Some of us are casual riders; others are competitive cyclists. Beyond quality and safety, there’s style and speed to consider. You'll be pedaling down the 606 or zipping through Chicago's bike lanes in no time with our list of the best bike shops. Chicago has a plethora of them, selling boutique, custom and major brands of road bikes, mountain bikes and everything in between. Get out there and see the city's best sites from two wheels.
Bike shops in Chicago
The true definition of a one-stop bike shop. On one hand, you have Ciclo Urbano, which sells refurbished bikes (starting at $50) with a focus on transportation—in other words, less fixed gear, more functional rides—and new and used bike parts. On the other, there's West Town Bikes–a connected workshop space that hosts open nights for folks to work on their own bikes as well as various cycling-centric classes for kids and adults. It's a retail shop and community destination, all wrapped into one.
Opened by three guys who collectively worked everywhere from Johnny Sprockets and Blackstone Bikes to Rapid Transit and Recyclery, this Ukrainian Village shop is all about building community: Every employee has the option to buy into ownership after two years. The equal-opportunity ethos extends to the selection of custom-made steel bikes (starting at $700) and, eschewing the stereotypical bike-shop snobbery, these guys will just as happily build a bike from scratch as they will fix up your $5 thrift store find. As for repairs, Comrade offers the hard-to-find service of handling cracked steel frames. A limited clothing and accessories selection is available too.
Choosing a bike can be a tough decision, but owners Alex and Lesley Tweedie will help you along the way in their cozy Roscoe Village shop. Choose from brands such as Jamis, Redline, Strider and more. Add racks, baskets and other accessories. Or, if you need a tune-up or full overhaul, the staff is happy to get straight to work.
This cool shop, opened by two local bike lovers, stocks bikes from Opus, Ritte, Velo Orange, and Moots, with a focus on commuter and lifestyle products and bikes. It's located on Milwaukee, which means thousands of bikers ride by each day. There's even a comfortable cafe with Wi-Fi and handcrafted sandwiches.
Quick, friendly, no-nonsense service with a smile—that's Uptown Bikes. Since 2004, this community-oriented bike shop has been serving the North Side–offering bikes for sale (from brands like Raleigh, KHS, Marin, Surly, and Torker), accessories (helmets and other gear) as well as repair services geared toward the urban commuter. Uptown Bikes also offers repair workshops ($25), so riders can DIY their own repairs on-the-go, even when they aren't near the shop.
When you choose a custom ride at Heritage Bicycle General Store, you have a few extra decisions to make—including regular or decaf. This Lakeview shop isn’t your typical bike store: It’s disguised as a coffee shop featuring Stumptown java and pastries by Southport Grocery. In addition to treats and bikes (which you can watch being built on-site in the back of the café), the shop also features a small selection of clothing, gear and Winter Session accessories.
This educational bike shop is a nonprofit that promotes sustainability by providing tools, skills and opportunities for local cyclists to collaborate with one another. To buy an affordable, high-quailty used bike (like a Schwinn), visit the shop on Saturday mornings.
Bike 4 Life, formerly Armitage Bike Shop, is another Chicago bike store on a mission. Intent on promoting health and reducing obesity through cycling, Bike 4 Life both sells bikes and offers a number of fitness programs with a focus on cycling.
This old-school neighborhood shop hasn't changed much since it opened in 1973, but that's part of its charm. Quick Release customers return again and again for fast, solid repairs and ultra low prices. No bells, whistles or fancy showrooms here, but you will find a small variety of urban commuter bikes starting at around $400, plus plenty of great advice from the owner, Joe, himself.
Owners Max Hertz, Jon Timmins and Adam Glenn sell a range of specialty bike brands (Cinelli, Chrome, Bern), but they also offer a ton of special services. From custom painting and powder coating (parts included) to custom wheel builds and classic restorations, the Bike Lane is your one-stop shop. The store also offers a service called Flat Fixes on the Fly, where an employee will go to fix your flat if you’re stranded on the road within the city.