The Best Bike Stores in Toronto
The best bike stores in Toronto show considerable diversity in their areas of specialty. From the humble repair-focused shop to places that deal almost exclusively in race-ready road bikes, Toronto's got it. In fact, for a city that often appears to struggle to be bike-friendly, there's actually an embarrassment of riches when it comes to retail outlets.
If it's possible to break these stores into categories, there are four main types of bike shops that we have in rather plentiful supply: those that cater to commuter/utility cyclists, those that focus on repairs and the used bike market, high-end specialty boutiques, and the bigger stores that pretty much do it all. There are pros and cons to shopping at any of these stores, as well as significant variance in price point. And yet, thankfully, on account of the many options out there, cyclists of all kinds can be confident that there are a selection of stores that will cater to their specific needs.
Here are the best bike shops in Toronto.
Note: This list was previously published in May 2008. Shops that were on the original list but did not make the cut for this one include the Bike Joint, Velotique, Cog's Cycle, Cyclemotive, Cycle Solutions, Set Me Free and West Side Cycle. Comments below made up until June 21st, 2011 are in reference to the old list. We've purposely kept the archived comments here because we believe they (mostly) add value to this topic. If you don't want to have to wade through all of them, simply hit the "sort by newest first" link at the top of the thread.
Located in Bloordale Village, Sweet Pete's caters to both commuters and hobbyist riders with a service-driven approach. Not the place to buy super expensive or low-end bikes, the 4000 square foot space is stocked solidly in the mid-range, with plenty of options in the $650-$750 zone. Primary bike brands include Trek, Giant, Kona and Opus. There's also a wide selection of helmets, locks, fenders/racks, and clothing. New for 2011 is an Annex location at Bloor and Howland. More »
With its recent return to 625 Queen Street West, Duke's is bigger and better than ever. After a fire consumed the previous location, the Duke family took the opportunity to increase the retail space by adding a huge showroom on the second floor, which features drool-worthy rides from Trek, Cervelo, Kona, and Cannondale. But as much as the shop stocks high end road and mountain bikes, the first floor remains focused on commuters and the needs of urban riders, be it service or accessories. More »
Knowledgeable staff, well-chosen brands, and a central downtown location ensure that Urbane Cyclist is always one of the busiest shops in the city. Those looking for less common stuff like folding, touring and cargo bikes, will be pleased to know that Urbane carries a good selection of these hard-to-find products. The large service department is well equipped to handle most any repair job, and stocks a dizzying array of components and accessories. More »
This Kensignton Market staple is a bike store operated by bike lovers, and it shows. In addition to its focus on the utility cyclist market with slick fixed gear and sturdy commuter bikes, there's also a selection of mid to upper end mountain and road bikes as well. Excellent service and a pretension-free atmosphere make the store, which has now opened a Queen Street location, an inviting place to talk and shop for bikes and accessories. More »
Broadway Cycle is one of those bike stores that does it all. Far from a bad thing, the ample stock and friendly staff mean that one could potentially stick with this store for all of his or her cycling needs, something that's actually become rare these days. One of the city's biggest suppliers of Specialized products (including the Roll urban line), the shop also carries Marin, Raleigh and Electra bikes. 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 »
Wheels of Bloor doesn't do commuter bikes, mountain bikes, or bikes that cost less than $1500. No, this place is all about the rides that you see in the pro peloton. One of the city's biggest Cervelo dealers, they also carry respected Euro-brands like Look, Colnago,Time and BMC. As should be the case at a high-end store like this, all bikes come with an in-depth fit process. Also noteworthy is the store's selection of wheelsets by companies like Mavic and Zipp. More »
Curbside Cycle is a natural fit in the Annex, where the store's serviced the commuter market for over 15 years. One of the first Toronto shops to carry European brands like Batavus, Abici, and Pashley, the bikes here are generally easy and comfortable to ride (and won't stain your clothes). There's also a decent selection of mid-range road bikes as well as cargo bikes. Accessories are geared toward the urban rider, with lots to choose from in terms of locks, courier bags, and racks. More »
Cyclepath Danforth is another of the jack-of-all-trades type stores with a huge stock of bikes that range from $350-$3500. The major brands on offer are Specialized and Trek, but whether it's a mountain bike or a single-speed commuter bike that one is after, the store is likely to carry at least a couple different iterations of the bike in question. As one would expect, the clothing and accessory selection is also ample. More »
Gears bike shop is perhaps best known for its larger Mississauga location, but earlier this year the store also set up shop in Leaside. An active player in the Ontario race circuit via team and rider sponsorships, the store is "geared" toward both enthusiast and expert road and mountain bikers. Good fit services and indoor cycling classes make the store a great place to hangout in the off-season. More »
Unlike most of the other stores on the list, Cyclemania carries its own brand of bikes, which come in a variety of models (i.e. road, mountain, touring, hybrid, etc.). These bikes are designed and assembled in-store (though the frames are built elsewhere), and as far as components goes, are fully customizable. In addition to the house brand, the shop also carries bikes by Fuji, Miele and Rocky Mountain. The staff deserve mention for their attitude-free service. More »