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Old 08-25-08, 12:55 AM   #1
prolixity
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Recommend me a local bike shop please!

So running and the gym is getting a little tiresome, and I'd like to spice it up with some biking. (Plus, let's face it, biking is more fun.) I rented a bike recently on vacation and had a blast. However, I haven't ridden a bicycle on a regular basis since high school, and am currently bikeless. I've done some research, but I'm fairly clueless compared to you guys. Can someone recommend me a local bike shop that will totally hold my hand but still not treat me like an idiot or take advantage of me? I live in midcity LA, so shops on the west side would be best, but I'd be willing to travel a little for good service.

As for what I'm looking for, I'll probably start with tooling around with my sons, who are just now learning how to ride, and gradually work biking into my exercise routine. So it sounds like a hybrid bike might be best. If I really get into it, I figure I can pick up a full-fledged road bike later. Based on my limited research, bikes that seem to fit the bill and my $500 budget include: Trek 7.2 FX, Specialized Sirrus, Fuji Absolute 3.0/4.0, Kona Dew/Dew Plus, Giant FCR 3, and Jamis Coda. If anyone sees any problems with these, or has other recommendations (about these bikes or anything else), I'd love to hear it. Thanks!
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Old 08-25-08, 07:35 AM   #2
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On the west side, Helens in Santa Monica is great. Not sure how their selection is in that price range. $500 is a bit tricky for a new bike.
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Old 08-25-08, 08:03 AM   #3
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I always like to recommend Veloworx- 3102 Lincoln blvd., Santa Monica (right at Navy, I think...). Small, high-end shop with people that treat people right.

They have a mix of bikes available, but I'm not sure exactly what they carry. Very knowledgeable guys without the pressure or snobbery of some of the other west side shops.

310-584-9797

Good luck!
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Old 08-25-08, 10:14 AM   #4
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Good folks here Bike Improve, located at
10929 Santa Monica Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90025

Give 'em a call.
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Old 08-26-08, 12:17 AM   #5
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Thanks for the tips. I have read that a good time to shop is when the new model year bikes come out. Apparently that is coming (or is here already?). Or is it even worth waiting for these sales? Thanks.
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Old 08-26-08, 07:54 AM   #6
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Now through the Fall is usually a good time because people are settling down, riding less (or not at all) and bike sales are low altogether. Coupled with the new models coming in, you could find a deal.
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Old 08-26-08, 05:01 PM   #7
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It depends on where you are. I live in Claremont and go out of my way to avoid Jax down the street like the plague. They are a concept shop and always try to up-sell you whenever possible. I've gone to a LBS in Upland off Foothill Blvd, and they seem to barely carry much of anything. Their store looks barren and almost out of business. Maybe it's just their business plan...who knows.

I prefer to go to Incycle in Chino. I never have a problem with them, they are always friendly and my roomate, SoCalBoomer has been in the store where they have down-sold a customer something because it fit his purpose better which is a total plus.

Incycle's number in Chino is: (909) 590-3515
The general website is: http://incycle.com/
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Old 08-26-08, 07:25 PM   #8
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2nd to Incycle!

I go to the one in San Dimas, the store is incredible.

Best customer service. They have another store in Pasadena as well.
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Old 08-26-08, 10:29 PM   #9
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Anyone have any experience with I. Martin on Beverly or Bikecology on Pico? They're both really near my house. I guess I. Martin's been absorbed into Helen's, but other than that I don't know much about them. Thanks again for any advice.
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Old 08-27-08, 04:31 PM   #10
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Anyone have any experience with I. Martin on Beverly or Bikecology on Pico? They're both really near my house. I guess I. Martin's been absorbed into Helen's, but other than that I don't know much about them. Thanks again for any advice.
I've found I. Martin reasonably good overall, but they have kind of a hodge-podge of stuff. Great high-end bikes and components, but not cheap. Clothing, for example, is very expensive. It is an LA bicycling landmark, though: it was one of the highpoints in the cycling scene back in the day, but it's hard to tell what their niche is these days. Good wrenches, as best I can tell.

Bikecology is much more of a family oriented/recreational rider type of store - we got my daughter's first 20" bike there. If they have what you want, they're good people to do business with. I'd love to see them stay in business, since they;re kinda in the middle between the high-end shops and Target. Balance, and all that.

Again, I'd recommend you at least take a look in Veloworx, and chat a bit with Sueken. He's an old-style roadie with absolutely no pressure to sell anything, no arrogance, and just seems like he loves to see people ride bikes. Great wrench, too!

Good for you on getting into it with your kids!
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Old 08-29-08, 10:53 PM   #11
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I wanted to add another general recommendation. Coates Cyclery in North Pomona off Foothill Blvd. They can sometimes be a little too focused on conversation, or maybe it's just they don't have a lot of staff when I go in and a lot of customers but they seem to have a pretty good selected of gear and bikes. At least their store is always full of stuff. They seem pretty cool and give a racer's discount at the register if you show them your sanction membership card. USCF/USAC license gets around 20% off...at least that's what I seem to get.
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Old 09-03-08, 01:28 PM   #12
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2nd to Incycle!

I go to the one in San Dimas, the store is incredible.

Best customer service. They have another store in Pasadena as well.
I just have to chime in with a NO to the Pasadena location. They reattached my front brakes incorrectly.

I have no experience with the Chino or San Dimas locations, but if they say they're good, they're good.
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Old 09-03-08, 02:52 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by DScott View Post
I always like to recommend Veloworx- 3102 Lincoln blvd., Santa Monica (right at Navy, I think...). Small, high-end shop with people that treat people right.

They have a mix of bikes available, but I'm not sure exactly what they carry. Very knowledgeable guys without the pressure or snobbery of some of the other west side shops.

310-584-9797

Good luck!
Veloworx is awesome.
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Old 09-11-08, 03:16 PM   #14
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I would check out Bike Warrior in Tarzana. best service in town.

STO
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Old 09-11-08, 04:29 PM   #15
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I just have to chime in with a NO to the Pasadena location. They reattached my front brakes incorrectly.
I'd chalk that up to a mistake. I have had nothing but the best service from them. I'm pretty sure the employee cut his break short when he saw that I wanted to try on shoes. When I came in for a compression plug, they tried to find me a freebie from their parts bin before I told them I'd rather pay for a new one. Whenever I spent more than a few minutes pondering which brand or model of something to get, someone asked me if they can help me figure it out.
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Old 09-12-08, 08:12 AM   #16
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I'd chalk that up to a mistake.
That can be a pretty big mistake though....imagine the liability if the customer had went to use his brakes and got hit by a car when they didn't work! A shop can't afford to make mistakes when it comes to things like brakes/crank arms/headsets/etc..at least not if they want keep their business.
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Old 09-25-08, 12:22 PM   #17
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Revisiting my old thread. I have learned two things in my quest for a bike. One, new bikes are expensive (duh), and it seems like you are getting less and less value these days (due to the falling dollar? who knows). Two, I think my initial approach of getting a hybrid and then upgrading to a road bike later was misguided. I'm inclined to just spring for the road bike now; I can always sell it if it doesn't work out. I figure $750 or so ought to get me at least Tiagra/105 components and a carbon fork on a 3-4 year-old good brand name bike (correct me if I'm wrong).

As with most things, the big bang for the buck appears to be on the used market. I keep an eye on ebay and craigslist, but I was wondering if there are any other good local marketplaces for used, good quality road bikes. Any idea? Thanks.
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Old 09-25-08, 02:20 PM   #18
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With a 750 dollar budget, that opens up your options a little. There are several stores out my way (jensonUSA, competitive edge, etc) that can probably find something within your budget. I was in the same boat you are no more than a month ago, but I had a little higher budget to work with. While I was searching though I came across a lot of stuff on craigslist that I really liked that fit WELL into my budget. What size bike would you be looking for? I may be able to dig up some of my old craigslists finds and send them your way if the shoe fits
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Old 09-25-08, 02:37 PM   #19
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Thanks for the response...I'm 5'11" but with shortish legs, 30" inseam on most pants, occasionally 32". 56cm or so seems to be where I'm at on most bikes.
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Old 09-25-08, 03:02 PM   #20
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Right where I'm at as well...although I wear 32" inseam because I like a little extra room lol. Let me dig up some of the craigslist ads I was looking at and I'll shoot them your way. One in particular I was looking at that fits your bill was a Giant OCR1 here locally (san bernardino area) that the guy just didn't do anything with. He had it, rode it 60 miles, then found it it wasn't his thing. He was selling it for I believe $650 INCLUDING matching shoes, helmet, gloves, pedals, etc etc. Pretty much everything you'd need to get out there and have fun
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Old 09-25-08, 05:14 PM   #21
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Holy cow! Sounds too good to be true!
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