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Good Push Bike Store in Canberra?

By 4 January 2013 50

Trawling through old posts on RA, I can see some good advice, but maybe it is out of date and shops may also be closed up now.

As a sedentary public servant, I figure low impact bike riding is a good way to get in some cardio after work.  So I am looking for help from the collective on a good bike store to go to.

Firstly for advice for what kind of bike a clydesdale like myself should be getting, and secondly to buy said bike and be assured that I am getting good service.  I am looking at taking rides around the suburbs and such, nothing too extreme at this point.

I should add that Mrs. Lord is also after a suitably girly bike as well to join in on the fun, so somewhere that has bikes with baskets on them might be helpful as well.

Thanks in advance.

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50 Responses to Good Push Bike Store in Canberra?
#1
johnboy2:04 pm, 04 Jan 13

I’d be going to see Steve at Callahan Bicycles and at least having a look at his range of Papillionaire bicycles.

Beautiful town bikes well suited to getting about in normal clothes (mudguard and chainguard do wonders).

Steve is a regular on this forum and I have one of these bikes which brings me a great deal of happiness.

Not saying don’t check out anything else, just saying for what you describe this is a great way to fill the bill.

#2
patrick_keogh2:42 pm, 04 Jan 13

The vast majority of Canberra bicycle stores are reputable and you can buy a bike with confidence from any of them. The list at http://pedalpower.org.au/cycling-facilities-in-canberra/ is fairly up to date. Johnboy’s recommendation that you look at the type of bike called a town bike is spot on for the sort of use that you have described.

There are many brands to choose from, and a bike shop typically stocks two or three brands. There is some difference in price between brands, typically Giant is regarded as a low cost alternative whereas some of the more fashionable-looking European brands can be significantly more expensive. Apart from this, spending more money buys you a bike that is lighter and requires less maintenance/adjustment over time.

Depending on where you are physically located, you can probably see a large enough range in just one of the locations (eg. Braddon, Belconnen, Fyshwick) and you will get some repetition of brands if you then go to another location. If you asked me for just one store I would suggest Pushys in Fyshwick as they have quite a large range.

While you are at the Pedal Power site, it might be worth checking out the benefits of membership, including the personal accident and third party insurance cover (http://pedalpower.org.au/join-us/insurance/) and the discounts that you can get when buying your new bike (http://pedalpower.org.au/members/member-discounts/) which would pay back your membership fee in one go. Many of the “bike haters” at the RA appear to be unaware that a lot of bike riders are insured just like car drivers.

One last thing – when you go to buy a bike, go ready to ride. You should definitely test ride a bike before you buy, so wear sensible shoes and take your helmet!

#3
I live in Macgregor3:05 pm, 04 Jan 13

patrick_keogh said :

The vast majority of Canberra bicycle stores are reputable and you can buy a bike with confidence from any of them. The list at http://pedalpower.org.au/cycling-facilities-in-canberra/ is fairly up to date. Johnboy’s recommendation that you look at the type of bike called a town bike is spot on for the sort of use that you have described.

There are many brands to choose from, and a bike shop typically stocks two or three brands. There is some difference in price between brands, typically Giant is regarded as a low cost alternative whereas some of the more fashionable-looking European brands can be significantly more expensive. Apart from this, spending more money buys you a bike that is lighter and requires less maintenance/adjustment over time.

Depending on where you are physically located, you can probably see a large enough range in just one of the locations (eg. Braddon, Belconnen, Fyshwick) and you will get some repetition of brands if you then go to another location. If you asked me for just one store I would suggest Pushys in Fyshwick as they have quite a large range.

While you are at the Pedal Power site, it might be worth checking out the benefits of membership, including the personal accident and third party insurance cover (http://pedalpower.org.au/join-us/insurance/) and the discounts that you can get when buying your new bike (http://pedalpower.org.au/members/member-discounts/) which would pay back your membership fee in one go. Many of the “bike haters” at the RA appear to be unaware that a lot of bike riders are insured just like car drivers.

One last thing – when you go to buy a bike, go ready to ride. You should definitely test ride a bike before you buy, so wear sensible shoes and take your helmet!

Great advice. I would also strongly suggest going local as it helps when buying spares, accessories and serviced under warranty. Pedal power membership also gets you discounts at most stores in Canberra.

#4
Muttsybignuts3:16 pm, 04 Jan 13

I am also looking to purchase a 2 wheeled machine and relive the heady days of teenagerness and trundle around the suburbs. Being a tall portly fellow, is there a bike better suited to large chaps?

#5
poetix4:19 pm, 04 Jan 13

I bought my bike (basket and all) from Bike Culture in O’Connor and I have been very happy with it. It is a Trek Allant, very easy to ride. I mostly use it on bike paths and quieter roads. Pretty much what you want to do, it seems. (Men’s models are equally good, I’ve heard.) It looks quite nice too, I think, and was a reasonable price.

After my previous bike, an ancient Raleigh, riding the new bike is like a totally different activity. So much easier.

They do repairs of bikes and all servicing there and are very friendly. Speaking of Clydesdales, one of the people there has the best Scottish accent. Which is totally irrelevant!

#6
Girt_Hindrance4:58 pm, 04 Jan 13

johnboy said :

I’d be going to see Steve at Callahan Bicycles and at least having a look at his range of Papillionaire bicycles.

Beautiful town bikes well suited to getting about in normal clothes (mudguard and chainguard do wonders).

Steve is a regular on this forum and I have one of these bikes which brings me a great deal of happiness.

Not saying don’t check out anything else, just saying for what you describe this is a great way to fill the bill.

+1 – I’m in receipt of his Facebook feed and there are some delicious looking craft that he’s putting up there.

#7
patrick_keogh5:29 pm, 04 Jan 13

Muttsybignuts said :

I am also looking to purchase a 2 wheeled machine and relive the heady days of teenagerness and trundle around the suburbs. Being a tall portly fellow, is there a bike better suited to large chaps?

Tall makes no difference. Most bikes come in a range of sizes that will accommodate a fair range of heights. In terms of “portly” then you are less likely to want a machine where you are bent low over the handlebars. It is more aerodynamic and hence faster, but it isn’t all that comfortable if you have a significant amount of weight around the middle. So that rules out the racing-style curved handlebars, for the moment. That still leaves town bikes and mountain bikes. A lot of the town bikes have more upright positions, with swept back handlebars which are fine for a little low-speed cruising around roads and cycle paths. Try both styles and see which you prefer.

Don’t worry about whether the bike can handle the weight so long as it is well constructed. Bike frames can take a huge amount of force. Think about the track sprinters who generate over 1000 watts, or the MTB downhilllers taking two metre or more vertical drops… they really put some serious stress on the bike. So it more a matter of getting a good quality frame and wheels. So just don’t be too eager to buy the cheapest model, it will not be good value in your case: spend a little more money and get better quality.

#8
beejay765:30 pm, 04 Jan 13

We always shop in the Bike Superstore at Mitchell. Firstly we bought fairly cheap hybrids, then some kids bikes, then some stupidly expensive road bikes. Each time I have shopped around and each time I end up back there. The guys there are super good. They won’t try to upsell you to a $3500 roadie when what you want is a $700 hybrid. They won’t look down their nose if you’re a bit chubby and just getting back into cycling. They don’t care if you’re not in a cycling club. They’re just mad keen cyclists and happy to get someone out on two wheels. They also have an interest free deal which is pretty awesome.

My only recommendation for which bike is to test ride loads. You can’t choose a bike off paper. Go around all the shops and ride everything in your price point. The one that you don’t want to get off is the bike for you!

#9
Hosinator8:49 pm, 04 Jan 13

Try a lot of different types of bikes from a couple of stores. You need to feel comfortable with your riding position and how much physical effort you have to expend to keep the bike moving.

My wife and I both own a Giant Cross City when we go for a ride with our child. Easy riding position, plenty of gears, easy to ride and you can attach mud guards or children’s bike seats.
Whilst when I commute to work I do it on a full carbon road bike, all the better to get me home faster after a long day at work.

Just try a few different bikes, see what feels comfortable and go from there.

#10
madscientist9:35 pm, 04 Jan 13

Ride 365 in Emu Bank. I live southside but I make the trip for them – really good, no nonsense, very friendly.

#11
Postalgeek9:35 pm, 04 Jan 13

Go buy a couple of sub-$1000 unisex Giant or Trek or other major brand to start out with. You can throw a front basket on pretty much any bike. Get one that has attachment points to take a rear rack. Don’t buy cheap Kmart specials.

Whatever you do the one thing I would strongly recommend, depending on your familiarity with bicycles, is to get whoever sells you a bike to show you how to repair a flat tyre, and buy a workshop standing pump with pressure gauge and a portable one, and a couple of spare tubes and some tyre levers. I am always impressed by the number of riders I encounter who lack the knowledge or tools to acomplish this simple task. I know more than a couple of people who don’t use their bicycles simply because they have flat tyres and I suspect at least one of them just needs a pump (all tyres deflate over time).

#12
Zan9:50 pm, 04 Jan 13

Make sure it has a bell, as required under the ACT Road Rules.

#13
Sandman10:34 pm, 04 Jan 13

The Cyclery in Pirie St Fyshwick is a really nice new spacious shop and Jayce will make sure you get your questions answered right and put you on the right track. There’s an adjoining coffee shop too in case you take a long time to make your mind up and get thirsty.

#14
Adstar11:28 pm, 04 Jan 13

I have just bought a Giant Cross-City from Pushys in Fyshwick. Looked for several months at a number of stores but must say I received stand-out service and patience from both Pushys and Onyabike City store.

#15
christopherth7:33 am, 05 Jan 13

I recently moved to Canberra and one of the first things I wanted to get myself was a bike. Not being one of the Lycra brigade, I just wanted something to get me from a to b and around the tracks without feeling like I was trying to push into action a heavy bike. Looked at most of the shops and had a idea of what I’d get for around $700. So glad that the last shop I visited was ‘The Cyclery’ at Braddon. I got a 2011 model (new) Sirrus Elite Specialized – and it’s amazing. Cheaper than what I nearly spend for another name brand with much more bike for the price. I highly recommend that store. For accessories, they’re usually cheaper online (eg Amazon), or support the local store if you want the item immediately.

#16
OverLord9:29 am, 05 Jan 13

Thanks for all the advice folks, looks like I’ll be doing a bit of driving around different shops this weekend.

#17
Shinigami_Josh12:35 pm, 05 Jan 13

on the topic of bikes; mine hasn’t been ridden in a year or so and wanted to get it (and another) serviced. Would any one be recommended to get it done for a reasonable price (walked into on the rivet:? and they wanted $200 for what sounded like not much work)

#18
farnarkler2:41 pm, 05 Jan 13

Unfortunately shops here don’t stock a very good range. I had to get my cyclocross from Victoria as no shop here stocked it.

#19
patrick_keogh2:54 pm, 05 Jan 13

farnarkler said :

Unfortunately shops here don’t stock a very good range. I had to get my cyclocross from Victoria as no shop here stocked it.

For those readers who are not “in the know”, cyclocross is a specialist form of bike racing that uses specialist bikes. It is big in Europe (esp. Belgium and Holland) and Eastern USA where it is a winter sport. Picture riding on snowy, muddy, icy dirt tracks in sub zero temperatures. The courses are deliberately constructed so that it is impossible to ride it all (too steep and/or muddy/icy) so you have to get off your bike and carry it in one or two places on each lap. Typically by the end of a race it is difficult to recognise the competitors because they are plastered with mud. I just can’t understand why this isn’t more popular in Australia. Oh wait.

So it surprises me not that there are very few cyclocross bikes for sale in Canberra!

#20
Chip3:35 pm, 05 Jan 13

Shinigami_Josh said :

on the topic of bikes; mine hasn’t been ridden in a year or so and wanted to get it (and another) serviced. Would any one be recommended to get it done for a reasonable price (walked into on the rivet:? and they wanted $200 for what sounded like not much work)

Monkey Wrench Cycles at Hackett shops seem to know their stuff – don’t sell new bikes, just service, spares and accessories. Great coffee shop nearby!

#21
jase!4:50 pm, 05 Jan 13

farnarkler said :

Unfortunately shops here don’t stock a very good range. I had to get my cyclocross from Victoria as no shop here stocked it.

2 years ago I bought a Scott CX team from TLC, given the condition of a lot of the bike paths around canberra I thought it made the perfect bike, almost as quick as a full roady but with wheels that can survive tree roots, pot holes etc even with slicks fitted

took TLC only a couple of days to get it in too and if I decided it wasn’t the right bike I was under no obligation to take it

#22
farnarkler5:18 pm, 05 Jan 13

Cyclocross are great as you get the best of both worlds; drop bars and disc brakes.

#23
Aeek5:27 pm, 05 Jan 13

patrick_keogh said :

For those readers who are not “in the know”, cyclocross is a specialist form of bike racing that uses specialist bikes. It is big in Europe (esp. Belgium and Holland) and Eastern USA where it is a winter sport. Picture riding on snowy, muddy, icy dirt tracks in sub zero temperatures. The courses are deliberately constructed so that it is impossible to ride it all (too steep and/or muddy/icy) so you have to get off your bike and carry it in one or two places on each lap. Typically by the end of a race it is difficult to recognise the competitors because they are plastered with mud. I just can’t understand why this isn’t more popular in Australia. Oh wait.

So it surprises me not that there are very few cyclocross bikes for sale in Canberra!

Perfect for some of our “Bike” paths. Weird.

#24
DrKoresh9:32 pm, 05 Jan 13

Why you’d want to push a bike around in this bloody heat is beyond me. I’d just get the kind you ride, if I were you.

#25
KB19718:30 am, 06 Jan 13

Aeek said :

patrick_keogh said :

For those readers who are not “in the know”, cyclocross is a specialist form of bike racing that uses specialist bikes. It is big in Europe (esp. Belgium and Holland) and Eastern USA where it is a winter sport. Picture riding on snowy, muddy, icy dirt tracks in sub zero temperatures. The courses are deliberately constructed so that it is impossible to ride it all (too steep and/or muddy/icy) so you have to get off your bike and carry it in one or two places on each lap. Typically by the end of a race it is difficult to recognise the competitors because they are plastered with mud. I just can’t understand why this isn’t more popular in Australia. Oh wait.

So it surprises me not that there are very few cyclocross bikes for sale in Canberra!

Perfect for some of our “Bike” paths. Weird.

I have a Masi Speciale CX, steel frame, 38mm tyres and it rawks. I still do the same times to work and I am more comfortable.

It will more than likely be the last road bike I own as it is indestructible. It has been the most reliable bike I have ever owned.

I love it.

#26
Kath9:55 am, 06 Jan 13

madscientist said :

Ride 365 in Emu Bank. I live southside but I make the trip for them – really good, no nonsense, very friendly.

+1 Ride 365 – not as large a range as some others, but terrific help and service. They also have a discount for Pedal Power members.

#27
OverLord10:20 am, 06 Jan 13

Bought a bike.

So I ended up staying at Pushy’s in Fyshwick, bought a Giant Sedona DX (XL) for myself, and the missus got an Electra Townie (with basket on the front).

Been for a quick push down to the shops this morning before it gets too hot, and the bike feels good so far. It is hard to find a bike for a tall portly guy that is sub $1000, but the Sedona has an adjustable handlebar so even if you push the seat up as high as it goes, you don’t necessarily have to be leaning all the way forward and killing your back.

My only concern is the axles and pedals taking the amount of force I am putting in, but shall see in the long run.

#28
Girt_Hindrance10:41 am, 06 Jan 13

Zan said :

Make sure it has a bell, as required under the ACT Road Rules.

Surprisingly then, many bikes are sold without bells. Even a scope of the local bike shop web pages shows a lack of bells fitted to handlebars etc.

#29
patrick_keogh11:41 am, 06 Jan 13

Girt_Hindrance said :

Zan said :

Make sure it has a bell, as required under the ACT Road Rules.

Surprisingly then, many bikes are sold without bells. Even a scope of the local bike shop web pages shows a lack of bells fitted to handlebars etc.

You are welcome to come round my place where there is a box somewhere containing never-used bells removed from handlebars…

This weekend I have ridden around 80Km mostly on cycle paths. A clear “bike behind you” has been all the warning that I have needed to give and the most common response from pedestrians has been “thank you”.

#30
Girt_Hindrance12:25 pm, 06 Jan 13

patrick_keogh said :

Girt_Hindrance said :

Zan said :

Make sure it has a bell, as required under the ACT Road Rules.

Surprisingly then, many bikes are sold without bells. Even a scope of the local bike shop web pages shows a lack of bells fitted to handlebars etc.

You are welcome to come round my place where there is a box somewhere containing never-used bells removed from handlebars…

This weekend I have ridden around 80Km mostly on cycle paths. A clear “bike behind you” has been all the warning that I have needed to give and the most common response from pedestrians has been “thank you”.

I was maybe a little cheekily encouraging Zan to take concerns to the source. It sounds like Zan has the time to perform personal audits on said stores and write to the appropriate minister regarding all these bell-less bikes. Maybe Zan could even start a fund to supply bells to cyclists, handing them out and assisting with their attachment.
I have about 6 bikes of various makes and models, only one has a bell.

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