Welcome to Rat Race Cycles


Rat Race Cycles is a bike shop and workshop in Nunhead, South East London.

We offer bicycle repairs and servicing as well as bike, parts and accessories sales.  We also hand build quality wheels and custom bikes.

The owner, Pete, is a Cytech 3 mechanic and a qualified CycleFit bike fitter, and is therefore able to tailor each and every aspect of the bike to you from the ground up, whatever your cycling discipline.  This helps you to find the best bike set up to suit your body and your riding style, and can help you avoid injury or pain in your hips, knees, legs, and back as well other joints including your shoulders and wrists.

Find out more about who we are, take a look at what we do, have a look at our price list, and be sure to check back here for updates on what’s going on in Nunhead, and in the wider world of cycling!

It’s time for a clear out!

French shops call it “destockage”. If we had a warehouse we’d call it a warehouse clearance, but we’re not that big a shop, yet. But we seem to have accumulated a lot of bike parts and accessories that are taking up space in the back room of our little shop. We’ve now been open nearly three years in Nunhead (and Pete was running a mobile workshop for a few years before that) and we’ve recently taken on another mechanic, Dan, to keep up with demand, so space is definitely at a premium.

So everything must go! Everything in the sale, that is. But there’s a lot to sell… some of it is new stock that hasn’t sold (including helmets, lights, cycling shoes and a 54cm full carbon 105-equipped bike for £500), plenty of it is used but still very useful parts and accessories (handlebars, hubs, levers, derailleurs, lots of current and retro bits left over after upgrades) and there’s at least one box of “keep that, it may be useful for spare parts” you’re welcome to rummage through.

But we need to make space so it’s all got to go, so it’s very reduced in price and we’ll consider any offers. It’s on for one day only, Saturday 15th August, from 9am, in front of our shop at 118 Evelina Road, Nunhead, SE15 3HL.

EDIT: we’ve had quite a few messages along the lines of “oh no, I’ll be on holiday!” so there’s a slight change of plans – we’re going to have two sales! One this Saturday, for the morning only, then another on a Saturday in September when everyone’s back in town. But it’s still worth nipping down this Saturday to see if you can grab a bargain!

Exciting news!

You’ve probably heard us banging on about the benefits of hand-built wheels at some point. It might be that our enthusiasm is contagious (or we might be on to something!) but orders for Pete’s bespoke wheels have been on the up for a while. Until now, we have been running wheel orders through the shop, but that is becoming a bit unwieldy. Plus, with enquiries coming in from all over the place, we wanted to make the options available to riders much clearer and easier to understand, and bring the joys of hand-built to a wider (national?!) audience. To this end, we are thrilled to announce the launch of The Wheelist.

With the recent expansion of our fantastic staff at Rat Race, Pete will be able to devote more of his time to speccing and building bespoke wheels. The Wheelist will continue to produce the high-quality, tailored wheels for which Pete is fast gaining an excellent reputation, with the addition of a dedicated website (soon to include onlines sales and ordering). Through The Wheelist, you will be able to choose from our “set menu” of hand-built wheels or work with Pete to design your own. All wheels can be collected from Rat Race Cycles or delivered to your door.

In time, we hope to develop and launch our own, branded, rims and wheel builds, but in the mean time we will continue to source the highest quality and best value components for each build. By de-mystifying the process and making hand-built wheels competitively priced and convenient, we hope to give more people the chance to enjoy riding bespoke.

Fit Fridays: (Russian) Twistin’ the night away

So, it’s Friday 13th. Unlucky for some. But not for you, because you’re here, and today we’re going to tackle one of the big boys of core strength. Again at the request of Pierre, I give you the ‘françoise’ also known as the Russian twist.  Disclaimer: the weather has forced us inside for our photos this week.  Please excuse the unfinished floor and the somewhat gonzo childproofing (that’s what the bamboo stick in our drawer handles is for!).  Anyway!  Russian twists.  Let’s do this… Continue reading

Fit Fridays 10: Roll up, roll up!

Unfortunately, illness has struck the Rat House this week and P and I have both been laid low with what felt like creeping death, but I’m assured was just a combination of ‘a bit of a bug’ and general knackeredness (definitely a word). January has been a surprisingly busy month (thank you!) and it seems to have blindsided us a bit.

To this end, while I’m sure you’re beyond thrilled that the ramblings are back, I’m afraid you’ll have to forgive the lack of photos to support what I’m saying. On photo-taking day, Pete couldn’t get out of bed, and I was too achy to touch my toes. Plus, Monty’s yet to master good spinal flexion*, so we were somewhat scuppered.

Do follow along though, and hopefully the descriptions will be enough on this one.

This week we’re going to cover P’s favourite stretch – a basic roll down. As well as keeping your spine mobilised and improving flexibility and balance, you will also find this to be a great stretch for your back muscles, particularly your lats and multifidis, your glutes, and your hamstrings. Winner. Continue reading

Do we want parking restrictions on Evelina Road?

(Fit Fridays has taken a temporary break while Teg’s been very busy with bridesmaid duties – it will return this week!)

In the last couple of weeks we’ve had a letter from Southwark Council, and notices have been posted on lamp-posts: on Evelina Road, as well as on several other busy shopping streets in the borough (like Lordship Lane in East Dulwich), Southwark are proposing extending the free parking time from 30 minutes to one hour.

This sounds like a good idea – it’s designed to encourage more people to “shop local” and spend longer doing so, a principle we definitely support. But is it needed on Evelina Road?
Continue reading