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Old 05-02-12, 05:42 PM   #1
Tycho Brahe 
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Bike stores in Monterey Bay (and points north to San Jose)

I am looking to get into road biking and started shopping locally for a bike, both new and used. The only suggestion on bikeforums is Joselyn's, which is now closed.

Been to five different stores so far (Monterey, Carmel and Salinas) and none have a bike in my size under $2K. None want to do a sizing until after I purchase a bike. They all want to special order a bike and charge full MSRP.

So apparently I need to expand my search options. Tons of bike stores in the bay area, but I am not sure it is worth it to drive almost two hours for a new bike since it will be a hassle to get service. The prices are far cheaper than Monterey will be. Santa Cruz is a bigger market, but from what I understand, the stores tend to be small there as well.

Another option is used, and there is one bike locally that fits my requirements. Perhaps I should simply start off with a used bike. Thoughts?

Last edited by Tycho Brahe; 05-04-12 at 09:19 AM.
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Old 05-02-12, 06:05 PM   #2
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i get my bike service in any bike store that offers service. they'll take anybody AFAIK. but used bikes are good, if you know something about bikes and know what you want. you can buy new and used off the net and have them delivered too.
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Old 05-02-12, 06:21 PM   #3
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Spokesman in Santa Cruz is a really good shop. I'm in the process of a bike purchase through them right now. Everything is going along very well.
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Old 05-02-12, 06:53 PM   #4
Tycho Brahe 
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Originally Posted by hueyhoolihan View Post
i get my bike service in any bike store that offers service. they'll take anybody AFAIK. but used bikes are good, if you know something about bikes and know what you want. you can buy new and used off the net and have them delivered too.
Of course, but one of the prime benefits of purchasing a new bike is to get free service from the shop.
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Old 05-02-12, 08:09 PM   #5
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Did you try Winning Wheels in Pacific Grove? It's a relatively small "mom and pop" shop with top-notch service. Hector Chavez (the owner), his son, and one other employee are the mechanics, and the wife works the "front of the house." The shop is also a Campagnolo Pro Shop; and Hector has been around long enough to know and appreciate vintage bicycles and components. He builds wheels as well. I don't know what he would charge for a new bicycle.

Starting with used might be a good idea and would give you time to get a feel for what you really want in a bicycle before laying out a load of cash.
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Old 05-02-12, 08:56 PM   #6
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Thanks for the response so far. I have heard good things about Spokesman, but Santa Cruz is a bit too far for a quick look. Will try this weekend.

I have not yet been to Winning Wheels. From what I heard, they only carry higher end bikes. Besides, they do not do fittings on Saturdays since they are too busy, are closed on Sundays and close early during the week. Not sure exactly when I am supposed to shop there since I have a job.

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Old 05-03-12, 01:14 PM   #7
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The bike shops I know in the area are Aquarian, Carmel Bicycle, Bay Bikes in the Barnyard, that one bike shop near Embassy Suites on Del Monte, and Jocelyns. Carmel Bicycle and Bay bikes has a lot of high end rides.

I know its not an actual bike shop, but you might find a bike in your price range at REI in Marina.
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Old 05-04-12, 12:06 AM   #8
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Joselyn's is closed. Aquarian is now owned by Bay Bikes apparently. The store on Del Monte is Sport Center Bicycles. Marina had one bike my size, but it's a start!

Thinking about bike shopping further north this weekend. Should I go up to Santa Cruz or must I go further? San Jose? Gilroy?
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Old 05-06-12, 03:00 AM   #9
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Well if you were to go further, go to Santa Cruz. They do have a good selection of bike shops to go to. I personally like Family Cycling Center in Capitola on 41st Ave. You might as well just Yelp bike shops in that area.
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Old 05-07-12, 03:42 PM   #10
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Sad to see Joselyn's and Aquarius gone...I remember them from my childhood and early teen years many decades ago now (my first new Schwinn Stingray came from Joselyn's in the late 1960s).

+1 for Spokesman in Santa Cruz, great shop, great selection, maybe the best in SC. Bike Trip in SC is very good too, as is Family Cycling Center in Capitola. For used you might try Dave's Recycled in Santa Cruz or a shop on Mission St. with a name that escapes me. Epicenter Bikes in Aptos just opened a second store in Santa Cruz. Owned by a very ambitious young man and they are a Trek dealer. Sprockets on Mission St in SC was always a favorite of mine until Kathy sadly passed away and her husband Phil closed up and moved away--I hear the shop is re-opening with a new owner, but Phil & Kathy were really nice people.

Further afield you might try Cupertino Bike Shop (Cupertino obviously).

For used Craigslist is probably your best bet. Join something like "The Bike Church" in Santa Cruz (hopefully there is a coop like it on the other side of the bay) to learn all about wrenching on bikes.
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Old 05-08-12, 01:41 PM   #11
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I was you, 4 months ago.

I had the EXACT same experience.

Here is what I would do differently based on a few months experience (and thats not much at all compared to most everyone here).

I stressed over the fitting, I wanted to find someone who would fit me in advance, since I didnt really know what I was looking for, or how it should feel. I wanted to spend a bit more than you do, so I was seriously concerned about getting the right bike.

What I found was that I needed to get comfortable with a shop and a type of bike (giant defy advanced in my case) I found I liked the relaxed geometry vs the full on race geometry (and I found that from simply trying things close they had in stock).

I got basic size advice as far as frame size. In other words, they got me on the right size frame, but the real fitting started after I bought the bike. Once I had selected my pedals and shoes, they were able to get me on the trainer and really dial things in. I needed a new stem (which they swaped for free) and numerous adjustments to seat height, seat position, ect. I even rode it for a month, had some issues, went back and they changed things again.

Now, finding a shop that will get you to that level of comfort wont be easy, it wasnt for me. I went to 5 local shops before I found one that made me feel comfortable.

all I am saying is if you are looking for stores that are going to have all the bikes you want to try in stock AND fit you (really fit you) prior to a purchase, well good luck finding them.

Find a shop your comfortable with, find a brand of bikes you trust, try a few out if they have them in stock, and make a purchase, THEN get the full fit treatment.


one last thought, I had to get to the owner before I felt comfortable, all the kids they kept sending out to me, just didnt make me feel at ease to spend the amount I wanted to spend. I walked into the back, got the owner, explained who I was, what I wanted, and he helped me from there. I remember telling the kid, I have now talked to you for 30 minutes, I am fairly certain I speak English, I have no idea what we have just said.
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