Inspired by a love of fitness and a passion for travel and tourism kindled within him by his late father, Jeremy Lewno founded Bobby's Bike Hike to create an interactive Chicago biking experience. He named the company after his dad, Bob, an Arkansas bus-tour operator who taught him to focus on service quality over quantity. That advice has clearly paid off, as the business's guided tours have earned a number one ranking for activities to do in Chicago on TripAdvisor and the title of Best Organized Bike Ride from the Chicago Reader in 2010.
During the tours, which include rented bicycles, guides lead groups of about 20 riders past Chicago icons in Millennium Park and on the Museum Campus, or direct them to samples of pizza, hot dogs, cupcakes, and beer in and around Wrigleyville. The crew has designed a Tike Hike tour for kids 10 and younger, a Chicago gangster tour that uncovers Chicago's seedier side, and a mansion-studded lakefront tour, during which riders may glimpse Oprah waving or handing out complimentary helicopters at her main residence. Patrons can also rent Schwinn, GT, and Cannondale Comfort bikes, mountain, road, cruisers, and tandem bikes to explore the city on their own.
In a shop lined with more than 100 bikes models from all around the world, Upgrade Cycle Works' pro mechanics channel their love of cycling whether they are aligning the frame on an old single speed or fitting guests for a brand new road bike. During the fit process, staffers employ the same computerized system used at the Olympic training center as opposed to tracing your body outline on a large piece of construction paper. Next, they’ll help guests choose from bike brands such as Felt, Masi, and Raleigh, and an in-store selection of rides that includes road bikes, single speeds, and hybrids.
In Upgrade's workshop, pro mechanics perform comprehensive tune-ups and repairs, revitalize faded paint jobs, replace punctured wheels, and align frames. The staff also hosts repair clinics to teach cyclists how to fix flat tires and adjust brakes.
Village Cycle Center has more than 10,000 bikes in stock, but it's not the insane inventory that has made the shop a go-to for many of the city's cyclists?it's the service. The expert mechanics here customize every bike to fit each individual rider's comfort and safety. That means picking the correct frame size, adjusting the seat, and calibrating the brakes so they stop the wheels instead of just squealing, "STOP!"
When not readying new rides?or tuning up existing ones?Village Cycle Center's staff doles out plenty of free advice, especially when it comes to accessories, which range from helmets, pumps, and locks to hydration systems and car racks. The shop's passion for bicycles extends into the community, as well, as Village Cycle Center sponsors such popular events as the L.A.T.E. Ride and Bike to Work Week.
Even at the peak of Chicago’s hottest summers and meanest winters, the Johnny Sprockets team can be seen riding on the lakefront path or dodging cabs in the bike lanes. Owner Manuel Tenorio makes it clear that the staff members are cyclists and not just salespeople. They learn about their inventory first-hand, and they outfit their customers with equipment that they themselves endorse.
The team also services and repairs all types of cycles. With each visit, they perform a free, no-obligation estimate to assess cycle health and suss out any potential troubles. They can perform minor repairs on the spot, and they also accept appointments for tune-ups, overhauls, or a bike’s first haircut.
Since 1935, Roberts Cycle has been peddling cycles and enhancing rides with professional repairs and accessories. The friendly staff stocks the shop with accessories and bicycles from renowned brands such as Raleigh, Diamond Back, and KHS for novice and advanced cyclists alike. The expert technicians specialize in every type of cycle, servicing BMX bikes alongside racing and mountain bikes, with fixes including tune-ups and tightening brakes. To help customers learn to maintain their cycles themselves, the knowledgeable staff doles out tips for problems such as flat tires, squealing brakes, and pessimistic, unmotivated chains.