The best bike shops & servicing in Canberra

Join the conversation
153
Phillip Hopkins, owner of Kingston Foreshore Cycles, one of Canberra’s most recommended bike shops.

Phillip Hopkins, owner of Kingston Foreshore Cycles, one of Canberra’s most recommended bike shops. Photo: Supplied.

Cycling brings such a sense of freedom and in Canberra turning your wheels is easy on our excellent network of off-road paths and routes with fabulous scenery.

The benefits of cycling, especially during these challenging times, are enough to make your head spin. It’s healthy, fun, easy to fit into your daily routine and available to all ages and personality types. Some cyclists are serious commuters, some ride for leisure, some travel great distances exploring the environment around them, and some compete in elite challenges at paces that take your breath away.

Key to enhancing your cycling experience is having the right gear and apparel—whether you’re new to the sport or have been riding for years—but with so much available on the market, deciding what’s right for you can be daunting. That’s why it’s worth talking to experts about your needs.

In this article, we’ll outline the qualities to consider when choosing a bike shop, and share where to find the best in Canberra.

What to look for when choosing a bike shop retailer

Finding the right bike shop is essential to improving ride quality and the longevity of your bike. So what’s important when choosing where to go? It can be helpful to keep the following in mind when choosing a bike shop.

  • Attentive and caring. You want a retailer who cares and listens to understand your needs, so you end up with a bike and gear that suits. Make sure the retailer is willing to answer your questions and provides advice based on the level and type of cycler you are.
  • Helpful to novice cyclists. You shouldn’t feel intimidated when walking into a bike shop because you’re not an expert. Choose a retailer who knows you don’t have all the knowledge they do. Expert retailers are willing to help novice cyclists with as much enthusiasm and dedication as they are cyclists with a bank of knowledge.
  • Proactive with tips. While a bicycle is basically a simple machine, it needs to be cared for. With straightforward preventative measures, a quality bike will give years of joy. It’s important to choose a retailer who will give you essential tips, like the need to keep drive trains clean, so gears are less likely to lose adjustment and components last longer.
  • Support and advice. Staff should take time to listen carefully to your needs and share expert advice. They should be willing and able to help and be honest about what you require. They should also share tips that will empower you to embrace and enjoy the sport.
  • After service. You don’t want to buy a bike or other gear and not be supported post-purchase. Make sure your bike shop is willing to have you pop by to ask questions after you buy or provide answers over the phone. Also make sure they have a service arm in case you need it.

The best bike shops in Canberra

RiotACT’s editorial team has combed through 19 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.

To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on RiotACT and Facebook as well as maintain a minimum average of 4/5 stars on Google.

Ion DNA

Ion DNA

If you enjoy the thrill of traditional cycling, you are bound to love the experience that electric bikes offer! If you have never considered an e-bike option, you will be pleased to know that they offer the same great benefits as traditional bicycles. They are a cost-efficient way to get around, allow you to improve your health, and foster connectivity to the community.

Where electric bicycles come into their own is with their added benefits. The real advantage of e-bikes is that they provide a more comfortable ride. Whether climbing up hills, cycling with an existing health condition, or for a perspiration free morning commute, they are an attractive biking option.

To experience these benefits for yourself, pop in for a visit at Ion DNA. After first opening their doors in 2018, locally owned Ion DNA, was founded by former rally driver Rob Ogilvie. As Australia’s first dedicated all-electric vehicle showroom, they are bursting with the latest e-innovations.

Ion DNA is an electric enthusiast’s dream, featuring the full spectrum of everyday e-mobility solutions, from cars, to scooters, skateboards, and bikes. When it comes e-bikes, this team are the real experts. Boasting all the insider knowledge, minus sales pressure, they offer a refreshing change and a relaxed customer approach.

To see how electric biking can change your cycling experience be sure to visit Ion DNA.

Sinch 9 shared this review on Google, Highly recommended! …. The show room has a great range of electrical vehicles from big too small. Friendly and knowledgeable staff that will go out of their way for customers which is rare these days.”

Unit 1/67 Gladstone Street
Fyshwick ACT 2609

Kingston Foreshore Cycles

Proudly locally owned and operated, Kingston Foreshore Cycles offers personalised bicycle services to riders of all skill levels and ages.

Conveniently located within Kingsborough Village, their beautiful store is home to a myriad of bikes, accessories, parts, and apparel, all designed specifically with cycling in mind. And, should your wonderful wheels need repairing, no job is too big nor too small for this crew.

With a personalised and tailored service approach you are sure to feel right at home. For expert staff with a passion for all things bikes look to Kingston Foreshore Cycles.

Nick Burrows had this to say on Google, Best bike shop in Canberra. Super helpful and friendly. Great advice and service.”

Back Bone BMX

Since first opening their doors over fifteen years ago, Back Bone BMX have built a formidable reputation as Canberra’s BMX experts. You will find this gem right next to Belconnen skate park, featuring all the best bikes, parts, and accessories that BMX has to offer.

There is more to this team than purely retail, they are also heavily entrenched in the local BMX community. Whether it be coaching kids or building jumps they are helping to grow the sport from the ground up. For specialised gear for all your BMX needs look to Back Bone BMX.

Beagle Nose shared this glowing review on Google, “Best place for BMX. Great service. Small locally owned business that does a lot to support the local community. Highly recommended.”

Tune BikeWorks

Tune BikeWorks have built a stellar reputation for their bicycle repairs and maintenance offering.

With a collective 30+ years of industry experience, this team are known for their bicycle mechanical skills. Whether its solving problems, providing periodic upkeep, or refurbishment they have it covered.

For exceptional repairs on your beloved bike, look no further than Tune BikeWorks. New, old, big, small, fast or slow, whatever the bike they will have you pedalling in next to no time!

Courtney Brown shared this great review on Google, Such a cool shop, customer service is A1. These guys really know their stuff and have a very wide range of parts and accessories in stock. Highly recommend.”

Trek Bikes Majura Park

Globally renowned Trek Bikes were borne from heritage founded on the principals of craftsmanship and rebellion. Fast forward forty odd years and you can now find this prestigious brand nestled right next to the Majura Parkway.

Trek Bikes Majura Park is a leading destination for the latest products from the best brands, top-notch service, tune ups, and professional bike fit services. As passionate advocates for the local cycling community, Trek Bikes Majura Park are known for supporting events and clubs in the Canberra area.

Krys Hinds shared this great feedback on Google, The team at Trek - Majura park have consistently gone above and beyond expectations to help us out. Great customer service, great knowledge.”

On the hunt for the best ways to commute around Canberra? Check out our articles on the best electric skateboard shops, the best electric scooter shops and servicing, the best electric bike shops and the best places to buy electric cars in Canberra for some great recommendations!

Your experience with bike shops in Canberra

Thanks to our commentators who have provided insightful feedback on the best bike shops in Canberra. If you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.

Have you had experience with any of the bike shops listed above? If so, share your feedback in the comments below.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I find the best bike shop for me?

With a wide variety of bike shops in Canberra, do your research or browse around to make sure you’re getting the best deal. The thing that distinguishes a great shop, is a shop that takes the time to listen and care about customers, the ability to be ready to help and to be honest about what you can do. Different bike shops offer different specialities but if you follow our list of recommended bike shops according to you, you are sure to be a satisfied customer.

How do I know my bike is being serviced by someone experienced?

When servicing your bike, make sure that you are listened to and that the retailer takes the time to understand what your needs are. The more experienced staff will be knowledgeable and capable of answering all your questions.

How do I know which sized bike to buy?

The staff at your chosen bike shop should be able to help you find the right size. Manufacturers guidelines can also assist and bikes with a number (e.g. 47cm) tend to be based on the length of the seat tube, whereas bikes marked S, M and L take a top tube measurement into account.

Do I need accessories for my bike?

Apart from an essential helmet, it’s definitely worth buying a saddle bag for your bike to carry a spare inner tube and some tyre levers. You’ll also need a pump for your tyres in case you get a flat. It’s not worth leaving home without these things and if they’re in a little saddle bag that stays on your bike you will always be covered.

Are there local clubs or groups I can ride with?

Absolutely! The staff at your local store should be able to point you in the right direction of clubs or groups to get involved with. They are most likely cyclists themselves and would know the range of groups available - from beginners to serious cyclists.

Join the conversation

153
All Comments
  • All Comments
  • Website Comments
Latest

Adams Bikes Hume. Best service

BEST bike shop in Canberra is a vintage feel, fantastic find in Kingston, in the Kingsborough Village on Parbery St. With a wonderful old school feel, not your standard accessories and a wonderful array of bikes, going to this shop is a wonderful adventure. It might be small but it is full of cycling treasures. With bikes from the little to the big, including Surly and Brown Jersey this is not your average bike shop. Run by the ever smiling Phil Hopkins who himself is a treasure trove of information about all things cycling, Phil is also a creative local bike photographer catalogueing his daily cycle adventures in ways that are breathtaking Phil and his son are wonderful mechanics and will keep your bike running beautifully. NO hard sell, just a genuine love of what he they do, Kingston Foreshore Cyclery is a must to visit..

Michelle Crowther3:36 pm 18 Apr 20

Kingston Foreshore Cycles – Phil is great whether you just need a quick service or looking to upgrade your bike.

Sarah Kinnear Gordon12:12 pm 18 Apr 20

I highly recommend Phil at Kingston Foreshore Cycles. This family business is new but brings years of cycling experience to customers. On the spot fixes along with everything you need for cycling.

Monkey Wrench in Hackett! They ingeniously fitted a rack onto a mountain bike for me after other bike shops said it couldn’t be done.

My Ride Woden and ONYA in Belco are the best shops in Canberra, everyone in the shop rides and loves cycling. Knowledgeable mechanics and in my experience will go the extra mile. They also hold social rides and are involved in growing the Canberra cycling scene.

Recent experiences of “The Cyclery” have plummeted their dwindling stock of reputation for me.
A neighbour was attempting to build a bike for cycling around the lake , and received advice from the Cyclery about wheels he should buy. I do think he brought in a picture of a 2008 team replica bike, and of the next tier down. So they set him up with a set of top-of-the-line 26″ MTB wheels Crossmax SLR when a much lower spec would do, and then charged him $2000!!! So aside from not understanding what he wanted – or perhaps they did understand and were happy to milk him as another sucker – they charged him about $500 more than other local bike shops would (Bike Exchange search found them for RRP $1548 in Sydney, not on sale). The same wheels can be had on EBay for $800USD plus USD$80 shipping, which is an unfair comparison considering the support LBS can give, and my neighbour had no idea how to install them.

I am boycotting The Cyclery for buying bikes and parts (and not just based on this experience). On the plus side the workshop guys at The Cyclery Braddon/City are brilliant and really know their stuff.

If you want to buy Specialised or Cannondale you don’t have a lot of choice in the ACT – but the cost savings of buying one in Sydney or Melbourne offset an airfare, hotel, transfer and dinner!

WalkTheTalk said :

+1 for ACT Bicycle Superstore sucking. Had my MTB serviced there last month because they had a spot available (for ‘Onya’ at Tuggy’s I had to wait a week – should have got the hint!);
– standard service $20 more than ‘Onya’,
– extra costs not advised before being undertaken,
– not rung when bike was ready,
– SERVICE NOT DONE PROPERLY – MASSIVE VIBRATION / RUBBING through brakes.
– Prices for accessories are too steep.

+1 for the guys at ‘Cycle City’ Lyneham – forgot about them when I was looking to get bike serviced. Great service and reasonable prices.

Also heard good things about ‘Maladjusted’.

You pay… to service a bloody pushbike?

hi Jim i know you mean well but the only way is to go to the bike shops with a questionaire. but you need to look like you are a customer sp they do not pretend and then check prices etc i know as i own a shop but will not rate it for you as you will need to that.
bikerider

Mike Bessenger10:17 am 19 Jan 10

Another vote for Cycle Surgery in Florey.
For a small shop, they carry a load of stock. I’d say there range is bigger and than most of the large shops.
Best of all is the pricing, I bought a full groupset and they matched online prices.

+1 for ACT Bicycle Superstore sucking. Had my MTB serviced there last month because they had a spot available (for ‘Onya’ at Tuggy’s I had to wait a week – should have got the hint!);
– standard service $20 more than ‘Onya’,
– extra costs not advised before being undertaken,
– not rung when bike was ready,
– SERVICE NOT DONE PROPERLY – MASSIVE VIBRATION / RUBBING through brakes.
– Prices for accessories are too steep.

+1 for the guys at ‘Cycle City’ Lyneham – forgot about them when I was looking to get bike serviced. Great service and reasonable prices.

Also heard good things about ‘Maladjusted’.

Just an edit to my original post (#46) I actually ude the Ride Shop, not the Bike Shed.

i just picked up my MTB from a service at cycle city in lyneham (at the servo) yesterday and my much-loved (not schmancy or $$) shogun is as good as new. and i shamefully had not had it serviced or looked at since i bought it in 2000 (i have only been it regularly for a couple of years now) – a full service plus some recommended replacements of all the cabling and i needed the front brake replaced (busted) – $150 total and it was ready in a day. i thought that was pretty good myself. the guys there are really friendly too.

Clown Killer said :

As far as Lonsdale Street Cyclery is concered, what put me off most was the fact that when asked directly whether or not there were issues with particular components and their failure rates they lied to me – it was enough for me to not consider spending money there

I too have had an offputting experience with them (apart from the fact that they seem dearer than anyone else).

When I decided to take up cycling again my poor old Specialised Hard Rock started to heve some issues with spokes on the rear wheels. Thats fine, i know they are a consumable & my bike was not the high spec model when it was produced.

Anayway I took it to the workshop for repair only to be berrated because my bike was “crap” & wasnt worth fixing because it wasnt specced with Shimano gear. Ok, all I wanted was a spoke repair.

Henry a kambah cycles is the go for mainstream stuff. Otherise I have used the bike Shed in Baddon for my Avanti Giro.

Clown Killer11:04 am 12 Jan 10

I’m with you on the K-Mart and Big W bikes Niftydog, although I would argue that they can function properly as a bike once yhey’ve been stripped down to individual components and then rebuilt by a competent mechanic. You’d probably have to replace a few things like cables and cable sheaths and possibly brake pads but they can be made to work – the issue is that the cost of that would probably be in the order of $300-400 so you’d have to ask yourself whether or not it would simply be easier to get at basic entry level bike for $600-800 that was properly built up and had a basic suite of good components.

Clown Killer said :

…massive companies churning out tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of bikes
…when asked directly whether or not there were issues with particular components and their failure rates they lied to me

For sure, I get that, heck, I’d love a custom Baum! But I bet for every bike Cannondale or Scott make, Giant makes 20 or more, yet they compete in the same market.

I get that kind of issue at all kinds of shops – where you ask them a question and they don’t really know the answer so they make something up that’s supposed to placate you. That’s where the whole rapport thing comes into it I guess – when you’re more than just some guy who’s walked in off the street they’ll take more time with you. Kinda sad in a way, but it’s just how it is.

I don’t wanna sound like a snob here, ’cause I’m not, honestly! (Up until a year ago I rode a Shogun.) But K-mart and Big W bikes??!! ZOMG!! Ever wondered why they won’t let you ride them before buying? Two reasons: they’re assembled by clueless teenagers and compared to even the cheapest ‘bike shop’ bike they are atrocious to ride and maintain. A bad bike, badly maintained is likely to turn the owner off cycling for good. You might even get one with “Shimano gears” – but just try looking up your “Shimano gears” on the Shimano website!

I have the Kmart trailer as well. Works great with both kids in it. I have never had any complaint re the seat straps and the bumps are fun (1 in the back). The bumps become a bit of a problem when I have both in the back and they are tired after the park, as their helmets bump together which causes a bit of friction.

I got a piece of conduit and made a handle for it as well so I can drag it around the markets and shops easily.

Each bike is a make up of different brands. Frame, shocks, running gear, brakes, seat, handlebars. If you don’t like something change it.

A $60 bike tool kit will enable you to rebuld most bikes completely. Get a milk crate to sit on and do some tinkering. Get a mate to show you what you need to do or do a course. This will save you most servicing costs and leave the bike shops for the more serious issues.

Well I spent bugger all, had it for 3 years now and I have never had a problem with it. If it craps out, who cares, I only spent close to $200 on it. Its not like I’m climbing pikes peak.

I’d recommend buying a good quality child buggy second hand. We ended up with two, one for the road (kids are now well and truly grown out of it) and the other I converted to ski’s. Towed the rug rats around the cross country trails or just snow shoed with them in tow when we needed to get out into the fresh air. They are now tucked away in the shed while we decide if we want to keep them. One is a Winchester original and the other is a Lil’ Trooper by Kool Stride. Both are chrome-moly frame construction and have proved to be extremely durable. I’d recommend both brands.

For bike shops, Londsdale Street Cyclery have sold me and serviced my bikes for over 15 years now and I’m happy to recommend them. Price wise I think that they are comparable to most of the shops around town. As I live south side I also use the bike shed in Phillip and they’ve been great. They’ll do special order for parts etc and their prices are also competitive. Onya bike at Phillip sucks but Onya bike at Fyshwick is up there with the best.

A good friend of mine ran a chain of bike shops in melbourne, and i was there when he started out back in the late 80’s and spent many hours behind the counter. he would service any bike that came in, but was scathing about the target/kmart bikes. too often the components were inferior and required replacing, which led to sticker shock. he would not let an unsafe bike out of his shop.

he also hated the fact that people brought the cheap kmart bike attitude to his shop – i spent x dollars, therefore i expect cheap servicing. he would simply ask them to take the bike back to kmart for a service. a bike bought at a local bike shop is likely to have better quality components, that arent likely to fail or need replacing as quickly as the cheap bikes on sale at the large retail chains. a lot of people dont see that when they look at the ads before xmas.

I was once looking at buying a mountain bike and when to the bike store in Gungahlin, I think it is called the Bike Shed. They seemed pretty disinterested but at least they told me what size bike would suit a person of my height. Then they told me they had no bikes big enough and didn’t seem to keen on getting me one. Maybe its my lack of lycra but I moved along. I walked over to Big W and bought one instead. They seemed to have better range of bikes at a fraction of the cost. I have no problems with a bit of assembly.

DIY. (The servicing, not the trailer bit.)

Are you the slightest bit handy? If the brakes need tightening, the gears need sorting, a pedal is loose .. fix it yourself. A $60 bike toolkit will give you most of the tools you need to replace brake pads / chain / cassette / tyre / pedals, true your rims, etcetc. If you need something trickier like a new headset installed, sure, take it to a shop.

CHW said :

RE the padding for little bums – I had a jogger pram for a couple of offspring; found that if you go to the Queanbeyan sheepskin tannery guy and get a couple of thick skins, you can measure out the harness placement and cut slots to allow you to undo and insert the straps through the sheepskin, then redo the straps.

You don’t want a pillow shifting through the journey, and the sheepskins provide great padding, just run them through the wash when they get biscuit crumbs/sultanas/icecream dripping on them.

If you can’t find skins that are thick enough, just double up on the skins eg: two skins per seat. They were about $70 ea last time I did that, but they last well past the needed usage, and now in their retirement are keeping the dogs/cats comfy in their beds.

That’s awesome. Thanks so much. I’d already organised to use some pram liner stuff as extra padding (the pads that go through over the arm harness straps and the like), but that just sounds perfect: extra padding that is warm in winter, cool in summer, and washable.

Clown Killer1:59 pm 11 Jan 10

Nothing sinister intended niftydog. It could be a brand percention thing though. Cannondale, Scott etc. are massive companies churning out tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of bikes – they build bikes to a range of price points in the market, but in my book simply having a bike on the shop floor with an expensive price tag is by no means ‘high end’.

As far as Lonsdale Street Cyclery is concered, what put me off most was the fact that when asked directly whether or not there were issues with particular components and their failure rates they lied to me – it was enough for me to not consider spending money there

Clown Killer said :

They stock a range of fairly mediocre brands (Cannondale, Merrida etc)…

I don’t believe they stock Merida, and there’s plenty of people who’d disagree with you about Cannondale, Pivot and Scott being mediocre. But hey, maybe “brand perception” goes a long way to explaining why opinions are so varied on this topic.

RE the padding for little bums – I had a jogger pram for a couple of offspring; found that if you go to the Queanbeyan sheepskin tannery guy and get a couple of thick skins, you can measure out the harness placement and cut slots to allow you to undo and insert the straps through the sheepskin, then redo the straps.

You don’t want a pillow shifting through the journey, and the sheepskins provide great padding, just run them through the wash when they get biscuit crumbs/sultanas/icecream dripping on them.

If you can’t find skins that are thick enough, just double up on the skins eg: two skins per seat. They were about $70 ea last time I did that, but they last well past the needed usage, and now in their retirement are keeping the dogs/cats comfy in their beds.

Thanks also for the info about bike shops.

I’ve been going to Maladjusted since it opened (and love them to bits), but booked in at Cycle Surgery for the next service (it’s my side of town now, and a lot more convenient). I bought a few things from them over the weekend (child helment, inner tubes, new helmet for myself, etc.) and they were just great.

Thanks so much for all the info about kid seats and bike shops.

After doing a bit of research, I ended up picking up a trailer at K-Mart for $150: which was a more reasonable price than some of the insanely priced Croozers and Chariots, but came just as highly recommended by Choice (in some cases, according to Choice the cheap trailer is apparently a better performer).

I’ve taken it out for some test-rides, as well as having to map out a set of riding routes (typically, none of the bike paths are connected, so travelling from home to childcare with a little one becomes a needlessly complex task which involves more than a few frustrating detours through the backstreets of adjacent suburbs and takes more than twice as long as a regular commute doing bits of riding on the road … just WTF is the point of the bike lanes on Southern Cross Drive? They start and end in the middle of a busy 3-lane road, completely unconnected to any footpaths or bike paths or anything).

I found riding with a trailer to be a pretty decent experience. The main hassle is trying to keep the trailer’s wheels on level ground – given the crappy state of a lot of footpaths and bikepaths (some of which are so narrow that people travelling in the opposite direction had to ride in the rough … thankfully riding with a trailer has the effect of making the general public curious and forgiving in equal measures), it’s difficult to keep the level of vibration down. Oh, and don’t even *think* about trying to navigate through those metal pole chicane things.

Anyway, I am a bit concerned about the amount of jostling and vibration that the trailer gets, so I think I’ll reduce the tyre-pressure a bit more, as well as working in some pillows for additional cushioning. The 5 point harness is all good, but it is a bench seat type affair (rather than a bucket seat) and on the very brief test ride which included a little passenger (to the end of the street and back), a lot of jostling was evident.

Clown Killer11:23 am 11 Jan 10

I like mal Adjusted in Dickson on the North Side and Onya Bike in Tuggeranong and the little bloke at Kambah Village on the South Side.

Having attempted to spend up big at Lonsdale Street Cyclery over the past ten years … but having failed because of their attitude and frankly incorrect advice, I wouldn’t bother with them. They stock a range of fairly mediocre brands (Cannondale, Merrida etc) which they try to pass off as ‘high end’ – you’d be better off with taking the trip up to Dickson.

I picked up a kiddie trailer in Mitchell at what i think was the Canberra Bike Superstore for around $300, service wasn;t very good but the price was right. I don’t have kids but it’s really handy for a supermarket run or a trip to the Farmers Markets.

Best part about it is how horrified people are when you jump up or down gutters with it because they think there is a kid in the back! Priceless.

Don’t jump gutters if you have a carton of beer in the back though… That’s bad.

I can highly recommend Simon at Cycle Surgery in Florey, especially for servicing.
Mal Adjusted in Dickson is pretty good.

You’ll get fifty different opinions on every bike shop in town because people’s expectations are completely different. Quite often the negative opinions such as some of those above are formed after a single visit, interacting only with one staff member during Saturday morning peak time. I’ve patronised just about every bike shop in town multiple times over the last 20 years or so, though mostly on the north side. My 2 cents;

For no frills servicing and good prices on accessories and spares Cycle Surgery in Florey is excellent. Small business, vested interest, honest and knowledgeable staff, low waiting times. Last time I was there a customer was assembling his own bike in the middle of the shop, using their tools and garnering advice as he went!

For extremely knowledgeable sales people and excellent advice, Lonsdale St Cyclery cannot be beaten. They cop a lot of flack, mainly because they’re perceived as snobs purely because they stock high-end bikes, but when you scratch the surface you’ll find they are nothing like that at all. There is a price premium, but they will reward customer loyalty with discounts which evens out the prices. Good advice and getting the right product (instead of just the cheapest or trendiest) is sometimes worth paying a bit extra.

The Bike Shed (Braddon is better than Gungas) are pretty good, but they’re kinda limited by the fact they’re a Giant dealer. They have a “any bike is the right bike, so long as it’s a Giant and it’s in stock” kinda attitude.

Onya Bike (any location) are ok, depending on which staff members you encounter. They’re not as committed to customer service as they could be, but prices are ok. Again, limited by the bike brands they stock.

If you want the full roadie-snob experience, Ride Shop is the place to go. They’re main problems are a cramped shop with limited stock and a wary attitude towards customers looking at expensive bikes. I found it hard to convince them I was a serious shopper.

astrojax said :

…steer clear of lonsdale street cyclery – they’re arrogant and high minded, refusing to service my bike a couple years ago because of the brand.

Care to mention what brand? Many very cheap bikes are nearly unserviceable and they’re busy enough in the workshop without having to wrestle with a K-mart special. My bikes have been in and out of their workshop about half a dozen times in the last year and I’m yet to pay for a service! Like I said, customer loyalty is rewarded.

There’s a few consistent points being brought up about what makes a good bike shop great, and the relationship you form with them is, for me at least, the biggest part of it. Many of Canberra’s bike shops have some of Australia’s best riders on their staff and most are actively involved in developing cycling in the community (Claire W at Onya in Civic being one example). Once you find a shop you’re happy with build up a rapport with them and the relationship will serve you well 🙂

My problem is there are about four or five shops I have a good relationship with. And only one job to fund my habit 😉

I have had really helpful and non-pushy service at Onya in Civic too. They fitted proper width rim tape while fixing a puncture without me asking, and also told me that the tube was very old and patched – the tube that Bike Shed Philip told me they were going to replace at a service a few months previous, but apparently didn’t.

Dreaded Lurgee6:11 pm 10 Jan 10

Up to the age of 3 I recommend i-bert front-mounted child seat. It’s lightweight, easy to remove, better than the wee-ride in my opinion Front-mounted child seats feel much safer, with the centre of gravity over the centre of the bike. We also have a Chariot, and I think it’s well overpriced, the next-cheapest one down (forget the brand) does just as well. I would only ride with my kids in a trailer or seat on a bike path though, so even one of the heavy pacifics would be fine really.

Bike shops: I’ve bought from Mal-adjusted and and been pretty happy. Bought from Cycle City in Lyneham and was happy too (they have some good bargains on old stock atm), but found their servicing hit and miss: had a bike serviced, it came back with broken spokes (through wear, not that they’d done anything); sent it back for a new wheel and they tore the sidewall of the old tyre while installing it on the new wheel and didn’t say anything, so I didn’t find out/notice until I had ridden the thing home: a bit dangerous. Ride Shop in Braddon is my fave overall: friendly and knowledgeable, willing to offer to go out of their way, great servicing.

YMMV, as they say.

+1 for the WeeRide

We’ve had one for ~4 years now – daughter from 1 until she was about 4, and son from 12months until…well he’s 18months now.

We had a trailer – and still do – a Croozer – great value compared to the Chariots (I couldn’t justify the expense) and will still use it when we’ve got other kids over, or I want to do a cycle/run but it’s a poor second to the WeeRide.

And the reason is simple – interaction – the pleasure of pedaling chatting to your child that can see where you’re going is unbeatable. In the last 6months my boy has learnt a lot of words on daily commute to childcare … ‘og (which obviously is dog) ‘ike (which obviously is bike) [hmmm he has a leading consonant issue me thinks!]

Of course I also commute with a rucksack – so having him in front works well – and ~3 days a week I’ll have the 5year old on a tagalong behind me too – not a BIG fan of hills loaded up like that!

Jimmy

swamiOFswank12:48 pm 10 Jan 10

+1 Bicycle Superstore at Mitchell for being the supreme-beings of shite retailing.

A while ago I was looking for a new mountain bike. I wandered into Onya Bike in Civic and they had to be the friendliest folks I’ve encountered in a bike shop in ages. They were interested in my riding, my budget and other bikes I’d looked at. I bought my latest MTB ride there and got a great deal. Months later I took my son (11) in there to look for a new bike. Again, they were more than friendly and answered his myriad of questions. They let him test ride the bikes and didn’t bat an eyelid when we left without making a purchase. I went back later without him and bought the bike. I’ve also had my MTB serviced there – once for the initial service which was free and then again because of an issue with the rotor on the front brake – again free. And get this….they actually rang me to advise that the work was done!! Cool. Needless to say I would highly recommend them. If you want customer service as well as a good bike shop then try Onya in Civic. (I have no relationship with this bike shop at all other than being a satisfied repeat customer).

Baby seats are only good until the child is 18 mths/2 years old (I forget how many kilos mine was rated to, but check at the bike store). After that you will need a trailer until the kiddo is old enough to ride for them selves

Our bike seat was rated to something like 26kg and in regular use until my daughter was 3.5 – she is at least average size for her age but it was by no means too small. At 3.5y she moved to a hitch bike. We did have a trailer but it was a borrowed Pacific one and weighed 16kg without child, due to no suspension my daughter often complained about the bumpy ride especially along the bike path between Curtin and Yamba Drive (tree roots). The high end trailers like Chariots convert to strollers in seconds which is handy if your child is under 2y and will have limited walking endurance.

Bike seats are more risky IF you stack however it’s been a long long time since I had a stack of any description let alone with child on board. I also avoid roads like the plague when carrying my daughter. The bike seats have four point harnesses with foot straps.

Another advantage of bike seats over trailers is that it’s easier to have a conversation with your child and they get a sense of the balance involved in sitting on a bike.

As PPs have said, avoid the bike shop at Mitchell at all costs. I have also heard from non-cyclist friends who had a less than welcoming reception at Lonsdale St when looking to buy (though their workshop staff are good). My friends were so happy with their treatment at Rideshop that they bought two $1000 touring bikes when they were originally only shopping for one. Rideshop service is good. I would also recommend Onya in Civic or Maladjusted (for mountain bikes) and have heard good things about Florey but not been there myself.

Some mates of mine did their research for a kid carting setup, and concluded that a Chariot is the only way to go. The build quality is superb, harness excellent, and it’s about as safe as you’ll get, too. Flying Furniture will sort you out, but if you know anyone in North America who’s planning on coming over sometime soon then get them to procure one for you.

On the bike shop front, my experience is that many bike shops have one or two really solid mechanics. The X factor is whether some other monkey will service your bike. I wouldn’t buy anything from the Lonsdale St Cyclery (because of one particularly rude and snobbish staff member, as much as anything else), but their workshop is solid, and their head mechanic is excellent. Bike Culture in O’Connor can also be very good, if variable (again, depending on the mechanic). Unfortunately, they’re pretty pricey compared to some other outfits. For all round good guys, good service, and good prices, I don’t reckon you can go past Mal Adjusted. For my purposes it’s the best bike shop in town.

I avoid all three bike shops in Phillip, the one in MItchell.

emd said :

You could also consider a cargo bike. PS Bikes get the proper European ones imported – they’re based in Melbourne, but come to Canberra once a month. http://psbikes.com.au/

I can vouch for the cargo bike – I use it for transporting the kids, doing the shopping etc and hardly need the car anymore. They are expensive though you can now get cheaper versions that come out of China etc but not as good quality of course. emd do you have a Christiania?

For bike shops Cycle Surgery in Florey is great for whatever you are after.

hairy nosed wombat8:34 am 10 Jan 10

A cheaper option is put your pannier racks on the front wheels, and the baby seat on the back. When I did this I had no real problems with my balance.

Baby seats are only good until the child is 18 mths/2 years old (I forget how many kilos mine was rated to, but check at the bike store). After that you will need a trailer until the kiddo is old enough to ride for them selves

The cyclery at the LYneham servo is competent, knowledgeable, friendly and well priced.

The bike shop at the back of Kambah Village is a great one. He has been running it himself for years & is interested to keeping you happy.

We bought our chariot from Flying Furniture: by my wife’s account a very agreeable transaction.

I’ve also had my bike serviced at bike shed. I bought from cellbikes.com.au but they had no problems servicing it. I’m looking after my own servicing now but I my experience with Bike Shed and Onya Civic has been pretty positive.

I use the chariot to ferry work clothes to the office fortnightly. Apart from an obviously more strenuous ride, the way the chariot is attached and performs makes it almost transparent to the riding experience.

Felix the Cat7:05 pm 09 Jan 10

Blingerific said :

Only one to avoid is the one in Mitchell.

+1 Will only let you test ride a bike around the carpark out front with practically an armed guard watching over so you don’t abscond with the bike. Guy who owns the shop is not a cyclist at all, he is only there to make money, the more the better.

Blingerific said :

Green Grocer in Goulburn also gets a very good wrap from most serious riders I know…

+1 for great deals on bikes (mostly road bikes though) but don’t let them service your bike…

Rideshop in Braddon have good service and good range of bikes from MTBs to commuters to high-end road bikes.

Londsdale St Cyclery have a good range of bikes and parts but are more orientated towards the serious road cyclist.

TLC Cycles in Phillip are pretty good all rounders.

Onya Bike in Tuggeranong have very friendly, knowledgeable and helpful staff (and good range of bikes and parts), young bloke there spent easy 15 mins explaining to me the differences between the different rain jackets.

Join Pedal Power and get a 10% discount on parts at most bike shops in Canberra (not Bike Superstore Mitchell).

If you’re not going to use a trailer often then you can get a cheapee at Kmart – Repco brand for around $180 I think. I’ve got one and its fine. Probably not as light or strong as the more expensive, but as I said, if you’re not going to use it often… I also had a rear childseat but I was always worried about tipping over and of course, I couldn’t use panniers anymore.

There is also Simon at the Florey shops (Cycle Surgery) I bought a general purpose rack from him, but in the process got a run down on oddites in different racks, including those suitable for baby carriage. It appears racks ain’t racks.

I actually don’t like the idea of carrying a baby around on the back. One of my recurring nightmares is from the 50s when I knocked a mother off her bike, she was carrying a baby on the back and it just spilled out onto the dirt road. IIRC, “no damage was done” but the memory unfortunately lingers on.

I had a pair of saddle bags, and when the grand kids were younger and smaller, could drop them into the bags to take them for a ride.

Only one to avoid is the one in Mitchell. My usual haunts are Mal Adjusted’s or Bike Shed Braddon (as I ride a variety of bikes I tend to use Mal for big travel fun or custom bikes I have and Bike Shed for everything day to day). It depends on where you live really, most town centers have a good bike shop not far away.

Green Grocer in Goulburn also gets a very good wrap from most serious riders I know…

contrary to the otherwise sage shiny flu [#2], steer clear of lonsdale street cyclery – they’re arrogant and high minded, refusing to service my bike a couple years ago because of the brand. other times i have felt a bit snubbed cause i wasn’t a lycra-lad, so for that i give them bad press here and hope they lose more custom.

the bike store in o’connor shops is ok, if a little small and niche, but mal adjusted in wooley street dickson is ok.

happy riding.

georgesgenitals4:04 pm 09 Jan 10

We have one of the proper bike trailers for our little guy, with seatbelts. He also wears a helmet.

The trailer is fairly heavy, but I tend to stay below 25km/h when on the bike with the trailer attached (yes, I have a speedo).

Just check the allclassifieds for kiddie trailers like the Pacifics. People are selling them all the time. Not suitable for very young children if it’s a bench seat.

If you want to travel with a very young child, I would recommend a bucket seat that provides their body with far more support and cushioning. The Croozer range should do the job, or Chariots at the high end at about $1000. Chariots are the way to go if money isn’t an issue as they have suspension and provide the best ride for your child. Go on eBay for Croozers. Flying Furniture has some of the best local prices for new trailers.

Trailers have several advantages: safer for the child if you come off; more protection for the child from weather; the loading isn’t top-heavy: you can use panniers; you can carry stuff in the trailer; you can carry two children; higher profile (light that sucker up with flags and blinkers); they double as excellent off-pavement strollers and joggers.

Child seats have the advantage of a slimmer, shorter profile, and allow for speedier travelling. I also own a rear child seat but have only used it a couple of times, I prefer travelling with the little one in a trailer if time isn’t of the essence.

Other than that, tristero’s recommendation should do the job.

I regularly use Onya (Fyshwick), Lonsdale St, and Maladjusted. I can’t comment on other shops.

Child seats on a bike are a pet hate of mine. Border on child abuse.

You stack and your kiddy has no chance.

Best bike shops in Canberra are the ones the cyclists get their bikes done at. Maladjusted, Bike Shed, Rideshop, Bike Culture and Lonsdale St would be my picks

Steer well clear of The Bike Shed in Braddon – they have no interest in putting a person on the right bike for them and focus only on moving the most expensive stock out the door. (Ask them about getting fitted for a bike under $2k and hear the laughter).

The handful of times that I’ve been in there looking for parts they have always pushed the more expensive (but often worse) components and tried badly to fast talk me.

No one that I’ve spoken to in the Canberra bike scene thinks very highly of them either.

Maladjusted, Onya Civic and Bike Culture are far more reliable.

You could also consider a cargo bike. PS Bikes get the proper European ones imported – they’re based in Melbourne, but come to Canberra once a month. http://psbikes.com.au/

Start at one end of Lonsdale Street and work your way to the other end. There’s a new bike clothing shop just opened – I think where TJ’s motorcycles used to be, next to Pink Inc women’s clothing. The Bike Shed next to Unit Concepts and opposite Brindabella Baby had a good range of child bike seats and kids bikes when I was there the week before Christmas, and I got good advice on how to choose.

You can always buckle a backpack into the child seat for commutes – I have seen this done alot.

Trailers are great the cheap ones weigh a ton, but even the light ones ($$$$) are heavier than a child seat. Child seats are also good for lower back massages while riding (and handy when you forget warm gloves on a coldish day – tho little freezing hands shoved up your back is not quite so pleasant).

When you have child in the seat you can’t walk away from your bike. Trailers are handy for that, and for being able to keep child comfortable when it’s cold. In a bike seat the wind chill is considerable and you will need to turn them into Michelin toddler before setting off any time it’s even vaguely coolish.

Trailers can be a PITA when trying to negotiate bike paths with narrow gaps and those stupid chicane thingies (which are just as much fun with a hitch bike).

Which area are you in? Hardly worth recommending somewhere at the other end of town for just a service.

Stupid nintendo. Note for above: it should be Weeride.

Check out Lonsdale St. Cyclery.

From memory they have a child seat that slides onto a rack that can also be used with panniers.

Obviously balance with a child seat can be a safety concern if the bike slips away etc. Whereas the trail is much more stable. I guess it really depends though, if you’re planning on another child, a 2 seater trailer is a good idea. Also could use the trailer (sans kids) for big grocery shopping trips etc.

You need to look into a wiiride.

http://www.weeride.com.au/WeeRide/weeride-baby-bicycle-seat.html

I’ve been using one for the past two years since the little one was almost one (almost outgrown it at three now). Better balance and I have a rack and panniers on the back.

The best part is the attachment. Loosen the thumbscrew and remove it. My wife drops our child and the seat in at childcare in the mornings – I pick the seat and little one up on my bike on the way home from work.

Daily Digest

Want the best Canberra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riotact stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.