Hauling your bike from storage for that inaugural spring ride or commute, you’ll notice the gears grind and the brakes are loose. Probably your brake and derailleur cables are stretched. More than likely, the tires are deflated and the chain is bone-dry. It’s time for an overhaul. Your bicycle, that simple and steadfast steed, rides best when its components are well-fastened, lubed and adjusted, so bring it in for an inspection and tune-up. Here is a short list of repair shops with notable precision, scheduling and workshops.
Duke’s moved back to its original location last year — the site was gutted in a 2008 blaze that razed a city block. Now, with a revamped store and website, customers can book service appointments online, eliminating in-store wait times. Scheduled carefully and dependent on the scale of tune-up, customers can drop off their bike in the morning and cycle home that evening. Overhaul: $100; tune-up: $69. 625 Queen St. W., 416-504-6138
Bateman’s Bicycle Company
Bateman’s has been tooling bikes from a converted barn in the Annex since 2008. Most recently, the business expanded to a larger space around the corner and doubled its workspace. Occupying two locations and offering low rates, Bateman’s provides assured and, most importantly, honest service. Overhaul: $100; tune-up: $50. 29A Barton Ave. and 913 Bathurst St., 416-538- 2453
Liberty Street Cyclery
Owner and lead mechanic Ed Tsui opened Liberty Street Cyclery in 2010, and deals mainly in repairs and custom-bike builds. The Cyclery promises same-day turnaround for appointments dropped off in the morning — 24 hours for walk-ins — and its mechanics work 12- to 14-hour days. Service prices are steeper than usual, but the express service won’t hamper your commute. Overhaul and tune-ups start at $60. 171 East Liberty St., Unit 125, 416-516-8880
To take your investment in cycling seriously, it pays to learn how to wrench a bike. There are a number of bike co-op shops around town that will teach you everything about maintenance and repairs. Some charge a small fee while others take donations, but with free instruction, payment goes directly to your bike. Parts are available at cost if new or free through trades. Check out Bike Pirates and Community Bike Network in the west end, Bike Sauce in the east or Bikechain on the U of T campus.
Image courtesy of Wisconsin Historical Images.