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The Cycle Shoppe

Posted by Staff / Posted on May 18, 2011

Cycle Shoppe TorontoThe Cycle Shoppe is the older sibling of Cyclemotive, and has been located in and around Queen and Bathurst for 20 years. Unlike the newer shop which is larger and more diverse in its range of offerings, this is a shop that's specifically focused on commuter and utility cyclists. Had you visited the Cycle Shoppe last riding season or before, its target market would have been a bit more clear, given the tires, rims and parts strewn across the store: this wasn't a place to buy a Tour de France ride.

Cycle Shoppe TorontoYou still won't find any of these race machines on the sales floor, but the whole place is a hell of a lot prettier after a winter renovation last year. What does that mean for the prospective buyer? Well, there's more bikes on the floor for one. And, it's way easier to find accessories, which in the past required assistance from employees.

Cycle Shoppe TorontoThese might not be a huge deal to shoppers for whom the bottom line reigns supreme, but I've always liked retail stores that merchandize well. Maybe it's because I spent too much of my youth working in various retail spaces, I don't know. But given that the prices don't seem to have changed, I'll take the new set-up as a good thing.

Cycle Shop TorontoAlthough there are a few entry level road bikes and 29er mountain bikes on the floor, the vast majority of bikes at the Cycle Shoppe fall into three categories: commuter, fixed/single speed, and sport hybrids. Brand-wise, the mainstays are Giant, Electra, Biria, Marin and Raleigh. As a more utility-based store, the price point is lower than at Cyclemotive, falling between $360-$1800, with a so-called sweet-spot of $600-$800. Also worthy of note as far as bikes go is the ample selection for women, which has been increased post-renovation.

Cycle Shop TorontoAs you'd expect, the accessory selection — be it racks, fenders, tires or tubes — is well stocked and clearly oriented toward the commuter cyclist with few high-end, super-pricy offerings to be found. There's not much by way of clothing here, but if you're looking for the Bern helmets all the cool-kids are wearing, I'm told the Cycle Shoppe has got the best selection in Toronto.

Cycle Shop TorontoA final note about service: I've only visited the shop three or four times, but the staff have always been very helpful, even when I've been searching for obscure items like 5mm cassette spacers. There's zero pretentiousness here, and that's a good thing.

Cycle Shop TorontoTHE SKINNY

Who the store caters to: Commuter, utility cyclists.

Bike price range: $350-$1800, most bikes range between $600-$800.

Service capabilities: Bring bike; they fix

The tune-up: For $49 you get complete external adjustment of the bike (bikes, gears, bolts) and a safety check.



Iain D / May 18, 2011 at 11:03 pm
A question I would like the BlogTO community to answer:
I want to buy a used bike, but I don't want one that was stolen. Are there any reputable used bike dealers in Toronto, or am I being unreasonable?

(the reason I want a used one is my last two bikes were stolen, hence the *strong* desire for a reputable dealer)
Mark / May 19, 2011 at 12:16 am
@Iain D: finding a used bike through a store seems to be rather difficult in Toronto. Most people sell their used bikes through Craigslist. But, for the most part, it's pretty easy to tell if a store seems 'sketchy' or not. I have no proof, but I'd avoid "Uncle Jacob's" on Spadina in Chinatown. There's a couple shops on the Danforth that sell used bikes and are reputable. There's also DR. Jamie's out in the Junction - he sells bikes he buys from police auctions but is a bit swarmy. There's a new store on Dundas West (just west of Bathurst) that has a few used bikes. It seems selling used bike through a retail outlet isn't very profitable. Ultimately, though, I'd suggest looking on Craigslist. Some stolen bikes and scammers show up, but the Craigslist 'community' is pretty vigilant about calling these people out. Plus, it's pretty obvious when you're dealing with someone sketchy.
Rich / May 23, 2011 at 01:16 pm
Bike Pirates on Bloor near Lansdowne always has a handful of used bikes for sale, and since they don't buy secondhand bikes, but only take donations, the odds of them being stolen are very low. (Folks that steal bikes want to sell them, not give them away.)

East of the Don Valley, BikeSauce does the same thing. They're in the middle of a location change right now though, reopening on June 4 at 235 Broadview.

Set Me Free also has refurbished bikes and I've never heard complaints about provenance there.
Mark / May 25, 2011 at 02:54 am
Paula / June 23, 2011 at 12:04 am
Love my new Biria Citi bike guys. Thanks so much for all the wonderful help!
jon / March 27, 2012 at 08:00 pm
Experienced poor workmanship, completely unknowledgeable owner, manager seemed too occupied on youtube to even serve me and wasn't even able to find my bike for pick up, ripped me off on evg.
Illuminati / August 18, 2012 at 05:58 pm
I feel nothing but stress when it comes to the Cycle Shoppe.

I bought two bicycles from there just over a year ago. When I purchased the bicycles there was a sign on the debit/credit machine that said, "it was down and we only accept cash." That was fine and I paid in cash and was surprised they have five free tune ups which I have never heard of from any bike store in Toronto.

When I went in for my first tune up, which was about six months later, the same sign was there. It seemed strange to me that it was still there. I'm not sure if it was fixed or not or why it was still there but I didn't have to pay for my tune up anyway. - There's just a vibe in that store that it seems like a scam. The store has a great design and colour and layout of the bicycles. But staff seem arrogant in a way. Everytime I've been in to get my bicycle tuned up they make it seem like this is HOW it happened and this is how it's going to get fixed. As if I should know these things. They are a little pushy when it comes to sales.

And, I think I'm almost at my last tune up because every time since my first tune up there's always been a problem with my back fender. And it's such a process to get fixed because they have to take the back wheel off. Sometimes you can walk in sometimes you can't. (First come first serve basis). There has never been a problem with my front fender EVER it's always the back one and I'm getting fed up with wasting my tunes ups this summer just for a back fender.

For anyone thinking of buying a bicycle at Cycle Shoppe I recommend researching at other bicycle stores in the city before purchasing a bike there.

I have an Electra and I'm not happy with it anymore, the front sticker is peeling and I payed a lot of money for it. As apposed to Cycle Solutions on Parliament St where, I bought a GIANT and never had a problem with it once, not even a tune up because it got stolen.
Illuminati / August 25, 2012 at 06:03 pm
Pick up your phone...
Laura / November 21, 2012 at 06:57 pm
Great shop with friendly staff. Really took the time to educate me with my purchase. Thanks Cycle Shoppe.
Dana / July 13, 2013 at 08:10 pm
Just got hit by a car and you men picked me up and told me they worked here, brought me inside and cleaned me up and made sure my bike was still rideable. Thank you so much guys!

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