OT - What do you want from your LBS -- Napa Valley specific- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    OT - What do you want from your LBS -- Napa Valley specific

    Hey Melt, Octane, Knobbyknees and all you other folks up there in the land of sweltering heat and poison oak...

    How far would you drive to get what you want from a shop? what do you want from a shop? Where do you buy your bikes/ parts now?

    I got into mountain biking around the time Brian Ivanoff and Mike Dunn opened Palisades Mountain Sport. Their shop was a true hang out. a great place to start Oat Hill Mine Rd. rides, road rides, a place to meet up and car pool to Annadel. Mike made it a great place for local mountain bikers, but needed to move on.

    Now all of the shops, like most everything else up valley is there more for the tourist than the locals.

    I wonder if a balance between Passion Trail Bikes or Palisades for that matter and say, St. Helena Cyclery can be met and still be a successful shop.

    What would draw you guys there.

    You don't need to be a Napa Valley Resident to reply. I would really appreciate everyone's input.

    What about guys from Santa Rosa.. what would entice you to come over the hill?

  2. #2
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    I live in Napa. I ride DH and FR stuff mostly, so I would want a shop that knows what they're doing around those kind of bikes and carries a few basic parts geared toward that style of riding. Also, a place with a little better vibe would be cool, a place you could hangout a bit more....

    I dunno.

    Oh, and people who ride a bit more working there, or just straight up cool guys. It seems a lot of the guys who work here in Napa never ride bikes (judging from what they say) and don't get out much....

    So, just a place to meet for rides, have a little bit more DH/FR part kinda stuff, and guys who actually ride. Maybe have specific ride times, organized through the shop?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by matt
    I live in Napa. I ride DH and FR stuff mostly, so I would want a shop that knows what they're doing around those kind of bikes and carries a few basic parts geared toward that style of riding. Also, a place with a little better vibe would be cool, a place you could hangout a bit more....

    I dunno.

    Oh, and people who ride a bit more working there, or just straight up cool guys. It seems a lot of the guys who work here in Napa never ride bikes (judging from what they say) and don't get out much....

    So, just a place to meet for rides, have a little bit more DH/FR part kinda stuff, and guys who actually ride. Maybe have specific ride times, organized through the shop?
    Matt, I've seen you're posts inthe DH forums... No idea you live in Napa.

    Definately plan on doing some organized rides... but you'll probably have to ride Up hill too.

    I've set up my share of Uzzi's and RFX (6packs) bikes... I know my way around some DC forks and chain guides. Somewhat of a rookie when it comes to mtn bikes with 165mm crank arms and weigh over 40 lbs.

    If it sells, I'll carry it.

    I'd like to bring the bike-shop as a hang out vibe, without scaring off the tourists. the wine bar transforms into a kegarator after hours.

    Checkout my philosophy
    on what I'd like a shop to be.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by velocipus
    Matt, I've seen you're posts inthe DH forums... No idea you live in Napa.

    Definately plan on doing some organized rides... but you'll probably have to ride Up hill too.

    I've set up my share of Uzzi's and RFX (6packs) bikes... I know my way around some DC forks and chain guides. Somewhat of a rookie when it comes to mtn bikes with 165mm crank arms and weigh over 40 lbs.

    If it sells, I'll carry it.

    I'd like to bring the bike-shop as a hang out vibe, without scaring off the tourists. the wine bar transforms into a kegarator after hours.

    Checkout my philosophy
    on what I'd like a shop to be.
    Yeah, thats one thing I prefer about the layout of RM, your location is under your name. But, yup, I'm from Napa.

    I'm fine with going uphill (slowly ) as long as the downhill is worth it.

    I don't think there is a big market for those types of bikes here, but who knows? I've seen more than you would expect just cruising around and know of many who I haven't met yet.

    I like the philosophy. Please carry mountain bike derailleurs though...

    Are you planning on getting St. Helena Cyclery as the location, or did you just use that as a picture for the site? Any ideas on opening and things?

    EDIT:
    Any idea on what brands you plan on carrying yet?
    Last edited by matt; 05-06-2006 at 09:27 AM.

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    I have had several good shops over the past dozen years, where you could hang out and talk smack, or have beers after the shop closed in back, maybe even put your bike up on the stand and work on it yourself.

    When I moved to Napa in 2000, I had to find a good bar and bike shop, I went with bicycle trax at first, they had a younger staff and were starting to get into the full suspension, FR bikes and could work on them and talk about them. Later when the shop was sold I went to madness, the owner had big bikes and knew about them, but not quite the hang out place. St. Helena always struck me as the roadie, XC bike shop but was still a nice place to shop with product available and knew what they were talking about.

    Now in Vacaville, I stop by Rays now and again and have them work on my bike if the derailleur really pisses me off but it sure doesnt have the hang out feel to it but maybe I am just getting old.

  6. #6
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    I live in Santa Rosa. I'd go to the valley for a shop if it carried bikes and gear that they don't have here (there's plenty of Specialized, Trek, Kona, Santa Cruz, already). It would also be nice if they carried more than one or two brands of tires, armor, helmets, etc.

    A shop as a hangout is great, but I can see how a mom looking to get a bike for her daughter might be a little put off by a bunch of sweaty teenagers or old guys in lycra hanging around. Maybe put them in a room in the back?

    It would be cool to have some informal classes where you could learn to do some of the wrenching beyond changing a tire and a chain. I'd love to learn how to deal with cranks, head sets, bearings or how to really understand the derailleur. You could combine that with selling tools, parts or how-to books.

    And the last thing, that may be beyond what one can do in a regular bike shop, is to have days when you can bring in old bikes and chop them up and weld them into tall bikes or choppers or some weird thing. Though I haven't seen welding stuff at a bike shop.


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    My favorite shop is BICYCLE WORKS. There's a reason that they've been in business for over 25 years, and the talented mechanics have over 75 years of experience combined. They have almost all of the speciality tools for the most modern road and mountain bike parts, as well as tools and obsolete parts to repair classic and vintage bikes as well.

    They have a VERY good work ethic, oftentimes performing simple repairs free of labor charge. Customer complaints are far and few between because they go out of their way to do what is RIGHT for the customer, even if the customer isn't right. They will work on bicycles that were purchased through stores such as Walmart, Target, Costco, etc. They are also a dropoff spot for bicycle donations, where they will repair and donate bicycles to people in need at the shops expense.

    They are a hub for the local Eagle Cycling Club, and many group rides start at the shop. The shop has great hours, and is open until 9pm on Thursdays to acommodate the rest of us 'working folk'.

    They carry Trek, Bianchi, Diamond Back and Cannondale. They will order specialty parts immediately and call you when it comes in a few days later. Their prices are compareable to other local shops, but the service and follow through makes the experience great.

    Stop by sometime and you'll see an inventory of childrens bikes, comfort crusiers, sub-$2000 mountain bikes and mid-level road bikes. Look at the customers' bikes and you'll see brands such as Seven, Felt, Inglis, Litespeed, etc. This is the only shop that can cater to such a wide variety of customers and do it well.

    The shop owner *IS* now teaching weekly beginning bicycle maintenance classes at no charge to anyone that is interested.

    Hopefully you'll have a chance to stop by on a Thursday evening and meet the regulars at the shop. Maybe I'll see you there!

    -Brad
    I get paid to ride shotgun.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Octane
    My favorite shop is BICYCLE WORKS. There's a reason that they've been in business for over 25 years, and the talented mechanics have over 75 years of experience combined. They have almost all of the speciality tools for the most modern road and mountain bike parts, as well as tools and obsolete parts to repair classic and vintage bikes as well.

    They have a VERY good work ethic, oftentimes performing simple repairs free of labor charge. Customer complaints are far and few between because they go out of their way to do what is RIGHT for the customer, even if the customer isn't right. They will work on bicycles that were purchased through stores such as Walmart, Target, Costco, etc. They are also a dropoff spot for bicycle donations, where they will repair and donate bicycles to people in need at the shops expense.


    They are a hub for the local Eagle Cycling Club, and many group rides start at the shop. The shop has great hours, and is open until 9pm on Thursdays to acommodate the rest of us 'working folk'.

    They carry Trek, Bianchi, Diamond Back and Cannondale. They will order specialty parts immediately and call you when it comes in a few days later. Their prices are compareable to other local shops, but the service and follow through makes the experience great.

    Stop by sometime and you'll see an inventory of childrens bikes, comfort crusiers, sub-$2000 mountain bikes and mid-level road bikes. Look at the customers' bikes and you'll see brands such as Seven, Felt, Inglis, Litespeed, etc. This is the only shop that can cater to such a wide variety of customers and do it well.

    The shop owner *IS* now teaching weekly beginning bicycle maintenance classes at no charge to anyone that is interested.

    Hopefully you'll have a chance to stop by on a Thursday evening and meet the regulars at the shop. Maybe I'll see you there!

    -Brad
    Hey Brad,

    my first shop job was at Bicycle Works. That's where I met Inglis and talked him into mountain biking. The rest is history.
    Bob was great to work for. He had quite an impression on me. I still use a lot of what I learned from him when it comes to building bikes.

    I also used to be a member of ECC and have met for many rides at Bicycle Works. My first ever road ride strarted there. I was on a mountian bike with slicks and the roadies were most welcoming. Instead of being typical roadie diks and dropping me right away, they taught me how to ride in a pace line. Don Inglis (Curtis' dad) is my hero.

  9. #9

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    New to Napa

    I'm new to Napa and would like a shop that is friendly to newbies...so I don't feel uncomfortable asking questions.

    I'm looking to get back into serious riding after a grad school hiatus.

    Hey Octane...what is the schedule for the free bike maintenance classes at Bike Works?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbikegirl69
    Hey Octane...what is the schedule for the free bike maintenance classes at Bike Works?
    Stop by Bicycle Works thurs evenings and introduce yourself!

    The free maintenance classes are Wednesday evenings, but I'm not sure what time.

    We are going for an easy ride in Rockville today at 11am. Anyone is welcome to come. PM me if you're interested!

    -Brad
    Last edited by Octane; 05-07-2006 at 09:45 AM.
    I get paid to ride shotgun.

  11. #11
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    I would have gone riding today, but I went to JM. Definitely a fun place, we got in 3 runs, but they were short and it probably wasn't worth the drive.

    I go to Bicycle Works whenever I need something done, and they have some great people working there.

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