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Slightly weird

Spring is sprung, the intention is to get the bicycle back out on the road to potter through the countryside. This requires a bike shop.

Albufeira seems not to have any if Google is to be believed. Well, there’s one, new one, but that’s the sort of place with €5k mountain bikes and power tools for doing nuts up with – air compressors etc. Not the sort of place where my old sit up and beg would go.

Seems odd for a city of 30k people really. Could be my language skills, my Google Fu, or summat strange about the place. Especially as cycling is a popular sport here (like France or Italy) even if just pottering cycling isn’t.


24 thoughts on “Slightly weird”

  1. Bloke in Scotland

    I would have thought your big bike shop would be well used to dealing with all sorts of small requests from all types of customer. But if you are just looking for oil on the chain or air in the tyres (honestly what do you need a bike shop for?) then have you considered any of the bike rental shops.

  2. I agree with the bloke in Scotland. You have found your shop. They would love to charge you a chunk of labour for doing a bit of marginally skilled work on your bike. Pin factory, et al!!

  3. It is odd – only experience is of the Balearics and they do attract people with performance bikes. Never seem to see shopping or commuting bikes around. Or the sort of cycling on pavements you see in Northern towns by the window cleaning money collector.
    There must be Deliveroo calls occasionally, and their bikes are pretty robust. Ask where they get a bit of maintenance done.

  4. In the UK you’ll sometimes find someone running a bike repair / bike trading business from their garden shed. Given onerous business regulations in Portugal, I suspect it’s the same there. Put out a shout for a bicycle repairman on your local messageboard service (Facebook these days?) and you’ll get half-a-dozen replies. Ditto for other trades.

  5. Stone me Tim, it’s a fucking pushbike not the Space Shuttle.

    Do you know how a spanner and a pump works?

  6. Bikes for the average person have always been maintain it yourself. Hence the dearth of people who do that for a living – there is no market. Of course you have found the shop that maintains high performance bikes where to retain the performance they need skilled maintenance, and charge appropriately.

    So it’s really no good saying ‘Nope..’ there must be tons of stuff on the interwebs about how bikes work, where to put the oil & grease, and how to check and maintain the widgets that break if you don’t.

  7. Don’t be intimidated by the expensive window display. Even if most of their income really comes from servicing cheap, old bikes, no business is going to actually advertise that fact.

    ‘Reparamos bicicletas baratas e velhas’ is not a good sales slogan.

    Anyway. There’s nothing wrong with having a professional service done. My only means of transport is my bicycle, and I can do most repairs and tuning myself. But I still pay a professional every two or three years to check and tighten everything. It is a road vehicle, after all.

  8. Karelian freedom-fighter

    FFS! Hose it down with water, dry off with a cloth then WD40 all the relevant bits.

  9. Paul may be right, there. The bike shop here is full of expensive metal. But they do cheap repairs. I’m thinking that you probably can’t make a living selling bread & butter bikes. You can buy them very cheap on the internet or in the big supermarkets. No way they could compete because they wouldn’t move the volume. So they sell specialist. Be interesting to know if they actually carry the cost of the stock. They may not. May be invoiced on sale.

  10. Yes, they’re the new place. So, I sorta assume there must have been someone before them too….

  11. I seriously doubt any bike shop is going to be using air tools especially on on 5000 euro bikes. Most components will be torqued up to 6nm max and less -5nm orless on anything carbon fibre (which will be most bikes at 5000 euro)

  12. “In the UK you’ll sometimes find someone running a bike repair / bike trading business from their garden shed”

    I’ve recently seen a bloke doing mobile repairs from the back of a van, using what appears to be a custom made work stand. I did consider going up to him and doing the Monty Python “Bicycle Repair Man” sketch, but he didn’t look old enough to have heard of it…

  13. @Addolff, April 9, 2022 at 1:58 pm
    Stone me Tim, it’s a fucking pushbike not the Space Shuttle.

    Do you know how a spanner and a pump works?

    Spot On, I’ve been maintaining my bicycles myself since age 8, nothng complicated about them

    @Tim W
    What is wrong with your bike that leads you to believe you need an “expert”?

    Fix it yourself and you will feel proud of achievement and how easy it was

    All you need is can of 3in1 oil, pump and a bicycle spanner

    Add youtube and google and you’ve way more than I had as a child

  14. @Pcar, Addolff

    Yes, it’s just a pushbike, but if it’s possible to charge 5k plus for one, I suppose it can’t possibly be.

    Do these “specialist” pushbikes come with warranties priced accordingly? Just askin.

  15. Do these “specialist” pushbikes come with warranties priced accordingly?
    Only if you wear Lycra

  16. I was down that way last week and I’m sure I saw a couple. The solution could be to search for “bike rental” places as there are “many” in Albuferia itself catering for the tourist trade. Some of them also sell bikes. This one just down the N125 a bit is an example of this dual use

  17. BiS.
    There is a term – MAMIL = ‘Middle Aged Man in Lycra’.

    Which reminds me of the BBC ‘Naked Video’ comedy show sketch with Gregor Fisher wearing lycra cycling shorts bought for him by his missus “I may not be a stallion Marion, but I’ll be a seaside donkey for nobody”.

    TBF to you Tim, the only thing I couldn’t get 100% right and needed some help with was with the rear sprocket after changing the bars and cables (and the first professional shop I took it to couldn’t get it right either……..).

  18. Sure, basic bike maintenance can be learned easily enough, but when did “Specialise and Trade” stop being relevant?

    Plus – if you ride anything other than casual distances (I did 70 miles today) then good attire becomes important. I once swore I wouldn’t do lycra…these days I won’t wear anything else – chafing hurts.

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