Boston’s Best Bike Shops

October 20, 2010 6:07 PM

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Back-Bay-Bicycles

(credit: backbaybicycles.com)

As the wife of an avid mountain biker and cyclist, I’ve spent more time in bike shops than I ever expected. Boston is filled with places to buy and repair a set of wheels, though as the die-hard riders will tell you (or me, as is the case here), not all bike shops are created equal.
Belmont-Wheelworks

(credit: wheelworks.com)

BEST INVENTORY:

Belmont Wheelworks
480 Trapelo Road
Belmont, MA 02478
617.209.4343
www.wheelworks.com

Whether you’re looking to purchase a sturdy commuter bike, a featherweight road bike, or the latest specialty-brand mountain bike, chances are Belmont Wheelworks has what you need. In the words of one Wheelworks devotee, “every person can find every brand in every size and every color. And if you can’t find it on the floor, they can get it.” If you’re looking for a tandem cycle, jog stroller or lower-priced adult bike, visit Wheelworks TOO, the kids and family-focused shop around the corner.

BEST FOR MOUNTAIN BIKING AND BMX:

JRA Cycles
229 Salem St.
Medford MA, 02155
781-391-3636
www.jracycles.com

Take one step into JRA Cycles in Medford and you know the only other place the staff here would rather be is on the mountain. Local to the Fells, JRA is packed with all the gear you need for a ride off the trails or on the track – from pads to helmets to full body armor – a commitment the owner made after riding without the right protection in his younger days.

BEST NEIGHBORHOOD SERVICE:

Ace Wheelworks
145 Elm Street
Somerville, MA 02144
617.776.2100
http://wheelworks.com/articles/ace-wheelworks-pg138.htm

For a shop with a community feel and a focus on service, Ace Wheelworks in Somerville gets high marks. Ace customers benefit from its sister store’s large inventory of bikes and parts (nearly anything can be transferred within the day) but in a more intimate setting. Mechanics Jerry and Randall are the ones to see for a broken derailleur hanger, severed brake line or anything else that ails your bike.

Back-Bay-Bicycles

(credit: backbaybicycles.com)

MOST COLORFUL SHOP

Back Bay Bicycles
362 Comm Ave.
Boston, MA, 02115
617.247.2336
www.backbaybicycles.com

“What could be better than walking into a shop where puppies run free and the mechanics go by ‘Bambi,’ ‘Alaska’ and ‘Haagen-Dazs’?” says one long-time biker from Boston. Such is the case at Back Bay Bicycles, a neighborhood shop in the heart of the city. The service and expertise at Back Bay reflect the seasons, with a booming rental business in the summer, tire repair and brake adjustments for returning college commuters in the fall, and winterizing bikes for riders who aren’t scared off by the snow. “Many of the staff ride at a professional or semi-professional level in disciplines ranging from World Cup Downhill to road biking. And yet with all that talent, there’s no pretense; they greet every customer with a smile.”

Paige Lewin is a Boston lifer who looks stylish and smart in a Trek helmet while riding her turquoise Gary Fisher Simple City. Paige spends her days in academia surrounded by hip co-eds, while at night she retreats to her life as a mother, writing about fashion, shopping and home design after the lights are out. She contributes to Boston Mamas and is the creator of Mudroom Boston. Paige lives north of Boston with her husband and two sons.
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