Bike stores in Toronto are scattered throughout the city. There's bound to be a spot near you that will suit your needs, whether you're looking to pick up a shiny new ride, get repairs done, order a custom build, or even stock up on all the latest and greatest accessories.
Here are my picks for the top bike stores in Toronto by neighbourhood.
Curbside is a haven for lovers of elegant city bikes. Though many of them have a distinctly Dutch feel, they carry everything from British Bromptons to Belgian Achielles to Toronto's own Simcoe. Their friendly staff will also sell you some quality hybrids, folders, a few cargo bikes, and tons of cute accessories to boot.
Enduro Sport is notable among the city's performance-oriented cycling specialists for catering to triathletes, offering road and tri bikes in addition to wetsuits, footwear and goggles.
The original Sweet Pete's store occupies a substantial 4,000 square foot space in Bloordale. It's a friendly, laid back spot, with hands-off service that won't intimidate non-experts and a ton of mid-range rides from Trek, Giant, Kona and Opus that work well for casual city riders.
Wheels of Bloor is one of the best high-end bikes shops in Toronto for road riders. It specializes in brands you'll see in the professional peloton - you know, Specialized, Pinarello and BMC. Just make sure to wipe the drool off your chin when passing through the showroom.
Cycle Solutions' original location carries a smattering of everything, including commuter bikes, road bikes, BMX and kids' bikes and carriers. On the whole, they tend to favour budget-friendly rides instead of the top-of-the-line stuff.
Gears has quite the history in the local bike scene, going back to a little shack-style shop on the Lake Shore that opened in 1988. You'll find some slick city bikes that'll achieve a healthy mix between comfort and speed. Prices start around $700 for a solid ride and go way up from there.
La Bicicletta is one of Toronto's most established high-end bike shops, having occupied its spot on Castlefield Avenue for over 15 years. The speciality here is road bikes, which make up the vast majority of its stock. They also carry exclusive cycling clothing lines and offer tuneups, fixes and adjustments.
Named for the vehicle that follows riders at the Tour De France and picks up stragglers, Broom Wagon Cyclery aims to service those who need a little help when it comes to cycling. There's a strong city bike focus, but also a few racers, hybrids, mountain bikes and kids' bikes mixed in.
The 11 Inc. is incredibly spacious. Large photos of famous climbs and mountain ranges from around the world line the walls. There's a lounge, a large stock of high-end road bikes and an in-store body scanner machine to accurately measure riders.
A favourite for cute city bikes and one-speeders (both fixed and with free wheels), Bikes on Wheels also has full repair shop in the back. The shop is adorned with a collection of branded apparel designed by Toronto-based illustrators Doublenaut, and features lots of colourful biking accessories.
Chain Reaction is known just as much for its indoor cycling studio (featuring bikes that measure your energy output in watts) as they are for their actual road-ready rides. However, they do a solid job of meeting locals' cycling needs with a strong selection of road bikes and products for kids.
Whether you're in need of a tune-up, new bike parts, expert advice or custom pieces, there is no task that Dream Cyclery can't seem to handle. It offers a unique delivery and pick-up service and sells a thorough selection of bike parts and pieces by a variety of brands. This shop is for the technical rider at heart.
Riders Cycle and Board is a friendly neighbourhood bike store. Owners Jeff Ubalde and Valentine Tomlinson know many of their customers by name, and you can regularly see them waving at riders passing by. The focus is squarely on city riders, so the stock ranges from slick fixies/single-speeds to upright commuter bikes.
Espresso Cycles provides bikes, equipment and repairs for this cozy, family-oriented neighbourhood. It also has an espresso machine if you need a boost. It's a more affordable option than the high-end bike shops on Bloor with Fuji, Breezer, and SE Bikes in the $500-$600 range.
MEC has really beefed up not only its back-room bike shop, but its cycling section as well. It carries an impressive line of mountain bikes, road bikes, commuter bikes and and kids' bikes, as well as an extensive collection of locks, lights and technical clothing.
Liberty Village Cyclery offers speedy, friendly repairs, a custom-built ride and accessories for your daily commute. You won't find too many floor models for perusing, but feel free to hang out at the bar near the repair area while you wait.
Urbane Cyclist is right on the College street bike lane and is one of the city's most established bike shops. It sells brands such as Brodie, Tern, Yuba, All City, Salsa, and of course, its very own Urbanite models. It's got a wide selection of biking accessories too.
The vibe is super low-key, non-judgmental and welcoming at Silent Sports. A quarter of the store is dedicated to other sports, but its specialty is in mountain bikes and performance hybrids. The huge store tries to carry a lot Canadian gear and apparel.
Duke's is a 5,000 square foot store, set over two floors with a separate women's section. Brand-wise, the store features a wide variety of big-name manufacturers, ranging in price from $500 and going up to $10,000-plus.
Switchback Cyclery has style to spare, thanks to its roster of glossy city bikes from Linus, Devinci, Fuji and others. But there's a lot of heart behind all those city bikesl the shop is run by the Toronto Enterprise Fund, which helps those struggling with the job hunt to find positions.
Blacksmith Cycle specializes in race-ready Italian road bikes, and sets itself apart through a vast array of customization options. It also ensures a tailor-made fit thanks to its use of the Juteau-Cantin fit system, and will help you lock in the perfect fit on your existing ride, for a fee.
If you're looking for a top-flight mountain or road bike, head to D'Ornellas in Scarborough. Former racer Eon D'Ornellas' shop stocks higher-end models (read: four figures and up) from Scott and Specialized, and offers fit and repair services to match.
Giant Bicycles is dominated by mega-manufacturer models, available in every conceivable style, shape, colour and price point. Fittingly for such a big company, technology permeates the shopping experience, from the profiling matrix that helps you pick the perfect bike to the high-tech Bike Fit Studio.
In addition to a range of Trek-branded bikes and accessories, the Trek Bicycle Store offers plenty of extra perks to shoppers: complimentary fittings, a price-match guarantee, and a free two-year tune-up plan.
by Phil Villeneuve via blogTO