As social distancing becomes a huge part of our lives more and more of us are saddling up on cycles to get around the city. There’s been a surge in demand for bikes since lockdown began, and with the government pledging £2bn to double the number of cyclists and walkers by 2025, it looks like it won’t be fading away any time soon. If you’re a seasoned rider, a key worker looking to get to work or a two-wheels newbie, here’s a list of the independent bike shops in London helping you get out for a spin and keep your spokes in check.
This Bloomsbury-based bike shop always has a fantastically quirky and original selection of cycles in stock. Its shop is open for repairs to keep people on the road, but, in line with social-distancing measures, it’s asking customers to book their bikes into slots in advance and drop them off for servicing and all communication will be by phone or email. If you’re self-isolating, it’s using bike courier service PedalMe to collect and deliver bikes for repair from your home.
This 70-year-old family business, which builds its legendary frames by hand in Italy, is still open but with reduced opening hours and staffing. Customers have been asked to only visit the shop for essentials. Repairs in the workshop are available to book in advance (bike fitting has been temporarily suspended). Online orders are operating as usual and you can call the shop’s customer service team if you need advice or support.
Bermondsey’s electric bike specialists are open at the moment by appointment only. Online sales are running as usual. The company is also giving e-bikes to NHS staff as a three-month loan free of charge so workers can get to and from work safely.
Newington Green’s Push is still open with reduced hours and by appointment only. It’s asking customers to email in with queries and it will attempt to order in more stock if the new bike you want isn’t available.
Floating Bike Repairs
Sam Skinner, the man behind the waterborne cycle shop, is still selling refurbished bikes and completing cycle services and repairs from his 1950s Dutch water taxi. Thanks to the unconventional setting, it’s one of the most affordable bike rehabilitation spots in London. Ring in advance to book a service or buy a bike. You’ll catch him in north London… for now.
Brick Lane Bikes
The Shoreditch shop has updated its opening hours, but is still open for essential repairs and sales. The shop is operating with a closed-door policy, so while you won’t be able to browse you can still knock and wait to be served for repairs and specific requests. If you’d prefer to shop online web sales are operating as usual.
London Bike Kitchen
This Haggerston bike shop is known for its drop-in workshops. However, at the moment its repairs workshop is open by appointment only and observing ‘extreme social distancing’. Its online shop is operational to purchase bike parts, accessories, membership and merch. It will also be running virtual bike repair classes online.
The Bike Project
Want to help out a good cause while buying a new set of wheels? This charity bike shop sells refurbished hybrids and vintage road bikes to help fund its work fixing up bikes and giving them to refugees. Its shops in Herne Hill and Deptford are closed at the moment but you can still buy bikes, accessories and merch online with free home delivery on bikes over £50. It’s also offering virtual bike maintenance sessions with one of the project’s pro mechanics to help people complete basic repairs and maintenance, like fixing punctures or putting air in tyres. All you need to sign up for one is a phone/computer camera, internet connection and a simple toolkit (if you don’t have one you can pick one up on its website). If you work for the NHS you can get a free online session.
London’s oldest worker-owned bike co-op is still open for collection of repairs and bike sales; however, its opening hours are reduced. Social-distancing guidelines are in place so customers needing repairs should call in advance to book a slot and then drop their bike off at the shop. The committed mechanics are prioritising bikes of keys workers at this time and NHS workers can get 10 percent off all parts and accessories.
After closing at the beginning of the lockdown period, Deptford High Street’s bike café is back. It’ll be operating with reduced hours and will be open for bike repairs and services. They’re asking customers to email in advance to book a service to aid social distancing.
Cycle Care Kensington
This tiny, no-frills shop off High Street Kensington is still open for westside riders to get help with sales and repairs. They’re operating with a closed-door policy, and have asked customers to ring the bell outside for assistance. The shop will be giving priority to key workers.
Check out London’s brilliant bike shops.
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