3rd March 2017

Free Bike Safety Check at the Edinburgh Bicycle Cooperative

bike safety check

Our waiting time for bike repairs and servicing is much shorter at this time of year (spring) than it can be in the height of summer.

Bike Safety Check

Same day or next day repairs turnaround is the norm at every branch at the moment. Better yet, we offer a free safety check for every bicycle that comes through our doors in Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Newcastle and Leeds – no advanced booking needed. One of our qualified and well-experienced mechanics will be able to take a look at the components of your bike including the brakes, chain and gears and make any quick adjustments to make your ride safer and more efficient.

If any work is required or any parts need replacing, you’ll get an estimate, which you’ll be free to accept or decline. No obligations or hard sells!

You can find out more about our repair/service offer here.

Ever had to abandon a repair? Ged has.

ged holmyard | bike safety check

Ged riding The Beastie sportive near Kilmarnock, Scotland.

Bike Co-op member and ex-mechanic Ged describes how it can happen to the best of us in his own words:

“Way back in 1984 I was trained in one of the most useful skills a cycling enthusiast can dream off – to be an Edinburgh Bike Co-op mechanic. Over time, my career at the Co-op switched to working full time in the shop, then in Promotions. It’s now 30 years since I repaired a bike in our workshop.

Even after all these years my training in mechanics comes back to me when the family’s bikes go wrong.

When daughter Heather asked me to investigate her bike’s skipping gears last weekend, I said I would be happy to fix it – not just to do what dads’ do but because I still get a buzz from turning a broken bicycle into a goer.

A 10 second spin on Heather’s 5-year old Revolution Courier revealed the transmission was shot and the bike required a new cassette, chain, chainset and front mech. I noticed the front tyre could do with replacing too.

‘No problem’, said I.

I popped the bike onto the workstand. Replaced the cassette. Removed the chainset. It was all going swimmingly. Then I blundered. I stripped the left hand crank’s thread so it couldn’t be removed. At least not by me.

Like a professional footballer who hadn’t played for some years, I had to accept that while I knew which moves I should make, I had lost my touch.

I had also lost the enthusiasm (or the ability) to complete this repair. Only one thing for it. Seek professional help.

I popped the bike and a bag of bits into Heather’s local Canonmills shop, and left it in their capable hands. Next day, Dougie (mechanic since we opened the shop) phoned with the good news that he’d removed the crank, and the bad news the bottom bracket was also shot, so I gave him the go-ahead to replace that too.

‘By the way, how did you remove the crank?’ I asked.

dougie-mechanic | bike safety check

Dougie, one of Edinburgh Canonmill’s talented mechanics, sporting his race face.

‘A dose of awesome,’ was his wry reply.

A couple of hours later, Dougie called to say he’d installed the new transmission along with a new front tyre – a Schwalbe Marathon Plus, which has the distinction of being both one of the most puncture resistant and one of the stiffest, tightest and hardest to fit, so it’s best left to a dose of awesome when you’re not feeling up to mounting it yourself.

The total labour bill for fitting the tyre, bottom bracket, chainset, front mech and chain, and checking everything was in perfect adjustment, came to £50.

Even though we don’t do mates rates (even for colleagues) I still thought this was a bargain.

Look at it this way: Say a plumber or an electrician or a car mechanic applied this level of skill, time, awesomeness (not to mention the specialist tools) to fix something I’m likely to need everyday. If I was only charged 50 quid, I think I would be getting off lightly. Especially if the item worked like it was brand new, which the bike does.

The moral of this story is that we’re always happy, willing and able to help you out of any mechanical jam, including abandoned repair jobs.

This message is especially pertinent now it’s spring – the season many people decide to get back on their bikes after a winter break. This can also be the time when you remember that your last outing ended with a puncture that you never got round to fixing.

Or, like me, you’ve abandoned a repair, and your bicycle has been reduced to half a bike and a bag of bits, which you don’t have the time or motivation to put back together. As this story describes, we’ve all been there.”

Got an event coming up?

Take a look at our handy blog to see what you should do to make sure your bike is in tip top condition before you head for the start line.

See prices for Bicycle Servicing and Repairs

2 comments on “Free Bike Safety Check at the Edinburgh Bicycle Cooperative

  1. Colin on

    Noting that the main point of this article seems to be to advertise that the Edinburgh bicycle co-op will happily complete repairs that others have begun regardless of their “flounderings” and mistakes. Which I must say IMO is very laudable and hopefully confidence inspiring for many of your customers – good on you.

    However my other take home message following from this statement “. . . “Way back in 1984 I was trained in one of the most useful skills a cycling enthusiast can dream off – to be an Edinburgh Bike Co-op mechanic.. . . ” and the subsequent post. Is that you are still dreaming about being a cycle mechanic and have failed to learn in all those years – I mean to say if you can’t do such a simple job after all this time . . .

    I hope you will take this comment in the fairly cynical, tongue in cheek, poking fun kind of way that is intended. It comes from somebody whose parents taught him to repair punctures at age about nine years, including how little weak fingures can remove big tough tyres, way before 1984 and has since learn’t how to manufacture every single component on a bicycle and regard it as an ordinary life skill.

    Reply
  2. Martin Fuller on

    Agree with every word. I’d love you to fix the puncture on my Revolution Courier Nexus – rear wheel, natch – so I wouldn’t have to do the fiddly stuff reconnecting the gear cable. But rural West Sussex isn’t very handy for your nearest shop… Leeds? So back to the (Revolution) workstation.

    Reply

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