PIT Shop Visit: Thick Bikes May 16, 2011


Thick Bikes is arguably the best bike shop in Pittsburgh. What started out as Chris Beech’s custom BMX shop has grown into one of the largest shops in the Iron City. Every few months, Thick Bikes would take over more and more of their massive, sprawling warehouse. While it’s easy to document the retail side of the shop, I fell in love with the back mechanic’s area, which served its purpose of offering up some gorgeous machinery to document.

Check out more from my Shop Visit to Thick Bikes below!


The sign is incredible.


But the things behind this sign were even better.


But as I said, the mechanic’s area had great fruit to bare.


Sure, there were the standard tools used to build up and repair bikes but there’s more back there.


While I’m not the hugest graffiti fan, it works well in a bike shop. Especially with neon-painted frames hanging in the foreground.


The artist who painted the space even went as far as to paint the Bridgeport and other machines in the shop. I have never, ever seen something like this and it made my day.


Seriously, how amazing is that?


He even pin-striped the lathe.

But that’s not to say that Chris isn’t creative as well. He used his welding abilities that he learned while building custom bikes to make these sprocket screens.


As I mentioned, Chris began Thick Bikes as a frame builder. He made BMX bikes and eventually turned the brand into a bike shop.


He still builds bikes but they’re mostly more art-driven.


Like this insanity! This bike’s hanging above the cash wrap. Crazy huh?


Also in the front of the space is this replica Penny Farthing.


The quirkiness of Thick Bikes translates over to their jerseys and branding. I picked up a pair of these socks.


And they’re still keeping up with the popular bikes, like the Nature Boy.


Thick Bikes is a full-service shop.


Stocked with everything you’d need, for any kind of bike.


And it’s one of the most unique shops I’ve ever been to. So swing by and check them out if you’re in Pittsburgh. If you hang around long enough, you might hear them play Dark Castle. I wanna thank the mechanics for letting me in the back space and for everyone at the shop for being so friendly. Check out more photos at my Flickr!

Thick Bikes
1408 Bingham Street
Pittsburgh PA 15203
(412) 390-3590
Mon-Sat 10am – 6pm

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