Though it does not have the bike-friendly reputation attached to cities like Amsterdam, Copenhagen, or Berlin, Buenos Aires in recent years has become a city more and more navigable and accessible on two wheels.
Some credit must be given to Mayor Mauricio Macri’s ciclovía initiatives, which have seen 100 kilometres of bike lanes constructed in the capital, making it a bit easier for drivers to put up with bikers and less frightening for bikers travelling busy streets.
Part of the change seen in Buenos Aires can also be credited to a host of bike shops and workshops that have made biking more accessible, trendy, and sociable.
While Buenos Aires has a wide range of stores and workshops, ranging from the posh and overpriced to the greasy and unimpressive, I have chosen five that should have you covered whether you’re an experienced cyclist looking for a reliable mechanic or a recent arrival in Buenos Aires looking for a trendy new ride.
If you are only in Buenos Aires for a short amount of time, but still want to experience the city on two wheels, there are several great companies that offer guided tours throughout the cities. Check out Biking Buenos Aires or La Bicicleta Naranja for more information.MonoChrome Recycled Bikes
There may not be a hipper option in Buenos Aires right now than MonoChrome. Its simple but stylish aesthetic is complemented by an emphasis on quality products and sustainable practices. It is impressive to find a company that sells products made from recycled materials yet still maintain uniformity in quality and appearance. In the case of MonoChrome, used bike frames are refurbished according to the shop’s minimalist design scheme. The finished product is one that is distinctively MonoChrome but carefully sourced from recycled materials.
After taking a look at MonoChrome’s sleek showroom in Palermo Hollywood, customers can then design their own bike using the shop’s interactive website. The first step is to choose which of the four available frames you want – the Lorette, Francois, Ninette, or Bernard. The Ninette frame is quite trendy in Buenos Aires: you may have seen one around town with small wheels and a frame close to the ground, with an elevated seat. After choosing a frame, clients can click through the various options for colours and accessories.
While it’s not for everyone, its line of quality bikes and commitment to bringing people into the biking culture make MonoChrome a valuable asset to the Buenos Aires biking landscape.
Gorriti 5656, Palermo. Open Monday to Friday from 11 to 7pm and Saturday from 3:30 to 7pm. For more information, visit the website.
Mµvin: Movimiento Urbano
This exciting Palermo Soho store invites customers to be part of a “revolution in movement”.
As part of this revolution, Mµvin: Movimiento Urbano offers a selection of unique products that you won’t find at the other shops on this list, including cargo bikes and three lines of collapsible (plegable) bikes, ideal for transporting your bike on the subte or easily and safely storing in a small apartment. Mµvin also sells fixed gear bikes and some quite creative children’s bikes.
If you are looking for a neighbourhood mechanic, this stylish store isn’t your best bet. However, if you’re interested in a great selection of innovative products, you should make sure to check out Mµvin.
Mµvin also has a store in Punta del Este, Uruguay, and also offers online shopping as well.
Gorriti 5051, Palermo. Open Monday to Satuday from 10 to 7pm. For more information, visit the website.Vía Bike
Ignacio Basavilbaso opened Vía Bike just five months ago with his brother and sister-in-law. Since then, the workshop and showroom has already become a popular neighbourhood establishment. With its familial vibe, Vía Bike has plenty of buena onda, which Ignacio says sets their shop apart from the rest.
On a recent Wednesday morning, the shop was surprisingly full of customers and neighbours, including a client who had recently purchased a bike. After helping him find a bike light, Ignacio told the customer that he had uploaded his picture online.
“When we can, we take pictures of customers with their new bikes and share them on our facebook,” Ignacio told me after offering me mate. The shop’s Facebook page is now full of portraits of happy customers showing off their new rides.
Vía Bike can help you find a new or used bike or will repair one you already have. Much like MonoChrome, the bikes you will find here are specifically urban bikes rather than mountain bikes or racing bikes. Vía also has a wide range of accessories for sale at reasonable prices.
Located at the intersection of French and Laprida streets, the shop opens directly to one of Buenos Aires’ most travelled bike lanes, making the corner feel like a bit like cyclist’s haven.
French 2685, Recoleta. Open Monday to Friday from 10 to 8pm and Saturday from 10 to 1pm. For more information, visit the Facebook page.
One different, more typical option, located outside the Palermo/Recoleta bubble is Bicicletería Nodari. Located in Caballito, Nodari is a plain and simple, no frills shop that sells and repairs bikes, including models for children, street bikes, and mountain bikes. It is a good place to go for a part replacement – if the people at Nodari don’t have the part you need, they can order it for you.
If you are not serious about biking and just need a pair of wheels, Nodari has a selection of used bikes at very low prices. However, you might find yourself paying more for repairs as they come up…
Nodari recently opened a new shop on Eduardo Acevedo that sells a variety of accessories, including biking apparel, helmets, and sunglasses.
Díaz Vélez 4686, Caballito. Open Monday to Friday from 11 to 7pm and Saturday from 9 to 3pm. For more information, visit the website.
This small and friendly Alto Palermo locale specialises as a workshop where customers can bring broken bikes in for a consultation and repair. Cycles Racing is not an official bike vendor but can certainly help you find the ideal bike. Mostly, however, this shop focuses on making sure you won’t need to buy a bike in the future, as it will do all it can to preserve the one you already have.
“As bikers, we know the kind of problems that arise after you purchase a bike, so we are able to offer the client our services and provide different solutions for them,” says co-owner Paolo.
Paolo noted that they try to keep the workshop relaxed, clean, and organised so that clients feel comfortable sticking around while their bikes are being repaired. You can have a cup of coffee or do some reading while you wait, and once repairs are done, bikes are washed and left looking brand new.
“The idea is that you never have to leave the shop without your bike.”
Additionally, Paolo is happy to speak English with customers whose Spanish is as rusty as their bike chain.
Araoz 2785, Palermo. Open Monday to Friday from 10 to 8pm and Saturday from 10 to 1pm.