Best UK Local Bike Shops For Touring Bikes – A Growing List

There are a lot of bike shops selling touring bikes.

There are far fewer for whom serving the needs of the touring cyclist is a speciality.

This is hardly surprising. Cycle touring is one of the tiniest niches in cycling. Touring bikes themselves are ugly and utilitarian. There’s far more money to be made flogging overpriced road racers and mountain bikes to MAMILs and weekend warriors. Sticking a Dawes Galaxy in a corner somewhere is usually considered sufficient.

But there are a few establishments who have made a name for themselves as true touring specialists.

Often this specialism is hidden behind a more general range of bikes, which is the bread and butter of any local bike shop.

The owners of these shops all tend to have one thing in common, however: they are (or were) cycle tourists themselves, and as a result, they know what a cycle tourist needs better than any big-brand shop assistant ever will.

They are also some of the few places you’ll be able to test-ride a range of touring bikes to see which one fits your needs, rather than just the one medium-sized Dawes Galaxy.

They are, in short, an indispensable friend to the touring cyclist.

Here, then, is a list of bike shops in the UK who partly or wholly specialise in touring bikes and associated cycle touring equipment. They’re listed in alphabetical order, with full contact details. It’s likely that you’ve never heard of most of them.

As for which is best, the truest answer I can give you is the one you can most easily get to in person. I’ve said it many times before: there’s no substitute for test-riding a bike before you buy it.


Bicycles By Design

Custom-fitted bicycle specialists and stockists for Van Nicholas, Tout Terrain and Co-Motion among others, also providing wheelbuilding and bespoke framebuilding services.

The John Rose Building,
High Street,
Coalport,
Shropshire,
TF8 7HT

01952 459900
http://www.bicycles-by-design.co.uk/

Bikefix

Distributor for Tout Terrain in the UK, as well as several recumbent and trailer brands, with an emphasis on personalisation and individual service.

48 Lamb’s Conduit St
London
WC1N 3LH

020 7405 1218
http://bikefix.co.uk/

Brixton Cycles

Co-operative London bike shop with an emphasis on a minimal selection of ultra-reliable bicycles. Test-rides and care & attention compulsory.

145 Stockwell Road
London
SW9 9TP

020 7733 6055
http://www.brixtoncycles.co.uk/

Condor Cycles

Bespoke bicycle specialists in London with a selection of touring frames, including their classic Heritage steel frameset.

49-53 Gray’s Inn Road
London
WC1X 8PP

020 7269 6820
http://www.condorcycles.com/

Cycle Heaven

True touring experts, stocking Surly and Salsa bikes and framesets among others and providing custom assembly services.

2 Bishopthorpe Road
York
YO23 1JJ

01904 636578
http://www.cycle-heaven.co.uk/

Cycle Sense

One of the few UK dealers for Koga and Van Nicholas touring bikes, as well as other touring brands, and stocking a great selection of tandems and trailers.

20/22 High Street
Tadcaster
LS24 9AT

01937 530303
http://www.cyclesense.co.uk/

Edinburgh Bicycle Co-operative

Sole suppliers of their own Revolution line of bikes, including the popular Country Explorer and Traveller, as well as Ridgeback and Specialized tourers.

8 Alvanley Terrace
Edinburgh EH9 1DU
United Kingdom

(7 other stores across northern England & Scotland)

0131 228 3565
http://www.edinburghbicycle.com/

Green Machine

Supplying a range of bikes including tourers from Dawes and Ridgeback. John also provides custom bike building and wheelbuilding services.

146a Lee Lane
Horwich
BL6 7AF

01204 696831
http://www.greenmachinebikeshop.co.uk/

Ghyllside Cycles

Run by highly experienced cycle tourers, supplying stock bikes, custom assembly services and their own line of touring bikes, as well as a huge range of luggage and accessories.

Ghyllside Cycles
The Slack
Ambleside
Cumbria
LA22 9DQ

01539 433592
http://www.ghyllside.co.uk/

Hewitt Cycles

Hidden behind the general range of popular bikes lies the well-respected Hewitt Cheviot touring frameset and complete bike range. Also look out for their Surly framesets and bike building services.

17-19 Preston Road
Leyland
Lancashire
PR25 4NT

01772 424773
http://www.hewittcycles.co.uk/

Keep Pedalling

Relatively new shop in Manchester’s Northern Quarter run by experienced cyclists with a big emphasis on utility and touring.

23 Hilton Street
Manchester
M1 1EL

0161 222 6015
http://www.keeppedalling.co.uk/

MSG Bikes

Specialists in bespoke and custom-fitted bikes, having equipped several ultra-long-distance tourers and RTW record breakers including James Bowthorpe, Sarah Outen and Steve Fabes.

20 Crabtree Lane
Lancing
West Sussex
BN15 9PQ

01903 752308
http://www.msgbikes.com/

Mastercraft Cycles

Dealers for British cycle touring brands Dawes, Ridgeback and Carradice; also custom builders of touring bicycles.

39 Bridge Street
Hereford
HR4 9DG

01432 274047
http://www.mastercraftcycles.co.uk/

Oxford Bike Works

Independent Oxfordshire-based builder of custom touring bikes, including in-person workshop fitting sessions. (I helped Richard design his flagship expedition model.)

Sycamores,
Station Yard,
Steventon,
Oxfordshire
OX13 6RX

01235 831 992
http://www.oxfordbikeworks.co.uk/

SJS Cycles

SJS Cycles are the UK dealer for all Thorn bicycles. They no longer have a physical shopfront so visits are by appointment only.

91-93 St John Street
Bridgwater
Somerset
TA6 5HX

01278 441505
http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/

Spa Cycles

The north’s most well-established specialists in cycle touring equipment for over 25 years.

48A Camwal Road
Harrogate
North Yorkshire
HG1 4PT

01423 887003
http://www.spacycles.co.uk/

Swinnerton Cycles

Long-running family business stocking Trek and Ridgeback touring bikes.

67 -73 Victoria Road
Fenton
Stoke on Trent
Staffordshire
ST4 2HG

08448 112299
http://www.swinnertoncycles.co.uk/


Do you know of any UK touring bike specialists not listed here? Please let us know in the comments – such shops are hard to come by.

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13 Responses to “Best UK Local Bike Shops For Touring Bikes – A Growing List”

  1. Ben

    The website suggests appointments are only required at SJS for the Thorn range of bikes. If you only want to get some bits that they stock on the website you can just drop into the office (I did last week, and they were very helpful).

    Reply
  2. Ian

    How about Paul Hewitt in Leyland, Lancs?

    Reply
  3. Innes

    Shand Cycles produce handmade bikes in Scotland, ive currently got a Shand Cycles Stoater on order. Well worth a look

    Reply
  4. Steve Jones

    Very useful info indeed for anyone looking for a tourer. Regarding your comment about the best shop being the one you can visit…so true, so with that in mind I’m quite sad to hear that SJS no longer have a physical shopfront. I bought two of my touring bikes there and I still fondly remember traveling all the way there from Japan ( where I now live ) and how valuable the experience was to fine tune my bike and test ride it. I Still buy accessories from them online. but for me it’ll never replace an in store shopping experience. I even flew to Oregon to buy another of my travel bikes ( combined with a cycling holiday of course!).
    What about the Thorn bike I bought from SJS ? It’s still the best one I own in terms of build and ride quality and I just changed the oil in the Rohloff speedhub this summer so it’s good for lots more adventures!

    Reply
    • Robby

      Hi Steve,
      I wonder if you can help, I’m having a massive internal debate at the moment about derailleur vs Rohloff. I’m guessing you run both from the sounds of it. If you were buying new again what would you do please?
      Thanks
      Robby

      Reply
  5. Steve Jones

    Ben,did read your comment, that’s good to know, I’d rather be able to drop in anytime and look at the bikes though, and order the ‘bits’ on line. They used to get pretty busy at certain times so I understand why they want customers to make appointments.

    Reply
  6. Andy Dennis

    Spa in Harrogate is a great resource but the owner is odd / rude and appears not to like humans.

    Reply
    • Peter

      Hi Andy,
      I know what you’re saying, but I have to say I think you have to get to know him a bit. In the end I found him extremely helpful in putting together my Surly Disc Trucker, the build quality and attention to detail in dynamo cable routing etc was superb.

      Reply
  7. Danny

    For anyone shopping in Scotland Dales Cycles in Glasgow are brilliant. I recently got a Surly Troll custom built with them and they really know their stuff. It ended up being a fair bit cheaper than the off the peg bikes I was looking at online too!

    Reply
  8. Tim

    Spa cycles harrogate nerest to me

    Reply

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