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 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.
Manifesto is a step up from your run of the mill barbers. This modern man’s ‘grooming salon’ offers everything from an ‘express tidy up’ for £30 to luxury treatments such as ‘The Rehab’ that includes a traditional wet shave, haircut, treatment and fresh juice to take the edge off after a big night in the city. Situated on Leather Lane, Manifesto may be the perfect way to spend your lunch break, with slick industrial décor, and some comfy-looking retro chairs, settle in for some serious TLC.
Venue says: “A modern man’s grooming salon offering the ultimate premium male grooming experience. A place for men to take a break from their busy lives.”