your personal experience - and putting a date to it would be interesting
:laugh: your perception based on other people's experience
c) whether your opinion of Halfords has in any way been shifted by the racing team

a. I've bought two childrens bikes from Halfords, before I got back into cycling properly. One was a very small bike with stabilisers. I went through the "sales checklist" (PDI) that they had ticked off and they'd obviously just ticked through it without checking anything on the list, as the tyres were completely flat and one of the points was "Check correct tyre pressure". That was about 4 years ago now.

At around the same time I bought a larger bike for my older child. This is a BSO, but I didn't know any better at the time. It's very heavy and was poorly set up when I picked it up. It didn't change gear correctly and the chainset was bent, damaged in transit. It's only because of the experience I had buying the first bike that I checked through everything before accepting it. They fixed it.

A positive experience. I needed a new 7 speed freewheel for my bike (again, approx. 4 years ago) and they sold me a new one and changed it one the wheel free of charge. The staff in the maintenance section were very helpfull.

I tried to buy a helmet and some other bits and bobs from them (again about 4 years ago) and the helmet was 30% off. When I got to the till they charged me the undiscounted price. I refused to pay it, and when I took the cashier to the shelf I'd got the helmet from, the signs showing the discount had been removed. I spoke to the manager and he refused to tell me if they'd had a promotion on those items recently, and refused to sell me the helmet for the price it had been advertised at when I picked it up off the shelf. I left without the goods, and I've not made any purchase > £10 from them since.

b. I was cycling home from work about 3 years ago and came across another cyclist walking along the side of the road pushing a bike and covered in blood. He'd been riding his new bike home from Halfords when the steering had come loose. Unable to control the bike because the handlebars were rotating around the fork he'd been thrown off the bike into the road in front of a bus. Fortunately the bus had managed to stop without running him over but he'd got quite a cut up face and hands.
30 seconds with my multi-tool and the steering was done up tight enough to get him home.

c. No.

My perception is that they have some good mechanics, but an awful lot of rubbish ones. They'll rip you off if they can get away with it, and they sell an awful lot of heavy tat with wheels, and the occasional decent bike.

I avoid unless I'm desparate for a part they I know they'll have, as they are the nearest seller of bits to my house. If I had a closer bike shop I would use them, and I frequently go past two Halfords on my way to a proper bike shop when I'm able to plan out getting parts rather than needing something in an emergency.

I advise everybody I know to use a proper bike shop instead for any major purchase.

[EDIT] : Whoops. Missed d. I'd suggest that they get some properly trained staff, and give them enough time to do a proper job. If the mechanics were good I would consider using them. As it is I avoid.
 

Twenty Inch

New Member
Location
Behind a desk
I met a cyclist standing beside the road near Elmers End RAB (Spring 2009). The chainwheel had come off her new Carrera. She too had taken the Safety Certificate at face value.

I accept that there are probably decent individuals working in Halfords, but BikeHut is dangerous, unless you know your way around a bike and can sort out their slapdashedness yourself. Their couldn't-give-a-shoot attitude is compounded by issuing meaningless bits of paper that mislead people into thinking their bike is safe. All the more galling that this has obviously been done in response to concerns about their poor practise, but they haven't given the staff the right training or time to make it worthwhile. I await the day that they are sued.
 

just jim

Guest
hulver said:
b. I was cycling home from work about 3 years ago and came across another cyclist walking along the side of the road pushing a bike and covered in blood. He'd been riding his new bike home from Halfords when the steering had come loose. Unable to control the bike because the handlebars were rotating around the fork he'd been thrown off the bike into the road in front of a bus. Fortunately the bus had managed to stop without running him over but he'd got quite a cut up face and hands.
30 seconds with my multi-tool and the steering was done up tight enough to get him home.
That is awful!
 

summerdays

Cycling in the sun
Location
Bristol
dellzeqq said:
I'm not looking for essays, although, if you've got something to get off your chest, then be my guest. I just want to know what you think of Halfords.

I'd like to know
a) your personal experience - and putting a date to it would be interesting
:laugh: your perception based on other people's experience
c) whether your opinion of Halfords has in any way been shifted by the racing team

And, if I may prevail upon you further
d) your suggestions

my starting point is that having a decent high street bike chain is/would be a good thing.
a) bought a child's 20" bike from them ... it was heavy, gears and brakes difficult to adjust. Badly designed shape meant that the lowest saddle position was very high for a 20" bike, and yet the handlebars were very low - so that my children quickly out-grew the bike once it finally fitted. I gave up with the 3rd child and bought them a different 20" bike (giant) which they were able to use about a year earlier than the Apollo. Its still sitting in the corner of the garden - unloved, unused ... daren't even give it away.

:laugh: I once told someone else to take a bike back and get the brakes adjusted as they didn't work - (new bike so no point me touching it) ... Halfords reported that it was merely a cosmetic problem.

c) no but don't follow the racing side generally

d) get rid of the Apollo range - leaving the Boardman and Carrera ranges and make sure that the blokes working in the bike department are qualified to work on the bikes.
 
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