Druid Street Cycles - best LBS in London?
Update: Thor and co. have recently set up an official Facebook group. And he is promising 10% discount for all group members :-)
Their address: 18 Druid Street, London SE1 2EY gmap
Having recently bought an old Sun Solo racer from Gumtree (80s Raleigh "gaspipe" steel frame, 27" x 1 1/4 rims, Weinmann single-pivot brakes, Sturmey Archer stem, Sturmey Archer hub, 5-speed), I took it to the little known Druid Street Cycles near London Bridge for a quick service.
Not a lot has been mentioned on the web about this social business project, apart from a couple of youtube videos, a user comment in a Timeout article and an LCC article (they themselves don't have a website):
Thor, who used to repair tanks in his native Germany, started this project to provide affordable (and yes, really affordable) bike repair service for the local community in Southwark. To say that he, along with the rest of Druid Street Cycles, is passionate about building/fixing bikes is an understatement.
I have been there twice now, and on both occasions, the jobs they did on the bike far exceeded my expectation. The first time round, they did a full checkup of the bike, fixed the rear brake, and replaced the dodgy tyres. He ended up only charging me 30 pounds (the tyres along cost 20 quid!) - he even crimped the cable ends for me, such is his attention to details! Second time round, I went in to see if they have any mudguard that would fit over my 27" wheel, which I knew was very hard to come by. In typical Thor's fashion, he said he would find something, and surely he did, somehow he managed to fit a full-length mudguard beautifully on the 27" wheel frame, which has minimal clearance. Initially he refused to take any money from me, but in the end I managed to convince him to take the money, which no doubt would be put to good use to benefit the local biking community.
I really cannot recommend them enough, and I hope more people will get to know about this secret little place hidden underneath one of London Bridge's dark arches.
Ah how can I forget the mention the fact that they provide free courtesy bikes to customers, so you can continue your commute to work or your cycle home while Thor and co. are busying fixing yours! Beat that!
Looking for a commute route, or wanting to share your route with other cyclists? Visit my cycle route database: http://zoomaroundtown.appspot.com!