Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Fullwells (Bikes and Cars)

Fullwells is great because in my experience it has all the things we want for our bikes and cars, and lots of handy things you discover you want once someone tells you they exist. And the friendly blokes who run it are always ready to offer their knowledge and experience to help you get the machine back on the road.

So you go in there for a bike puncture repair outfit, having run out of patches, complaining about yet another flat tyre from broken glass in the road. "The answer" says the chap behind the counter, "is this wonderful French inner tube, filled with green slime. Get a puncture, and usually it seals itself". He was right about that, and right too about Continental tyres from Germany with a puncture-resistant band under the tread. I wouldn't recommend riding over broken glass if you can avoid it, but these tyres do what it says on the tin.

Walk in there with a broken thingy off the car, of unknown function but the car won't go without it. "Ah" says Fullwell-man, "a busted docklegrunger. £7.34 including VAT – make sure you oil it before you try to do up the retaining screw and it'll be right as rain". He also provides me with a spanner that actually fits the new nut, whereas I had to mash off the old one with a Mole wrench.

The place is a wonderland of bike bits, car bits, tools, consumables, accessories and complete machines. And if you manage to ask for something they haven't got, they'll order it for you, and phone to tell you as soon as it comes in. And it's open on Sunday morning, just when you realise the wiper blade needs replacing, or you've run out of windscreen-washer solvent, or you want a decent footpump. What's more, they never treat you as an idiot when you go in there with a dopey expression and a plaintive "Help".

Douglass MacDonald

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