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Bike/Cycling Resources for Manhattan/NYC Bikers

After spending a few months researching and purchasing hybrid/cruiser bicycles for me and my wife, I decided to share my list of tips. Here goes.

1) Bike Stores:
There are too many to list here, but Google has quite a few listed. I would suggest you buy from your local retailer, no matter how good the online prices are (see below for how to maximize discounts). You will save on shipping, and get the advantage of a local 2-3 year limited service warranty. I used Metro Bikes on 96th Street, but wouldn't suggest it- if you have another choice. They always seemed to busy to take care of us, didn't offer to fit us once we got the bikes, the prices are not great, the bikes were not in on time, and, in general, service was sub-par.

One store I did like (allot) is Tread Bike Shop, in Washington heights (map). If you live in the area, or can visit, i strongly recommended you do so. We stopped by for a tune-up and chat, and met patient, knowledgeable sales staff that were willing to help us, even if we didn't spend anything. The location itself was spacious, and the prices are way better than "lower" Manhattan. (tell them CJ sent you).

2) Bike Store Discounts/Tips:
I hate haggling. Mostly cause it makes me feel cheap, which i am not (really). Also cause it makes me feel like the item i am shopping for can be worth different amounts, depending on who is purchasing it. I don't like that feeling. So here are the sure-fire bike-shopping tips for the non-haggler.

a) Price match to another store in the area. You can do this online/over the phone, and is not really haggling- so doesn't leave you with a dirty feeling. I suggest price matching to Bicycle Habitat, which has its low prices listed online. I did this.

b) use coupons, from Bike Forums or Fatwallet. I didn't do this.

c) use a discount from Transportation Alternatives. They have 10% off most bike shops. I didn't do this, but wish i did.

3) Online Biking Maps:
a) NYC Bike Maps (unofficial) is, hands down, the best. its a Google mashup, and has good details (for example, this turn)

b) Official NYC Map is good, but the PDF you print would be tiny. better off getting a free one from the bike store.

4) Online Pedeometer:
GMaps Pedometer, another googlemaps-mashup, does a good job of helping you plan/review the distance of your trails. (here is our latest run).

Next time: Trek 7.3 FX / WSD 7000 reviews!!

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