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    Roll up, roll up: The Big Reid Bike Sale!


    Reid bikes come in a rainbow of bold and snappy colours, they are super lightweight and feel great to ride. We love them! They are brand new to our shores so you may not be familiar with the name Reid, but you soon will. 

    For two weeks only we'll launch our sale where all Reid adult bikes are 10% off. This applies to sales in store or online so pop along to Bells or check out the Reid section of our website. 

    It's a date for the diary, from the 10th - 24th September you can grab a Reid bike for a bargain. We look forward to seeing you!


    Bobbin; baskets, bags lights and more!

    Another year another whole new load of amazing products from our friends at Bobbin. This year the accessory range is bigger and bolder than ever with a new range of bags, lights and baskets. Not to mention some old favourites too.

    Here are our top five fave Bobbin accessories of 2015:


    1) The Bobbin D shape wicker basket. £35

    Sitting proudly on the front of your bike (whether it be a Bobbin or not) the beautiful D shape wicker basket is always a hit. We love the way Bobbin have moved away from the classic D shape as this has a sharper squareness to it. It reminds us of vintage delivery work bikes. Also top marks for the simple Bobbin branding on the basket. 


    2) The Bobbin rucksack in blue. £85

    Super smart, the new Bobbin backpacks have a leather base to keep all our stuff dry and the bag clean. Designed with cyclists in mind it sits securely and comfortably during any ride and is smart enough to be your everyday any occasion bag. 


    3) The Bobbin pannier rack. £29.99

    This beautiful lightweight classic pannier rack will fit on any bike with wheel size between 26" - 28" (that includes 700c) We llove it because it's light, strong and beautiful. No more is needed from a pannier rack.


    4) The Bobbin Barley leather saddle bag. £74

    This is the finishing touch to any bike and is such a handy place to store your water bottle, tools or phone. 

    It will fit any saddle with rear holes to thread the straps through. This is not Bobbin specific but would work just as well on Brooks saddle or similar. 

    It's the perfect size for your wallet, phone and a few sweets and it makes any bike look the business.


    5) The Bobbin silver bike helmet. £35

    This helmet has been around for a few years and is massively popular. At night the lights of cars bounce off your head like a beacon which is pretty cool and certainly gets you noticed by passing cars. In the day time you look like an extra from Star Wars (in a good way) It's also pretty comfy though the sizing comes up big so opt for the smaller sizes unless you are particularly large of brain.




    How to assemble a Bobbin Bicycle


    Welcome to our first ever tutorial blog post!

    We deliver Bobbin bikes all over the UK (hopefully you have just received yours and that's the reason for reading this) and for safe delivery they have to be carefully packed up in a big cardboard Bobbin box. This does mean a bit of assembly at your end and we appreciate that for some this is more daunting than for others. In our time as Bobbin stockists we have assembled thousands of Bobbin bikes and as such have developed a bit of a method (as you do)  So, in what right now may be a head scratching time we thought we would share with you our step by step method to assembling your Bobbin bicycle.

    For the sake of this blog we have used the beautiful Bobbin Birdie, don't worry if this is not the same model that you have as most Bobbin bikes follow the same assembly process. These are the exceptions for which we will write another blog article on soon:

    The Bobbin Dark Star

    The Bobbin Black Orchid

    So, let's crack on. First things first, assemble your tools. To put easily put together your Bobbin bike you will need the following:

    • An adjustable spanner
    • A 5mm alan/hex key
    • A cross head screw driver
    • A pedal spanner (not essential if you don't have one)

    Once you have got your Bobbin bike out of the big cardboard box it arrived in, it should look a little something like this:

     This is probably the most daunting moment as it looks far more complicated than it actually is. Take all the packaging off, flatten the box and get it out the way and you should be left with this:


    Stand your Bobbin bike up so that it is balancing on the rear wheel and the front forks. Pick up the handlebars and slot them into the headset. This is the headset:


    Sometimes a bit of wiggling is required to get them in but once there remove the black plastic cap that sits in the center of the handlebars.

    Then make sure the handlebars are straight and in the correct position for riding and tighten the central alan bolt that sits under the plastic cap. This is the only thing that prevents your handlebars from popping out so ensure it is done up really tight. 

    Once your handlebars are in place, move onto the front wheel. Slot the front wheel into the two vertical drop outs of the front forks.

    Before you tighten anything make sure the two safety washers are sitting in the correct position; between the wheel nuts and the drop outs and positioned in the holes provided. 

    Like so,

    And so...

    Then tighten your wheel nuts with your adjustable spanner, again really tight! A tip for tightening your front wheel is the wind in each side equally as you go. Tighten your wheel nut a rotation on one side and then move to the other, and then back again and so forth. Don't just tighten one side all the way and then the other as your wheel will be out of line. 


    Once the front wheel is on you can stand the bike up using its stand and the whole job becomes a whole lot more stable. You'll notice that your stand is too short to support the bike so take your adjustable spanner and loosen the little nut until the stand slips down and you can secure it at the correct height.

    Find your front (white) reflector and slot it onto the front brake. You'll need to take off the nut at the back of the front brake to do this to give you a bit more space. Then it's simply a case of sliding the reflector under the brake and securing it so that each prong sits on either side of the brake rod. 

    Then for the mudguard. Have a look at the back of your front forks and you'll see a nut on the rear side of your brake. Take it off and you'll be left with the end of your brake rod poking through the center of your forks.

    Grab your mudguard and slot the brake rod through the tab.

    Then replace the nut and tighten. A tip for tightening your Bobbin brakes, hold the calipers roughly central as you tighten to avoid them slipping over to one side and resting on the wheel rim. You can over tighten your brakes and cause this is happen to, if you do the loosen it, realign them centrally and start again.


    You'll notice on your mudguard that there are two mudguard stays/support. They simply go into the two holes provide in the base of the front forks. 


    Your new Bobbin is nearly complete! Take your pedals and you'll notice they have left and right stickers on them. Simply wind in each pedal on the correct side of the crank arm by hand and when it is hand tight give it a last squeeze with your spanner. Tip! Remember, you always rotate right when screwing anything onto a bike thread.

    Now to fit your saddle; Take your seat post and loosen the bracket by turning the alan bolt (left) under the base of the seat post.

    Turn the top plate so that it opens up and allows you to slide the two saddle rods into place. Like so.


    Make sure the angle of your saddle is flat and the insert the end of the seat post into the main down tube.

    When it is at the height you need, tighten the seat bolt clamp at the top of the down tube. 

    Then all that's left is your bell which you place on the left hand side of your handlebars within easy thumb distance from the grips.

    And that's that! Happy cycling and congrats on your new Bobbin Bike.






    Reid bikes arrive on our shores.

    Just a few weeks ago an Australian company by the name of Reid Cycles made contact and asked us to have a look at some of their bikes. To be honest we didn't give them much thought, mainly because of the price tag. They are pretty inexpensive and we find that if you drop under £300 the quality of a bike does start to suffer. Any who, the Reid persevered and came by to show us the range and as soon as he walked through our door with his colourful display of Reid bicycles, they grabbed our attention.


    Reid vintage ladies seven speed lite. £299

    The bikes were very cheap (between £250 - £300) and that included a pannier rack, chain guard, mudguards and basket mounting. They were also amazing.  In many many ways they are like a standard town "vintage" style bike, complete with low step through frame and high rise handlebars but they are LIGHT! And, when I say light I mean really light. From the Reid vintage ladies Lite range you can get a beautiful classic style bike that weighs no more than 11kg and with a really decent set of Shimano 7 speed gears. Suddenly you have a vintage style town bike that you can carry up to your top floor flat, nip up a pretty steep assent and still have change left over.


    Reid vintage ladies seven speed Royal. £259


    Reid vintage ladies seven speed lite. £299

    We have now been selling Reid bikes for a few weeks at Bell's and the quality is great, the colours are fun and people quite understandably are loving them. This is an exciting development for us and for the cycling world we inhabit. It means people are able to buy a great bike for not a huge amount of money that will serve them very well. 

    We have only featured a few of the Reid models in this blog but but have a peek at the whole range on our Reid page: http://bellsbicycles.co.uk/collections/reid


    Which Bobbin?

    Bell's Bicycles in Hastings are proud to be one of the UK's leading stockist of Bobbin Bikes.

    Since Bobbin Bicycles hit the streets of London just a few years ago, they have caused an explosion in the cycling community. They can proudly take responsibility for getting loads of us back into the wonderful world of cycling, often just from a double take when passing a bike shop.

    Each year the Bobbin family grows and now in 2015, the Bobbin range has started to creep into other disciplines of cycling. Still with retro styling but lighter frames and improved geometry you can now be a racer, a pootler, and anything in between on a Bobbin.

    With all this choice we thought it would be helpful to do a short Bell's Bicycles review on a few Bobbin models; as honest as possible, outlining the pros and cons. As proud Bobbin Bike owners ourselves we have experienced the highs and the lows of the various models, so here goes!


    The Bobbin Birdie
    This upright bicycle has simplicity and comfort at the core of its design. Unlike many of the Bobbin models it has three speed Sturmey Archer hub gears which combined with the position of the frame and easy step through cross bar means this is the most reliable, low maintenance and easy to grasp of the Bobbin models. If you dislike the thought of changing gears, live in a flat area and don't have to carry the bike up steps then it is perfect. If you do have to do any of the above then you will find this bike limited in its range of gears and heavy to transport.
    Key Points:
    Gears: 3 Speed Sturmey Archer hub
    Position: Upright
    Frame: High ten steel
    Weight: 17kg
    Wheel size: 26 x 1 3/8
    The Bobbin Brownie.
    If you love the style of the Bobbin Birdie but do need to get up the occasion assent then the Brownie is a great compromise. It has swapped its Sturmey gears for a derallieur and the overall weight of the bike has reduced. The Brownie is the most popular choice for many and is an incredibly versatile bike. It's just as happy bumping along country tracks as it is on city streets and is lovely to carry a child seat on the rear pannier. The down side to the Bobbin Brownie is that it is still quite heavy at the back, largely due to the strong pannier rack which can be removed if you find you don't use it. It wouldn't be our first choice for a speedy commute to work or a long distance tour as the geometry doesn't allow for that much speed and the wide handlebars mean it isn't particularly responsive to quick sharp movements (what you need when weaving through traffic lanes)
    Key Points:
    Gears: 7 speed Shimano Nexus
    Position: Upright
    Frame: High ten steel
    Weight: 14kg
    Wheel size: 26 x 1 3/8
    The Bobbin Bramble.
    We have always been big fans of the Bobbin Bramble at Bell's. With all the comfort of the Birdie or Brownie, but with straighter bars and frame it is a true hybrid. This is a bike we would happily cycle to work through busy traffic, bump along forest tracks and feel comfy whilst doing it. It's still no lighter than the Brownie so we are not talking about a really lightweight super fast bike but it has a decent set of gears (7 speed Shimano) a well positioned frame and will only offer you many miles of comfortable cycling. 
    Key Points:
    Gears: 7 Speed Sturmey Archer hub
    Position: Semi upright, can be adjusted to suit you riding style and purpose.
    Frame: High ten steel
    Weight: 13kg
    Wheel size: 26 x 1 3/8
    The Bobbin Black Bird.
    Now we are starting the enter the fast lane. The Black Bird has been designed with an urban frame, straight handlebars and hybrid tyres. The result is a sturdy, speedy hybrid that feels nicely responsive to ride and can get you places. It's a different riding experience from both the Brownie or the Birdie in that your positioning has now changed. No longer are you upright but you are now leaning towards the handlebars. Although this makes for a nippier ride, if you have wrist or back problems then be aware that riding in this position for too long can put strain on joints.
    Key Points:
    Gears: 8 speed Shimano Nexus
    Position: Straight across
    Frame: High ten steel
    Weight: 12.5kg
    Wheel size: 700c
    The Bobbin Black Orchid.
    This new addition to the Bobbin range has put us all in a spin. With a similar frame to the Black Bird but with 16 speed derallieur gears and deep rimmed wheels with disc brakes, the Black Orchid suddenly becomes a high performance bike. Great for longer distances and hurtling down hills with short stopping distances the Black Orchid is a fun bike to ride. The only negative we can think of is weight. Not to say it's a heavy bike but you will be able to find alternative models from other companies which will be lighter. They will probably also be considerably more expensive as at just £550 we think it's a really great price for such an impressive bike. 
    If you would like our opinion on anything else in the Bobbin range, please get in touch or visit us in store. We are one of the largest stockists of Bobbin bikes in the UK so there is always much to browse. 
    Key Points:
    Gears: 8 speed Shimano Nexus
    Position: Straight across
    Frame: High ten steel
    Weight: 12.5kg
    Wheel size: 700c
    If you need a bit of help working out which size to go for, check out this handy size guide:
    Also considering a Pashley? This may be helpful: