It might seem abit odd to start reviewing Toronto bikeshops at this time of year, but if you think about it, Autumn’s actually an ideal time to discover new and reputable sources of Sales or Service for our trusty and/or rusty mounts. So whether your seeking end-of-season clearance deals, or just some advise from a weathered Pro, now’s the time of year when bikeshops still have all their seasonal staff on hand, and they’re sure to also have some extra time for a more leisurely chat…about anything!
So, what are we looking for in such a crowded market for Bicycle Service and Repairs? How about basic good service. With that in mind, let’s start with a shop that isn’t just friendly, down to earth, and very well connected with the Community around it, but also a people-focused shop that knows how to provide what their Customers want, rather than telling them what they need, and how much longer it will take. Let’s start by looking at what West Side Cycle is offering that we won’t easily find anywhere else…
A few things that make West Side Cycle special
- A Really Cool Storefront !
- Femme Friendly Fixups
- Intro to Electrics
- Active in the Community
Femme Friendly Fixups
Forgive the alliteration, because at the risk of sounding stereotypically sexist, there are still alot of bike shops that promote the image of macho mechanics who’d prefer to flaunt their techno-jargon, and appreciation for the latest innovations, rather than just listen to what their Customers actually need. Worse yet are the shops with a ‘culture’ that eagerly flaunts personal opinions, to the point that they’ll condescend to those who might not share their standardised views, or who perhaps are just looking trade abit of performance for actual comfort or even style. So where does someone go for some good basic advise about bike maintenance, without getting the sell on why Alivio components just aren’t going to cut it for you in the long run…and no you can’t get that in an animal print, or in mauve!
At West Side Cycle, they don’t need to “offer” an alternative to that sort of macho experience, they’re just built completely differently from the ground up. First off, half of their mechanics are women cycling enthusiasts to begin with, and if William (the business owner) can’t help you with the slightest thing, then either his wife Michele or David (pictured below) will be more than happy to work through the most personaly described scenario or concern with zero pressure to sell, until you can feel comfortable about what you’ll need from them….or even how you can take a more active part in your own bike maintenance as well.
On the other hand, anybody who’s ever been inside one of the notoriously ‘elitist’ (or “busy”) bike shops in Toronto will tell you that this kind of laid-back, friendly, and approachable rapport is often in very short supply. Probably because most good bike shops are runnign right off their feet msot of the time, but possibly because WSC has also set the standard for the “human factor” too high for some others to follow!
Have you ever wondered what an electrically assisted bike would be like? Are you reluctant to abandon you trusted solid bike just too see how far a cheaply built scooter will get you? Well if you’ve ever wished to enjoy the best of both worlds, but felt abit overwhelmed by the range of technology that’s out there, then WSC can certainly help you get up to speed, and also offer you a few models that you might want to take for a test ride while you’re there. Be sure to ask about the new Bionix retrofit kit that can give your current bike the extra kick that you’ve been craving…
Sure lots of businesses like to talk about their “role in the Local Community”, but WSC is actually a functional part of that network. They’re not just a kid friendly store that stock Miele tricycles, and groovy handbar streamers. They’re not just an easy stop at the door for top-up of free air, and an open public bulletin board for networking and shared info. They also donate prizes to local Community Groups and Fundraisers, and sponsor 4 soccor teams and 3 baseball teams in the Saurauren Park League – all of whom have proudly carried the name “WestSide Hooligans” on hundreds of kids jerseys over the past 5 years. Even their front window murals are a rotating showcase of local artistic talent, that is sure to please young and old alike…
But don’t just take my word for it…
Give the good folks at West Side Cycle a test ride, and find out for yourself!
Tell em that 'Jo say's Hi' ;-]
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