During lockdown cycling was a big escape for a lot of people as they used the opportunity to get out and about. One company who knows a lot about that is Evans Cycles, who have just opened a brand new shop in the centre of town.
From free bike checks to the latest must have bikes and accessories, they’re a go to destination for any cyclists, both new and experienced. We caught up with them for this week’s BID Spotlight to find out a little more about the new store and what they offer.
The new Evans Cycles shop is now open in town, can you tell us a little more about it?
Earlier this month Evans Cycles, the UK’s leading specialist bike shop, announced the opening of its brand new Leicester store – representing our commitment to maintaining a strong physical presence within the community and providing excellent face-to-face service to the UK’s growing number of cyclists. Our new store covers 11,500 square feet, stocks over 300 bikes for customers to see in person as well as the latest products from the world’s leading brands.
We are also complete with a fully equipped workshop and Shimano Service Centre – offering expert mechanical assistance and lightening quick turnarounds with a 24 Hour Servicing Pledge.
The lockdown period saw a lot of people increase their cycling and exercise, what advice would you give to people who are new to cycling?
It is truly amazing to see so many people getting back on their bikes. We’ve pulled together a few tips below for those who are newer to riding:
1) Cleaning and maintenance should be little and often: It’s better to do one or two small cleaning/maintenance jobs each time you go out on your bike than try to do a major clean up every few months. This will keep your bike fresh for each ride, and helps reduce wear and tear created over time. Key things to do after each ride: wash your bike – using a rag and toothbrush for the hard to reach areas like the cogs and chain, pump up the tyres (before the next ride), check your brakes are working properly and a spray of lubricant on the chain.
2) Tyre maintenance: make sure they are properly pumped up. If they are too soft you may end up with a “pinch puncture”. This happens if the tyre pressure is too low and you ride over something, such as pot-hole, that gives a sudden impact. Also, check your tyres regularly – make sure they are free of grit, small bits of glass or anything that might cause a puncture. If you notice any holes or small tears it could be time to replace the tyres.
3) Brake maintenance: Before every ride, do a quick check that the brakes do as they should. With each wheel off the ground, pull the front and back brakes respectively to be sure they are in good working order. If in doubt and you don’t know how to fix them, take them to a reputable bike shop or bike mechanic.
4) Essential kit: Depending on the type of bike you have, depends on what sort of clothes are needed. Padded shorts are better for road bikes as they can make things more comfortable, and some people opt for a mountain bike specific helmet if they are riding on trails. Ultimately, you just need to wear clothes that keep you comfortable on the bike. Other essential items should be a working front and back lights to help you see and be seen in dark and twilight hours; high-visibility clothing; and a helmet. If you’re doing further rides, it’s worth carrying allen-keys, a mini-bike pump, tyre levers, and spare inner tubes so you can fix a puncture if you’re on the go (or visit an Evans Store if you’re nearby, and we’ll fix your puncture for you!)
5) Main areas of wear and tear to look out for: The chain, gears, tyres and brake pads are all areas which get used a lot, and should be checked regularly. Use a chain wear checker to see if the chain has stretched too much. If the gears are jumping or not sitting right, they probably need adjusting which can either be done at home (with the help of a Youtube video) or from a trusted mechanic. Tyres and brake pads should be grit free and in working order before you go out on your next ride.
6) Summer service: Your bike will benefit from regular servicing. Keeping on top of maintenance at home will help to extend the life of the components. That said, most parts will wear out eventually so it’s better to replace those as you go along rather than wait until the whole bike needs an overhaul. Book your bike in for a regular service (with Evans you can now do so online).
You also offer services such as bike checks, how can people access this?
As well as our Bronze, Silver and Gold rated services, customers can now use the Government’s new Fix Your Bike voucher scheme at any of our stores. The initiative – set up by the Department for Transport – allows members of the public to claim a £50 voucher towards the cost of repairing a bike, and hopes to encourage more people to embrace cycling and boost the number of commuting and leisure trips made while social distancing measures are in place.
Does your range of bikes cover both beginners and more advanced cyclists?
We believe the variety of products available are second to none. Covering everything from road, mountain, electric, hybrid, commuting and kids bikes – as well as hundreds of clothing, parts and accessory options. We pride ourselves in offering something for everyone, no matter what your price point or preference.
What are some of your favourite brands that you stock? Or favourite accessories if you can’t mention particular brands.
As the UK’s leading specialist bike shop, we have built relationships with some of the world’s biggest brands in order to offer customers the best equipment available at competitive prices. As well as our own line of Pinnacle bikes and clothing, we also stock products from household names like Trek, Specialised, Cannondale, Brompton, Pinnacle, Raleigh, Castelli, GORE, FOX, and Endura.
What are some of your favourite routes to cycle in Leicestershire?
There are so many great places to ride in the area. Loops around Bradgate Park, the MTB trails around Beacon Hill or even just making most of the National Cycle Network and canal path routes in and around Leicester. You don’t have to look far to find something suitable for your individual comfort level and discipline.
Where can people find out more about Evans Cycles (website/socials)?
For more information on this branch, and all of Evans Cycles’ stores, visit the Evans Cycles website.
Our BID Spotlight features are brought to you in collaboration with BID Leicester.