Trek Bicycle Store of Fairfield and Trek Women beam with a brand-new glass and brick visage, behind which bike-handlers preside over an expansive stable of Trek-brand two-wheeled steeds as well as the tools necessary to keep bikes running at full bore. The staff help customers navigate through a maze of hybrids, road-touring, triathlon, and mountain bikes saddled to the specifications of a range of age levels. Shelves buckle under the weight of bicycle pats, accessories, and apparel for male and female cyclists. Headlights dissuade foreign objects from collision, accessory bags keep electronics secure, Bontrager and Pearl Izumi’s leather and gel gloves protect hands, and Capo’s breathable fabric tops keep skin cool during pulse-pounding rides and volcano-jumping stunts. To keep older bikes riding like their newer cousins, the store’s technicians pamper rides with a comprehensive regimen of equipment checks, adjustments, and cleaning in a range of bike tune-ups, ensuring sailing as smooth as a freshly buttered pair of roller skates.
The technicians at Cheshire Cycle know bikes inside and out, not only because they repair them on a daily basis, but also because they spend hours and hours riding them. The adventuresome crew even sponsors a road-racing team that took home more than 50 top finishes in 2012 alone. They couple this insider knowledge with advanced technology to perform like-a-glove fittings and offer services that range from basic tune-ups to total overhauls. Their shop stocks reputable brands, including bikes by Scott, Jamis Bicycles, and Stolen BMX and clothing by designers such as Louis Garneau, Fox, and Pearl Izumi. Whatever bikes or equipment the staff don't have on the shelves they can order from a catalog supplier or have the elves in the backroom make from scratch.
The friendly team of peddling professionals at Devil's Gear include certified mechanics who diagnose the aches and pains of bi-cycles in a repair assessment, before administering the required TLC to get it up and running as faithfully as the day it followed you home. The shop's expertise in everything from flats to proper fit adjustment, as well as their ability to service bikes of every make, model, age, and blood type helps explain why they've earned the title of New Haven's Best Bike Shop 2010 by readers of The New Haven Advocate. While this deal is good toward labor services only, Devil's Gear also offers a fleet of rentable bikes ($25.99 a day) to keep cycle-dependent riders from spinning their wheels until their precious velocipedes get back on their feet, though most repairs can be completed in one day.
At Connecticut Cycle Center, indoor spinning classes or triathlon training with coach Kelli Montgomery beckon students to wheel in their own bikes and affix them to cycling apparatuses. Both classes and training sessions emulate outdoor adventures thanks to ErgVideo and CompuTrainer systems, which mimic famous routes on TV screens. Virtual Tour de France inclines or Spanish plains challenge cyclists to push their endurance to the brink as they mingle with peers. Classes, like the art of hanging out in an operating laundry machine, range from beginner base spins to high-power interval training. Feedback after each session charts your ascent to fitness. High-quality Apex bikes are available for rental and can be taken to nearby roads for an alfresco adventure.
The attendants at Paddleworks equip patrons with paddles and paddleboards and then send them out onto the calm waters of Clinton Harbor. But folks who need a little guidance can rest easy. Before novices begin a paddling session, they can enroll in one of the free 15-minute intro classes that the company holds every day of the week. For people who have their sea legs squarely underneath them, Paddleworks offers a unorthodox events and classes. Clients can jump into anything from SUP yoga lessons and races to bootcamp?a much safer way to turn up the intensity than writing "Come Get It, Sharks" on the bottom of the board. Committed paddlers might also look into purchasing equipment of their own from the shop, which is stocked with gear from brands such as Jimmy Lewis, Dakine, and GoPro.
Bloomfield Bicycle & Repair traces its history back to 1950, when the first shop opened in Bloomfield. Nowadays, with the addition of the Bicycle Cellar, it's a two-shop operation. And although the bikes and accessories are considerably different than the gear that first showed up in the shop windows, its core values?attentive customer service and thorough bike knowledge?are still the norm. The inventory of new bikes and accessories includes top brands such as Trek, Bontrager, and Pearl Izumi, and a dedicated staff is committed to keeping existing wheels on the road with tune-ups, repairs, and inspirational bike whispering.