Who's a Cyclopathe?

Vintage CCM Ladies' 3-Speed
Montreal is so cycling-mad that you can find a bike shop on every major street. I've been looking for a new bike for a few months now, but I haven't been able to find exactly what I want, in my price range. Although I've read a lot about how to safeguard your bike against theft, such as removing, or painting over, any brand name tags, paying more than $50 for a lock or just bringing it in at night, I'm still anxious about paying a lot of money for a ride only to have it stolen.

On Friday, I stopped in at Cyclopathe, a tiny shop on Villeray that stores, rents, repairs and recycles bikes. The team will custom build a bike for you at a relatively low price. Another interesting point: they don't charge PST or GST because their sales fall short of the taxable threshold. In other words, these guys do it for the love of rebuilding. In addition, the shop is having an end of season sale, which means that you could save up to 40% on what you would pay at a second-hand bike shop.

A vintage CCM ladies 3-speed bike  immediately caught my eye. It even had an Eiffel Tower on it because it was the deluxe "Paris" model. I thought that vintage was less likely to be stolen, but according to Cyclopathe salesman Khalil, I couldn't be more wrong. Vintage bikes are not only "in," but "they are also apparently coveted by thieves because their parts are so hard to come by."

For weeks I have been looking at a Dahon in the window. These are lightweight folding bikes with 16" wheels that are ideal for people living in small apartments without storage. I've been looking for a Dahon on ebay, but they cost about $600 new. I've read up on them, and that's definitely the price for a high-quality lightweight folding bike. The one at Cyclopathe was 30-years old, and it was relatively heavy.

I was told to come by often because the team receives new inventory weekly. Khalid showed me a decent frame and told me that he could customize it for me. Still unsure. If you're looking for a vintage bike or just a well-built second-hand bike, Cyclopathe might be the place for you. They also take trade-ins.

Cyclopathe
30-Year-Old Vintage Dahon $379
318 Villeray
Montreal, QC

514-439-1965

No blog or Facebook page because inventory changes too fast, and these guys just want to work on bikes.


Other Villeray-related posts
Neon Icon: Miss Villeray
New Digs and Swedish Thrillers
The Haitian Barber
Good Morning Villeray
Creole Cuisine


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4 comments:

Simon Lavoie | August 22, 2012 at 3:29 PM

Perhaps things have changed since your review, but I had a poor experience with this store. I brought in my bike with a gear problem and was convinced to allow them to build me a "new" bike with all the parts from my old bike. I picked out a chassis and waited anxiously for my new wheels. After two weeks I stopped in to grab my bike and found that none of my parts had been used but instead old, crappy, and some rusted parts had been used. Curiously, I asked why my parts were not used and it was evident that they had no idea which old bike was mine. I told them politely to change the parts to which they agreed. Following two months of ignoring my calls, regular stopping in, finding that my bike was not being worked on, and then berating the guys to fix my bike, I decided to cut my loss and just get my bike out. Now I've got a 5 speed bike with 7 speed shifters and a broken bike seat with the smallest bike post I have ever seen that was precariously placed only 1 cm into the chassis. The guys that work here are nice and all but I certainly feel ripped off.

AKAmamma | August 22, 2012 at 8:18 PM

So sorry to hear about your experience. I understand your frustration. It sounds like some of your instructions may not have been transmitted to the person fixing your bike. Your account is detailed and seems credible. And it begs the question: What happened to your bike parts?

We live in an era with little accountability, and online complaints seem to be our only recourse. For that reason, I will post this to give the shop the opportunity to make amends or to leave a comment and explain their side of the story.
I would hate for someone to make an informed decision based on my review and have a similar experience.

I hope that things work out for you.

Cyclopathe | March 29, 2013 at 12:24 AM

Bring your bicycle back and we will fix it free of charge.

Anonymous | May 7, 2014 at 11:58 AM

I find it disappointing that this happened to Lavoie. I've been looking around for a bike shop in Montreal and so far all of them have had various comments such as these (usually people who have been ripped off).

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