Credit to our extensive and gorgeous trails, our attentiveness toward ecological ethics, or our system of mutual encouragement. Whatever the reason, the Twin Cities are pedal-powered. And there are no shortage of bike shops around town to help you get out of that four-wheel drive and onto a sweet two-wheel ride.
That said, I remain a n00b when it comes to the wonderful world of biking, so I had to recruit a little extra help from WCCO’s assignment editor Mark Butcher and local biker/blogger Eric Bergstrom. I share with you their comments about their favorite pit stops.
These ten selections are presented in random order.
One On One Bicycle Studio
117 Washington Avenue North | Minneapolis, MN 55401
One On One’s Website
Butcher calls One on One, which is co-owned by local bicycle racing legend Gene Oberpriller and his wife Jennifer, THE hot seat for Minneapolis bike culture. When you’ve got a few minutes and a few dollars, check out the Junkyard for spare parts.
Sibley Bike Depot
712 University Avenue | St. Paul, MN 55104
Sibley Bike Depot’s Website
One of St. Paul’s brightest spots on the bicycling scene is the Sibley Bike Depot, a non-profit community bike shop with a ton of classes in bicycle maintenance, wheel-building, touring, how to bike during winter months, and plenty more. They also have a great bicycle donation program as well as rentals.
Freewheel Bike Shop
1812 South 6th Street | Minneapolis, MN 55454
2834 10th Avenue South | Minneapolis, MN 55407
Freewheel Bike Shop’s Website
As per Butcher, Freewheel is a great, friendly institution with a helpful, unpretentious staff who, according to their site, “have a passion for cycling and evangelize its benefits to everyone.” There are actually two locations in the Cities, one along the city’s West Bank, and then another along the Uptown Greenway.
208 13th Avenue Northeast | Minneapolis, MN 55413
Behind Bars’ Website
Behind Bars was cited by Butcher as one of the great shops along the ever-burgeoning 13th Avenue arts corridor in Nordeast Minneapolis. Behind Bars, a full-service shop, is run by former bike messenger Chuck Cowan. The shop boasts reasonably-priced tune-ups and overhauls.
Angry Catfish Bicycle + Coffee Bar
4208 28th Avenue South | Minneapolis, MN 55406
Angry Catfish’s Website
One of the up-and-comers to the Minneapolis biking scene. Angry Catfish recently opened up shop in south Minneapolis, near Buster’s Restaurant on 28th and 42nd. They cater to the commuter and everyday rider, Butcher says, but with a friendly vibe that should entice newbies. A gorgeous space with everything you’d need or want.
4301 East 54th Street | Minneapolis, MN 55417
Hiawatha Cyclery’s Website
Hiawatha Cyclery was cited by Butcher for specializing in vintage and antique bicycles along with new and used bike sales. Hiawatha’s staff boasts a wealth of knowledge that put them at the top of the list when it comes to biking mechanics.
540 Lake Street | Excelsior, MN 55331
Excelcycle, in Excelsior, was chosen by Bergstrom for its drool-worthy high-end equipment. Of the staff, he said, “They’re always ready to help me, even if it’s not going to get them a sale … They also co-sponsor Tour de Tonka, one of the largest community rides in the area.”
Gear West Bike
1786 West Wayzata Boulevard | Long Lake, MN 55356
Gear West’s Website
Bergstrom cited Long Lake’s Gear West for having thoughtful, smart staffers who take the extra time to make sure their customers leave with a tip-top bike. He said they’ll “fit you to the right bike, rather than fitting a bike to you,” which makes all the difference. Their service is done with expediency, and they’re heavily involved in the athletic community.
Grand Performance Bicycle Shop
1938 Grand Avenue | St. Paul, MN 55105
Grand Performance’s Website
Butcher says Grand Performance is just one of the great old school bike shops, with an emphasis on marathons and racing. They feature a number of different bike brands, from well-respected behemoths to scrappy but far from crappy indie models.
Maple Grove Cycling
13950 Grove Drive | Maple Grove, MN 55311
Maple Grove Cycling’s Website
Bergstrom big-upped Maple Grove Cycling because, though they’re a newer shop, they already “have a big presence in the local cycling community. You’ll see them year-round at organized events.” Bergstrom also said they are the shop to beat if you’re in the market for a Trek.
Eric Henderson is a web producer for WCCO.COM.