Of course, we’re never going to please everyone and we all have different opinions about what makes a bike shop “cool”. But here are some that caught our attention, presented in no particular order. Some are traditional “bike shops,” some are “bike cafes”, others are simply “bike spaces”.
If there is a bike shop that defines “cool” in your opinion, let us know in the comments below and be sure to leave some information about it so we can follow it up. And if you haven’t checked out the first instalment in the series, take a look here.
Location: Berlin, Germany
According to the proprietor of Cicli Berlinetta, Berlin has one of the highest ratios of bike shops to inhabitants of any of the world’s capitals, which makes it tough to make one’s bike shop stand out. Dustin’s strategy? Focus on “finely crafted, delightfully detailed real vintage steel, garnished with the right accessories and finished with a certain subtle flair”.
Here’s what else Dustin told us about his space:
The craftsmanship and style of the era preceding today’s CAD-shaped composite machines is celebrated and venerated at Cicli Berlinetta. Alongside a wide variety of good used frames from renowned framebuilders such as Masi, Casati and Paletti, we offer our own brand of made-to-measure framesets or complete bespoke bicycles, in contemporary steel tubing, featuring Cicli Berlinetta drop-outs, BB castings and lug sets all adorned with the crown motif.
If you’re after this season’s latest cookie-cut oversize decal-smothered abomination, this isn’t the right bike shop for you. If, however, you’re after quality used components for a restoration project, retro wool cycling jerseys and vintage style handmade Italian cycling shoes, or to have your bicycle repaired by skilled mechanic, then Cicli Berlinetta is for you.
Click here to see the Cicli Berlinetta website.
Location: Shanghai, China
Factory Five is a track bike boutique and workshop in Shanghai that builds custom fixed-fear bikes and reconditions vintage Chinese bikes. The folks at Factory Five organise a range of rides, races and events for local riders and they describe themselves as the “epicentre of the fixed-gear scene in Shanghai.”
Here’s what else they had to say about their space:
Our space is a combination of office, cafe and workshop. People come to us to connect with each other, work on their bikes and follow the fixed-gear China story. We used to be a bunch of guys with tools and now we’re a bunch of tools with a bigger space and something that drives fixed gear China.
Look mum no hands!
Location: London, UK
Look mum no hands! is as much a cafe and bar as it is a traditional bike shop. It’s got a terrific name and by the looks of the photos it’s a pretty great little space. The folks at LMNH host a whole range of cycling-related events and previous guests have included Graeme Obree, Gary Fisher and the great Eddy Merckx.
Here’s what the folks at LMNH had to say about their space.
“Look mum no hands! has been riding with a tailwind as cycling’s popularity in the UK has soared. The cafe/bar/workshop has become a favourite for cycling Londoners with local roasters Square Mile providing the caffeine and craft beers coming from several London breweries. A team of friendly mechanics service anything from Di2 to Sturmey Archer and even the occasional fixie.
The cafe shows cycling on a big screen, beginning with the Spring Classics and building to a Tour de France frenzy in July. 2012 was a particular highlight, culminating in this moment when a British yellow jersey lead out a British World Champ to a Champs Élysées victory.
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Beasley Cycles has been around for nearly 100 years after first launching in the east Melbourne suburb of Richmond in 1919. After 12 years of operation Beasley Cycles headed west to its current home in Footscray where it’s been in operation for around 80 years.
The Beasley family is famous in Victorian and Australian cycling circles thanks, in part, to John Raymond Beasley riding in the Tour de France in 1952 and 1955. The shop is currently run by third-generation Beasleys, John and Vicki.
Here’s what the folks at Beasley Cycles said of J.J. Beasley Snr, the original founder of the store:
“J.J. Beasley Snr was a colourful character, known to many across the Western district of Victoria where he not only raced the bike carnivals but also was a strong runner and boxer. J.J. was a world record holder for the 100 miles set in the Melbourne to Warrnambool road race.
Location: Sutton, Surrey, UK
According to the folks at Pearson Cycles their bike shop is the oldest in the world. Founded in 1860 it has remained in the Pearson family for more than 150 years and is currently run by the fifth generation of Pearsons.
Here’s what the folks at Pearson Cycles told us:
“We strive to maintain the reputation set by the four previous generations, providing the very best help and advice to all our customers. Our aim is to cater for the more discerning customer, offering high quality cycles and equipment with a more personal, specialist service.
150 years of history have shaped the shop into what it is today and helped produce the thriving culture within our shop. We strive to employ knowledgeable, keen and friendly people, all of whom are keen riders and have first-hand experience from years of cycling on and off road.
Boulder Cycle Sport
Location: Boulder, Colorado, USA
We haven’t visited Boulder Cycle Sport but it came highly recommend to us by a whole bunch of people. The store was founded by two mates who met as kinesiology students at the University of Colorado in the early 1990s.
After staying in touch for the next decade the two guys, Taro and Brandon, hatched a plan in late 2004 to open a bike shop in North Boulder. The next year, in June, Boulder Cycle Sports was born. The store now has two locations: one in North Boulder, one in South Boulder.
Here’s what Brandon told us about the store:
Let’s redefine the community bike shop. We kept saying that over and over when we were envisioning our store back in 2005. We wanted to create a place where anyone and everyone would feel welcomed and get world-class service.
Sure, first and foremost we are a bike shop. We sell bikes and we fix bikes. However, it’s not uncommon to see us out and about fixing kids bikes at local school or flipping pancakes for Bike To Work Day. We love giving back to the community.
Location: Bristol, UK
Established in 1994 in a converted dockside warehouse in Bristol, Mud Dock prides itself on being a “lifestyle destination” rather than just a simple bike shop. In addition to the workshop Mud Dock also features a fully fledged, award-winning restaurant and cafe.
These factors, combined with Mud Dock’s unique dockside location and a sunny rooftop terrace make it popular among local and visiting cyclists.
Here’s what the folks at Mud Dock had to say:
“Mud Dock was one of the first locations in the UK to retail high-end cycling product and has a history steeped in quality, style and innovation.
Not just a store for the lycra clad roadie, Mud Dock caters for all tribes. Currently we are stockists for Trek, Cannondale, Look, Brompton, Pashley, and Charge and have recently been made the sole UK retailer for the BMC impec project. We are honoured to have been given this opportunity and feel the bespoke nature of the product sits well with our ethos as a business.
We also have a fully fitted workshop which employs two fully certified mechanics sharing over 70 years’ experience – so no mechnical issue is too big or small.
Location: Brooklyn, New York, USA
Founded in Brooklyn in the late 1970s, R&A Cycles proudly declares itself “the world’s largest cycle store”. According to its website, R&A Cycles was also the first company to create a mail-order cycling website, in the early 1990s, when the internet was “just a vague idea”.
Here’s what else the folks at R&A Cycles had to say about their space:
“R&A Cycles has quickly turned the years as the flagship pro bike shop for professionals and enthusiasts all over the world. In the early 80s R&A Cycles quickly gained a reputation of being the shop to have hard-to-get imported frames and parts. With that reputation and the inventory to back it up we proceeded by creating a mail order business which was the stepping stones for today’s mail order companies.
Pedalhead Road Works
Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Another business that’s keen to be seen as more than just a simple bike shop, Pedalhead Road Works in Edmonton claims to “sell cycling history and build an appreciation of road culture.”
Here’s more of what they told us:
“For us it’s a conscious balance between embracing innovation and retaining an old world philosophy; driven by the commitment to provide our customers with
exceptional products, skilled service, and a deep understanding of everything road.
We are purveyors of culture, and we are here to guide you, regardless of whether it’s your first high end race bike, or your final obsession. Through one-on-one interaction, we build your dream bike from the ground up relying on our expertise; mixing time tested staples with innovative products.
We create a higher level of connection between you and your bike using industry leading tools, resources, and decades of experience. We outfit you with the most stylish, technical, and comfortable clothing to make your ride unforgettable. It’s what we love to do.
Because road is not about winning races or building the lightest bikes, and neither is PRW. It’s about embracing the history of the sport, and an appreciation of the culture that we are all a part of.
Location: London, UK
Founded: 2006 (as Tokyo Fixed)
When Kinoko Cycles was born back in 2006 it was known as Tokyo Fixed, a web-based shop that supplied bike products and apparel to serious bike enthusiasts around the world. Their bricks and mortar store opened in the London suburb of Soho in 2009 with a focus on building beautiful custom bikes.
Here’s what the folks at Kinoko Cycles had to say about their space:
“With a penchant for those lesser known, hard to find and less ‘commercial’ parts, we source products from what we believe to be some of the finest brands on the planet. With a cool, admiring eye on high quality products, conscientiously designed and with a passion for marrying together both style and function, we take our love of bikes, skills and experience to help bring our customers’ bespoke-build dreams into shining life.
In 2013 we opened our flagship store – Kinoko Cycles. Situated in the center of Soho, Kinoko Cycles is the product of everything we love about cycling. Displaying some of the finest custom bikes in existence alongside some of the fastest performance road bikes lets us provide people with exactly what they want, from a bike for life to race-day best. From our fitting rooms to our stock of casual and professional cycling clothing, Kinoko Cycles lets us support the best of cycling across the board, from commuters to pros, from the cleats to the helmet.