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POLL: What's the Best Bike Shop in Jamaica Plain?

In deciding the winner, poll votes and directory ratings both count. The contest runs until Friday at 9 a.m.

JP Patch is doing a series of week-long "Best Of Patch Readers' Choice" contests. This week's category is: Best Bike Shop.

We're lucky in JP to have so many great bike repair places, including small businesses and nonprofits.

Here's how it works. Vote in the poll below. Add comments supporting your decision. Rate the businesses involved. Votes and ratings decide the winner, with ties broken by most favorable comments.

The poll closes at 9 a.m. Friday. Because this poll isn't scientific, it isn't the sole consideration in choosing a winner. The winner will be determined by the Patch editor (that's me, ), based on poll results, comments on this story and ratings on Patch Places. Please vote only once per survey. The official rules are attached to this post as a PDF.

And now, the nominees, along with links to their Patch Places pages:

The winner gets bragging rights and a framed certificate from Patch. Let the voting, rating and commenting begin!

William Furr April 09, 2012 at 02:20 PM
Bikes Not Bombs get my vote. Community Spoke seems interesting, especially the public work days, but they're too new to say. Ferris Wheels is a nice shop, but Jeff Ferris's actions around the Casey Overpass parkway conversion really rub me the wrong way. I'm amazed that he broke with the Boston Cyclists' Union and LivableStreets and has gone so far as to flyer cars with misinformation about the project. Just amazing. I won't be returning to his shop.
William Furr April 09, 2012 at 02:22 PM
I forgot to say why Bikes Not Bombs. They really friendly and happy to teach basic repair skills; they have a great selection of lovingly reconditioned bikes (my wife loved her 1980-s era 10-speed Schwinn we bought there); and you're helping support a great cause!
Monica Briggs April 09, 2012 at 03:57 PM
BnB=hands down. My commuter bike was built to my specs by Bikes not Bombs 4 years ago, and is the best bike I've ever owned. I have been a loyal customer ever since I came to JP, and was attracted to their shop by their creative use of bikes internationally as modes of transportation, agricultural processing, and many other adaptations to improving the 3rd world. I have always had excellent customer service, patient explanations of repairs and different options. They have always been punctual (mostly early) in completing their repairs. BnB is also very involved with local youth and the community.
Nerys Powell April 09, 2012 at 06:18 PM
Ferris Wheels gets my vote! I bought my Fuji hybrid from Jeff probably 20 years ago and it's still going strong thanks to the regular maintenance it receives from one of Ferris Wheels' friendly and knowledgeable staff. Jeff is a good neighbor and a strong voice for this community. His thoughtful and principled stands on various community issues make him a passionate steward for livability, sustainability and safety for all of us in JP and our surrounding neighborhoods. I wish for Jeff many more years of fellowship and healthy local commerce. Ferris Wheels is a darn fine bike shop!
David Wean April 09, 2012 at 07:01 PM
I'm a fan of Ferris Wheels. They have a great variety of bikes and gear, and the emphasis they have on their repair services shows that they're truly interested in helping people actually use their bikes, rather than just trying to push product as many bike shops do. In terms of advocacy, Jeff and his staff have been active in the community for decades, long before there was a bike czar or citywide organization. I've gone out with them on many local tours of potential improvements, and seen Jeff at Southwest Corridor PMAC meetings year in and year out. In terms of the Casey overpass, Jeff has actively pushed for what he believes will be the best solution for the area. Frankly I'm baffled that some of the bike and ped advocacy groups, fond of them as I am, support a 6-lane road as bike and ped friendly. But I am confident that when it's all over, Jeff and the shop will continue to advocate for bike safety and convenience in our area.
Max "Jay" P. April 09, 2012 at 07:22 PM
Revolution by a mile. James is up front about the fact that he's not the "friendliest" guy in town, but he's very honest and a terrific mechanic. I'm a fan of the BnB concept... but the pricing leaves a lot to be desired.
William Furr April 09, 2012 at 08:03 PM
That's the hazard of supporting a nonprofit like that. If anything BnB should do more to promote their mission alongside the retail sales, rather than lower prices.
gretchen van ness April 09, 2012 at 09:16 PM
Reading through these comments, I'm beginning to think that this "Best Of" contest is fine for Boston Magazine, but doesn't really fit in JP. We are extremely lucky to have four (count 'em -- four!) different bike shops, each one with a different vibe, and each one with a unique back story, philosophy, and staff. Each shop has chosen to locate in JP and has won loyal clients, both here and in surrounding communities (and in the case of Bikes Not Bombs, around the world). Each of these shops is part of the JP family and community. No matter what the outcome of this poll, they are all winners in my book.
Chris Helms (Editor) April 09, 2012 at 09:19 PM
That's a great point, Gretchen. I'm hoping that, though we will declare a winner at the end of the week, that the comments and ratings (which will live on after the contest) will be helpful for residents to read through as they decide which bike shop fits their needs.
Natasha Alexander April 10, 2012 at 01:46 PM
My vote goes to The Community Spoke! They provide a totally free service to the local community and all the knowledgeable people at the shop are VOLUNTEERING their time, energy, expertise and good karma to make this possible. Way to go!
Raphael April 10, 2012 at 01:51 PM
I try to do all my own bike work, but a recent handlebar swap/brake job was too complicated for me. Took my steed to Revolution. Great job, great guy. I've had work done there before, always exceeds my expectations. Revolution gets my vote.
nancy April 10, 2012 at 02:01 PM
Maybe his actions are a result of 30+ years of living, working and biking in JP? I've been doing the same and I agreed with his position. (I don't go to his shop however.)
nancy April 10, 2012 at 02:03 PM
I totally agree with Gretchen. nuf said.
Scott April 10, 2012 at 02:09 PM
Of course everyone has to fall in line with the BCU or else the outrage police will boycott you.
A Smith April 10, 2012 at 03:04 PM
I'm really not a cyclist at all but am a real fan of Ferris Wheels Bike Shop. Jeff Ferris took the time to not only find the right rack for my car but also review with me (um, several times) how to install it. They put me in a helmet I like and actually wear, and mostly, don't make me feel stupid - which is tough in such a cycle-friendly, cycling-popular town where sometimes car drivers are afraid of being accused of something terrible by cyclists. Thanks for being there, Ferris Wheels!
Rhea Becker April 10, 2012 at 04:13 PM
I agree with Gretchen. These are all great neighborhood establishments. And I was sorry to see the Jeff bashing here. He is a devoted biking advocate and I trust his judgment on most civic-minded things. Here's to Ferris Wheels, which has been in town 30 years now!
adam April 10, 2012 at 04:13 PM
Agree with Gretchen wholeheartedly... that said, I'm votin Revolution!
eddie April 10, 2012 at 11:35 PM
Ferris Wheels is the best bike shop. Ferris employees are accessible, knowledgeable and their bikes ans services are affordable.
Kosta Demos April 11, 2012 at 02:47 PM
I feel uncomfortable with this page becoming a seat of judgement on Jeff Ferris' character. Over the years, I've had numerous disagreements with Jeff -sometimes loud- about development and transportation issues. But the bottom line is that he is a great guy - funny, creative and devoted to this community. I love him as a friend and neighbor and, whatever our differences, I can't imagine J.P. without him. Let it go, folks.
Chris Helms (Editor) April 11, 2012 at 03:08 PM
Thanks standing up for Jeff, Kosta and others. I know the Casey Overpass debate has raised emotions, but on this thread at least let's focus on the topic: best bike shop.
mike clarke April 12, 2012 at 09:52 PM
BNB is what ferris used to be. That's what makes them #1 Those who are really from jp are missing Jamaica cycle dearly
Jimmy Ahern April 13, 2012 at 11:31 AM
Actually, those "really from" JP (i.e. everyone on this board who lives in this neighborhood) seem happy with the shops we have. Don't hate because some of us chose this neighborhood and it got stuck with you.
mike clarke April 13, 2012 at 01:06 PM
Jimmy, like everything else in life you haven't a clue. I moved from jp when peeps like you moved in. Sounds like you work at ferris. Don't hate bnb. they work at staying number 1 Those of us really from jp miss Jamaica cycle dearly
James April 15, 2012 at 03:27 AM
Jeff at Ferris runs a great shop, and I think his politics have nothing to do with his stores ability to fix and sell bicycles and related goods. To diss his store because of his civic actions outside it's doors behooves reason. I worked for him, he's sincere and beyond community minded. He thinks globally and really does act locally. I had the pleasure of working for him for a short time and he's pretty funny and also knowledgeable about limitless subjects, including but not limited to bicycles. BnB, well it's a "non-profit", I'll give it that much. Community, I never went to, but the fellow that runs it is another Ferris alumni, and also another nice fellow. But I know little of his shop. Revolution, is a bit of mess. The owner is covered in tattoos and is missing front teeth. They don't have as much stuff as either BnB or Ferris. But James (the owner) is honest and a crackerjack mechanic. But I'm biased, cause its me. Making JP a freakier place for over a dozen years. Wake up the Earth! Mike Clarke, BnB is not "#1", there isn't a #1 in almost everything in life, it's all subjective. Just people that believe something has more value then something else. And beliefs do not equal truths. Furthermore Mike your the first person to mention Jamaica Cycles since that story ran about him in the Gazette about having unsecured fire-arms in the store. I miss that kinda wild-west atmosphere too. JP is getting quite stale. lol
James April 15, 2012 at 03:34 AM
Also, thanks to anyone that's supported Revolution in it's continuing mission to spread goodwill and juggling to the people.
Michael April 15, 2012 at 03:17 PM
I believe this comes down to which area of JP one lives in. It probably wouldn't make much sense for someone in Hyde Sq. to travel past the Monument to visit Ferris Wheels, and vice versa. While I bought my rainy day ride from Jeff 12 years ago when I lived at the Monument. Now that I live in Stonybrook, I brought my girlfriend to BnB to do some test rides and eventually purchase a bike that was refurbished, not new. To me, that's a compelling sales feature. The frame has already had energy and materials input and captured. Reuse trumps recycling. That said, it was a toss up between Ferris and BnB, but I threw down for Jeff. I want to support and patronize both. But that's because I live on the west end. I wish Community and Revolution the best.
Pete St. John April 16, 2012 at 11:26 AM
Ah, Mikey, I know whatcha mean. BNB and Ferris are great, but there's not bike shop in town that had Jamaica Cycle's "selection." You felt no pain comin out of that place.
Pete St. John April 16, 2012 at 11:32 AM
Five years ago on Jamaica Cycles now. Gordo had a license for all of it, but the other stuff... I think CVS has a license for some. No good, but his own damn fault. A good guy, but all he had to do was make the place look like people actually shopped there. Piles of dust all over everything and "sporting goods" that were sitting on the shelf since the 90s. May as well rename the place "Front."


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