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Old 01-23-12, 01:55 PM   #1
RonH
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Gainesville, FL bike shops

My wife and I are going "down south" in March. My grandson has a birthday in March (he'll be 12) and we are thinking about getting him a bicycle and all the accessories (floor pump, helmet, etc). He has outgrown the Wallyworld bike his mother bought for him a few years ago.
He lives very close to the Nature Coast State Trail.

I've only found info online about a few Gainesville shops. Some of the shops don't have a website.

I'm still trying to find out if he wants a mtn bike, road bike, or a street bike (kinda like a flat bar road bike).

Got any suggestions for a friendly, helpful shop with a good selection of 20" and 24" bikes (not sure what size he'll need)?
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Old 01-23-12, 05:51 PM   #2
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I can vouch for Ocala Bike Center http://ocalabicyclecenter.com/. Ocala is about 35 miles south of Gainesville. Absolutely fantastic folks - really take care of their customers. Dan is a terrific bike mechanic and his wife Carrie is a mountain bike rider and runs the store. They carry a bunch of different brands and since Ocala is close to outstanding mountain bike trails, they have a good selection of mountain bikes. One other thing that may be helpful is that Carrie and Dan have kids and I think would be very good at helping to 'fit' a child.

Lindasom can jump in here and tell you about her experience with these folks!
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Old 01-23-12, 06:08 PM   #3
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Thanks. I think Ocala is farther than my daughter will be willing to drive when the bike needs service. They live in Chiefland and Gainesville is closer than Ocala.
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Old 01-23-12, 06:20 PM   #4
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Thanks. I think Ocala is farther than my daughter will be willing to drive when the bike needs service. They live in Chiefland and Gainesville is closer than Ocala.
Just FYI, Chiefland to Gainesville aprox. 37 miles. Cheifland to Ocala aprox. 43 miles. I go up there to ride the Nature Coast Trail a few times a year and the roads are 4 lane from Chiefland to Ocala.
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Old 01-23-12, 08:00 PM   #5
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I second the Ocala recommendation. You want a shop with a good selection of bikes, good service, and run by people that give good advice. Ocala Bicycle Center is one such place. Orange Cycle in Orlando is another. Don't compromise: Drive.
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Old 01-23-12, 08:18 PM   #6
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Gator cycle in G.ville is pretty good.... Same owner for a LONG time and a lot of the mechanics have been there since I bought my bike in 2004. Can usually squeeze you in if you live 40 miles away (me) and need some thing done while your in town. Good selection of Trek & Gary Fisher (and another brand, cant remember).

http://gatorcycle.com/

But lately .... I have been dealing with a mom & pop (ok more like father & son) shop that opened up in Palatka. Closer & very reasonable repair rates. Plus I see the owner out riding regularly...

For cheap used parts in G.ville...... Spin Cycle... They usually have boxes of junk you can look through.... Comes in handy sometimes.
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Old 01-23-12, 08:21 PM   #7
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I third the Ocala Bicycle Center! Both Carrie and Dan are great to deal with. My hubby started doing business with them about 4 years ago when he bought his first mtn bike (a Gary Fisher). Since then I started riding and have bought my Trek hybrid and mountain bike from them. and...we go out to Chiefland to ride the Nature Coast Trail ourselves as well. It's an easy ride into Ocala on SR 27 and practically no traffic. Good luck
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Old 01-24-12, 08:12 AM   #8
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I second the Ocala recommendation. You want a shop with a good selection of bikes, good service, and run by people that give good advice. Ocala Bicycle Center is one such place. Orange Cycle in Orlando is another. Don't compromise: Drive.
Thanks. I'll check it out.
+1 for Orange Cycle in Orlando. That's where I bought my bike when I lived there 20 years ago.

I'm not worried about the driving distance. It's my single-parent-living-on-a-budget daughter.
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Old 01-26-12, 12:42 PM   #9
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Santa Fe Bicycle Outfitters in High Springs is the closest to you. I got really lucky when it was time to upgrade my grandson's bike I posted that I was looking for a bike for a 10 yo boy on our facebook blog and got a great deal on a Felt road bike with 24 in wheels that a friends son had outgrown
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Old 02-08-12, 08:28 AM   #10
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Thanks for the info on Ocala Bicycle Center. It was cool and foggy yesterday so we went to check them. I talked with Dan - nice guy and very friendly and helpful.
Then we went to Gator Cycle in Gainesville. I talked with a younger guy, can't remember his name. He was helpful but I didn't get that warm fuzzy felling I got from talking with Dan.
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Old 03-04-12, 03:45 PM   #11
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My grandson's 12th birthday is this week so we went to Ocala Bicycle Center (thanks for all the recommendations) and he picked out a new bike.
We looked at 4 models --mtn, hybrid, road, and flat bar road bike. He didn't like the road bike at all. The hybrid and mtn bike were so-so. But he really liked the flat bar road bike. When I was at the shop a few weeks ago Dan showed me a Trek 7.1 FX. I was looking at entry level bikes only. When we were there yesterday they didn't have the 7.1 FX in my grandson's size but they did have a 7.2 FX. He rode it and loved it.
When we got back to the apartment in Chiefland his mom gave it a quick look (she knows nothing about bikes). Then we went for a ride on the Nature Coast Trail (1.5 blocks from the apartment). He hasn't ridden a bike in a while so we only did 6.3 miles.
Here he is with his new bike.

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Last edited by RonH; 03-04-12 at 03:58 PM.
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