The best bike shops in New York City

From high-end racers to ladylike cruisers, we’ve mapped out the best bike shops that offer the best set of wheels for your buck

Photograph: Jena Cumbo
Landmark Vintage Bicycles

Cycling is a big deal in this city. And while you can pedal to the medal at some of the best gyms and health clubs in NYC, why not get some fresh air and bike New York with these great outer-borough routes? Oh, because you’ll need a set of wheels first. We know, shopping for a bike—and all the add-ons you need to go with it—can be intimidating, especially if you’re new to the pedaling scene. But luckily, New York is not shy of bike shops, so whether you’re looking to rent, repair or buy, we’ve located the best spots in town that will have you cruising the best parks in New York City in no time.

RECOMMENDED: Best shops in NYC

718 Cyclery

If you'd like to design your dream bike from handlebars to wheels (and even help put it together), this Park Slope workshop will meet your needs. First, sit down with owner Joe Nocella and sketch out your vision. He'll draw up several options before narrowing it down to the final design. A single-speed starts at around $900—but the personalized bike is promised to last for years to come. Plus, with free open-to-the-public weekly classes (Thursdays at 7pm) on fixing flats, adjusting brakes and more advanced skills, you may never have to pay for a repair again.

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Bicycle Habitat

The largest bike shop in the city boasts a massive stock (at least 200 fully assembled models at a time), so it's a safe bet it'll have whatever kind of cycle you're looking for. Most popular, however, are the recreational and commuting bikes, from brands like Trek and Specialized ($350–$10,000). The six to eight mechanics in the shop on any given day are on call for speedy repairs, and Park Slope folk will soon benefit from a second location, opening in the next few weeks.

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Nolita

Bicycle Roots

Ditch the subway and cycle in style with the help of this eco-chic bike shop. Owners and business partners Nechama Levy and Joe Lawler first opened their indie store in Bed-Stuy in 2012, and have migrated south into a location along the most heavily trafficked bike path in Brooklyn. The bi-level space features a 70-bike showroom, where a variety of two-wheelers ($335–$2,700)—ranging from urban riders and road bikes to cruisers and hybrids—hang from custom wall-mounted racks. You’ll find the service department on the upper level, where mechanics are fully equipped with parts to repair, upgrade or customize your ride.

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Crown Heights

Bike Works NYC

The mechanics at this laid-back, 13-year-old shop have a reputation as experts—which may account for the fact that half of the space is used for repairs, leaving room for about 15 two-wheelers on the shop floor. City bikes from brands like Soma and Surly (starting at $720) trend toward fixed-gear, track and touring models. Those looking for custom assembly and repairs on classic bikes (vintage rides from the '60s and '70s have recently graced the shop) should stop searching: Local frame builders often refer cycle enthusiasts to the shop.

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Chari & Co NYC

A destination for serious bike fetishists, this hole-in-the-wall haven specializes in Keirin frames, the discarded (but not damaged) models used by professional track racers in Japan (charinco means "bike" in casual Japanese). While there are occasionally complete bikes (starting at $950) in the ever-changing stock, the shop mainly deals with custom creations, including Italian racer frames by Cinelli and French ones by Look (starting at $1,600). If the bikes themselves are too pricey, you might want to check out the collection of first-rate accessories, like Castelli gloves ($40) and sleek Catlike helmets ($275–$280).

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King Kog

This bike garage near the Graham Ave stop on the L train is an ideal clubhouse for Williamsburg and Greenpoint's bike obsessives. With hand-painted windows sporting a 1920s and '30s theme and backpacks hanging from a stuffed deer's head inside, it certainly fits in with the neighborhood's aesthetic. Don't expect to find vintage cruisers, however: This shop is serious about fixed-gear rides, with brands like Charge, Cinelli, Swobo and Surly ($600–$2,000) taking up the floor. The well-curated selection features only about 18 to 24 bikes at a time, allowing space for ample accessories, like Freight Baggage messenger backpacks and shoulder bags ($130–$300) and caps with "BROOKLYN" printed across the bill ($16).

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Landmark Vintage Bicycles

Gals in thrift-store frocks and guys in preworn boots need a secondhand cycle to match. That's where this quaint East Village consignment shop comes in, with an average of 90 to 100 models to choose from every day, mostly in the $300 range. Schwinns and Raleighs from the '70s and '80s (starting at around $300) are most common, but the shop has been known to feature the odd 1950s gem or high-end Italian track bike from brands such as Bottecchia (up to $900 and up).

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East Village

NYC Velo

Stop by this narrow showroom to choose from a wide variety of cycles—a few hundred options at any given time. Costly custom models come courtesy of Somerville, Massachusetts–based Independent Fabrication (starting at $4,300) and Italian handcrafters Pegoretti ($2,850 and up). More affordable options include bikes from Scott, Kona, Bianchi, Surly, Civia and Felt (starting at $450), which represent the store's stock of traditional road bikes. If you're really lucky, the staff might serve you a cup of espresso along the barlike counter in the back.

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East Village

Recycle-a-Bicycle

Bike-riding benefits the environment, of course, but you can go one step further by purchasing wheels from this nonprofit, which saves an estimated 1,200 bikes a year from the landfill. The 12 mechanics on staff restore the rides to their former glory with the help of the 75 high-school students who come into the shops each year to learn the craft. At the East Village location, expect to find Schwinns and other cruiser bikes between $250 and $350, while you can score hybrids and mountain and road bikes at the Dumbo headquarters for around $300. The staff suggests you call ahead to find out about the current goods; the average 15 options on the floor change constantly.

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Red Lantern Bicycles

Both bike and beer lovers will enjoy this hybrid shop, café and bar. A liquor license means customers can sip on PBR ($3), Founders Centennial IPA, Coney Island Mermaid Pilsner and Sixpoint Sweet Action ($5 each) while admiring the shop’s mural of a crimson lantern held aloft by a flame-haired woman. Peruse a selection of new bikes from brands such as Torker, Xtracycle Radish and Surly ($396–$1,749), converted old-school 10-speeds ($300–$500) and custom-built rides ($400–$900). DIY enthusiasts can take bike-repair classes on Sunday evenings from 7 to 9pm—the first and fifth Sundays of the month focus on general maintenance for beginners ($25), the second on brakes and gears ($40), the third on bearings ($40), and the fourth on wheel truing ($40). Occasional wheel-building tutorials are also offered; check the website for the full schedule, or email classes@redlanternbicycles.com to book.

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Fort Greene

Toga Bike Shop/Gotham Bikes

While this 40-plus-year-old business carries all manner of bicycles, it's the road racers and hybrids that are the most popular. Visit the 3,500-square-foot Upper West Side location (Toga Bike Shop; Gotham is the downtown location) for a vast selection, including models like Giant Defy 5 (starting at $700) and Specialized Tarmac ($2,100 and up). The knowledgeable staff aren't paid on commission, so you can be sure they're not foisting a more expensive model on you for personal gain, and every new purchase comes with a lifetime of free repairs.

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Comments

8 comments
Adam
Adam

Interesting part is any bike store's website that I have visited, They always says that they are the best bike store in NYC. After following Ali's suggestion about closestbikestore.com. Yes, really I can compare all bike store with different criteria. I can see yelp, citisearch reviews and also compare them with their services. It was very easy for me. Thanks Ali

Ali
Ali

I didnt quite understand how timeout made this list? I know one website www.closestbikestore.com they use google, yelp and their own website reviews and make the list depends on your location and showing you the best bike stores. I prefer www.closestbikestore.com

Maria
Maria

Also on this list should be manhattan''s NEW best bikes shop - ZEN BIKES , 134 west 24th st. (Between 6&7 ave) / zenbikes.com, Stop in and see for yourself - : )

Lee
Lee

I can't imagine how Gotham Bikes made your list. I was in there a week ago and was shouted at by the manager and cursed at by the staff. All because they sent me out to get cash when I tried to pay with a debit card only to tell me "Oh yeah, we can take credit cards. He (the clerk who sent me out to get cash) just didn't know he had to press the button." when I returned with cash. When I said "You mean you sent me out to get cash when you were taking credit cards?" the manager got in my face and shouted "You think we did it on purpose?" so loudly the other customer in the store turned from what he was doing to see what was going on. As I left another employee shouted "Get the f-ck out of here" repeatedly. The worst retail experience I have ever had, bar none.

M Arshad
M Arshad

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M Arshad
M Arshad

Dear Sir, Pleased to introduce ourselves of the leading and pioneer manufacturers and exporter of Leather Gloves, Safety Gloves, and fully capable to prompt supply your volume of demand.. You are hereby requested to please visit our website www.pakjbsports.com and send us your interested article numbers or inform us from your SRL or send us your interested schatkes, so that we shall be able to send you our physical samples for your complete satisfaction about our quality and workmanships. We are keenly waiting for your prompt message with the detail of your best requirements. Thanking you very much in anticipation and co-operation we remain with With best wishes, MUHAMMAD ARSHAD Marketing Manager, PAK JBSPORTS KOTLA AMANWALA SIALKOT-PAKISTAN Tel: +92 52 3542455 Fax: +2 52 354 2455 e-mail: info@pakjbsports.com www.pakjbsports.com

M Arshad
M Arshad

Dear Sir, Pleased to introduce ourselves of the leading and pioneer manufacturers and exporter of Leather Gloves, Safety Gloves, and fully capable to prompt supply your volume of demand.. You are hereby requested to please visit our website www.pakjbsports.com and send us your interested article numbers or inform us from your SRL or send us your interested schatkes, so that we shall be able to send you our physical samples for your complete satisfaction about our quality and workmanships. We are keenly waiting for your prompt message with the detail of your best requirements. Thanking you very much in anticipation and co-operation we remain with With best wishes, MUHAMMAD ARSHAD Marketing Manager, PAK JBSPORTS KOTLA AMANWALA SIALKOT-PAKISTAN Tel: +92 52 3542455 Fax: +2 52 354 2455 e-mail: info@pkjbsports.com www.pakjbsports.com