In a budding bicycle mecca like Vancouver, bike maintenance is a big business.
For those who would rather not get their hands dirty with a DIY approach, paying for the expertise of a bike mechanic is the preferred way to stay rolling. If your ride needs a tune, consider checking out the five service providers below and ponder these tips:
- Always go to an actual bike mechanic at a proper bike store
- Always call to book ahead
- Go on a weekday if you can
The care and maintenance of a bicycle requires a certain amount of skill, experience and fine motor skills. Caring for customers’ bikes requires all of that, plus people skills and service with a smile. These five have a proven skill for handling pedals and people.
The best place to fix your bike is wherever you want. Started by grads of SFU and Langara College, Velofix brings the mechanic, the tools and the shop to you. The only thing better than a freshly tuned bicycle is having door-to-door, same day service of the same. This makes Velofix especially popular with corporate customers and riding groups. Featuring a fleet of well-stocked “Mobile Bike Proshops” in the form of Mercedes Sprinter vans, Velofix is so cool that you’ll want them to service your bike just so you can say they did.
Location: You name it
Cost: Starting at $69 for a basic tune-up
Image: Sashafatcat on Flickr
Bike Doctor has always had a policy of offering friendly, accessible and intelligent advice about bikes. They diagnose pesky problems for free and have a “free air and oil” policy. This makes them very approachable and affable when you’ve got squeaks that need fixin’ and need some advice. The shop is always squeaky clean and the store is full of a huge selection of accessories to peruse while you wait, making them the attractive urban bicycle store they’ve made it their mission to be. “If there’s something you’re not sure about, just ask the Doctor.”
Location: 137 West Broadway
Cost: Starting at $60 for a basic tune-up
Image: Ride On Again
The staff at Ride On Again have a lot of experience with used bikes. A lot. Their store specializes in selling used bikes, but not before they’re tuned and safety-checked. All that recycling and restoration work has earned them plenty of cred in the bike scene, and plenty of skill on the bike stand. Got a bike that needs fixing, or want to pick up a used one to get rolling again? Check ‘em out,
Both Ride On on Main Street and Ride On Again on West Broadway accept bike donations, recycle them, and often get them rolling again.
Image: Tandem Bike Cafe
The Tandem Bike Cafe is exactly what you’re hoping it is; a quaint little bike repair shop and cafe, in one. Why go to three different places for your latte, your tune-up and your made-to-order sandwich when you can get them all at once? If it sounds more like a skit from Portlandia than a real thing, then it might interest you to know that one of the founders (the bike mechanic, not the barista) got the idea during a recent trip to Portland. If you like the smell of a well made shot of espresso and the smell of citrus degreaser, then this place is like heaven for you.
Location: 3195 Heather Street
Cost: $40 for tune-up, $2 espresso or drip coffee
image: via CBC
Want to fix it yourself but don’t have the tools? Or the knowledge? Or maybe you just need it fixed on the cheap. Our Community Bikes is “ a full service repair shop, bicycle recycling depot and an educational workspace for people who wish to repair their own bikes or learn how to do so.” Rent a stand and tools for as little as six bucks an hour or have an instructor show you how for $18/hr. They also offer beginner bike repair courses and women-only nights twice a month.
Location: 3283 Main St. (at 17th Ave)
Cost: $6/hr for stand and tools, $12/hr for verbal instruction, $18/hr for hands-on training
Feature image: bike repair via Shutterstock