As the Austin transportation debate rages on (and on and on), there’s a commuter population that’s happily in the know: cyclists. Those who prefer to pedal their way around town, becoming regulars at the best Austin bike shops and taking advantage of the city's outdoor activities, seem to have it all figured out—and who could blame them? Austin’s bike friendly nature, generally pleasant weather and bikeable streets make pedal-power an excellent way to tour the best things to do in the Texas capital, whether you're with kids or riding solo. If you're renting a ride, buying a new one or simply getting an old favorite fixed, Austin’s best bike shops abound.
Best Austin bike shops
As evidenced by its name, Rocket Electrics specializes in electric bikes, a vehicular curiosity that requires a flick of the wrist to get moving. Rentals travel about 20 miles on a single charge and can go as fast as 20mph. Rocket Electrics will also do tune-ups for traditional bikes and e-bikes, and offer a mobile bike-repair service that comes to you. They host public bike tours almost every day of the week, including a brunch tour, food tour and a tour of Lady Bird Lake. You can also book a private tour for a more curated ride.
This local, independently-owned bike shop offers both retail and repair options. Their self-proclaimed goal is to “put butts on bikes,” and you’ll find a welcoming crew in the store with patience and know-how. Monkey Wrench services all makes and models of bicycles, including those that are rare and obscure, but be forewarned—they don’t do e-bikes, recumbents or tricycles. Check the store’s Facebook for special events, fantastic sales and information about its Monday group ride.
Austin loves a good business operated out of a trailer, and bike repair and rental is no exception. If you find yourself in a bind with a flat tire or needing a tune-up while tooling around downtown, look for a shiny Airstream parked near the Convention Center. Streamline Cycles also rents Trek hybrid bikes that include locks, lights and helmets, and they’ll fit you and point you towards some of the safest routes around town—including the Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail, which is easily accessed behind their shop.
Arguably one of the larger local chains, Bicycle Sport Shop is fiercely dedicated to Austin’s bike culture. The shops sells bikes and accessories and offers service and repair, but what really sets it apart is the large number of group rides and workshops offered here. Try out both casual and advanced weekly shop rides, women’s rides, clinics and kid-focused events; if you're feeling adventurous, sign up for one of the larger racing events like the Real Ale Ride.
As you might have guessed, Austin Tri-Cyclist isn’t simply a spot for bikes or bike repair: This shop is a tri-athlete haven of sorts. You'll find medium and high-end biking gear as well as running and swimming accouterment; the store acts as a one-stop-shop for equipment, specialized gear, accessories and advice. Tri-Cyclist also organizes events around town and sponsors men's and women's triathlon teams.
Clown Dog Bikes has been operating in the campus area for almost 20 years. The shop is geared towards college students, evidenced by its affordable prices that cater to the hip campus kid. It also embraces Austin’s party vibe with music and art get-togethers, a piñata anniversary party and other quirky events.
East Side Pedal Pushers was around before the east side became cool. The shop is run by eco-minded bike lovers focused on facilitating bicycle commuting and touring around town. You can pick up a new, used or reconditioned bike here or learn how to build your own, and if you consider yourself a bike nerd, belly up! These guys know their stuff, and can talk for hours about any make or model of “pedal-powered” transportation.
Bring your little one or your veteran bike enthusiast to this beloved shop in Southwest Austin—no matter the experience level, Southwest CycleSport’s experts will work with you for the best bike and budget fit. They’re pretty particular about the gear they carry, so you’ll find a range of high-quality bikes like Jamis and Scott brands. They also have a unique “kids grow” program: Once your kiddo outgrows their wheels, return to purchase a new size and get 15 percent off. Looking for a rental to wheel about town? They do that too, offering both mountain and road bikes.
The Yellow Bike Project is an all-volunteer organization that puts bicycles on the streets via community bike shops, teaches bike maintenance and acts as a local bike advocacy group. Folks can stop by the shop to learn about fixing and riding bikes so that they’re armed with the knowledge to repair their own two-wheelers. At Yellow Bike Project, you’ll find fully equipped work stands and a large selection of used parts, frames and bikes in various stages of repair; they also offer ready-to-ride used bikes at affordable prices.
Mellow Johnny’s—and the adjoining Juan Pelota Café—is located smack dab in the middle of downtown. The store has parts, gear, accessories and, of course, bikes, and also serves as a bike museum of sorts, housing a couple of Lance Armstrong’s rides. Take a look at their calendar if you’re hoping to learn a technique or improve your riding speed, or go shopping for a bike as you enjoy a cup of coffee from Juan's.