The Pedal Stop
The Pedal Stop is nestled at the northeast corner of Ossington and Argyle, just south of Little Portugal's gateway, west of Trinity Bellwoods. Plain and unassuming from the outside, the shop inside is a bonafide bike garage with the centre area draped with all kinds of bikes ... that aren't for sale.
Wait, what? "Yeah, some people come in and think we sell secondhand bikes, but we actually specialize in repair work," says mechanic Sebastian Galvez.
I saw only one Jamis road bike for $1600, which is about the current retail price. But apart from that, and an awesome classic road bike collection (Basso, F Moser and Legnano) hung like dioramas on the wall, all the other bikes were repaired and ready to be picked up.
"Oh, for sure, we do custom build," says Galvez - you can get a decent looking single-gear starting at $550. The price goes up based on the included components - one they were working on had cool blue rims that could easily be tagged at $800+ elsewhere.
TPS partners with national distributor Damco, who supplies their single-gear builds and outfits the store with most of its accessories. Brand names like Infini, Ming Tay and Velo are part of a no-nonsense gear and accessories wall, which runs the gamut from locks to lights. It's not a place for spandexers looking for selection - but they do proudly offer a range of well-made bags and panniers exclusively from Toronto original, YNOT.
"Repairing bikes is about feeling it out first, then determining what the real problem is," Galvez says - which of course makes total sense. But he points out that TPS doesn't really price repair work in neat little service packages. This unpretentious, chilled mantra has made TPS a personal favourite of mine.
"A tuneup is $50, and that includes full bike assessment, basic cleaning, chain/pressure check and truing," Galvez says. A guy came in for a tube change, and that was $20. I asked about an adjustment to my derailleur and he said that if it's a simple tweak to align then that could be $5-$10. Wow. What year is it?
Zen and the art of the local Toronto bike shop: that's The Pedal Stop.
Who the store caters to: Cyclists in need of repair, cyclists in the hood, commuters, urban riders, families
Bike price range: $550 and up (depending on components for custom build bikes).
Service options: Full service bike repair shop. Basic tune up at $50. Tube replacement at $20. Just show them the what's wrong with your bike and they'll 'feel out' a decent price for ya.
Writing by Autom Tagsa. Photos by Jesse Milns.