Newsletter 6

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These are archived newsletters, so information, specifications and prices may be out of date or incorrect by now

Big changes at Jake's Bikes:

  • New premises: we are relocating to The Haymarket, Bristol City Centre

  • New staff: Yael gets permanent position

  • New products: now a shop as well as a workshop

  • New year: Jake's Bikes is 3 years old!

Read on to learn more...

New Premises

In February Jake's Bikes will move down the road to a shop at Haymarket Walk, a small shopping precinct between the Bus Station and St. James Barton roundabout (often called "the Bear Pit" - does anybody know why??). It can be accessed either from the Bear Pit itself (the pedestrian level in the centre of the large St. James Barton roundabout), or from Cannon Street (BS1) to the rear of the Bus Station.


There will doubtless be a little disruption in the first couple of weeks of February whilst we prepare the new unit and move all our stock and tools, but we intend to keep the old workshop at Hamilton House open during most of this period, so please continue to contact us if you want to book an appointment, and just leave a message if we don't answer the phone.

No appointment necessary

The new unit has a shop front, allowing us to have a showroom as well as workshop. Also, we will be able to accept drop-ins and passing trade without prior appointment thanks to this and the employment of Yael (see below). Optional appointments will still be available if you prefer to book your bike into the workshop at a specific time, or for one-to-one tuition. We will also be open on Saturdays, and will have extended opening hours of 9:00 to 6:00 Mon to Sat.

Card payments accepted

Once we are established in the new shop, we will be able to accept credit and debit card payments, something we have not until now been able to do. We will unfortunately no longer be able to take cheques though.

Workshop services, used bike sales and tuition remain unchanged

After the move we will of course continue to offer bicycle servicing and repairs in the new workshop, as well as tuition and evening classes as usual, and we hope to offer more used bikes for sale than ever.


Yael enjoying a rather wet Scottish bike rideYael joins the team

Yael Ben-Gigi, who has been volunteering at Jake's Bikes and doing casual work with us for over a year, will join us on a permanent basis as soon as we move into our new premises, and will take charge of the shop, stock ordering, and sales. Yael, a linguist by training, is an Israeli who moved to Bristol three years ago. She has been a volunteer at the Kebele bike workshop in Easton and the Bristol Bike Project, and has just spent a couple of weeks gaining more experience and inspiration at Common Wheel in Glasgow, and visiting some interesting local bike shops there.


Here's a photo of Yael enjoying some lovely Scottish weather on the Isle of Lewis. Let's hope she looks a bit happier when you meet her in the shop!


Jake's Bikes is 3 Years Old!

It hardly seems like a year has gone by since I sent out an email saying the workshop has been going for two years, and yet here it is already: our third birthday.  Click here to read more about our history and ethos.



Tip of the month: good bike lights

Although we're through the worst of the winter and the days are slowly getting longer again, it's still just as important as ever to have a good pair of bike lights.

If you have some lights already but aren't sure about their performance or reliability, the first thing to check is the batteries. Even if your lights look bright enough when you turn them on, often if the batteries are old they will give up within a few minutes, so check them again after 10 minutes to see if they are still as bright. If in doubt, get some new batteries, or better still get some rechargeable ones and a charger. The nearest friendly independent shops to stock these are Ablectrics or Bishopston Hardware on Gloucester Road.


If your lights are still not looking too happy even with new batteries it might be time to consider replacing the lights themselves. Nowadays LEDs have almost entirely replaced bulbs: LEDs never burn out like bulbs used to, and they allow batteries to last for months and months rather than only a few weeks as they used to in the bad old days. LED lights are also a much smaller, handier size - and the smaller batteries they require are cheaper too! Another advantage of LEDs is that they can flash for extra visibility - and flashing cycle lights have been perfectly legal for several years now, so there is no longer any need to have an additional 'standard' light.


LED lights are available from Jake's Bikes, priced between £14 to £25 for a front and rear set or cheaper if you don't need a pair. Much more expensive lights are also available elsewhere if you need extreme brightness - some bike lights available nowadays are as bright as a car headlight! Cheaper lights are also available elsewhere, but having stocked these in the past and had several faulty ones returned, we now only stock good quality brands and have not yet had a single one returned in over 2 years.


Reflectors: unless your bike was built before 1985 when different laws applied, legally you must have a front and rear reflector, two wheel reflectors, and pedal reflectors in place. And not only are these a legal nicety, they are pretty effective: pedal reflectors in particular are very visible in a car's headlights because of their continual movement, and studies have shown that this up-and-down motion is what most drivers will tend to see first from a distance or in conditions of poor visibility.


Guest Feature: Bristol Cycling Campaign

The Bristol Cycling Campaign say their vision is for "cycling in Bristol and the surrounding area to be a safer, more enjoyable and more accessible". Entirely run by volunteers, the initiative campaigns tirelessly for improved cycling facilities and better rights for cyclists in Bristol - and was already doing so long before Bristol became the UK's first Cycling City. They also organise regular weekend rides, and have monthly pub meetings, normally with a guest speaker. Membership costs £10 a year and as well as active campaigners, the project says it needs members who campaign by simply riding a bike when they can, and it aims to represent all the cyclists of Bristol. See for more information or to join up.


These are archived newsletters, so information, specifications and prices may be out of date or incorrect by now

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