Pittsburgh is one of the top American cities for everyday biking. We’re not #1 yet, but we’re getting there. You know how to get us there? If you were on the road with me. Repair your bike or get a new one. Here’s the best bike shops in Pittsburgh to get you on the road.
1Kraynick’s Bike Shop
Got five minutes? Listen to our interview with Gerry Kraynick:
Gerry Kraynick is the Original Gansta of the Pittsburgh bike game. He rolls deep with his crew of volunteers teaching the community how to fix your own damn bike. His father had the first shop in 1946. He moved it to Garfield in 1976. Since I’m comparatively new to his streets, I asked another bike advocate to describe it.
“Kraynick’s a time capsule chock-full of just about every hard-to-find item you could want, and some you probably don’t (Biopace chainrings anyone?). It’s the place where many have learned how to straighten a bent derailleur hanger and built up their own bike from scratch for the first time. Anyone can use Gerry’s tools and bike stands free of charge. If you ride a bike in Pittsburgh, Gerry is a must-meet person, and Kraynick’s is a must-experience shop.” – Scott Bricker, BikePGH
Bicycle Heaven is an American dream. Everyone should make a pilgrimage to visit Bicycle Heaven at least once. Craig Morrow founded the museum in 2011 as an extension of his passion. It is a spectacle of wonder housing thousand of bikes from a PeeWee Herman Bike to Bowden Spacelanders. As such, it is the most complete bike store boasting over 3,000 bikes and 100,000 parts. They even do repairs in house. And if you’re really bike crazy, you can rent out the place for your wedding.
3Ted’s Excellent Bike Repair
Ted’s Excellent Bike Repair is the somewhat misanthropist adventures of bicycle mechanic Ted Phillips. Ted’s advise is blunt and honest. He’ll tell you when your bike best friend is beyond repair. RIP Craigslist special. His shop carries a small selection of bikes, but the focus is on repair, thus Ted’s is the fastest repair in town. He’s professional and if you stick around, he provides commentary track on bike culture you secretly want.
Katharine Jordan and Aaron Stein both spent short stints at bike shops over the years but their condition, “bikepunk-itis”, went undiagnosed. Eventually they succumbed to the chronic disease… and opened their own shop. Kindred Cycles is the wonderful result of their refined passion for cycling. No junk here. Kindred sets themselves apart by stocking high-quality and reliable bike parts. Notable characters with notable service. They will keep your bike, and hence you, alive.
5Iron City Bikes – Oakland
Iron City Bikes in Oakland is what you’d expect from a classic bike shop: Dirt, grease, and grit. For over ten years they have delivered on all three. Iron City Bikes is best for college students. They sell entry to mid level bikes and are use to repairing just about anything. Not many bells and whistles here, but they’ll get you on the road.
6Banker Supply Co.
Banker Supply Co. is unique on this lists as they focus on the aesthetics of riding. The euro-styled bike selection is outdone by its matching apparel. Looking super cute is super important. Thus it’s no surprise that most of their clientele are women of style. Bike repair there is scheduled, so don’t show up on a whim. Drop it off, grab a coffee, and come back. And if you find yourself in Los Angeles you can visit their sister store opening soon.
Thick Bikes in South Side is the standard bike shop. Thick has everything you need and easy access to bike trails after you get it. Thick is usually ‘slammed’ or understaffed so don’t go here for repairs. Think of them as an excellent grab-n-go place for helmets, tubes, etc. They’re also a great place to start looking when you need a bike too. This year they’re looking to define themselves with by focusing on adventure cyclists.
8Iron City Bikes – Lawrenceville
Iron City Bikes gets a special second mention. It is completely different from their Oakland location. Iron City Bikes in Lawrenceville is a polished showroom. It’s a good place to start in trying out new bikes as they carry just about everything. I can’t speak about their repair service, but I can say they’re the cleanest shop on the list.
Free Ride is not free as in air, but pretty damn close. Free Ride is a do-it-yourself non-profit that teaches you how to repair your bike. As you help, learn, and share, your hours count towards your new bike. Free Ride is perfect for beginners. They also host dope fundraisers. They’re volunteer run, so check their schedule before showing up.
10Pro Bikes of Squirrel Hill
Are you tired of being confused for the proletariat scum? Are Cannondale frames your preferred currency? Then Pro Bikes is for you. Pro Bikes distinguishes itself by carrying premium products at premium prices. Yes, you might have to buy specialized tools for that bike. No, this isn’t a bad thing. It’s just not my thing. But, it could be your thing. If you’re working at a hot tech startup and have the money to burn go to their Squirrel Hill store.