SS friendly bike shop in the Sacramento area?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    I want to ride my bicycle
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    SS friendly bike shop in the Sacramento area?

    I post this question more out of frustration than pure curiosity. . .I recently moved from the Bay Area to Fair Oaks and quickly realized that while the Bay Area is full of great shops with knowledgable mechanics, the Sacramento area is not. .maybe I am wrong and I am hoping someone can correct me. My story is this:

    Today I went out with great intentions of possibly ordering myself a Surly Steamroller through one of the local shops that is listed as a Surly dealer. I went to River Rat Bicycles which is the closest to my house and inquired about the Steamroller. . .the mechanic said that he will never sell another Surly again because they are, "Taiwanese pieces of sh*t that break like matchsticks". . .those were his exact words. Then he said, "I don't understand all of you kids who think you can just buy yourself a singlespeed for so cheap and think you can ride hard on it without it breaking like any other cheap bike." . . .It was at about this point that I promptly exited the shop. Strangely enough there is another bike shop right next door, "Bob's Cyclery". Bob's doesn't carry Surly bikes but the mechanic/salesman asked what type of bike I was looking for and I went along with it and said that I was looking for a singlespeed. After a few moments of confusion the salesman went and got another mechanic who promptly leafed through the schwinn catalog and found a great beach cruiser for me. . .Lastly I visited "City Bicycle Works". . these folks were by far the most knowledgable but still did not compare to some of my favorite shops in the Bay Area. I am the type of person that likes to help out the local LBS which is why I am looking for a good shop but if I cannot find one I may have to just rely on mail-order or make a trip down to the bay whenever I need some expertise. Thank you for any thoughts you may have.

    -Jeremy

  2. #2
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    Any shop can get Surly....

    as long as they have an account with QBP. QBP (Quality Bicycle Products) owns and distributes all Surly products.

    Find the shop you like most and ask them to order it. You sholdn't have to get their opinion to order one. If you want it they should order it.

    Hope this helps,

  3. #3
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    why not...

    man! what an ass! just order it online. I have the Surly Pacer, which is a Steamroller with a dir. hanger and vert drops = ENO laced wheel.

    Anyway, SURLY is great! I have no qualms about them. They may be Asian style or whatever, but their frames are very well made.

    I also recommend the bike shops in Davis. B&L...ask for Beth, the owner, mention my name and she'll help you nicely. if she's not there, ask for Mike, tall guy who rides a Soma cross bike.

    Don't go to Wheel Works = stuck up.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by jerms
    I post this question more out of frustration than pure curiosity. . .I recently moved from the Bay Area to Fair Oaks and quickly realized that while the Bay Area is full of great shops with knowledgable mechanics, the Sacramento area is not. .maybe I am wrong and I am hoping someone can correct me. My story is this:

    Today I went out with great intentions of possibly ordering myself a Surly Steamroller through one of the local shops that is listed as a Surly dealer. I went to River Rat Bicycles which is the closest to my house and inquired about the Steamroller. . .the mechanic said that he will never sell another Surly again because they are, "Taiwanese pieces of sh*t that break like matchsticks". . .those were his exact words. Then he said, "I don't understand all of you kids who think you can just buy yourself a singlespeed for so cheap and think you can ride hard on it without it breaking like any other cheap bike." . . .It was at about this point that I promptly exited the shop. Strangely enough there is another bike shop right next door, "Bob's Cyclery". Bob's doesn't carry Surly bikes but the mechanic/salesman asked what type of bike I was looking for and I went along with it and said that I was looking for a singlespeed. After a few moments of confusion the salesman went and got another mechanic who promptly leafed through the schwinn catalog and found a great beach cruiser for me. . .Lastly I visited "City Bicycle Works". . these folks were by far the most knowledgable but still did not compare to some of my favorite shops in the Bay Area. I am the type of person that likes to help out the local LBS which is why I am looking for a good shop but if I cannot find one I may have to just rely on mail-order or make a trip down to the bay whenever I need some expertise. Thank you for any thoughts you may have.

    -Jeremy
    Jeremy......QUICK!!!! get your keys, grab your wallet and get in your car. Get a cup of coffee and Drive Drive Drive all night until you get to Orange County in Southern California. Go to first street in Tustin and wait in the parking lot until The PATH bike shop opens tomorrow at around noon. Close your eyes as you enter the shop...then open your eyes and it will be like singlespeed Christmas!!

    Seriously, give them a call and tell them what you want, they'll hook you up right!

    The PATH
    215 W. First St. suite 101 , Tustin , 92780
    Orange County
    (714) 669-0784
    Last edited by 2farfwd; 06-23-2004 at 09:42 PM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by ernesto_from_Wisconsin
    man! what an ass! just order it online. I have the Surly Pacer, which is a Steamroller with a dir. hanger and vert drops = ENO laced wheel.

    Anyway, SURLY is great! I have no qualms about them. They may be Asian style or whatever, but their frames are very well made.

    I also recommend the bike shops in Davis. B&L...ask for Beth, the owner, mention my name and she'll help you nicely. if she's not there, ask for Mike, tall guy who rides a Soma cross bike.

    Don't go to Wheel Works = stuck up.
    Hey Ernesto, I have actually had a few bikes built for me at Freewheeler bike in Davis and I have purchased many odds and ends from B&L. . .Davis was going to be my next stop. . .just a shame there are no quality shops closer to home.

  6. #6
    Jed Peters
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    Bullpucky.

    Natomas bike shop in sac. Chris, the manager, is the only guy to talk to up there. Works monday through friday all day.

    He has a jericho hardtail SS and a monocog, as well as a townie beater commuter. He will get you set RIGHT up no prob. Worked on MANY SS's.....spot SS hubs, phil SS hubs, king SS hubs...he knows his stuff.

    He'll keep you in straight.

    REMEMBER: Ask for CHRIS.

    916-641-8640 (Tell him Jed sent ya)

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jerms
    Hey Ernesto, I have actually had a few bikes built for me at Freewheeler bike in Davis and I have purchased many odds and ends from B&L. . .Davis was going to be my next stop. . .just a shame there are no quality shops closer to home.
    Oh yah! i forgot about that other shop. Weird to me how there's three bike shops just shoulder t shoulder from one another.

    I went there once to get a headset installed. They're good guys.

    DON'T go to Woodland. DON'T visit Foy's. I was friends with the owner and the guy's just an ass. Duke was Beth's husband, and in the xmas of 2002, he asked me to help him move out of his house in Davis...his wife threw him out because she couldn't stand him anymore.

  8. #8
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    Dumb post of the day.

    Quote Originally Posted by 2farfwd
    Jeremy......QUICK!!!! get your keys, grab your wallet and get in your car. Get a cup of coffee and Drive Drive Drive all night until you get to Orange County in Southern California. Go to first street in Tustin and wait in the parking lot until The PATH bike shop opens tomorrow at around noon. Close your eyes as you enter the shop...then open your eyes and it will be like singlespeed Christmas!!

    Seriously, give them a call and tell them what you want, they'll hook you up right!

    The PATH
    215 W. First St. suite 101 , Tustin , 92780
    Orange County
    (714) 669-0784
    Rat cheer.

    fp
    Anti demagogue.


    Hogan Lake blog. A section of Hogan Lake trails here.

  9. #9
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    You went to two of the crappiest shops in town

    Randy the owner of River Rat can be notorious for being a d!ck on certain days, not sure how he survives with some of his rants. Bob's......eck....

    City over off a Greenback is a lil better and does a lot of bmx so they'll probably have some SS stuff for you. But it's not as good as the city downtown.

    The shop Jed mentioned Natoma bike shop is nice too, especially Chris cool cat.

    There's two shops in Auburn which isn't that far of a drive and you can go ride in Auburn while you're up there. Both shops Cambria Bicycle Emporium as well as Auburn Bike Works have no "in crowd attitude" and are both very helpful, and both have have people who work there that are heavily into SS. So give them a go, and like another said if they buy from QBP they can order you a Surly. If you specifically go into Emporium ask for Bill (owner), Tony, Kendall, or Charlie and tell them Roger sent you.

  10. #10
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    American River Bikes

    This is what I know as of 10 months ago, when I moved out of Sacto.

    I bought my own SS at Cambria in Auburn, but I always got the straight s**t at the American River Bikes on Folsom Boulevard and La Riviera. I mostly had them do frame work (chase and face) and wheelbuilding (they rock at that). I didn't need anything SS-specific from them, but they had lots of BMX, so they'd have freewheels, tugs, and such. If shop rats owning singlespeeds are what it takes to have cred, the guy I dealt with had a BMX-y Rock Lobster SS and I saw some sort of fixie in there from time to time. Don't let the shop's messy appearance and raft of cruisers and comfort bikes throw you off.

    Yeah, almost every shop has a QBP account. I did see a brown Steamroller at another ARB location in Town and Country mall on Fulton and Marconi. It had been sitting a long time. They also had a built-up Soma mountain bike for a while, and that company makes a fixed frame, no?

    Sorry to hear River Rat pulling the bike elitist bit. Calling a Surly a Taiwanese-made, breakage-prone POS seems like a whopper of a statement from a shop that sells Marins.

    Better luck.
    =Jason=
    Call me ~Gila~

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zonic Man

    Natomas bike shop in sac. Chris, the manager, is the only guy to talk to up there. Works monday through friday all day.
    Conflict of interest? Jed used to work there, no? But seriously, I fullheartedly vouge for the service and knowledge at Natomas bike shop. I've bought two bikes from them even thought they're not exactly local to me (I live in El Dorado Hills). They've gone out of their way to accomodate me even though I can be an ass sometimes.

    Bob's in El Dorado Hills is a good shop, too. I always get good vibes from them-- never snobish. I brought in a singlespeed frame one time and at least they knew what it was. Even comped me a free headset install. Every once in a while there's this one know-it-all jackass that works there but I'm pretty sure he comes part-time from the Citris Heights store.

    Take a look at On-One before buying a Surly. Awesome frames!

  12. #12
    Jed Peters
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoPumpChump
    Conflict of interest? Jed used to work there, no? But seriously, I fullheartedly vouge for the service and knowledge at Natomas bike shop. I've bought two bikes from them even thought they're not exactly local to me (I live in El Dorado Hills). They've gone out of their way to accomodate me even though I can be an ass sometimes.
    Yeah, I used to work there. But no conflict...Chris is a REALLY good mechanic (he does all the good bikes...and keeps the beaters runnin') and he has 3 singlespeeds himself...PLUS has done work on a bunch of different SS hubs, etc.

    If you go down there, ask him to ride in his Jericho...it's SICK!

    Oh yeah, two pumper...did I help you out when I was working there?

  13. #13
    I want to ride my bicycle
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger___
    Randy the owner of River Rat can be notorious for being a d!ck on certain days, not sure how he survives with some of his rants. Bob's......eck....

    City over off a Greenback is a lil better and does a lot of bmx so they'll probably have some SS stuff for you. But it's not as good as the city downtown.

    The shop Jed mentioned Natoma bike shop is nice too, especially Chris cool cat.

    There's two shops in Auburn which isn't that far of a drive and you can go ride in Auburn while you're up there. Both shops Cambria Bicycle Emporium as well as Auburn Bike Works have no "in crowd attitude" and are both very helpful, and both have have people who work there that are heavily into SS. So give them a go, and like another said if they buy from QBP they can order you a Surly. If you specifically go into Emporium ask for Bill (owner), Tony, Kendall, or Charlie and tell them Roger sent you.
    Thanks for the help, my place is right at hazel and sunset so rat's and bob's were both about 5 minutes away, but all of the suggestions are helpful and I definitely know who I will be visiting soon. I have always purchased stuff from both Cambria Emporiums and have even stopped by at the shop in Cambria on my way down to San Luis Obispo from time to time. Those guys are awesome and helpful. . . .Now just to find some SS friendly trails up here. . .but I'll save that for another post :-)

    -Jeremy

  14. #14
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    Whatchoo talkin' 'bout, foo?

    Quote Originally Posted by jerms
    Thanks for the help, my place is right at hazel and sunset so rat's and bob's were both about 5 minutes away, but all of the suggestions are helpful and I definitely know who I will be visiting soon. I have always purchased stuff from both Cambria Emporiums and have even stopped by at the shop in Cambria on my way down to San Luis Obispo from time to time. Those guys are awesome and helpful. . . .Now just to find some SS friendly trails up here. . .but I'll save that for another post :-)

    -Jeremy
    Salmon Falls is perfectly SS friendly. Massive SS riding in Auburn, too.

    Let's hook up, foo.

    fp
    Anti demagogue.


    Hogan Lake blog. A section of Hogan Lake trails here.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finch Platte
    Salmon Falls is perfectly SS friendly. Massive SS riding in Auburn, too.

    Let's hook up, foo.

    fp

    Awesome, thanks for the heads up, I think salmon falls is pretty close to me, I will have to check it out when I get some free time.

    -Jeremy

  16. #16
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    The Bicycle Business

    Yea it may be a road oriented shop but they'll be more then happy to order anything for you. The owner just got himself a surly for track use so hes not gonna give you the matchstick line. I believe the address is 3077 Freeport boulevard, its right across from CK McClatchy Highschool which is currently undergoing major restoration. The closest freeway exit is Sutterville on I-5 follow it east untill you get to freeport and make a left ( The second major intersection) follow freeport down and its on your right, like i side right across from the highschool. Their phone number is 916-498-8354, the most mountain bike knowledgable guys are probably Brad and Bob, in that order. Its the only shop i ever go to, possibly because i have 17 years of history there, which also happens to be my age ( My dad owned it untill recently, and he sold it to a former employee, ive also worked there on and off). Don't get scared off by all the road bikes, if you know what you wanna order they can do it. My names Sam, but theres really no need to mention it.

  17. #17
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    I feel your pain...

    I lived in Sac up until a few months ago, and fully understand your frustration. There isn't a lot going on for a town of it's size, and if you had the notion of test riding anything other than a SASS or Unit, forget it. Pretty much anything you need will have to be ordered, unless you want to drive back down to the bay area.

    With that in mind, I would suggest American River on Folsom Blvd. They are friendly and knowledgable, and singlespeed savvy. The Bicycle Business is cool, too, and pretty much the only place in town for fixed gear goodies in stock. City on Greenback near Sunrise is pretty good. Ask for Monty, he rides singlespeed and fixies too. Otherwise, Cambria is the place to go. I just picked up a CK rear singlespeed hub there last week. They're the only place with stuff consistantly in stock. Charly and Isaac aren't there anymore, so ask for Tony. He rides singlespeed. Curtis is cool too.

    BTW, I had a HORRIBLE experience with the old geez at River Rat as well. I would NEVER step foot in that dump again. That guy is a tool. Thank God I don't forsee a need to buy a full suspension Rocky Mountain any time soon...

    Good singlespeed trails nearby are Granite Bay and Forresthill, but both are a decent drive from the Carmichael area. If you ever find yourself in the Grass Valley/Nevada City area and want to ride, e-mail me at jamesego_2000ATyahooNOSPAM.com. Just remove the caps and slap in the @.

    James
    ------------------------------------
    Rama Lama Fa Fa Fa

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by ernesto_from_Wisconsin
    I also recommend the bike shops in Davis. B&L...ask for Beth, the owner, mention my name and she'll help you nicely. if she's not there, ask for Mike, tall guy who rides a Soma cross bike.

    Don't go to Wheel Works = stuck up.
    Ken's Bike and Ski (on G street) is my favorite shop in Davis. The other day, Ken was even telling me about his singlespeed he is building up. They've been awesome, more than helpful, every time I've gone in there.

    I will second the vote against Wheel Works. All the employees are always chatting it up with some showoff roadies, and are very unwilling to even speak to anyone else. I have more to say, but I'm sure a lawsuit would quickly follow if I did :-)

  19. #19
    I want to ride my bicycle
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    Quote Originally Posted by fell
    Ken's Bike and Ski (on G street) is my favorite shop in Davis. The other day, Ken was even telling me about his singlespeed he is building up. They've been awesome, more than helpful, every time I've gone in there.

    I will second the vote against Wheel Works. All the employees are always chatting it up with some showoff roadies, and are very unwilling to even speak to anyone else. I have more to say, but I'm sure a lawsuit would quickly follow if I did :-)
    Cool, thanks again for the input. . .ya, I've been into wheel works a couple of times, they're bike snobs though and unless you look like money, they don't really care about you, otherwise everyone else in davis is really helpful and knowledgable.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by MBzip
    Yea it may be a road oriented shop but they'll be more then happy to order anything for you. The owner just got himself a surly for track use so hes not gonna give you the matchstick line. I believe the address is 3077 Freeport boulevard, its right across from CK McClatchy Highschool which is currently undergoing major restoration. The closest freeway exit is Sutterville on I-5 follow it east untill you get to freeport and make a left ( The second major intersection) follow freeport down and its on your right, like i side right across from the highschool. Their phone number is 916-498-8354, the most mountain bike knowledgable guys are probably Brad and Bob, in that order. Its the only shop i ever go to, possibly because i have 17 years of history there, which also happens to be my age ( My dad owned it untill recently, and he sold it to a former employee, ive also worked there on and off). Don't get scared off by all the road bikes, if you know what you wanna order they can do it. My names Sam, but theres really no need to mention it.
    I stopped by the Bicycle Business day before yesterday. . .they are AWESOME! Very helpful bunch of guys, they discussed many options with me and brought up some low cost alternatives that I hadn't even thought of. Even though I am only about 10% roadie, those guys are one of my favorites already.

    -Jeremy

  21. #21
    "The Dude abides."
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    glad to hear it

  22. #22
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    Good roadie shop... lots of older stuff, if you are into that. I usually stop by when in town.

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