Where to Buy a Beater Bike in Toronto

After 16 months in prison, Igor Kenk, Toronto’s notorious bicycle thief, is back. And according to our justice system, the man is rehabilitated. Still, spending more than a couple hundred bucks on a ride can seem like a risky proposition. Good news: The city’s full of reliable (and legitimate) beaters that’ll cost about as much as a one-month Metropass. Here’s where to find them.

Bike Pirates
Bike Pirates, a registered non-profit, aims to “make bicycles more accessible,” by providing a friendly space for DIY repairs, and by selling recycled rides for $50 to $300. 1292 Bloor St. W., info@bikepirates.com.

Newson’s Bike & Skate Exchange
$100 bikes are a specialty at this 79-year-old family-operated store. But if you’ve got a vision of the perfect bike, describe it and leave your number. They’ll call you if it arrives. 612 Jane St., 416-762-9976.

Community Bicycle Network
Alongside bike mechanic workshops and cycling skills programs, the CBN sells used bikes, from $200. Or, bring parts and build a ride with CBN volunteers. 101-761 Queen St. W., 416-504-2918.

Parts Unknown
In a dusty Kensington Market alleyway lie dozens of bikes and a squat brick building where George (dreadlocks; big, yellow smile) will sell you a used bike from $100.

Mike the Bike
Also in Kensington, Mike the Bike gets his hands dirty repairing and then selling vintage cruisers and hybrids in the $50 to $250 range. 5 Oxford St., 647-344-3570.

Cogs Cycle
Retro two-wheelers start at $50 at this small east-end shop, which also offers new rides by Fuji and SE Bikes, from $350. 1 Howland Rd., 416-465-7677.

Image courtesy of Hawee.


6 thoughts on “Where to Buy a Beater Bike in Toronto”

  1. This is a comment on my previous comment. The George bike could be totally fine. He sounded like a nice guy when I spoke to him on the phone. I guess I’m just wondering how you get your info on what’s good and what’s not. After the Kenk incident, it makes one skeptical.

  2. Thanks for the compliment, Anon.

    Regarding Parts Unknown, they’ve been in operation for 19 years. I think that says something about their legitimacy. Also, the shop is listed on the directory of the Toronto Bicycling Network, who’d only deal with legit stores. (When I talked to George, he specifically mentioned that he’s “not like Igor.”)

    I’m surprised you talked to him on the phone. I didn’t even know he had a number!

    Anyway, if you have any qualms about buying used, I’d encourage you to purchase a new bike.

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