Cycling is a big deal in this city. And while you can pedal to the metal at some of the best gyms and health clubs in NYC, why not get some fresh air and bike New York with great outer-borough routes? Oh, because you’ll need a set of wheels first. We know, shopping for a bike—and all the add-ons you need to go with it—can be intimidating, especially if you’re new to the pedaling scene. But luckily, New York is not shy of bike shops, so whether you’re looking to rent, repair or buy, find the best bike shop NYC has to offer that will have you cruising the best parks in New York City in no time.
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Find the best bike shop in NYC
For folks who love the idea of leaving their subway days behind them but worry about storage, Bfold might be the perfect specialty store. As its name suggests, the East Village purveyor only sells bikes that fold, such as the lightweight Dahon Speed Uno ($399) and the stylishly hipped-out Tern Verge X20 ($3,000)
For its convenient location, attention to service and good value, Zen is our favorite bike shop in the city for the average two-wheel commuter. With an inventory of all-new bikes and a focus on lightweight, street-friendly road and hybrid styles—Felt, Linus, Bianchi and more specialized bikes, ranging from $400 to $6,000—this is a city bike shop for city riders. During cycling season, stay up to date on the shop’s free flat repair and basic maintenance classes by checking its Facebook page. After buying a new bike, you’ll also have lifetime access to free basic tune-ups or half-price deluxe tune-ups. Score!
If you'd like to design your dream bike from handlebars to wheels (and even help put it together), this Gowanus bike shop will meet your needs. Focusing on adventure (mountain and touring) bikes as well as cargo bikes, 718 has pioneered the “Collaboratively Built” process. First, sit down with owner and architect Joe Nocella and sketch out your vision. He'll draw up several options (with frames from Surly, Salsa, Jones, Rivendell and more), which he’ll share in a Google Doc before you narrow down your final design. Once the parts arrive, you're encouraged to put some elbow grease into your ride alongside the shop's mechanics. More tech-savvy than hands-on? Just watch the entire process online. Collaborative builds are pricy, starting at around $1,200, but with 718’s free open-to-the-public weekly maintenance classes (Thursdays and Fridays at 7pm), you may never have to pay for a repair again. In addition, 718 hosts regular shop rides, week-long tours and races.
This small-but-mighty bike shop located under the shadow of the Queensboro Bridge sets itself apart with owners Ben and Andrea’s passionate dedication to service and reasonably priced stock of KHS, Nirve, Masi and Torker two-wheelers. With a focus on hybrid, road and commuter bikes ($350–$4,000), Kickstand is a judgment-free zone where even the smallest repairs and most basic queries are treated with attention and respect. Not ready to commit to a bike purchase? The shop offers helmet-and-lock-included rentals ranging from $9 for an hour to $45 for a weekend. Looking to learn more about bike maintenance? Stop in at any time for a free on-the-spot tutorial on DIY flat repairs.
With a comprehensive selection of something-for-everyone bikes ranging from comfy, upright commuter bikes to more serious single-speed and road bikes, Ciel’s selection focuses on new styles from Giant and Biria ($360–$3,200). Manager Nick Bender rewards curious shoppers with a wealth of information about bike styles and fits, and he himself admits he often talks until you don’t want to listen. Pro tip: While the shop doesn’t deal in previously owned two-wheelers, it does sell off its rental fleet at the end of every season, meaning you can pick up an expertly maintained, city-friendly bike that’s only been used for about a year at a much cheaper cost ($150 to $250).
Bicycle Station owner Mike Rodriguez is a veteran racer and mechanic who’s been working with bikes for more than 40 years—and with each visit to the Fort Greene shop, that immense store of knowledge gets shared with the customer. With an unpretentious eye toward individualized service and competitively priced repairs (an all-inclusive tune-up goes for a hard-to-beat $49), the shop’s stock focuses on affordable used ($150–$500) and new ($350–$5,000) road bikes, fitness bikes and hipster-cherished single-speeds from Jamis and Land Shark, among others. After opened his first store in Park Slope in 1992, he moved on to Prospect Heights before landing at his current location, and Rodriguez’s deft customer service is matched only by his mechanical expertise.
A must-visit destination for serious bike freaks prepared to lay down cash on a pet project, Redbeard opened its first tiny location at the end of 2012 and soon upgraded to more spacious Jay Street digs. It specializes in bike fittings, the precise adjustments of seats, handlebars and frames in relation to the rider’s body that the shop’s owners liken to tailoring an off-the-rack suit ($200–$500, depending on the style of bike). Redbeard also works with cyclists on custom-built road bikes with frames from Mosaic, Parlee, Waterford and more, creating masterpieces priced up to $20,000 that cyclists will want to secure with (several of) the shop’s high-security Abus locks. During warm-weather months, check Redbeard’s blog for information on community-oriented events such as all-level group rides, women-specific classes and more.
Dealing with just two brands of road bikes and single-speeds, Fuji and Tokyobike ($350–$825), this is a focused, knowledgeable shop that nonetheless doesn’t take itself too seriously. Bike Slug consistently wins praise from customers for its comprehensive, never-fail repairs and tune-ups as well as its community-oriented attitude. Need to borrow a bike tool you don’t own? Just ask. And as a bonus, its mechanics have been known to adjust brakes, install bells and unstick seat-posts free of charge (yes, you read that correctly). Arguably best of all, it’s located right next door to neighborhood favorite gastropub Black Swan, so stop by for a pint or a plate of mac ‘n’ cheese after pimping your ride.
Both bike and beer lovers will enjoy this hybrid shop, café and bar. Its liquor license means customers can sip on $3 cans of PBR or $6 drafts of rotating beers including Kelso Nut Brown Lager, Rockaway Pale Ale, Braven White IPA and SingleCut Dark Lager, all while admiring the shop’s mural of a crimson lantern held aloft by a flame-haired woman. Peruse a selection of new bikes from brands such as Torker, Xtracycle, Surly and Greenpoint-based Brooklyn Bicycle Company ($396–$1,749), converted old-school 10-speeds ($300–$500) and custom-built rides ($400–$900). Each Monday night at 8pm, the shop holds an hour-long yoga class, aimed at strengthening and stretching cyclists’ cores and legs (free; $10 suggested donation), while in the off-season free general bike maintenance classes are held weekly (check the online schedule for full details).