Seattle has four of the best bike shops in the country, according to the 2014 list from the National Bicycle Dealers Association. Bike Works, Gregg’s Cycle, The Bicycle Repair Shop and Montlake Bicycle Shop all made the list, which is based in part on the experience of a “mystery shopper” and part on the shop’s service to the community.
Classic Cycle on Bainbridge Island also made the list. For a list of other Washington and west coast bike shops on the list, see this post by Biking Bis.
More details on the program (and a well-deserved victory lap) from Bike Works:
Bike Works Seattle has been named one of America’s Best Bike Shops for 2014 by the National Bicycle Dealers Association.
There are approximately 4,000 bike shops in the United States, and fewer than 300 were chosen to be named “America’s Best.”
The shops were asked to fill out a detailed application describing what sets them apart from the average store. Mystery shoppers then evaluated the business in more detail by visiting the store, reviewing their website, and contacting the shop by phone to assess the performance from a consumer’s perspective.
During the application process, Bike Works stood out by utilizing their full-service bike shop as an earned-income source for their youth and community bike programming. But the Bike Works shop also scored high in “operational excellence,” getting the most out of a relatively small space to provide a high level of customer service, sell refurbished used bikes, and provide a high volume of affordable repair services.
The Best Bike Shops program is designed to help consumers find great stores in their areas that will provide the expertise and professionalism they need to get the most benefit from cycling.
The recipients of the America’s Best Bike Shops title not only offer great shopping experiences, but are also rated on their support for their communities, as well as support for bicycle advocacy both locally and nationally.
Response to the new program was positive from the start; especially from smaller shops that are not normally recognized. One store owner wrote: “Exciting stuff! Now maybe smaller shops like ours will have a chance at being recognized.” At the same time, the larger retailers agreed and stated “we do what we need to do to be at the top. This can only help the entire industry.”