The good news: In New York, there are quality bike shops all over the place, you just have to know where to look—and which one is right for you. “Bike shops exist for a reason,” says NYC Velo owner Andrew Crooks, “to have knowledgeable people answer your questions.”
So whether your primary concern is maximum speed for triathlon training, durability for daily bridge crossings, or the color and design of your super cute helmet, there’s a spot where getting a bike fitted, a tire replaced, or a new lock or light, will be a fun part of calling yourself a cyclist, not a scary ordeal.
To help, we found nine top New York City bike shops (listed in no particular order) for every kind of cyclist. —Lisa Elaine Held
(Photo: Adeline Adeline)
For social cyclists who like advice
Owner Andrew Crooks says he created NYC Velo to be a shop “for cyclists by cyclists.” So, instead of an encyclopedic collection of brands, you’ll find a curated selection of quality bikes and accessories made for riding in New York. All employees are bike experts and experienced city riders who are trained to answer your questions, and the shop holds group rides from its locations in the East Village and at Gotham West Market in Hell’s Kitchen. (Plus, if you stop by the one at Gotham West, you can grab some baby artichokes and steamed clams from chef-cyclist Seamus Mullen’s El Colmado while your bike’s getting serviced.)
64 Second Ave., between 3rd and 4th Sts., East Village, and 600 Eleventh Ave., between 44th and 45th Sts., Hell’s Kitchen, www.nycvelo.com
(Photo: NYC Velo)
For stylish Manhattan gals who pedal for pleasure
You’ll find a fashion vibe in place of racing gear at this chic boutique filled with pretty bikes in classic designs, a concept founder Julie Hirschfeld says was based on “beautiful European city bikes that women ride in Copenhagen.” Think cool color combinations, comfy seats, and big baskets, and the store stocks a wide selection of equally stylish (but pricey) bags and accessories (for kids, too).
147 Reade St., Tribeca, www.adelineadeline.com
(Photo: Adeline Adeline)
For cycling community advocates
This “neighborhood shop” that opened in 1978 now has three locations, in Soho, Chelsea, and Park Slope. With roots in bike advocacy, Bicycle Habitat operates as not just a store but as a community center, with a packed calendar of classes on everything from learning to ride to intensive bike repair and tons of community rides. It also has a huge selection in store and online. And when you buy a bike, you get free brake and gear adjustments for life.
Locations in Soho, Chelsea, and Park Slope, www.bicyclehabitat.com
(Photo: Bicycle Habitat)
For luxury lovers
Detroit-based Shinola makes high-end luxury lifestyle goods like watches, leather goods, and, yes, bicycles. Its first New York City store opened just last year and is a chic destination that stocks all of the above, including bikes so gorgeous (and expensive) you may be tempted to find a second job (or a richer boyfriend) to get one. Maybe with a matching timepiece?
177 Franklin St., between Hudson and Greenwich Sts., Tribeca, www.shinola.com
(Photo: Shinola Tribeca)
For the indecisive shopper or bike history buff
Sid’s started as an auto parts store over 40 years in Inwood, with a tiny selection of bikes on the side. As more New Yorkers began cycling to work, it transitioned its business to bikes. And after a few moves around the city, Sid’s landed in Chelsea, where it’s now one of the largest bike shops in New York (it says it’s the largest, but that’s a fact that’s pretty hard to verify). Either way, the size means there’s a huge selection of road, mountain, and commuter bikes and accessories to choose from, and a friendly staff is on hand to help.
151 W. 19th St., at Seventh Ave., Chelsea, www.sidsbikes.com
(Photo: Sid’s Bikes)
For Brooklyn bikers
Ride Brooklyn opened as a “friendly neighborhood bike shop” in Park Slope in 2009 and expanded to the Williamsburg waterfront (ideal cyclist location??) in 2012. The store stocks a variety of brands and styles, including road, hybrid, cruisers, and more, and has a full repair shop, computerized fittings, and a computraining studio for cold winter days. It also supports the local Brooklyn riding community, as a sponsor of Brooklyn Tri Club, Williamsburg’s Brooklyn Bike Park, and more.
468 Bergen St., at Flatbush Ave., Park Slope, and 50 N. 7th St., at Kent Ave, Williamsburg, www.ridebrooklynnyc.com
(Photo: Ride Brooklyn)
For a quick fix or the DIY cyclist
This small Lower East Side shop is super tiny and “cozy,” (it’s the LES, after all), but its known for its skilled mechanics, so if you need intensive repairs or a fix in a pinch, it’s probably a safe bet to bring your wheels its way. It also stocks lots of hard-to-find parts if you’re looking to build or fix your own bike.
106 Ridge St., at Rivington, Lower East Side, www.bikecult.com/works
For serious cyclists and triathletes
Opened in 1967, Toga (with its sister-store, Gotham) says it’s the oldest bike shop in the city, so they’ve got some experienced pros on staff. In addition to bikes and lots of high-tech accessories, it also has a huge bicycle clothing department (yay, crotch padding!) and a triathlon-specific department for the growing number of New Yorkers taking up the sport.
110 West End Ave., between 64th and 65th St., and 101 Reade St., between Church and W. Broadway, Tribeca, www.togabikes.com
(Photo: Toga Bike Shop)
For Queens riders
This old-school corner shop on a quiet avenue in Astoria has lots of bikes—from BMX to road to cruiser—and a staff that’s skilled at repairs. It also offers an outside hose for free air when you’re on the go, free seat bags with any bike purchase, and a website filled with useful cycling info, like lingo, how to wash your bike, and stretching before you ride.
37-19 28th Ave., at 38th St., Astoria, www.bikestopastoria.com
(Photo: Bike Stop)