How come you are so much cheaper than my local shop?
We are amazed at the prices we hear about from customers.
It seems that as tyres are often purchased because you need a tyre right now,
it is an easy target for profiteering.
You are so much cheaper than US web sites, there must be a catch?
What about taxes and customs?
No catch! US importers are rich people- They are buying from the same European sources
as us but whereas we just charge a modest profit and the bare carriage costs,
they think they can get away with any price as Europe is so far away.
If you live outside the EU then no tax will be charged- Customs are not paid by us but,
in the case of tyres at least, customs fees are zero in our experience.
How long will I wait for my kit?
For the US the average delivery using Airmail is about a 5 days.
For European destinations those figures are down to about 3 days.
In the UK first class post usually manages delivery the next day.
If the order arrives in time for us to pack it before our post is collected then it goes same day.
Orders placed after early afternoon Friday are going to sit until Monday morning though.
What if what I order has a fault?
If your purchase has a fault we will send out a replacement as long as you agree to send
the faulty item back. For regular customers we will even send it out without waiting for
the faulty one to come back, but thats not part of our terms & conds. and is at our disgression.
Why not take a look at our conditions of use page?
I do not know what tyre I need, can I ask for advice?
We are very keen to help you select the right tyre.
Your email contact, Steve Howells, has been racing and riding for 25 years and has
always taken a keen interest in tyre technology.
He will happily bore you on the subject if given the chance!
Who are sdeals?
Our cycle business was officially started in 1993 when father and son, John and Stephen Howells
stopped turning up for work at 9am and started 'Square Deals on Wheels'.
John had been building wheels for professionals and amateurs for decades and retained a considerable
stock of parts for teammates and friends. The decision was taken to try to run a shop from home without a
traditional shop front. This was to avoid overheads and save time commuting to a shop. We had seen
friends sit in a shop all day and even tried to buy race equipment from them on a Saturday afternoon,
only to find they had gone home. Our concept was to be constantly available- Even on a Sunday if we
weren't out for a passing club run to get emergency help. Regularly in those days the top local riders
passed on their rides for a quick mug of tea, a chat and a bike tweak. Both of us have raced throughout
our adult life and won scores of races up to national level. In those early days we would take equipment
to every race and hand out price sheets. Often our car was full to the brim with wheels for repair for the
following week. It was a hectic time but fulfilling!
We built a shop in our garden but it soon overfilled and we then had a bigger shop built with the old
'shed' becoming a store room for our considerable spares stock.
Our relationship with the trade was not good. Most importers tried to black ball us because of our lack of
a shop front and, worse, our low prices. We dealt with certain companies who realised the market was
opening and this process is still ongoing. As time passed we were finding many of our supply problems
were caused by importers not being honest or accurate and so we contacted all manufacturers we sold
the products of, for a direct deal. Most said 'no' and we accepted this as they had a strong importer in the
UK already and quite properly they didn't want to undermine them. Of course in the real world where our
blossoming internet sales dwarfed our direct sales (In 2000) the country boundary issue was just a
throw-back. It is one we continue to fight against with only limited success. Manufacturers like to pretend
they want to protect customers whereas in reality they want a safe representative in each country who
will do the advertising and handle returns. We do this better than anybody but actually the manufacturers
prefer not to see returns at all. We return faulty goods as a principle so they can correct the production
although there is no encouragement to do this.
By the turn of the century we had abandoned taking kit to races. It was too much work and a very few
riders took kit without paying. Throughout the history of sdeals we have been amazed at cyclist's
honesty. It makes the few exceptions especially bitter to remember. Generally the further the customer is
from the UK the more polite and honest they are! Cultural differences are involved but it has certainly
helped us as we have been global for over a decade and well before the big players moved in.
In recent years Steve has moved abroad and now only handles the internet side of things. He races in
Italy as often as he can where sales have increased as the riders realise they cannot buy such light kit at
fair prices from domestic shops. John is now over 70 and even talks about retirement. This would finally
allow him to concentrate on racing and see what he can really achieve without packing parcels all day.
Until then the business goes on. We are painfully honest, unbelieveably experienced, over qualified and
totally modest as you can perhaps detect!
We hope to see you on the road or on our site but preferably both. Either way, ride safe.