At the Exchange Quay travel forum last week our Chair, Paula, who works for Exchange Quay management told us that they intended to buy a fleet of folding bicycles and I took up the action to find a suitable vehicle. These bikes will demonstrate the benefit of getting around by bike at lunchtime, encourage utility and leisure cycling and most importantly enable people to trial mixed mode commuting. Being folding bikes they can be safely stored away too.
Granted the Edinburgh Bike Co-operative’s Revolution Compact model isn’t the most compact folder, but a Brompton with carrier bag would be over £800. This isn’t a budget bike either; Halfords start from £180, on-line you can find even cheaper and I did investigate a Wayne Hemmingway designed Roadrunner a few years ago but a colleague who bought one (for less than £70?) assured me it was absolute rubbish and she was using it as an objet d’art in her kitchen and being a Hemmingway design it was just about on the funky side of ultra kitsch.
I put out a call to the GMCC mail group and received 5 or 6 useful leads including the EBC. I had explained to the Exchange Quay travel forum that my bike had cost £250 including bag which I though was a good deal for a Dahon design albeit with Raleigh components. Our chair, Paula, who also holds the purse-strings tasked me with finding something cheaper but then again I didn’t want to buy something unrelable, weak or dangerous to recommend others to ride.
The compact’s RRP was £300 and since sending an initial e-mail to EBC I had found other avenues to follow. When Derek phoned me I genuinely thought we couldn’t do a deal – he said his best price was with a 10% discount and I said I didn’t want to waste his time, explained the deal on my own bike and that I was looking at closer to £200 for something with a carrying bag (Metrolink situation!). Did he have any old stock or budget bikes not advertised on line? No, but he could do 15%. Interesting (I thought 10% was his best discount?). I still had other options though and I thought I couldn’t go back to Paula with a deal costing more than my Raleigh so I said that I appreciated it was a higher quality bike than I could really afford and… Hows about 20% off which would be £239.99 and that would include the follow up service blah blah blah. Blimey, I’d just haggled a Scotsman!
Today I’m riding my folder in and giving Paula a demonstration of its features with the promise that the Revolution Compact, if she chooses to buy it, will have better components, will be more reliable, comes with a warranty and free service and costs £10 less than mine. Hopefully she’ll be wowed by the deal.