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  1. #1
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    Any Knowledgeable Bike Shops Around?

    Are there any Bike Shops in the LA or Ventura County Area that carry bike brands such as Santa Cruz, Ibis, Intense, Yeti, Knolly, Rocky Mountain, Etc. It seems like all the bike shops around my area only want to sell me a Trek, Specialized or Giant. When I start talking about slack head angles and lower BB or mention the new Breed of 650/27.5 that are coming out they look at me with a black stare on their face. I'm sure there are some shops out there that can special order certain brands but it would be nice to actually see and test ride them at a LBS. Any suggestions??

  2. #2
    XCdude
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    A little far for you, but in San diego you got

    North of the border cycles and big ring cyclery. Both have websites

  3. #3
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    Depending on how far your willing to drive Fullerton Bikes caries most of the brands your looking for and so does the path in Tustin, both great shops and I would say worth the drive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rschroeder714 View Post
    Depending on how far your willing to drive Fullerton Bikes caries most of the brands your looking for and so does the path in Tustin, both great shops and I would say worth the drive.

    Ya Those shops seem great. I was hoping there was a LBS in the LA/Ventura County area. You would think with all the riding we have in the Santa Monica Mountains there would be more shops around that cater to the AM style rider.

  5. #5
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    Fullerton Bikes has Ibis.
    The Path in Tustin has all the others you're looking for. Lots of demo options too.

    Our Brands - The Path Bike Shop

    Demos & Rentals - The Path Bike Shop

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lead-Sled View Post
    Fullerton Bikes has Ibis.
    The Path in Tustin has all the others you're looking for. Lots of demo options too.

    Our Brands - The Path Bike Shop

    Demos & Rentals - The Path Bike Shop
    They need to open up a sister store in the LA/Ventura County area. We are in need for a shop like that. Too many LBS out here cater to the Road Crowd.

  7. #7
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    One more vote for The Path. It's a trek for me but it's worth it. I have had good luck with Helen's but I typically have to order most stuff with them.

  8. #8
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    THE PATH is the best!
    Very knowledgeable guys. Pretty girls.
    Tons of bikes and parts.
    There is a great chance they will have in stock what you need.
    Great customer service.

  9. #9
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    Santa Monica Mountains Cyclery carries Trek, Knolly, Intense, and Yeti
    Cycle World carries Specialized, Cannondale, Niner, and Santa Cruz
    Newbury Park Bicycles carries Giant, Haro, Cannondale, and Pivot
    Bike Warrior carries Scott and others already mentioned

    I've had many experiences with SMMC's service, and Cycle World is the closest shop to my house. Good guys at both shops.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by scvkurt03 View Post
    Santa Monica Mountains Cyclery carries Trek, Knolly, Intense, and Yeti
    Cycle World carries Specialized, Cannondale, Niner, and Santa Cruz
    Newbury Park Bicycles carries Giant, Haro, Cannondale, and Pivot
    Bike Warrior carries Scott and others already mentioned

    I've had many experiences with SMMC's service, and Cycle World is the closest shop to my house. Good guys at both shops.
    Thanks for your suggestions but unfortunately most of the shops you mentioned carry those brands via a special order purchase. Rarely will they have a boutique bike built up in stock or ready for a test ride. I don't blame the bike shop owners because they have overhead and need to make a profit thus they push the big boy bike companies. I guess there is little profit to be made from the smaller more custom built bike companies.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by oceanminded View Post
    Thanks for your suggestions but unfortunately most of the shops you mentioned carry those brands via a special order purchase. Rarely will they have a boutique bike built up in stock or ready for a test ride. I don't blame the bike shop owners because they have overhead and need to make a profit thus they push the big boy bike companies. I guess there is little profit to be made from the smaller more custom built bike companies.
    Sorry - I skimmed your post and missed the specifics of your question. It's far, but The Path is going to be your best bet. I did see a few Niners and Santa Cruz bikes at Helen's Cycles in Santa Monica a couple of months ago.

    ...actually, I was just in SMMC today and know for a fact they have a few Knollys and Intense bikes set up ready for a parking lot ride. I think they have a couple of Intense bikes in their demo fleet, including a SWEET Spider.
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  12. #12
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    Just go to Sea Otter . . . demo everything, bring cash and walk away with a deal.
    Alcohol may lead nowhere, but it sure is the scenic route!

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    Quote Originally Posted by oceanminded View Post
    They need to open up a sister store in the LA/Ventura County area. We are in need for a shop like that. Too many LBS out here cater to the Road Crowd.
    I agree with this 100%.

    The Burbank Bicycle John's used to carry a better selection of high end mountain bikes but have scaled way back. I asked them about it and the reply was that the market has become so segmented it's impossible to cater to everyone's needs.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoCalAl View Post
    I agree with this 100%.

    The Burbank Bicycle John's used to carry a better selection of high end mountain bikes but have scaled way back. I asked them about it and the reply was that the market has become so segmented it's impossible to cater to everyone's needs.
    I third this notion, though I do like the guys at my LBSs and would hate to see them put out of business.
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  15. #15
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    I really like Path Bike shop in Tustin. It's a good drive from West LA for me but they carry the majority of bikes you listed and are one of the only few 'mountain bike' oriented shops I have seen. The rest are typically road based. Path is 95% mountain and carries so much in stock anywhere from $500 to $10,000 Santa Cruz bikes.

    Also if you want more of a niche shop thats mainly mountain but doesn't carry any big name brands try Topanga Creek Bicycles

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by cfrea View Post
    Also if you want more of a niche shop thats mainly mountain but doesn't carry any big name brands try Topanga Creek Bicycles


    Topanga Creek Bikes has a great selection and actually carries brands that other shops don't. Surly, Salsa, Devinci, BMC, Niner, Pivot, Ellsworth, Spot, Oreba and a few others . . . its a great shop with a super cool vibe that you'd expect in Topanga Canyon.

    The thing that I don't understand is the amazement everyone has with the Path. I've been there and shopped there . . . its fine. Its a bike shop. Nothing really special about it that would make me drive from WLA to shop (service is another story. I had my fork serviced there and they did a good job at a good price). And their prices for the average customer walking in the door aren't anything to get excited about. They're comparable to other shops in the area, and I've gotten better prices much closer to home. Don't get me wrong, its not that I don't like the Path . . . but the way people talk about it around here, you'd think they give you a reach-around while you shop.
    Alcohol may lead nowhere, but it sure is the scenic route!

  17. #17
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    Any Knowledgeable Bike Shops Around?

    Quote Originally Posted by OO7 View Post

    you'd think they give you a reach-around while you shop.
    Wait, you didn't get one? Jipped...

    I think the deal is that they have a ton of stock and pretty much the biggest demo fleet in So Cal. TCB is an awesome shop, but their stock doesn't compare to The Path.

    I suspect by "big name" he means Trek, Specialized, Giant, Cannondale...
    Last edited by kragu; 02-01-2013 at 09:10 AM.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by OO7 View Post

    The thing that I don't understand is the amazement everyone has with the Path. I've been there and shopped there . . . its fine. Its a bike shop. Nothing really special about it that would make me drive from WLA to shop (service is another story. I had my fork serviced there and they did a good job at a good price). And their prices for the average customer walking in the door aren't anything to get excited about. They're comparable to other shops in the area, and I've gotten better prices much closer to home. Don't get me wrong, its not that I don't like the Path . . . but the way people talk about it around here, you'd think they give you a reach-around while you shop.
    I've built three bikes bikes (2 XC/Trail & 1.5 DH) in the last three years and what I've come to realize is that most bike shops are incompetent, especially LBS. Time after time they get stuff wrong and/or don't know what they're talking about. Cynergy in Santa Monica is the most glaring example of this. Many of the local shops around the west side don't carry much non-hardcore XC gear. Good luck trying to find a 2.5 Minion or even a 2.35 High Roller. Bike Attack might have it, but after a few experiences there I can't really recommend that place. The Path on the other hand has been consistently good, knowledgable, friendly, and have a great selection of parts. I needed a new lower guide for my E13 and The Path had it. I needed a King 135 to 142mm hub conversion and wanted the i-spec XTR mounts and The Path had them in stock. I wanted a carbon Answer handlebar and they ordered one up for me and it was there within a week. The one time they did make a mistake they went out of their way to fix it. I understand mistakes happen but in my experience with most LBS is incompetence after incompetence with an attitude of not caring. (There are a few incompetent mail order places too.) The Path has been a nice change from that, hence my high praise and probably the reason for others praising it too. (Helen's and Bike Warrior have also been good but they just don't carry the selection that The Path does.) I thought The Path was overhyped at first, but after all my experience with building these three bikes I've come to realize it's not hype it's reality. As far as pricing in my experience they're pretty consistent with the average price, but I have gotten some good deals there. Also, I don't mind paying a little more for service.

    I'm really curious to check out Topanga Creek now, but I'm probably going to remain a loyal Path customer.

    I would love to hear any other suggestions for shops you might have? I'm sure the OP would to.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by kdiff View Post
    I would love to hear any other suggestions for shops you might have? I'm sure the OP would to.
    I'm not going to lie . . . I avoid the LBS as much as possible, ESPECIALLY for service. I've been to all the major shops in WLA, and almost all are incompetent. The major exceptions are Helen's in Westwood (Gilbert, their main mechanic, REALLY knows his stuff and I trust him) and Nir at Bike Improv. However, Nir's prices are so outrageous that I can't imagine going there . . . for anything, ever. The rest of the shops are abysmal. At this point, fortunately I'm competent in most aspects of bike repair and assembly and there aren't many things I can't do, and those which I can't (e.g., wheel building and fork servicing are really the only two things), I have someone I go to (PM me for an exceptional SoCal wheelbuilder).

    And for parts, etc. . . . . they are all so incredibly expensive in comparison to online vendors that I don't even bother. I know I should be supporting my local economy, but I'll be honest . . . I'm not flush with money and if I can get something online for 20, 30 or 40% less, I'm going to.

    The ONE exception to all of this is for a frame. I will ALWAYS buy a frame from a local retailer because a) I can usually get the price down such that its comparable to an online vendor; b) I want to demo the bike on real dirt before I buy it and c) I want a retailer to stand behind if there is a warranty need. And for frame purchase, I will go to Helen's in Santa Monica as I know the people there, it's close and they carry what I like (e.g., Santa Cruz). Now, if they didn't carry what I wanted, then I'd drive to a shop that did.
    Alcohol may lead nowhere, but it sure is the scenic route!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by OO7 View Post
    I avoid the LBS as much as possible, ESPECIALLY for service
    Completely agree. I was hoping you had some secret place you were going to share.

    Quote Originally Posted by OO7 View Post
    I'm not flush with money and if I can get something online for 20, 30 or 40% less, I'm going to.
    Sadly, I am not flush with cash either. Hopefully that is going to change, but in the meantime I'm with you unless I'm using the LBS services (i.e. looking at a specific product in store or utilizing their specialized knowledge).

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by kdiff View Post
    Completely agree. I was hoping you had some secret place you were going to share.

    Sadly, I am not flush with cash either. Hopefully that is going to change, but in the meantime I'm with you unless I'm using the LBS services (i.e. looking at a specific product in store or utilizing their specialized knowledge).
    Not unless you need a wheelbuilder!

    I will also say that one thing I will NOT do is treat an LBS like a showroom. I won't walk in, try on shoes, or clothing, play around with parts, etc. and then turn around and buy them online. That's a load of BS when people do that. If I want to get my hands on a product before I buy it, I'm going to go to the store and buy it at the store.
    Alcohol may lead nowhere, but it sure is the scenic route!

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by OO7 View Post
    talk about it around here, you'd think they give you a reach-around while you shop.
    Now I am not going to throw names around but those of us that shop there often know.

  23. #23
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    Helen's Cycles in Santa Monica usually has a decent selection of Ibis and Santa Cruz.

    Pro Bike Supply in Newport has become my choice for parts though, great prices.

  24. #24
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    Giants are better bang for your buck than all those bikes.

    /just sayin

    If you're looking to see 'nicer' brands in person the path is your best bet in the OC.

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    Go to Topanga Creek Bicycles (Topanga Creek Bicycles - Los Angeles area Mountain Bicycle & Touring Bicycle Shop Serving Santa Monica, Malibu, Pacific Palisades, Agoura Hills, Woodland Hills, Encino, Calabasas, Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Hollywood, West LA, South Bay. Bicycle Sales) on Topanga Canyon blvd in, you guessed it, Topanga. Incredibly chill, fun, and very knowledgeable staff. The carry Surly, Salsa, BMC, Orbea, Voodoo, Boo, Niner, Pivot, Devinci, Spot, and they even have their own company called Xaayy that is the first ever titanium 650b hardtail (Lynskey makes it for them). They rent legit mountain bikes as well. Tell them Captain Penguin sent you.

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