Best Brooklyn Bike Gurus (2008)

Roy's Sheepshead Cycle, Ilya Nikhamin, and Allen Trepel

Roys Sheepshead Cycle opened in Brooklyn in 1931 on 86th Street. Now, two moves and 77 years later, the shop has developed a reputation for its knowledgeable (if occasionally gruff) staff. The head bike guru, owner Allen Trepel, is a master at bike fittings and correcting customers cycling form, thanks to eight years of studying anatomy while training as an artist. Hes the one that serious cyclists turn to when they want a customized bike, which requires like a million measurements and several weeks to assemble. Ilya Nikhamin, a self-described bike snob, is the gear geek. Hes more excited about a new set of Shimano wheels than any of the local races. Both men spend hours answering a customers questions, encourage test drives on multiple bikes, and are always on hand for any follow-up fittings, questions, or repairs. But theirs is a tough love: Neither will hesitate to tell you that youre a chump if you buy the $2,000 bike when the $1,200 one is faster and sturdier, and eyes will definitely roll if a novice cyclist wants to put a kickstand on his fancy new road bikebut thats just the kind of honesty that cyclists can expect at this no-bullshit bike shop.


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