Spa Cycles (Harrogate)

Please be fair and thoughtful in your opinions. No rants please.
JamesE
Posts: 402
Joined: 12 Feb 2013, 1:12am
Location: London

Re: Spa Cycles (Harrogate)

Postby JamesE » 23 Jun 2018, 3:43pm

I've just come back from a 600-mile tour of Ireland with the Spa tourer I bought from them a month or two ago, and I'm absolutely delighted. It's a superb ride - very comfortable, very stable, perfectly happy being ridden hard with a couple of heavyish panniers and a bar bag (my previous tourer, built on an old Raleigh Royal frame, got very whippy under a similar load). And several passers-by stopped to comment on how good it looked.

Spa's customer service was excellent too - I wasn't sure which size to buy so I made a special trip to Harrogate, and they didn't even ask for a credit card deposit before letting me take a test ride. I'd meant to go away and have a think but loved the test model so much I ended up ordering on the spot. All their staff knew their stuff inside out, and the main person I spoke to - Sam, I think - patiently talked me through all sorts of options on dynamos, lighting, chargers, finishing kit etc etc etc. It took something like a week to build and ship mine.

The only gripes I can come up with are tiny ones. The gears needed a bit of home fettling: as sold, it wouldn't shift easily into the big chainring or smallest rear cog, and clearances between the front mech and right-hand crank are very tight so sorting the front mech took some very careful work. As I mentioned elsewhere, the bolt holes for a bottle cage under the downtube are a little bit too low, so the supplied cage didn't fit.

And my only negative observation about Spa themselves - and this is meant as constructive criticism - is that they massively undersell their service. If you look at their website you'd probably assume that they basically sell you an off-the-peg tourer with the option of a couple of tweaks. But in fact they're building up every bike from scratch and you can spec literally everything from gear ratios to tyres to the colour of the frame decals. If I were running the business I'd build an all-singing all-dancing online bike builder, but at the very least they could have something prominent saying "yes, we will build whatever you like, give us a call".

And here is the bike, at the top of the brutal-but-beautiful ascent of Priest's Leap:

Image

brynpoeth
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Joined: 30 Nov 2013, 11:26am

Re: Spa Cycles (Harrogate)

Postby brynpoeth » 23 Jun 2018, 4:05pm

Why is the stem too long, too high? The bars are very low, looks uncomfortable IMHO
Alternative facts welcome .. Cycling? Of course, but it is far better on a Gillott

niggle
Posts: 3200
Joined: 11 Mar 2009, 10:29pm
Location: Cornwall, near England

Re: Spa Cycles (Harrogate)

Postby niggle » 26 Jun 2018, 11:58am

brynpoeth wrote:Why is the stem too long, too high? The bars are very low, looks uncomfortable IMHO

I cannot make out the stem length in that photo, but the steerer is certainly good and long, thereby allowing adjustment of bar height to the owner's preference, bearing in mind one person's "too low" is another's "just perfect". Once the OP has found the most comfort position they might want to have any excess steerer trimmed for a tidier look, but the OP was on his first tour with the bike, so makes sense for him to keep his options open until he has put a good few miles in on it before making that decision.

JohnW
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Joined: 6 Jan 2007, 9:12pm
Location: Yorkshire

Re: Spa Cycles (Harrogate)

Postby JohnW » 26 Jun 2018, 11:20pm

niggle wrote:
brynpoeth wrote:Why is the stem too long, too high? The bars are very low, looks uncomfortable IMHO

I cannot make out the stem length in that photo, but the steerer is certainly good and long, thereby allowing adjustment of bar height to the owner's preference, bearing in mind one person's "too low" is another's "just perfect". Once the OP has found the most comfort position they might want to have any excess steerer trimmed for a tidier look, but the OP was on his first tour with the bike, so makes sense for him to keep his options open until he has put a good few miles in on it before making that decision.


A friend of mine bought a similar Spa bike a couple of years ago. He has trouble with his back and he needs a very high handlebar - to allow an almost straight back. Spa built the bike around a standard Spa Tourer frame, but they ordered forks with a non-standard, and very long, steerer to allow the bar-height that he needed, and gear-change levers clamped around the stem.. They made no extra charge, but he had to wait a little while for the forks to be made and delivered.

I don't think that service comes much better than that.

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Si
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Joined: 5 Jan 2007, 7:37pm

Re: Spa Cycles (Harrogate)

Postby Si » 27 Jun 2018, 10:41am

Just ordered some shoes from them.....good price, good packing, order sent promptly, but.....

their chosen shipping company: APC managed to deliver it to the correct house number on totally the wrong road. Particularly annoying as I waited in because they had said they needed a signature and couldn't just drop in in my secure parcel-store. May think twice about using Spa again because of this.

thankfully the people they gave it too are honest and nice, and drove round with it.

Ontherivet77
Posts: 155
Joined: 3 Jun 2009, 3:20pm
Location: Lancashire

Re: Spa Cycles (Harrogate)

Postby Ontherivet77 » 6 Jul 2018, 8:23am

Another negative review I'm afraid. I've used them twice, but the second order went badly wrong and just resulted in wasted time on my part and probably wasted money on theirs. I have now had the issue resolved, so won't go into detail, but I won't be using this shop again.

teamonster
Posts: 47
Joined: 21 Feb 2010, 9:04pm

Re: Spa Cycles (Harrogate)

Postby teamonster » 6 Jul 2018, 3:09pm

Just to balance off the last couple of posts, I had great service and price with my recent order from Spa. I guess with any company there will always be the odd glitch, have to say for me over the years of using Spa I've never had any issues. Bit like tyres and p******s, some people swear by certain tyres and others have really bad experiences.

fastpedaller
Posts: 1430
Joined: 10 Jul 2014, 1:12pm
Location: Norfolk

Re: Spa Cycles (Harrogate)

Postby fastpedaller » 6 Jul 2018, 5:37pm

Ontherivet77 wrote:Another negative review I'm afraid. I've used them twice, but the second order went badly wrong and just resulted in wasted time on my part and probably wasted money on theirs. I have now had the issue resolved, so won't go into detail, but I won't be using this shop again.


But isn't that an example of a good service? - they sorted it out at their expense. Some companies just leave the customer in the lurch, but the good ones sort it out. Mistakes happen, with the best will in the World, but if it's then sorted I think the supplier deserves another chance. :)

pete75
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Joined: 24 Jul 2007, 2:37pm

Re: Spa Cycles (Harrogate)

Postby pete75 » 6 Jul 2018, 7:13pm

Have always received good service from Spa and have ordered stuff from them many times. I've even had them send stuff without payment when ordered by phone. They said pay when you get it. One thing wrong with Spa is the splendid Scots guy doesn't seem to work there any more. One of the best people I've encountered in any bike shop.

JohnW
Posts: 5832
Joined: 6 Jan 2007, 9:12pm
Location: Yorkshire

Re: Spa Cycles (Harrogate)

Postby JohnW » 6 Jul 2018, 10:54pm

pete75 wrote:Have always received good service from Spa and have ordered stuff from them many times. I've even had them send stuff without payment when ordered by phone. They said pay when you get it. One thing wrong with Spa is the splendid Scots guy doesn't seem to work there any more. One of the best people I've encountered in any bike shop.

I think his name is John - probably retired now - my experience has been the same as yours, as is my opinion. +1 to what you say Pete.

Ontherivet77
Posts: 155
Joined: 3 Jun 2009, 3:20pm
Location: Lancashire

Re: Spa Cycles (Harrogate)

Postby Ontherivet77 » 7 Jul 2018, 9:22am

fastpedaller wrote:
Ontherivet77 wrote:Another negative review I'm afraid. I've used them twice, but the second order went badly wrong and just resulted in wasted time on my part and probably wasted money on theirs. I have now had the issue resolved, so won't go into detail, but I won't be using this shop again.


But isn't that an example of a good service? - they sorted it out at their expense. Some companies just leave the customer in the lurch, but the good ones sort it out. Mistakes happen, with the best will in the World, but if it's then sorted I think the supplier deserves another chance. :)


I agree mistakes do happen and I was perfectly willing to give them a chance, but when the same mistake is repeated it's time to cut your losses.
Regards, getting my money back any shop that operates legally would be required to offer a refund. If they are out of pocket then that is due to to their own incompetence not from any fault on my side.

rotavator
Posts: 120
Joined: 6 Jun 2016, 9:50pm
Location: North Wales

Re: Spa Cycles (Harrogate)

Postby rotavator » 7 Jul 2018, 9:47am

I have just received 4 tyres and a cable puller. No problem, quick service and so I will use them again.

loz123
Posts: 5
Joined: 28 May 2011, 12:26pm

Re: Spa Cycles (Harrogate)

Postby loz123 » 13 Jul 2018, 7:33pm

A negative review from me as well. I contacted them about a wheelset build, they quoted a price which I agreed to. They were to email me once they had received the hubs I was to send to them and I'd make payment.

Instead, they received the hubs from me, didn't call me for payment, built the wheelset and then called me to explain they made a mistake and that the price was higher!

Based on this and a previous bad experience I'm going to try to avoid using them again. (Nice wheel build though)

fatboy
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Joined: 5 Jan 2007, 1:32pm
Location: North Hertfordshire

Re: Spa Cycles (Harrogate)

Postby fatboy » 14 Jul 2018, 7:52pm

I've bought loads from them and continue to do so. When I ordered my tourer the process was brilliant. There were a few issues (forgot to pack the pedals and a wheel had got bashed so was out of true) which all got sorted and they gave me discount on my next order.

Ti tourer is brilliant BTW
"Marriage is a wonderful invention; but then again so is the bicycle puncture repair kit." - Billy Connolly

wearwell
Posts: 283
Joined: 3 Feb 2011, 8:45am

Re: Spa Cycles (Harrogate)

Postby wearwell » 16 Jul 2018, 6:50pm

Well i finally got around to complaining about my Spa Titanium Audax SPA 0023. Basically it had very many little niggly faults and two big ones; sand in the frame tubes causing seizing steering, SRAM Apex gears total crap. Took too long to for all the faults to show (partly cos I was out of cycling for some time) but if they had been apparent in the first year or so it would have entailed complete replacement bike, not just a service. I think they simply sent me the wrong bike.
They fobbed me off with a replacement brake caliper set.
Reluctantly decided not to buy from them again, after 20 or more years of steady spending on my servicing the whole families bikes as well as my one new dud bike purchase