What precautions are you taking to protect customers against coronavirus?
We're taking the ongoing coronavirus pandemic extremely seriously, for our safety as well as yours. Measures taken include:
All work undertaken at a distance and we ask that you too adhere to physical distancing measures
Contactless card payment via our iZettle card-reader from Paypal - no cash payments
Where we have to be in close proximity to you for any period of time we wear a protective SSP2 mask and ask that you too wear a suitable face-covering
Cleaning and disinfection of all touch-points on your bike both before starting work and before we hand it back to you
Use of anti-viral cleaning agents on both your bike, our tools and our contactless card-payment machine for your safety
Additional precautions may be taken as and when needed and as we continue to monitor local case-numbers and infection rates
Do you accept UK Government 'Fix Your Bike' vouchers, and how do these work?
UPDATE: The last date for allocating your voucher to a Registered Repairer was 9th Jun 2021 - any vouchers not allocated by that date are considered expired.
Velo Square is a registered repairer under the UK Department for Transport's 'Fix Your Bike Scheme', as administered by the Energy Saving Trust.
Vouchers are issued by the Energy Saving Trust and full terms & conditions for the Scheme and the online voucher application portal can be found at: Fix Your Bike Scheme application portal
Some important information about the Scheme:
Vouchers cover up to £50 worth of work and parts but there may be additional costs involved for making your bike usable and road-safe. Any costs beyond the £50 value of the voucher must be paid directly to us upon completion of the work. You must also provide us with your voucher details and we will take a photograph of your bike that will be submitted to the Scheme's online Repairer Portal when we redeem your voucher. We will give a clear indication of costs when quoting for the work.
You must specify the bike you wish to have worked on when applying for your voucher. Vouchers are issued against that specific bike and may not be redeemed against work on any other bike.
IMPORTANT: We can only undertake work on the specific bike that your voucher was issued against. Under the terms of the scheme, when we apply to redeem your voucher and be paid for our work we must provide photographic evidence that the bike we worked on matches that registered when your voucher was issued. Failure to do this will result in us not being pad for our work so please do not ask us to accept a voucher as payment for work on a different bike.
Why work from a bike and not a van?
When setting up Velo Square we were determined to break the 'man in a van' cliche of conventional mobile bicycle technicians. Working from a cargo bike offers huge flexibility in terms of locations that work can be undertaken. For example, you can't exactly drive a long-wheelbase van into your back garden or workplace reception area, can you? The smaller footprint means finding space at your home or work address is much less challenging and far more discreet. And, to top it all off, it means Pete gets to ride his bike more than he might otherwise. Win win win... or something like that.
Being pedal-powered also means there's a limit to how many services we can complete in a day, and that in turn means we don't feel the same same pressure to plow through as much work in a day as possible. This means we can spend more time working on your bike than other mobile maintainers might be able to, and that includes dealing with the little items that other maintainers often have to leave because of time pressure.
Being able to work in this way and having the time to get things just right - rather than 'just good enough' - is what sets Velo Square apart, and the benefit to you and your bike is significant.
Do you offer a collection and drop-off service?
Velo Square is a mobile service and completes 95% of work at your home or work address.
We may occasionally need to take your bike away for certain types of work but we will advise you of this in advance. Please note that we do not accept drop-offs or collections by customers other than in exceptional circumstances and by prior agreement.
Do you accept payment in cash?
No, with regret we are unable to accept payment by cash.
Instead, for your safety and security we take card payments via our iZettle contactless card-reader upon completion of all work.
What's the best way to clean my bike before a service?
A clean bike is a happy bike...
... and cleaning your bike is really pretty simple. You don't need lots of specialist products either, though we are admittedly big fans of Green Oil and Fenwick's products. And, while some specialist products definitely make things easier, you can clean your bike effectively in just a few minutes with just a few common household items.
Give your entire bike from below the saddle and handlebars (keep those dry if you can) a gentle spray with a hose on low pressure, or even a watering can. Don't use a pressure washer and definitely don't direct high pressure water into major bearings like headset or bottom bracket. They don't like it!
Then, with a bucket of warm soapy water and a a soft washing up brush or sponge - and avoiding disc brakes and the oily bits (chain, sprockets and chainrings) - give it a gentle scrub and make sure you agitate any dried-on dirt and debris
Then, using the same brush or sponge, with more soapy water give the front and rear derailleurs a scrub and try to dislodge any dirt from them, particularly around the jockey wheels (two small cogs) on your rear derailleur. run the chain backwards to help get as much dirt as possible off each side of those little wheels
Next, using your watering can or hosepipe, rinse it all off thoroughly with LOTS AND LOTS of clean cold water (again avoiding the saddle and handlebars)
Leave it to drip-dry for five minutes and then wipe it dry with a rag; old t-shirts are great but make sure you don't use anything you'll miss as from this point it's in for a life of grime!
Fold another dry rag a few times into a pad and with your left hand, use the wadded rag to grip the chain between the rear-derailleur and the chainset. Then, use your right hand to rotate the pedals slowly backwards, dragging the chain backwards through the wadded rag in your left hand. Be sure not to let the rag get dragged into the derailleur jockey wheels. Keep rotating the pedals backwards until the rag has a thick black oily stripe across it. Then refold the rag to offer another cleanish area and repeat. Keep repeating until you've removed as much oil from the chain as possible.
If doing this the day before or the same day as your service then that's it, you're done. Congrats!
If there's more than a day yet before your appointment then you'll need to apply some chain oil to your chain in order to prevent any corrosion. Apply a single drop (just the one!) of Green Oil chain lube to each and every roller of your chain (rollers are the shiny polo-shaped bits between the outer plates) and then backpedal the chain for 40-50 rotations to work the oil into each roller. If your chain has a 'quicklink' or 'master link' use this to spot when the chain has completed a rotation and every link has been oiled. Then - and this is important - remove any excess oil by taking another cleanish part of your wadded rag, gripping the chain in the rag in your left while back-pedalling with your right hand for 20-30 turns. This will still leave a dirty stripe but it shouldn't be quite as bad as before you started.
And that's it: a nice clean bike that's easier for us to work on and that we don't have to clean before we can get started.
We'd recommend spending just a few pounds on some good quality bike cleaning products (such as those from Green Oil or Fenwick's) so that when we've serviced your bike you can keep it in good running order for longer. Ask about this at your service appointment and we'll recommend some suitable products.
How long will my service take?
Time taken will vary subject to the service level and other service items you've chosen
Each service-level is allocated a specific amount of time that allows for the most common tasks we think are likely. Services may occasionally take slightly less time or slightly more. Where we believe your service may take longer than anticipated we'll advise you of this immediately.
Should we discover significant issues or unexpected problems with your service then we may need to charge an additional fee to cover the time and any materials. Again, we will advise you of this immediately and will not begin any additional work without your agreement.
Proper bike maintenance and repair is detailed, often fiddly and time consuming work. Something that may not look overly complicated may still take time to do correctly and we'll never rush the job just to save time.
Will you fit parts supplied by customers or will you fit used parts?
We will, by prior negotiation, fit new parts supplied by you but we can accept no responsibility for incompatibility or other related issues, nor can we accept responsibility for any defects or subsequent related problems caused by those defects. If you wish to source parts yourself we are always happy to advise on suitable choices.
We will never supply used parts for use on your bike. However, we can, by prior agreement, fit used parts that you supply, subject to you signing a waiver that indemnifies us against any failure of those parts and consequential injury or losses resulting. We have to go 'belt & braces' on this matter as there are very few insurers who will cover a business that supplies and fits used parts!
Where can you work on my bike and how much space do you need?
We carry out 95% of our work at your home or work address and the beauty of working from a cargo bike is that we don't need a lot of space to do it.
We need a clear, relatively flat and dry area of around 2.5 to 3 metres square which must be yours to use (not on a public highway, footpath or other right of way) and accessible without entering your home. We can work on your driveway, patio or even your lawn if the surface is firm and reasonably level. In poor weather we can even work in your garage, but you must not be in that space at the same time as us. Alternatively, we'll bring a portable shelter with us that sets up quickly on your driveway and packs away when we're done.