Gainesville is known both for its collegiate atmosphere and for its emphasis on going green; it’s no surprise it would have some great bike shops. Here are four that you really should check out.
1. Gator Cycle – 3321 SW Archer Rd. (352.373.3962)
In this local’s opinion, the winner on all-around helpfulness as a bike shop is easily Gator Cycle. Not only have they been open for years, but they also have a very helpful staff. From both personal experience and testimonials from friends, the folks behind the counter really know everything there is to know about bicycles. The selection for new and used bikes is also possibly the best in town. Probably the only drawback is that Gator Cycle is relatively inflexible with pricing; they do little negotiating, and some of their prices are a bit high. Overall, though, this place is hard to top.
2. Spin Cycle Bike Shop – 424 West University Ave. (352.338.7889)
If you’re looking for a more culturally-centered and experience-driven bike shop, Spin Cycle Bike Shop is clearly for you. Full of cool people who are enthusiastic about bikes, the shop also houses plenty of room for the occasional concert-slash-music-festival. Their selection of bike parts and accessories is often astounding, and they organize myriad biking events around town (the routes for some events even go directly through the shop!). Even if you’re not looking to buy a bike, Spin Cycle Bike Shop is an awesome place.
3. Mr. Goodbike – 425 NW 13th St. (352.336.5100)
Although Mr. Goodbike is primarily a bike repair shop, they also have a selection of bikes for sale. Additionally, they’ll buy your bike for what it’s really worth. The service has been mixed in my experience, but one strength of Mr. Goodbike is that the selection is constantly changing. Add that to the fact that they are an excellent repair shop, and Mr. Goodbike easily makes this list.
4. Chain Reaction Bikes – 1630 West University Ave. (352.373.4052)
Chain Reaction Bikes is relatively new on the Gainesville bike shop scene, but they’ve come up pretty quickly. Networking with some local organizations dedicated to riding and staying healthy, they’ve built up a sizable customer base. They do it all, from buying, to selling, to fixing. The several times I’ve been there, I’ve walked away with a smile. Go and check out Chain Reaction Bikes for yourself!