Cycling is an extremely emotive subject, itís personal, like choosing a partner, the fit has to be Ďjust soí in every way Ė even when it comes to your favourite shops. So, donít go-a-blaming me if youíre reading this with a shake of the head because I didnít include Cavendish Cycles or somewhere equally as decent. Service, quality and style Ė when it comes to the crunch, they all count. Greg LeMond rules OK!
This tiny cafť and repair shop has recently undergone some refurbishment thatís taken it to the next level. The level of Ďyes, Iíd definitely take my bike there!í Plonked next to the canal at the bottom of Broadway Market, one of its greatest successes has been to remain free; free from an attitude that such a desirable location could inspire. Bravo! And bravo for the quick drop in jobs you do, your reasonable prices and your appreciation of beautiful old bikes.
This one has history. Set up in the eighties with the idea of providing Brixton with some community cycle care, Brixton Cycles is a workers co-op that offers some of the best service south of the river. Buy anything from commuter bikes to racers, as well as skateboards and longboards and never look back Ė unless your cycling of course, then always look back, and right, and left, and forwards.
Another community choice now because thatís just the way I get down. Squeaky Chains is different to most businesses in that itís completely non-profit, itís aim to provide for the community around it and offer the less fortunate a little fortune. An excellent team of mechanics keeps the Southwark store ticking over and if youíre in the market for a second hand bike and donít fancy supporting bike theft (NEVER support bike theft!) then this is the place.
Brick Lane Bikes
According to the rumour mill, the service at Brick Lane Bikes is up and down, but having offered my patronage a number of times I can only say good things. The collection of vintage racing frames alone makes this one of Londonís best bike shops but add its ability to acquire specialist parts and accessories and weíve got us a doozy. Too cool for school? School sucks!
Not many stores have their own pro team, but then Condor is more than just a store. A personal favourite, despite the obvious style and finesse of their own range of bikes they never fail to make a beaten up old racer feel at home. Come for the repairs and stay for the array of Condor frames, displayed to get your mouth watering - they'll cost you more than some cars but who needs a car in London? And when you're in need of some cycling apparel that skirts the boundaries between Lycra-clad road hog and chic velo enthusiast, the Rapha range is numero uno!