• 04-04-2011
    ~ ~ Cal ~ ~
    Guys from Houston - local knowledge please ?
    Hi fellas,

    I am a very keen AM MTB'er from Scotland, UK.

    I will be in Houston, TX staying in downtown in 2 weeks time on business. Can you please tell me where the best MTB oriented bike shops are in Houston ? I appreciate there are a few too choose from but it's not easy to tell which are good from the web.

    I am specifically looking to buy :-


    1. CaneCreek 110 headset for a Trek Remedy 2009 E2 Headset (guessing a Trek dealer may be the best bet here)

    2. White Stans Flow ZTR wheelset

    3. Any other AM sexy bits I can lay my hands on.


    Is there any good local AM oriented trails near the outskirts of Houston or shall I need to travel further out ( assuming I hired a bike for the day.....)

    Huge thanks in advance

    Calum
  • 04-05-2011
    mtbscott
    You're in luck....kind of. BikeSport is in the inner loop area not far from downtown and is a Trek dealer and has plenty of mtb bits. (bikesport.com). West End Bicyles, also in the inner loop has lots of mtb stuff, including rentals, and a museum of older bikes. Memorial Park which has close to 10 miles of trail is within easy riding distance of the shop. My team sponsor Sun and Ski has multiple locations and is a multi-sport store with bike shop, Bike Barn is also one of the big players around town. Unfortunately, I doubt you will find a pre-built Stan's wheelset in stock lying around anywhere. In our area, that would likely be a custom order built to spec thing (and I happen to be waiting on back-ordered Crest white rims as I type.)
    Assuming again that you mean "all mountain" by your AM abbreviation, you won't find anything really like that in or around Houston. On the other hand, we have four "intown" riding spots, and several others within a couple hours drive, so if you have some spare time, you should be able to get your ride on, and I'd like to think we're pretty friendly around here. Check out the local mtb organization GHORBA.org's website for more trail info, etc. Have fun!
  • 04-05-2011
    clewttu
    need to head to San Antonio/Austin for some AM riding
  • 04-06-2011
    Pedigre
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by clewttu
    need to head to San Antonio/Austin for some AM riding

    x2

    AM is certainly not Houston's forte
  • 04-06-2011
    ~ ~ Cal ~ ~
    Fantastic fellas ! Very much appreciate the reply :cool:

    Scott - thanks - will call up bikesport.com and enquire

    Any other recommendations for decent bars, clubs and shops ? Staying in the downtown area...there is that much on offer it's hard to cut through the tourist traps....

    Any significant sports events or concerts on around the 15th. 16th, 17th or April ?

    Cheers again :thumbsup:
  • 04-07-2011
    mtbscott
    Here's a couple of downtown music clubs:
    http://www.houseofblues.com/tickets/...oncertCalendar
    http://www.warehouselive.com/index.p...ndar&section=2
    These are both cool places with an eclectic mix of live music.
    Looks like the Astros are in town during your stay. I'm not much of a baseball fan, but the stadium is cool, kind of retro, and it's fun to go people watch.
    http://houston.astros.mlb.com/schedu...=hou&year=2011
  • 04-07-2011
    BGillespie
    Pubs I frequent:
    Front Porch
    Lounge across from Front Porch (mgr is from Cold Spring and loves D.L. mtn bikers)
    Cyclone Annaya's for happy hour 'ritas and mexican food
    Kenneally's Irish Pub on Shephard for pizza and Guinness
    BRC off Washington for a Racer 5 IPA on tap
    Flying Saucer downtown for 100's of beer selection, sexy waitresses, and pub food
    Buffalo Grille for brunch after riding Memorial or Terry Hershey on weekends

    Mentionable areas:
    Upper Kirby for food and shopping (Whole Earth Provision Co. for outdoor clothing, then Brown Bag Deli for amazing sandwich)
    Galleria for upscale dining
    Washington for more bar selection
    St. Arnolds brewery tour is a must, it's very close to downtown.
    Southern Star brewery in Conroe has a great stout & IPA, they're open for tours as well

    In town riding: If you prefer all mtn. style, hit up Terry Hershey or Memorial Park (moderate XC)
    ~1 hr.: Jack Brooks (moderate - advanced XC)
    W/in 2 hrs.: Rocky Hill Ranch in Smithville, Bluff Creek Ranch in Warda, Lake Bryan. RHR & BCR are moderate to advanced XC with a few fun down hills, LB is moderate XC with a few technical spots and a cool bar w/ Texas A&M hotness bartenders.
  • 04-07-2011
    Chuey83
    Jack Brooks is prob going to be the most difficult in the Houston area. But definately no AM riding.
  • 04-07-2011
    soccerdude
    BGillespie and I don't mind taking you along for a tour of Bluff Creek Ranch or Rocky Hill Ranch. They're the best trails within 2 hour of Houston with RHR being the longest and most technical. Or if you really want an AM trail we can ride Reimers Ranch but it's a 4 hour trip one way. We don't mind the ride time if you don't.

    If you need to rent a bike give West End Bicycles a call. They have a few AM bikes for rent including an Ibis Mojo that can handle anything Texas has to offer. Their phone number is: 713-861-2271. Website is: www.westendbikes.com
  • 04-07-2011
    marzjennings
    Tourist traps, funny, tourists don't come to Houston and so there's not a lot of tourists to escape.
    If you are actually staying down town then there's a whole bunch of bars and clubs to hang out in.

    You'll need a car, there's no getting around Houston without a car. There's little or no public transportation and taxi drivers are all fecking useless (and over priced).

    It's not an AM sort of town (dead flat wooded swamp land), so not a lot of shops stock AM parts or bikes. A +1 to westendcycles as one of the best stores in town. Don't forget you can always preorder stuff on the web and have it delivered to the hotel.

    There are though some fun trails around town, tight fast single track. Check www.ghorba.org for trail info.

    Trails with a slightly more AM edge can be found at Rocky Hill Ranch ( about 90 mins from down town), and Emma Long Pack (Austin, about 3 hours from Houston) and others near San Antonio.
  • 04-10-2011
    ~ ~ Cal ~ ~
    @BG and Soccerdude ..........very kind offers indeed. I am meeting an old friend now so I fear my spare Saturday will involved hitting some pubs rather than ripping up some gnar.

    Again, I appreciate the heads up on the bars too. I shall deffo check out the above bike stores as even things like Park Tools in the UK are v.expensive.

    Dont think I'll venture too far so will try and avoid renting a car ( we drive on the left in the UK so best avoid tackling Houstons traffic )

    I ought to have came out a day earlier and got a full day's XC in but c'est la vie....

    Thanks again
  • 04-12-2011
    kwrides
    Another vote for West End if you want mtb stuff or a rental. Call first and they can get what you want. Plus they're not too far if you need a taxi. Also, they're only a mile or so from Memorial Park, where there are some good xc trails. Check out "the triangle" at memorial along with all the others (blue to red to yellow to orange to purple, then over to green). Everyone knows about the "color" trails and they will be busy, so start early (like 8am). Not everyone knows about the triangle, which is a bit more difficult. You will have fun in the roots and twists and turns, steep ups and downs, but it's definitely not AM.

    If you want cheap tools, check out the Performance Bike store, about 25 minutes from downtown. The Sun and Ski mentioned above is right across the street too.

    Also another vote for taking the time to check out the ghorba website for maps.

    I'd offer to ride with you, but I'm doing the ms150 this weekend.

    Good music suggestions above. Definitely drop by the Flying Saucer for a beer.

    I work for a European company, and a lot of our visitors to Houston want to buy Hilfiger, Polo, Vickys, A+F, Pink, etc. If you do too, head to the Galleria. It's only a 15 minute cab ride from downtown. Grab some amazing cheesecake while you're there. Feel free to ping me if you have a specific question. If I don't know, I can ask my friends from UK or NL what they do when they come here.

    Enjoy Houston. Be warned...it's HOT and HUMID here.
  • 04-14-2011
    nobrakes2007
    Yet another bump for West End Bike Shop and a bump for Blue Line Bike Shop as well. They are only about 2-3 miles from each other and I have had good dealings with both.

    There are three mountain bike areas in Houston that are probably everyone's top three with in about 30 minutes of downtown. Ghorba.org is a great place to check out maps and trail heads of all three.

    The one thing that is common on every trail in and around Houston is tree roots. They will be the most common obstacle you in counter

    (In no particular order)
    1. Memorial Park - Like others have said, these trails are moderate XC at best. With a couple of technical areas that throw a little fun in the mix. The trails are color coordinated for difficulty and are well marked. There are two trails in that area that are not marked and are probably the most challenging ones at the park.They are the Hochimen and the Triangle trail. Both might be a little hard to find for someone that is new to the area but they are both more technical then any of the colored trails. If you end up going with someone who knows both of these trails. Ask them to take you on the Triangle backwards. Meaning starting near the power lines where you usually end the trail at.
    2. Terry Hershey Park - Again moderate XC at best. Unlike Memorial, you will not be doing a lot of looping or turning. These trails basically follow a straight line along the edge of the bayou and once you get to the end, you turn around and go back. There will be a high and low road through most sections and depending on how much rain we have got, the low road might not be passable.
    3. Cypresswood Park - Probably the smoothest trail section out of the three but still retains a moderate XC status. It incorporates both styles of the previous two and basically combines them. You will have long straight flats and then sections where the trail doubles back on its self.

    All of them are fun in there own way and would provide a good couple of hours of riding.

    I have also ridden Lake Bryan and Rocky Hill Ranch.

    Lake Bryan is very similar to Memorial Park except the terrain has much more of a rock base, instead of tree roots. Mostly small descents into wash outs and guileys. You can camp out there as well and enjoy Lake Bryan in all of its glory :D.

    Rock Hill Ranch I suppose could be considered more AM because it does have a couple of nice hills to to come down but the majority of it is going to be XC. Be prepared for a very rocky trail which some pretty descent technical sections as well. It is also nice that you can chose the length of ride you want to do with out having to turn and head back on the same trail you just rode in on.

    Hope this helps.

    If you looking to ride, let me know. I am up for whatever
  • 04-21-2011
    loonatic
    Go to El Tiempo on Washington St.

    It's an easy cab from downtown, great tex-mex food, best margaritas around and plenty of bars nearby. That's where my wife and I always like to get together with our friends when we visit friends in Houston.
  • 04-22-2011
    kwrides
    Nice review by nobrakes2007. Just want to add a quick comment in case Houston newbs find this thread. While Hershey IS pretty much a straight line along the bayou, it has quite a few fun ups and downs along that line.

    Hope the OP had a good visit.
  • 04-27-2011
    jason333
    Ill be there riding on Friday. Are these 3 pretty solo friendly? I'll be alone :/
  • 04-27-2011
    nobrakes2007
    They are all very solo friendly. Cypresswood might be a little hard to find if you have never been there before but the other two are pretty straight forward. I think your best bet is going to be memorial park. Really close to downtown and the galleria area and has a lot of different trails to choose from.
  • 04-28-2011
    jason333
    I need to have some hope brakes bled. Any shops to recommend?
  • 04-30-2011
    BGillespie
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jason333
    I need to have some hope brakes bled. Any shops to recommend?

    Youtube.
  • 04-30-2011
    kwrides
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jason333
    I need to have some hope brakes bled. Any shops to recommend?

    What part of town are you in?
  • 05-01-2011
    jason333
    Had bike world (i think thats the name) do it.
    I road memorial, and then found a fun little track in Sugarland. It was right by my friends, so it was perfect. We did a LOT of laps there (maybe 3/4 mile long). It seems to flow downhill the entire way. No roots, but fun little obstacles. All of the trails were powdery..Maybe you guys will get a little rain to help em out.
  • 05-04-2011
    Space Ranger
    good god, what's wrong with you guys?!?!? You send this poor fella into the Galleria area to shop and Washington Ave to drink.
  • 05-05-2011
    1literbiker
    New here. Anybody riden jackbrook or memorial recently. I'm going to galveston next week and want to hit them both but don't know if their open. I'm in little rock and all the trails here are flooded.
  • 05-05-2011
    mtbscott
    Just got home from Memorial Park, dry as a bone and then some.
    There is a Ghorba Short Track race at Jack Brooks Saturday morning but should be open in the afternoon.
  • 05-05-2011
    kwrides
    The Memorial Park Trails status phone number is 713-221-0499
  • 05-06-2011
    1literbiker
    Thanks guys. I'm looking forward to these trails.