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Where to buy a road bike in Toronto

Posted by Derek Flack / June 6, 2012

Road Bikes TorontoWhere to buy a road bike in Toronto is question that's surely getting a bit of extra play in the wake of Canadian Ryder Hesjedal's stunning victory at the 2012 Giro d'Italia. Yes, the folks at Cervelo have to be tickled pink with the win — and for good reason. Although there's certainly much passion for road biking in Toronto and the rest of the country, it remains a niche sport when compared to Europe. Big wins like this, however, have a tendency to attract newcomers to a sport, and with fair riding weather finally upon us, the timing couldn't be better.

While Toronto is blessed with an embarrassment of options when it comes to commuter bike stores, the road market is decidedly smaller. That said, there are still a number of stores to choose from, so here's a rundown of five of the best.

Wheels of Bloor
Located just west of High Park, this place is a roadie's wet dream. Toronto's biggest Cervelo dealer, it's a dangerous place to spend time in if you have ample room on your credit card. The bulk of the bikes here — which also comprise offerings from Colnago, Look, BMC, Ridley, and Canadian company Argon 18 — come in at $3000+ but there are a few options for the novice that start just above the $1000 mark. The mechanics are top notch and the sales staff, for the most part, know their stuff.

Blacksmith Cycle
You won't find mass-marketed big name brands here. Blacksmith specializes in Italian racing steeds and American boutique brands like Independent Fabrication. And the city's road community is better for it. Stock racing bikes from companies like Giant and Specialized are great and all, but they can't really compete in terms of wow-factor with a hand-painted, custom fit Passoni. Speaking of fitting services, for my money, Blacksmith has the best in the city.

La Bicicletta
This shop has been around longer than I've been riding road bikes, and its good reputation among roadies is well earned by the expert staff, most of whom have been in the bike industry for the long haul. Unlike smaller stores, La Bicicletta is typically quite well stocked when it comes to accessories and apparel, which makes it a regular stop for me even though I've never purchased a bike at the store. Major brands include Specialized, Pinarello, BMC, and Bianchi.

Gears
With three locations in the GTA (Leaside, Mississauga and Oakville), Gears is one of the bigger retailers around. And though the store focuses as much attention on mountain bikes as it does on those destined for the tarmac, I've always been impressed by the knowledge base of the staff that I've dealt with and the service performed on the bikes that I've brought into the store. Like a number of the stores above, Gears is also quite active on the Ontario race circuit, which is good for a bit of extra credibility in my books. Major brands include Specialized, Giant, Cannondale, Felt, Guru, Pinarello, and Stork.

D'Ornellas
I haven't mentioned the word "deal" much here, but that's exactly what I think of when considering D'Ornellas Bike Shop. Owner Eon and his crew always seem to have a steal on last year's model hanging from the rafters. I bought my first decent road bike here (a bright red Specialized Allez), which was a great experience on account of the fair price and the expert fitting that came with the bike. Major brands include Specialized, Giant and Scott.

Duke's Cycle
Duke's Cycle is a better place to buy a road bike now than before the fire that consumed the previous store. The extra space has allowed Duke's to carry more stock and to add a dedicated fitting room, which makes this crucial process more comfortable and confidence inspiring. Worthy of note is the special section devoted to women's bikes and apparel. Major brands include Cervelo, Cannondale and Trek.

OTHER SHOPS TO CONSIDER

MAP

SEE ALSO

Lead photo by the author

Discussion

19 Comments

John Coates / June 6, 2012 at 03:57 pm
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I would like to add Cycle Motive to the list - they're great guys and carry lots of bikes. They also do a little more track bikes than the rest of the stores listed above.

I also do like Wheels of Bloor.
60 Ton / June 6, 2012 at 04:19 pm
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I think Sporting Life bikes should also make the list, even if only in the "other section". Sporting Life may get a bad wrap due to perception that it is high cost, but in the low margin game of bikes, they are quite competitive. Further, their customer service, along with stores like Gears and Blacksmith is second to none. When you are dropping serious coin on a bike - it is important that the customer service matches the price tag. Sadly some of these stores are not up to snuff on that front (ex. Dukes).

I would advise all shops to treat customers with respect and show them great service - because every guy/girl who has a stable of $10K+ bikes started somewhere - and you would do well to cultivate that relationship starting with their first "real" road bike...

Jordan replying to a comment from John Coates / June 6, 2012 at 04:20 pm
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Agreed - stopped in this week. Very knowledgeable and friendly staff. +1 for Cyclemotive.
Ben / June 6, 2012 at 04:24 pm
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No Curbside Cycle? Possibly my favourite bike shop in the city. Tons of Bobbin and Linus road bikes too, among others.

http://www.curbside.on.ca

Ben replying to a comment from Ben / June 6, 2012 at 04:31 pm
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Sorry, guess I should have read more carefully the distinction road vs. commuter. S/O to curbside anyway though!
Mark / June 6, 2012 at 08:54 pm
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One of my sons is looking to buy his first 'road' bike.
Can someone suggest a good beginning point ?
Don't want to spend a fortune.
Is there anything under $500 ? Or am I dreaming ?
Any good used stores ?
what about / June 6, 2012 at 09:58 pm
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Hoop Driver is great for customer service. A bit small but chalked full of stuff and love doing custom work. The prices are also great. Blacksmith is like a dream store, a little intimidating to go in (but friendly people). If I had the money I would spoil myself there.
new replying to a comment from Mark / June 6, 2012 at 10:08 pm
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I've gone used many times on bikes and really in the end I can't recommend it unless you're both great at fixing bikes and find a great deal. I'd rather pay $1000 new than $900 used, and often that seems to be the savings. New on sale is even better, though you're looking at the wrong time for sales.
bikeroo replying to a comment from 60 Ton / June 7, 2012 at 01:03 am
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While sporting life may have road bikes I don't see how it could compare on this list. Most, if not all of these bike shops offer professional bike fitting (whether BG Fit or Fit Kit) as well as an array of parts, accessories, and clothing which sporting life does not have. Additionally, all of these shops have racers or a race team as well as riding clubs to further develop the rider and create lasting relationships with the customer.
Burns Wattie / June 7, 2012 at 06:47 am
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Norco-Cyclepath Younge South of Eglinton. Fantastic shop - the guys ALL ride - Great Canadian high end brands. Great service too.
David / June 7, 2012 at 08:28 am
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Cycle Solutions Beaches on Kingston Road were great for me, and they just opened up a dedicated road bike space next door to their shop.
Steven / June 7, 2012 at 09:02 am
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Others are better:

http://www.cycle-solutions.com/

http://www.sweetpetes.com/

Derek replying to a comment from Steven / June 7, 2012 at 12:19 pm
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The dedicated Cycle Solutions space sounds interesting, but Sweet Pete's doesn't really carry the types of bikes under discussion in this post.
Rob / June 7, 2012 at 01:40 pm
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I bought my new Road bike at Vitess. Local company, Super fantastic custom road bike. Love it.

But if you're not in the market for custom, Dukes is a good option...
Paul R / June 7, 2012 at 03:43 pm
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Chain Reaction in Etobicoke
Tom / June 12, 2012 at 10:33 am
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Blacksmith has outstanding gear—I was excited for the store, but hope they are more responsive to other customers as they were to me. Dukes and Cycle Solutions are great. if you venture outside downtown, Bike Zone is worth checking out.
DN / June 12, 2012 at 03:50 pm
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I must put in another vote for Sporting Life. They have a dedicated bike branch with a very good stock of accessories. Not like Wheel of Bloor but certainly a knowledgeable staff who ride. Also, their customer service can't be beat. Ask for Paul.
Adam / September 5, 2012 at 06:16 am
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There is the three locations in the GTA (Leaside, Mississauga and Oakville), Gears is one of the bigger retailers around. And though the store focuses as much attention on mountain bikes.
Cycle Solutions Beaches on Kingston Road were great for me, and they just opened up a dedicated road bike space next door to their shop.
taekwondo uniforms
peter / April 10, 2013 at 03:10 pm
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I think a pretty cool source for exotic European road bikes -- contemporary and vintage - for half the price of new (plus a money back guarantee)

www.tocycles.com

good batch of Colnagos this year.

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