The Best Bike Repair Shops in Toronto
The best bike repair shops in Toronto are safe harbours for true believers - the people who take their lives into their hands by sharing city streets with a river of automobiles. It's no surprise then that they're owned and run by people who seem more motivated by love than money, and that the top two entries on the list are co-ops, staffed by volunteers and committed to evangelizing urban biking.
Anyone who bikes in the city knows that you'll see the inside of a bike repair shop at least once in your ride's lifetime - hopefully before it gets ripped off outside a movie theatre; serious city cyclists know that regular maintenance makes your life a lot easier. Many of these shops also have sales floors, full of shiny new rides; some have a handful of reconditioned two-wheeled Frankenstein monster bikes, while some are simply in the business of providing you with the space, and the expertise, to get yourself back on the road.
Here are the best bike repair shops in Toronto.
Writing by Rick McGinnis and Derek Flack
Vintage punk plays in the background in this Bloordale bike co-op, where volunteers fill the workstations servicing rides. This six year old non-profit collective has ambitions beyond bike repair, with a garden and kitchen to help feed their community, and workshops offsite for outreach. The co-op is always looking for volunteers with administrative and office skills, just in case you're doubtful about your skills with a spanner. And there's no cheaper way to do a tuneup than by reserving a stand and doing it yourself. More »
Owned and operated by long-time bike mechanic Ed Tsui, Liberty Street Cyclery is all about quality repairs and custom builds. The small, cafe-like shop does 24 hour tune-ups ($60) and functions quite a bit like an old garage-style store where those passing by stop in to chat about riding or to get advice on future purchases. A great place to go if you want help building a bike from scratch. More »
Bateman's shop on Bathurst St. is staffed by enthusiastic crew of cyclists and attracts a healthy mix of riders who range from commuters to local racers who appreciate the knowledgeable staff and expert service. The mechanics are comfortable with everything from worn out beater bikes to $10K race machines, which is in keeping with the wide range of bikes on offer in the store. The basic tuneup costs $50 (or $35 for single-speed). More »
Riders' co-owners Jeff and Valentine are as friendly and knowledge as they come, and they offer some of the fastest and most attentive service around. I've brought both my city bike and race bike in for a variety of repairs over the last two seasons, and I'm always impressed with the work they do. These guys know bikes, and won't screw you over with hidden repair costs. A tune up will run you $45, which includes wheel truing. More »
Biseagel is tucked in an old warehouse building on Carlaw Avenue. It's a hidden gem of a bike shop with a range of service options most place don't offer, chief among them being welding. If you have a cracked frame, this is the place to go. Ditto if something is bent out of shape and needs to be realigned. In addition to frame repair, the store offers the full range of maintenance options, with tuneups starting at $60. For $180, owner Malcom Munro will completely overhaul your bike.
Flying Wheels is a small neighbourhood bike shop in Leaside that attracts locals with its quality repairs and custom builds. It's not a shop that's packed with hundreds of new bikes waiting to be sold - the idea here is to lean on the staff's maintenance acumen to draw folks into the store. A basic tuneup will run you $60 for brake a gear adjustment, tire inflation and some lube on the chain, while for $75 you get that and some TLC applied to your hubs. More »
The Pedal Stop located at Ossington and Argyle provides tune-ups and repairs to ensure your bicycle runs smoothly throughout the year. They've got you covered from simple tire changes and brake adjustments to fixing major mechanical issues like clunking bottom brackets or crunchy hubs. Tuneups start at $45. More »
This Riverside shop eschews the catch-all tuneup in favour of a bike evaluation and specific repair estimate. Why more places don't do it this way is beyond me. Specializing in urban and commuter bikes, you can feel confident in bringing in pretty much any level of bike for maintenance here. More »
Derek Chadbourne's nearly 10-year-old shop specializes in tune-ups and quick repairs, perfect for the serious city cyclists who use Harbord as their path into the city. The owner's wry, relaxed attitude is perfect for this quiet but lively stretch of the street, where student meets downtown. A thoroughgoing tuneup is $40. More »
On the far side of the Don Valley, this Riverside co-op began in the back of a former funeral home, before moving to Broadview and Dundas. The east end isn't as flush with bike shops as the west end (though places like Switchback and Broom Wagon Cyclery are nice additions), so Bike Sauce does valuable work, with its social space for bicyclists and advocacy programs, not to mention its stock of new and used parts, for sale at affordable prices. More »
This long, bike-filled space on Bloor West's busy bike shop stretch isn't for dilettantes - the owner would like you to know what your bike is worth, and what part you need, in the interest of making city biking more pleasant all around. The ceiling is dripping with wheels, and the walls covered with reconditioned used bikes priced, it's to be assumed, at what they're worth. A tuneup comes in at $40. More »
If you're looking to build a dream steel bike or have a vintage ride that you want services, Hoopdriver is the place for you. Owner Martin Neale knows a ton about bikes both new and old, and is a helpful resource when assembling a bike from scratch or for converting an old frame to a fixed gear / single-speed. The shop also does solid service for touring bikes and you're more common commuter rides. The tuneup is priced at $60. More »