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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!

  • Workshop

     At FlatHarry's we undertake all kinds of mechanical work on all kinds of bicycles, from kids bikes to tandems and single speed to exotic and electronic systems (such as SRAM eTAP, Shimano Di2, Campagnolo EPS, as well as e-Bike systems from BOSCH and Shimano STEPS). We offer a range of standard mechanical services for the repair and maintenance of your bike. If our standard service packages don't cover what you require, we're always more than happy to undertake specific repairs and jobs with labour charged at a rate of £49 an hour, and we will happily assess bikes and give a good indication of expected costs up front.

     

    To help you understand the principles we work to, our workshop servicing principles are:

    1. No compromise on quality.

    2. We obsess about the details.

    3. It has to be clean for us to work on it. (we will happily clean it for you) and you can expect it to leave us cleaner than it arrived.

    4. Bike bolts and fixing are delicate, we carefully torque each bolt using digital gauges.

    5. We guarantee our work.

     

    Brand Compatibility Policy: In our years of experience working on bikes, we've found that SRAM, Shimano and Campagnolo components definitely work best with their own brand chains, cassettes and cables and therefore our policy is to prefer to keep to the original brands for replacement parts. It's common for many bike shops to cut costs and simplify their own lives by stocking just one brand of chains (such as KMC) and try and tell you it’s as good as the original. Well the fact is that it’s not. Campagnolo, SRAM and Shimano all specifically cut and chamfer their chain links very differently as their groupsets are designed to work as an integral unit. They also use different diameter cables and have different size cable nipples, which all add levels of complication and subtle comparability issues that are best eliminated by following our policy. This has become most noticeable with 11 and 12 speed systems, due to the ever tighter tolerances being defined, but has been the case with 9 and 10 speed systems too. The only area we are happy to diverge from original manufacturers parts is on the brake-pads, as we find Swisstop are simply better.

     

    Services Menu

     

    We can happily work on your bike on our hourly rate, and charge for the time we spend working to fix the item(s) you've agreed, or we have the following pre-defined menu of standard Services that offer discounted rates for work we find is best undertaken as a whole. The Services Menu are summarised as follows:

     

    Level 0 - A Safety check: We perform a full bolt check on the bike, making sure everything is tightened to the manufacturers specifications. We'll assess the function of your brakes and if necessary adjust them so they are safe. We also check that your safety lights and reflectors are secure and working. Finally we'll make sure that we're satisfied it's safe to ride. £25.

     

    Level 1 - The Basics: Includes a Safety check. Our entry level service for your bike begins with a light fifteen minute clean to get the bike nice clean enough for us to work on. We then proceed to check the gears making sure the chain is not stretched and is well lubricated. We check the gear hanger alignment, then the gear cables and gear mechs are seen to, adjusting and refining the indexing, to make sure the gears on your bike are properly operating and aligned. We then check your brake pads for wear and any embedded debris we find is removed and brake cables are checked. We then check the hub, spokes and rim on both wheels, finishing with a bearings check on the bottom bracket and headset, adjusting any minor play in them as seems necessary. This is designed to tune-up your bike for smooth performance and extend its longevity through basic maintenance. £45 - This is often the most cost effective tune-up for those riders who meticulously keep their bikes clean and lubed, yet need a tune-up of brakes & gears and remove unwanted play in bearings.

     

    Level 2 - A Dirty Harry - If your bike is covering a few hundred miles each month then a regular (monthly) Degrease, Clean and Lube is always a sensible undertaking, and our Dirty Harry service is an on the bike clean-down and tune up - this is what many of you might do at home if you had the time - we run the chain through the chain cleaning tool, scrub down the cogs and chainrings with degreaser, degrease and then clean the frame and wheels, followed by a full check-over and adjust the brakes, rear mech alignment check and quick tune up of the gears, so you know your bike is safe and in great condition to cover the next few hundred miles. £59

     

    Level 3 - TLC: Every 3k to 5000 km, we recommend a proper service, and our TLC service is a very thorough service including everything in The Basics Service and more. The TLC service begins with a thorough clean of your bike. Starting with us removing your drive-train (Crankset, chain, cassette, jockey wheels & derailleur cage) for a full internal inspection of bearings and a thorough degrease and clean, bringing the components back to ideal state, removing all those nasty bits of grinding paste that have formed from the normal mixing of chain oil and road dirt. We clean the frame separately using Muc-Off's bike specific cleaning products, with the wheels off we check spoke tensions, rim alignment and ensure hubs are adjusted and greased. We clean and re-lubricate your seat-post making sure to replace it at the height the bike came in at (eliminating risk of a stuck seatpost, which we all to often come across). Then we put your drive-train back on and lubricate it, along with lubricating all pivots and cable adjusters. Finally we polish the bike to put the finishing touch on. This makes your bike look and feel fantastic, tuned to operate better than most bikes do from new. £95 - This is suitable for road and off road bikes with suspension.

     

    Level 4 - The Works: This is specifically for drop handlebar Bikes and includes everything in the Basics and the TLC, plus replacing the cables, brake pads and bar tape to make your machine feel like new again. This Works service includes the price of the parts and labour for replacing all of your inner and outer gear and brake cables (or fresh bleed of Hydraulic systems for disk brakes and software check of electronic shifting systems such as Di2, EPS and eTAP). A set of highest quality Swisstop brake-pads for rim brakes, or brand matching disc brake pad replacements. Finally it also includes your choice of bar tape from our excellent range, meticulously wrapped to bring your bike looking and feeling better than new. A good 5+ hours of our work and cables, pads and tape for only £169 (note an additional £15 is applicable if we need to fit Swisstop's Black Prince carbon specific brake pads).

     

    Level 5 - Proudly OCD: This is the ultimate service for your bike. Cris is proudly OCD about his own bikes and is happy to share his obsessiveness for perfection. Not only does this include everything in the Works service, but we will start by completely stripping down your bike, removing each individual component and detail cleaning and tuning them by hand off the bike. This includes stripping down the freehub, brakes and other complex components to enable us to get into bearings and pivots. We will then proceed to obsessively clean and detail every part of your frame and it’s components, removing every little speck of dirt and grit and re-greasing and re-lubricating as we go, until it looks and feels as good as (and often far better than) new! this takes one of us at least 10 hours and is often a full 2 days of effort and at £359 is actually great value for those who like to know the best has been done to restore and prolong the value, and get the best performance from, your bike.

     

    Typical Extras

     

    The following is a list of additional items that depending on your type of bike could require specific additional attention.

     

    Replacement Parts & Part Repairs: Quite often when we are servicing bikes it becomes apparent that a component needs some extra attention. This may be in the form of a replacement or a service/repair on the specific component to get it back to good working order. Unless explicitly stated as being part of the service in the service description, the cost of all parts and extra-labour is added to the cost of the service. If you have only booked your bike in for a service with no prior knowledge that a component would need attention, we will always contact you before undertaking any extra work and fitting any new parts, with a fully costed report, so you can agree to what work you would like doing specifically.

    Fully worn or un-serviceable parts, will be advised for replacement, with expert advice from one of our accredited technicians on which parts to use. We're a big fan of fixing things that are broken, so we will always recommend a service or new minor parts of a component if we feel it will significantly extend the overall life of the component. This almost always works out cheaper than replacing components and is less wasteful. Sometimes we will advise considering a replacement on a component that is heavily worn but still functional. In these instances it will always be made clear that ultimately the decision lies with you as to whether you would like to replace the component or make do with components in their current state of wear.

     

    Wheel Hubs & Freehubs – Many modern hubs and freehubs are not adjustable, and when the bearings wear out they are simply knocked out and replaced with no fineness required. But those hubs of higher quality have bearings that are adjustable in terms of pre-load, thus we can tune the bearing to get the least possible rolling resistance whilst eliminating side to side wobble, and in this case we are able to strip those down such that each individual ball bearing and bearing surfaces can all be cleaned and checked for condition. Thus depending on the specific wheels and hubs you have, we may suggest they would benefit from a strip down and service. Mid and high end freehubs and wheels from the likes of Mavic, Fulcrum, Chris King, Campagnolo and Shimano are often serviceable. We will happily inspect these for free and advise what's needed. Freehub services range between £35 and £45.

     

    Spoke Tensions – Many modern wheels only require spoke tensions adjusted if they've suffered a crash or been ridden beyond their designed weight limits, thus we find on well made high quality wheels the spokes stay evenly tensioned. Great wheels have spokes tensioned within 10% evenness of each other, whereas lesser quality will be built with a 20% spoke tension variance allowed. As is typical, with the 80/20 rule, you can get a wheel OK in 20mins, yet to make it great it takes another 80mins of fettling. We also find that many modern bikes are fitted with wheels built to a tight budget and those often are prone to spokes loosening. All of our services include the effort to check spoke tensions, but we haven't included time to make adjustments in the services due to the fact most don't need the spokes adjusting at all, and some can be done in 30 minutes, where as others require a good 1.5hours of fettling to rectify. We always advise you if your bike needs spokes re-tensioning and agree in advance if you want us to make them OK, or Great.

     

    Suspension Systems - Most manufacturers suggest that forks and shock absorbers are stripped, cleaned and serviced every 50 to 100 hours of riding. For some that means a monthly service is required, for others it can take more than a year to do that level of riding. Either way, the forks and shocks need cleaning, as grit and grime works its way inside the shocks and wears them out. Typical servicing (strip, clean and rebuild) is undertaken by ourselves, whilst we send damaged items to one of our specialist partners (such as TFTuned, SRAM Tech Centre, FOX UK)

     

    Pivot Bearings - Pivots get battered and wear as a result of use, they are designed to be replaced, and we use Enduro MAX bearings wherever possible to provide you with the best performing pivots. Prices are unique to each model of bike, and range from £55 to £95 depending on the number of pivots and the grades of bearings we agree to use.

     

    Brake Bleed – Some hydraulic brake-sets require bleeding every couple of years to refresh the fluid, others degrade over time and start to feel spongy. We inspect such systems and if necessary will advise if the system needs a top-up of fluid or brake bleed. Brake bleeds typically range between £25 and £49 a pair.

     

    Dropper Posts - Some dropper posts simply need a regular clean down, whilst others (such as RockShox Reverb) need much more, we assess the condition of the post on a case by case basis. Typically the price range is £35 for servicing gas cartridge posts, to £80 for hydraulic posts.

     

    Di2 Fault Finding and Firmware updates – Shimano Di2 electronic shifting system requires regular checks to ensure the software is running the hardware optimally. Shimano run a constant development cycle to fix bugs and release new features and functions, and as such the system should be error-checked at least annually using our diagnostics platform to ensure it is running optimally and on the latest firmware releases. Additionally whenever there is a problem with Di2 systems, our Di2 diagnostics platform is used to assess each and every component, from the electronic cables, junction boxes, battery, switches, mechs and Ant+ communication devices to assess the fault and methodically work through to resolution. Di2 Firmware checks and updates plus Fault check is £24.50.

     

    New Bike Build: we are happy to build up bikes that you've purchased elsewhere. Often there are bargains to be had via the internet, and if you've just bought such a machine, or want your machine upgrading with a new series of components you've just acquired, then we are very happy to undertake such work. We will deal with the work on a case by case basis, and either simply build up and make sure it's safe, if that's all you want, or undertake more involved work. Best thing is to bring it all in and let us look at it so we can give a proper quote for the likely effort. Whilst some shops focus on being the cheapest, we won't be beaten on quality and accuracy of workmanship, ever.

     

    Which service does my bike need?

     

     Unsure which service your bike may require? The Basic Service and safety check are best seen as tune-ups for frequently serviced and well looked after bikes. The Basic service includes all the minor adjustments a bike should need to keep running well. If all your bike needs is The Basics, but your drivetrain is filthy A Dirty Harry is a great value for money option to get your drivetrain cleaned, without paying for the next service up. If its been a while (6 months +) since your bike was last serviced and you ride regularly enough that there's more than just a few minor problems to remedy, the TLC Service sounds right for your bike. Any bike that has not been serviced for a year or more will really benefit from this thorough check-over and clean, with bearings under full scrutiny and your drive-train receiving the full spa treatment. Beyond TLC, the Works Service is of benefit to properly worn out bikes that would need their pads, cables and bartape replaced. The Proudly OCD service is a ritual that is rarely invoked but it is perfect for beloved bikes that have spent too long tucked away, or sustained a winter of hard use and need a resurrection. If you're still not sure, your best bet is to bring the bike in for us to assess and we can recommend whichever service would be most appropriate for your machine.