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Old 02-19-13, 06:49 PM   #1
scozim 
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London C&Vers - need some info

My wife and I are celebrating our 25th anniversary this June by spending 8 days in London sans children. We've never been there. My question (and I'm sure it will require some negotiation on my part with my wife) is what kind of C&V flavor bike shops are there that I can visit? The flat we'll be staying in is located in the Kensington area of London.
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Old 02-19-13, 07:15 PM   #2
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My wife and I are celebrating our 25th anniversary this June by spending 8 days in London sans children. We've never been there. My question (and I'm sure it will require some negotiation on my part with my wife) is what kind of C&V flavor bike shops are there that I can visit? The flat we'll be staying in is located in the Kensington area of London.
It's not in Ken but my favourite place to head is the Vintage Bike Cave (http://vintagebikecave.com). What they've got on the website is just a selection but they've basically got a warehouse full of interesting old parts, frames and some complete bikes. I'm heading there myself on Friday to pick up some wheels - they've been really helpful in tracking stuff down for me. Otherwise, maybe Condor could be worth a visit? If you're into fixies then Brick Lane Bikes is good, and Bobbin Bicycles if you like Dutch-style townies.

Hope you enjoy your stay, and do feel free to get in touch if you want any other suggestions
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Old 02-19-13, 07:43 PM   #3
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That sounds like a great trip. I would love to get to London and spend weeks checking out the roads and barns, enjoy!
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Old 02-19-13, 07:58 PM   #4
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We're looking forward to it. A lot of stuff to do within walking distance. Unfortunately we're missing the start of Wimbledon by a day or two and, of course, the Tour de France. I've got permission from my wife to try and be part of the studio audience if they're filming an episode of Top Gear - that would be a blast.
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Old 02-20-13, 06:41 AM   #5
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Oh, subscribed! my best friend is in London for in internship now and I'm going to visit him there. Might as well check out some of the local bike goodies there. I'd like to see the velodrome too.
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Old 02-20-13, 07:10 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by tjkwood View Post
It's not in Ken but my favourite place to head is the Vintage Bike Cave (http://vintagebikecave.com). What they've got on the website is just a selection but they've basically got a warehouse full of interesting old parts, frames and some complete bikes. I'm heading there myself on Friday to pick up some wheels - they've been really helpful in tracking stuff down for me. Otherwise, maybe Condor could be worth a visit? If you're into fixies then Brick Lane Bikes is good, and Bobbin Bicycles if you like Dutch-style townies.

Hope you enjoy your stay, and do feel free to get in touch if you want any other suggestions
Thanks for the advice about the vintage bike cave. London is one of my favorite cities, I will be there again in July and August, I will ride Lodon-Edinburgh-London this year again.
Will probably try to visit the Vintage Bike Cave.
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Old 02-20-13, 07:24 AM   #7
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Hi Scozim


I would say a definite destination would be Sargent & Co. – my favourite LBS – 5mins walk from Finsbury Park tube station – lots of lovely old frames to look at and nice vintage shop and cafe a couple of doors away...

http://www.sargentandco.com/


Mark
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Old 02-20-13, 07:26 AM   #8
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Also - when you go into Soho pop into Bar Italia for a cappuccino - a London legend…

http://www.baritaliasoho.co.uk/
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Old 02-20-13, 07:55 AM   #9
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Thanks morsksmith. Creating a list of things to do has already started. I checked out the Vintage Bike Cave website last night - some cool stuff. Sargent & Co. lists Olmo under the framesets for sale - that definitely sparks some interest.
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Old 02-20-13, 08:04 AM   #10
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I will ride Lodon-Edinburgh-London this year again.
wow, nice. Do you have a trip report of the last time you did it?
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Old 02-20-13, 09:35 AM   #11
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If you are already an experienced rider in a city, I recommend riding around London. When I was traveling, I put my bike away when I got to Paris and London, until I realized that was silly. I found it a good way to get around. Each city has its own dance steps. You have to get the rhythm of how people drive. But you can do it, and it's rewarding. I don't remember much about the London drivers except that they seemed pretty polite compared to New Yorkers, but that's not hard to believe.

In Paris, people drive really really fast, but they're very alert, and they are perfectly willing to brake hard when they have to, and they don't seem to resent it. That took a while to realize, and once I realized it, I felt very safe. I didn't find the Parisians to drive rudely, just fast.
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Old 02-20-13, 10:06 AM   #12
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If you are coming in London


You need have a break at "Look mum no hands!" this is the cooler place I ever seen
It is a bike shop with a caffè-bar very closed to the Barbican station
http://www.lookmumnohands.com


Then you can go to "Condor" it is a wlking distance from "Mum no hands"
http://www.condorcycles.com


You can try to have a look also to the Rapha shop close to Regent Street
http://www.rapha.cc/london


P.
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Old 02-20-13, 10:12 AM   #13
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If you are already an experienced rider in a city, I recommend riding around London. When I was traveling, I put my bike away when I got to Paris and London, until I realized that was silly. I found it a good way to get around. Each city has its own dance steps. You have to get the rhythm of how people drive. But you can do it, and it's rewarding. I don't remember much about the London drivers except that they seemed pretty polite compared to New Yorkers, but that's not hard to believe.

In Paris, people drive really really fast, but they're very alert, and they are perfectly willing to brake hard when they have to, and they don't seem to resent it. That took a while to realize, and once I realized it, I felt very safe. I didn't find the Parisians to drive rudely, just fast.
Excellent observation, Tom. And thanks for the tips everyone! that lookmumnohands looks cool, Poldocoop.
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Old 02-20-13, 02:01 PM   #14
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I rented a scooter when I was in London with my girlfriend. Riding on the left side took some getting used to, but we survived. It's beautiful once you get out of the city.
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Old 02-20-13, 04:46 PM   #15
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If you head out east (it's in the vicinity of the Olympic stadium), this is a great shop - http://www.skinnyerics.co.uk Lots of old frames and parts on the walls, do coffee as well.

Not quite as far east is http://bricklanebikes.co.uk/vintage not the cheapest shop though.

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Old 02-23-13, 12:18 AM   #16
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Try Retrospective Cycles in Hornsey for a good selection of vintage Italian bikes. I bought a '76 Bianchi Specialissima Professionale from Niall and it was delivered as promised to the Great White North.
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Old 03-08-13, 12:56 AM   #17
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This is another place that will be nice to see
http://www.sargentandco.com/

But to buy Italian frames is better to go in Italy, compare to london the prices are 1/2 and the selection is twice or more


I just bought (in italy) a Bianchi Rekord 74 for 230€ (300$) in london the same bike will be 400£ (600$) or more...
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Old 03-11-13, 03:41 AM   #18
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That might be true Poldocoop but the OP doesn't say he wants to buy bikes - just wants to visit bike related places whilst in holiday in London –
if you do buy a bike in England it's best to buy an English bike…

Sargent & Co sells more English when i've been there, Retrospective is the Italian bike expert...

Your BIanchii sounds nice…
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Old 03-11-13, 08:14 AM   #19
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On using the wrong side of the road, I reminded myself to take left turns sharp and right turns wide. That helped. And of course, when you're walking and about to cross the street, look right first, as the instructions on the ground say.
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Old 03-11-13, 09:31 AM   #20
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Since I seem to gravitate toward French bikes I'm "this" close to talking my wife into taking the Eurostart Paris for at least a day (maybe overnight) during the trip. We'll see if it works out but the trip is only a little over 2 hrs so could be fun.
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Old 03-11-13, 10:45 AM   #21
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A day trip to Paris is easily doable from London. You can get a 7 or 8 o'clock train there, and the last one back from Paris is at 9.15. Will cost £68 if you book in reasonable time. Though you might as well stay the night if you're coming all the way from the USA.
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