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  1. #1
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    Folding Bikes in Los Angeles, CA

    Hello,
    I am very interested in getting a folding bike but want to see and try them before I buy. I called about 15 stores in the LA vicinity and none of them, including a few who admitted they were Dahon Dealers, had any in their store.
    Where can I go in the L.A. area (i actually live in the Valley, Studio City) to see a wide selection of folders? thanks

  2. #2
    www.getafolder.com wpflem's Avatar
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    In the USA you'll be hard pressed to find stores with a wide-selection of folders.
    Celebrating Bicycling
    The Past, Present, and Future

    http://www.sfbikes.com or http://www.getafolder.com/

  3. #3
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    Hey there, I've been looking in LA too. They are VERY hard to find. The only place that has any in stock is Helen's -- the one on Broadway in Santa Monica and the i Martin store on Beverly. Cycology in Sherman Oaks will order something for you, but then you have an obligation to buy something. Other places will do the same, but again, the obligation. Call and ask Hollywood Pro Bicycles -- maybe they have some in stock now. They are super-nice guys, as are the peeps at Helen's Santa Monica. I'm going to NY in a few weeks, so I'm just going to wait and look around there -- I'm sure there'll be a better selection where there's a greater demand. Good luck! And keep us posted.



    Quote Originally Posted by turtlesland
    Hello,
    I am very interested in getting a folding bike but want to see and try them before I buy. I called about 15 stores in the LA vicinity and none of them, including a few who admitted they were Dahon Dealers, had any in their store.
    Where can I go in the L.A. area (i actually live in the Valley, Studio City) to see a wide selection of folders? thanks

  4. #4
    Folding bike junkie! Wavshrdr's Avatar
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    This just baffles me about SoCal. I am originally from that area. When I lived there is seemed like you could find anything in LA. What has happened? With a city like the size of LA you can't find any folders in stock?

  5. #5
    Senior Member Heraclitus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wavshrdr
    This just baffles me about SoCal. I am originally from that area. When I lived there is seemed like you could find anything in LA. What has happened? With a city like the size of LA you can't find any folders in stock?
    Yep, I am amazed as well.
    Nothing endures but change.

  6. #6
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    dahons?

    Quote Originally Posted by turtlesland
    Hello,
    I am very interested in getting a folding bike but want to see and try them before I buy. I called about 15 stores in the LA vicinity and none of them, including a few who admitted they were Dahon Dealers, had any in their store.
    Where can I go in the L.A. area (i actually live in the Valley, Studio City) to see a wide selection of folders? thanks
    I am particularly interested in dahons. Any ideas where I could see the presto lite and the piccollo?

  7. #7
    Banned. folder fanatic's Avatar
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    Well, I had alot of difficulty in locating a dealer that even consider ordering a Dahon, much less having at least one actually on the showroom floor. My local bike shop finally did order one-the Dahon-for me. When I decided to purchase a Brompton, I had to travel 90 miles to Oceanside to purchase one-a C type. The folder dealers are here in Southern California, but expect to spend alot of time locating, actually ordering, and perhaps having one shipped to your residence.

    My new bike shop owner told me he has a 20" Mariner just sitting in his shop since last summer [URL="http://www.bikeforums.net/showthreads.php?t=183565"] No one has any interest in it. He has to greatly reduce it's price to move it out. I still get alot of interest in my bikes everytime I take one of them out. Go figure.
    Last edited by folder fanatic; 03-28-06 at 11:56 AM.

  8. #8
    Banned. folder fanatic's Avatar
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    If you are lucky enough to locate a dealer that specialize in folding/separating bikes in the Los Angeles area, let me know. I doubt you will though. That bike shop would go broke here in the car capital of the world. My dutch import bike dealer already went broke in Glendale a while ago.

  9. #9
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    Folding bikes in L.A.

    yet with dahon located in Los Angeles, shouldnt it be easier to find a dahon bike??????

  10. #10
    Banned. folder fanatic's Avatar
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    yet with dahon located in Los Angeles, shouldnt it be easier to find a dahon bike??????- turtlesland

    I would think so. But remember, you are refering to the global headquarters, not a actual retailer. I was told by my bike shop that they ship the bike to them, then they tune it, maintain basic customer service (although I did contact Dahon directly first about their bikes), and anything major goes wrong-become a go between between the coporation and you. As I said above in post #7, no one had any interest in the actual folder on the showroom floor, much less there is little demand by the customers due to many reasons (see my thread Where Have All The Folders Gone?). Yet people gawk at folders and other such bikes on the streets.

    I would encourage you to keep reading posts on this forum, contact Dahon directly (by phone is best), and pick a good bike shop (Glendale Cyclery takes care of mine) to help you find and order a folder if not available. These bikes are very much hidden away. I had to be willing and able to locate dealers that had the make that I wanted to buy and do a test ride-even if I had to travel a great distance. Bike shops only have so much space to showcase the bikes in. They must move (actually sold). If not, it is a monentary loss to the shop owner. And there is interest but no real demand like mountain bikes or BMX ones.

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    Years ago I worked for SBS So Cal which was a branch of Seattle Bike Supply, a bike parts wholesaler. As I remember we sold Dahon bikes. You may want to contact them or any other ditributor and they could point you to a shop.

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    I know Helen's in SM has some Dahons. The staff is not very knowledgeable about folders, however.

    If you want to try out a Brompton or Birdy, you'll have to drive to the Oceanside outpost of Folding Bikes West. The proprietor is very helpful and you can take the bikes for a test ride along the beach.

    I haven't seen many folders in LA either but I do get a lot of questions/comments about mine.

  13. #13
    No Rocket Surgeon eubi's Avatar
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    Here are some vendors within 25 miles of my workplace in S. El Monte:

    http://www.dahon.com/locator/results...ng=1&radius=25

    I really wanted to ride a couple before I bought one, and I like to buy locally whenever possible. They looked so odd, I figured the handling would be squirrley. There were two shops that had one in stock, I rode both and bought one that same day!

    I bought my folder from Two Wheeler Dealer in Brea. I know they have one Speed 7 in stock.

    I was wondering the same thing...why not more dealers in the LA/OC area? Folders would be ideal on the Metrolink. I'm trying them out next week.

    Just keep calling and good luck.
    Fewer Cars, more handlebars!

  14. #14
    Senior Member Heraclitus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian_1
    Nice to see that not every niche is another "been there done that" thang in la la land.
    Folders will catch on in LA when hipsters have them. Angelinos always follow the crowd when it's considered trendy and somethings a gotta have item of consumeristic consumption.
    No more sitting on the 405 in dense vehicle exhaust near the Getty Center exit for this boy. I moved. Still..
    ..I miss my morning Griffith Park bike rides and shows at the Greek Theatre or Groundling - LA's got great venues for entertainment! What ever happened to Fred 62 in my old (early to mid 1990's) neighborhood of Los Feliz? Never cared much for LA bike shops except for a couple small ones - Helen's was OK and a place near the boardwalk in Santa Monica/Venice (name escapes me).
    In my socal days, I'd daytrip to Cambria and drop in on Cambria Bike Outfitters to shop. Pretty sure CBO is not user friendly any longer (I bet that casual shop and talk atmosphere is history because they got to b-i-g) - sure is achingly pretty though up the central coast way. Check out Big Sky Cafe (if it's still around) in SLO - yummy, creative eats. Not real estat-ing socal or central coast though - I'm not a millionaire - AZ will have to do for now.
    I wouldn't exactly call myself a hipster, but I suppose one might. I live in Silverlake, and I ride a fixed gear. I think those are two premium "hipster" tags these days. (I use a front brake though = not as hip.) I think I am too far on the outside of my 30's and actually a little too odd to be a hipster. I have a corporate job and I don't hang out with a "hipster" crowd. But I like being able to mix in many worlds. And I just get lot of enjoyment out of my bicycles.

    Now I ride a Brompton as well. I have not been surprised at the interest it has generated in just a couple rides - particularly when I am folding or unfolding, or carrying it. (The first day it came I took it to the Red Lion Tavern near my home and it was well received.) I can vividly imagine a folder trend moving through LA. It has not happened yet, but it would be a great thing for the city, and for folder enthusiasts all over as well -- I will be doing my part to bring it on. I suspect we might find a large area of agreement on the problems with consumerism and materialism, and that LA in particular is a place where these run rampant; but still, I think there are better and worse was to channel the energy that is there.

    I already have a friend who was so amazed that there was nobody selling Bromptons within 90 miles of LA after she saw my bike, that she was struck by the idea of opening a dealership out in Santa Monica (granted that after further thought she decided that her inspiration was a bit impractical, but I am sure that someone will take it all the way.)

    Fred 62 is still there and seems to be going strong. I have only eaten there once, after an evening with a stop at the Dresded room.
    Last edited by Heraclitus; 04-02-06 at 12:30 PM.
    Nothing endures but change.

  15. #15
    Banned. folder fanatic's Avatar
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    I already have a friend who was so amazed that there was nobody selling Bromptons within 90 miles of LA after she saw my bike, that she was struck by the idea of opening a dealership out in Santa Monica (granted that after further thought she decided that her inspiration was a bit impractical, but I am sure that someone will take it all the way.) -Heraclitus

    Your friend has woken up to the reality of bicycling in the Southern California area-loads of interest and no follow-up (actually coming through with purchasing a bike). I have been asked how much the Brompton cost. When I tell them, I usually get a vacant suprise look and an exclaimation of "That's alot of money for a bike" or something on that order. The bike shops I go to now and in the past either are gone, struggling to stay afloat in a market of cheap, cheaper, cheapest-i.e. department store price busting, or changing owners or stores in order to stay in business. That is why if one is serious in buying a folder you can't simply run down to the nearest neighborhood bike shop and test ride one that is sitting there waiting for purchase.

  16. #16
    Junior Member yellowjacket's Avatar
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    Check urbanbikepacker.com. They may be an internet-only Dahon dealer, but the contact address is LA:
    Urban Bike Packer
    3771 Glenfeliz Boulevard
    Los Angeles, CA 90039
    Email:larry@urbanbikepacker.com

    I bought my Dahon Piccolo from him (long distance, sight unseen since I couldn't find one to test ride either) and his customer svc was wonderful. However he hasn't updated his site in a long time so I don't know if the business a going concern.

    Can also give you chapter & verse on what I did & didn't like about my well-used little Piccolo, which met its demise 2 wks ago courtesy of a hit&run SUV. One thing for the record: it ended up bent everywhere but the fold joints, none of which gave way!

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    folders in LA

    Hey yellowjacket,
    yes, i spoke with them. they dont have a piccolo or presto light available.
    what did u like/dislike about the piccolo? thanks.

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    folders in LA

    spoke to a dahon dealer who sent me to 4 shops, none of which had the models i am interested in and would order for me but i would be obligated to pay.
    went back to dealer and told him all this.
    he tried to convince me to go with 20 inchers!

  19. #19
    Junior Member yellowjacket's Avatar
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    @ turtlesland: will pm you.

  20. #20
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    try giving these guys a call:

    http://www.safetycycle.com/folding-bike.html

    the address and phone number are on the bottom of the page.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by turtlesland View Post
    Hello,
    I am very interested in getting a folding bike but want to see and try them before I buy. I called about 15 stores in the LA vicinity and none of them, including a few who admitted they were Dahon Dealers, had any in their store.
    Where can I go in the L.A. area (i actually live in the Valley, Studio City) to see a wide selection of folders? thanks
    if you don't mind a hike, i would go to the electric cyclery in laguna beach. they have a large selection of dahons. they also have bike friday bikes. their website is http://www.bikefold.com/index.html.

    i haven't been there but i believe this is their specialty. i would like to go to test ride a few bike friday bikes.

    the only other place i've been to with a large selection of dahons is safety cycle which is on the edge of koreatown. i actually don't care for the folks who run the shop but they do have quite a few dahons - it's a big chunk of their business. so, go here to try a bike at least. also, call ahead to see if they have the model on the floor. if they don't have it on the floor, ask in advance if they can have it built up by the time you get there so that you can try it.

    i haven't been to burbank bikes but maybe you should call them and see what they have.

    performance bikes has a very limited selection of dahons. incycle in pasadena has 4-5 models on the floor right now. i was just there a couple of weeks ago. they also have the cannondale minibike - i don't recall its name though.

    there is a place in el segundo that sells bromptons. it's mostly their business. it's electric bikes. http://www.electricbikesla.com/. i've been here too; i wanted to try a brompton to see what the big deal was about. they have several for you to ride - and that area has hills so you can ride them on the brompton and see how that goes. i also tried a xootr swift and a montague at this store.

    helen's cycles in santa monica only had a couple of dahons when i went. not worth a trip.
    Last edited by merry2; 12-21-11 at 11:22 AM.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by turtlesland View Post
    Hey yellowjacket,
    yes, i spoke with them. they dont have a piccolo or presto light available.
    what did u like/dislike about the piccolo? thanks.
    honestly, most shops are not going to have old models available. there's really no reason for them to have a piccolo or presto in stock.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by merry2 View Post
    honestly, most shops are not going to have old models available. there's really no reason for them to have a piccolo or presto in stock.
    This thread was started March of 2006 ...

  24. #24
    www.ocrebels.com Rick@OCRR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceMetras View Post
    This thread was started March of 2006 ...
    So here we are, 5 plus years later, and I am seeing quite a few folding bikes on the Metro every day. Great progress since '06!

    Most of them are DaHons but whatever works! My DaHon Curve SL is a 2008 model (no longer available, apparently) but it still works fine on an (almost) daily basis.

    Rick / OCRR

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceMetras View Post
    This thread was started March of 2006 ...
    lmao.

    didn't know...

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