Saturday, October 25, 2014Mostly Cloudy 11°C
Services

The Bike Joint

Posted by Derek Flack / Posted on April 7, 2011

The Bike JointThe Bike Joint is where you go when your beater bike needs fixing. Don't get me wrong, the store can handle all sorts of bikes, but it really comes into its own when dealing with older bikes that most mechanics roll their eyes at. And because Toronto's commuter class tends to rely heavily on older bikes to avoid having to worry about theft all the time, there's actually quite the demand for a shop that specializes in these types of bikes, as evidenced by the inventory waiting to be attended to outside the store.

The Bike JointOpened by Derek Chadbourne about 10 years ago, the focus at the Bike Joint has always been on repairs rather than sales. His store doesn't sell bikes and the range of accessories is limited. But if you need an obscure part, you might just be in luck. Case in point: last year I needed a 26.8" seatpost for my Bianchi single speed. After trying a few stores with no success, I was happy to find one at the Bike Joint. Not a big deal, but demonstrative of what the shop is good for.

Bike Joint TorontoAnother strength is the tune-up. A cash-grab for most bike shops, the tune-up generally involves a quick once-over and results in only a marginal improvement to bike performance. Chadbourne and his staff, on the other hand, take the path less travelled by offering a 32-step process, which includes all the stuff you'd expect plus things like freewheel maintenance, (re)positioning brake and gear levers at a 45 degree angle, and the application of lube to all bolts and cables. I never get my bike tuned up because I know that most of the work is easy enough to do at home, but considering what you get for $40, I'd consider it here.

Bike Joint TorontoIt's also worth noting that the Bike Joint does something all shops should do (but generally don't) in test riding all bikes before they return them to customers. What a bike sounds like on a repair stand with no weight or real pressure on the pedals and what it sounds like on the road can be two radically different things. As such, you really want a mechanic who's willing to test his or her work. Trust me, this practice saves a ton of headaches in the long run.

The Bike JointThe Bike Joint is open for repairs year-round, and seven days a week during spring and summer. Along with repair services, you'll find a locks, racks, tires and tubes and a variety of crucial and utilitarian accessories.

THE SKINNY

Who the store caters to: commuters /owners of older bikes looking for repairs

Bike price range: No sales, just repairs

Service capabilities: Everything but welding (but not the place for high end bikes)

The tune-up: For $40 you get on of the best in the city. Check this page for a detailed description.

Discussion

24 Comments

YourArtSucks / April 7, 2011 at 07:52 pm
user-pic
Thanks for the article. A few years back I convinced myself that I wanted to do a lot of bike riding, and went out and bought a pretty expensive Specialized. I think I used it about 5 times, and it's sat in storage ever since. I plan to bring it out of retirement this summer and was looking for a good place to get it tuned up and ready to ride, so far this looks like a top choice.
Rmund / April 7, 2011 at 10:50 pm
user-pic
Very good to know. I have an old 1967 3-speed that needs some tweaking. This sounds like the place to go!
Pete / April 8, 2011 at 11:23 am
user-pic
Derek & the Joint rule. Top quality work, every time. I'm sad I moved out of the neighbourhood... getting my spring tune-up this year at another shop felt sacrilegious.
Panic / April 8, 2011 at 11:34 am
user-pic
I got a tune-up on my rusty ugly beater bike at the Bike Joint and they did such an amazing job. I expected not much more than greasing up the chain, testing the breaks, getting some air in the tires (the last two Bikes on Wheels in Kensington totally failed to do, and charged me $50 for anyway). Bike Joint did all the above, fixed my cables, fixed my derailleur, and trued both back and front wheels. My bike is a total joy to ride now, and for $60 (extra for a new wheel I think), and they were really sweet people. Can't say enough nice things. Wonderful job.
Tony / April 8, 2011 at 11:34 am
user-pic
I am gonna bring my brown Raleigh Twenty there and see if they could find a matching chain guard for it. Thanks.
John / April 8, 2011 at 11:35 am
user-pic
These guys are awesome. Great, friendly service with no pretention about the kind of bike you bring in to them. The work has always been great, quick and cheap. Love this place.
Jeff / April 9, 2011 at 09:22 am
user-pic
these guys are friendly, good at their work & extremely reasonably priced. i highly recommend them above anyone else in that area of the city.
StraightUp / April 10, 2011 at 10:52 pm
user-pic
These guys are crooks, and I'm not too sure if its really worth coming here over, say, a Canadian Tire. I used to live on Grace St, and thought I'd give these guys a try last year. My main problem with my bike was that the breaks wouldn't release very well, and there was an odd clicking (which was accompanied by a bumping feeling) whenever I was pedalling.

I had tried numerous times to fix the problems myself, as well as taking the bike to a different (cheaper) shop before. So I brought my bike in, hoping for the best. Paid the forty bucks, came back a couple days later when it was ready.

At first glance, it looked EXACTLY the same, as if it hadn't even been touched. I took it for test ride, and I had the same problems. The staff tried to convice me they had worked on it, I still don't believe them. They wouldn't give my money back, and I sure as heck will never go back to these a**holes.
Derek Chadbourne replying to a comment from StraightUp / April 27, 2011 at 07:26 pm
user-pic
I am sorry that you were dissatisfied with our work. Please come in and talk to me and I will happily refund your money.

derek
Marcy replying to a comment from StraightUp / May 25, 2011 at 06:19 pm
user-pic
StraightUp, did you ever talk to the Bike Joint about your issue? Or did you just huff away?

Generally, calling people assholes and crooks will discredit you, so if you have a real problem, keep it in line, otherwise -you- look like the asshole and no one will take you seriously.
Cody / May 29, 2011 at 11:52 pm
user-pic
I went there with a loose rain fender and asked for a couple of nuts + washers + bolts, expecting to pay a couple of dollars, but was pleasantly surprised when the person just gave them to me. It is the small gestures like that that will keep me coming back. Thanks, Cody
Lindsay / May 30, 2011 at 09:24 am
user-pic
I just bought a basic cruiser off craigslist, the thing is straight out of china and not in the best condition (not my best purchase ever) but I fell head over heels for it and it's actually a lot of fun to ride. I was browsing around for a place that would be able to do anything with it, and I think this might be it :)
Nick / August 15, 2011 at 01:43 pm
user-pic
My bike needs a new front wheel. I took it in on Wednesday afternoon, and was told I'd have it back on Saturday at the latest. It's Monday. They haven't ordered the wheel yet.
Blanca / September 6, 2011 at 06:01 am
user-pic

I would like to get a quote on how much ti will cost for bike building an repair's course?

Matt / November 17, 2011 at 02:37 pm
user-pic
Don't waste your time with these rude jerks - this city is full of bike shops, so why bother supporting one where the customer service is non existant? I felt like I was inconveniencing them by giving the store business.
Acacia / May 2, 2012 at 10:59 am
user-pic
Brought my bike here yesterday after my go to shop was closed, Derek was really friendly did a once over and told me what was wrong. I had to leave the bike overnight and hopefully I'll be getting her back in the next day or so. This shop has been nothing but friendly so far, I can't see what all the fuss and complaining is about.
eric abergas / February 4, 2013 at 01:58 am
user-pic
will you be able to modify FSA K FORCE BB 30 10 speed double chainset. 172,5mm 53.39t . may bike bb is 68mm. Can you do some modification so that I can use my new FSA K FORCE BB 30 10 SPEED. HOPE YOU CAN HELP ME WITH THIS,THANKS
Tobiathon / March 18, 2013 at 12:57 am
user-pic
I broke the pedal on my ugly ccm bike (winter driving only; ladies, try to contain yourselves) and it was fixed in 5 minutes while I waited. Very inexpensive but helpful service.
Anne Carter / April 30, 2013 at 08:59 pm
user-pic
I took my bike in today because my husband and I unsuccessfully tried to change the seat of my wonderful old bike. Not only could we not put on the new one (it kept shifting) we couldn't put the old one back on (now it shifted too). Derek met me on the road and lifted the bike out of my hatchback, identified the problem, fixed it easily (no snarky comments) AND put it back in my hatchback for me. Wow. The Carter family has a new place to take our bikes. Fantastic.
jo bacon / May 6, 2013 at 07:22 pm
user-pic
best bike repair shop in the hood - not only does derrick run a good shop and is cool and calm when completely overrun in the high season - -he also gives back to community in a big way and will fix something if you bring the bike back after a repair. free tire fill on the way to work is always appreciated~!
KMW / June 24, 2013 at 06:51 pm
user-pic
I would like to join the parade of happily coasting bikers who's life has been made by the keen repairs of The Bike Joint. Quickly fixed, beyond reasonably priced, and attentive service. It feels like I bought a brand new bike. Thank you!!!
Steve / August 13, 2013 at 11:21 pm
user-pic
Got my rear tire and tube replaced for under $45 bucks and within 24 hours. Quite happy with the speed of service and also interaction with the employees.
+1
philip / August 16, 2013 at 02:06 pm
user-pic
Derek Chadbourne is unprofessional and impolite and you should look elsewhere if you need a repair done on your bike.

I brought in my bike for a repair and was told it was ready three days later. After leaving The Bike Joint I immediately noticed the problem I had brought the bike in for had not been fixed.

Irritated, I brought my bike back in a few days later and without apology or assessment of my bike, he preceded to quote me a new price for a new repair. I hesitantly agreed.

I just received a call telling me that yet another repair needs to be performed in order to rectify the issue. As I begin to voice my discontent, Derek hung up on me!

Please avenge this bad experience I have had by never visiting this store.

M / May 30, 2014 at 11:52 pm
user-pic
I've been here a few times with mountain bike (other stores laugh at me when they see it) these guys are the best. They do a great job in record time.

Add a Comment

Search

Find a Service

Or use the options below to assist you in locating a Service in Toronto.

Search Results

Please select criteria from the dropdown menus above to start your search.

Reviews

Recent Reviews

Refine the list using the categories below:


Loading...
Other Cities: Montreal