Buying my first road bike in the coming weeks, planning on spending around €800-€1000. Any recommendations for decent cycle stores with good advice/deals in Galway city or the West region?
Alternatively, I'm considering going online and using a UK site (CRC, Wiggle, Holcross Cycles), cheaper I know but this lacks the advice and set-up know-how of a sales assistant. Has anyone had experience with these sites for after-sales/guarantee etc.
Any thoughts are appreciated for a unsure first-timer....
Nigels cyclestore in Liosbaun on the tuam road is your best bet.
A good selection of bikes and he can order you almost anything and is very competitive price wise. He knows his bikes well and won't sell you anything that wouldn't be suited to you.
Also he does great starter deals ie Helmet, shorts, speedomoters, shoes, pedals as an all in package.
He will fit you properly on the bike too so you're set up properly on it (you have no idea how important this is) and offer plenty of starter advice.
And, no i don't have shares in the shop but i was starting out myself there recently and he spent a good deal of time sorting me with the right bike and seemed genuinely interested in making sure i was happy with it rather flogging me the most expensive thing he could and hoping never to see me again.
also, as a beginer i wouldn't be in a rush to go online and save a few quid.... that's fine if you're well experienced and know exactly what you're looking for.
I reckon as a beginner you really ought to have a bit of assistance from someone who knows the ins and outs.
No point saving a few quid and getting a sore lower back and aching balls 7 miles out the road
its not that bad to go online, i did it for my first road bike, as have many others on here...and you do save quite alot! just requires plenty of online research
OK guys thanks for the advice.
By the way popped into one of the stores on my way home, guy was recommending a La Pierre bike, never heard of them myself, any thoughts?
I went in there about 3 months ago when I was starting out. I had a second hand bike and wanted to kit it out. I was also intending to shop for a new bike. Nigel wasn't there but there was a girl and two "mechanics". Between them they made me feel like sh1t. The two guys were very unfriendly with lots of sighing and tsk-tsk'ing when she asked them to fit a water bottle on my bike. She told me that my bike was a piece of crap (which it may have been but I did not need her to tell me that). They made me feel like I was in the way and a nuisance.
I went to Kearneys the following week and bought a hybrid. They were great with me. They have massive stock in the shop and Kearney himself is a keen cyclist afaik (He did Mizen to Malin in under 24 hours). I have been back there for a service, other kit etc.
Again I have no affiliation to any shop. I just hate arrogance and ignorance especially when you are starting and need a bit of guidance.
Both are good shops, as is O'Neills in Tuam.
KStafford, I think you were just unlucky that Nigel wasn't there and in the girls defence, if I recall correctly, the bike you had was way too small for you and you were wasting your money by spending anything on it.
OP if I were you I'd check out all 3 shops as they stock different brands and may have some decent offers second hand. Also, La Pierre are a pretty well known brand.
Not really, the bike was smallish for me but I was kitting it out so that I could sell it (which I later did) and wanted to talk to someone about buying a new bike. Yer one and the two "mechanics" made me feel like scum. It really was an awful experience. I'm sure if Nigel himself had been ther eit would have been great but he wasn't and I experienced what I experenced - Arrogance and ignorance.
Fair enough, your experience there doesn't sound great.
I've only had positive dealings with the shop, both with and without Nigel there.
ditto to that. Also had great service and positive dealings there. I don't know jack about cycling or bikes but that was never an issue.
OP, it may also be worth checking out Harrys and Richard Walshes also. You might get a good deal in one of them also.
Reality as follows
If you are serious about your cycling go to Nigels for advice , deal with Nigel you will not meet a nicer bloke.
If you just need a bike and know what you want try Kearneys , they have keen prices and are always willing to deal
Any other shops are useless for a road bike , OK for bikes with a shopping basket on them
Well said, id agree with this totally
Is this the case? It never occured to me to ask for anything from a brand they don't seem to stock. Isn't the a complex set of agreemnets, supply chains etc. behind which shop stocks which brands.
Anyway in my experience Nigel's is great for advice, fitting etc. Never bought anything from Kearney's but they seem reasonable. I've only bought a few accessories from Richard Walsh, but I'd say they are reasonable to. I'd steer clear of the rest in Galway city. I think there's a good shop in Ballinrobe.
I wonder why bad experiences are so common in bike shops. I've never bought a car but I can't imagine people have the same experiences in car show rooms. Is it beacuse bikes are expensive enough for buying one to be quite stressfull, but not expensive enogh for sales assistants to give customers as much time and attention as they need?
+ 1 for Marreys in Ballinrobe it is my Lbs
Have to say that the shops in Galway have also been helpful when I've dealt with them