BEST BIKE SHOP Minneapolis 2008 - Freewheel Bike
1812 S. 6th St. Minneapolis
Minneapolis, MN 55454
Last year the Census Bureau ranked Minneapolis second among the nation's biggest cities—behind only Portland, Oregon—in the percentage of people who commute to work by bicycle. The Cities are serious about their biking, and we are graced with several first-rate bike shops to meet the demand. This year our choice for the best goes to Freewheel Bike, the venerable shop on the U of M's West Bank with a superb reputation among serious cyclists for its broad inventory, friendly and well-trained staff, and excellent mechanics. Freewheel feels like a small bike shop, but it's large enough to carry an impressive range of bicycles: from road bikes to mountain bikes to cruisers, and from quality mainstream brands like Trek and Scott to elite carbon-frame rockets like LeMond and Gary Fisher, which can sell for $5,000 or more. Though Freewheel's staff can talk shop with the greasiest gearhead, they're also adept at making novices feel right at home. The store's stock of bike clothes and accessories is exceptional, and there are also warm-and-fuzzy extras like repair and maintenance classes ($100 for two sessions) and a bicycling club. But where Freewheel really scores points this year is through its involvement in one of the most promising new developments in local cycling: the opening in May of the Midtown Bike Center. It'll be a unique bicycle transit hub near the Midtown Greenway, built in partnership with the city of Minneapolis and other sponsors, and will include everything from bike storage, sales, and rentals, to on-the-spot repair, classes, and even restrooms and showers—everything the urban cyclist needs in a one-stop shop. Check your little handlebar rearview, Portland.