Rittenhouse | 1923 Chestnut Street
Breakaway co-owner Joe Wentzell has a background in exercise science, so he’ll not only sell you a bike (Fuji, Trek, Giant); he’ll make sure you’re getting the most out of it. The second floor is a clever fitness facility with daily classes—you bring your bike, clip into a computerized system, and race your classmates. Despite some fancy racing models, commuter bikes remain the top sellers, confirmation that novices are more than welcome.
Go here for: The unbeatable service plan: Every bike purchase comes with 10 years of free maintenance.
Fishtown | 1420 Frankford Avenue
This former police department horse stable is now a hip bike shop providing urban, road and commuter bikes to the car-eschewing masses of Fishtown and beyond. Owner Chaz Vlasits spent 25 years as an auto mechanic, so maintaining bikes—from basic repairs and specific build-outs to complete overhauls—is the shop’s backbone. The rides here are as cool as the clientele; you’ll find brands like the Venice Beach-based Linus and the built-for-speed Bianchi, plus expertly retrofitted used models.
Go here: If the only way you get around is on two wheels.
Firehouse Bikes & Wolf Cycles
West Philly and Ardmore | 701 South 50th Street and 4311 Lancaster Avenue.
Here, you’ll find mostly refurbished (read: wallet-friendly) rides; owners Monica Pasquinelli and Sam Davis scoop up cycles at bike swaps all over the country, then turn them over to their expert repair crew. Two years ago they purchased Main Line mainstay Wolf Cycles, which means more room for new lines from Linus, Soul and KHS. You can scope out their impressive selection of used bikes on their website; they’ll deliver your pick to their store location closest to you.
Go here for: The ideal upcycled ride.
Glenside, Cherry Hill, Philadelphia | Various Locations
There’s a reason Keswick is a perennial go-to: Its trio of locations allows for a vast back-stock. They carry every Specialized and Cannondale under the sun, along with rarer niche bikes, like the c hainless, designer-y $1,700 Roll 8 Rare. But don’t be intimidated: The unpretentious salespeople (many of them former customers) just want to get you on the road.
Go here for: A notable kids’ selection, with mini-versions of adult favorites. Staff members ensure that helmets fit and review the rules of the road—which are probably more likely to stick coming from a cool bike dude.
Cape May Court House | 5 West Mechanic Street
For 38 years, Hale has been getting shoobies out of their cars and onto the Shore’s flat, rider-friendly roads and boardwalks. The shop is open year-round and jam-packed with wide-saddled beach cruisers from Sun and retro leisure options from Globe. But a quick Q&A with the staff might steer you toward a bike you can use all year, like a road, mountain or hybrid. After a few weeks of riding, bring your purchase back for a free, thorough tune-up.
Go here for: Engine-powered bikes from Currie Izip that cruise along with all the flash—and none of the effort—of standard pedal-pushers.
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