Wiggle are one of four giants in cycling retail. The cycling and triathlon specialists are an unmissable presence in the landscape of the industry – but they’re very much an online entity.
Being online only has always meant that Wiggle have been unable to offer the servicing that you’d get from a local bike shop – something that they tried to remedy with service centers inside Homebase stores. However, these closed after a one year period.
Not to be defeated, last month Wiggle launched their ‘Bike Service and Repair’ offer. Working with servicing experts ‘havebike’, they’re able to offer round the clock servicing – initially only within the M25. Your bike can be collected from an address of your choice at a time stipulated by you, and then returned in clean and sparkling condition – when and where you like.
The service sounds pretty good. However, we thought we’d give it a thorough test. In fact, we decided to make it as difficult as possible for them.
Team TWC sent Wiggle’s ‘havebike’ service center our Specialized Crux cyclocross bike. It had been banged over rocks and roots, ridden through mud, and then transformed into a winter road bike – to face more abuse over the long, cold, wet months.
At some point during the banging-over-rocks-and-roots treatment, the rear deraillieur hanger had become bent. After further road use, it had snapped, taking with it the rear deraillieur. After a year of use, the brake pads and cables had yet to be replaced.
In other words, we sent them a dirty bike, that needed plenty of work, and added in a broken mech hanger – a part that is notoriously difficult to track down. Mech hangers all look basically the same – but they’re not, and sometimes it’s a right pain to find the right one. Insert evil laugh.