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Old 08-30-07, 06:34 PM   #1
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.Best of the 'LBS'.

With great bike shops being few and far between, I figured it would be good to have a thread with everyone's favorite shops. I have been to many shops and it seems that almost every one cares more now about getting bikes off the rack than customer service and proper sizing/fitting.

Coates Cyclery in the Pomona/SanDimas area. The first time I went in there I was picking up about $100+ worth of stuff. As i was walking to the register, I joked with the mechanic/salesman (who i found out later to be the shop owner) about how it's so hard buying $$$ worth of bike equipment as a college student. As I am about to check out, without even telling me he gives me 20% off of everything saying 'good luck with college'.

The second time I went in, I had come to get some repairs on an old 1980's brake on my raleigh. One of the mechanics told me that it was so busy that i was looking at 2 days min before they would have it ready. But as he's looking at the brake he asks me to hold on a bit. He comes back, spends about 2 minutes working on the brakes and says its working perfectly now, but that i should get a brake cable to install within the next month or so. They could have easily 'worked' on the brakes and charged me who knows but all i ended up paying was 4$ for the cable.

also, my girlfriend is looking for a new bike and i directed her here. she came in the shop specifically asking for the lower end bikes. they spent 30+ minutes one on one letting her try different makes/sizes. answering every question that she had without rushing or hurrying her in any way at all.

awesome awesome shop.
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Old 08-30-07, 11:58 PM   #2
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Here, are the products of the forum's collective wisdom from a previous cycle. I had excellent experience with SCC in HB and King's in Seal Beach. I shopped at Helen's a few times but mostly got the impression that unless you are spending lots of money you would not be treated well. The exception was their westwood store, it is smaller and the sales guy there was nice, patient and knowledgeable.
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Old 08-31-07, 12:26 AM   #3
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Shout-out to Santa Monica's Bicycle Ambulance.

While I was on the hunt for a used bike, I popped in there with another BikeFo SoCalian. The proprietor, aka the Fastest Wrench in the West, 2005 (see here was just the coolest cat ever.

BikeFo friend asked him if he carried any Brooks saddles, which led to him pulling his own Brooks off his bike, bringing it out to us, and regaling us with stories about it. Tony also dug around to find an old French bottom bracket he had squirrelled away, when BikeFo friend mentioned she was looking for one of those as well.

While we were there, Tony and co. fixed something on a customer's bike free of charge (can't recall what it was); then, he worked very patiently with a couple who were renting bikes for the afternoon, encouraging the bike-shy woman that she would do just fine, and letting her go out and practice before renting; and he then spent lots of time with a woman who was looking at low-cost used bikes, and offered to fix several up for her to try, no charge, no commitment.

How the heck do these types of places stay in business? Beats me. But Zeus bless 'em.

It's a small, dusty, cluttered shop, not for those who are in search of a squeaky-clean shop experience, but it oozes soul.

When I asked Tony if he could work on my omafiets (Amsterdam) bike, he said he can work on ANY bike, and I believe him. I'll put him to the test and report back soon.

Last edited by Allez Oops; 08-31-07 at 12:35 AM.
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Old 08-31-07, 11:02 AM   #4
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dang, i searched but for some reason the other thread didnt come up. ill add mine to that one.
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Old 09-02-07, 05:28 PM   #5
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I am fond of Jax Bicycle Center in Irvine, Ca
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Old 09-03-07, 08:16 AM   #6
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thats pretty cool, good to know!
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Old 09-03-07, 09:13 AM   #7
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I sometimes use Hi Tech bikes in San Diego. It's a bit far from my house, but nice, courteous people there. I bought a co-motion from them a few years ago. I've also used Bernie's Bike's in Ocean Beach. It's a little hole in the wall, one man show. He gets the job done quickly and efficiently. And finally, I use the team mechanic for Jelly Belly, who lives around the corner from me. I drop my bike at his house, and it's invariably done within 24 hours. He can be expensive, but the job is always done perfectly.

Two wheels good. Four wheels bad.
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Old 09-04-07, 12:53 AM   #8
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I'll second Coates. I bought my 3rd Kona from them and they are the best local shop I've been to. Everyone must take their damn bikes to them because there service department has been crazy busy for the past month.
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Old 09-04-07, 01:24 AM   #9
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We are lucky here in the Upland/Claremont area to have a few good shops..

Competitive Edge

I just picked up a new set of wheels from Coates last week and they are rock solid.. Took a little while because of the backlog of repairs but well worth the wait.. Jack at Coates builds some great wheels.. He used to be the head mechanic at the old Buds bike shop..
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