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    Flat Harry's Cyclery
    31 High Street, Cookham, Maidenhead, SL6 9SJ. View the map
  • Who are we?

    A bit about us

    Flat Harry's mission is to be the best local bike shop in the Thames Valley area, our customer base is broad, attracting cyclists from all the towns and villages around Cookham; in a radius around us that passes through Lane End, High Wycombe and Beaconsfield, onto the Chalfonts, Gerrards Cross, Uxbridge, Windsor and Eton, through Taplow, Maidenhead, Bray and Holyport, and over to Marlow and Henley, our customers are happy to travel to find us, knowing we cater for every and any cyclist. We're mad about cycling and love it when anyone shares our enthusiasm, be they an aspiring fan of the sport, a tech hungry hard rider spinning their best speed machine, a thrill hungry mud lover, a hardened commuter battling the traffic, or a leisurely rider on a modest budget looking to have fun and relax on their bike.

    Whether it's serving coffee and flapjack on the mid-ride break, fixing your tusty steed, performing a bike-fitting or providing you with the right gear for your ride, we do it all and a lot more at Flat Harry's. We are proudly independent and thus only stock parts and brands that we are passionately proud of, and believe are the most suited for cyclists coping with the flint strewn roads and trails in our area.

    Our obsessive temperament, collective knowledge, engineering expertise, focus on quality and debunking of fads are what distinguish our shop, and make our customers return time and time again. Building trusting long term relationships with our customers is really important to us. Simply put, we want to be the place you trust above all others to do the right thing for you. Some folk might try and take advantage of our good nature, but we believe what goes around comes around and we want you to value our approach.

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  • Key Information!

  • 18/12/2017 14:21:42

    Words by Cris Towner

    Gravel Bikes pt.1 - Hype and the happy sceptic

    The world of cycling is constantly being challenged with fancy new products that claim to be the next must have innovation that promise to transform your world... and the reality normally is that it’s just marketing BS best ignored. In my IT Architecture career we tracked new technology innovations through the “hype cycle” - the concept introduced by my good friends at the IT research firm Gartner. I still use their concept to this day when looking at all new cycling related products that are being given air time by those that review and publicise stuff. The ‘hype cycle’ is brilliant in its simplicity, it simply states that new concepts and new products go through 5 phases of development within their given industry. – and here’s how I apply it to the bicycle industry:

    559px-Gartner_Hype_Cycle_svg

    Phase 1, Technology Trigger:
    When the concept is first designed or a rough prototype is built in a shed by an innovating engineer, and they start at the bottom of a slope, but look upwards thinking their new invention could make them loads’a money.

    Phase 2, Peak of Inflated Expectation: This is the biggest and steepest slope to climb. It's the highest point of desire and expectation a marketing department can build in you, to want to buy their radical new invention. They pump loads of marketing BS out, in the hope that all these potential customers that desire their invention will buy it as soon as it’s available, making them loads’a money instantly, also known in the trade as, peak of #MaxBS.

    Phase 3, Trough of Disillusionment: This is the fall from grace, down the other side of the #MaxBS slope to the lowest point of desire, where most folk realise they’ve been conned into wanting snake oil (disappointed fans) or being sold wolf tickets (early adopters left out of pocket). They no longer desire the radical new thing, also known in the trade as when #BSHitsTheFan, and most new things end up here, their concept is immature (probably still at version 1.0) and dies, and never goes anywhere.

    Phase 4, Slope of Enlightenment: This is the hardest slope to climb, this is where the hype of the #MaxBS is cut back down to size and something more interesting and realistic is understood about the new thing. A new slope is climbed. This time many fewer people are interested, but those who are interested, are granted the honour of being the few enlightened ones. This is the really interesting time to get your hands on the product and to test it for real. This is where second generation versions comes out and where they’ve ironed out the problems in version 1.0.

    Phase 5, Plateaux of Productivity: This is where this amazing new invention becomes mature and mainstream, and no longer amazing or new, simply another must have essential. Think of the Garmin 500 series GPS cycle computer, it’s pretty unremarkable now, but when it first came out this was highly desirable novel new thing... now most people have one or something similar. This is often where 3rd generation and above of this technology reside. It's also when this product starts being discounted and copied by me-too inventors.

    So why do I bring this up? Well I've been testing and abusing the latest new thing to hit the cycle industry (again) and this time it's the 2nd generation of New Gravel Bikes... and that's what my next blog post is about. Gravel Bikes pt.2 – The Enlightened Rides