Pittsburgh's massive specialty stores have a way of embracing their size and end up turning into museums for all to enjoy. There is Artifacts, the import store for the rich and famous; Construction Junction, the re-use store for the rest of us; and in our latest exploration we visited Bicycle Heaven, the store for bike lovers.
Much like the other unusual stores we've visit in the city, when we say that Bicycle Heaven is large, we mean it. The store claims to be the largest bike shop in the USA, sells tens of thousands of items on eBay, and covers two floors with about a dozen rooms in its North Side warehouse.
Naturally, this sounds exactly like the kind of place we want to explore when enjoying our city.
Everything Starts Out Normal at Bicycle Heaven
If you ignore the large mural on the front wall of Bicycle Heaven, your first impression upon entering will likely be that this is just another bike shop. The first room consists of a few rows of bikes for sale, some novelty items on the wall, and as you work your way back you see a few shelves of spare parts, extra tires, and other items you'd expect from a well-stocked bike store.
It isn't until you go upstairs to the main showroom that Bicycle Heaven goes from your normal bike shop to something out of this world entirely.
Old Bikes, Odd Bikes, Limited Edition Bikes, and More
I'm thoroughly convinced that Bicycle Heaven is home to one of the largest bike collections on the planet, because if you have any sort of bike in mind that you'd like to see, odds are they have one here.
- Looking for a bike from the 1800s? Got it.
- Themed bikes including the wild west, outer space, and more? Yep.
- A tree growing around not one, but two bikes? They have the world's only known one.
- A black light room full of sprockets from the 1960s? It is awesome.
- Bicycle Heaven even has one of Peewee Herman's iconic bikes!
I wouldn't consider myself a bike expert by any means, but every time I thought to myself “I wonder if they have ____ kind of bike,” I'd turn a corner and discover it out on display for all to enjoy.
In fact, it is probably a good thing that I am not a bike aficionado, as I'd probably spend a lot of money in this store every time I visit since everything also seems to have a price-tag on it (Angie is relieved by that one, I assure you).
For those who do love biking, bikes themselves, or just enjoy hitting up an unusual museum, Bicycle Heaven should be on your must-see list when exploring Pittsburgh.
Bicycle Heaven is located at 1800 Preble & Columbus Avenue in the North Side. Bicycle Heaven is free although donations are encouraged.
After visiting Bicycle Heaven, be sure to check out Johnny Angel's Ginchy Stuff right next door, and then head over to the Mexican War Streets to visit Randyland and have a beer at Allegheny City Brewing!
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