Evans Cycles – the FAST review
Evans are pretty great.
Evans Cycles – the longer review
Evans Cycles – can you trust them?
Evans Cycles shops are now in most towns in the UK,
but until recently there were no Evans Cycles shops close to where I
live in Ipswich. But a few weeks ago a new Evans Cycles opened up just down the road from me in Martlesham(although Evans Cycles call it Ipswich).
We have a number of cycle shops already in and around Ipswich. Some
sell very cheap bikes, others are very high end places where many a
smiling cycling can be seen handing over several thousands of pounds for
a new steed. But before Evans Cycles arrived there were no bike shops
that I felt catered for people who were keen cyclists who might not have
the budget to casually fork out a few grand on a bicycle. I’m not
saying that Evans Cycles is a bargain basement type of bike shop. Evans
has a reputation for selling good quality bikes at very competitive
So the ‘can you trust them’ question is possibly the wrong question
to ask. Passionate cyclists are a loyal bunch, in both positive and
negative ways. If a chain of cycle shops consistently disappoints
cyclist then cyclists will stop using that chain. We cyclists love to
celebrate good service, but transversely we will also cheerfully make
very public any grievances we have. Usually on any one of the brilliant
cycling forums, like CycleChat.
If a large chain of bike shops like Evans gets a bad reputation then
cyclists stop giving them money. Without cyclists giving money to a
brand, that brand can’t develop and open new shops. However, Evans
Cycles appear to have a very healthy reputation. However, it’s worth
considering that you will find some bad reviews for Evans Cycles if you
scan the web deep enough. Even the very best brands get bad reviews.
Nobody can be perfect all the time. Therefore I’m usually more
interested in how brands like Evans deal with complaints. It’s just not
possible to entirely avoid complaints. On the whole Evans Cycles
appear to be very good with their customer service.
Evans Cycles – the review
I have used Evans shops in London (and other large towns) several
times, but never for any significant purchases. I have been in need of
inner tubes, or a pair of sunglasses, or a water bottle. Never anything
worth a few quid. Therefore never anything that I felt was worthy of a
written review, however brief. But a few weeks ago my wife and I
decided the time had come to buy my daughter a proper bike. She has
been bimbling around on several frankly crap bikes for the last couple
of years. You know the sort of bikes; they always have a sticker of a
Disney character or some other crap on them.
When I had taken my daughter to Halfords the ‘fashion’ and Disney
bikes were a bit of an issue for us. She couldn’t see past the stickers
of Disney ‘stars’ on the cheap bikes, and I couldn’t see past the fact
these BSOs weighed more than a wheelbarrow full of spuds. The other
issue, and one of the reasons we never bought a bike from Halfords, is
that all the bikes came fitted with stabilisers. My girl has never used
stabilisers. I removed the crank and pedals from the first bike
someone gave to us and she used it as a balance bike. But because the
Disney bikes had stabilisers you’d better believe she (thought) she
wanted stabilisers. Yes I know I could have removed the stabilisers
after buying the bike, but that wasn’t really what was stopping me from
Even the most cursory glance over this type of cheap bike made me
wonder how much of the production costs were spent on Disney or Marvel
licensing fees, and how much was spent on the actual bike.
I wanted my daughter to have her first ‘proper’ bike. She is seven
years old, the time for toy bikes has past. Hopefully. I wanted to buy
her a bicycle that would inspire a love of cycling. Not a heap of shit
that would put her off a life on two wheels. So for a good long while I
struggled to find a good way forward for buying my daughter a bike.
Evans Cycles at Martlesham Heath
When Evans Cycles opened at Martlesham Heath I was keen to go and
speak to someone there about buying a proper bike for my daughter. I
had what I considered to be a generous budget in mind. I build my road
bike myself, mostly from bits from our local Bike Doctor’s spares box. I have 9-speed Dura Ace,
so it’s not the best, but it’s certainly not the worst. While I wasn’t
heading into Evans with the intention of buying my girl a bike with the
latest groupset, I wanted to buy a bike that would be a pleasure to
ride, not a mechanical frustration.
Naturally my daughter was keen to join me on my visit to Evans
Cycles, so one sunny Saturday afternoon we headed over to Martlesham to
see what was what.
The Evans store at Martlesham is brand new, so naturally everything
was looking very nice. Although that being said I don’t think I’ve ever
been into an Evans Cycles that was anything other than spick and span.
After a minute or two of wandering around the road bikes I remembered
why I was there and went in search of children’s bikes. It was a brief
search. A very friendly member of staff called Louis (I think) took me
and my daughter over to the collection of children’s bikes. There was a
selection of maybe twenty child bikes to look at. Not a huge range,
but I get the notion that for Evans a modest selection of high quality
bicycles is more important than a massive range of ‘stack ‘em high, sell
‘em cheap’ bikes. But that’s just me guessing; let’s get back to the
I was really impressed that Louis spent as much time talking to my
daughter as he did speaking to me. More importantly, he was listening
to and paying attention to what my daughter had to say. This is a skill
that is sadly lacking in most adults, let alone most shop assistants.
After a few minutes of chatting Louis asked my daughter if she would
like to try riding some of the bikes. She was keen.
The first bike my girl was keen to try was a very nice looking Cannondale Kids’ Mountain bike.
This Cannondale was kitted out with some of the same groupset as the
adult-size Cannondale bikes elsewhere in the store. That’s a very good
sign that this is a real bike, not a fashion toy. The price tag was
around the £400 mark, which might make some readers blink a bit. But
£400 for a quality bike is nothing at all. I’ve got friends who have
though nothing of spending triple that amount on a new set of wheels.
The test ride on the Cannondale went reasonably well. Although I
reassured the Evans employee that my daughter can ride bikes if she
relaxes enough, he thought nothing of support (us both!) while she
bezzed around the store getting a feel for the bike. I held onto the
back of the saddle, just in case, but all of the staff we rolled past
looked just as pleased as my daughter did.
The final bike my daughter tried was a Pinnacle.
This was not a brand I have previously heard of, but it turns out to be
Evans Cycles own brand. As soon as my girl sat on the bike it was
clear that the Pinnacle was the bike for her. It looks a bit like a
hybrid. It’ll be fine on the road and just as comfortable nipping down
public footpaths. I was impressed how light the bike was as well. With
a bike like this we’re clearly miles away from carbon components but
weight is still important. The cack bikes my daughter has owned in the
past were incredibly heavy, and that made balancing while learning to
ride a lot more difficult. One of her previous bikes was so heavy she
could barely lift it off the ground when she fell off it.
Although price wasn’t the biggest influencer I was somewhat
astonished to find out the price tag on the Pinnacle bike was only
£225. This was considerably less than I was expecting to spend. My
wife was particularly pleased with the price tag. The bike felt solid
and had a transmission that I’ve seen on half-decent mountain bikes.
Unlike the crap fashion bikes I’d seen in other shops the Pinnacle also
had proper bike components, meaning I can easily fix and maintain this
bike. Hallelujah! The only way to ‘fix’ previous bikes has been to
take them to the municipal tip.
Evans Cycles review – conclusion
The staff were attentive without being overbearing. Everyone I spoke
to was knowledgeable without being a ‘know it all’. The prices were
fair and the selection well-considered.
Within hours of collecting her new Pinnacle bike my daughter was
racing around a local car park unaided. No stabilisers! I’ve known for
many months that my girl could ride a bike with a bit more confidence
and with the right bike. I am very grateful to Louis and everyone at
Evans for helping us find the right bike and a great price. I was even
offered some cash to bring in one of the terrible bikes my daughter
owned previously. Bike Scrappage! I like Evans Cycles!
Last Updated on April 29, 2023
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