Let’s start with this: A good bike shop is more than just a place to buy new wheels. It’s also a place to get your trusty steed patched up or learn how to do it for yourself (teach a man to fish, they say…). It’s a place to swap war stories about the dead-of-winter commute or receive hard-earned advice regarding gear ratios and componentry. It’s where you can find an after-work group ride, link up with a training partner, get information on the local singletrack or volunteer to help maintain it. In other words, we at The Active Times think that, at its best, a good local bike shop (“LBS” in cyclist parlance) is the hub of the cycling community.
We also know that every devoted cyclist has a favorite shop. That place where he stops in for an extra tube and ends up staying for a while, shooting the breeze with the mechanics. Maybe it’s in the city or near an epic trail system. Maybe it caters to mountain bikers or to ounce-counting triathletes. A few things are always true, though—it offers impeccable, honest service, and keeps you rolling no matter what. Now we want to know: what is the best bike shop in America?
While we have our own ideas of which bike shops are tops, we want to know what your picks are—who offers the best service and is most knowledgeable? Where do you go for small fixes and complete overhauls—or just to pick the crew’s brains? We scoured the country to come up with a list of 80 of America’s most trusted bike shops. They are independently owned and have shown, over the years, that they’re committed to their local cycling communities through top-notch service—several are among the National Bicycle Dealers Association’s Top 100 Retailers—biking advocacy and involvement in the cycling scene, whether it’s hosting a local race series or organizing trail maintenance. Some are legendary shops that always find their way onto such lists (Above Category Cycling in Mill Valley, CA) and some are only locally legendary, including a few that we never even heard of until we began our search (Chicago’s Comrade Cycles, for instance). But they all deserve recognition.
While we think these 80 shops from 30 states (plus the District of Columbia) are among the best in the country, we want YOU to whittle it down to the top 50. After all, what better sign of a good shop is there than a rabid fan base of devoted cyclists? Cast your vote and decide what, you feel, is the best bike shop in America. You can select your favorite among the nominees, and in two weeks, we’ll unveil who YOU chose as the Best Bike Shop in America.
Click here to take the survey and tell us which bike shops deserve to be recognized, because we want to recognize who YOU think is best.