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Can anyone recommend a bike shop in the Westwood area of LA?

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Can anyone recommend a bike shop in the Westwood area of LA?

Old 04-19-12, 11:11 PM
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speedqing
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Can anyone recommend a bike shop in the Westwood area of LA?

Any LA people have suggestions?
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Old 04-19-12, 11:30 PM
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Remember seeing Helen's when I was going to UCLA... okay.. that was like two decades ago... My cycling friend (I didn't cycle back than) would frequent this shop.
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Old 04-19-12, 11:36 PM
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https://lmgtfy.com/?q=bicycle+shops+near+westwood+ca
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Old 04-20-12, 12:19 AM
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While I ordinarily enjoy a good LMGTFY moment, your search brings up some lake in who knows where.

And frankly, how does that qualify as a recommendation? It's not like he asked "Hey, are there any bike shops in Westwood?"
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Old 04-20-12, 08:24 AM
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yeah i know i can do a search, i'm looking for personal recommendations and experiences
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Old 04-20-12, 08:33 AM
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Helens' cycles. Not great, but not terrible, and carries a lot of Cervelos.

Cynergy bikes in Santa Monica carries more Specialized.

Again, neither shop is amazing, and I'm pretty sure Helen's tends to use mainly immigrant Latino workers on the bike repairs, even if it's a top of line Cervelo. (Not being racist here, it's just true - as late as last year, most of them barely spoke much English, and I was there a fair amount.) I didn't notice that trend at Cynergy, but I also didn't go there as much.
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Old 04-20-12, 09:23 AM
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Hmm OK, I might be moving there and not sure if I will ship my bike in a box or just get a new one there. Which shops had the better repair quality/time and which had better prices?
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Old 04-20-12, 09:52 AM
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Why only Westwood? Are you willing to branch out a little further? I was in i Martin Bikes (part of the Helen's family)one day and was impressed with the sales kid. Knowledgeable and not pushy. Understood that I was in the middle of chemo and was not there to buy a bike that day, but was in the neighborhood and just wanted some inspiration. He still took almost an hour talking with me, even though I repeatedly told him he didn't have to. Good guy.

I was also impressed with Wheel World in Culver City, which is about 10 minutes down the 405. Knowledgeable and helpful, too.
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Old 04-20-12, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by hhnngg1 View Post

Again, neither shop is amazing, and I'm pretty sure Helen's tends to use mainly immigrant Latino workers on the bike repairs, even if it's a top of line Cervelo. (Not being racist here, it's just true - as late as last year, most of them barely spoke much English, and I was there a fair amount.) I didn't notice that trend at Cynergy, but I also didn't go there as much.

this is what you post? really?
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Old 04-20-12, 10:25 AM
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Pasadena Celery is legit where I go for almost everything when I'm home in the summers. Never had a bad experience and they don't try to push you to buy this or that

its not too far from LA if you have a car its on Walnut in Pasadena which parallels Colorado blvd.
...I think I haven't been home in over a year
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Old 04-20-12, 12:47 PM
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I mainly only know of Helen's and Cynergy out on the Westside. I live in the valley so i know more of the shops around here than i do in LA.
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Old 04-20-12, 01:40 PM
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yeah, non-english speaking mechanics clearly don't know what they are doing. Did you even try to talk to them?

Anyway, OP, what type of bike are you looking to get? if you want a mid-higher end bike, there is no better shop in terms of service than bike effect in santa monica. Their mechanics have a decent enough grasp of the english language.
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Old 04-20-12, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by sdgrannygear View Post
yeah, non-english speaking mechanics clearly don't know what they are doing. Did you even try to talk to them?

Anyway, OP, what type of bike are you looking to get? if you want a mid-higher end bike, there is no better shop in terms of service than bike effect in santa monica. Their mechanics have a decent enough grasp of the english language.
Again, not trying to be racist here - I'm sure a lot of these immigrant guys do top notch work. Still, it can be important to be able to communciate clearly. I spent 3 sessions at Helen's last year because they repeatedly were unable to fix a stripped screw in my TT bike that is used to center the rear wheel in the track-style mount. That's not an obvious thing to fix, and it was repeatedly 'fixed' incorrectly before they got it right after I complained to a manager after the poor English speaker I spoke to somehow billed me for a "wheel aligment" when on the phone they said that they just changed the screw (which did nothing as the channel holding the screw was stripped, so that 'fix' did nothing.)

I can't help but feel that had a good English speaker talked to me up front, when I was clearly articulating my problem, the problems with the incorrect repairs would have been avoided. That said, they were good about working with me once they got it together, and I was happy with the work, which is why I didn't bring it up initially as a big negative.

Just keep in mind that being able to communicate well to the person servicing your bike, and not some representative, can be key to good service. Hence my comment on the poor english speaking - it was not meant to be interpreted as a racist comment (hence my disclaimer, which some people clearly ignored.)
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Old 04-20-12, 05:02 PM
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Helen's was good when I lived there, but that's a few years ago now.
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Old 04-20-12, 05:40 PM
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Westwood is a small place; so if you're looking for a shop in Westwood and don't like Helen's - you're out of luck.
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Old 04-20-12, 05:52 PM
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Helen's and Performance aren't too far away. You can also go to Incycle in Pasadena or I Martin near the Beverly Center.
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Old 04-20-12, 06:04 PM
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Even though i Martin was owned by Helen's, I found them to be a bit, um, catering to a different clientele... I guess the location kind of dictated that, while all the Helen's I went to, be it the one in Santa Monica or even Acadia, were more friendly.
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Old 04-20-12, 11:01 PM
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- All the Helen's are top notch shops. Not cheap. They are mostly in high rent areas.

- I Martin has offered ridiculously high prices on some items - and also been very accommodating. Today, the shop replaced a defective Conti 4000s for me without me specifically asking - I just showed the tire. They have a super pro repair shop, with a large number of mechanics. Getting bought by Helen's has helped - the attitude seems to be gone.

- A few miles south of Westwood: Palms Cyclery, which has been around forever. Can't vouch for the repair shop but I've never heard anyone badmouthing it.

- Of course Performance in Santa Monica. If Jorge is still there, you're in great hands in the repair shop - he's been there since the shop was Supergo.

- Cynergy is another top of the line shop, with a great repair shop. I've had my bikes there a couple of times for repair.

- East on Pico Blvd: there's the offbeat, hole-in-the-wall Sound Cycles. If you just want your bike assembled at a fair price, this might be the place. Mostly SS/FG, with lots of frames - road and track - hanging off the ceiling. The owner, Wes, is an ex-racer.

- Stay away from Bikecology, also on Pico Blvd, a few miles east of Westwood Village.

- I have yet to explore a few small shops that have sprung up well east on Pico Blvd. Rolling Cowboys has a good rep with my friends who've been there.

- I'm a fan of the Beverly Hills Bike Shop, which is not in Beverly Hills, and is a few miles east of Westwood. It's small, with a few friendly staff, some great bikes, and two wonderful mechanics. Prices for accessories are list, but get on the good side of the staff and if you ask, they'll probably discount just about anything. It might be my favorite shop, along with aforementioned and quirky Sound Cycles - just genuine people, no attitudes.
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Old 04-21-12, 10:04 AM
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the phrase "im not being racist here" is almost always quickly followed by the most racist crap ever. Well done sir..
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Old 04-21-12, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by darb85 View Post
the phrase "im not being racist here" is almost always quickly followed by the most racist crap ever. Well done sir..
Did you even read the followup post about the issue I had with the lack of communication with the stripped screw? You'd be PO'd too if you paid $3k for a top-notch bike that's only 1.2 yrs old, had something break, and despite assurance from the repair guys (several, actually) that 'we can fix it no problem', that they in fact didn't understand what you were explaining to them and then do the WRONG service (and then bill you for it - twice.) It wasn't until I pulled the manager from the SALES (not service) dept that things got set straight.

Nothing racist about that. Sheesh.

Did it also occur to you that I might be of latino descent myself? Double sheesh.
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Old 04-21-12, 08:12 PM
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^ Perhaps a better way to express this woulde be: " the staff's limited english skills impeded their efforts to understand the problem with my drop out and fix it"

Factually based, and active voice.

Active voice is almost always better than passive, and, trying to talk around the issue just makes things worse.

Introductory phrases such as "I'm not being racist, to be honest," etc. add nothing but verbage, and come off as " The Lady doth protest to much."
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