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Riders Cycle and Board

Posted by Derek Flack / Posted on April 10, 2011

Riders Cycle and BoardRiders Cycle and Board is your quintessential neighbourhood bike shop, right down to the full service coffee bar that entices locals to linger and talk shop with owners Jeff Ubalde and Valentine Tomlinson. Both enjoy extensive experience in Toronto's bike industry, so when they teamed up to open their own shop, they wanted to keep it as community-oriented as possible.

This is their second spring at Dovercourt and Geary, and outward appearances indicate the neighbourhood has embraced the laid back atmosphere at the store. Bustling with activity after regular work hours through the week and throughout the day on weekends, along with the Nova Era bakery to the west, it's one of the most popular spots on the street.

Riders Cycle and BoardCommuters make up the majority of the clientele, but those looking for custom builds also frequent the store. In fact one of Riders' specialties is working one-on-one with customers to build vintage bikes to unique specs. As such, it's tough to pin down exactly what the average bike prices are at the store — to a great extent, it depends on the level of customization. If you're just looking for regularly spec'd vintage offerings, prices start as low as $200 and go up to $400+.

And when I say vintage, I don't mean reproductions. These are older bikes that have been refurbished to serve as stylish and basic commuting options. When asked how they negotiate the complications of stolen bikes floating around the used market, the owners explain that all of Riders stock is sourced from collectors and private dealers with solid reputations. They don't buy bikes off the street à la Igor Kenk, which is where it gets tricky. In other words, you don't have to worry about buying a stolen bike here.

Riders Cycle and BoardWhile the bike selection at Riders might be a bit on the niche side, the opposite is true of service options at the store. In addition to offering a full range of repairs (on every type of bike), Riders will do basic maintenance like replacing inner tubes and brake/derailleur adjustments while you wait. I suspect there are a few exceptions to this when the store is absolutely jammed, but the idea is that customers can enjoy a coffee or a tea from the espresso bar before getting back out on the road. I've always thought that all bike shops should do something this, but it's actually quite rare, so kudos to the guys on this one.

Riders Cycle and BoardRiders also stocks a small assortment of accessories and casual/commuter clothing. While the selection looks a bit sparse right now, they have everything the average commuter could need, including tires, locks, fenders, and basic tools (and expect more to come in the weeks ahead). And if they don't have something, they'll order it on the customer's behalf.

For all this talk of "cycle," I'd be remiss not to cover the "board" quickly. Although the shop services them throughout the year (mostly for vacationing customers), the store's specialty switches over to snowboards in the winter, at which time jackets and other winter soft goods fill the front of house. The longboard skating community is also served throughout the year with a selection of accessories (trucks, bearings, wheels, etc.) and other components required for custom builds.

Riders Cycle and BoardI'm starting to feel a bit like a broken record with regard to the vibe at the bike stores I've visited, but once again my experience at Riders (and I've visited more than once) reveals a shop with an attitude free atmosphere. Who knows? Maybe the stereotype of the surly bike store employee needs to be retired — at a minimum, it has no commerce at Riders.

THE SKINNY

Who the store caters to: Commuters, vintage enthusiasts, those looking for custom bike and wheel-builds

Bike price range: $200-$600 (higher for complete custom jobs)

Service capabilities: Everything except painting and welding (minor stuff often done on the spot)

The tune-up: For $45 you get complete external adjustment of the bike, bearing adjustment, truing of wheels, all parts lubed.

Discussion

22 Comments

Katerina / April 11, 2011 at 01:42 pm
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It looks great!!

I hope that this new place will discourage people from going to Cogs Cycle. They were extremely rude to me yesterday! I arrived at 4:45 pm and they were closing at 5:00. All I wanted was a seat, a quick and easy purchase. They refused me service because they were closing in 15 minutes. Not a great business....
Jen / April 11, 2011 at 04:21 pm
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The guys are Riders are GREAT! I found them on a whim and they quickly became my favourite bike shop in the city. Quick fixes, fair prices (tune-up/labour) and zero attitude. You'll find nothing but friendly, helpful smiles and service.
Jen / April 11, 2011 at 04:23 pm
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The guys are Riders are GREAT! I found them on a whim and they quickly became my favourite bike shop in the city. Quick fixes, fair prices (tune-up/labour) and zero attitude. You'll find nothing but friendly, helpful smiles and service.
Phil / April 11, 2011 at 04:28 pm
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Having visited almost every bike store in the GTA at least once over the past few years, riders is definitely a nice change from the harried staff, over-priced product and often rude service I've encountered. Haven't had any work done here, but the prices on components are fair and staff are knowledgeable. Highly recommended.
Marilyn / April 12, 2011 at 01:04 pm
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Hey! Looks very cool. Love the coffee bar idea.

Riders looks down to earth and a true bicycle shop.

I am so looking forward to dropping by with my 23 year old fold-up bike in need of restoration.

PS: I hear the prices are reasonable too.
Steve / April 12, 2011 at 05:16 pm
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I've known the guys at Riders for quite some time and they are the greatest guys. They have a plethora of knowledge and wisdom on bikes. I just got my baby built at Riders by Jeff and he did a remarkable job! Best ride yet. Trust me this is where you want to go for anything bicycle or boards!
crimson titi / April 15, 2011 at 02:40 pm
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Riders is THE GO-TO spot for all your cycling needs in Toronto! It's got a knowledgeable, friendly staff, and a great location. New riders, dedicated cyclists, and local riders alike can all benefit from visiting the shop. Ask for Jeff. That guy built my bike last Spring - best investment ever.

Highly recommended!
allysa / April 18, 2011 at 08:15 pm
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Jeff built my bike too last summer! And he was awsome. And being a bike newbie myself, even took the time to give me a mini lesson on some basic bike maintenance. Definitely made my bike buying experience all the more enjoyable.
mikhail / June 29, 2011 at 06:43 pm
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Just like Allysa there Jeff also built me my bike. I spend long hours on it and can say I love it. Don't miss their coffee too.
Sergio / July 8, 2011 at 12:27 am
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Val at Riders just built me a great road bike last week. Been riding it like mad since. Great experience there, and yup, great coffee!
Also, they put pics of the build up on their blog - http://riderstoronto.blogspot.com/
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Jake / January 20, 2012 at 08:18 pm
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This place is ok. If you want good stuff they don't have it. If you want no frills it rocks. I go to Bathurst Cycle for what I need.

n replying to a comment from Jake / February 17, 2012 at 09:41 pm
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not sure why lower prices='bad'
the guys at riders are awesome--if you want honest & sincere service check them out.
Tuttriege / February 18, 2012 at 04:30 am
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Lub jesteś fanatykiem celuloid? Byłoby akuratniej, jeślibyś zdołał nabyć również przyjrzeć się własny dobór filmu w dowolnym miejscu. Internetowego pakieciki aż do wzięcia filmu pozwoliły. A więc możesz pozostać w chałupy dodatkowo truchtać tam, dokąd chcesz chodzić bez dedykowania się gotowość oraz zainteresowanie do oglądania filmów. Można wnosić także przypominać sobie swoje ulubione tytuły za pomocą laptopa, odtwarzacz iPod albo innych obwoźnych odtwarzaczy multimedialnych.

Moda pobrania filmu przenigdy nie trzeba uwłaczać. W zasadzie, te dni, coraz to więcej petentów Internetu są zaczepione aż do pobierania plus oglądania filmów internetowego. To jest strona dlaczego większość witryn www plus blogów są wyposażone w umiejętności do odtwarzania filmów, oznacza to długości krótko-lub kompletny.

Istnieje również nieco witryn www, jakie proponują zbytkownych dla ściągania filmów. Jest dozwolone bez trudności przebrać jeden spośród tych i natychmiast użytkować z służb ściągania filmów. Wadą widnieje owo, że mają możliwość wystąpić nieporozumienia, jeżeli celem wyłowić najlepszy spośród opakowania. Zaletą widnieje to, iż ostra konkurencja może obniżyć koszty oraz wysupłać wybitnie najważniejsze służb dodatkowo funkcje dla odbiorców upajać.
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Jednakowoż z uwagi na coraz członkowstwo do licznych stronach wyzyskajże kinematografia? Winnaś owo dokonać, jeśli chcesz się upewnić, stale wolno utrzymywać się dostęp do setek tytułów. Członkostwo wymagają płatności opłat. Nie dysponuje dyspozycja ograniczonych członkostwa, w jakim jest dozwolone pobrać określoną liczbę filmów w określonym terminie. Nieograniczone potencjał są dla nas uzależnionych od chwili filmowych, jacy pożądają furt nakładać także oddawać filmy nieustannie. Nieograniczone możności istnieją z większym natężeniem kultowe mimo bycia z większym natężeniem premium cenie.

Co jest łaskawie, o pobrania filmu widnieje owo, iż filmy mają możliwość istnieć pobierane plus przekazywane do dowolnego odtwarzacza multimedialnego, jakiego używasz. Co najwyżej wspomniano, pęki nie mają możliwości znajdować się zapisywane plus pobierane za pośrednictwem laptopów, komputerów stacjonarnych, a nawet iPody natomiast inne przenośne odtwarzacze MP4 także sztuka filmowa. Istnieje nadzwyczajny oprogramowanie, jaki mógłby pozostać wykorzystany aż do ułatwienia takiej załogi. Nie niepokój się, dlatego że większa część z tych niezbędnych programów są w stanie znajdować się użytkowane natomiast zainstalowane bezpłatnie.
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Kto sięga i rozwesela się pakieciki aż do pobrania filmu? Ta wyjątkowa aspekt maszyna matematyczna jest na rzecz wszystkich. Sporo nastolatków a dziatwa znajdują coraz podłączyć do niego. Stanowią dodatkowo dorośli natomiast seniorzy, jacy zaczynają się przyzwyczajać do pobierania również oglądania filmów internetowego. Ktokolwiek przypadkiem wyrobić w sobie przyzwyczajenie, póki jest autentyczne ciekawość plus nie jest wystarczająca wyjaśnienie na domiar tego.
W jakim stopniu filmy są dostępne aż do pobrania? Spis jest w pewnym sensie pod żadnym pozorem się nie kończy. Na co dzień coraz to więcej tytułów są coraz ekstra do listy już długi. Filmy nie są plus ograniczone aż do angielskich tytułów.
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Jest co niemiara obcych filmów, jakie nie mają możliwości być tak jak pobrane. Owo sprawia, że klisza pobraniem bardziej słynne we jakichkolwiek kulturach. Strony zużytkujże film znajdują się w czołówce siebie pływać jak najważniejsze w branży rozwija. Oczywiście skutkiem tego jakiś zakres konkursu istnieje skala natomiast tablica z portfela filmowej.
Lub trzeba nabyć teraz? Zawżdy można poczynić. Dochrapać się przynależność w śladowej spośród tych stron prawnych pobierania filmów. Ocalić parę dolarów opłat abonamentowych. Sprawdź specyfikację komputera a upewnij się, iż widnieje dosyć multum zapasowe pamięci lub miejsca, żeby ulokować pakiety. Co jest dobroduszne, o wzięcia filmu widnieje to, iż większość z nich jest w formacie MP4, który widnieje skompresowany akuratnie sycić się tycio stanowiska komputera.
natalie replying to a comment from Jake / February 26, 2012 at 11:24 pm
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I agree with N, just because they don't have flashy bikes and parts lining their shelves does not mean they are not an awsome bike shop. Val and Jeff are friendly, professional and my experiences with them have always been positive and they are always willing to work with whatever budget you have - regardless if it is a little or alot. Check out the custom build bikes they have built for customers...

http://riderstoronto.blogspot.com/2011/08/james-new-wheels.html
http://riderstoronto.blogspot.com/2011/07/custom-bikes-built-for-you.html

or the vintage bikes they have...

http://riderstoronto.blogspot.com/2011/07/brand-new-vintage-custom-pictures.html
http://riderstoronto.blogspot.com/2011/07/brand-new-vintage-custom-pictures.html

John / July 17, 2012 at 10:45 am
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I am very grateful to have this shop in my new hood. The service is first rate with ZERO attitude. I showed up in a panic shortly before closing with 2 bikes; both with flats (I blew out my tire and to get to work, had to borrow my ex-wife's bike , which I also got a flat on!!) I was treated like an old friend, as were the other customers there. Great shop. Great service!
Laurie / May 10, 2013 at 09:27 pm
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Val and Jeff are the best, they help fix my older delivery bike and are always nice and pleasant!
Laurie / May 10, 2013 at 09:28 pm
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This is the shop that looks after my older steel bike with some different parts, plus I usually wear them right down to the end. I appreciate their attention to detail and they are super nice people!
!PO! / June 19, 2013 at 04:03 pm
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I don't even cycle and I love these guys. They're next door to where my band jams (Encore Studio, if you're in a band looking for a rehearsal spot) and they are the friendliest dudes with some of the best coffee in town!
BiaA / May 23, 2014 at 12:40 am
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My favorite bike store. Pleasant staff, professional, many things are done on the spot, whatever is not in the store they order, and in addition they have great espresso - and gum and games to entertain kids. What better local bike store could there be?
Flying Trilobite / May 23, 2014 at 02:54 pm
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They are not only friendly and fast with service, they are really a part of the community. I recall once last year seeing them come to the aid of an elderly person who was lost and disoriented and take them over to the nearby park to wait together for emergency services to come and help out.
Neil Gesky / June 5, 2014 at 02:28 am
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Wow! These are amazing and beautiful bike. Will buy soon.
Thanks for this post!

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