Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Spontaneity, A Bargain And Another New Bike...Three Times Goodstuff...

Rather good looking I think...indisputably a bargain most should think...

I enjoy a bit of spontaneity, it's good to just treat yourself on the spur of the moment. Some things we want are too expensive for this, so we have to save over a period of time for them. Unfortunately, during that time, all too often you go off whatever it was you were saving for. I do like having the money and seeing something I like that I didn't plan on buying.

I've also learned to appreciate a bargain when I see one; it's good to go round car boot sales, second hand shops and sale/clearance items, just to see what you might find. This often combines with the spontaneity thing.

A new bike is a welcome thing too, even though in this case, I hadn't planned on it. Originally the plan was to give the Kettler a big overhaul and replace most of the parts once it had covered 10,000 miles (currently 9540). This included the suspension forks, rear wheel and hubgear, handlebars, light, chainset, maybe the brake units too. An email was sent to Kettler GB to get prices. Would have cost over £500...more than the bike cost originally...You have to expect this: generally, private individuals will pay more to have a bike made up from new parts because you'll be paying the profit markup on each one.

OK, maybe get a bit more flexible - buy the parts piecemeal from a variety of sources over time, fitting them myself. These would have still cost over £200. Great project, really go town, labour of love etc.

On the other hand, I need a bike for daily use and whilst I love my new Gazelle, I prefer the Kettler for general utility as it's just a little bit more practical, especially during this summer when I intend to do a bit more long distance riding on days out etc. Not sure how long the overhaul would have taken or how much a bike shop would have charged, but it certainly would have taken longer and probably cost more.

So surfing for special offers, I found Kettler GB had an entry level Spirit city bike going for half price - £295 instead of £595; Result! Certainly the best option - it doesn't get any better than this for that price. A reputable German brand with lots of equipment ready made up (needed to fit the pedals) and I can ride it straight away. I can service the other one at my leisure.

I think Kettlers are one of the best kept secrets in the UK cycling world - you get so much for the money. Below, the photos show the various extras per my "what makes a town bike post?".

But also, I like the spontaneity of it - finding and treating yourself with an unplanned for bargain. Good service too: ordered it late Tuesday and it arrived on Friday.

Neat instruction manual in English and German. See the way the rider is dressed on the photo on the cover? Refreshing...
Manual comes with pages which your dealer is supposed to record the annual service on your bike over 10 years; the frame comes with a 10 year guarantee in Germany but 5 years in the UK.

I do like shifters with little windows telling you what gear it's in

With the manual comes 3 allen keys and a little plug for the hole in the stem where you can adjust it for height with the inset bolt. Not just the bike I like, but the thoughtful little extras too

Selle Royal (the people who own Brooks) saddle mounted on a sprung stem; pretty good, but might replace it with a Brooks.

Standard fitment throughout Europe, but pretty rare UK-side; a frame mounted wheel lock for short term parking outside shops and cafes (don't know how to type the accent (I think it's called) above the e). The bike seat stays have to be drilled and tapped for one of these to be attached; you cannot just attach one to any bike.

Rear rack - 18kg capacity, with spring clamp and provision on the left for the little pump that comes with the bike. Rear dynamo powered standlight stays on after the bike has stopped for several minutes as a safety feature when you're stationary.

Single kickstand - not the big stable thing on the Gazelle mind, so be careful... 

Dynamo powered headlamp, fenders, sorry mudguards and forks with shock absorber things; also V-brakes which are pretty powerful

Shimano Nexus 8 internal hub and chain guard. Look how clean that chain is - wonder if I can keep it that way?


  1. Hi Mark, how have you got on with the Kettler, any problems? They have another sale on at the moment and I am tempted. Many thanks

    1. Hi Gareth - sorry for the delay in replying, I only just saw this today!

      The Kettler's fine - one of the best things I've ever bought and a real bargain.

      There are 2 caveats though: check the hub adjustment - the 2 yellow lines should meet in 4th gear (easy enough to do) and the single leg kickstand is not the most stable - I plan to replace mine in the not too distant future with a double.

      Otherwise, 2500 miles or so on, a great buy.

      Kind regards


  2. I have another review of the Kettler Spirit

    Unfortunately they don't seem to be selling this any more in the UK.

  3. Hi Danny

    Thanks for the comment and mention in your blog. You are right - last time I looked, Kettler GB had discontinued all the Kettler bikes save for the new electric models.

  4. great read, i use bike discount for my bike bargains and its something you should blog about.