Whether trekking to the office or cruisin’ the island, cycling is a first-rate way to get around and make the most of our short Toronto summers. Here’s a look at the best places to keep those gears greasy.
DIY Oasis: Bike Pirates
A ramshackle institution of two-wheeled learning, this volunteer-run non-profit is on a mission to give every cyclist tools to maintain his own trusty steed. They’ve churned out so many mechanics that their alumni now work at 15 local repair shops. Aspiring grease monkeys usually pack the place, so get there early. Basic tune-up: DIY, pay what you can. 1292 Bloor St. W.
No Nonsense: Urbane Cyclist
The commuter crowd will feel at home here, but Urbane also builds custom rigs for hardcore pedal pushers. Quality parts and service has earned the city’s largest bike shop a deal to service the Toronto Police bike fleet. Basic tune-up: $50. 180 John St., 416-979-9733
The Cadillac: Duke’s Cycle
Since 1914 it’s been a haven for dedicated amateurs and pro riders. Don’t let the hardwood floors and racks of spandex fool you — your garage sale special is serviced with the same care as the $5,000 road warrior. Basic tune-up: $70. 625 Queen St. W., 416-504-6138
World Beater: Bikes on Wheels
A Kensington Market fixture and favourite of students and commuters, they strive to be the best and have the awards to show for it. Their mechanics will send you off with a few jokes to boot. Basic tune-up: $60. 309 Augusta Ave., 416-966-2453″
The Ones with Everything: Sweet Pete’s
Pete wants to make you happy, which is why he’s almost always in the store. His selection of parts and bikes rivals Urbane’s, but staff are all about listening, not upselling. Rumour has it their mechanics can fix anything. Basic tune-up: $50. 1204 Bloor St. W., 416-533-4481
Image courtesy of Alexandra Guerson.