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  1. #1
    Senior Member Jeffbeerman2's Avatar
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    Commuter Bike Shops

    There are no Commuter bike shops where I live (Wichita KS). I'll define commuter shop as a place where there are a lot of commuter, fixed, and city bikes in stock for riding and trying. I spend most of my bike dollars at shops like Peter White, Harris, and Wallingford. I bought my frame with no opportunity to actually ride it as a result. Most of my gear was a jpg before I bought it, I seldom get to actually "see" or try out gear before buying.

    Occasionally I travel, especially regionally. It would be cool if I could refer to this thread and find out if there are great commuter bike shops in the city I'm visiting. If you know the area, include directions from a main highway for travelers.

    Personally, I'd like to know about any shops in KC, Tulsa, Lawrence, and OKC; but anywhere in the world is fine.

    Post reviews and links to local bike shops that actually stock great commuter/touring gear and bikes. What do they stock? What makes it a great commuter shop?
    Last edited by Jeffbeerman2; 02-23-08 at 11:47 AM.

  2. #2
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    I would think that any college town would have a bike shop with a number of appropriate bikes. REI stocks a few, some already decked out with fenders, lights, and racks (but I note that they don't have any locations in KS or OK). Got no clue about fixed-gear bikes.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Jeffbeerman2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by savethekudzu View Post
    I would think that any college town would have a bike shop with a number of appropriate bikes. REI stocks a few, some already decked out with fenders, lights, and racks (but I note that they don't have any locations in KS or OK). Got no clue about fixed-gear bikes.
    I agree that any college town would have a good bike shop. Any college town also has three other shops that only stock spandex-roadie bikes, Mountain bikes, and bad $400 "comfort" bikes. I'm trying to filter out the noise of the generic trek dealers. I want to find specific shops that have a good selection on the floor for test rides without visiting a bunch of shops that look like the three dealers in my town. My local dealers are glad to order a bike for me, and may even be able to provide a photograph, but that's it.

  4. #4
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffbeerman2 View Post
    I agree that any college town would have a good bike shop. Any college town also has three other shops that only stock spandex-roadie bikes, Mountain bikes, and bad $400 "comfort" bikes. I'm trying to filter out the noise of the generic trek dealers. I want to find specific shops that have a good selection on the floor for test rides without visiting a bunch of shops that look like the three dealers in my town. My local dealers are glad to order a bike for me, and may even be able to provide a photograph, but that's it.
    I think that is going to be norm, unless you hit somewhere like Portland, OR or Minneapolis/St Pauls, MN. I have little to no luck and I travel the southern portion of the eastern seaboard. I had to order my Redline 9.2.5 sight unseen. I am happy with it...but it would have been nice to touch and feel prior to ordering. I would love to see and try a KHS Green, but have yet to find a shop with one in stock, much less pricing on it. One reason I buy used and vintage stuff, I can have hands on, and if something doesn't work out the money spent is not that great.

    Aaron
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  5. #5
    POWERCRANK addict markhr's Avatar
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    there are already multiple threads on exactly this topic including LBS recommendations

    http://www.bikeforums.net/search.php?
    shameless POWERCRANK plug
    Recommended reading for all cyclists - Cyclecraft - Effective Cycling
    Condor Cycles - quite possibly the best bike shop in London
    Don't run red lights, wear a helmet, use hand signals, get some cycle lights(front and rear) and, FFS, don't run red lights!

  6. #6
    Senior Member Jeffbeerman2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markhr View Post
    there are already multiple threads on exactly this topic including LBS recommendations

    http://www.bikeforums.net/search.php?
    No. When it works, that tool is nearly useless. I tried it and either got no results or so many it was not worth sorting through. If you found such a thread using that search tool, more power to ya.

    Using site-search from google (which searches all of bikeforums.net, rather than just the commuter forum) I only found a handful of threads and none were about commuter specific shops and where to find them.

    Thank you for your useful contribution though.

  7. #7
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Come north to Edmonton Alberta and you will find that for a city of 1 million we have a good number of well established bike shops and a very active cycling community.

    Until now there has not been a shop that really focuses on satisfying the complete needs of commuters and I think that the shop that does will be very successful as the number of people cyclo-commuting has really been increasing.

    The Edmonton Bicycle Commuter's Society has been a strong force for cycling here for nearly 28 years and I do not think we have ever enjoyed a bigger membership, seen more participation in events, or been as busy as we have been in our shop.

    If you happen to be in the neighbourhood stop by the shop and the coffee and lube will be on me.


  8. #8
    POWERCRANK addict markhr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffbeerman2 View Post
    ...Thank you for your useful contribution though...
    check my sig
    shameless POWERCRANK plug
    Recommended reading for all cyclists - Cyclecraft - Effective Cycling
    Condor Cycles - quite possibly the best bike shop in London
    Don't run red lights, wear a helmet, use hand signals, get some cycle lights(front and rear) and, FFS, don't run red lights!

  9. #9
    That's disgusting! darkfinger's Avatar
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    If you`re ever in Winnipeg Manitoba, Olympia Cycle & Ski has a great selection of commuter bikes.
    "When I see someone commuting in a downpour on a touring bike with a pie plate and no fenders it makes me want to weep." - Bikesnobnyc

  10. #10
    Senior Member BengeBoy's Avatar
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    There are at least a dozen bike shops worth visiting in Seattle, but this very small one in the Fremont neighborhood is particularly focused on the needs of commuters:

    http://www.freerangecycles.com/index.shtml

  11. #11
    nashcommguy
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    The momentum for cycle-commuting is building, though very slowly. Most shops are STILL roadie, 'extreme sport', or competition driven. The mentality of the bike shop owner has to change. I can't count the number of times I've been 'snubbed' in an lbs because they figure out very quickly I'm a DIY guy/commuter and move on to a much easier mark.

    My hope is that there is no 'high water mark' w/a receding number of cycle-commuters after that. Like 'disco' and/or 'line dancing'. A fashion trend that may go out of vogue. I hope not, but why do you think there's all those 70s roadbikes w/suicide brake levers in thrift stores for 10 bucks? All those college kids grew up and hung them in their garages well out of the way of their SUVs. Gas wasn't 3.00 per gallon in those days though. So, all these suburban developments came into existance because of the culture of the automobile. If the demand grows you'll see more and more shops become 'newbie friendly' which is NOT the case now.

    That's why the 'Mellow Johnny's' venture is so important. It's taking the 'high visibility' of the best known cyclist in the world and using that celebrity to call attention to a much needed change in the mentality of 'Urban Planners'. Factoring in bicycle specific or MUP routes w/o conflicting w/auto roadways is going to have to be done. The crush of urban traffic scares the crap out of most people who would ride if there was a safe, auto-free route to their destination. Sorry, I went on a bit of a rant, but I don't think you're going to find a 'commuter friendly' lbs anywhere. The commuter stuff is going to be back behind the 'big ticket' items and there wont be much of a selection.

    In Nashville, TN there are 3 bike shops within 2 blocks of one another: Cumberland Transit, Nashville Bicycle Co. and The Bike Pedlar. None of them are 'commuter friendly'. The saving grace may be that the owner of Cumberland Transit is reputed to be a 'friend' of Lance Armstrong and the success of the Mellow Johnny's venture may shake them out of the 'bike snob' mentality.

    But, like other posters have said, maybe Portland, Minneapolis in the States and the mentioned cities in Canada. I agree w/you. I buy most of my stuff online because the stores have the stuff I want in stock and I'm not made to feel like an 'inferior being' because I want an NR Trailrat instead of a $500.00 L&M rig.

  12. #12
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    Im in search of a good LBS. The one near my house caters for the rich...they never have any used bikes in stock, everything they sell is extremely expensive and when i walk inside the first thing they want to do is sell me something.... Are we allowed to mention bike shop names? Heck, i'll do it and the mod. can delete this thread if its wrong. Gears Bike Shop in Mississauga....just an expensive place to get your biked looked at. The problem however is that there aren't many LBS in my area (the suburbs). Today I took in my old beater in, but I went to a shop in the downtown core. It took almost 30 minutes to get in by car and the same time if not a bit more to get back to the suburbs. Finding a good reliable shop near your house is important!!!

  13. #13
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    If you find yourself in the Dallas area, you absolutely have to go to Richardson Bike Mart, the original one, in Richardson, is is in an old supermarket building, it is huge, it is awesome, it is mecca.
    Remember, a scientific theory is supported by evidence. Faith is supported by myths.

  14. #14
    J3L 2404 gbcb's Avatar
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    This one's pretty obvious for anyone in Toronto, but The Urbane Cyclist is a fantastic commuter LBS. There are other bike shops in Toronto with commuter and utility rigs, but none (that I know of) has the single-minded focus of Urbane.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbcb View Post
    This one's pretty obvious for anyone in Toronto, but The Urbane Cyclist is a fantastic commuter LBS. There are other bike shops in Toronto with commuter and utility rigs, but none (that I know of) has the single-minded focus of Urbane.
    I actually visited them today and they look pretty cool. I dropped off my rig to be picked up for Monday. It's just kind of a pain for me to get there, since i'm from Mississauga.

  16. #16
    nashcommguy
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbcb View Post
    This one's pretty obvious for anyone in Toronto, but The Urbane Cyclist is a fantastic commuter LBS. There are other bike shops in Toronto with commuter and utility rigs, but none (that I know of) has the single-minded focus of Urbane.
    Went to the website: Wow! That's the way it should be done. Worker's co-operative. Alternative affordable transportation. Service w/t yearround cyclist in mind. Impressive, very impressive.

  17. #17
    Senior Member MrCjolsen's Avatar
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    I think there's a commuter bike shop in every city. It's called Craigslist.

  18. #18
    Got Scotch? goalieMN's Avatar
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    The Hub in Minneapolis:

    http://thehubbikecoop.org/index.cfm

    They were very helpful getting me set up with a Bianchi San Jose for my winter commute to work.

  19. #19
    aspiring Old Wart Sluggo's Avatar
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    For those of you in this general area, you might look into Tennessee Valley Bicycles in Knoxville. Small and funky, but they are very commuter oriented, with Breezers and selected practical bikes from other sources. And they usually have some pretty good used parts to dig through that were taken off fixy conversions.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Jeffbeerman2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sluggo View Post
    For those of you in this general area, you might look into Tennessee Valley Bicycles in Knoxville. Small and funky, but they are very commuter oriented, with Breezers and selected practical bikes from other sources. And they usually have some pretty good used parts to dig through that were taken off fixy conversions.
    That used bike section is awesome. Thank god that bike shop isn't in my town. Where would I store all of the bikes I couldn't live without?

  21. #21
    nashcommguy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sluggo View Post
    For those of you in this general area, you might look into Tennessee Valley Bicycles in Knoxville. Small and funky, but they are very commuter oriented, with Breezers and selected practical bikes from other sources. And they usually have some pretty good used parts to dig through that were taken off fixy conversions.
    Visited the website...another winner. Maybe the BF members(us) should compile a list of all the 'commuter focused' bike shops and have the list posted on the web somewhere. I don't have the tech skills to do that...just an idea. BTW, if you go check this site out be sure to visit the 'Bike Snob' link...it's very funny.

  22. #22
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrCjolsen View Post
    I think there's a commuter bike shop in every city. It's called Craigslist.
    How do you figure? All the craiglist around here has listed is WM Next bikes for 80% of retail and high end carbon fiber wonders for way more than I paid for my last car. And that doesn't address the lights, racks, fenders, bags, handlebars and other stuff that a commuter would like to have.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
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    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
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  23. #23
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    A good shop should carry a decent selection of gear and/or be able to keep you and your bike on the road for a reasonable price... Craigslist does not provide that level of service.

  24. #24
    Senior Member duppie's Avatar
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    When in Chicago there are 2 choices (as far as I know) for commuting oriented bikeshops
    Rapid Transit near North and Damen, great selection, but maybe a little hipster attitude
    Uptown Bikes, my personal favorite. When you walk in it is wonderfully devoid of bikes over $700 (approx). Yet, it's not your mom-'n-pop shop. Good sensible commuting advise and when I walk in with my '89 DiamondBack MTB with front Wald Basket, they will have a serious discussion on what it would take to turn it into a singlespeed
    Look for other Chicago bikeshops (including user reviews) at http://www.chicagobikeshops.info/
    Duppie

  25. #25
    GATC
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    Quote Originally Posted by darkfinger View Post
    If you`re ever in Winnipeg Manitoba, Olympia Cycle & Ski has a great selection of commuter bikes.
    And if you're in Olympia WA, check out WinniBikes:

    http://www.olybikes.com/

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