Mon-Fri, 10:30am-7pm; Sat-Sun, 10am-5pm
B, C at 81st St.-Museum of Natural History; 1 at 79th St.
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
For casual bikers—or those who haven't yet shed their training wheels—Bicycle Renaissance can feel a tad intimidating, but the shop welcomes newbies and weekend riders as well as Tour veterans and celebs, including regular patrons Robin Williams and John Stossel. Open since 1972, the narrow, two-tiered shop features row upon row of high-end, brand-name bicycles by makers like Felt, Cannondale and Trek, and attracts a hard-core clientele, most of whom arrive on two wheels. Service-wise, the shop caters to every conceivable need: Bikes can be custom-fitted to match the rider's frame or built from scratch; various accessories like baby seats and helmets are available. The repair shop is legend; no repair is too small for the folks at this bicycling Mecca, who often take time to teach as they rebuild. The second floor is entirely dedicated to clothing. Annual fall and spring sales boast more bright-colored Lycra shorts than Axl Rose has in his entire wardrobe. One caveat: Due to a lawsuit, the store no longer rents bikes.