Cycle Centre savings club

Featured

Savings club 2014 version 2

The Cycle Centre savings club is up and running!

£10 reserves a bike and we will store it for you until you are ready to collect it. Simply pay amounts to suit you and once the bike is paid for its yours!

We like to try and keep things as simple as possible and it doesn’t get much easier than this.

Call into the shop where we will set up an account for you and select the bike and accessories you would like us to put away for you and that’s it.

Advertisements

Become a better cyclist – The Cycle Centre & The Cycle Hub present ‘An evening with Chris Garrison’

Featured

We are putting on a cycling event at The Cycle Hub on Wednesday 17th September at 7pm.

I worked alongside Chris Garrison at Trek UK and we often attended events to talk to riders about position on the bike. Chris has also held talks at various Cycle shows and has built up a bit of a following but she has never presented one in the North East. I felt this was a great opportunity to get Chris to Newcastle and make an evening of it.

Chris Garrison

The focus of the event is to answer those questions that you have either been afraid to ask or you didn’t realise needed answering. If you suffer from aches and pains after a ride it maybe that you are suffering from a poor bike setup, the pain from your saddle may not be just a result of riding a bike, it could be that you have an ill fitting saddle. That neck and shoulder ache might not be just be because you have been trying extra hard on the bike, it could be upper body positioning.

If you are an experienced rider I feel certain that there will be nuggets of information that will benefit you on your next ride. If you are new to the world of riding a bike there will be lots of useful hints and tips for you too.

The event is being held with our friends at The Cycle Hub on the Quayside – NE6 1BU, there will be drinks and snacks and a fully licensed bar.

the cycle hub

If you would like to reserve a place at this free event please contact the hub directly at enquiries@thecyclehub.org or call 0191 276 7250

It will be a really entertaining evening and I hope to see you there!

Tony Butler

Bike Themed Home Accessories

Do you have a cycling enthusiast in your family? Are your children bike mad? If so, you might like to include a little bit of the cycling world into your home. There are lots of ways in which to include cycling home accessories into your decor, and in a stylish way too.

Bike Wallpaper:

d4381ba355a13a8eb5ea005c903119b9We were really inspired recently by an article we saw on the blog, A Beautiful Space, looking at great cycling wallpapers. This one, from Spoonflower, sells for £36 a roll, and features very cute vintage bicycle cruisers. Wouldn’t this look great as a feature wall in your home?

Real Bikes:

bike featureSource

If you can’t find bicycle home accessories that you like, why not make a feature of the real thing? We love this bicycle above the fireplace, creating a real focal point in this living space.

Bicycle Cushions:

original_i-love-my-bike-cushionThese are quite easy to come across, and so it really depends on the style you like for your home. We’ve chosen this Vintage style cushion from Not on the Hight Street that sells for £27, as it has rustic, yet modern design that would suit lots of homes.

Bike Book Ends:

original_bicycle-bookendsThere are lots of ways to incorporate bike paraphernalia into your home, some of them very subtle. Using something like these wonderful bike bookends, again from Not On The High Street, is an unobtrusive way to do just that. Wouldn’t they make a great gift for your bike mad friend?

Bike Wall Art:

Wall artOf course, if you love bikes, you’ll want to have some cool bike wall art on the walls. This one is from Graham and Brown at Very, and is a very reasonable £22. Could you see this on your walls? Maybe it’s one for the girls.

Do you like our selection of bike home accessories? Could you use some of these in your own home?

Family Bike Maintenance for Spring

Do you need to do some family bikes maintenance after a Winter stored in the shed? Are the kids itching to get out on their bikes but you really need to check the brakes and raise the saddle? Never fear, we are here with a definitive guide to sorting out the family bikes ready for the better weather.

Family Bike Maintenance for the Spring

Just keeping the family bikes in great condition is really simple and there are just a few things you need to check to ensure the bikes are safe and road worthy.

Muc off1. Hose Down and Clean Up

If you have managed to get out on your bikes with the kids over the Winter, it’s likely that the bikes are now covered in mud and dirt. That’s to be expected, and the sign of a good outing! You do need to clean this all off though, to ensure the bike stays in tip-top condition. We have a good selection of bike cleaning kits available in the shop.

If you’re really serious about cleaning up your bike, and you have done some pretty serious cycling over the Winter, this video has some great tips.

2. Check for Size

What do we mean here? Well get the children to hop on their bikes and check how much they’ve grown. You’ll be surprised how much the saddle and handlebars need adjusting! When kids are learning to ride, it’s important for them to be able to put their feet flat on the ground to aid balance, but as they get more proficient you can raise the saddle so they just have their tip toes on the floor. If you want more precision, take a look at this saddle height calculator for more information.

3. Puncture Repairs

bicycle-tires-236931_640It’s likely that when you haul the bikes out of the shed, at least one of them will have a puncture. If you’re lucky and they don’t, you still need to check the tyres and pump them up correctly. Invest in a few puncture repair accessories so you always have the correct parts to hand, and for a step by step guide check out this great guide from Rutland cycling. Be careful not to over-inflate the tyres, as this can make the ride uncomfortable and dangerous, in fact. Identify the correct tyre pressure, which is usually written on the side of the tyre or from the manufacturer’s handbook, then removed the dust caps from the valve and attach the pump. Start pumping, and remember to test the tyre pressure once you’ve finished to ensure the correct levels. Then replace the dust caps and make them finger tight.

4. Brakes

Check the brakes pads are properly aligned, and are hitting the bike rim evenly. Inspect the brake pads and ensure there’s nothing embedded in them. Use a knife or sharp object to remove any dust and so prevent the pads becoming unduly worn, or the grit scratching the rims.

5. Oil the Chain

Finally, take a good look at the chain and apply the appropriate lubricant. Use a lightweight oil specially designed for bikes but if you’re not sure, drop us a line and we can help.

So now the bikes are all ready for the Spring! We hope you have a great time out on the bikes with your family.

Do you have any other family bike maintenance tips?

Cycling Gifts for Mother’s Day

So it’s not far away now. Mother’s Day falls at the end of March so now’s the time to start looking for that special treat to let her know you care. Of course, at Cycle Centre we’re sure you would like to check out the latest cycling gifts for Mother’s Day, so why not take inspiration from our suggestions.

Cycling Gifts for Mother’s Day:

Doesn’t every woman love a new bag? If the Mum in your life is a cycling fan, and a bag lover then we have the perfect cycling gift for Mother’s day.

Alba Single PannierThis Alba Single pannier from New Looxs is just beautiful and is both stylish and functional. Water repellant with an adjustable shoulder strap, this gorgeous bag has multiple internal pockets for great organisation. We have this available online for £39.99. Click here to find out more.

Want more bags? Of course you do. Why not take a look at these fashionable designs all available from our online store.

The Mondi Joy double pannier in Isis Blue has great carrying capacity and vibrant graphics. Available for £51.99.

cycling gifts for mother's dayOr perhaps you like a different style. Why not try the Femme Pannier bag in Romano Blue. Looks just like an ordinary bag doesn’t it? As well as being great for everyday use, the Femme Pannier bag comes with pannier mounting hooks and is waterproof. Practical and stylish, and available for £49.99Femme Pannier

If you’re hoping to make it an extra special Mother’s Day this year, why not treat her to the ultimate gift. How about one of our most stylish and fashionable bikes, the Red or Dead Cuckoo? Iconic British fashion brand, Red or Dead, have joined forces with British bike experts, Raleigh, to create a beautiful chic fashion bike – for those ladies with a passion for cycling and a whole heap of love for all things fashion.

mother's day cycling giftsYou can order this beautiful bike in store with us for £400 and let your Mum really know how much you care.

If you’re still looking for stylish, practical and good value cycling gifts for Mother’s Day why not check out the website and see what you can find. Alternatively, give us a call and try out our excellent customer service. We would be happy to talk you through our range.

Happy Half Term: 15% Off Many Bikes and Accessories

Happy Half Term everyone!
The weather has been pretty awful for lots of us in the past few weeks and it’s been hard for the cyclists amongst us. You will have seen that we are running a fabulous giveaway on the blog at the moment, and giving you the chance to win £150 to spend on a bike of your choice, but we’re taking things one step further this week.

As it’s half term in most of the country we wanted to celebrate and offer you 15% of many of our bikes and accessories from both the online store and the shop in Newcastle. If you can’t get to see us in person, that’s absolutely no problem as you can buy directly from our website. Here’s a few examples of the offers we are currently running to whet your appetite:

The Raleigh Saturn Boys Bike

Raleigh SaturnThis fabulous boys bike, the Raleigh Saturn is currently available for just £84 over the half term holidays. A great saving of £15 this week only.

Or how about:

The Diamondback Remix 2014 Model:

Diamondback RemixWith 15% off this half term holidays, this great little Diamondback Remix is only £170, a saving of £30 his week only.

The Claud Butler Aspect

Claud Butler AspectIf you’re looking for something for an older girl, how about this Claud Butler Aspect suitable for girls aged 9-11. With a Hi-ten steel frame, this 2014 model bike is on sale for this week only, at £152.99. A great bargain!

The Claud Butler Origin

Claud Butler OriginIf you’re looking for something for the older boy though, why not take a look at this fabulous looking Claud Butler Origin which we are selling at just £135.99 this week. A saving of £24 on the original price.

Now it’s not just the kids that we’ve thought about with our flash half term holiday bike sale. If you’re looking to treat yourself the savings are still there on the adult bikes.

Claud Butler Cambridge Pink

Claud Butler Cambridge PinkHow about this wonderfully stylish, very cool Claud Butler Cambridge in a soft baby pink. With a whopping £37.50 discount, this bike is for sale at just £212.49.

Giant Revel 3 2014

Giant RevelAnd of course we didn’t want to leave the men out so here’s an example of guy’s mountain bike that’s also in the half term sale. This 2014 Giant Revel with an aluminium frame and 21 speed Shimano shifters is just £254.15, a fabulous saving of over £44.

This is just a small selection of the full range of bikes we have in the 15% off sale this week, just take a browse through our website www.cyclecentreuk.co.uk to find out more.

You’ll need to be quick though! All of these prices are valid until 24th February 08:00 so grab the bargains while you can. Of course as usual, everything is subject to availability and this offer can’t be used in conjunction with any other.

Happy Shopping!

Winter Family Cycling

It gets harder and harder to get the kids out on their bikes at this time of year, and even harder to go out as a family. If the kids had new bikes at Christmas then I bet you’re doing all you can to help them either learn to ride them or gain in confidence. But with the wettest January on record it’s very difficult to motivate both them and yourself. So what are the opportunities for Winter family cycling in the UK and beyond.

family cycling in winterSet an Example:

If the kids see you getting out there on your bike whatever the weather then they’ll be inspired to give it a go too. If the children are still little there’s nothing to stop you hooking up the trailer and transporting them round with you. Winter family cycling can be just as much fun, just make the sure the cover on the trailer is watertight and windproof. Wrap the children up well too, and give them a snack or toy to keep them occupied. Everything gets a little muddy and dirty of course but keeping an old sheet in the shed or garage ready to park on when you return home is an easy way to contain the mess. If you’re going to be out and about as the light fades, remember to add some reflective strips and colourful accessories, maybe even a flag, to the trailer to ensure it will be safe and seen.

Kit Yourself Out:

It’s a sure fact that if you or the children get too cold you won’t feel inclined to get out on your bikes again anytime soon. So make sure that you have all the right clothing and equipment; get this right and your adventure will be all the more pleasureable.

winter family cyclingThis Lusso thermal jacket from our Raleigh shop is ideal for the colder weather and is made from Resistex carbon fabric, breathable with safety reflective strips. Costs just £65.

winter family cyclingThese windchill fleece Winter gloves by Avenir are durable and flexible with an elasticated cuff ideal for the chillier weather. It’s imperative you kit the whole family out in warm gloves when you’re out cycling. There’s nothing worse than freezing cold hands. We sell these in our online bike shop for just £11.99.

family winter cyclingMake sure everyone has warm ears too. You know we lose a huge percentage of body heat through our heads, so best to wrap them up and pop on a hat or earwarmer. This lovely Lusso Earwarmer is just £9.99 and come sin 5 different sizes.

Take a Trip:

winter family cyclingIf the British weather just gets you down and you’re desperate to get away with the family on your bikes, then why not consider taking the family on an organised trip abroad. Saddle Skedaddle, a wonderful cycling holiday company runs a variety of family cycling holidays both in the UK and abroad. Why not take a gentle self-guided tour of Sardinia for example or why not try an easy paced family cycling holiday in the Azores. Spend some time whale watching and let the kids splash around in the waterfalls. An amazing tonic for the dull UK weather.

So however you choose to do your Winter family cycling do enjoy yourselves and if there’s anything we can help with please get in touch.

Image: Observing Life

How to Help your Child Become a Confident Cyclist

Help your child become a confident cyclistA while ago now we wrote about how to teach your kids to ride a bike, with lots of tips and even a video to inspire you. But what happens if you’re past this stage and your child can now ride their bike, but is lacking confidence? What’s the best approach then? How do you get them enthusiastic about riding a bike when they are anxious?

It’s true that some children will take longer than others when they’re learning to ride a bike. Gaining confidence to be independent on a bike is all part of the learning curve and some will take a while to get there. It’s really important (and often very difficult!) to be very patient. Getting cross or short-tempered with them will do more harm than good, and no-one will be having a good time. When you can get them out on their bike give them lots of praise and encouragement and don’t push them too far.

Back to Basics:

If you’re child has learned to ride their bike but lacks the ability to do it confidently, maybe take some time to go over the basics, for both of you. From a parent’s point of view, ensure your child feels comfortable and safe on their bike. Check their helmet for a good fit, give them some knee and elbow pads if they’re afraid of hurting themselves if they fall, and ensure the bike is the right size and the saddle in the right position. Some children find balancing quite hard when the bike is heavy, so ensure the weight of your child’s bike isn’t causing them a problem.

Practice, Practice, Practice:

Do you think your child isn’t confident on their bike through a lack of practice? It’s certainly true that in the Winter months a new, young cyclist may lose some of their cycling skills if they aren’t having the chance to use them. The more opportunities you can give them to practice the more confident they are going to be.

Start Small:

We all know that a lack of confidence needs a nurturing and encouraging attitude to help build it up. If your child is refusing to go out on bike rides with the family it’s time to think small again. Take the time to give your child some one to one cycling, over a short distance for a short time. Take it easy, offer the praise and know when to stop. If the last thing the child remembers is a successful experience, they are more likely to try it again next time. If you can, take them to a quiet, smooth and easy park or path to help build that confidence and feel good about being out on a bike. Slowly build up the trips over time, taking care to always end on a high note.

For some children, particularly if they’ve had a bad experience it may take some time to build up their confidence. You may even want to start again and take them back to the balance bike stage although not all children will respond well to going ‘backwards’.

However you approach this, your time, encouragement and praise will eventually pay off. Just be patient and they will get there.

We have lots of kids bikes and accessories that make your child’s cycling experience fun and exciting so get in touch or check out the website if you think we can help.

How to Teach your Child to Ride a Bike

how to teach your child to ride a bike

It can be one of the hardest, but definitely most rewarding things you can teach your child. How to Ride a Bike!

Before we go any further and give you some of our top tips and suggestions for further help, take a look at little Hannah mastering the art of riding her bike for the very first time!


Thank you to Emma from Science Sparks for allowing us to share her daughter’s magic moment.

How to Teach your Child to Ride a Bike:

In bullet point from here are our tops tips for helping your child master the art of cycling.

  • To start with, ensure you have all the right equipment including a decent kids’ bike helmet and that all important camera or video for capturing the magic moment.
  • Remember to not overload your child with instructions but do heap on the praise to keep their confidence high.
  • Find a flat, smooth secluded spot where they can practise.
  • Before you do anything else teach them how to use the brakes.
  • If they’ve started on a balance bike, fantastic but even if they’ve gone to a bike with stabilisers it’s no problem, there’s still a way forward.
  • Ultimately they need to learn to balance so, if they’re on a small child’s bike ensure the saddle is low enough for them to put feet flat on the floor and remove the stabilisers and pedals.
  • Now encourage them to move the bike forward, using one foot after the other to propell them forward. Let them get the hang of this, increasing their confidence and balancing ability. You may need to do this over a few sessions.
  • Once they’re feeling good about this put the pedals back on and teach them how to push off with one foot, whilst the other is on the pedal.
  • Practise this action a few times until they get the hang of it and can start to pedal. As they have already mastered balancing, it should all start to fall into place.
  • Resist the urge to hold the handlebars or the back of the seat. Instead run alongside the child with a hand on their shoulder allowing them to balance themselves knowing you are there for help if they need it.
  • Remember all children are different and will master these skills at different times.
  • Try not to lose your patience. If it’s not going well, put the bike away and try again another time.
  • Praise, praise, praise!

If you want more detailed information on how to teach your child to ride a bike, Sustrans have a fantastic ‘Ditch the Stabilisers’ guide that you can download here.

You can also find lots of handy tips and hints on the Bike Radar website too. This one is particularly good if you’re finding the whole experience a little stressful!

Image: Thierry Draus

How to Wrap a Bike for Christmas

how to wrap a bike for ChristmasSource

So, something we get asked all the time is how to wrap a bike when it’s a Birthday or Christmas gift. We know it’s not the easiest item to wrap but we have lots of ideas, suggestions and tips that will help you. Maybe you have your own way of wrapping a bike that we haven’t covered here, if so leave us a comment and we can add it to the list.

How to Wrap a Bike for Christmas:

1. Use a Bike Bag. Ok so take a look at this video, ignore the intense crumpling and see how simple it can be!

They come in different sizes and designs suitable for different types of bike.

2. Of course children love to be surprised and seeing a bike shaped gift under the tree is going to give the game away. Wrap up the helmet instead with a note to visit the garage or the shed where the rest of the surprise is waiting.

3. Go for something simple and attach a big bow to the bike and then wheel it in when all the other presents are unwrapped. Then watch the look of delight on their face when they realise Christmas isn’t yet over!

4. You could wrap up a gift certificate and take your child to the showroom to pick their own bike of course. Maybe this is more suitable for slightly older children who have stronger ideas and opinions on what they like and want.

5. We’ve come across this idea from our customers and out on the internet too. Before the big day, position the bike somewhere in the house and attach a few ribbons or bows. Then take a photograph. Print and wrap the picture and pop under the tree. Let your little one open the picture and watch the wonder and delight emerge as they realise that bike is in your home. Have it ready to be wheeled in to complete the surprise.

6. Buy up all the gift wrap you can from inexpensive fairs and craft sales in the run up to Christmas. Create one large sheet by taping the individual sheets together. Wrap around the bike, not too tightly to form a covering. A cheap way to hide the surprise.

7. Give them a bike treasure hunt. Wrap up the first ‘clue’ and pop it under the tree. Let this clue lead them to the next clue and then the next and so on until they discover their shiny new bike hiding away in another room.

8. Get yourself along to the nearest diy store and see if you can sweet talk the staff into letting you have a jumbo sized cardboard box. Of course make sure it’s big enough, but this is great for diverting attention away from the shape of the bike. Pop the bike in the box and wrap as normal.

So what do you think? Do you have any other great tips or suggestions for ways to wrap a bike for Christmas? Or even as a birthday gift. If so, we would love to hear about them.

And don’t forget our Christmas Club is still open and in full swing. If you would like to buy a bike for your child this Christmas and spread the payments, drop us a line and we can get it sorted.

We also have £10 off any bike until the end of the year when you use this code at checkout in our online store. Just go to www.cyclecentreuk.co.uk and use XMAS10