LCCs Retail Network Roundup: Condor Cycles

 

Whether you’re a newcomer, commuter or a seasoned roadie, one thing every cyclist needs is a good LBS, or local bike shop. LCCs Retail Network brings together the best bike shops across London to give our members exclusive access to get great discounts on repairs, parts, accessories and more. With over 120 shops to choose from, our Retail Network Roundup series was started as a way to help you find your favourite LBS and get to know some of the faces behind the workstands. 

If you cycle in London, chances are you've heard of Condor Cycles. They're a household name to many in the UK, thanks to Monty Young who opened the shop back in 1948. The shop specialises in road cycling, touring, bike packing, and custom bicycles and builds. It also stocks a wide variety of kit and accessories for all of your cycling needs. We caught up with Claire Beaumont, Condor Cycles Marketing Manager to talk shop (and cycling). 

How long has the shop been operating for, and how did you get into bikes/cycling? 
 
Condor has been a family run business since 1948, nearly 70 years!
 
I got into cycling through my dad. He took my sister and me on a touring trip to Holland when I was 12. It rained and was really windy (luckily there are no hills) and I have loved cycling ever since.
 
What's your favourite thing about cycling in London? 
 
That you can get anywhere in almost no time at all. The city is slowly opening up to being a really easy place to cycle compared with 5 or 10 years ago.
 
Tell us about your best customer story or strangest repair question you’ve gotten in the shop. 
 
Condor is around the corner from Great Ormond Street Children’s hospital. We get a lot of requests to fix wheelchair punctures so now we keep a supply of suitable tubes in stock.
 
We also had a competitor come in during the 2012 Para-Olympics and ask for our help to set up his bike again. He was an amazing chap who had lost his leg and arm but balanced his bike easily and held a very rapid pace. 
 
What tips would you give to anyone thinking about getting into cycling in London? 
 
There is no need to rush, jumping the lights or cutting round buses it only really saves a few seconds. The risk isn’t worth it. Try to be comfortable looking over your shoulder or taking your hands off the bars to indicate. It will help other road users understand where you want to be and help you see other road users before you make your move. People aren’t mind-readers.
 
How do you feel cycling in London has changed over the last 15 years? 
 
15 years ago I was one of a few people I’d see cycling to work. There was no space for cyclists and although there are still junctions like the Imax at Waterloo that still need work, there is a focus and a push to improve the roads. Saying that I do feel the buses have got much more aggressive in recent years. 
 
Do you run any workshops or events that cyclists should know about? 
 
Yes we run maintenance tips, handlebar wrapping workshops etc. Customers should follow our Facebook page to find out when the next events are on.
 
Everyone loves their LBS, but why do people in London love Condor? 
 
Condor has always tried to stock a vast array of products and customers can spec their bike to their choosing so they don’t need to compromise. We also offer a bike fit with every purchase, because cycling shouldn’t be painful or a chore - it’s fun.
 
What makes your shop different, special or better than the competition? 
 
Condor is the next step on for people who would like specialist knowledge and advice to take their cycling further.