There are some excellent bike shops in Portugal – particularly in smaller towns – where you can find excellent mechanics only too happy to help you out.
There are now (May 2020) more than 140 listings on the Bike Shops & Mechanics page so do look here if you need help. (Extra recommendations and listings are always very welcome.)
Labour charges are also often very low – it’s not uncommon for bike shops to charge for a part but nothing for fitting it. I’ve had derallieurs adjusted and brake pads and tyres fitted for free.
The biggest problem for touring cyclists can be finding the right spares. Nearly all Portuguese cyclists are either lycra-clad road bikers or hard-core mountain bikers with very little (or nothing) in between.
Fat bikes are making an appearance in Portugal, particularly on the coast. You may also find some hybrid-style ‘town’ bikes, mainly in the more touristy areas, but these tend to be fairly basic rather than anything suitable for touring.
Most bike shops only carry spares and accessories aimed at their typical customers so you’re unlikely to find anything aimed at the touring cyclist, or those with anything other than off-the-peg, mass market bikes.
For example, I’ve never seen a Portuguese bicycle supplied (or fitted) with a rack so you won’t find panniers or any other kind of bike luggage in a local bike shop.
If you need anything non-standard (e.g. anything other than typical road or MTB parts) it’s a very good idea to bring spares with you. Prices for anything imported are also often relatively high.
For example, I needed a replacement inner tube for a 700 x 35C tyre on a visit to Viseu (May 2019). I tried two bike shops and the closest I could get was a 700 x 32C.
If you’re in Portugal for any length of time and urgently need a new part for your bike, online UK companies like Chain Reaction and Wiggle will deliver to Portugal. It only takes a few days to get kit sent out – and you may well get a better price than buying in Portugal anyway.
For anyone looking to buy (or sell) a second-hand bike, the Bike Market site may be useful – otherwise, ask in local bike shops.
If any riders have discovered a good bike shop or mechanic in Portugal, please share the information and post recommendations below. Thanks.