Halfords - seeking to go even lower!

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
gbnz
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Halfords - seeking to go even lower!

Postby gbnz » 8 Apr 2011, 7:34pm

Hmm....Apparently Halfords chief, believes the reason they can't sell as many bikes as they'd like to, is because all their bikes are top of the range :!:

His new strategy, as reported on financial pages today, is to introduce low cost, flat pack bikes :shock: . How low can Halfords go? A £20 BSO :?:

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john4703
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Re: Halfords - seeking to go even lower!

Postby john4703 » 8 Apr 2011, 8:12pm

Halfords are not all bad. About 10 years ago I decided to return to cycling after a 20 year gap and bought a Halfords bike. the salesman would not let me take it home until a trained bike mechanic had assembled it and checked it and he insisted that I took the bike back 6 weeks later for a check over. I would agree they they do not have the expertise of a local bike shop but if they sell lots of bikes it increases the number on the roads
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TwoWheelsGood
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Re: Halfords - seeking to go even lower!

Postby TwoWheelsGood » 8 Apr 2011, 8:46pm

Decathlon did sell a steel framed, single speed bike for £70 not so long ago (the Vitamin, which I can't find on their website so may have been discontinued), and allowing for recent price inflation it might now sell for £80. From what little feedback I've read on the Vitamin it seemed to be a reasonable choice for short distance urban use providing the terrain is relatively flat.

gilesjuk
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Re: Halfords - seeking to go even lower!

Postby gilesjuk » 8 Apr 2011, 9:25pm

gbnz wrote:Hmm....Apparently Halfords chief, believes the reason they can't sell as many bikes as they'd like to, is because all their bikes are top of the range :!:

His new strategy, as reported on financial pages today, is to introduce low cost, flat pack bikes :shock: . How low can Halfords go? A £20 BSO :?:


Well I think he's right. Halfords have too many expensive bikes for the sort of clientèle that buys a bike there. I've bought numerous bikes and have never considered getting a bike there except for when I was after a folder. Even then I found it £100 cheaper online.

TrailRat
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Re: Halfords - seeking to go even lower!

Postby TrailRat » 9 Apr 2011, 12:15am

Does anyone know a Bikehut employee outside of work??

I only ask because I use to be one!! I can tell you now, not one of us on the staff owned a Halfords bike!!

One of the sales guys even said he wouldn't know back from the front if it weren't sharp things on the back wheel! I really hope he was talking about the gears!!
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Tonyf33
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Re: Halfords - seeking to go even lower!

Postby Tonyf33 » 9 Apr 2011, 1:32am

TrailRat wrote:Does anyone know a Bikehut employee outside of work??

I only ask because I use to be one!! I can tell you now, not one of us on the staff owned a Halfords bike!!

One of the sales guys even said he wouldn't know back from the front if it weren't sharp things on the back wheel! I really hope he was talking about the gears!!


What IS a Halfords bike exactly? They stopped making their own bikes back in the 1940/50s I think when they were still based in Birmingham. Sounds to me like your management were to blame for employing people who didn't know what they were doing, that's hardly anything to do with the bikes themselves is it? If even a basic salesman doesn't know what they are selling then why were they employed?

The thing is people get so bloody snobby just because a bike is at a certain price level, the fact is it is the younger generation that we want coming through to use bikes on the road, what level of bike & how much they spend is totally irrelevant IMHO.
Halfords sell bikes at a price level that is affordable to so many people and is on the 'high street' so if they have an issue they can take it back easily to get it fixed.
However they also sell quite decent quality bikes, the 'Boardman' series being one of them. I hardly think these could be classified as poor bikes even by the likes of the old fuddy duddy bike snob brigade so commonly found within 'proper' cycling groups :roll: :wink:

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Cunobelin
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Re: Halfords - seeking to go even lower!

Postby Cunobelin » 9 Apr 2011, 8:02am

I think that many of the Halfords stock bikes are actually quite good. The "Subway" series for instance have a good solid reputation as a commuting machine.

However the lower range are truly appalling. Cheap and nasty, misaligned and with components such as brakes that will never ever be up to the job.

Reducing the quality of these even further is not good news

gbnz
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Re: Halfords - seeking to go even lower!

Postby gbnz » 9 Apr 2011, 8:04am

I've actually found Halfords quite useful, not least due to the staff who've lent me tools and workspace to fix the bike while on tour (And have posted to that effect).

But the quotes from the "chief" stood out, as being quite bemusing. His presumption that Halfords are primarily recognised as being a high class purveyor of bicycles and his presumption that Halfords "apparently" sky high bicycle prices were preventing people buying bicycles from Halfords, was bemusing :lol:.

I actually believe that non cycling bicycle owners would probably be better off buying a cheap flat pack bicycle from Halfords. Such as my neighbours, both of whom decided to buy bicycles based on witnessing me cycling :shock: . £900 later, they both have fantastic bicycles; one of which has never been used (In two years), the other of which has already been on this years bike ride (Approx. 400 metres).

Though my niece has been put off cycling for life by Halfords. The bike she was given, is quite incapable of being ridden, the suspension system preventing the rear wheel from turning.

TrailRat
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Re: Halfords - seeking to go even lower!

Postby TrailRat » 9 Apr 2011, 8:18am

Oh, I didn't want to imply the bikes were bad, some of them were quite wonderful bits of kit. But the better ones were pricey and the some of the sales team were hopeless!! We was interviewed by the store manager who in his own words was only interested in the downstairs, which in this case meant the automotive section.

If this is common practice where someone with no interest in bikes has a bike section to manage, then I can only assume that sales will suffer in the bike hut!!


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bensonboo
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Re: Halfords - seeking to go even lower!

Postby bensonboo » 9 Apr 2011, 10:11am

gbnz wrote:Though my niece has been put off cycling for life by Halfords. The bike she was given, is quite incapable of being ridden, the suspension system preventing the rear wheel from turning.


Have you got a picture, I find this particular bit of your post hard if not impossible to believe. Did she have to carry it out of the shop rather than wheel it?

Malaconotus
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Re: Halfords - seeking to go even lower!

Postby Malaconotus » 9 Apr 2011, 10:48am

Compared to other purveyors of BSOs, Halfords bikes are expensive. Public perception of the excellent entry level Carrera bikes at circa £250 is that they must be top of the range. Halfords' very cheapest adult's bike is currently £110. Compare to prices at Britain's biggest sports retailer... http://www.sportsdirect.com/cycling/road-and-city-bikes, where you can get a top of the range bike for £200. When you are selling bikes that aren't actually going to be ridden, price is all important.

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meic
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Re: Halfords - seeking to go even lower!

Postby meic » 9 Apr 2011, 10:53am

My son had an Apollo bike from Halfords for £80 (you always buy at half list price :wink: )
It gave 5 years of solid service and around 2,000 miles before he outgrew it.
It still had all its original parts on.

However it did need a serious service from me on being bought but very little attention from then on.

It wasnt a bike that I would want to ride myself as it was heavier than our adult bikes.
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al_yrpal
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Re: Halfords - seeking to go even lower!

Postby al_yrpal » 9 Apr 2011, 11:17am

Perhaps the new Halfords boss is casting envious eyes at the sub £100 bikes sold by supermarkets? If he is referring to the Carrera range made for Halfords by Merida who own a large chunk of Specialised I think he's wrong. Chris Boardmans and others advise Halfords on speccing the Carrera range,I think it would be daft to drop it.
I had a Kraken MTB which was great, and the Subway 2 that I ride as a faux Thorn Sherpa is a great bike too. To be a serious player in the bike business you need a wide range of machines to be able to sell up to the more discerning customers.

There is so much hype bull and plain snobbery surrounding bike components its not true. Many Halfords bikes are excellent punching well above their weight in components and performance. Some Halfords staff let them down sometimes, just like the numpties in our large well known LBS!

Al
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spanner
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Re: Halfords - seeking to go even lower!

Postby spanner » 9 Apr 2011, 1:05pm

john4703 wrote:Halfords are not all bad. About 10 years ago I decided to return to cycling after a 20 year gap and bought a Halfords bike. the salesman would not let me take it home until a trained bike mechanic had assembled it and checked it and he insisted that I took the bike back 6 weeks later for a check over. I would agree they they do not have the expertise of a local bike shop but if they sell lots of bikes it increases the number on the roads

what the salesman told you was complete crap one of our vcc members bought one of the first mk 3 raleigh choppers when they first came out and brought it home still in its box unassembled.
i used to work in a lbs as a bike mechanic and have had numerous people come to me to set up the brakes and gears as the brakes were practically none existant and the gears werent set up properly why halfords allow bikes to leave their premises like this is beyond comprehension my employer in the lbs would have read me the riot act if i had sold a bike with the gears and brakes set to the standard that halfords set their bike up.

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531colin
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Re: Halfords - seeking to go even lower!

Postby 531colin » 9 Apr 2011, 3:57pm

meic wrote:My son had an Apollo bike from Halfords for £80 (you always buy at half list price :wink: )
It gave 5 years of solid service and around 2,000 miles before he outgrew it.
It still had all its original parts on.

However it did need a serious service from me on being bought but very little attention from then on.

It wasnt a bike that I would want to ride myself as it was heavier than our adult bikes.


Meic's post says it all.
buy a bike for £80....the "list" price of £160 may or may not be ambitious, I don't know.
The bike was heavy, but somebody of Meic's experience can make the thing work, and work reliably.
Selling at £80 a unit, you can't afford to have a skilled mechanic spend an hour or more assembling the bikes and making them work....even if you can afford to employ a skilled mechanic when you sell at £80 a unit.