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We have written about how some bike shops just can’t get the hang of how to deal with female customers but fortunately there are plenty of other ones out there that get it right. We asked our readers to tell us where around the world they had found those retailers that delivered the products, service and support that made them want to keep going back. Here’s what they told us.
Australia and New Zealand
The QV store is one of five Cycles Galleria shops scattered around the city and inner suburbs of Melbourne. It stocks a variety of bikes, ranging from funky cruisers to high-end road bikes. The Trek retailer got the thumbs up from a number of our readers, with their helpful female staff a drawcard.
“Perhaps I’m stating the obvious here, but women make up 50 percent of our population, so why shouldn’t they make up 50 percent of our Cycles Galleria team and customer base,” said Amy Phillips, store manager at Cycles Galleria QV.
“We have great women working with us. Regular real gals that commute, girls racing mountain bikes, gravel grinding chicks and road-racing ladies. The feedback we receive from our customers is they tend to feel more comfortable coming into a shop where there are other women. Our goal is to have women staff in all of our 5 locations,” said Phillips
There are a number of other reasons the store is known for its female-friendly approach, said Phillips. Among them are the wide range of women’s products from Trek and Bontrager, the close-knit community of female riders that has connected through the store and owners that have encouraged and backed the women’s side of the business.
This shop in the inner-Melbourne suburb of Brunswick has gathered a dedicated band of advocates and won many females over with their service ethos. The website speaks of their commitments to customers, one of which is to ‘create a positive experience for all people in contact with My Mountain’. The stockist of bike brands including Niner, Yeti, Trek, Santa Cruz and Lapierre also sponsors the 2015 winner of the Australia’s National Cyclocross series, Mel Anset.
After years of walking out of bike shops feeling crap, I found My Mountain through a work friend. Tim listened intently to my concerns and wants and helped me choose a beautiful road bike that has changed the way I ride completely. Drawing on his wife’s experience with cycling was the cherry on the top, and every encounter since has been above and beyond! I couldn’t have asked for better service. – katemehax44 on Instagram
The Liv section of the Giant store in central Sydney has female staff, ambassadors and a wide range of Liv products for the female cyclist to choose between.
“We aim to provide everyone with the best riding experience possible. So as well as stocking a broad and deep range of women’s specific bikes and products, we do our best to offer that ‘next step’ providing a pathway into cycling: bike fitting, workshop basics nights, a coaching hub, free monthly Liv Cycling Sydney road and mountain bike rides and Giant Cycling Club Sydney membership,” said marketing and community manager Alice King.
“Giant Sydney is not just a retail store, it’s a community hub.”
A family-oriented bike shop in Sydney’s Redfern, which stocks brands such as Jamis, Allegro and Vivente. It breaks the mould when it comes to what you would typically expect from your local bike shop in Australia. Omafiets deviates from the mainstream and stocks Dutch cargo bikes, electric bikes, locally designed bikes, folding bicycles and second-hand bikes.
“We try really hard to be a great bicycle shop for women,” said Chris Moore, manager of Omafiets. “Part of that is hiring female staff. We don’t have a distinction between mechanics and sales staff, everyone does a bit of everything and this helps customers get good advice from all our staff. We run training sessions on mechanics and sales topics twice a week, which helps address some of the entrenched hierarchies between female and male mechanics.”
Additional factors Moore said he thought added to the appeal of the store for women is the focus on getting to know the customers and their needs, along with initiatives such as the saddle club which provides access to a variety of test saddles.
@ashgrovecycles hired me as a 17 year old with little experience and treated me as an equal, showed me the ropes and introduced me to racing. They show lots of support for female racers in MTB and road of all ages and abilities. – brodie_mai on Instagram
@topgearcyclesau Top gear cycles in Bulleen (Melbourne) Australia, is an incredibly welcoming store…for women and for families. Whether you’re choosing a road bike for racing or a bike for commuting the staff are helpful and knowledgeable. They were patient with me as I was trying to decide what I wanted. I have sent my girlfriends there and they have had great experiences as well. Top gear run workshops for women teaching about basic bike mechanics, tips for riding and staying safe. They stock women’s specific gear. They encourage women to ride!!! Can’t speak highly enough of them. ?? – bzakliz on Instagram
Spoilt for choice in Brisbane! Four of our favourites: @velobicycles, @planet_cycles, @avantiplusthevalley & @crankstarbespoke. Friendly welcoming staff, knowledgeable, understanding and patient. They all carry women’s specific products and put good service above a quick sale.” – kangaroopointcc on Instagram
@justridenerang are amazing! An entire downstairs area dedicated to women. Plus knowledgable and inspiring staff (including lots of ladies). – Sassysparkette on Instagram
CycleWorld Dunedin store in New Zealand! They have women’s rides and seminars as well as promote women’s cycling every October for the whole month. They got me into cycling and now sponsor me in a development squad! – Sophie Luther on Facebook
The retailer in London’s Battersea describes itself as an independent bike shop made for women. You can tell from the bright façade and elaborate window displays that this is not your everyday cycling retailer. The store, which opened last year on International Women’s Day, stocks mainly women’s products but has a range of men’s and kids bikes to add to the mix. Brands range from Trek, to the relatively new locally-owned brand of Bobbin and longstanding bike manufacturer Pashley.
Here are some of the other stores in Europe that readers told us about:
The Liv section of and the whole store @giantsheffield in Sheffield, UK are awesome! -tinyjneenie on Instagram
This Chicago women’s bike shop, owned by two ladies who became friends as they travelled to bike races together, stocks brands including Liv, Bianchi and Public city bikes. Co-owner Annie Byrne said while its women’s focus means that it can carry a deeper range of products for the female buyer, it does far more than that to properly cater to the market.
“We have a very inclusive, positive attitude and organize a lot of rides, clinics, and classes,” said Byrne. “I think our customers see our enthusiasm for women’s cycling and it helps them feel welcome, excited about bikes, and getting more involved. We love getting to know our customers and help them grow in their cycling, no matter if they are just beginning to ride or are a state champion racer!”
BFF bikes also has its own women’s race team.
It’s the Midwest’s only women-focused bike shop and it’s owned by two of the most supportive, encouraging, inclusive and of course FAST ladies. Their attitude and enthusiasm has inspired a whole team of 30 ladies who race and get others involved. -annicka on Instagram.
The name of this Portland shop just kept cropping up, and it was the helpful crew at the shop that featured in comments. Sellwood stocks Kona, Giant and Liv but also sells used bicycles and has been operating since 1991. “Our goal is to help you get what you need out of your bicycle. That might mean fixing your current bike, helping you find a used or new bike, or getting you the parts and accessories you need to make your current bike awesome,” Sellwood said on its website.
Another Portland store, where the focus is on customer service and listening to its customers is recognised as a key part of this. The store’s focus is women but Glady’s emphasises that this doesn’t mean it’s a women’s only retailer, the store is for everyone. Bikes range from Liv and Bianchi to Papillionaire, a small Australian-owned company designing Dutch style bikes.
Their motto is ‘you fit here’. It’s true too! Very welcoming. –leislweh on Instagram
@adamsavenuebicycles in San Diego, CA is the best! They’ll never try to sell you the pink bike unless that’s what you really want, and they’ll never tell you a bike has “lady gears” -alexis_arthur on Instagram
Cycle U in Seattle! Great staff, respectful & informative, & excellent pricing. My favorite bike shop with a neighborhood feel! -mollyawatson on Instagram
Trek Bicycle Store (@trekprocity) in Victoria, BC! Everyone there rides bikes of all kinds (no discipline snobbery here), they are the main sponsor in our city’s Rapha Women’s 100, host a kick ass women’s-only customer appreciation night every year, and all the staff are lovely people who just wanna help you get on your bike and have the best time ever. -dennymah on Instagram
@coatesbikeshop in Pomona, CA! Corey and his crew are rad, super supportive, and never patronize their lady patrons :) They also host a women’s no-drop ride every month, which has totally contributed to growing the number of women cyclists in the area. Hurray! -zombielovesbabies on Instagram
@omahabicycleco is owned by a tireless advocate for women on bikes, whether they tour, commute, race, are 8 or 80 years old! -egrindcore on Instagram
We’ve highlighted the stores that were mentioned by multiple Ella readers, but the best thing is that you told us about so many. This means there are plenty of bike shops out there that our readers enjoy going to, where they get the help they want and access to the community they need to build their riding opportunities. Want to share more of those stores, jump in on the comments section below.