Written on: 07/10/2012 by jonsim (1 review written)
I bought a bike from Ashcycles in September 2012, and at the time they were offering the cheapest price for the bike anywhere. They were also offering the 2011 model of a bike which I could not find ANYWHERE else. I was hesitant at ordering from them at first as their website looks somewhat antiquated, but the large number of positive reviews on this site influenced me otherwise.
Unfortunately 2 days after placing the order I got an e-mail telling me they had checked the bike I ordered but the only remaining item was damaged and they had contacted the manufacturers only to be told there were no new copies of the bike available. They kindly offered to sell me the 2012 model, which I didn't like as much, for the same price (it was £50 more expensive at the time). As I had already failed to find other sources for the 2011 model I accepted their offer (after asking plenty of questions which were promptly answered).
Over a month later, looking at their site I see the 2011 model is still listed as in stock. This echoes the experience of at least one other review I read, so don't get your hopes up until you have the bike in your hands!
I received my bike 3 days after accepting the replacement - faster than I expected since you are given free shipping which usually means the cheapest possible. The bike was well packaged and easy to assemble: you simply have to pop the wheels on and screw the handlebar into the stem - I'm sure pretty much anyone could do it! The gears were all set up correctly and the wheels fully inflated. My only complaints are that the front brake had not been tightened, so I had to spend about 30 minutes readjusting the cable. Also the handlebar stem was a little loose, something that is pre-assembled by their technicians and not immediately obvious until significant pressure is applied - leading to a hairy encounter on a hill when it slipped right round, nearly depositing me in a ditch! In fairness this is a danger that is also present in buying a bike from a shop.
All in all I feel it is worth 5-stars as, while the stock issue is annoying - especially as the site still hasn't been updated - the staff dealt with it professionally and gave me a more expensive bike for the same price. While I also had a few minor niggles with the assembly, since both derailleurs were correctly set up (by far the most fiddly and time consuming job), I am happy. I would definitely use the site again, the prices are far better than in-store and self-assembly is much easier than I feared.