Best Bike Shop for the Urban Rider - 2011
Box Dog Bikes
It's not the biggest, the fanciest, or even the most DIY, but Box Dog wins our hearts for being a shop that perfectly combines everything the urban rider really needs. Obviously, it sells bikes — fancy ones; entry-level ones; good ones for riding around this hilly, chaotic metropolis; and good ones for riding around the world to other exotic metropoli. It sells gear: racing gear, touring gear, safety gear, weather gear, and other gear. But where Box Dog really excels is in the invisible details: Miraculously, the shop's worker-owners have proven immune to the usual bike-shop-snob attitude. They understand that you don't have to own neon spandex to seriously enjoy riding. They understand if you can't yet drop four digits on a new two-wheeler just because your current one isn't ideal. And Box Dog also offers a small tool bench in the front corner of the store where you are welcome to carry out your own tweaks and repairs. Usually the staff is willing to contribute advice if it's needed; if the problem is more serious, Box Dog does repairs on a tight schedule with a minimum of fuss. When something needs fixing, they'll say so. When it doesn't, they won't. What more could a regular urban cyclist ask for in a bike shop?