The weather right now screams for bike rides: Gone is the face-melting heat, gone is that freak cold snap from last weekend.
So, stash your car keys in the junk drawer, lace up your shoes, and get to one of St. Louis' nine best bike shops listed below (in no particular order).
And for more great shopping and restaurant destinations, but sure to check out Riverfront Times' Best of St. Louis 2012 issue.
Maplewood Bicycle (7534 Manchester Road; 314-781-9566) With so many different bicycles out there, different types of bikes and different brands, it can be quite a chore for even seasoned riders to know exactly what bike and what setup is ideal for them, and an outright sisyphean task for a novice navigating the racks and rows of shiny frames. You can spend a little on your bike or a lot, but if the fit isn't right, then neither is the bike. At Maplewood Bicycle, they have the staff and equipment to ensure that the bike you ride is the absolute best bicycle for you. As great as its products and selection are, it's the staff and service that make this bike shop stand out. Whether you are looking for a new bike or fixing or upgrading your old ride, you can't beat the knowledge, assistance and all-around bike love that you'll find with the staff of Maplewood Bicycle. The shop also hosts clinics to help you learn more about how to handle your bike, and it supports races and rides all over the region.
Cherokee Street Bikes (2329 Cherokee Street; 314-448-1449)Riding a bike exhilarates the senses -- the wind blowing through your hair, the sights and smells of the city, commuters kindly shouting about how you're ruining their lives. Relative newcomer to the St. Louis bike scene, Cherokee Street Bikes opened in 2011, and the shop understands the thrill of a bike ride. Whether it's a tune-up, replacing a part or you're in the market for a refurbished bike, Cherokee Street Bikes helps get your butt in the saddle. As expected, given its location on one of the coolest streets in St. Louis, the bike shop offers more than just run-of-the-mill, high-end pieces of machinery. Its restored vintage bikes probably have more personality than you do, so swing on by and pick up something you can be proud of on your next midnight ride.
Hub Bicycle Company (40 West Lockwood Avenue, Webster Groves; 314-963-0300) A full-service bike shop, the Hub Bicycle Company in downtown Webster Groves reminds customers that riding a bike can be fun. Whether you are looking for a top-quality road bike or a mountain bike, a hybrid or a BMX, or something for the kids or the happy couple, the Hub is a real bikers' center for bikes. The shop carries quality brands such as Kona, Giant and Ibis, and the staff can tell you precisely what makes each bike unique, special and right or wrong for you. And, for cute couples who can't afford the high prices and maintenance costs of a carriage, Hub's also got a good selection of handmade and hand-painted tandem bikes. The store offers bikes for adults and children, and they've got trailers to carry the little ones -- dogs, kids or cats.
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