Another category where every rider has a favourite and every rider has a local shop. Sometimes they’re the same. Sometimes they’re not!
- Blazing Saddles, Hebden Bridge, Calderdale.
They were flooded in the Boxing Day floods, their workshop received structural damage, their stock was washed away and… they’ve bounced back. The flooded shop reopened quickly offering workshop services, they’ve made creative use of the space available to hold pop up shops, charity auctions and art exhibitions, and they’ve opened a new showroom up the hill – taking on new staff and creating jobs in the process. Not only have they shown resilience in the face of adversity, but they’ve done so with a smile on their faces. In fact, they’re so helpful that one happy customer popped straight along to the Watermark flood charity to make a donation.
- Garage Bikes, Morley, Leeds.
They’re a bike shop, they’re a hub for local riders, and their distinctive orange Garage Bikes jerseys can be spotted at many an event. They’ve held many a fundraiser in memory of Jenn Hill, our late deputy editor, and they’ve inspired riders of all abilities to get pedalling. Our longest serving Premier Dealer is not just a bike shop, or even just a very good bike shop: with their hugely popular women’s rides, group rides, charity events and championing of fun and riding for all, they’re an institution.
- Soho Bikes, London.
Not just a bike shop, this is a bike shop with a barista, a video channel, a clothing line, and an ex-pro rider and professional loudmouth for a co-owner. Based in London and co-owned by Nick Hawker and Rob Warner. Soho bikes have also been a forward thinking company with demo days at Aston Hill, their own Soho TV (there’s a very good one here with Steve Peat and Josh “Rat Boy” Bryceland) and they even got pro riders together at Bike Park Wales for a wheel size shootout.