Biking season is in full swing here in Vancouver. There’s no better way to get around in this city (seriously, make use of all these bike lanes we have, people!) Does your bike need a tune up? Want to change up your handlebars? Are you looking for a new one, but don’t know where to start? We hear you, and have checked out all the options for purchasing and servicing, and have the best ones shortlisted and grouped by each shop’s main focus.
Denman Bike Shop‘s non-commissioned mechanics and floor staff know their bikes and the city well, and will fit you with a bike suited to your needs based on how you ride around town. Their stock of (Electra, Linus, Opus, Louis Garneau, etc) commuter, urban performance, electric, kids bikes, and pet carriers are well-tailored to the Vancouver urban rider. Good selection of every accessory you need, from Bern helmets to Nantucket baskets and Brooks saddles.
Multi: Urban, Road, Mountain
If you’re not quite sure what you want, we suggest hitting up the Broadway/Cambie Corridor to check out the options. Start with MEC as they now sell their own in-house line along with Ridley and Ghost bikes. Across the way, Dunbar Cycles has a range of hybrid, road, and single-speed bikes, along with an extensive downhill and all-mountain collection. A couple blocks north is Bikes for All, with a solid collection that ranges from modern to vintage. Don’t be fooled by what you see in the window – head in and walk past the first room to find plenty more stock. A few blocks east will take you to Mighty Riders, where we’ve consistently had positive experiences with fitting, fixing, and selling our bikes. While you’re there, go next door to their clothing and accessories shop OnTheRivet Cyclewear. If you’re looking for recumbents, Cambie Cycles will help you out.
Four locations with bikes for every purpose, Ride On Bikes sells and services new, used, and does custom builds, making it easy to find a bike suited to your needs and budget. Over on the edge of Chinatown on the Adanac bike path, Union Street Cycle offers a similar menu of sales and services.
Over in Kits, Different Bikes caters to a range of experience and cycling needs. Visit one of their three shops for bikes from Kona, Rocky Mountain, Pinarello, Giant, and gear from Gore, Capo, Catlike, Sugoi and many others.
We can’t leave out JV Bike – they cross all the categories including road, cyclecross, touring, urban, hybrid, fixie, lifestyle, cruisers, folding, tricycles and kids bikes. Let’s just say, it is a tightly-packed shop over in Yaletown.
Relatively new Sidesaddle Bikes started as a women-focused shop to fill a much-needed void; that said, its welcoming co-owners Andrea and Luke’s (both mechanics, Luke is a also a cyclocross racer and HUB board member) combined knowledge run the gamut from competitive to urban fixies and everything in between. In the time since we chatted with them last year, they’ve quickly become supportive leaders in the community to encourage urban cycling, and host fun group rides (sometimes, ice cream pit stops are mapped in.)
La Bicicletta specializes in road and triathlon and feature top tier brands including BMC, Cervélo, Colnago, and Felt; they carry a wide selection of bike clothing from Castelli, Giro, Gore, Rapha, and more. Actively involved in the cycling community with events (they host the Mt. Baker Epic ride, Tuesday Night Club rides in Stanley Park, and support larger events including the Whistler Grand Fondo, Ironman Canada, and The Intrepid.) Bike servicing, fitting, and rentals available.
Super busy but equally friendly store in Kitsilano, Speed Theory is a specialist in bike sizing, fitting, and customizing, and accessible to all levels of cyclists, including beginners and multisport. Road bikes include Cannondale, Argon 18, BMC, and Pinarello, but we’ll give a hat tip to Canadian-started (but now Dutch-owned) brand Cervélo. Lots of snacks and accessories, too. Free ‘no drop’ group rides on Saturday mornings. Drop in and say hi to Mike, one of the best mechanics you’ll find around town.
West Point Cycles stocks bikes from Santa Cruz, Trek, and Brompton. Services include fitting, and repairs, travel case and race wheel rentals. Free ‘no drop’ group rides run Saturdays and Sunday mornings (West 10th location), or join them for an evening spin session.
Pre-loved: Used Bikes
With the right servicing and parts, a used bike is a smart way to get a great bike at a good price. Investigate these options for a preloved bike for a fraction of the price: Ride On Again, Pedal Bike Depot, Kickstand, Tandem Bike Cafe, A-1 Cycle, Sports Junkies, or good old Craigslist.
Bike Service & Repairs
Biking Culture: Cafes, Tours, and more
Musette Caffe will re-open soon at a brand new space (1325 Burrard Street) with a kitchen to offer more fresh food options to go with your coffee. Those looking for a more premium rental experience will want to check out the launch of their Pinarello bike rentals and tour packages.
Get your bike serviced, ride over for a coffee and pastry, or both! Tandem Bike Cafe sits on the Heather Street bikeway on 16th where down-to-earth owners Clint and Brett encourage everyone to incorporate biking into their lives – they often fix up old bikes to sell, and definitely talk to them if you’re interested in cargo bikes.
Side note: for North Shore bikers, there’s a whole other world of bike shops suitably catered towards those mountains and inclines. For that, we’ll steer you over to Vancouver’s North Shore Tourism list.
#DLprotip: Protect Your Bike
Roughly 2,000 bicycles are stolen each year in Vancouver. Registering your bike is a smart thing to do. We learned this the hard way, as we were victims of bike theft last year. VPD and City of Vancouver have all the info.
Now get to it.
Whew. We don’t call this an Ultimate Guide for nothing. Go out and visit some of these amazing local businesses who really know their stuff. Perfect timing to think about how you get around town since Bike to Work Week just wrapped up and BC Commuter Challenge is on now.