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Best of Toronto

The Best Bike Repair Shops in Toronto

Posted by Rick McGinnis / April 26, 2011

best bike repair shops torontoThe 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.

These are the best bike repair shops in Toronto, as voted by readers of this site. Just missed the cut: Bateman's, Liberty Street Cyclery, Cog's Cycle.

See also:

The best bike stores in Toronto
Cycling in Toronto (a reference guide)
Directory of Toronto bike stores

Bike Pirates

Bike Pirates

Vintage punk plays in the background in this Bloordale bike co-op, where volunteers fill the workstations servicing rides. This 4 ½-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 administratvie and office skills, just in case you’re doubtful about your skills with a spanner. More »

Bike Sauce

Bike Sauce

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 just recently. The east end is starved for bike shops compared to the west end, 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 retail and affordable prices. More »

The Bike Joint

The Bike Joint

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. More »

Sweet Pete's

Sweet Pete's

On the far end of the Bloor West bike shop strip, Sweet Pete’s has just opened a new space on the eastern fringe, in the Annex. A full-service store with a bike repair service, Pete’s specializes in commuter bikes – sturdy, streetworthy rides that will feel a repairman’s wrench more than once in their lifespans. More »

Cyclemania

Cyclemania

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 drippingwith wheels, and the walls covered with reconditioned used bikes priced, it’s to be assumed, at what they’re worth. More »

Mike The Bike

Mike The Bike

Mike Wilson’s affably grungy little shop is the essence of Kensington old school – not much interested in impressing you as much as getting the job done. A former courier, Mike moved into the market and fell in love with the place eight years ago, and spends his time keeping locals’ beater bikes in good repair.

The Bike Clinic

The Bike Clinic

Owner Vinnie Mastrocola moved up to Bloor West from Harbord a year ago, into a much bigger shop, where he handles what he describes as an overwhelmingly commuter bike crowd. He boasts what’s probably the tidiest work bench in the city, and wins extra points for sheer amiability, filling tires on strollers with chivalric modesty. More »

Dave Fix My Bike

Dave Fix My Bike

The eponymous Dave has been fixing bikes for 20 years, but has been operating out of his tidy Christie St. shop for just seven. He catches the commuter bike crowd here, on their way up or down the hill above Davenport, with a store full of bike antiques and an ever-welcome “Free Air” sign outside. More »

Sonic

Sonic

As much cafe as bike shop, Sonic offers space and tools for cyclists to take care of their bike issues on the fly. It’s not the place for a tune-up or a rebuild, but offers a social space for cyclists to recharge and network. More »

Urbane Cyclist

Urbane Cyclist

This city cycling specialist is located as close to the downtown core as real estate prices allow, and sells everything daily riders need, from fixed-gears to kid carriers. They also see every sort of biking malady in their service shop, and offer a comprehensive tune-up for fifty bucks. More »

Duke's Cycle

Duke's Cycle

The paterfamilias of bike shops, Duke’s evolved from an all-round family bike shop and radio store to a high-performance specialist by the time its Queen West store burned down in the great fire of 2008. Opened in 1914, it’ll be moving back to Queen from its temporary quarters on Richmond in April, selling sleek performance bikes and mountain bikes while fixing all the flats, bent wheels and frozen brakes that ail commuters. More »

Discussion

38 Comments

Jeff / April 26, 2011 at 09:21 am
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There's some good places to buy a bike here but you're missing some of the best repair shops. Biseagal on Carlaw is probably (any serious biker will agree) the best repair shop in the city. Why? They do it all including welding frames. I had a broken stem on my mountain bike a few years ago from severe trail use, and the bike was garbage....only one shop in the city was able to repair it to practically new condition- Biseagal. They don't sell bikes....they specialize in repair. There are a few others that specialize in repair as well.
Antony / April 26, 2011 at 10:18 am
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The best bike shops fix stuff good and fast, because most people riding bikes are just trying to get around the city quickly and enjoyably. "True believers" are in church.

Good list though.
s@l / April 26, 2011 at 10:32 am
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The Bike Joint is amazing. Great service, honest people and excellent quality of work. I just had my back wheel rebuilt by Derek and I couldn't be happier.
Joe Tackspaier / April 26, 2011 at 10:42 am
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Cyclemania has the nicest owner. When I was a kid I locked up my Bmx at the JJP swimming pool on st.Clair. After swimming I came out to find that the pegs on my bike were stolen. So as a kid I only had a little allowance money. I went to cyclemania asking if he had pegs for my bike. He said yes but they were $27 dollers. I only had $10 in change. The man was nice enough to take my $10 and he gave me the pegs and was nice enough to even install them! Ever since then I've been going there for repairs and sending friends there. Great prices and even better service. They've been there for a very long time.
gigantichound / April 26, 2011 at 11:43 am
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@bikehell - The Cogs guy is grumpy but competent, which is better than nothing.

The most important thing about a bike repair place, any bike repair place, is that it's within easy *walking* distance - this limits the options somewhat. If I still lived in the west end I'd still be going to L&J's at Davenport and Ossington.
Jenkoes / April 26, 2011 at 12:13 pm
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I took my bike in for a spring tune to the Bike Clinic last year. There used to be a fella who worked there that did an amazing job, I think his name was Matthew. But, they moved, he left, and the last time I went there another fella tuned up my bike for me. I left the store a good chunk of change poorer and to my displeasure, a worse off bike. My tuned up biked squeaked and felt worse than when I brought it in. I was quite disappointed and will not return.

This brings me to the present day and I would definitely say Bike Pirates all the way. I love learning how to maintain my bike and the people there are super friendly and helpful.

Gabe / April 26, 2011 at 12:18 pm
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CYCLE SOLUTIONS IS MY SPOT!!!!!!!!
Perry / April 26, 2011 at 12:19 pm
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Where's Broadway? In my experience, the staff there is awesome.
Steve / April 26, 2011 at 12:24 pm
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Don't forget Cyclemania's other location on the Danforth, east of Broadview. They've helped me out of many a broken bike.
Anthony / April 26, 2011 at 12:29 pm
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don't forget hoop driver at college and gladstone!
Angie / April 26, 2011 at 12:35 pm
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I took my 1970s cruiser to Duke's last summer to get my back break fixed. They turned me away saying they didn't carry screws that old (WTF?!!??)

The folks at Bikes on Wheels were able to fix my bike on the spot...kudos to them!
wayne / April 26, 2011 at 05:14 pm
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thank christ set me free isnt on this list. THE WORST AM I RIGHT
Andrea / April 27, 2011 at 08:43 am
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Anyone know anything about Bateman's Bike Co. at Bathurst and Barton? (http://www.batemansbikeco.com) They are very close to my apartment. I'm totally clueless about my bike so I need a trustworthy, recommended repair person.
Jeff / April 27, 2011 at 10:39 am
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There is a good shop at St.Clair West and Wychwood. The only one up the hill. They had cheap bells.
Josh / April 27, 2011 at 12:08 pm
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Bateman's Bike Shop is great!!! I have had nothing but good experiences at this place. They expanded their repair shop over the winter and have cleaned up the store. They have a great outside space where you are greeted by friendly mechaincs. I would recommend them anyday and CAN'T beleive they are not on this list, especially compared to some of the others.

Dana / April 27, 2011 at 12:10 pm
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Yeah they rock!!! Best bike repair around.



gigantichound / April 27, 2011 at 12:37 pm
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Once again, the best bike repair shop is one you can live with within walking distance.
Chunder / April 27, 2011 at 12:40 pm
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Mike the Bike is by far the best, least expensive and most caring bike repair shop in Toronto. Mike encourages the recycling of used parts over the use of new more costly ones.

No BS, just good bike workmanship. He won't rip you off like other bike repair shops will.
LCV / April 28, 2011 at 12:01 pm
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I live wayyyy up north in the burbs and finding trustworthy, quality workmanship is a tough one. Going local meant using the Bicycle Depot on Albion Rd. (yes that far north in the burbs!). It's run by twin brothers Robby and Rick, their prices are great, the service is fast and they're just nice guys who love what they do and share it.
Jenn / April 29, 2011 at 01:10 am
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Where's Cyclemotive on this list? They keep my Townie riding smoooth! Bathurst & Richmond.
Igor Kenk / May 1, 2011 at 06:45 pm
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The bicycle clinic on queen west, was the best place to go. There was never a problem I couldn't fix and I had extremely low prices. Those were the good ol days...
dave / May 12, 2011 at 04:34 pm
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So what about Trek Bicycle Store? I have had work done on my bike several times and they always do a great job! The staff there are super friendly and extremely knowledgable. Also the shop actually looks clean and well organized. Which is more than I can say for most of the shops on this list. Plus if they are able to keep the shop that clean and organized chances are that it is reflected in the work they do on the bikes.
Jobe / June 3, 2011 at 03:33 pm
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Liberty Street Cyclery is BY FAR the best place I've been in Toronto. They have 24 hour turn around! And they do a stellar job too, no sh**, no hassle. Just Bikes.
Zorpheous / June 23, 2011 at 12:49 pm
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I have to give my vote to "Dave Fix My Bike", not only the repair he did was top notch, but the tune up really improved my ride. His prices are very reasonable as well.
John Higgs / September 3, 2011 at 08:51 pm
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Bateman's Bicycle Company is my choice. Super high quality and very reasonable - no BS at Batemans.

Brett / March 18, 2012 at 03:58 am
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Why isn't The Bike Place on this list? I always take my bike there for repairs and the owner (Lou I think?) does a great job. The prices are pretty reasonable also.
Mountain Bike Shop / April 7, 2012 at 06:51 am
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This is the Cheapest and best Bike Repair Shops in Toronto.
redcaesar / April 24, 2012 at 09:16 am
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I think Bikes and Boards should be on this list. I've taken my bike to a few of these other shops (urbane,cogs,cycle mania,Europe bound) and only at bikes and boards does my bike come back looking and riding like new. The guys they have working in the shop there have consistently done great work on my bikes since I bought one of them there back in 1995 with 3 years for free tune ups. Just got my new fixed gear bike back from them after riding it all winter they did a drive train cleaning and bike spotless and looks like new.
roger / May 13, 2012 at 11:36 am
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Very happy Set Me Free is not on the list. I took my bike in for a tune up, and was told that I would have it back in 3 days. A week later, my bike had still not been touched. When I finally did get my bike back, it was in worse condition than originally. The kickstand came back broken, back tire exploded as soon as I started riding it, as well as the chain snapping, and the handle grips were hanging off the handles. They also changed my pedal arm without my permission. There was nothing wrong with the original one. Over all it's going to cost me over 100 dollars to fix their tune up. When I took the bike back the same day to have them honor their warranty, I was thrown out of the store.
AJ / May 13, 2012 at 12:23 pm
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Bike Pirates = Yes! They were so kind and understanding toward my bike ignorance when I went to them with brake probs... they were the only shop I could remember the location of when I my brakes stopped working and it was worth the long walk. I always get the warm fuzzies walking past their shop.
JPR / July 8, 2012 at 12:49 pm
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These places sound great -- but I'm at Carlton & Church -- any good places in walking distance of this location or am I going to have schlep to the west side?
Cosplay / September 26, 2012 at 06:06 am
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Bateman's Bicycle Company is my choice. Super high quality and very reasonable - no BS at Batemans.
Kevin / September 30, 2012 at 02:54 pm
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I purchased a bike at Cyclemotive. When I returned for the "free tune up" with some mechanical issues, it seemed like their Australian mechanic didn't care (as much as he did before the sale). They just brushed me off and didn't even really do much of a tune up. Overall my experience is that this is one of those wannabe performance bike shops that doesn't walk the customer service talk. When you have a problem with the expensive bike they just sold you, you'll only get lip service. I will not be a repeat customer. Cyclemotive's only motive is making the initial sale.
Roger / May 9, 2013 at 05:31 pm
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Home based shop that also does mobile repairs in Parkdale is my choice. Gordon, the mechanic knows his stuff, economical and fast. I didn't wait longer than a day to get a full tune up on my ride. He did a great job and even included a bottle of lube to keep my chain greased.

Great guy with a good heart and shop!

MetrocycleTO, google em!
Shel_TR replying to a comment from JPR / July 27, 2013 at 11:55 am
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@JPR: Cycle Solutions, 444 Parliament Street (just south of Carlton), (416) 972-6948. In particular, they offer a service to actually optimize the fit of YOU to YOUR BIKE. I did it, and it really helped my ride. Good tune-ups, done at the "going rate". Good luck!
Krista / September 13, 2013 at 01:29 am
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Bateman's needs to be included on this list!! Such a good store and repair shop.
Marko / April 12, 2014 at 10:14 am
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Bike shops and repair shops are TOO EXPENSIVE in Toronto, they charge like they are Doctors . They use parts Made in China , and few minutes labor and charge like crazy ! Mostly the bike shop owners recruit youge and enthusiastic people for labor. Is better to buy a new bike , instead, to repair the old one! For a bike city like Toronto , we need bike repair shops with lower prices on every street!
Nathan / April 13, 2014 at 09:39 am
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There's also Cycle Solutions in the Beach Village at Kingston Rd and Southwood/Main St (615 Kingston Rd).

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