Cycle Smithy

shop photo
Average rating: 4.3/5 from 30 comments.   - Comment-on/Rate this shop.

2468 1/2 N Clark St
Chicago, IL  60614-2718
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Mon-Fri 11am-8pm
Sat-Sun 10am-6pm

sells used bikes?: no
sells used parts?: no
offers Active Transportation Alliance discount?: yes
offers rentals?: no

Social Media:

Cannondale, Specialized, Spot Brand Bikes, Waterford, Gunnar, Independent Fabrication, Surly, Kestrel, Cinelli, KHS, FUJI

Cycle Smithy was founded in 1973. Cycle Smithy's expertly staffed Service Department offers everything from minor adjustments to full overhauls, custom wheel builds, suspension fork service, Ultra Sonic parts cleaning, tubular tire gluing, fork and frame alignment, and custom builds. We pride ourselves in being able to fix any bike. We are glad to work on any brand bike of any vintage.

Cycle Smithy offers a full range of advanced bicycle services from professional bicycle fittings (Advanced Waterford Fit Certified, Advanced Fit Kit Certified, Specialized BG Fit Certified), custom bicycle design, cycling shoe fittings and cleat alignment.

Cycle Smithy is home to a world class collection of vintage and collectable bicycles viewable on the ceiling and walls throughout its 4000 square foot space. It's showroom houses upwards of 200 new bicycles from hybrid, commuter, touring, single speed/ fixie, road racing, mountain and cyclocross bikes.

This shop was last sent an information update request on November 28, 2009, but has never responded to any request.



Cannondale Capo 1 - from: '' - no rating given - 16-Aug-11
I just purchased this bike though ebay and pay pale. I wiould like to pick-up in store.
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Fun times at the bike shop - from: '' - Rating: 5/5 - 27-Dec-10
Ahh, my old neighborhood. I've bought a lot of stuff from you guys. Always a pleasure to stop in. I must say that you couldn't fit much more into the shop.
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satisfied - from: '' - Rating: 5/5 - 09-Nov-10
I broke a rear spoke on my bike which I use everyday since I sold my car and have difficulty walking. My favorive bike shop was closed on Monday so I took a chance on these guys and they fixed it including straightening the crooked wheel. It only took 20 minutes for a reasonable price.
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Great Service - from: '' - Rating: 5/5 - 04-Jul-10
I have been going to Cycle Smithy for 15 years. I am not a serious cyclist, but try to do my own service. These folks have always been helpful and knowledgable.
There is another bike shop in old town which is staffed with [undesirables] and to be avoided at all cost.
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MY BEST EXPERIENCE - from: '' - Rating: 5/5 - 02-Oct-09
This is the best bike store I've been to in my life. Mark, the owner, helped me to choose a road bike, and even offered me a discount on a Specialized Allez, thinking it was a 2009 model. I went back the next day to buy it, but in the meantime they figured it out that in fact it was a 2010 model, which was several hundred dollars more expensive than the listed price (not to mention the discount). Mark had given me his card the day before and he had written the heavily discounted price on it with his signature. To my great surprise, Mark decide to honor his promise and sell me the bike at the price he promised me, which clearly meant that he actually lost some money on that bike. This has won him a very happy, satisfied and (in the future) loyal customer.

They also helped me with buying some accessories, and offer 30-day tune-up and one-year free labor. They have great bikes, including less well-known, but superb quality, Orbeas (think Team Euskaltel). The vintage curiosities they have on display make this store a little road cycling museum too.

I'm very happy with the exceptional attitude Mark showed towards me and wish his business the best of luck.
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Thank you - from: 'J.C.' - Rating: 5/5 - 15-Sep-09
I am a professional bike mechanic because of Mark Mattei. 18 years ago...I used to visit his shop to check out all the eye candy...and dream a little.Growing up in a bad neiborhood I was dirt poor at the time. An old timer sold me a vintage road bike he had laying around with campy component for around 50 dollars.It was an old roberts road bike from the late 70's early 80's...complete with primer...I loved that did the lady...who doored me, totaling my bike.Her insurance wrote me a check for 1,600 dollars at that time...Within a half an hour after getting the money... I was at cycle smithy about to make the biggest purchase of my life.I purchased one of the first full suspention mountain bikes that ever came out on the market.A '92 cannondale delta v 1000...I've heard of him but never met mark prior to that purchase. Mark appreciated the buisness and was extreemly gratefull.Till this day...I do not know why...but that man took me under his wing...and granted me complete access to his and that I can continue enjoying my passion... with out asking for anything in return.He knew nothing about me except for my name and my passion for cycling.The guys in that shop took me in as one of their own.I spent the next couple of years watching and learning from the inside.They were more than happy to share their vast knowledge and expertise with they are sharing it with any one who walks thru that door.Kelly and Earl have been working their magic there since before I was born...and last I checked ...they are still around doing their thing.And yes...Mark can get a little crazy every once in a while...but that's what makes him the genius that he truly is. He is the embodiment of coolness...professionalism...and ethics. Because of him...I am an absolute professional in this industry.Not because of skill or technical know how.But because of the ethics ensuring that I can meet the needs of others...reguardless of whether I make money or loose long as it is done in their best interest. As a person...I can not even begin to explain how I have benifited from this expirience...except to say that it enables me to help others... who have to sacrifice just as I have...In order to make the most out of their own lives.
Thank you mark for all that you have done...I will always be gratefull.

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Hit or miss - from: '' - no rating given - 03-Sep-09
With respect to vince p, the owner of this place is an assh*le! I should know, I frequent this shop quite a bit. Stay away from that jerk and your fine. Ask for Jim if you're looking for a bike or Kelly the mechanic guru!
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store - from: '' - Rating: 5/5 - 25-Aug-09
Super shop----best I've ever seen. Owner was way cool, he's been there 40 years---he probably invented the bicycle! If you want crap, go to Sears---otherwise go to the guy who probably brought a Mountain to Muhammed. Has the inventory of a factory.Fun store...
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What happened? - from: '' - Rating: 2/5 - 30-Jun-09
Just returned from 8 months abroad and went down to visit my favorite shop. Disappointed to find that many of the familiar faces are gone, specifically my mechanic Jeremy. Some of the long time sales staff and the manager are also gone, all apparently driven away by the "bi-polar" owner of the shop, (Staff's words, not my own.) It's still my shop, but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone right now.
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the best - from: '' - Rating: 5/5 - 16-Nov-08
this shop is one of the best bike shops i have ever been to in my life.i brought in my old bmx bike asking them to do a very uncommon bike mod and next thing you know,mark is teaching me what i had to do to create and design my own mags.these guys make any of my ridiculous ideas possible.thank you guys.
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it takes some adjusting - from: '' - Rating: 4/5 - 19-Aug-08
i myself can be a bit stuck up when it comes to bikes. and really, it just takes some time getting used to these guys. i used to think they were a bunch of pricks, but now i think we see more eye-to-eye. and currently, it's the only place i trust to repair my daily ride. they did a tune-up OVERNIGHT, while it took performance bike 2 MONTHS to order and install a freehub from ritchey. cycle smithy is local, they understand you, they know it's important to you, they get it done right and they guaranteed it done by an agreed upon time.

(and they kept that guarantee)
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nice shop - from: '' - Rating: 5/5 - 08-Jul-08
The very first thing I look for in a bike store is friendliness. I bought a helmet today from John. I was really impressed with how friendly he was. He even apologized for talking on the phone when I was looking around. I don't know about the rest of the crew but John was cool.
I've only been there once but I will be back.
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No longer selling Trek - from: '' - no rating given - 06-Jun-08
They no longer sell Trek bikes.
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An attitude-free bike repair - from: '' - Rating: 5/5 - 13-Mar-08
Today was my 3rd visit to Cycle Smithy. Each time I have been amazed & impressed by the client service I've received: fast, affordable, & friendly.

If you - like me - have been held at the mercy of other bike shops in the city who do not know how to fix anything older than "last year's ubercycle", than check these real people out. I have even been talked out of repairs they recommended I do on my own (for free), including instructions on how to easily do them!

I won't bother to leave negative feedback about the 3 separate Chicago bicycle shops who have robbed my time & pockets in the past. They just no longer get my business. I believe eventually YOU will get tired of those dime-store hipster mechanics. When you do, do you AND your wheels a favor - discover Cycle Smithy.
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bike history and knowledge - from: '' - Rating: 5/5 - 10-Mar-08
Outstanding facility for new and if you like to gather history on the old. Shop is full of unique collectable bikes. The shop owner is one of the most knowledgeable and interesting historians I have met. If you can catch him when the shop is not filled with customers, and completely consumed with customer service. He can blow you away with history and design. Best bet is buy him lunch across the street, for some one on one time.
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Wheel Build - from: '' - Rating: 5/5 - 15-Feb-08
They made a rear wheel for my singlespeed MTB. I was very happy with the service.
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Awesome Shop! - from: '' - Rating: 5/5 - 31-Jan-08
I only have great things to say about Cycle Smithy. Joe and the rest of the staff are very conscientious and listen to find out exactly what you’re looking for. It’s a laid-back, non-pretentious, friendly atmosphere. I first went there about 8 months ago to check out their bags—good selection of colors and sizes, helpful staff. Two months ago I went back to get a seat leash—they answered all my questions and showed me exactly how to install it. So I went back for a tune-up last week—excellent service. I asked if they could figure out a different position for the lock-holder on my bike that another shop had installed, and without hesitation they found a creative way to fix it. Last night I went back to get a helmet—they have a variety of colors and styles, and once again Joe and John were super nice, patient, and helpful. Plus, as a female rider, I’ve always felt welcome and respected there. Consistently great customer service, good products, knowledgeable staff, and quality shop-work—this place is what a bike shop should be.
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Vry Good Shoppe - from: '' - Rating: 5/5 - 30-Jan-08
I am new to Chicagoland from Austria. Boys here are very nice when I come to shop to inform myself about commute to city proper. Most informative, friendly and helpful. My English is very strong accent and many efforts were made to understand me, one man joked and call me "Arnold" Bike Terminator, very funny bike shop, the best man!
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General - from: '' - Rating: 3/5 - 06-Nov-07
IMO of this shop the owner Mark can be a nice gut to deal with at times if he would leave his workers alone while they are talking to customers whiles doing sales of bikes and or taking in repairs of others.he doesnot mean any harm but he should leave well enough alone.
this store has been around for over 35 years and does great mechanical work that other shops refuse to do.
the owner of this store even gets his hands dirty at times while other owners of other shops rather sit back and let customers wait.
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I found em a little snooty. - from: '' - Rating: 3/5 - 03-Sep-07
Firstly, I should state that I am a bit of a bike snob. That said, even I felt a bit "looked down on" by the staff there when looking for a simple shorter stem for my girlfriend. I couldn't find one less than 30 dollars in some chinese no-name brand.
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Wide selections - from: '' - no rating given - 04-Jul-07
One of the best.However, I have yet to find a bike shop that forsee my imaginations tweaking the impossible into reality regardless of the situation. I wished, there is someone out there who can tell me everytime I ask questions, from out of ordinary questions but who can assure me> " It maybe complicated but it can be done" type of situation?. Cycle smith almost acknowledge my conquest. Perhaps if the crowd don't interfere in and out of the store all the time.........I refused to say to anyone having no knowledge of bikes, but I learned something from individual mechanics I met through the year and it's not complicated as it seems.
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I really want to like this place... - from: 'GC' - Rating: 3/5 - 03-Jul-07
I really want to like this place. Home-grown shop with a local owner who is more interested in customer service than the bottom line or policies written in legalese. Very friendly too; even let me in once after closing hours.


The bike repair gnome, awesome as he may look, assembled my bike incorrectly, with one of the brake pads pointed at a significant angle in relation to the other one (rim v-brakes should pinch the rim at the same point and angle, yes?). He also forgot to attach bar ends to the bike even though the work tag had it specifically written down to install bar ends.

And the shop also told me they would be able to special order a part with delivery by a certain day. I call that day before I go to pick it up, and I find out they haven't even placed the order.

At some point, good intentions are not enough and you have to have the responsibility and professionalism to go along with it. I still give them a 3 because of the A for customer service and, with the right caution, I would definitely go back to this place.
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Great place to shop - from: '' - Rating: 5/5 - 13-May-07
Cyclesmithy is fantastic. Mark, the owner, is a true bicycling enthusiast. The ceiling of the shop is a museum of American bikes, so much to look at and so much to enjoy.

Decent prices, smart repair people, one of my favorites in the city.
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Great Bike Shop - from: '' - Rating: 5/5 - 08-Jan-07
I echo the comments of David P., and am also quite puzzled by the negative comments about the service. I can speak to this with some authority, as this is my local bike shop and I've been there for service at least a dozen times in the last year alone. I have never, ever had the slightest indication of rudeness or snobbery - quite the opposite! I suspect that there is something in the personality of those who have written such comments that may predispose them to become easily annoyed.
The key to understanding what Cycle Smithy brings to the table is getting to know Mark Mattei. This man is, from my experience, the most service-oriented bike expert I've ever met in my 25 years of cycling. In addition, look to his encyclopedic knowledge of bikes, which spans not only the current technology but the entire engineering history of bikes even back to before the turn of the century.
The people at Cycle Smithy have always been incredibly generous with their time and have given me thoughtful and often innovative solutions to maintenance and mechanical issues. In addition, after visiting Village Bike, Turin, Higher Gear, Johnny Sprockets, and Pony Shop, Cycle Smithy is a clear #1 when it comes to setting you up for urban commuting. I bike to the loop every day on a 1964 Peugeot that ALL the above had given up for dead - except Cycle Smithy. I can't write here all the many things we did to set this bike up, but I came away deeply impressed. I have since ridden the bike over a thousand miles back and forth to the loop - 'nuff said!
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Best Bike Shop & Repairs I've Encountered! - from: '' - Rating: 5/5 - 18-Dec-06
Having been a bicycle commuter in two very active urban biking markets - Portland, OR and Chicago, IL - over the last several years, I've tried many different bike shops. NOWHERE have I found such a fantastic group of people as those at this shop. Nick, John, Joe, and Mark (in order of my acquiantance with them) are unpretentious, knowledgable, attentive, and patient. They are very cool people who seem to really love what they do and enjoy bringing their clientele the opportunity to enjoy it as well. I've brought in two very different bikes for repairs and parts replacement (a late-sixties Phillips with a cranky old internal 3-speed hub; and an eighties Nishiki road bike with no original parts in need of a total overhaul). In both instances, the labor was completed earlier than expected, the invoices were fair and well within the quoted estimates (the Phillips' parts and labor was actually $20 bucks or so less than they estimated), and I am delighted with the results of their work. What really sets these guys apart, though, is their willingness to 1)share their knowledge regarding parts and maintenance, and 2)to take the time and ask the questions to make sure they're getting you what you need. That and they have a great selection of parts and accessories in house, eliminating the need for special orders.
Some shops are staffed by hipster snobs, and some won't give you the time of day unless you're purchasing something made of carbon fibers, but I'm happy to report that this is NOT one of those places. Frankly I'm baffled by the negative posts here.
Please keep up the excellent work, gentlemen!
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bike snobs - from: '' - Rating: 4/5 - 04-Dec-06
This is my LBS, but I have to admit the guys that work there are jerks at times. They are definitely bikes snobs, if you don't know everything about bikes, dream about bikes, sleep with your bike at night they think you are the scum of the earth. That said, they are riders, they love bikes and don't try and push you into something you don't need. They know what they are doing and the service is good. Be patient with them and they will come around to you, it is worth the wait.
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Great service - high prices - from: '' - Rating: 4/5 - 25-Oct-06
Great service and very helpful mechanics. Helped me fix a problem with my bike, and even took the time to explain, repeat, and repeat again so that I knew exactly what he was doing.

Only thing is - the prices are really high for any parts and accessories you want, and labor is expensive as well. They will throw in some free things or knock off a few bucks here and there, but I feel like I shouldn't have to haggle over every price in order to get a fair price. Oh, and the prices seemed to jump up $5 - $10 for everything (including labor) from when I got there to when the bill was rung up. There's more haggling for you.
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Once again, Cycle Smithy rocks hardcore - from: '' - Rating: 5/5 - 15-Sep-06
I went in there to buy a small u-lock that I could put in my back pocket. The price was around $60 and the guy asked if there was a problem. I said it was too much money and he knocked it down to $45.
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CYCLE MAJIK ON CLARK STREET - from: '' - Rating: 5/5 - 22-Aug-06
Better than any other shop in chicago. I've been hooked up with discounts every time I go in. "the wizzard" is this big old man in the basement that works magik on all of the bikes. That's the only way I see that he gets all of the bikes built and repaired ALL by himself. Bikes on the walls/ceiling are a nice touch of bike history and worth spending some time checking out. Parts are really resonable and the guys who work there can be a little creepy at times(which might explain the majik), but regardless, they're are definitely nice guys and super helpful. keep up the good work!!!
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CRAPPEST PLACE IN THE WORLD - from: '' - Rating: 1/5 - 16-Aug-06
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Nice to me - from: '' - Rating: 5/5 - 03-Aug-06
I went there and talked to one of the guys who worked there for at least 30 minutes about converting to a fixie. He explained everything and said it was probably best if I just bought a new bike instead. He also understood what it was like to be a poor kid.

Another time the guys there cut me a deal and gave me some parts for free.
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crap customer service - from: '' - Rating: 1/5 - 10-Jul-06
I visited Cycle Smithy while shopping for a new road bike. I went upstairs to the retail store (downstairs is the repair shop) and looked around. A "salesman" (approximately 20 years old) leaned back in his chair, reading a comic book, ignoring me completely. "Can I try a Trek 1500 in a 54cm?" I asked him. "We don't have any 1500s in a 54 left," he replied, without looking up from his comic book. OK. I wandered around a little more, and what did I find on the rack but a Trek 1500! In a 54cm, no less! I went back to him and pointed it out. Sighing, he got the bike down and gave it to me. "Can I have pedals on the bike, please?" There were NO pedals. Rolling his eyes, he huffed away to get some pedals.

I do NOT recommend this shop. You have to sell your first-born to get pedals on a bike.
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Good deals, knowledgeable folk - from: '' - Rating: 5/5 - 25-May-05
I bought a KHS Flite 100 track bike from Cycle Smithy last summer. They went out of their way to make sure I got the proper frame size (60cm), set me up with a front brake and Avocet Kevlar cyclocross tires for urban riding and flat resistance. They gave me a very good price too. 25 years ago I bought a Urago road bike from them with tubulars, and I enjoyed that bike for years. They are very hip to the needs of the urban cyclist and I will continue to check with them first when buying parts, tools, or more bikes.
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Good selection of parts and tools - from: '' - Rating: 5/5 - 24-May-05
The guys from Cycle Smithy (especially in the repair shop downstairs) are quite friendly and give good advice to guys like me that want to repair bikes on their own. The repair shop is well stocked with all kinds of of tools and bike parts, especially tires and rims. The guys are real bicyclists and don't just want to sell bikes. They perfectly boxed up my bike for a New Zealand trip as well.
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Last Update date: 2014-02-25
Record create date: 2005-04-07