Interview with Cloud 9 Cycles
News article published on: 18th June 2014
Following on from our recent chat with June Burke, author of cycling blog ‘cycling with heels’, the serious injury department at Osbornes speaks servicing, safety and cycling in London to Cloud 9 Cycles.
Hi Adam, thanks for taking part in this interview. Please tell us a little bit about your shop and how you came up with the idea to set up a cycling shop.
Cloud 9 Cycles was started in 2009 by myself and my business partner Kris. We were both keen cyclists but weren’t happy with the quality of bike shops in the Capital. We rented a workshop in Camden Town and started to repair our bikes as well as friends. The word quickly spread and before we knew it we had managed to fit an entire bike shop into an area of 10m2!
In 2012 we moved to our new shop just off Tottenham Court Rd (38 Store St, London, WC1E 7DB). Fortunately we have a lot more space and have a large range of bikes to cater for all cyclists.
We have bikes starting from £350 to £12,000 including Fixed Gear, Hybrids and Road bikes.
What kind of services do you offer in your shop and workshop?
Our speciality is custom builds and in house we can offer hand built frames, bike fitting and bespoke bike builds. These bikes are perfect for anyone looking for a fast, fun and comfy ride J
We have a fully equipped workshop with Cytech qualified mechanics who can service all types of bikes including high end Road and MTB bikes. We aim to turn around all services within 24 hours to keep you on two wheels.
We also have a small rental fleet available.
What changes have you experienced to London Roads recently and do you think London as a city is adapting quickly enough to make cycling a safe experience for the number of cyclists that are currently on the roads?
In the last few years there have been two major changes to London cycling. The first is the cycling infrastructure. London is pushed for space and so it has been hard for TFL to put in new cycling lanes however the last few years has seen a big increase and although not perfect it is definitely a step (or pedal) in the right direction.
The second is the number of cyclists that are on the road. Almost daily I see more people on bikes. This is a real benefit and it means that drivers and pedestrians are more aware of cyclists habits and what to look out for when they are crossing a street.
I think that the city is doing its best to adapt to cyclists and so long as we all remember to share the road respectfully we should be able to travel together seamlessly.
Do you see a lot of injured cyclists and what cycle equipment would you recommend to a cyclist to cycle more safely?
We don’t see as many injured cyclists as you would expect and the majority we do see have normally fallen off their bike on a Friday night after a few après work drinks.
In terms of safety I am a strong believer in good lights. London is awash with lights (sings, shops and cars) and so to have a bright pair of lights is extremely important.
A good set of USB rechargeable lights are £59.99 and is (in my opinion) the best investment you can make for safer cycling.
Of course helmets are also important and the new Hovding Airbag (http://www.hovding.com/) is the safest helmet on the market. It is perfect for commuters and its revolutionary design is shaking the helmet industry to the core.
How regularly do you have to service a bike if you commute daily?
I would recommend popping into a bike shop once every 4 months and asking them if your bike needs a service. So long as they are reputable they should offer the service that is required.
Our most popular service for commuters is our “Good as New” service which is £70 and includes a lot of stuff including a new set of gear and brake cables –http://www.cloud9cycles.com/servicing.php
However there are some things that you can do at home that will help the longevity of your ride. The most important is to keep the chain, gears and wheel rims clean of dirt.
If you get dirt on your chain or rim it will grind your gears and wear your wheel much quicker than if it was clean.
A simple cloth with some bike cleaner / degreaser will keep the parts clean and allow them to run smooth and in good working order.
Once clean use some new oil on the chain to keep it lubricated.
It is especially important to keep your parts clean after the rain as more grit will stick to the parts.
What other safety advice would you give to cyclists cycling in London?
Three simple bits of advice are:
Plan your route along less busy roads – Many people follow the busy roads that they know from the bus to get to work. This is not necessary as London has 73,000 roads…many that are quiet, car free and often quicker to get places. Have a look at the free cycle maps from TFL (http://www.tfl.gov.uk/modes/cycling/routes-and-maps
) and plan your ride.
Check your saddle height is correct – I am amazed how many people ride with their saddle either too high or low. If your saddle is set correctly you will be able to ride for longer, be in more comfort and arrive to work happier. If you are in any doubt please pop into us and we will set it correctly for you at no charge.
Keep your bike safe – Invest in a good lock and you dramatically reduce the chance of your bike being pinched. You can buy some great security systems that will lock your wheels and then all you need is a good lock (starting from £35) to secure your frame to the rack.
For all the latest news from Cloud 9 cycles you can follow them on twitter@cloud9cycles