RE: [rootsradicals] Where to Shop for XCs in NYC?
I noticed you posted this almost a week ago, but before responding I thought I would wait to see if anyone else would provide a more updated answer. I use to work as a bike messenger in New York City until my wife and I moved to Pennsylvania in the summer of 2007. I was the first, and for a long time the only, bike messenger to use an Xtracycle in New York City. I was born and raised in NYC… riding all over town since my teenage years, so I have visited just about every bike shop in the city a couple of times. As I worked as a messenger I did tend to frequent a few preferred bike shops, and eventually determined my favorite shop in town.
During all my years of riding with an Xtracycle I never saw any bike shop actually readily carry and stock any long-tail bicycle. One or two did have an occasional bob-trailer on display and very rarely they might have an actual cargo bike of a different make, but those were usually special orders waiting to be picked up. This is not to say most bike shops in NYC will not special order an Xtracycle, Big Dummy, or other long-tail bike because I am sure they will, especially these days. However, when I was in town many bike shops never heard of an Xtracycle until I popped into their store.
Of course, many things change over just a couple of years, so I would not be surprised at all if at least a couple of NYC bike shops finally got their long-tail gears in motion by stocking and displaying some form of long-tail bike. That is why I waited to respond. I figured someone from NYC on this list might have found such a store in the last couple of years.
In case no one has, I would have to recommend my favorite bike shop in the city. That would be City Bikes on West 38th street between 7th and 8th avenue. Even if they might not have a long-tail bike in stock to test ride, I have no doubt they would be willing to special order one. I KNOW they at least have a decent amount of experience dealing with Xtracycles because I always went to them for practically all my major repairs and upgrades. Their primary clientele also consists of bike messengers, so they also tend to keep a good supply of varying parts in stock for the immediate NY-minute needs of the working cyclists in town. They are pretty cool in that they have no issues with modifying things and even building stuff up themselves, since they also provide welding services and occasionally build bike frames.
If you have not yet found a place to check out an Xtracycle, I highly recommend you at least check them out. Who knows, maybe you can even call them ahead of time to see if they are carrying Xtracycles these days. I think there is a messenger friend of mine, who bought an Xtracycle, after I left town. He might actually go to City Bikes for services, so if you check with them they might be able to connect you somehow with him. I would imagine if you left them your contact info, then they might at least be able to mention to a few of their messenger regulars to spread the word around that any messengers with long-tail bikes should get in touch with their shop.
Well, if you have not found a place to test ride an Xtracycle, I hope this might end up being helpful. Good luck and ride safe,