Posts Tagged ‘Los Angeles Bike’

Orange 20 Bike Shop

November 17, 2007

Orange 20 Bike Shop
720 N. Heliotrope Rd.
Los Angeles, CA

Orange 20 is an extraordinary little store. It specializes in urban riding, which means fixed gear bikes commuter bikes, etc. This makes perfect sense for its completely urban location (not too far from LACC). It is associated with many bike advocacy programs, and has a friendly rapport with Bicycle Kitchen located across the street (Bicycle Kitchen is a non profit “learning space” for people who love bikes). The store definitely has a lean towards fixed gear urban riders, but they are welcoming to everyone and have an underlying theme of “bikes as transportation”. As to the talent of their staff; wow, do I have a story to tell….
I was panicking. I’d been panicking since I knocked my rear wheel so badly out of true that it felt like I was riding a clown bike with square wheels. That was a couple of days ago. Three mechanics had tried to true this wheel (I will only name myself as one), but it was still vibrating and pulsing at high speeds. Man, is that a scary feeling. I kept thinking that there was no way that I could do the ALC ride on a wheel like that. I couldn’t afford a new wheel. A friend of mine came to my rescue, by hooking me up with Jack from Orange 20. Believe me when I tell you that wheel building and truing are an art form as much as a science. Jack has an eye and feel for wheels, that you only see every once in a great while. I stayed there and watched as he played my wheel like a harp, and managed to true the untruable wheel in about 35 minutes. If ever I need wheels built for me (and I will), I will go to straight to Orange 20 and ask for Jack.
Location: near LACC, East Los Angeles

Bike Attack Bike Shop

November 17, 2007

Bike Attack Bike Shop
2400 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA 90405

Ericson and his wife Kitty, owners of Bike Attack can often be found in the back of their small but well stocked shop. The vibe of the shop is laid-back, but someone is always there to help you if you want, which makes being there very comfortable. It can be said that the soul of this shop has its roots in downhill mountain biking (Ericson and Kitty used to race), but that its heart is dedicated to charity riders. It was heartwarming to see Kitty’s eyes light up when I told her that I was a charity rider (for AIDS Lifecycle). I think that says a lot about just how dedicated this shop is to charity rides. In fact, every Saturday morning at 8:00am they have an ALC training ride leave from the shop. They, get there a couple of hours early to open up the shop for this, and (this is extraordinary) feed the meters (of course, you provide the quarters) while you ride, so you don’t get ticketed. It can’t be easy having a shop in an area that has a lot of metered parking, and I think they’ve gone the extra mile to come up with a solution to help the charity riders.
One of the best features of this shop is the opportunity to have your bike built by Andrew, partner to Ericson and Kitty. He builds bikes with artistry and care; Andrew consistantly pick components of both the highest quality, and best eye-appeal. Then he puts it all together on the coolest frames. It’s easy to spot Andrew’s builds in Bike Attack: just look for the best color combinations. Then take note of the Chris King, the Thomson, the XTR, etc. As owner of a great build of his, a Redline Conquest Pro ti Cycloross bike, I can say that his build is tight and solid, alignment and shifting sharp and precise. Andrew is a true craftsman, and I’m proud to have one of his builds. I was also quite delighted to display his latest women’s sized beauty: a green commuter fixie with pink accents in size 49 cm, at the Grand Opening of my boutique. This bike is now back at Bike Attack, just waiting for some lucky gal who just happens to need a great fixie.
The location is mere pedal strokes away from the Venice Boardwalk / bike path, which means that they have their fair share of cruisers and other commuter bikes. But they also have a surprising amount of upscale bike brands, both road and mountain. Brands of note are Litespeed, Intense, Foes, Brodie, Masi, Terry, and there are lots more. In looking at their brand choices, it’s easy to see that they go for small, quality brands.
They also have a great selection of Terry cycling clothing, which is a wonderful and rare find in the LA area.
Location: Venice Beach/ Santa Monica
Discounts: 15% off to all ALC riders and club members

Helen’s Cycles, Santa Monica

November 17, 2007

Helen’s Cycles, Santa Monica
2501 Broadway
Santa Monica, CA 90404

Helen’s Santa Monica (the flagship store for Helen’s Cycles) has a lot going for it: a killer central location in Santa Monica, access to the stock of six associated locations, the best brands (big and small) in the business, and a large and dedicated staff. In fact, many of the staff have been there for years (even double digits). Is it because they can sell bikes and love to do so? Sure, but they sell bikes well, because they REALLY know their way around bikes and components. That’s because most of them are avid cyclists, and love bikes in one form or another. It would be hard for me to pick out my favorite staff member on the floor, so I won’t. Ok, Tony. But everyone else is a close second.
I will say that Adam, the clothing buyer, knows more about cycling apparel than anyone I know. To say he taught me a lot would be a huge understatement. His knowledge is absolutely apparent in his selection of labels and styles. I would call his selection of clothing smart and precise; a range of prices and styles, with the biggest “bang for your buck” in the technologically advanced clothing. In other words, he picks clothing that actually works on the bike, rather than clothes that have “hanger appeal” (that is, clothes that look good on the hanger, or when you try them on, but don’t perform well on the bike). I find the clothing section well worth a look through every time I go there. And BTW, they have a killer sales rack.
My favorite mechanic at Helen’s SM, has got to be Wilber, the head mechanic. Wilber is all business, and has a keen eye for diagnosing a mechanical problem quickly. I love to work on my own bikes, but if ever I’m stumped or need advice, I go to Wilber.
Helen’s is a huge supporter of the AIDS Lifecycle ride, and other charity rides as well. They have training rides out of Helen’s SM nearly every Sunday, as run by Shifting Gears Cycling Club. They also have years of experience of outfitting charity riders of all types and sizes, with a variety of budgets.
Location: Santa Monica
Discount for club members and/or charity riders:
10% off bikes, frames, components & kits
15% off clothing and accessories

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