Bike shops are among the final few retail businesses that are truly local. Look around the Valley and there is only one chain that is a national franchise. If you want to support local business, support your local bike shop.
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This especially holds true comparing bikes to those big box places. Sure, the bikes may be cheaper there, but then again they're also cheaper. As in not as good. Throw in the service and knowledge that your local shop provides on top of the higher quality bikes and parts and those savings are usually gone.
That's not to say all bike shops are equal. The best way to tell if a shop is any good is if it's got a bar counter with stools ready hang at and a coffee machine of some type ready-to-brew java for the customers. Here's a look at our top 10:
Sunday Cycles in many ways is the epitome of the local bike shop. Counter with stools? Check. Coffee machine always brewing? Check (often with popcorn popping as well). Deep selection of brands such as Santa Cruz, Surly, Niner, Ibis and Felt to make any bike geek happy? Check. Grease covered wrenches sporting all kinds of unique facial hair configurations? Check.
. Focus Cyclery
Consider Focus a last outpost for cyclists on the southeast end of the Valley. Focus is another in the line of modern, clean and bright bike shops. A fully stocked assortment or gels, bars and other nutrition greets you at the door, perfect for those needing extra fuel while riding the flatlands of Queen Creek and San Tan. The highlights bikes from Trek, BMC and (pleasantly) the super-custom designed Independent Fabrication. Focus also supports a deep team of riders from the east side who sport their easily identifiable royal blue team kit at local rides and races. 3107 S.
. Rage Cycles
Home to the Valley's best jersey design and pump tack, Rage is a sweet shack of a shop. It's mostly there for dirt crowd, be it mountain or BMX, with a minimal selection of Bianchi, Masi and Raleigh road and fixie machines. But the large assortment of iconic off-road brands such as Yeti, Kona, Turner and Rocky Mountain just beg for a spin around that pump track in back.
The shop itself is an amazing labyrinth of retail space, defying physics with its space management and amount of bikes and goods. Between the sweet sugar skull jerseys and the store's general love of dirt, the place just feels like Arizona. 2724 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale
The newest shop in town, Faster is also its most unique. Truly a full service shop for the cyclist looking to maximize their ability, Faster is the nation's first shop complete with cycling-specific wind tunnel. That's right, cyclists can now go in, buy a bike, get it sized, and then get tested in a true wind tunnel to make sure you are riding that machine as fast as your physiology can possibly make it go.
. Tribe Multisport
While the staff (of one) here at Cycle stands by our credo of "Multisporters tri, Cyclists do," there is no denying that triathlons are the "it" endeavor in the cycling world. Tribe is the "it" store for Valley iron men, iron women and iron wann-be's, complete with an adjacent training center to keep those block workouts in place. But Tribe is a natural go-to for any competitive roadie with a deep selection of road rigs, components, gear and other sundry items to stuff our jersey pockets.
4. Slippery Pig
Slippery Pig has long been CenPho's go-to spot for area mountain bikers to get their gear and wrenching. The shop recently relocated from its old digs at Central and Camelback to its new home next door to Pane Bianco and Lux Coffee Shop. It's still a top MTB store but is now reaching more into the urban, commuter and road realms.
The shop has a great local bike shop feel - dark, bikes and parts filling every nook and cranny, and the occasional dog roaming the store. The Pig's wrenches are always solid and honest. They now have a satellite shop in Fountain Hills, just south of the McDowell Mountain Regional Park, ideal for last minute ride needs. 4412 N. Central Avenue, Phoenix
. Trailhead Bike Café
Trailhead still has the best concept around - part bike shop, part café, all the perfect hang. The guys at Trailhead are still getting the bike shop side in place, adding lines and gear, but simply by providing good coffee, pastries and sandwiches right off of main cycling spots like Trail 100 and the Grand Canal is genius.
Set in Old Town Scottsdale, Bicycle Haus is the town's ultimate cycling boutique in every way. They carry drool worthy, super-high end lines like Rapha, Assos, Pinarello and Colnago in a shop that is always immaculate. Even though they've got the stuff that can fill anyone with bike envy, they also have base line bikes for those looking to cruise the Greenbelt or area canals.
Haus is a big supporter of local racing, sponsoring multiple teams as well as a local crit race. The very best part of the shop though is the collection of vintage Specialized and Schwinn bikes and race worn bike jerseys that line the ceilings, making this place not only a shop but a museum. Be sure to look for the green jersey from the Tour de Romandie won by the Valley's own Chad Beyer. 7027 E. 5th Avenue, Scottsdale
1. Landis Cyclery
Arizona isn't the only thing turning 100 this year. Also started way back in 1912, Landis Cyclery now has four shops around the Valley. Cycle's preferred shop is the North Tempe store, mostly because it has the most personal, neighborhood feel of the chain.
There is a typically wide open parking lot perfect for test rides and possibly the friendliest group of wrenches in town to help anyone in the family find the right bike, regardless of ability. Looking for a comfort cruiser, it's there. Want a top level 29er to take to South Mountain, no problem. Landis is the patriarch of Valley shops and North Tempe is their crown jewel. 2180 E. Southern Avenue, Tempe and other locations
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