Bearden Bike & Trail
126 North Forest Park Boulevard
Open Seven Days a Week
The Shop: Location may not be everything, but it counts for a great deal. The Knoxville Greenway runs right by Bearden Bike & Trail, making it a hub of local cycling activity. It’s also come to define the business; people of every conceivable expertise level walk through its doors each day—from urban riders to mountain bikers to day-trippers looking for something to do on a sunny afternoon—and the folks at Bearden Bike & Trail strive to have something for all of them.
The Bikes: Though the shop’s focus is the Hybrid Bike—a comfortable cross between city and mountain bike, ideal for the casual cyclist—there’s something for just about everyone: $300 starter bikes, full-suspension mountain bikes, top-tier Pinarello city bikes, three-wheeled recumbents, and electric bikes are all on offer, and each one comes with free maintenance for a year. If you’re just looking for a fun day on the Greenway, they’ve got bikes for rent, too.
Gear: As they do with their bikes, Bearden Bike & Trail strives to carry gear appropriate for every customer’s skill level and budget. All the “essentials” are here: helmet, pump, water bottle, and bottle cage, and once a customer crosses that threshold, the shop has all manner of “discretionary” items from which they can choose. Lights, bells, mirrors, locks, padded shorts, energy bars; all present and accounted for.
Services: Owing to its location—adjacent to such a well-traveled bike trail—the Bearden Bike & Trail has adopted a user-friendly strategy: bring your bike in, and they will repair it immediately while you wait. Their goal is not simply to fix your bike, but to get you back out riding it as soon as humanly possible.
The shop also hosts a weekly Greenway ride, held each Tuesday at 6 p.m., to which anyone is welcome.
Bike ‘N’ Tri
601 East Broadway Ave., Maryville
The Shop: One of two bike shops in the greater Maryville area, Bike ‘N’ Tri opened its doors a little over a year ago. As its name suggests, the shop also specializes in running and swimming equipment, but bicycles take up the majority of the floor space. Bike-wise, Bike ‘N’ Tri caters primarily to entry-level riders, but they’re more than prepared for when those self-same cyclists reach the next level.
The Bikes: Bike ‘N’ Tri carries Marin, Felt, and BMC bicycles. Befitting their focus on beginners, the shop mostly stocks entry-level cycles, but high-end road bikes are also available. You can also rent a bike here, which would be wise, as the shop is only about 200 yards from the Maryville Greenbelt.
Gear: When it comes to accessories, Bike ‘N’ Tri sticks mostly to the basics: saddle bags, flat kits, helmets, extra tubes, and the like are readily available, along with some cycling apparel.
Services: Bike ‘N’ Tri is a full-service repair shop. They’ll work on any bike of any make, and they’re particularly adept at fitting road bikes for racing purposes.
996 East Emory Road
The Shop: Cycling’s lone outpost in the Powell area, Biketopia is a full-service, one-stop-shop whose owners strive to have a bike for every rider. The staff are all avid cyclists themselves; they’re only interested in selling you something insofar as it gets you out there riding.*
• Of Note: At the time of this writing, Biketopia is temporarily closed. The shop is set to re-open, at the same address but in a new building, on June 22nd.
The Bikes: On the brand front, Biketopia carries Jamis’s line of road, mountain, and children’s bikes, as well as Bianchi road bikes and Pivot cycles. All new bikes come with free tune-ups for one year. The shop also has a limited selection of well-maintained used bicycles.
Gear: If you are a fan of endless lists, check out the “cycling gear” page of Biketopia’s website, where you will find a truly dizzying tally accessory and gear brands the shop keeps in stock. As they put it, Biketopia has “everything from kickstands to wheel sets.”
Services: Biketopia is a full-service repair shop, and they do mean that. Complete overhauls are de rigueur, as is bicycle assembly, should you have ordered a bike on the internet only to have it reach your doorstep in pieces.
The Bike Zoo
5020 Whittaker Drive
The Shop: The Bike Zoo has been a fixture of Knoxville’s cycling scene for 27 years, the last three of which have been spent in their current Whittaker Drive location. Every staff member has at least 15 years of cycling experience, and each of them offer unparalleled insight into their particular corner of the cycling world. Together, they’re knowledgeable enough to fix just about anything.
The Bikes: The Bike Zoo almost exclusively carries Specialized bikes. Working within that single brand, the staff strive to keep the inventory balanced: 1/3 road bikes, 1/3 mountain bikes, 1/3 hybrid bikes.
Gear: The staff of the Bike Zoo consider their gear and inventory selection to be second-to-none in the Knoxville area.
Services: The repair side of the business is where the staff’s accumulated experience really shines. When asked how so, their reply comes short and sweet: “We take our time and do everything right.” Bike fittings—that is, sizing a bike to truly “fit” its owner—are a particular specialty.
The shop offers two community rides: a road ride that occurs each Saturday at 9am, and a women’s beginners ride each Monday at 6:15 p.m.
Cedar Bluff Cycles
9282 Kingston Pike
The Shop: After 19 years in the business, CBC knows a thing or two about bikes, and whether you’re a kid or a professional racer, they’ve got the experience and inventory to take care of you.
The Bikes: CBC mainly carries Trek and Electra bikes, the first of which can be rather extensively customized. They stock road, mountain, and hybrid bikes in equal measure, as well as an excellent selection of pedal-assisted electric bicycles.
Gear: The shop stocks most everything in the way of parts and accessories, and anything they don’t have they can easily order for you.
Services: CBC is a full-service repair shop; bike fitting and suspension services are their specialty.
The shop offers two road rides a week, one on Tuesday and one on Thursday. Both start at 6:20 p.m. On Tuesday, bikers have the option to ride with a beginner, intermediate, or advanced group, while on Thursday only beginner and intermediate groups are available.
Cycology at Little River Trading Co.
2408 East Lamar Alexander Parkway
Open Seven Days a Week
The Shop: Located off of Lamar Alexander Parkway between Maryville and Heritage High School, Cycology shares a building—and an owner, Charles Woody—with outdoor general store Little River Trading Company. For the beer drinkers among you: Cycology stocks a variety of local brews, and on the fourth Thursday of each month their repair station turns into a bar; they call it the “Pints for a Purpose” initiative, and the proceeds from the beer sales are donated to a variety of local nonprofits. Oh yes, and they sell bikes too.
The Bikes: Cycology carries Trek, Giant, and Salsa bicycles. Though the shop stocks a bit of everything, its primary focus is catering to cycling families; thus, the majority of their inventory consists of hybrid and road bikes. Rentals are also available.
Gear: Like most shops on this list, Cycology is meant to be a one-stop-shop, meaning that they stock just about every accessory that a cyclist might need. Sharing floor space with Little River Trading Company is an added bonus for anyone looking to explore the outdoors more broadly. There’s little in the way of outdoor gear that you won’t find here.
Services: Cycology is a full-service repair shop; crucially, however, that full service extends to more eccentric bikes and bike accessories. tandem bikes, electric bikes, and infant-carrying bike trailers are all fare game.
There is also a slew of community rides available:
1. Four road rides, which take cyclists along the winding local backroads, are offered each week. Two are challenging “A” rides, and the other two are more accessible “B” rides. On Tuesdays, the “B” ride leaves at 10 a.m., followed by the “A” at 10:30 a.m. On Thursdays, both rides leave at 10 a.m.
2. A women’s ride is offered from April to October. It’s on Saturdays at 9am, and each ride starts with an instructional clinic.
3. A mountain bike ride is offered on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month. It leaves at 6 p.m.
309 North Central St.
Facebook: DreamBikes Knoxville
The Shop: DreamBikes is something special. A 501c3 non-profit located in the heart of the Old City, it looks to harness the incidental qualities of a bike shop as a means of helping its employees achieve a more secure present and hopeful future. The employees, you see, are all members of the local Boy & Girls Club. They get paid for their work, learn valuable business skills, and receive invaluable college aid in the form of scholarships and assistance filling out FAFSA applications. If you’re looking for a business that gives back to the community, look no further.
The Bikes: Every bicycle at DreamBikes is donated, after which it is either refurbished or disassembled for its parts. The shop carries road, mountain, and hybrid bikes at a substantially lower cost than a retail bike shop, which anyone is welcome purchase.
Gear: DreamBikes also has a limited selection of used cycling clothes and accessories.
Services: In addition to refurbishing donated bikes, the shop also offers full repair services. Bring your bike in, and they’ll fix it just like anyone else.
Every Saturday this summer, DreamBikes will be hosting a family-friendly community ride. It starts at 4 p.m. at their Central Street storefront.
138 West End Avenue
The Shop: Being located in what is still clearly a former restaurant is one of Echelon’s assets for two reasons. First, it means there’s a bar that still offers beer on tap, and second, it gives the shop a unique charm that sets you at ease the moment you walk through the door. The staff are equally welcoming. They’re all experienced, enthusiastic cyclists whose primary goal is to get more folks out riding.
*Of Note: A second Echelon location will be opening in South Knoxville after the USA Cycling Championship later this month. The exact date is to be determined.
The Bikes: Echelon primarily carries Giant and Narco bikes, though they also stock Cervelo and Focus. The shop caters mainly to road and triathlon bikers, but most of the staff are mountain bikers at heart, so there are more than a few of those on offer as well.
Gear: The shop has a huge selection of top-quality gear, including Mavic Wheels, Louis Garneau sportswear, and Starlight bike kits.
Services: Echelon is a full-service repair shop. The shop offers a variety of group rides, including high-level road rides every Tuesday and Thursday at 6:16 p.m. and an intermediate ride on Saturdays at 7 a.m. A Wednesday evening mountain ride is also in the works.
Fountain City Pedaler
4620 Old Broadway Street, Suite 102
The Shop: The one cycling shop between downtown Knoxville and Powell, Fountain city Pedaler is a shop dedicated to helping bikers make informed choices about cycling. The staff consider themselves to be educators as well as salespeople, and they take care to make sure that their customers are always in full possession of the facts.
*Of Note: Next month, the shop will be moving to a new address: 1715 North Central St.
The Bikes: FCP carries Marin, Raleigh, Banshee, Devinci, and many more. The shop’s philosophy is that every bike—and every customer—is different, so the staff look to have a match for everone who comes in. Road, hybrid, and mountain bikes are all offered in equal measure here.
Gear: Accessory-wise, FPC definitely falls into the one-stop-shop category. Whether you’re commuting, touring, or mountain biking, they’ve got everything you need.
Services: FPC is a full-service repair shop. No matter the brand, they’ve got you covered. Among the shop’s specialties is helping customers map out cycling routes, be they for commuting or recreational purposes.
Greenlee’s Bicycle Shoppe
1402 North Broadway
The Shop: At 118 years old, Greenlee’s is the reigning endurance champion of Knoxville cycling. It’s also one of the most acclaimed; the front door is festooned with accolades from local organizations (including this magazine’s predecessor, Metro Pulse) commending the shop’s excellence. There’s something different about Greenlee’s: the shop, staff, and customers reflect an older set of cycling sensibilities, one that treasures the day when a wide-eyed child receives that first bicycle—polished, gleaming, and sporting dual saddle bags for maximum paper-route efficiency.
The Bikes: Greenlee’s carries Sun and KHS Manhattan bikes, most of which are road cycles. The shop’s primary focus is affordable quality, emphasis on affordable. You won’t find any bikes north of $600 here. The folks at Greenlee’s strive to keep their bikes, even the high-end ones, within the average Knoxvillian’s price range.
Gear: The shop offers all manner of bike accessories, as well as helmets and bike shorts.
Services: Greenlee’s is a full-service repair shop. As longtime owner Conrad Majors put it to me, “We’ll fix anything.”
Harper’s Bike Shop
118 South Northshore Drive
The Shop: Harper’s first opened its doors in 1961; ten years later, the owners moved the shop to its current location: South Northshore Drive right off of Kingston Pike and I-40’s Papermill exit. One of only two bike shops to make a home in West Knoxville proper, Harper’s is a survivor. The staff work hard to stay competitive in the age of Amazon.
The Bikes: Harper’s carries Giant and Santa Cruz bicycles. The shop specializes in mountain bikes, but has a little bit of everything. Harper’s has made a name for itself as a mecca for cyclists in search of custom bikes. Custom orders are the shop’s answer to the convenience of online shopping.
Gear: Like most of Knoxville’s bike shops, Harper’s looks to be a one-stop-shop, especially for mountain bikers. They’ve got just about everything you’ll need to tear on up the trail.
Services: Harper’s is a full-service repair shop. Befitting their mountain bike focus, the staff are particularly adept at services specific to that particular type of bicycle: suspension and driver post overhauls, custom wheel builds, and the like.
The shop sponsors a variety of local cycling events, including the Bell Joy Women’s ride and the annual BMX competition at Tyson Park. Harper’s also hosts a Women’s Cycling Ambassador, an official instructor who leads clinics and rides designed to introduce more women to the world of Cycling.
1323 North Broadway
Open Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday
The Shop: Nestled behind Fourth United Presbyterian Church on North Broadway, Kickstand is not, strictly speaking, a bike shop, though the services it renders certainly merit its inclusion on this list. Kickstand is a non-profit organization staffed by volunteers. Its goal: to get bikes to folks who need them, but cannot afford the hefty price tag that even the cheapest of bicycles carry nowadays. The shop works with about 20 local agencies, including the Boys & Girls Club, KARM, and Bridge Services, which sponsor people young and old who are in need of a bike. Kickstand makes sure that they get one, along with the skills set necessary to keep it properly maintained.
The Bikes: All the bicycles given out by Kickstand are donated. The bikes come to the shop as fixer-uppers, to be revitalized by a team of dedicated volunteers (They’re always looking for more of both, by the way).
Services: In addition to providing folks with bikes, the volunteers at Kickstand teach them everything they need to know about bicycle maintenance. They also stand ready to help with any issues or more sophisticated repairs their riders may encounter in the future.
Currently, the folks at Kickstand are working to install 20 repair stands throughout the Knoxville area. Designed to enable bikers to undertake repairs closer to home or work, the stands will house the tools necessary to handle all but the most daunting of fixes.
Knoxville Bicycle Company
10657 Hardin Valley Road
The Shop: Located on Hardin Valley Road just off of Pellissippi Parkway, Knoxville Bicycle Company is the only bike shop in the area, and fills that important role with a direct, hands-on, and purposefully small-scale approach.
The Bikes: KBC carries Orbea, Scott, and Raleigh bicycles. They stock road, mountain, and hybrid bikes, and offer road bikes for rental as well.
Gear: Like most shops, KBC looks to carry just about everything in the way of accessories, especially when it comes to road cyclists.
Services: KBC is a full-service repair shop. From replacing a chain to ding a complete custom build, they can handle anything.
The shop offers a variety of group rides, the specifics of which change with the season. In the spring and summer, there’s a road ride every Wednesday at 6 p.m., while fall sees the terrain shift to gravel, and the time shift to Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6 p.m. All of those trips give bikers the option of riding with an A (advanced), B (intermediate), or C (beginner) group. KBC also organizes a Saturday ride at 8 a.m., which includes only A and B groups.
Each August, KBC sponsors Tennessee’s “Ride to Remember,” the proceeds for which go to support Alzheimer’s Disease care and research.
205A Perimeter Park Road
Closed Saturday and Sunday
The Shop: Nox Composites isn’t a bike shop per se, owing to the fact that they really only deal in wheels sets and rims. Those wheel sets and rims are some of the finest you can get, though. They’re carried by a number of bike shops in town, including Harper’s, Cedar Bluff Cycles, and Tennessee Valley Bicycles, and since they’re designed right here in Knoxville.
The Rims: Nox oversees the manufacture of 14 different composite rim models. 13 of those are designed for mountain bikes, but Nox has started to branch out with the 14th, their second-generation road rim. All of their products come with a lifetime warranty, including a two-year replacement guarantee if the rim is damaged due to rock strike, a common problem for mountain bikers.
Oak Ridge Bicycle Center
28 North Jefferson Circle, Oak Ridge
Closed Sunday and Monday
The Shop: Oak Ridge’s designated cycling outpost for 44 years, Oak Ridge Bicycle Center is indispensable to bikers from that area, and immensely convenient for anyone who might be looking for a shop a bit closer to Haw Ridge Park, North Boundary Trail, and the Oak Ridge Greenways.
The Bikes: Oak Ridge Bicycle Center carries Trek and KHS bikes, most of which are of the dual sport or comfort variety, though the shop has a bit of everything.
Gear: The folks at Oak Ridge Bicycle Center pride themselves on their unusually large selection of accessories and parts. They truly are a one-stop-shop.
Services: ORBC is a full-service repair shop.
6700 Papermill Drive Northwest
Open Seven Days a Week
The Shop: Easily contained by the cavernous interior of REI’s Knoxville location, the bike shop is one of many departments maintained by the outdoor adventure juggernaut. They’ve got a good shop, though, especially for more recreational riders, and having so much outdoor gear on offer in the same room, much like Cycology and River Sports, is a decided bonus.
The Bikes: REI carries Diamondback, Ghost, Electra, and Co-op bikes. The shop’s inventory caters to families and recreational cyclists, and though they carry high-end bikes, the majority of their bicycles are moderately priced.
Gear: The shop stocks all the basics, as well as a variety of modern essentials, like phone holders and onboard computers.
Services: REI’s shop does full-service repair. Additionally, the shop offers periodic classes covering the basics of bike maintenance and riding tips. Check out the above link to our specific REI store’s website for a complete list of upcoming classes.
River Sports Outfitters
2918 Sutherland Avenue
Open Seven Days a Week
The Shop: Like Bearden Bike & Trail, River Sports sits on the edge of a Knoxville greenway, and that location factor that has come to define their bike shop as well. The folks at River Sports’ bike shop consider themselves a family establishment; they’ve got a large selection of children’s bikes, and strive to be helpful and accessible for riders of all experience levels, especially those just starting out.
The Bikes: River Sports mainly carries Cannondale and Raleigh bikes. In addition to the aforementioned children’s bike selection, the shop carries mainly hybrid and mountain bikes. Each one comes with free maintenance for a year after your purchase. River Sports also keeps a large rental fleet to serve its many Greenway riders.
Gear: Most of the gear stocked at River Sports is meant to make cycling more comfortable for causal riders: padded shorts, saddles, bags, and grips abound. The shop also sells two excellent guidebooks to cycling in Knoxville and the greater east Tennessee area, Bicycling Roads and Off-Road Trails by Elle Colquitt and John Livengood.
Services: River Sports is a full-service repair shop. If you’ve got a flat, they can fix that while you wait.
The shop also offers a night ride every Thursday at 6 p.m. Riders of all experience levels are welcome.
Tennessee Valley Bicycles
210 West Magnolia Avenue
The Shop: Nestled between Central and Gay Street in the heart of the Old City, Tennessee Valley Bicycles is meant to act as a passport to cycling adventure. Whether that constitutes a trail ride deep in the Smokey Mountains or a harrowing journey through the urban jungle in search of groceries is completely up to you.
The Bikes: TVB mainly carries Kona bikes, but Transition, Surly, Scott, SE, and Breezer are also on offer. The shop’s main focus, cycling-wise, is on mountain bikes, but they stock a bit of everything. Mountain, road, and hybrid bikes are all available to rent.
Gear: The folks at TVB are always looking to ensure that for each bike they have on offer, they’ve got every conceivable accessory to match. You’ll find everything from helmets to hydration packs to racks, and the staff are more than happy to send away for any specialty item you might be looking for.
Services: TVB is a full-service repair shop. Disk brakes and mountain bike suspension repairs are the staff’s specialty.
The shop organizes two road rides each Monday at 6pm; one is for beginners, while the other is more competitive. Additionally, an entry-level mountain ride, known as the “Easy Rider,” is offered each Wednesday evening.
The TVB staff are immensely knowledgeable about bike routs in the Knoxville area; no matter your skill level or bike type, they’ll have a recommendation for you.
All summer long, TVB’s next-door neighbor, the Mill & Mine, will be hosting regular “Bike-In Movies.” The shop is a sponsor.
11531 Kingston Pike, Village Green Shopping Center
The Shop: A fixture of Farragut area cycling for the last 11 years, West Bicycles bills itself as “the friendliest bikes shop in town,” and the warm reception customers receive certainly gives weight to that slogan. The folks at West make a point of being as unintimidating as possible; they want to get as many people up on a bike as they can, which leaves no room for pretension, only for friendly instruction.
The Bikes: West carries Surly, GT, Cannondale, and a host of other brands. The company philosophy is to have a bike for everyone, so you can expect to find road, mountain, and hybrid bikes in almost equal measure. West also has the largest selection of electric bikes in town. They’ve got plenty of road, mountain, hybrid, and electric rentals on hand, too.
Gear: The one-stop-shop philosophy certainly applies to West. Uniquely, their all of their inventory is listed on their website, even gear that’s not in stock at the store. If such an item is the one you need, you can order it online, then come pick it up at the shop in a few days’ time. This approach allows them to sell a much greater variety of gear than a shop with their floor space ordinarily would.
They also carry Bicycling Roads and Off-Road Trails by Elle Colquitt and John Livengood, easily the best local cycling guides available.
Services: West is a full-service repair shop. The staff stand prepared to handle everything from tune-ups to custom builds, and they guarantee a 24-48 hour turn-around.
For younger riders, the shop has a trade-up program to make sure that the bikes grow up along with the kids.
The shop hosts four family-oriented charity rides a year, with the proceeds going to benefit local non-profits like KARM. More regularly, beginner mountain bike classes will be offered at 6:15 p.m. on Wednesdays starting June 28.
Thomas Stubbs is a lifelong Knoxvillian, although these days he spends the academic year in Greenville, South Carolina, majoring in History and Communications Studies at Furman University. He’ll be a senior when he returns to Furman in the fall, a fact which mystifies him as much as it does everyone else. He writes a column for Furman’s newspaper, The Paladin, covering theatre and the Greenville arts scene. In his spare time, Thomas may be found singing in any number of choirs or catching up with old friends.
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