Paul's Products 7
My cycling was reborn this summer when I went to the Trek 2013 launch in Germany. Because of test riding road and mountain bikes my old MTB shoes would be fine. Problem was my lovely wife had thrown them out, she denies this so I am definitely wrong and apologies for ever thinking that way!
Anyway an off road shoe would suffice so I chose the Shimano M077 and I have carried on using them. They are a good shoe for the winter, a road shoe and cleat would spread the load better and my feet took a while to harden to the small cleat area.
What I had not thought was that I would ever be grateful for the off road shoe on a road bike. I set off to beat my time up the West Buckland climb, the higher I went the less road was available ice free. I was flying and a new record was on, even not being unable to get off the seat because of wheel spin on the ice I still felt confident. The track available got narrower and narrower, a car behind me started spinning and gave up but I was determined. Reaching another car stuck on the hill I had to dismount and accept defeat.
With my mud gripping soles I walked to the top of the hill pushing my bike. It was only at the top that I realised I had to get back down! I will say the ride down Corfe hill through a tunnel of snow was thrilling never knowing if the next blind corner could be icy!
Publication Date: 30/01/2013 20:21:45
Road Test Day 23/24 Feb 2013
We are holding a Road Demo Day from our Taunton store on the 23/24th February giving people a chance to ride carbon road bikes on a guided ride.
Things to expect
• Top end carbon bikes from Trek, Giant and Bianchi
• Trek 6 series Madone and Domane models
• Giant TCR and Defy advanced models
• Top of the range Bianchi Oltre.
• Shimano di2/ui2 electric gears
• Guided ride for all abilities
• Refreshments in store
• Great deals on the day
• Sunny weather [tbc]
All rides will be guided and are on a strict first come first served basis so booking is essential. For more information and a list of available bikes call Alex at Taunton 01823 252499, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or go into your local store.
Publication Date: 22/01/2013 15:20:27
Paul's Products 6
I have been cycling with a very old Altura jacket in yellow that I found at home. To be honest I don't ever remember buying it so I don't think it's mine. As I have lost weight it now flaps around loosing me speed.
Time for a new one and I chose the latest Altura Varium in the smart red colour. It is one size smaller than the yellow one (did I tell you I had lost weight) and being cut in the racing style it is figure hugging in a nice way. The back is long and fits under you to stop the spray, plenty of pockets and the i phone-headphones feature. The really clever bit is soft cuffs so no zips on the sleeves and no draughs.
My initial test ride was on the coldest day I have ridden, the temp around zero. It was the first time my hands have been cold, I could feel the cold on my arms but it was more that it was cold outside the jacket than my arms were cold. After 10 minutes my arms no longer noticed the cold and my torso was always warm. I pushed hard up the 600 foot West Buckland climb and whilst I lowered the front zip I never got hot even with all the effort and for me that hill is very hard work. I did have the pit zips open to help vent the warm air,
I managed to shave a few seconds of my best time to the top which could be the new jacket not flapping in the breeze! I am trying to beat 30 minutes from my gate to the top road, still 30 seconds off!
So the jacket looks really good on, it feels comfortable, it keeps you warm and you don't overheat. If that's not enough we are doing them at 10% off at £126.
Publication Date: 16/01/2013 21:57:19
It's Official Cycling Is Good For You.
Have a look at this YouTube video of a 100 year old cyclist.
Have a look at this YouTube video of a 100 year old cyclist.
What has inspired me is that he can ride for longer than I have yet tried. He also holds the one hour record for his age group at over 15 miles and lately I have struggled to average that speed.
Still I have got around 40 years more training time!
Publication Date: 08/01/2013 18:20:49
New Year Fitness
My lovely daughter's role in life is to challenge everything I do and say. The frustrating thing is she is much better at exposing the weakness of my argument than I am at defending my point of view! Having battled with my weight for most of the life of our business, nearly 20 years, with her help I have cracked the problem. We have both been loosing weight and the constant battle as to who is doing better has kept me focused. Loosing weight is easy as long as you can sort your head out and combine it with regular cycling and a reduced intake of food. The difficult bit is cracking the three items with your own head being the biggest hurdle.
My lovely daughter's role in life is to challenge everything I do and say. The frustrating thing is she is much better at exposing the weakness of my argument than I am at defending my point of view!
Having battled with my weight for most of the life of our business, nearly 20 years, with her help I have cracked the problem. We have both been loosing weight and the constant battle as to who is doing better has kept me focused. Loosing weight is easy as long as you can sort your head out and combine it with regular cycling and a reduced intake of food. The difficult bit is cracking the three items with your own head being the biggest hurdle.
For those struggling with weight my success has come from a two week kick start diet by James Duigan. For those struggling to find time to cycle, I have for 20 years, seeing lots of others out riding has been a big motivation. Within a few rides my fitness increased dramatically and I now relish each Blackdown Hills climb, they still hurt like hell but that's the point and the reward for getting to the top. And my head, the exercise definitley helps, the great business last year relieved the stress and very little sugar stops the mood swings.
This particular blog is total self praise but if you want to do the right thing by loosing weight and getting fitter I hope my achievement will offer you some encouragement. Oh and you might just want to loose more than me, cycle faster and further than me but I bet you wont!
Publication Date: 08/01/2013 18:02:40
As an old school retailer, born well before the internet, it takes me a while to catch up. I am getting there and when I complete another bit of catching up I realise the often unnecessary stress I have been under
Customer feedback is one such area, I have recently signed up to Trustpilot where our customers are invited to leave their feedback about us. Until recently I have always resisted promoting our customer service in any advertising because I worry about the odd times that we don’t achieve a high standard. I would much sooner under promise and over deliver. Recently I realized that I was actually doing our staff a disservice as they do provide fantastic customer service and by telling everyone about that is a public recognition of their skills.
It is early days but the feedback so far has brought a lump to my throat every time as I read the fantastic things customers have taken the time to write about us. The joy that I have felt when particular members of staff have been named has caught me completely by surprise. I have never performed where the reward is the applause of the audience but I can now see how musicians and actors feel after a top class performance.
I am normally the type of person who will only see the one bad review not the 100 good ones. But I have been surprised at the challenge the couple of iffy ones have given me and I realise good or bad we will benefit from the feedback. It was always said that a happy customer only tells a few people of your good service where as an unhappy customer will tell anyone that will listen. The great thing is that now negative feedback will be left I will know that we have gone wrong and I will ensure that it will never happen again.
If you would like to leave feedback and we have not contacted you please drop me an email email@example.com with your name and address and I will send you the link
Publication Date: 08/01/2013 17:37:13
Merry Christmas & Opening Hours
Whilst the Christmas period is easier these days, when looking back over our 20 years in business, it's still a stressful time.
So taking a few minutes out I would like to express my thanks to all our customers, staff and suppliers and to wish everyone a very Happy Christmas!
We will be closed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, there is not much rest in retail!
The web will be there for you if you get bored of turkey and pud. Lets hope the weather will allow some bike time, providing the family approves!!
Publication Date: 21/12/2012 11:02:26
Dont Get Mad Get Even!
Many years ago I worked in the retail car industry, it was a time of slick salesmen in sheep skin coats but simple vehicles that didn't require computers to fix.
I think the industry has changed less slick sales people but more workshop skulldugery.
I have experienced too many instances where I have come away feeling conned. It is not just the main dealers, my small local garage serviced a van, didn't follow the manufacture's schedule so didn't replace the cam belt, the belt broke destroyed engine. When I complained they said I had not asked for the belt to be replaced!
I was riding my bike the other day stopping to answer the phone, the bill on my van went from a £140 part plus £40 labour to nearly £500. When I expressed surprise it was the diagnostic time to find the fault, this with a computer that is supposed to find the fault straight away.
I was phoned today to say my wife's car is due a service and they would collect the car and drop it back. This type of service raises my suspicion as this is an expensive offering in man hours and vehicles. How much £462.26, when I expressed that this was extracting the michael the price dropped by £200!
The moral of the story, if you ever feel my service departments are ripping you off let me know. We don't charge for diagnostic time that's our problem not the customer. We quote upfront and it is normally accurate and if we get the price wrong I take the hit!
Publication Date: 17/12/2012 12:23:20
Paul's Products 6
Bontrager Race Lite bottle cages are superb, they come in a great range of colours, they look good, they are light and we have sold tons.
They were introduced in January this year and their success has made us laugh every week when we increased how many we carried so we didn't run out.
The list price is now £11 but I have kept the price at a nice round £10!
Publication Date: 17/12/2012 12:15:01
I am not a great lover of magazine tests as very often there is a hidden agenda.
There are many instances where a brand every year gets one of their bikes rewarded with a great test. Suprise, suprise they run an add campaign in that mag, no ad campaign the test is not so good. If you read the detail I have seen two bikes tested with the same suspension fork one gets high praise for the fork action the other bike is slanged for a poor fork.
Anyway, anyway, anyway ( thanks Harry & Paul TV show for putting that in my head) good test results sell product so here is a great report on the 2013 Madone which in my humble opinion IS a great bike. We have it in stock some come and take a look.
Publication Date: 17/12/2012 11:34:42