Top 5 independent bike shops

“Just collected my wheels back from Dead Rats Cycles.  The man is an artist.  Care and attention has been taken in restoring and repairing my bike to its original beauty.  In fact it rides better than when I bought it new!  5* finish.”  (BA, Manchester)

“Sterling work. Best service my ride has ever had.  It’s amazed me to notice the difference between a simple (lazy) clean by myself and a thorough dose of engineering nous and TLC.  The whole machine is better than new.”  (Lee A, Manchester)

“It’s here and it’s perfect.  The bike looks amazing and very well taken care of.  I am very happy with my purchase.  It’s been a pleasure.  And thank you very much for making it that easy.”  (DAA, Napton-on-the-Hill)

“Alex showed, in the set-up and servicing work he did for me and the discussions we had, that he has a genuine passion for bikes and takes a lot of pride in what he does.  He also has excellent knowledge without being cocky.  Bike shops can sometimes be off-putting as they can be home to bike snobs, even for somebody like me who’s been riding for years!  With Dead Rats Cycles there’s no unnecessary up-selling and Alex knows his stuff and takes pride in it.  I will absolutely be coming back and have recommended Dead Rats Cycles to others.”  (SS, Manchester)

“After picking up a reconditioned bike from Dead Rats Cycles and always receiving help and support, I decided there was only one place to go to get a new one built for me.  The combination of professionalism and friendly, unbiased advice is unique and much needed for people like me who want a fantastic custom bike.  Alex is a true professional who creates bespoke machines with unique character to suit the person who will be riding the bike.  I will definitely be coming back.”  (ST, Manchester)

“I came to Dead Rats Cycles through personal recommendations and have been impressed with the service ever since.  Alex has worked on all three of my bikes and as a result of his lovely service I recommend him to everyone!”  (JC, Manchester)

“First he did a service on a ’90s mountain bike then, from seeing what he was doing with regards to classics restoration, I decided to have him strip-down and rebuild my girlfriend’s classic Raleigh and he did a great job.  Dead Rats Cycles offer a no-nonsense approach, and give a number of options for the work.  The enthusiasm and positivity Alex has for his trade is refreshing and the resultant quality to which he works is excellent.  Recommended.”  (KR, Manchester)

“Word of mouth brought me to Dead Rats Cycles who then took my favourite bike and made it my perfect bike.  Alex stripped the bike, had it powdercoated then built it up again piece by piece. It’s the best looking bike I’ve ever seen.  Alex is trustworthy and does not take shortcuts, you just know your job will get done methodically and properly.  I’ve also bought a restored vintage bike from Alex and it’s the two wheeled equivalent of a Swiss watch.”  (Jon F, Manchester)

“I found what I was looking for on Dead Rats Cycles’ website – a beautifully restored vintage road bike frame.  The service is very different to a normal store as they don’t provide the personal touch or style.  Alex loves what he does and it shows in the detail.  Considering that our transaction was international, I was impressed with how comfortable Alex made me feel.  He was a pleasure to talk to and always had the info I needed.  It was was easier dealing with Dead Rats Cycles than most companies here in the USA.  Owning a business myself, it’s always a pleasure working with another master of his trade.”  (Charles K, Washington DC, USA)

“One of the reasons that I love cycling and bikes is that I have a passion for the environment.  The fact that Alex specialises in refurbishing old bikes and creating really nice custom rides really appealed to me. Initially I bought one of Alex’s custom bikes then he helped me source, restore and customise a bike for for a C2C adventure race across Scotland.  Dead Rats Cycles is different to the high street shops as Alex has real passion.  He won’t try and fob you off with whatever is in stock this month, instead he ensures that your ride is exactly what you want/need.”  (Simon W, Manchester)

“I asked Alex to build me a very lightweight bicycle starting with an alloy frame and carbon forks.  Alex listens to what you say and does exactly what you want – other bike shops in my area would not do that.  He did however offer some great technical input based on my requirements and his seemingly infinite knowledge.  He built the bicycle exactly as I wanted it and I definitely go back to Alex if I wanted to change my bike in the future.”  (CC, East Yorkshire)

“I met Alex when I needed help with my old bike and a friend recommended Dead Rats Cycles as a greener and more personal and specialist option than a normal bike shop.  I have sought his help a few times and, apart from the regular servicing, he’s replaced and fixed tyres, brakes and mudguards.  Every time I phoned for help Alex was very helpful and prompt and made it very easy for me.  After each repair, no matter how small and quick, he would always give the bike an all-round check and it’s the love he so evidently has for bikes which impressed me most. Dead Rats Cycles’ fees are not cheap but they are very fair and honest, Alex always finds ingenious ways to fix things and I always recommend him.  I have noticed that he has become an integral part of our local biking community.”  (BC, Manchester)

“I first got in touch with Dead Rats Cycles to ask about some bike repair work and a general service of my bike because Alex came very highly recommended by other people.  Essentially, the main difference between Dead Rats Cycles and high street bike shops is the professional and personal service.  The level of communication was great and I was always updated as to how things were progressing. I’ll definitely be going back – in fact, I’ve just booked in for some more maintenance work.  The only thing I would change about his service would be to make him less popular and therefore less busy, but I’d rather wait than go anywhere else!”  (RF, Manchester)

“Word of mouth recommendations brought me and my bike to Dead Rats Cycles and I enjoyed Alex’s personalised service, lack of up-selling and his unpatronising attitude.  Alex is efficient, affable and a great communicator.  I have since used Dead Rats Cycles on several occasions for a service and I wish Alex every success in the world.”  (Rich G, Manchester)

“Dead Rats Cycles came highly recommended to me.  After a few messages of useful information from Alex I realised he was a very valuable bike bible for me.  When I found a bike of my own to restore and customise I did not hesitate to go and see Alex for his invaluable advice and some much needed parts!  The parts and advice he supplied were perfect.  Alex’s knowledgeable, professional and personable approach make dealing with him a pleasure, and now I would not bother seeking advice nor parts elsewhere.”  (SB, Manchester)

“I came across Alex’s website and knew he was the one to bring my 30 year old road bike back up to match fitness.  His attention to detail, and commitment to restoring bicycles to their original shop bought condition, is second to none.  He gave my Peugeot road bike a full service and tune up, replaced freewheel with a period new/old Suntour, added a new period correct chain and bottle cages, and rebuilt the wheels replacing the rims whilst using the original hubs.  Needless to say, the bike feels and rides as good as the day I wheeled it out of Harry Hall’s in 1990.  Superb workmanship, and I can’t recommend him highly enough.”  (Steve C, Manchester)

“I came across Dead Rats Cycles via recommendation and Alex was a (bicycle) lifesaver!  I have a 1980s road/tourer that I only bought to get in and out of work on, but then totally fell for its Reynolds 531 frame – absolutely lovely to ride – putting my newer/pricier bike in the shade.  So I was devastated when the derailleur mashed into the back wheel – bent frame, locked wheel, broken spokes – all indications were that the bike had come to a sorry end.  But Alex assessed the damage and the best way to get the bike back on the road, plus he sorted out the rust, adjusted the gears and brakes and generally gave it a good overhaul.  His respect for/knowledge of vintage bikes is massive and the bike is still in great condition, covering a 70km ride like a dream a couple of weekends ago.”  (Cath B, Manchester)

“I came into contact with Dead Rats Cycles when searching for a frame for a fixed wheel build.  After a meeting with Alex to view frames he had renovated I decided to buy most of my components from Dead Rats Cycles and have him build the bike.  He demonstrated strong knowledge of specifics on each component and how I should expect it to perform, and I picked up some great maintenance tips along the way!  6 months of hard riding later and my bike is in great condition, it’s fast, robust, well balanced and has a great gear ratio which was Alex recommended!  I’ve been back to pick up accessories since and have had a great time, he’s a very personable guy who’s sharp and reliable for all things bicycle.”  (Sam C, Manchester)

“I came to Dead Rats Cycles as I’ve seen several examples of what true pieces of art and love Alex’s creations are.  He found a secondhand bike for me that was perfect in colour, price and size.  He then added personal touches and a year later even helped me sell it so I could upgrade to the custom Trek I own now (which Alex built of course).  Dead Rats Cycles always take care and show attention to each part of the bike, and are always on hand to give it a tweak here and there.  Alex uses his intuition to match a bike to the individual and takes his time to create a look, not just a functional bike. I know the bike will be in pristine condition, he’s a genius with the mechanics AND the aesthetics of a bike, and he’s a really nice chap!”  (Lydia D, Manchester)

3 thoughts on “Reviews”

  1. pedal_pushin_red_ed

    An Inspiration! The attention to detail and love for the bike is unsurpassed. An amateur bike builder myself, I am humbled by the expertise shown by Dead Rats and if ever I have an issue, need parts or assistance (quite often), they’re my first point of contact. Nothing ever seems to be too much trouble.
    If you’re serious about your bike and want it to last, you can’t go wrong here.
    Many Thanks

  2. Christian Campbell

    If you want a quirky, stylish and personalised bike to suit your budget, then have a word with Alex.

    He knows his stuff, is really knowledgeable & will help you out way beyond the call of duty.

    If you live in South Manchester then you will have almost certainly seen one of his builds & you will have looked twice, because they’re beauts. Just check out his Facebook group for a gallery of mint custom one-off bikes.

    Alex is the Stewart Lee of bike building. He builds bikers bikes. And he doesn’t look anything like a fat Morrissey, so, y’know, that’s good innit.

  3. I’ve always tried to do my own bike maintenance, with varying degrees of success. Only recently, after seeing some of his builds have I pestered Alex for maintenance work. Everything that needed doing was done to a high standard, and several months later I’m still rolling problem-free. Would recommend to anyone, no job too big or too small, and more knowledgable and experienced than most bike shop staff!!

    Cheers Alex :)

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