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  1. #1
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    Best Or Favorite Shop In Or Around San Diego County

    What shop do you guys like the best and why?

    I started ridding a few months ago and have visited a crap load of stores from Temecula down to San Diego. So far Bike Bling In Escondido has been my favorite because they have a good selection and seem to cater more towards Mountain instead of Road. Any shops to stay away from?

  2. #2
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    North of the Border... Top of the line service, lots of knowledge and experience, and easy going. Mike has built me wheels that haven't needed to be trued for 2yrs now... not a lot of inventory but if you stop by there and check em out you'll know why they're good.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by ifouiripilay
    North of the Border... Top of the line service, lots of knowledge and experience, and easy going. Mike has built me wheels that haven't needed to be trued for 2yrs now... not a lot of inventory but if you stop by there and check em out you'll know why they're good.
    Michael and Doug at North of the Border can get you anything you need and are good people too. Long drive from Jamul where I live though so I don't see them as often as I would like.
    Quote Originally Posted by turnerbikes View Post
    Of course the easiest way to fix this is to go for a hike.
    DT

  4. #4
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    IMO Bike Bling is the best for mountain I've been to, but I haven't been to North of the Border.

  5. #5
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    Doug from North of the Border gave me a great deal on a 2010 5 Spot so I was happy with that. Nice guy too.

    Bike Bling has all the "bling" that's for sure and I'll go there if I need something to make a ride.

    Zumwat's is my shop though. Todd takes great care of his customers and always has cold beer in the fridge. He'll also take your bike at the end of a shop ride and bring it back tuned up for the next ride if needed. It's a cool place to hang out and BS as well.
    "The Jeep is America's only real sports car"
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    North of the Border, the only shop I will go to in SD.

  7. #7
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    I prefer Cal Coast. Great people and great service.

  8. #8
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    AA 'nuff said

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Motorep
    Zumwat's is my shop though. Todd takes great care of his customers and always has cold beer in the fridge. He'll also take your bike at the end of a shop ride and bring it back tuned up for the next ride if needed. It's a cool place to hang out and BS as well.
    +1.....

  10. #10
    Naturally Organic
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    Just One?

    Lefty Issues: Big Ring Cycles or CycoPath
    Test Bike Selection: Black Mountain Bicycles
    Components: Bike Bling
    Bike Service: Bike Bling or Bicycle Warehouse
    Best Wrench: Brent of Bike Bling or Tom of Bicycle Warehouse
    Customer Service: Depends on time of day, day of week and what I am looking for...
    Overall: Will wait to check out NOTB & Cal Bikes...(currently, I am able to recommend Bike Bling the most...locally & online sales...)

    Notes:
    I have been to:
    Bicycle Warehouse (Vista & Escondido): V is nice & big, E is smaller & just opened, but has Tom who is knowledgeable, friendly & fun to chat with.
    Big Ring Cycles (La Mesa): Small store, Joe knows Lefties! BRC put a Lefty on a Pivot (hawt)...family LBS, looking forward to BRC taking care of my Lefty (hopefully not too often)
    Bike Bling (Escondido): Small storefront, huge online inventory (a lot in store, also) & good pricing; Brent is a wrench that comes highly recommended for his knowledge & service.
    Black Mountain Bicycles (Mira Mesa): Huge store, huge selection, huge inventory...in a good way. Longevity in the LBS world goes a long way in my book.
    CycoPath (Temecula): Loren is knowledgeable & friendly. They are moving and have some great deals. I wish I liked Medium bikes!!! They work on Lefties!
    Performance Bicycle Shops (Vista): Huge store, huge selection, huge inventory...but more in a Wal-Mart way...not a fan of the Wally World Way...whatever gets you riding, tho...
    Trek Superstore (Vista): If you like Trek & Gary Fisher Bikes or Bontrager Components, this is the place. Huge.
    Zumwalt's (College Area): Nice shop. The owner built up the shop to legend status, sold it, it went south, bought it back, and now with his son is trying to resurrect it from the fiery ashes...fun story line. I like the selection. I hope they get Specialized back in. Knowledgeable & friendly.

    I have not been, but look forward to checking out: North of the Border (Sorrento Valley) & Cal Bikes (La Jolla)...

  11. #11
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    North of the Border

    Excellent service and great mechanic.

  12. #12
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    ITSA bike shop in Pt. Loma. Can't beat the customer service. Period. Not the largest selection but they can order just about anything. Check them out....their fairly new in town but Eric(owner) has been in the industry for years.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by rider151
    ITSA bike shop in Pt. Loma. Can't beat the customer service. Period. Not the largest selection but they can order just about anything. Check them out....their fairly new in town but Eric(owner) has been in the industry for years.
    You might as well just buy off the net in that case, youll probably get a better deal. When I lived in WA there was a dive shop I went to a few times. Every time I asked about something it was always "We can order it." I took my business elsewhere.
    05 Spesh Rockhopper

  14. #14
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    If you are new to mountain biking you may be surprised when you go to some of the really small shops that others have mentioned above and pretty much EVERYTHING that you are interested in must be ordered and delivered. Just preparing you for that because it's not like going to typical retail, don't get bummed out by that as you still get the same parts from these small shops and you usually get excellent service.

    If you have to have something right away or you want to see it and touch it before making a decision then check with a larger shop or a shop that does a large internet business.

    You should check out as many places as you can to inform your own opinion, but if you stick with this sport and get deeper in you'll likely settle on the more custom oriented shops.

  15. #15
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    We the people ... @Fallout

    @Fallout....How do you think small business gets off the ground? People have to patronize them in order for them to grow. Not every shop (I'd venture that less than 95%) can start out as a huge shop with giant amounts of inventory. You chose to take your business elsewhere (which is fine....this is America after all) but instead of giving that little "dive shop" your hard earned money which would in turn have allowed them to grow and gain inventory you have chosen to spend your money and invest in giant internet companies. These companies can beat the little guys prices because they can purchase giant quantities from suppliers and get incur insanely low costs. Smart business practice but it kills all of the little start up shops that WOULD have the inventory and prices you are looking for if they had more capital to invest.

    Personally, I would rather have order my stuff though a shop than straight off the internet for a few reasons. A) I get to support the local economy B) I get excellent service on the off chance that I need a tool I don't have or encounter something I haven't seen before C) I get excellent representation with warranty issues because the shop can go directly through their rep or straight to the company with 99% of all issues D) It helps the shop grow and gain inventory which in turn allows me to avoid the internet entirely. It may cost a little more but than the internet but it is 100% worth it.

    In closing SUPPORT YOUR LBS! See the big picture now? Rant off....now back to the thread......

  16. #16
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    Bike Empire

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    Quote Originally Posted by rider151
    @Fallout....How do you think small business gets off the ground? People have to patronize them in order for them to grow. Not every shop (I'd venture that less than 95%) can start out as a huge shop with giant amounts of inventory. You chose to take your business elsewhere (which is fine....this is America after all) but instead of giving that little "dive shop" your hard earned money which would in turn have allowed them to grow and gain inventory you have chosen to spend your money and invest in giant internet companies. These companies can beat the little guys prices because they can purchase giant quantities from suppliers and get incur insanely low costs. Smart business practice but it kills all of the little start up shops that WOULD have the inventory and prices you are looking for if they had more capital to invest..
    The dive shop in mention is a chain of 8 stores that have forced everyone around them to almost give away scuba lessons and force other stores to bring in low-end gear which doesn't like to perform very well in 55* water. Why they don't stock their stores is beyond me because I know for a fact that they had the money.

    Quote Originally Posted by rider151
    Personally, I would rather have order my stuff though a shop than straight off the internet for a few reasons. A) I get to support the local economy B) I get excellent service on the off chance that I need a tool I don't have or encounter something I haven't seen before C) I get excellent representation with warranty issues because the shop can go directly through their rep or straight to the company with 99% of all issues D) It helps the shop grow and gain inventory which in turn allows me to avoid the internet entirely. It may cost a little more but than the internet but it is 100% worth it.
    I understand the point of your post but if a shop has to order 75% of things I need that aren't small maintenance pieces, i.e. helmets in my size or clothing or even stuff like pedals, bike pumps or tires then it no longer seems worth it.
    05 Spesh Rockhopper

  18. #18
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    @Fallout......fair enough. To each their own. After your explanation I think were comparing apples to oranges though.....

  19. #19
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    For inventory Bike Bling. For a top wheel builder (and working on your bike) Chuck at Pacific Coast Cycles. For a good mechanic Gordon at B&L Solana Beach. For beer Velo Cult.

  20. #20
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    Zumwalts used to me my shop too, untill it was sold. Now I go to ITSA where Eric works, he is a good mechanic and has tons of experience.

    Yeah, he doesn't have a lot of inventory so he has to order a lot of things. He does price match and in a few cases beat out chainreaction on a few things. I got a friend that did a large parts order and she got it in less 3-4 days.

  21. #21
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    North of the Border because Doug and Mike are great guys, but their inventory is pretty small. I did order my Tracer from them. Bike Bling for inventory. Good guys there as well, but not the same level of personal service.

  22. #22
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    Another recommendation for North Of The Border Bikes. Mike and Doug provide consistent and dependable customer service. Both of them are very knowledgable as to which products work well, reliability, durability, longetvity and cost vs function. I trust their experienced advice and I appreciate that I do not get the upsell treatment. They are more focused on building a long term relationship with their customers. This has value.
    As a previous owner of a small Mountain/hiking shop I know firsthand that you cannot have every product that a customer may want when they come in to the shop and the cost of attempting to carry that type of inventory is burdensome. NOTB carries a more selective inventory based on what products/brands they know are tried and true. Kind of lean and mean...and if i do need something that they do not have, they will get it and for a good price.
    In more general terms I hope there is a backlash against major dept stores and chains. These type of businesses homogenize what is available on the market and leave little room for new products and brands to grow. They eliminate diversity...Support Local Business. What do large chains put back into your local riding??
    life is steeper than it looks

  23. #23
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    I've been to Cal Coast and they are all cool guys there but the prices are pretty steep on accessories and bikes.

    North of the Border Bikes for service and parts Doug and Mike are really cool guys, Mike built me an awesome set of wheels that have been trouble free at a great price. They don't carry much in the shop but are more than happy to order and price match (sometimes even beat the price) on whatever you need. I would have bought my bike from them if they carried the brand I wanted but I do bring my bikes there for service because it always comes back shifting smooth and riding nice.

  24. #24
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    +1 on NOTB. Been there once and chatted with Doug, he gave me great advice about my bike and gave me recommendations to save money. Shop was pretty small, but Doug said he can order anything I wanted for a good price. They carry a couple Turner and intense bikes to demo. I also like the guys down at California Bicycles in La Jolla, family owned and operated.

  25. #25
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    North of the Border !

    Mike and Doug have experience, skillz, and integrity. That trumps sheer inventory every time, in my book.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by arashi
    I've been to Cal Coast and they are all cool guys there but the prices are pretty steep on accessories and bikes.

    North of the Border Bikes for service and parts Doug and Mike are really cool guys, Mike built me an awesome set of wheels that have been trouble free at a great price. They don't carry much in the shop but are more than happy to order and price match (sometimes even beat the price) on whatever you need. I would have bought my bike from them if they carried the brand I wanted but I do bring my bikes there for service because it always comes back shifting smooth and riding nice.
    They price match!!! Price isn't everything, but customer service when you need warranty repairs, lifetime free tune ups and really great helpful people. I have 2 Ibis dealers within 10 miles of my home and I would rather drive the 70 miles to San Diego for service. Plus, check out the reviews on yelp.com
    Last edited by charlesinoc; 09-06-2010 at 05:37 AM.

    sent from my rotary phone

  27. #27
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    North of the Border is the best place to go. Their inventory is actually pretty good considering the size of the shop. I also heard a rumour that they may be moving to a larger facility. It would be nice if the Performance shop in Sorrento Valley would shut down so they could move in there. That way they could get some of that business and be on a well used bike path. They always seem to be busy. Mike built my Epiphany and it has been running solid for 2 years with no problems. He also built the wheels for my beast, a 36 Mercury. The rear is a 8 speed Nexus with a roller brake and the front is a sturmey drum hub built into vinatage Araya 7x rims.:

    He cut and threaded the fork and setup the rollercams on my handbuilt Teesdale Brave, one of 3 ever built:

    And he is building a wheelset for my custom 41 Elgin.

    These bikes are all very valuable and Mike is the only guy besides myself that I trust to work on them.
    http://www.nbbikes.com/
    ^^^Best Bike Shop of MTBR 2008^^^

  28. #28
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    Good job! Nice Bikes!

    Quote Originally Posted by sandmangts
    North of the Border is the best place to go. Their inventory is actually pretty good considering the size of the shop. I also heard a rumour that they may be moving to a larger facility. It would be nice if the Performance shop in Sorrento Valley would shut down so they could move in there. That way they could get some of that business and be on a well used bike path. They always seem to be busy. Mike built my Epiphany and it has been running solid for 2 years with no problems. He also built the wheels for my beast, a 36 Mercury. The rear is a 8 speed Nexus with a roller brake and the front is a sturmey drum hub built into vinatage Araya 7x rims.:

    He cut and threaded the fork and setup the rollercams on my handbuilt Teesdale Brave, one of 3 ever built:

    And he is building a wheelset for my custom 41 Elgin.

    These bikes are all very valuable and Mike is the only guy besides myself that I trust to work on them.
    ^ very sweet!

  29. #29
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    I'm in East County La Mesa/El Cajon area and these are the bike shops I feel qualified to comment on.

    Performance La Mesa store - Like someone mentioned earlier, they're like the wal-mart of bike shops. Large inventory but it's limited to the standard white bread stuff. Don't expect to go there and find a 20x11/8 presta tube for your kids BMX race bike. Not much in the way of high end MTB stuff either. If you buy a bike there, you get no hassle, lifetime free tune-ups but expect them to take a week or more. They have great % off sales so if you're in the money saving mood/mode it's a good option for accessories. I never buy anything there that isn't on sale.

    Trek La Mesa store - Gucci store with Gucci prices. I can't say anything bad about the place because I went in there looking for some rebuild stuff for an old set of Hayes hydro disc brakes and the mech. dug around in the back and found some old parts and gave them to me for free. Honestly, it's the closest shop to my house but I never go there because I don't feel comfortable in there....like they're judging me because I didn't roll up in a BMW or Benz.

    Bicycle Warehouse PB store - I bought my Giant Trance X-1 from there for a ridiculously low price. I don't shop there much because it's far from my house but I like the place and they have good stuff and a good inventory. I wish they did more in the way of free or discounted tune-ups (the first one is free) for people who buy high end bikes from them but I will say that when I took the Trance in for it's first service, it was hands down the best tune up ever, I felt like they really cared about me and my bike, it was perfect, meticulously clean and a quick turnaround. Kinda like crack I guess....the first ones free, then you're hooked and the price is premium.

    Inkys El Cajon - Not much in the way of high end MTB stuff but it's a cool, old school LBS. I feel like I'm in the movie RAD when I go in there. The service is great, reasonably priced, they are very friendly and can order anything you need. Lifetime free tuneups on bikes with their sticker on them. I bought my sons race bike there and the service was a godsend for my wife while I was deployed. They always chat my kid up about his BMX racing when we go there. I don't mind spending money in a shop like this.

    North of the Border - Great MTB shop, they have all the goods when it comes to trick MTB stuff and they are cool people. The first time I was ever there was to pick up a race packet for a Racers and Chasers race and I've been back there a few times for different things. Again it's far from the house but they are a nice little shop and the fact that they promote/support local grass roots MTB racing in SD gets HUGE props in my book.

  30. #30
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    Anyone ever bought anything form Pulse Endurance in Chula Vista?

  31. #31
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    There's only 2 shops in East County that get my money.

    Soul Cycles in Rancho San Diego off of Jamacha
    www.soulcyclesec.com
    Dave the owner is a great guy, very knowledgeable, has great prices and takes care of you.
    They stock Intense, Santa Cruz, Giant, Specialized, & Electra. Their shop is really great. Dave will take the time to figure out what you really need, not just push a high priced bike at you.

    and

    Big Ring Cyclery off of Grossmont Center Drive
    http://www.brcbikeshop.com/
    Joe is the owner there and he is the nicest guy you'll ever meet. They stock Hammer Products so I am in there frequently. He's the type of guy that you immediately feel like you've known him for years. They sell Knolly, Cannondale, Ridley, Kona and BMC's
    RIDE 'TILL YOU PUKE

  32. #32
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    Good job! Bing Ring Cycles

    Quote Originally Posted by kevmortensen
    There's only 2 shops in East County that get my money.

    Soul Cycles in Rancho San Diego off of Jamacha
    www.soulcyclesec.com
    Dave the owner is a great guy, very knowledgeable, has great prices and takes care of you.
    They stock Intense, Santa Cruz, Giant, Specialized, & Electra. Their shop is really great. Dave will take the time to figure out what you really need, not just push a high priced bike at you.

    and

    Big Ring Cyclery off of Grossmont Center Drive
    http://www.brcbikeshop.com/
    Joe is the owner there and he is the nicest guy you'll ever meet. They stock Hammer Products so I am in there frequently. He's the type of guy that you immediately feel like you've known him for years. They sell Knolly, Cannondale, Ridley, Kona and BMC's
    BRC also sells Pivot...

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deuce9er
    BRC also sells Pivot...
    And Lynskey. I tried to buy Joe's custom Lynskey a couple years back. He could not part with it.

    I'm about to swing by and see David at Soul this week. Hoping to see the Anthem 29er in the shop.
    Quote Originally Posted by turnerbikes View Post
    Of course the easiest way to fix this is to go for a hike.
    DT

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevmortensen
    There's only 2 shops in East County that get my money.

    Soul Cycles in Rancho San Diego off of Jamacha
    www.soulcyclesec.com
    Dave the owner is a great guy, very knowledgeable, has great prices and takes care of you.
    They stock Intense, Santa Cruz, Giant, Specialized, & Electra. Their shop is really great. Dave will take the time to figure out what you really need, not just push a high priced bike at you.

    and

    Big Ring Cyclery off of Grossmont Center Drive
    http://www.brcbikeshop.com/
    Joe is the owner there and he is the nicest guy you'll ever meet. They stock Hammer Products so I am in there frequently. He's the type of guy that you immediately feel like you've known him for years. They sell Knolly, Cannondale, Ridley, Kona and BMC's
    I wish Soul Cycles was closer to me...

  35. #35
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    stay away from UC cyclery. expensive. i wont say anything else bad but there are better shops in the area like ucsd bike shop (they dont have much inventory but can order anything) and bicycle warehouse in pb as a few examples

  36. #36
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    +1 for Bike Bling!!!!!!!!

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by thorpedo
    I prefer Cal Coast. Great people and great service.
    Agreed, they are actually replacing my bearings now.

    Conversely, I won't ever go into the bike shop down the street from there, went in there 3 times when I first moved to the neighborhood and didn't get so much as a "hello" from them

  38. #38
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    Bought my bike at Pulse Endurance over at Chula Vista. Mike was very helpful.

  39. #39
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    Mike at North of the Border just finished these wheels for me. Building with vintage parts like these is not easy but he did his research and came through. Perfection.


    http://www.nbbikes.com/
    ^^^Best Bike Shop of MTBR 2008^^^

  40. #40
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    Bicycle Warehouse in Escondido: Because Tom is an awesome wrench, is super cool and has hooked me up with a last minute emergency repair many times. Plus, Jaime the manager is a cool guy and will give you the shirt off his back if that what it takes to make the customer happy.

    Bike Bling is great for product and they can get anything. However, you never know what you're going to get as far as the employees go. Some of the employees are great--super helpful and treat you great. But some of the employees are complete tools and I can't stand dealing with them. Your experience depends greatly on the employee you get. I typically just order online and choose the "pick up in store" option so I don't have to rely on good luck with "employee roulette" and I can just walk in, get my stuff and leave.
    I hope you have a big trunk... 'cuz I'm puttin' my bike in it.

  41. #41
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    Cycopath in Temecula. They have awesome sale prices.

  42. #42
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    I would have to say Cal Coast Bicycles in Normal Heights/North Park area!
    They are GREAT guys! One of my oldest mtb friends wrenches there and he is just a perfectionist! My dad and I been following Charlie since his Bike Usa (la mesa) days!
    My Bike: http://forums.mtbr.com/showpost.php?...3&postcount=49

    On-One Whippet 650b XC machine

  43. #43
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    I am fortunate to have two great bike shops to turn to.

    First is NOTB. Doug got me into mtb'ing a year ago on a KHS and it's been all uphill and downhill from there. Doug and Mike practice what they preach, and don't upsell or try to talk you into things you don't need. Their prices are more than fair.

    Upgraded my bike and got my Mojo from CalCoast. Alex and Charlie have gone above and beyond to take care of me.

    Both bike shops are truly exceptional and we are lucky to have them here in San Diego.

  44. #44
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    Now, if only North of the Border was open on Monday's.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by S:Drive
    Now, if only North of the Border was open on Monday's.
    and Sunday's

  46. #46
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    24/7/365 rotating shifts...

  47. #47
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    Big Ring Cyclery: Joe provides excellent service and does good work. They get 90% of my LBS dollars

    Bike Bling: Great when you really need something right away, since they actually stock stuff. Too far from my house though.

    Velo Cult: For retro/classic cycling needs, this is one of the best shops out there and Sky is super duper knowledgeable. Not the place to look for your dual suspension MTB though.

  48. #48
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    698
    Quote Originally Posted by Duzitall
    and Sunday's
    That day too! Just get someone to take orders, repair orders, and sales on those days.

  49. #49
    mtbr member
    Reputation: holybull's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    46
    I've been impressed with the service provided by Rich and Eric at Zumwalts. I heard they sold the store to a previous owner so I might have to make trips up to The Path. It's the ultimate store.

  50. #50
    Master of the Face Plant
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    2,902
    Quote Originally Posted by S:Drive
    Now, if only North of the Border was open on Monday's.
    Yeah, I have gone there at least twice not remembering what day it was.
    http://www.nbbikes.com/
    ^^^Best Bike Shop of MTBR 2008^^^

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