Friday, 25 April 2008
London’s Alternative Bike shops, One East One West
‘Sick’ in Shoreditch sells a smorgasbord of French-Vintage paraphernalia from ball-gowns to bicycles. As with a lot of things when the French do cycling they like to do it in Style therefore there are a lot of beautiful bikes made in France. The eclectic mix of second hand bikes they sell range from £70-£200 they also sell frames, prices starting from £30.
The bicycles not only have a stylish edge but are good reliable city bikes and many of them come with rather splendid retro panniers. The only slight downfall of buying a French bike is that it may be a little difficult to get spare parts but this brings me to West London’s Alternative Bike shop; Notting Hill’s Bicycle workshop….
As a lover of vintage/second hand bikes I fully applaud this bike shop on the bohemian All Saints road in West London.
The owner of bicycle workshop, Nino is not interested in selling you a shiny new Hybrid with zillions of gears but instead would rather help you do up an old bike and join the vintage bicycle brigade. They are experts on older bikes and have a wide range of parts so they can get almost any bike back on the road.
You can take your bike down to the very popular Saturday morning open workshop although you may need to get there early as the workshop can get very busy in spring and summer
Another service they offer is to help you find a good vintage bike on eBay. Once you've bought it, you can bring it in and they will do any repairs necessary to get you on the road. This is such a great idea as there are so many wonderful, stylish ladies bike from the 70/s and 80's that are just rusting way in people garages crying out to have a bonny lass back aboard.
I have a friend who recently combined the services of both shops. She bought a beautiful white Peugeot from Sick, was struggling to get replacement inner tubes so took her bike to the bicycle workshop where she was fitted the right tubes and was merrily on her way.
Check out their website for further details The Bicycle workshop