Halfords has told BikeBiz that 93 per cent of its bikes are now built and set up in store, and added that it actively encourages customers to use its build service, which includes a free follow up six week service.
The statement follows last night's (November 5th) BBC Watchdog programme which investigated the safety of BSOs, or Bike Shaped Objects.
John Humphries led the feature, which saw five people build five bikes in boxes from Asda, Toys R Us, Tesco, Halfords and Argos. Their efforts were then assessed by a bike mechanic and cycle journalist John Stevenson.
Halfords’ statement read: “Halfords builds bikes for our customers free of charge and offers a free follow up six week service. We actively encourage everyone to take advantage of this to ensure that the bike is fully set up and ready to enjoy when it leaves our store.
“Building and setting up is not easy for a non-expert; and some areas like brakes and gears are increasingly complex. Halfords bike servicing is carried out by in-store cycling colleagues who are trained through a programme developed with the British Cycle Association. Our advice is that customers should have their bikes built and set up to ensure they are safe and ready for use before leaving the store; and have the free six week post purchase safety check. Encouragingly 93 per cent of bikes are now built by us, before customers take delivery and this percentage is increasing all the time.
“Where customers do opt to build their bikes at home we provide detailed instructions. We also encourage them to seek advice from a Halfords cycle specialist if they need any assistance and to bring the bike into store for the free safety check once built.
“Halfords go to every effort to ensure that the best quality parts are used for our bikes. As with all manufacturing however there is a low but measurable risk of defects on bikes – we take faults seriously and where they are identified we discuss them with suppliers to ensure they aren’t repeated.
“If customers find any such problems on Halfords bikes we will repair these free within the warranty period.”
There is more information on Halfords’ free Bike Build service here.
You can see the Watchdog feature here.