Whether you want to get fit or it's time for a set of new wheels, 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. And when you've got your shiny new bike, treat yourself to a coffee at one of London's best bicycle cafes.
Here are some of our favourite bike specialists.
Opting for a secondhand bike is good for your bank balance and the planet. If you want to feel extra good/smug, buy one of The Bike Project’s refurbished hybrids or vintage road bikes. The money you spend helps fund the charity’s work fixing up bikes and giving them to refugees. If you have a collection of old bikes clogging up your hallway, or need an excuse to upgrade, why not donate a bike?
12 Crossthwaite Avenue, Herne Hill, SE5 8ET
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).
54 Earl’s Court Road, W8 6EJ
Yes, using an electric bike is cheating, but who cares when you can glide up hills like Geraint Thomas, zoom past clipped-in Mamils furiously pedalling and arrive at the office sweat-free? Fully Charged’s huge showroom has folding ones, retro-looking ones and kiddy-carrying ones that you can test drive. Off you gooooo.
37 Bermondsey St, Bermondsey, SE1 3JW
Spent all your cash on a Rapha gilet and now can’t afford to get your bike fixed professionally? Luckily, at London Bike Kitchen’s drop-in workshops, you can make use of tools and mechanics’ brains for just £14 an hour and fix it yourself. This Haggerston bike shop is also home to a library of saddle shapes, so you can find your perfect perch. Goodbye, postcycle butt-ache!
28 Whitmore Road, N1 5QA
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.
47 Barnsbury Street, N1 1TP
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.
41 Cropley Street, N1 7HT
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