Frequently Asked Questions
We can't hope to answer every queston on a FAQ page, and we wouldn't even attempt to provide generic answers to complex product questions! But we think this page might answer some of your more general queries, especially those regarding ordering, delivery, and opening hours etc:
When are we open?
Our regular opening hours are:
10am-5.30pm Monday - Saturday
We are also closed on Bank Holidays, and on December 27th-28th 2013.
At Epic Cycles we believe for many products, and especially for bikes, that contact with customers either in person, over the phone or via emais an important part of ensuring that the item you are interested in is fully suitable and/or tailored to your needs.
For this reason we do not currently accept on-line orders (with exception of our new Special Purchase website and our Ebay shop, through which we do sell some selected special purchase, traded in or ex-display items).
Many of our customers first make contact with us either by phone on 01584 879245 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org - we will always respond in full to your queries, but are sometimes unable to do so immediately as the volume of calls and emails is frequently very high, and try as we might we can't get back to you straight away.
The whole buying process can of course be carried out remotely, especially for customers who are confident about their bike setup and sizing, but a large number of customers who initially talk to us from afar do come over to see us as the benefits of a proper sizing session and test ride usually make the trip well worthwhile.
Don't think that we are a faceless mail order warehouse though - Epic Cycles is a large and welcoming bike store set in a quiet location away from the bustle of a high street, so that we have the time and space to talk to you properly about your requirements. We have an enormous range of the very latest road bikes on display in our showroom, backed by a fleet of test bikes, so that you can make an informed selection and try before you buy. And we always have coffee and tea on the go, together with some soft seating should you need to wait for anything, such as a bike service etc.
Either way, we will not blind you with science or try to sell you something unsuitable, and none of our staff work on commission, so you will not be subjected to any hard selling techniques.
All of our bikes include a free professional fitting session, but if you are unable to visit the store for any reason we will happily advise on sizing over the phone or via email. If you would like a full sizing session it is a good idea to give us a call or drop us an email first, so that we can make sure that one of our fitters is free to offer you the right level of service - and please allow at least an hour and a half - longer if you plan to take a bike for a test ride! Especially during busy times (spring and summer) we can become booked up with fitting and customer appointments some time in advance, despite having four trained fitters, so we would advise contacting us at least a week ahead of your preferred time.
If the item you require is in stock and needs no alteration or customisation you can either take it away or we will deliver it to you. If the item you require needs to be custom built or adapted for you, or needs to be ordered from a supplier, we will take a small deposit to secure your order and either ship it to you when ready or let you know when it is ready for collection. Note: for bespoke items (such as made to measure framesets, unique paint finishes, or items that are not part of the normal UK range from a supplier and so need to be imported specifically for you) we may require a larger deposit, and in some rare circumstances we may need to ask for payment in full in advance.
We are able to take payments using all major debit and credit cards - please note that for card payments over the telephone we will need to verify your card and shipping address and may need to ask for additional security checks for high value items which can take up to 7 days to complete. We also accept payment using BACS transfer (fastest option for mail order), in cash for personal callers and by cheque (please allow time for cheques to clear before collection or shipping of item).
New - for all purchases over £100 we can also accept payments using PayPal. For many customers this is a convenient, secure and efficient method of payment, whether you have a PayPal account or not. If you would prefer to pay using PayPal we will simply email you a PayPal invoice for your purchase - you then just log into your PayPal account and process the transaction (or enter your card details into PayPal's secure payment page) just as you would with a Buy-It-Now purchase via Ebay. Payments using a PayPal account clear instantly, which means fast delivery!
At Epic Cycles we don't offer a credit facility ourselves, as we want to be free to concentrate on advising and helping customers rather than acting as credit brokers. We also have a pricing policy of offering our best prices up front to all of our customers, regardless of how much they are spending or how they wish to pay - offering our own credit facility would either mean raising our prices to offset brokerage costs or, like many shops, only being able to offer finance on selected items sold at full RRP.
However, we do know that customers are often keen to purchase a new bike or cycling equipment without having to wait until cash becomes available. Many of our customers have been able to achieve the best of both worlds - excellent hassle-free customer service and everyday fair prices from ourselves combined with 0% finance - by using an interest free credit card. We are unable to advise on whether this would be a suitable option for individual customers, but if you this could be suitable for you there are plenty of websites offering advice and lists of the best interest free credit cards available, such as MoneySupermarket.
For customers for whom interest free credit cards are not a suitable option we had previously partnered with Ideal4Finance for interest-bearing loans, but we are not satisfied with the service they are offering and so we are no longer providing a link through to their website.
Part Exchange is something we are always willing to consider for used road bikes (not MTBs) in good condition, but we will need to inspect your bike first. Once we have verified that your current bike is in a suitable condition and that you are the legal owner, we have a number of ways of trading in against a new bike purchase, which we can talk through at the time to find the best option for you. Please note that as we are a bike shop with a strong reputation for quality we may need to carry out a service prior to us being able to sell on a used bike, and any associated service costs, along with any other selling fees, will need to be taken into account when assessing the trade-in value of part exchange bikes.
If you do need to dispose of an existing bike it is often financially advantageous to do so privately if you have the time, perhaps using media such as Ebay, and we are more than happy to offer you advice on how best to do this, regardless of condition or bike type.
At Epic Cycles we operate an Every Day Fair Pricing policy – but what does that mean?
Well, at its most basic, it means that
at Epic Cycles we offer genuinely
competitive prices across our range of products, to all of our customers, every day of the
year – not just at sale times or on one or two promotional items. It
means that we offer the same great prices to every customer –
no haggling, no having to prove that you belong to an approved
society in order to get a few percent off. We have one set of prices
– our best prices – in store for everyone. Every day.
Who needs the stress of haggling and wondering if you really did get the best price? At Epic Cycles that is one stress you can forget. The bottom line is that our prices are highly competitive and genuine. For everyone. Every day.
At Epic Cycles we are proud of our record and experience in bike fitting - with well in excess of 3,000 bike fittings under our belt we have developed an in depth knowledge of what makes a real difference to your riding experience. We currently operate two levels of bike fitting - a full "Performance Fitting" and a shorter "Sizing Evaluation".
Included with every new bike sale is a free fitting session (does not apply to ex-demo, ex-display or used/part-exchanged bikes). This fitting session is often carried out prior to purchase as part of the test ride process or to assess your required bike size, but it can also be carried out following delivery/collection of your bike if you do not require a test ride or if we have established the basic set-up/size of your bike in advance and you merely require "fine-tuning" of your set up in order to optimise your riding experience/performance.
For the vast majority of our new bikes (all models for which we run test bikes, which covers over 90% of our range) this will consist of a Performance Fitting session in order to optimise and record all areas of bike set-up in order to maximise performance and to feed into test rides. For the few models where we don't operate test bikes the free fitting session will consist of a Sizing Evaluation, which will establish a level of bike set-up that far exceeds most of our competition, but which by definition cannot incorporate feedback from on-the-road test rides!
We can also carry out a Performance Fitting on your own bike for a charge of £95 - but we can only offer own-bike fittings in the off-season due to demand for fittings from new bike customers during the peak season.
Please note - at the time of booking, either for a fitting session or for a test ride (which will involve a Performance Fitting session prior to test riding), we will charge the cost of the fitting session to your credit or debit card (£95 for a Performance Fit or £25 for a Sizing Evaluation). When you order your new bike the fitting charge will be deducted from the cost of your new bike.
We have been forced to introduce pre-payment of fitting sessions due to a number of customers who made a booking but then fail to attend - this then ties up a member of staff and an appointment slot unnecessarily. As we have a severe shortage of available appointments during our peak months this results in us being unable to carry out fittings/test rides for other customers. Customers who cancel pre-paid appointments with more than 48 hours notice will receive a full refund, as we will have sufficient notice to book another customer into the vacated appointment slot. Customers wishing to postpone their fitting (rather than cancel) will simply have their pre-payment transferred to a new appointment, as long as we receive advance notice of the postponement.
If you are not planning to purchase or order a bike from us at the time of your fitting session, perhaps because you have not made a final decision on model/colour etc or are waiting for funds to become available, we will refund in full the cost of the fitting session when you are ready to place an order for an eligible bike - in exactlly the same way as we would if you had ordered during the session. Customers will of course also be provided with a copy of the detailed measurements we have recorded.
In order to carry out a fitting session (especially a Performance Fitting) we need to thoroughly assess your position and pedalling motion etc, so it helps us greatly if you wear cycle clothing - especially shorts, as we need to be able to measure your leg angles and extension accurately, and to be able to observe pedalling technique, knee flex etc. If you already use a clipless pedal system please bring your shoes along too, and if you use something other than a Look or Shimano cleat system it helps to bring some pedals as we may not have the exact pedal type in our test pedal stock.
Each session is unique to you and your needs. We take account of your individual body proportions, flexibility, riding style, weight, fitness and, most importantly, the type of riding you plan to do. Because the range of possibilites is so great we cannot predict how long the session will take, but a Performance Fitting can take over 90 minutes - so please leave sufficient time for the worst case scenario!
Even if your purchase is eligible for a free Performance Fitting you may not require or want one, either because you already have a well tried setup that you are happy with or you are new to road cycling and haven't yet established your personal preferences regarding position, riding style etc. In this case we would suggest carrying out the less in-depth Sizing Session just to confirm your measurments and establish basic set-up/size parameters - this is a shorter exercise of up to 30 minutes, but you should still contact us to ensure a fitter is free to carry out the session, especially during busy periods such as the late spring and summer.
The approach we use for fitting is based on discussion, observation and feedback - it is not a computer formula or spreadsheet that collects a few standard body dimensions and spits out a standard bike set up, as we have found these systems to be unreliable, as they do not take account of a full range of factors and many ignore the latest research and take no account of your input and preferences. We also avoid most old-school rules of thumb, as many were based on out of date cycle design principles and only ever work on averages that actually suit no one individual. We do however use one or two of these techniques merely as sense checks to highlight any fitting decisions that are vastly different to the average range.
The underlying principles for our bike fitting service are that a riding position must be comfortable, efficient, promote good handling, and be tuned to the individual characteristics of both the rider and type of riding the bike is intended for (e.g. aerodynamics for time trialling).
All of our new bikes include a free sizing session, but if you are unable to visit the store for any reason we will happily advise on basic sizing over the phone or via email. If you would like a full fitting session you are strongly advised to give us a call or drop us an email first, so that we can make sure that one of our trained fitters is available to offer you the right level of service.
We run an extensive demo fleet of over a hundred road bikes covering 90% of our range, so test rides are available on most of our road bike models - but please call or email us to confirm availability of model/size as we can't possibly carry every model/size combination (as there would be thousands!). Before visiting us for a test ride please contact us to check that one of our fitters is free, and to make sure that your chosen bike is not already booked for fittings and test rides.
It is up to you as to how far you wish to ride a test bike. The roads immediately around the store are pretty quiet and varied in terrain, as well as being very scenic - the road surfaces are not the best, so they certainly won't flatter the bike, but they do offer a realistic test for UK conditions.
In order to maximise the benefit of any test ride we must set up the test bike correctly. For all visitors this will mean undertaking a full Performance Fitting session here, immediately prior to your test ride (see above). So please ensure that you have allowed sufficient time for this to take place (at least an hour on top of the test ride). If you have your own fitting data already, or are confident that your riding position and existing bike set-up are spot on, we will need your bike set-up information in advance (via email - we will let you know what measurements we need!), so that we can prepare the test bike(s) for you - we will then carry out a confirmatory set-up check before you go out for your test ride.
Some customers will understandably want to test ride more than one bike in order to make a final purchase decision - but from our experience of several thousand test rides we know that it gets surprisingly confusing if you ride more than just a couple of bikes. So we will use the results of the fitting session and your input, budget and preferences to help you narrow down your selection to a maximum of two models. In any event, setting up a test bike to match the results of your fitting session can be very time consuming, so we have to operate a limit of two test bikes per 3 hour appointment - much as we would like to, we sadly can't spend a whole day with each customer!
Finally, if you do plan to test ride a bike please bring an official government issued form of photo identification with you (drivers licence or passport), as this is a condition of our insurance cover, together with some suitable clothing.
If you would like us to deliver your item to you, rather than taking it away in person, we are very happy to do so.
Bikes, frames and some larger items such as wheels are delivered via ParcelForce or TNT, who need someone to be at the destination address to sign for the package (for this reason many customers choose to have items delivered to a work or business address). Smaller items are delivered via Royal Mail.
New bikes, framesets and any other order over £100 are delivered free to addresses classified as "UK Mainland" by TNT (this excludes Highlands and Islands). Other items (including used or ex-demo bikes), or deliveries to non "UK Mainland" addresses, including items purchased from our Ebay shop, will be subject to a small delivery charge that depends mainly on size and weight of the package - in these cases please contact us for delivery prices.
Deliveries via ParcelForce or TNT are made on Mondays to Fridays, during normal business hours - if you require delivery outside of these times (e.g. on a Saturday) please contact us for a quote - in all cases we will aim to minimise delivery costs to you while attempting to meet your scheduling requirements. Please note that deliveries using ParcelForce can take place up until 7pm to residential addresses during busy periods, such as pre-Christmas.
If the item we are shipping requires a signature or is too large to fit through a standard letter box we will contact you to agree the shipping date before sending the item out. It is at this point that we will also take the balance of any payments due on the item.
Although we are able to ship items out on a Friday, they will not arrive until Monday morning using our standard service. This means they will spend the weekend in a warehouse - therefore we usually advise customers to delay shipping until the following Monday with the goods arriving on the Tuesday.
All bikes are subject to a full Pre Delivery Inspection (PDI) and tuned up ready to ride before despatch. Most bikes will then be shipped with the front wheel and seatpost/saddle removed, the handlebars twited to one side and turned under, and if you have ordered pedals these will not be fitted. All you will need is a couple of standard allen keys in order to reassemble the seatpost, handlebars and pedals - we will provide verbal or written instructions on how to do this if you need them.
Receipt of Goods - Important!
All items will be carefully packed to minimise the risk of transit damage - in the highly unlikely event that your item does arrive with damaged packaging please advise the courier on the spot (before signing for the package). It is important to fully inspect your item before signing for the package as being in good condition - if you are not able to immediately open and inspect the item, please sign for the package as "damaged" or "unchecked" as any issues that arise after the goods have been accepted in good condition will not be accepted by the courier. If upon inspection, the item itself has suffered any transit damage please advise us by phone on 01584 879245 or via email at email@example.com within 48 hours. Please inspect your items carefully, as any claims for transit/packing damage cannot be accepted once the item has been used.
We use ParcelForce or TNT for most of our deliveries, and they classify places according to postcodes when it comes to charges and delivery timescales.
The areas considered by our carriers as being outside "UK Mainland" for delivery purposes are:
Channel Islands, Isles of Sicily, Isle of Man, certain Scottish postcodes (IV, KW1-14, PA34, PA37-39, PH19-40, PH41 Sector 4 and PH49-50) and the Scottish Islands.
We are able to deliver items, including bikes, to most countries using TNT. Charges to international destinations vary according to the country we are shipping to and the nature, size and weight of the item we are sending, so please contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 01584 879245 for a competitive delivery quote.
As you may be aware, the bike industry is currently going through a period of extreme price volatility. If we have given you a written quote for an item the price will be valid for 7 days - however, even though we can't guarantee prices for any longer than this in the current climate, in practice most quotes will remain unchanged for much longer.
Once you have placed an order with with us (secured by a small deposit), the price of your item(s) will of course remain fixed as long as you don't make any changes to the order content or delivery destination.
When you order an item from us we will give you an expected delivery date.
If you are purchasing an in-stock mail order item from us, we will agree a shipping date with you at the time of purchase, which could be as soon as the following working day for straight forward products that are ordered before our daily carrier collection.
For in-stock bikes, we may need to make size adjustments or alterations for you, or if the item is not yet fully assembled we will need to carry out a full Pre Delivery Inspection. This may mean there is a short delay before delivery or collection takes place, but we will alert you to this at the time.
If you are ordering a customised product (e.g. a custom built or tailored bike), a one-off item, or a product that we will need to order from a supplier, we will provide you with an estimated availability date, and keep you informed about any variations on that date.
Once your item is ready we will contact you to confirm any final details regarding shipping or collection and to settle any outstanding balances on the order.
At Epic Cycles we specialise in road bikes and associated accessories and clothing. This mainly covers things like cyclosportives, road racing, triathlon, time trials, touring and commuting, but also takes in other forms of cycling that use a 700c wheel, such as track and cyclocross. We also stock a few selected 26 wheel bikes, such as hybrids and cross country MTBs.
We can supply and service other forms of bike, but our expertise is firmly centred on the 700c lightweight world with a dash of cross country thrown in!
At Epic Cycles we inspect all products thoroughly before shipping or collection to make sure they are in perfect condition, we also package everything carefully to ensure that it won't get damaged in transit - we also attempt to provide as much information as possible to all customers to minimise the chances of purchasing the wrong item (this is especially important for customers who can't visit the store).
However, despite our best efforts there may be rare occasions on which you need to return the item to us.
1. If you are unhappy for any reason with an item that you have mail ordered from us, either over the telephone or electronically, simply return the item to us unused, in its original condition, and securely packaged, within 7 days of receipt. Please include a note within the packaging to let us know the reason for the return and a copy of the invoice or receipt that included the item. We will issue a full refund (for bespoke items please see following paragraph), less any postage costs associated with the return and any refund charges imposed by your credit card company. You will be responsible for the returned item until it reaches us, so please ensure that your return shipment is adequately insured.
1.b. For bespoke items (such as made to measure framesets, unique paint finishes, or items that are not part of the normal UK range from a supplier and so need to be imported specifically for you) we will not be able to offer a refund, as the item will be unique to yourself and so will not be suitable for resale or return to supplier.
2. If your item is delivered in damaged packaging please advise the carrier immediately (before signing for the package). If the item itself has suffered any transit damage please advise us by email at email@example.com or by calling 01584 879245 within 48 hours, so that we can discuss the best course of action. Do not attempt to use a damaged item under any circumstances. Please inspect your purchases carefully, as any claims for transit/packing damage cannot be accepted once the item has been used.
3. If your item is faulty please contact us immediately on 01584 879245 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can discuss the best course of action. If you subsequently need to return an item to us or to the manufacturer for rectification, please note that all warranty agreements are "return to base", and the buyer will be responsible for any associated postage or return costs.
We are situated in Ludlow, a minute from the A49 by car or a few minutes on foot by train - full instructions can be found here. We have a large customer car park to the side of the shop - the centre of town is about 5 minutes by foot.
We are only too happy to talk bikes over the phone on 01584 879245, face to face, or via email at email@example.com . Buying a bike or cycling accessory should be an enjoyable experience, we will do everything we can to ensure that it is - we offer honest advice and guidance, and will not try to sell you something that is unsuitable for your needs!
We will always respond to your queries and calls, but we are sometimes unable to do so immediately as the volume of calls and emails we receive is frequently very high, and try as we might we can't get back to you straight away. We also try to reply to all queries fully - not just with short "yes" or "no" answers, but with information that we hope will be of genuine help.