Whether you’re a beginner commuter or a seasoned roadster, there’s a growing number of independent bike shops in London that are happy to come to the rescue – from fixing that custom two-wheeler to teaching you how to do it yourself. (But our own video below explains how to fix your bike puncture in five minutes!)
Here are some of our favourite specialists.
54 Earl’s Court Road, W8 6EJ
This tiny, no-frills shop off High Street Kensington is a reliable go-to for Westside riders. Cyclecare Kensington sells custom builds, Bromptons and Dawes bikes, but they also offer services and repairs at costs that are surprisingly reasonable, given the area. There’s a basic range of accessories for sale including lights, pannier frames and helmets and if you’re ever in a jam, ask for Simon – he’s one of the lovely mechanics who can deal with drop-ins (although they do appreciate a bit of notice).
136-138 New Cavendish Street, W1W 6YDConveniently based in Central London, Fitzrovia Bicycles is an independent shop where you can find down-to-earth mechanics that really know their stuff. Services, repairs and custom builds are available at reasonable prices, and they also sell a good selection of frames and products to make sure your wheels are road ready.
28 Whitmore Road, N1 5QA
If your bike needs fixing, why not do it yourself? The progressive London Bike Kitchen is a social workshop that offers dab hands space for hire or classes for newbies who need showing the ropes. These include Intro, Intermediate, Wheel Building or BYOB (Build Your Own Bike) – as well as sessions for parents and their kids. They even do WAG (Women and Gender-variant) nights to challenge the perception that building bikes is just for dudes.
47 Barnsbury Street, N1 1TP
This bike store and workshop caters for the Bobbin type (vintage-loving, slow-rolling) and the Bianchi type (speedy riders), and accordingly stocks just these two brands. Micycle pitches itself as a cycling community, encouraging customers to become members, who get discounted repairs and free access to the downstairs workshop for fixing their own punctures. Other perks include a free service and a free bike wash whenever your ride’s looking grubby.
41 Cropley Street, N1 7HT
Self-described as a heavy-metal bike shop, SBC (or Skull Bike Club) is a mechanic-owned custom bike workshop with a particular knack for dealing with adventure bikes. Stock-wise, you’ll find London-based brands like Surly, Brother and Singular, along with more niche names like Bullitt cargo bikes, Soma and Hunt. They also hold the title of the world’s only custom Nagasawa dealer – so you expect nothing mediocre from these guys. Customer service is first-class, too.
8 Strype Street, E1 7LF
Swift sells road-racing and triathlon bikes aplenty, stocking one of the biggest ranges in the city with brands like Focus, Cervelo and Cannondale. There’s a ‘retul studio’ in store, which offers one of the most precise, digital measures of biking fitting to ensure you’ve bagged a comfy ride. And if you need accessories, expect to have a field day: they’ve got everything a commuter, amateur rider or triathlete could ever need.
Discover London's best cycle cafés
If you cycle in London you'll understand how there's a whole community focused around the decision to move around on two wheels. Be a part of that than in one of the capital's niche cycle cafés, a pit stop where cyclists can have their bike fixed while they nurse a top-notch flat white.
Across the cobbles from the iconic Covent Garden Market is Jubilee Market, a fairly compact hall that runs alongside Tavistock Street. It’s one of the more eclectic shopping destinations, partly due to its revolving array of traders. Visit on Monday for antiques, with everything from vintage brooches to old comic strips on sale. From Tuesday to Friday the general market takes over and there’s the opportunity to pick up sweets, fridge magnets, belts, bags, clothing and knick-knacks. On Saturday the market shifts again, focusing on arts and crafts, although you may also find some vintage clothing and assorted bric-à-brac. While there’s no street food on offer, there is an Italian restaurant, a café serving English breakfasts and, upstairs, fast-food joint MEATmarket. Alim Kheraj RECOMMENDED: London’s best markets
Venue says: “With its exciting atmosphere and more than 100 stalls, Jubilee Market is the perfect place to shop in central London.”