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Flat Harry's Cyclery

At FlatHarry's we are passionate about enabling the best possible cycling experience we can for all our customers. Be this via servicing or restoring your steed, helping you get the right position as part of a personalised bikefitting, building your ideal new bike or helping you understand the benefits of some of the latest trends and technologies in the ever evolving world of cycling. We keep ourselves very well informed to enable us to pass that valuable information onto you and help you enjoy your time cycling a lot more.

Our Shop has a small front, but it’s big behind:

It's a Tardis! When you visit our store, you might wrongly assume we are a tiny store with just one room, but the reality is that we are a Tardis like shop and it goes back a long long way. We have a room for bike fitting, saddles, shoes and clothing, a small changing area to try stuff on, and admire yourself in the mirror, a room of accessories, glasses, helmets and wheels and our coffee room/workshop, all beyond the front desk. You are welcome to grab one of our highly regarded 'FlatWhytes' and one of Rosie's flapjacks whilst Paul and Cris happily listen to your woes, cycling related or otherwise. We don't charge for our counselling service, yet we can often be found helping you cope with world politics, family feuds or simply helping you cope with your own relationships, whilst we are unable to prescribe any medication, we find folk generally leave Flat Harry's with a smile on their face and a belly full of coffee and flapjack.

Why is it called FlatHarry’s? - Cris was christened with that nickname by his cycling pals in the Peak District, where he became notorious not only for always owning the flashier specs of bikes and wearing bling kit but mainly for putting the hammer down as soon as his tyres hit a flat stretch of tarmac, and his teammates would shout from the back, “oi, tell that Flat Harry to knock it down a gear!

FlatHary's is staffed by 4 unique guys

Cris Towner, Business Owner, BikeFitting and Custom Builds: Cris grew up in and around Bristol, where he and his cycling mates were to be found pounding the miles around Somerset, across the Severn Bridge to the valleys of South Wales, the Mendips and Exmore. Cris studied Mechanical and Control Electrical Engineering at Brunel, before enjoying a career at ICI and later AstraZeneca, initially in the design and commissioning of petrochemical and pharmaceutical manufacturing plants, where Cris had fun pioneering the use of computer aided design software for his work whilst the rest of the department utilised the classic drawing boards and pens. His career evolved into the world of Information Systems and Process Design and took him around the world on projects across Europe, US and Asia, to design and implement Process Control and Data Acquisition Systems, Enterprise Document and Drawing Management Systems and Laboratory Information Systems across global functions. All this jet setting also happened while Cris moved home to relocate in the most beautiful Peak District, where his cycling transitioned from predominantly road racing to cross country and endurance mountain bike and racing.

His work moved into management consulting roles, helping corporations improve quality and efficiency through the application of Lean/SixSigma principles and method. All of which was wildly interesting and enjoyable until the focus became purely focused on outsourcing and offshoring, and which point Cris felt that he had had enough of the corporate life and wanted to move sectors and apply himself to something completely different. His long held plan was always to open his own cycle shop, which he’d vowed to do by his 40th birthday. He may have been a couple of years late on that plan, but he never the less opened FlatHarry’s in July 2015 and is loving the fact he is hands on and applying his skills and knowledge built up from decades of involvement the sport and pastime of cycling. Cris has a painfully inquisitive nature (always needing to understand how things work) and this has meant he has spent his decades studying how the the human body and bicycle best adapt to each other to enable the best of comfort, power and aerodynamics. Now from his own understanding he is appreciating how an ageing athlete has to modify long held understandings of how things best work, for the best results. Cris is foremost an Engineer, with an impressive cycling pedigree of four decades of road racing, cross country mountain bike racing, commuting, cycle-camping and into the joys parenting. This means he’s well informed to help you get the most out of your cycling, or simply pass on great advice on how to help children build self confidence to master the art of riding a bike, without the need for stabilisers.

Paul Devine, Head Mechanic (and lead vocals): Paul is the company mechanic and he loves his job. Having been brought up in a cycling family, he had no option but to be racing bikes in his youth. If he didn't race then his dad would simply leave him in the car, with strict instructions not to fiddle with the radio, whilst sitting in the lingering aroma of his dads pungent warm-up balms.

Paul has developed from a professional car mechanic into overseeing fleet car management, which whilst it helped pay the mortgage, left him craving a far more interesting career. Thus in 2015 Paul took the plunge and decided to change track. He funded himself to obtain the coveted Cytech Professional Bike Mechanics qualification in 2015 and once qualified he knocked on Cris's door and asked if he could volunteer at Flat Harry's in late 2015 and early 2016. He became a full time member of the team on February 1st 2016. Since then Paul has taken over the majority of the work in our workshop and is now a reliable barrista too. Despite living over 12 miles away, Paul can often be found riding into work, such is his love of bicycles and fresh air. You'll most likely find Paul at the back of the store muttering “nothing is ever standard” under his breath.

Dave (Senior Apprentice Mechanic):Dave has been with us since mid-September 2019. A local Cookham resident and keen cyclists for many years, being an active member of the local Marlow Riders cycling club. Dave (like Paul and Cris) wanted a change in career. Having cut his teeth in the very detail oriented world of printing, where he worked very successfully since leaving school, he witnessed the transformation of that industry from the days of lithographic print, through to the modern inkjet & lazerjet technologies and beyond. his mastery of the associated software systems to refine images and layout hardcopy is remarkably transferable a skill-set, due to the necessary attention to detail, needed to master the art of modern bicycle mechanics. Dave has quickly become our go-to man for all things hydraulic related.. some people just do brake bleeds and fork servicing with ease... Dave is a great bleeder.

Dylan (Technician): Dylan has been with us since October 2019. Dylan joined us Initialy whilst studying for his A-Levels at 6th-Form, working weekends and holidays, he quickly proved a natural operator of the spanners.. quickly joining in with day to day mechanic work. Dylan has proven to be a fast learner, and is highly proficient at the art of servicing bikes, building new bikes and doing those realy awkward jobs that Paul and Dave just can't quite find the time to do. Taking a year out of studies, Dylan has been full time in the workshop since the spring of 2020. The only skill Dylan lacks is his ability to keep the Tea and Coffee supplies flowing.... apparently youngsters are no longer known as tea-boys!

A few Flat Harry's Mantras:-

-We are proudly obsessive and very compulsive about the details, and getting those details right. Meaning you and your bikes always come away from Flat Harry’s in a far better state than when they enter.

-Quality and Total cost of ownership (long term value, rather than up front cost) are our priorities, thus we keep away from the cheap products and focus on high quality, serviceable and reliable bikes and components.

-We won't try to sell you the latest fads and unproven costly gear. We will actively try to understand your needs and sell you what we think is right for you, so you enjoy your cycling the most.

-Lycra is not mandatory, yet is nothing to be ashamed of.

- Flapjack and Coffee is the perfect cyclists diet. Try ourFlatWhyte, we are told it's best flat-white you’ll find outside of it’s native NewZeland.

Company Details:

Address: 31 High Street,Cookham, Berkshire,SL69SJ, UK
Email: info@flatharrys.cc
Number: 01628520731

Flat Harry's is the trading name of Bicycle Tribe Limited -Registered at Companies House in England and Wales No.8965131-Registered with HMRC for VATNo.195 8517 58

Meet the Team