I want to ride my bicycle; I want to ride my bike.
We couldn’t have said it better than Freddie Mercury, himself!
With summer in full swing, it’s time to invest in the city’s fittest form of transportation: bicycles!
Whether you’re a renter or a buyer, we have a list of seven wheelie spoketacular (see what we did there?) bicycle shops in the D.
Just like my puns, this busy city never stops. If you’re looking for a way to keep up with the Detroit Hustle, bikes are your best bet.
Keep reading for a cycle-analysis of the Motor City’s motorless movement toward bikes.
On Your Marks, Get Set, Go!
Our first two shops showcase beautiful bikes and Detroit sights; one offering guided bike tours of Detroit and the other making a difference in their community through charity and volunteerism.
In Our Wheelhouse
Wheelhouse Detroit is a small business started in 2008 and solely owned by Kelli Kavanaugh, an avid biker who wanted to bring the joy of bike rentals back to Detroit.
As the Ride Director for the Tour de Troit and a member of the board of directors for the National Bicycle Dealers Association, you could say that bicycles are in Kelli’s wheelhouse (wink-wink).
Fueled by her desire to bring back affordable rentals, while showcasing the city scene, Kelli started Wheelhouse and became the “spokes”-person of Detroit’s prime cycling locations.
When asked how Wheelhouse has inspired an interest in Detroit, Kavanaugh said, “Our tours are all about showcasing local history and culture. We aim to balance what’s new with what might be a longstanding anchor for a community and/or a little known gem. We dive deep into neighborhoods, like Hamtramck, Corktown, near eastside, Southwest Detroit, as well as themes, urban agriculture, Underground Railroad, sports, automotive, music, architecture, and historic churches.”
Located on 1340 Atwater Street and 1454 Wilkins, Wheelhouse offers bike rentals, purchases, maintenance, and tours of Detroit. The website provides details on tour pricing, rentals, hours, and time frame.
The Detroit Riverfront location on Atwater offers rentals, tours, retail and service every Monday – Friday from 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m., Saturday from 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m., and Sunday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
The Eastern Market location on Wilkins is open Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. and Saturday from 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. and only offers rentals.
Back Alley Bikes and The Hub of Detroit
Hit the brakes! Back Alley Bikes is a non-profit community bike shop that provides cycling education and services for the public.
Focusing on youth developments, sustainable practices, and community access, Back Alley has produced 15 years of alternative transportation since their start in 2000.
Since conception, BAB has hosted riding clubs and Earn-a-Bike programs, partnering with area schools. They also provide a workshop for programming space, allowing community members to learn how to fix and maintain their bike.
In 2008, they opened The Hub of Detroit, a year-round bike retail shop that not only provided a community with access to a repair and accessory shop: it provided Back Alley Bikes with adequate finances, as all proceeds from The Hub are donated to Back Alley.
There are many ways you can support their efforts:
First you can donate bicycles, parts, accessories, locks, or helmets. They put the “cycle” in recycling!
You can also provide monetary donations that benefit the maintenance of the shop and funding of youth programs.
Lastly, you can donate your time by volunteering. For information on their volunteer opportunities, check our their website and get involved!
Back Alley Bikes and The Hub are located on 3611 Cass Ave and open Tuesday –Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and Sunday from noon – 6:00 p.m., closing on Mondays.
Geared Up To Go
These next few shops are among the most revered bike shops in Detroit that provide new, used, and custom bike retail along with repairs and maintenance. The best part: they sell Detroit-made bikes!
We won’t leave you in suspension, this next store started a major movement in Detroit retail and it’s only fitting that this movement was due to bicycles!
When Shinola established their Detroit flagship retail store on 441 Canfield, crowds came from all corners of Michigan, and some from out-of-state, to witness the American-made watches, leather, and bicycles.
The difference of a Shinola bicycle not only lies in the quality of its parts, but in the care of its construction. Each bicycle is produced one at a time, by hand, with a precise attention to detail.
In turn, this establishes the high-end, luxury quality that gave Shinola its reputation.
However, Shinola brought more than revenue to the city of Detroit; it made a statement of the city’s comeback, establishing a quality and respect that Detroit needed to begin its regrowth and revitalization.
Be sure to check out the store that started the return of quality retail in Detroit.
Their hours of operation are Monday – Saturday from 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
This next store has more than a grip on their handlebars; they understand and respect the history of Detroit manufacturing and design.
Recognizing these traditions, Detroit Bikes are built for touring, recreational riding, and racing: all with the belief that “riding a bike should be simple.”
They pride themselves on minimalist design as each bike only has three speeds and comes in one color. However, if you like your bike with a little flare, they also provide customization services.
Detroit Bikes are made and sold in Detroit, located on 1216 Griswold Street and open Monday – Friday from 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. They are closed on Sunday.
Imagine a store that could fix everything from a 1930s cruiser to a modern racing bicycle?
Metropolis Cycles, located on 2117 Michigan Ave., has an experienced mechanic staff that’s committed to providing pristine customer service, whether you need a tire change or a custom bike built from scratch.
Metropolis offers a variety of services, from tune-ups to wheel truing.
Stop in anytime: Metropolis is open everyday from 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Motorless City Bicycle Co.
On your left! Coming at you is Motorless City Bicycle Company, a full service bicycle shop located in Detroit’s Eastern Market at 1343 Fisher Freeway.
Owners Chris Kiesling and Al Schlutow are serious cyclists, participating in community events, group rides, and racing. With such a wide range of interests, these are the guys you want wrenching on your ride.
While they rock at custom frames, they also offer a professional shop that can provide any upgrade on your current bike.
Motorless City Bicycle is open Monday – Friday from 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m., Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and Sunday from noon – to 5:00 p.m.
Downtown Detroit Bike Shop
From Fixed Gear Freestyle to Commuter, the Downtown Detroit Bike Shop has something for everyone.
Located in Midtown on 412 Peterboro, DBS provides great Detroit brands and beyond, selling high-end mountain, road, and track bikes as well as leisure bikes.
Don’t see anything you like? They’ll special order and ship free for your convenience.
Their services include repairs, parts and accessories, all performed by their professional mechanics.
Rental services are now available at DBS. Check out their website for more information.
Detroit Bike Shop is open Tuesday – Friday from noon – 6:00 p.m. and Saturday from noon – 4:00 p.m., and closed on Sunday and Monday.
Something for Everyone
From rentals, to retail, to repurpose: Detroit’s bicycle shops offer more than a unique cycling store, they offer a chance to see the city in a new light.
From tours, to custom bikes, to bike maintenance, volunteering and more, there’s plenty of reasons why you should make like a wheel and roll on over to these shops.
Whatever sparks your interest, remember that these are far more than bicycle shops: they are a depiction of Detroit’s entrepreneurial spirit of innovation and creativity.