A new bike can cost a lot. Here's where to buy a used or vintage one
Showing up to work with helmet hair, daily shouting matches with cars, praying your bike is where you left it locked – it’s all a sign that cycling season is upon us. A solid, good-quality bike is a must for getting around the city in the warmer months, and it’s possible to find one without hurting your wallet. Though picking up a cheap bike off Craigslist might be tempting, you risk purchasing something unsafe, there’s no professional help if an issue arises and sellers may have questionable means of acquisition. These six local bike shops have knowledgeable and experienced staff and wide selections of used and vintage bikes for a safe and affordable ride.
Address: 1412 Queen West, metrocycle.wixsite.com/metrocycleto
Target customer: The beginner
Don’t let the vintage Parkdale Millinery sign on the storefront confuse you, MetroCycle moved into the charming new location a couple of months ago and is still debating what to do with the sign. The shop is stocked with a variety of new and used bikes, including a great selection of kids’ bikes. Often the more affordable used bikes, which can range from $100-$300, can be found parked out front. Inside, the shop houses many Canadian and local bike brands, including the popular Toronto brand Simcoe. You can also pick up U-locks and accessories. They also do rentals and repairs and tune-ups start at $55.
Address: 242 Queen East, yabikes.ca
Target customer: The do-gooder
At the front of this Moss Park space, you’ll find Ya Bikes’ shop in the back, you’ll find Charlie’s FreeWheels, a non-profit organization where Ya Bikes gets many of their used bikes. Charlie’s FreeWheels holds free build-a-bike programs to teach at-risk youth how to repair used bikes, including a program for girls and trans youth. Help reduce unnecessary waste by donating your old bike rather than throwing it out. Charlie’s will use the old bikes for their programs and donate the rest to Ya Bikes, which sells those in addition to their own stock. Doubling as a repair shop, one wall is lined with bikes in the midst of repairs. It’s one of the more affordable places to get a used bike or a full tune-up for only $50.
Address: 913 Bathurst, 960 Bathurst, 149 Dupont, batemansbikeco.com
Target customer: The higher level biker
Though their flagship store is located on Bathurst, most of Bateman’s used bike selection can be found at their Express Shoppe on Dupont. You can trade in your old bikes here for store credit or peruse their selection of used bikes, which start at $80. Aside from their used collection, Bateman’s offers higher quality racing and road bikes. You can also take one of their various spin classes at Bateman’s Spin Shack (Bathurst location) – bring your own bike or use one of theirs! Mark your calendar for their bike swap on May 4 & 5, a new and used sale where you can bring a used bike and sell it for cash or store credit, or pick up a used bike.
Address: 1416 Queen West, bikepirates.com
Target customer: The DIY biker
Originally started in 2006 as an anarchist collective in a tiny space near Kensington, the DIY shop now lives in Parkdale and has a large community of bike fanatics. Bike Pirates is a great place to find a used bike or even just a part you may need. They avoid old bicycles going to landfill and create an affordable place for people to get a bike and its parts, making sure that everyone has the ability to own a bike. Their prices range from $50-$300 and parts are reasonably priced too. You can drop in and fix your bike yourself here or attend one of their how-to workshops. On Sundays, they have special women and trans-only hours creating a more inclusive environment for everyone to get familiar with bike mechanics. Be sure to check their hours before going in as they’re not open every day, and on some days only in the evening.
Address: 612 Jane, newsons.ca
Target customer: The resourceful biker
This west-end spot has all your used bike (and skate) needs. The exchange part comes in as you’re able to bring in or email a photo of a bike you want to trade in and select a new or used bike from their inventory and receive store credit. You can also simply sell your bike here, just send them an email with a photo and serial number and get a quote. Of course, you can also pick up a used bike here from their constantly changing roster. They house a unique selection of vintage bikes that are rented and sold for movie sets, ad campaigns or even engagement photos. Though the first floor might seem small, be sure not to miss their second floor full of new and used bikes, as well as a sizeable kid’s collection.
Address: 816 Dundas West, rideawaybikes.ca
Target customer: The local biker
At this shop near Dundas and Bathurst, they’ll refurbish and fix up old bikes and sell them at great prices. Check out Ride Away’s Instagram to keep on top of what bikes they currently have in stock because they go fast. Nicer refurbished bikes run for around $400-$500 but you can get one cheaper and fix it up yourself. Also acting as a full service repair shop, they offer affordable repairs and tune-ups here or just pick up that individual part or accessory.