Bicycle repair: who’s the cheapest?

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Whether it’s wobbling over on the way back from the beer cellar, bouncing off a taxi or just being helpfully thrown into the gutter by a passing stranger, Oxford bikes have it tough. With so many bike shops in Oxford, who’s offering the best prices?

We told several shops about our poorly bike with some fairly common ailments: the wheels needed straightening (“truing”), the brakes needed tightening and the gears were slipping and in need of a service. Here’s what you could end up paying.

(N.B. Some shops did not provide quotes for certain services, as indicated.)

BEST VALUE: Beeline, 59-65 Cowley Road, 01865 246615

Wheel straightening: £8 each
Gears: £10 each
Brakes: £10 each
TOTAL: £56

“We judge how competitive our prices are on what the shops around us are charging. If a job ends up taking less time than we expected we’ll always charge less than the initial quote.”

Reg Taylor, 285 Iffley Road, 01865 247040

Wheel straightening: £4-12 each
Gears: £3-5 each
Brakes: £12 each inc. new shoes
TOTAL: £58

“We’ve tried to be nice and treat everyone the same. We don’t have to pay rent so we can afford to be a bit better like that.”

Cycle Centre, 85 Walton St, 01865 554646

Wheel straightening: £15 each
Gears: £7.50 each
Brakes: Did not quote
TOTAL: £45 (without brakes)

“Where it’s an easy job, we charge a cheap price. But where it’s a difficult job, you pay a more expensive price.”

Bike Zone, St Michael’s Street, 01865 728877

Wheel straightening: £6-10 each
Gears: £6 each
Brakes: £12-14 each
TOTAL: £60


“We don’t look at anybody else’s charges. We just charge what we feel is fair to charge.”

Spoke, 78 Walton Street, 01865 311610

Wheel straightening: £10-15 each
Gears: Did not quote
Brakes: £10-15 each
TOTAL: £60 (without gears)

“We’re not a Mickey Mouse operation. Repairs don’t come back, we offer a guarantee and we do charge a bit more, I guess.”

MOST EXPENSIVE: Cycle King, 128-130 Cowley Rd, 01865 728 262

Wheel straightening: £12 each
Gears: £15 each
Brakes: £15 each
TOTAL: £84

“We do 60 different types of repairs for which we have different prices so your check is only for what? A fifth? Five percent? We have very good workshop facilities.Our customers, the ones who spend the money, have said that we’re usually cheaper than most shops.”

Dom Gilchrist

PHOTO/agroffman

 

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