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The 21 Best UK Bike Shops For Cycle Touring & Bikepacking Gear In 2020

Last updated in August 2020, adding two new shops to the list.

There are a lot of bike shops selling touring bikes and bikepacking gear. There are far fewer who are specialised in these niches.

This is hardly surprising. Cycle touring is a tiny market. Bikepacking has quickly become fashionable, but there’s still far more money to be made flogging overpriced road racers and mountain bikes to MAMILs. For most UK bike shops, sticking a medium-sized Dawes Galaxy in a corner somewhere is usually considered enough to then claim to ‘sell touring bikes’.

But a few brave shop owners have made a name for themselves as true cycle touring and bikepacking specialists.

The owners of these workshops and showrooms all tend to have one thing in common: they are (or were) cycle tourists and bikepackers themselves. As a result, they know exactly what a cycle tourist or bikepacking enthusiast needs – better than any big-name shop assistant ever will.

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

They are, in short, an indispensable friend to the touring cyclist or bikepacker, especially when you’re just getting started.

Here, then, is a list of bike shops the full length the UK who partly or wholly specialise in touring bikes, bikepacking gear, and associated equipment and accessories. 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 shop is ‘best’, the truest answer I can give you is whichever one is closest to you. I’ve said it many times before: there’s no substitute for test-riding a bike before you buy it.

On with the list!


A Different Gear

New, not-for-profit bike project based in Heeley, Sheffield, specialising in new and reconditioned city, hybrid and gravel bikes and stocking bikepacking gear for rent or purchase.

Ash Tree Yard
62–68 Thirlwell Road
Sheffield
S8 9TF

0114 250 7717
http://www.adifferentgear.com/

Alpkit Hathersage

Peak District-based flagship store for the popular direct retailer of Sonder bikepacking bikes and Alpkit luggage, plus pretty much everything else you’d need for a bikepacking adventure.

Main Road
Hathersage
S32 1BB

01433 730930
https://alpkit.com/pages/hathersage

Bicycles By Design

Custom-fitted bicycle specialists and stockists for 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.

296–298 Brixton Road
London
SW9 6AG

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

Retailers of several brands of touring bike, including Ridgeback and Genesis. They also used to make their own line of tourers and consequently have first-hand knowledge of this niche.

8 Alvanley Terrace
Edinburgh EH9 1DU
United Kingdom

(5 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 and frames, 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/

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/

Pilgrim Cycles

Located inside a Victorian railway station building and with a cafe on site, Pilgrim build their own range of classic British tourers, as well as being dealers for Dawes, Surly and Sabbath bikes.

The Old Booking Hall,
Box Hill & Westhumble Station
Westhumble Street
Westhumble
Surrey
RH5 6BT

01306 886958
http://pilgrim-cycles.co.uk/

SJS Cycles

SJS Cycles are the sole UK dealer for Thorn touring and expedition bicycles. They no longer have a physical shopfront, so consultations regarding complete bikes are by appointment only (though you can walk in and they’ll do their best to help).

91–93 St John Street
Bridgwater
Somerset
TA6 5HX

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

Spa Cycles

The north’s best-established specialists in cycle touring equipment for over 30 years.

48A Camwal Road
Harrogate
North Yorkshire
HG1 4PT

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

Stanforth Bikes

Small-scale touring bike builder established in 2014, selling a range of touring & expedition bikes based on their own frame design, with plentiful custom build options.

Workhaus
Unit 6
18a Arthur Street
Hove
BN3 5FD

07850 881438
https://www.stanforthbikes.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/

Temple Cycles

Central Bristol bike shop selling bikes based on its own range of framesets, including drop-bar road touring bikes, each of which is built to order and fully customisable.

Unit 19
Wapping Wharf
Bristol
BS1 6ZA

(Second location on Brick Lane, London.)

0117 403 2314
https://www.templecycles.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.

19 replies on “The 21 Best UK Bike Shops For Cycle Touring & Bikepacking Gear In 2020”

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).

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!

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

Well, that’s true that the business is focused on online side. Saying that, you’re welcome to walk in to the front, where I do my best to help you out.
It is like a taking a measure for your suit, it’s advisable to book an appointment with a master tailor.
Wouldn’t you agree?

Nota bene, Thorn bike with rohloff is my ultimate touring bike, I’m taking one in yellow for test ride 🙂

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.

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.

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!

Hi Tom. Cycle Heaven’s HQ in York has moved to a splendid new former warehouse by the Millennium Bridge: super café, library to browse, big screen showing cycling TV, workshop, and two floors of bikes. The tourers are upstairs and include Ridgeback, Genesis and Surly. (The old shop in Bishy Rd is still theirs, but is a pizza place, while their folding-bike offshoot is still in York Station. I don’t have any connection with the business, I’m simply a satisfied customer!)

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