As Will mentioned earlier I’ve spent the last week readjusting to riding my bike which has been collecting dust for the last four years. Since some of that time it was sitting outside it needed some work to get back into top riding shape. Living in silverlake I figured that there was some bad ass shop on a backstreet that I just didn’t know about and e-mailed a bunch of people I thought would be in the know. Turns out they weren’t. And Google knew even less. Everyone raves about the Bicycle Kitchen but that’s more of a bring-your-stuff-there-and-fix-it-yourself kind of place and not so much the drop-your-bike-off-and-have-it-fixed or the buy-some-new-parts kind of place which is more what I was looking for. Initially I just needed a tune up, but as I ride more I’m going to have to replace a few components here and there and I really wanted a shop I could trust. Over the past week I’ve spent a lot of time researching and visiting shops and here’s what I’ve discovered:
Budget Bicycles in Eagle Rock: Will recommended this place and I was happy when I found it. The people there seemed pretty nice and I even passed their name on to some other friends who went there right away as well. I initially had them tune up my bike, and then had them replace my shifters, and at this point I don’t think I’d be going back. I was charged $10 more for the tune up in person than I was quoted on the phone, which I initially didn’t care about but after having some problems I had to take it back for kind of bugged me. There were also a lot of loose bolts when I got it back. When I had my shifters replaced they lost my handlebar plugs and told me I never had any to begin with. Now having spent a hour to two cleaning my bike before taking it in I know what was on it and what wasn’t. We’re talking about $1 pieces of plastic so it’s not a big deal but the principal of the thing matters. It also seems more focused on road bikes then mountain bikes which is fine, but when they seemed to keep recommending road bike parts for my mountain bike I was kind of annoyed. The final straw was a shifting problem I had and took back for an adjustment. I was told the problem was not the tune up but a crappy crankset I had that would need to be replaced. I wish they’d mentioned that during the $70 tune up, but oh well. When I asked about replacement options I was shown a crankset that said right on it that it was for roadbikes, and told I could have it at the “deal” price of $90 or so. I declined and looked it up online and saw that most places were selling it for $59. So that place is crossed off my list. They have no website either, so no link.
Hollywood Pro Bicycles: This was the first place I found online and I found it by searching for the brand of my bike, Kona. Their website seemed to have a lot of info but e-mails to them still haven’t been returned and when I called the guy who answered sounded a bit like I was bothering him. I haven’t been there in person yet so it’s entirely possible I caught them at a bad moment. It’s also entirely possible they just suck.
Wheel World: Mack recommended this Culver City shop and I spent a good amount of time on their website. I went there today and the people I talked to were helpful and informative without being sales pitchy. However they have a ton of stuff so it was a bit overwhelming. The prices in the store don’t seem to match up entirely with the prices on the website but it’s only a few dollar difference here and there and I’m sure if you argued the point things would go your way. This shop also seems to have a ton more mountain bike focused stuff so it’s the one I’m leaning towards at the moment. I still haven’t replaced my crappy crank, so unless I find a better option these guys will probably get my business on that one.