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Old 04-22-11, 02:34 PM   #1
Looigi
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Biggest Best Boston Bikeshops?

Visiting the Boston area and would like to know what biggest bestest bike shops are. I know of Harris, Belmont Wheelworks, ATA, Cambridge Bicycle... any others of note? Which have the largest selection of apparel, accessories, etc.?
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Old 04-22-11, 03:40 PM   #2
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I used to live in Watertown, and my favourite LBS was Belmont Wheelworks. Well worth a visit or three. Be warned, I am a sucker for gorgeous lugged steel frames, and ended up with two of Peter Mooney's from Wheelworks. Harris is also fun, not nearly as large as Belmont Wheelworks, but if you are a utility cyclist, they are a goldmine. Great BBQ joint just down the street too .
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Old 04-22-11, 05:08 PM   #3
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Long time Harris fan / customer here. But, I also go into Wheelworks from time to time.
Wheelworks is pretty well stocked, albeit pricey. If it's clothes you are after, check out the bargain rack. Sometimes, some treasures may be found here. Don't forget Ace Wheelworks, right near oh-so-funky Davis Square. Same ownership as Belmont.

Another place you might want to check out is Bicycle Bills. It's a funky old type of store, sort of a throwback to bike shops of the 60s and 70s. As you can see, the website is pretty plain. Working class riders and some college types hang out here.

Store I miss: Lincoln Guide Service. Once a fixture in Lincoln MA, it's been gone since 2000, I think. If you were on a Sunday ride on a warm summer afternoon, you would simply stop by the store. Always local cyclists gathered in the small parking lot, just talking. I was told that the Owner, Mike Farney, was offered a handsome sum for the property, which he owned outright. He had been wanting to retire, so he let it go. Alas, time always wins.

Two Peter Mooney lugged steel frames!? I envy you sir!
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Old 04-22-11, 05:50 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Looigi View Post
Visiting the Boston area and would like to know what biggest bestest bike shops are. I know of Harris, Belmont Wheelworks, ATA, Cambridge Bicycle... any others of note? Which have the largest selection of apparel, accessories, etc.?
My shop is is Back Bay Bicycles, and while not the biggest they provide the bestest of service, and keep my road and mountain bikes expeditiously and expertly rolling all year-round. Their inventory of accessories and clothing is adequate, and they have a lot of bikes including high end models. They have special ordered items for me, most notably a pair of Marathon Winters in February, when they are hard to get.

Furthermore, they are located in the Back Bay and the closest of all the “good” bike shops to Back Bay and downtown, the most attractive visitor areas of Boston. Wheelworks and Harris are out in the suburbs a few miles away, and it's easy to get lost anywhere in Boston and environs. BBB also rents bicycles, and I bought my mountain bike from them as a used rental several years ago. If you visit them tell them the “good doctor” sent you. See:

http://backbaybicycles.com/

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 04-22-11 at 06:03 PM.
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Old 04-22-11, 06:39 PM   #5
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Store I miss: Lincoln Guide Service. Once a fixture in Lincoln MA, it's been gone since 2000, I think. If you were on a Sunday ride on a warm summer afternoon, you would simply stop by the store. Always local cyclists gathered in the small parking lot, just talking. I was told that the Owner, Mike Farney, was offered a handsome sum for the property, which he owned outright. He had been wanting to retire, so he let it go. Alas, time always wins.
I really miss Lincoln Guide, too. They were also great for XC ski stuff in the winter.
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Old 04-22-11, 08:42 PM   #6
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International Bicycle Centers

I know of them only through the reputation of one of their staff members. They carry one mainline brand, Trek, and a half-dozen of the best boutique brands.
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Old 04-23-11, 03:49 AM   #7
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Harris isn't the largest shop around, but a visit there is always a treat. I've bought two bikes from them and the friendly, attentive staff can't be beat.

Can't say I feel the same about Belmont Wheelworks. Customer reviews seem to range widely; my personal experience wasn't favorable when looking for a bike last year. They are definitely big...
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Old 04-23-11, 06:01 AM   #8
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Guys, Thanks for all the tips. Besides the requisite pilgrimage to Harris, I'm not sure where my itinerary will take me, but I'm sure I'll be able to hit a few more shops. For the purposes of this trip, the main interest is stuff ancillary to bikes rather than bikes per se, so shops with a large selection of stuff are what I'm after.
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Old 04-23-11, 04:58 PM   #9
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I'm a recent returnee to the Boston area after being away for 15+ years and I've been trying to find "my" bike shop too. Went to Wheelworks for the first time a couple of weeks ago (paid $14.99 for a bike tube! Unbelievably pricey but two other shops were sold out and I needed it). My impression of Wheelworks was that they were a big shop, but it was just filled with the same cookie cutter bikes,nothing interesting, not a touring bike to be seen... no real utility bikes at all. By comparison, tiny Harris Cycles is nothing but interesting bikes. I'm like a kid in a candy shop looking at the gorgeous Rivendells.
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Old 04-23-11, 05:27 PM   #10
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I have to go to Beantown next week - if I have a little time I may just stop in at Harris, I need nothing bike wise right now but it shouldn't be missed.
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Old 04-23-11, 08:35 PM   #11
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Well...we made it into Harris and Wheelworks today (along with REI). Harris was a really nice little shop with some interesting stuff, but it was Wheelworks where we scored. They have a large and good selection of stuff along the lines of what we were after (road, not touring/commuting/city/utility). We spent quite a bit of time pondering the tandems of which they had about a dozen and half...far more than I've ever seen in one shop. We were intrigued.
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