Beijing's best bike shops

From fixies to Flying Pigeons, where to buy bicycles in Beijing

Amsterdam may be the bike capital of the world, but cycling culture is alive and well in Beijing. From fixies to Flying Pigeons, we've scoured the city to find a set of pedal-powered wheels for every taste.
Serk

Serk

‘With crowded roads and air pollution, people assume Beijing isn’t a cyclist-friendly place,’ says Serk co-founder Shannon Bufton. ‘But cycling is truly one of the city’s gems.’ 

His shop serves the Beijing cycling community with everything from road and mountain bikes to high-end cycling accessories, and organises weekly rides just outside town (find ‘SerkCyclingBeijing’ on WeChat to get involved).

Serk’s new Andingmen shop has everything a Beijing cycling enthusiast could need over its five floors: from the store’s entry-level bike, an aluminium Trek (from 4,600RMB) to carbon fibre Swift models (from 13,000RMB) for more serious riders. The shop stocks Bontrager bike accessories (from 380RMB), as well as face masks, water bottles and locks, and while your bike’s getting a tune up in Serk’s workshop, their sunny coffee bar is an inviting place to sit and chat about your next big cycling trip. 

Giant

Giant

Branches of this Taiwanese chain are dotted all around town, offering a reliable range of bikes and cycling
goodies. The store on Jiaodaokou Dong Dajie is one of the largest, stocking a broad range of good quality mid-range bikes, including folding, road, off-road and kid’s models. Towards the top of the price range is a pretty aluminium-framed blue road bike at 4,488RMB, but for cheaper options you can’t go wrong with the Giant Khan, a reliable commuter bike that will set you back about 700RMB. 

The store also offers a range of accessories including chains from 139RMB and helmets from Japanese manufacturer Ogk Kabuto from 640RMB, as well a place to get replacement parts and fill up your tyres for free.

700Bike

700Bike

700Bike first developed a reputation for its annual vintage rides – events where Beijingers dressed up in zhongshan suits and qipao and cruised city streets on vintage bicycles. These days, 700Bike is still keeping cyclists happy, but with its range of smart lifestyle bicycles.

The Beijing-based company offers four models, with styles running the gamut from the sporty Mini (from 1,499RMB) to the subtly retro Bowler (pictured).700Bikes are belt-driven, which means little maintenance and no oily chain – the perfect commuter bike. All 700Bikes have an OLED display that tracks your speed and location via its app, which also has social functions so you can get competitive with other 700Bike owners.

Natooke

Natooke

At Natooke, the colours are bright, the team is friendly and, perhaps best of all, prices are competitive. For those looking to scoop up a fixed gear, this Wudaoying bike shop is your place. Depending on your choice of China-made or imported parts, the Natooke team will help you build a custom bike from about 2,500RMB. Shoppers can also choose from pre-built fixed gear bikes that hover around 1,500RMB. 

The shop has a range of bike goodies including Ribcap protective beanies, bells and baskets, as well as a small selection of Feiyue trainers (60RMB). For an even bigger selection, Natooke’s Taobao store offers a range of second-hand fixies and the good-value brand Momentum bicycle (580RMB). If you’re looking to try before you buy, bike rental is also available.

Bamboo Bicycles Beijing

Bamboo Bicycles Beijing

If you’ve ever seen construction workers balancing on bamboo scaffolding, you’ll have an idea of how damn strong it is. Having this realisation, combined with a love for cycling, founder David Wang decided to open Bamboo Bicycles Beijing. His hutong workshop just off Beiluoguxiang teaches people to build a bike frame from scratchwith a bamboo frame. The result is durable, extremely lightweight and, as the material is shock-absorbent, a BBB bike is a pretty smooth ride.

The weekend course (2,000RMB plus 700RMB for parts) sees participants sawing and sanding for a labour intensive two days. Just about everything on a BBB is customisable, including the seat, handlebars, wheels and the colour of the wood, and participants walk away from the course with a bicycle that’s as unique as they are. If getting messy in the workshop isn’t for you, BBB does take the occasional custom order, starting at 4,000RMB.

Tsinova

Tsinova

Last year, a group of Tsinghua grads got together to create a seriously sexy set of wheels. The result is smart e-bike brand Tsinova: handsome bicycles that offer a better way to speed around town and look stylish while doing it. The bike is powered by the same lithium battery used in a Tesla, and a two-hour charge lasts a week’s worth of commuting to work.

The model pictured, the TS01, sells for 3,850RMB and we hear the company is working on building a cheaper model. Tsinova also works with a smartphone app that shows your speed and real-time location to protect against theft. Order online at the company’s website (www.tsinova.com). To try before you buy, call the Tsinova team (6401 2850) to set up a test drive at their Beixinqiao office.

Decathlon

Decathlon

Popular French sporting goods store Decathlon has been in town for a few years now, stocking Beijingers with all sorts of athletic gear for team and solo sports. The Siyuanqiao store has an especially abundant bicycle and cycling gear selection, with everything from road bikes to options for kids. 

Starting at 699RMB for an aluminum road bike, Decathlon’s in-house brand B’Twin offers good value for the money. Plus, when it’s time for those inevitable repairs, B’Twins have a lifetime warranty. The store also sells wind-resistant cycling clothes and gloves, helmets and shoes in Western sizes. 

Trek

Trek

It may be a trek to get to this Shunyi store, but once you're here, the brand’s Beijing flagship is a reliable
option selling entry-level cruisers, pro-quality mountain bikes and everything in between. There’s an array of bike styles, sizes and colours, including nearly 30 models of kids’ bikes from 1,100RMB. 

Through Trek’s Project One customisation service, there are literally thousands of ways to make your bike your own, from model to colour scheme to parts, and it includes a paint service to get custom words or designs airbrushed onto your bike’s frame. A purchase from Trek also guarantees free repair service for the bike’s lifespan. 

Brompton Junction

Brompton Junction

Housed inside CBD mall Parkview Green, Brompton Junction sells foldable bikes that have been handmade in the company’s London factory since the ’70s and are designed with citydwellers in mind. The bike’s steel frame can be folded up in a matter of seconds – small enough to bring into the bar for after-work drinks or store in small spaces inside the home, because with a price tag starting at 11,000RMB and topping out at 20, you probably won’t want to leave this set of wheels chained to a lamppost. 

Sure, there are cheaper foldable models in town, but none as distinctively British or with the legacy of a Brompton. This shop offers nearly 20 different frame colours, from forest green to bright neons and classic metallics. Brompton Junction is also a good place to stock up on high-end bike accessories like ultra-durable Freitag messenger bags or a plush Brooks saddle (900RMB). 

Read more

Comments