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  1. #1
    Member knightryda510's Avatar
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    Best of the Bay Area Local Bike Shops

    Does anyone know of any good bike shops in the Bay Area or if there is a website with LBS reviews? I'm looking into purchasing my first mountain bike and was wondering what local bike shops offer with a bike purchased from them.

    I just got back from a LBS here in El Sobrante and they offered a year of service and only the warranty the bike comes with. The service was pretty good too.

    I called another shop in Alameda and they offer free adjustments forever and their bikes are guaranteed for life as well. It even says on their website. I'm sure there are restrictions though. The guy I talked to on the phone was pretty cool also.

  2. #2
    Senior Member BigSean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by knightryda510
    Does anyone know of any good bike shops in the Bay Area or if there is a website with LBS reviews? I'm looking into purchasing my first mountain bike and was wondering what local bike shops offer with a bike purchased from them.

    I just got back from a LBS here in El Sobrante and they offered a year of service and only the warranty the bike comes with. The service was pretty good too.

    I called another shop in Alameda and they offer free adjustments forever and their bikes are guaranteed for life as well. It even says on their website. I'm sure there are restrictions though. The guy I talked to on the phone was pretty cool also.

    Thats not bad at all. There are two shops I would recommend, the first is Trail head Cyclery in San Jose, the other is Passion Trailbikes in belmont. Both are mt bike specific for the most part. Very knowledgable and great reputations. If a shop is offerig a year of service its usually because they are a high volume dealer and not much for doing the service properly. I know both give you a free 90 day service.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
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    The Bicycle Garage in Fremont, on Thornton Ave. This is my LBS. If my life depended on my bike, I'd get Fred to work on it. They sell Trek, Santa Cruz, and Specialized.
    http://www.bicyclegarage.com/
    Silver Eagle Pilot

  4. #4
    Senior Member ken cummings's Avatar
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    www.rinconcyclery.com in east Santa Rosa, Sonoma county. Of six bike shops in that area they are the MTB experts. With direct access to Annadel State Park and many miles of trails.
    This space open

  5. #5
    Senior Member BikeManDan's Avatar
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    Can anyone recommend a shop that can specialize in bike fitting (the whole 9 yards with measurements and everything)

  6. #6
    Pepperoni Power ROJA's Avatar
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    Where in the Bay Area are you? If you live in Oakland, you probably don't want to have to take your bike to San Jose for service. You can use yelp.com for some review, to the extent that it helps. You might also poke around at the mtbr.com forums, lots more mountain bikers there than here. Mike's Bikes (many locations) offers a long-term package for a pretty good price (if you ride a lot).

    As for fitting, I think that City Cycle in SF is one of the top fitters in the country. They do thousands of these per year, many on bikes they don't sell.

  7. #7
    dirtbag roadie ahpook's Avatar
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    my personal favorite place is Shaw's cycles on washington st (aka Lafayette aka North Bascom) in Santa Clara. Total retrogrouch shop with an emphasis on road and track bikes (they sponsor Friday night races at the Hellyer Velodrome). The only complete new bike stock they have is bianchi and a few Mondocinos left from Antonio M's custom fit tour in 2005. But they are super knowledgeable, have obscure small parts, and spend the time to get it right. For instance my dad bought a bianchi Eros from them and talked to them about his concerns with flexibility problems in his knees. Jerry did a full fit and they swapped out the cranks for 160mm to ease the angle at the apex of the pedal revolution. None of the other shops we talked to even mentioned this as a possibility. So, yeah.
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  8. #8
    Member knightryda510's Avatar
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    Ok, you guys have been kick ass with the replies and can't thank you all enough. I actually live in Pinole which is in the east bay area on the richmond/berkeley side so the other shops mentioned are more than an hour away.

    So I went to Alameda bicycle but they didn't have much of a selection in stock. Not even one Specialized Hardrock Sport. I was able to test ride a rockhopper which I really liked but was above my budget. The sales rep was pretty knowledgeable and did her job on trying to upsell me from the hardrock sport and xc model.

    I ended up going back to the pedaler and buying the '07 specialized hardrock sport!! The guys there were pretty cool. Can't wait to get on some trails now!!

  9. #9
    RacingBear UmneyDurak's Avatar
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    I am very happy with Wheel Away in Campbell. Knowledgeble mechanics, friendly staff, and just good overall experience.
    For fitting I was very happy with wholeathlete fitting session. Really solved my knee problem.
    In San Leandro there is a good shop on the corner of MacArthur Blvd and Estudillo Blvd. Sorry I don't remember the name.
    Not too happy with Off Ramp on El Camino and San Thomas. Atmosphere just doesn't feel right. I bought my first "modern" road bike from them, and they didn't even bother to fit me to it, plus it's couple sizes too big.
    Last edited by UmneyDurak; 02-01-07 at 12:04 AM.
    I see hills.... Bring them on!!!
    Stay calm and bring a towel.

  10. #10
    dirtbag roadie ahpook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UmneyDurak
    I am very happy with Wheel Away in Campbell. Knowledgeble mechanics, friendly staff, and just good overall experience.
    Jake Workman over there (head wrench) is absolutely awesome. They don't sell bikes I like but they are definitely a quality shop.

    Not too happy with Wheel Away on El Camino and San Thomas. Atmosphere just doesn't feel right. I bought my first "modern" road bike from them, and they didn't even bother to fit me to it, plus it's couple sizes too big.
    Just a nitpick - this shop is actually The Off Ramp, not another Wheel Away location. This place is on my commute route so I have stopped to use their compressed air, buy a taillight when I forgot mine, etc, but again, not gonna buy a full bike from there. They are a Giant shop, nuff said
    follow me on twitter: http://twitter.com/ahpook/

  11. #11
    Senior Member cantdrv55's Avatar
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    I really like the Pedaler in San Pablo. If that is the LBS you were referring to then you've found a good one. We bought my wife's Specialized road bike there as well as my parents' comfort bikes. Friendly, knowledgeable and great service.

  12. #12
    RacingBear UmneyDurak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ahpook
    Jake Workman over there (head wrench) is absolutely awesome. They don't sell bikes I like but they are definitely a quality shop.



    Just a nitpick - this shop is actually The Off Ramp, not another Wheel Away location. This place is on my commute route so I have stopped to use their compressed air, buy a taillight when I forgot mine, etc, but again, not gonna buy a full bike from there. They are a Giant shop, nuff said
    Err right. I was thinking Off Ramp, not sure why I wrote that. Fixed it.
    They used to sell specialized actually, but yeah now they sell giants. Too bad.
    I see hills.... Bring them on!!!
    Stay calm and bring a towel.

  13. #13
    I ride red bikes
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    Chain Reaction in Redwood City and Los Altos. Buncha bike nerds, which in this case is almost always a good thing.
    Quote Originally Posted by patentcad
    [Biking] beats smoking crack. But smoking crack is cheaper.

  14. #14
    Dolce far niente bigbossman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ahpook
    ..... They are a Giant shop, nuff said
    I guess I'm out of the loop - what's wrong with Giant?

    Livermore Cyclery out in Livermore has always treated me very well. They have a pretty large selection of bikes, from high to low, and the mechanics seem to know what they are doing. You are always greeted in a friendly manner when you walk in.

    I once bought a bike from Eden Cyclery in Castro Valley. They were all attentive and friendly when I bought it and spent some money, but after purchase gave the cold shoulder.

    The California Pedaler in Danville is higher-end, but the guy that owns it knows just about everything bike, and is a great guy to talk shop with. His mechanic's are competent and friendly, and have done a few pain-in-the-ass requests of mine cheerfully and professionally.
    Last edited by bigbossman; 02-01-07 at 10:39 AM.
    "Love is not the dying moan of a distant violin, itís the triumphant twang of a bedspring."

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  15. #15
    OnTheRoad or AtTheBeach stonecrd's Avatar
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    +1 on Livermore Cyclery, they always treated me well when I was living there a couple of years ago. The store in Livermore is very large with a big selection of models. The Dublin store was smaller. I went back to SF for a business trip last year and even made the time to stop by. I wish I could find the same level of selection and knowledge down here in SE FL
    The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard and the shallow end is much too large

    2013 Noah RS

  16. #16
    dirtbag roadie ahpook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigbossman
    I guess I'm out of the loop - what's wrong with Giant?
    Eh, IMO they are the worst of the big three manufacturers (trek and specialized being the other two) for selling style over substance and pushing "innovations" that are actually cost-cutting measures for them as if they were improvements for the cyclist. Numero Uno being compact geometry frames in three sizes which lets them simplify production lines at the cost of bikes fitting humans properly.
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  17. #17
    Dolce far niente bigbossman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ahpook
    Eh, IMO they are the worst of the big three manufacturers (trek and specialized being the other two) for selling style over substance and pushing "innovations" that are actually cost-cutting measures for them as if they were improvements for the cyclist. Numero Uno being compact geometry frames in three sizes which lets them simplify production lines at the cost of bikes fitting humans properly.
    Well, (and you probably guessed this already ), as it happens, I have a Giant OCR. While I agree with you in general about the frame sizes, mine happens to fit me well and is a joy to ride. To me it rode better than the comparable bikes I demo'ed. While I've heard disparaging remarks about their carbon frames, mine rides very, very well and I have no complaints after 4500 miles.

    Also, they were the best "bang for the buck" at the frame component level I was looking at, so their cost cutting measures seem to have translated positively to my wallet. The comparable bikes at my price point were not as well equipped, or didn't ride as nice. I confess I didn't like the stock wheels much at all, but that wasn't show-stopper for me.

    Sorry for the digression - back to the topic!!
    "Love is not the dying moan of a distant violin, itís the triumphant twang of a bedspring."

    S. J. Perelman

  18. #18
    Senior Member rokphotography's Avatar
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    i favor ocean cyclery in SF for their conveniency to me.. plus jeff and don are really cool people! they know their stuff just as much as any other lbs should.. also bike coal. discounts are always welcome.. as well as student discounts!

  19. #19
    Crawlin' up, flyin' down bikingshearer's Avatar
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    A big +1 to agree with bigbossman and stonecrd on Livermore Cyclery. I've known Steve Howard since before he opened the shop in 1976, and he is knowledgeable, friendly, and honest. It is a joy to see how he and his family have grown the shop from pretty small beginnings to a big, successful operation, especially knowing that it was done with hard work and good ethics.

    Incidentally, Steve can do the bike fit thing, soup to nuts. He has the Serotta version of the fitting "bike" and has spent considerable time and effort learning about the hows and whys of comfortable and efficient positioning.
    "I'm in shape -- round is a shape." Andy Rooney

  20. #20
    Style-challenged platypus's Avatar
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    +1 for Shaw's. A total throwback to another time.

  21. #21
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    The bike nut in San francisco is amazing, nothing but the best stuff.

    Velotech cycles in palo alto is also a grat shop for high end stuff.

  22. #22
    Senior Member SaiKaiTai's Avatar
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    Another vote for Mike's Bikes.
    I have never been treated badly in any of their shops and they have great selection across every price range.
    '13 Felt Z3 - '08 Jamis Aurora Elite - ('07 Giant OCR C2)

  23. #23
    RacingBear UmneyDurak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SaiKaiTai
    Another vote for Mike's Bikes.
    I have never been treated badly in any of their shops and they have great selection across every price range.
    I don't know. I found the one in Berkeley kind of snobish.
    I see hills.... Bring them on!!!
    Stay calm and bring a towel.

  24. #24
    Veni, Vidi, Vomiti SteveE's Avatar
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    If you like Shaw's you'll like Slough's, too. Another trip in a time machine.
    "Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ...'holy *****...what a ride!'"

  25. #25
    dirtbag roadie ahpook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveE
    If you like Shaw's you'll like Slough's, too. Another trip in a time machine.
    Is that the one on Race street? I have looked for it several times when in the area but never found it.

    Perhaps its in a spatial dislocator in addition to a time machine?
    follow me on twitter: http://twitter.com/ahpook/

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