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4th Jun 2008 | 10:48

I need a bike shop that will sell me something like the following. Preferably somewhere with helpful and knowledgable staff who can help me choose which model and which size. (I am deeply unimpressed by Station Cycles whose staff are so useless they couldn't sell me a bike when I was ready to drop 600 quid on one there and then.)
  • child seat
  • step-through frame
  • panniers
  • hub gears
  • hub brakes
  • hub dynamo
  • chain case
ETA: Yes I know this descrbes a Dutch bike. Yes I can find out which shops stock them. What I want to know is which shops have staff that are helpful and knowledgable about this kind of bike - i.e. not fen mountain bikes and other BSOs.

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Comments {15}

from: furrfu
date: 4th Jun 2008 10:56 (UTC)

Won't you need an extra wheel for all the hub-mounted things you want? :-)

PS. Saw an article recently that concluded that kids were safest in a trailer, rather than bike seat. Can't find the URL now, though.

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Ben Harris

from: bjh21
date: 4th Jun 2008 11:03 (UTC)

It sounds to me like you want ceb's bike, which I think she got from University Cycles, though the X-FDD was a later addition.

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from: aldabra
date: 4th Jun 2008 11:05 (UTC)

Colin on Victoria Avenue sold me one with hub gears and hub brakes and chain case, for very significantly less than that, and it works.

I never got on with the child seat (which came from elsewhere when I had a different bike); it always seemed uncomfortably top-heavy. I'd go for a trailer if I had a that-size-child again.

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Helen Lynn

from: claerwen
date: 4th Jun 2008 12:21 (UTC)

Yes, he sold me one with those things and an enormous Dutch rack on the fron for coal-lugging, and it works. Although I lost trust in the quality of repairs from his shop when he/his staff failed to re-adjust the brakes properly when replacing my front wheel after a tyre change, causing the wheel to jam suddenly and without warning as I was cycling along. I'd just made a road journey with a car battery in my front basket so was lucky with when it happened, but it scared me enough that I won't trust him with any future repairs or maintenance.

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from: stephdairy
date: 4th Jun 2008 18:56 (UTC)

I went into his shop when I was trying to find a bike a couple of years ago. He seemed so utterly uninterested in helping me that I went to Townsend's instead.


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from: gareth_rees
date: 4th Jun 2008 11:16 (UTC)

Tough assignment. With this many requirements, you probably want to do some research first and pick your bicycle model and then try to find a supplier.

For example, the Batavus Browser looks like a good match (once you've fitted a child seat to the pannier rack), except that it has rim brakes rather than hub brakes. £407 from Littlehampton Dutch Bike Shop in West Sussex. But there doesn't seem to be a Cambridge distributor for Batavus.

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from: gareth_rees
date: 4th Jun 2008 11:31 (UTC)

I found Townsend's on Chesterton Road to be quite helpful when buying something similar (in my case the requirements were: child's size, step-through frame, basket, pannier rack, 6-speed, chain case).

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Nicolai The Hand Grenade of Courteous Debate

from: _nicolai_
date: 4th Jun 2008 11:19 (UTC)

It sounds like you want a Dutch-style city bike, which tend to have all these things. I think I've seen some at Ben Haywards in that style , eg some on this page

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Eleanor Blair

from: lnr
date: 4th Jun 2008 11:33 (UTC)

I think you're mostly likely to have to compromise on the hub brakes. And the experience of others in finding similar bikes in University Cycles and Ben Haywards is why I suggested these as my first points of call over on cam.transport, or was it cam.misc? whichever.

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Tony Finch

from: fanf
date: 4th Jun 2008 13:17 (UTC)

There are loads of bikes available that satisfy all the criteria. The problem is choosing one.

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from: oldbloke
date: 4th Jun 2008 11:38 (UTC)

It's not far to Holland...

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from: rrc
date: 4th Jun 2008 11:40 (UTC)

AWCycles in Caversham are pretty good for this kind of thing, and Velorution in London are truly excellent with working bikes, hub gears/brakes/dynamos etc. They're where we got our Christiania Trike from - although our most recent service from them was a little disappointing.

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from: atreic
date: 4th Jun 2008 12:47 (UTC)

I started reading the velorution site you link to and was furious within a few seconds: 'oh dear, it's drizzling, you'd be better off just folding your bike up and taking the train'. Is it some kind of spoof?

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from: rrc
date: 4th Jun 2008 12:56 (UTC)

The blog can be a bit weird at times I admit, but its worth following the links through to the shop information (the right hand side bar about half way down)

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from: arnhem
date: 4th Jun 2008 13:11 (UTC)

My suspicion is that Ben Haywards on Kings Parade (actually Trumpington St) and Townsends on Chesterton Road are the most likely to be able to do that for you.

Colin @ University Cycles also needs mentioning (because I think he's the cycle shop most biased towards dutch bikes; with the others it tends to be a bit more niche), but there's a risk that you'll find him hideously overloaded with repair requests, which may not lead to the kind of interaction you are looking for ...

Ben Haywards is good for a quick lunchtime dash; the other two have the advantage that you can try both in one journey ...

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