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A spring bike ride with a picnic basket in tow is terribly ladylike, but when it comes to bicycle culture, from shoptalk to drab commuter gear, the vibe can be a bit macho.

Luckily, there?s now a Bucktown shop that?s dedicated to women: BFF Bikes.

The cheery retail and service storefront quietly opened earlier this month, and last weekend it celebrated with a party featuring a fashion show of cycling gear modeled by the shop?s own women?s racing team.

We love BFF?s array of pretty-yet-tough bikes (a rainbow of retro-cool Publics average $499 each). And when the time comes to buy, we trust the female staff to weigh in on the best fit for our body type--from picking the right frames for petites to maxing out a bike?s length for long-torso ladies.

As for the clothing, co-owner Vanessa Buccella says the goal was to stock items that don?t look expressly like exercise gear. Case in point: flattering Iladora pants that come in office-friendly black and feature a high back waist to deter unwanted peekaboos while you're bent over handlebars.

BFF Bikes, 2113 W. Armitage Ave.; 773-666-5153 or

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