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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm in the market for a road bike and wanted to know of any good LBS(es?) in the Santa Monica area. I've tried a few around, Helen's in Westwood, Performance in Santa Monica, and they both struck a sour note with their pushiness, or alternatively, complete lack of attention. I'm limited to riding there on my commuter from UCLA, or taking the bus if the shop is further away. Does anyone have suggestions or experiences they could share?
 

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Helens in Santa Monica, on Broadway at about 23rd street, is a good shop. Cynergy, in Santa Monica on Santa Monica Blvd. and about 23rd, too, is another good shop. A little more downscale but still very good is Wheel World in Culver City, on Sepulveda at about Washington. BTW, there's a thread on West L.A. bike shops in this forum every couple weeks or so. Keep scrolling through the pages. You'll find plenty of help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the replies. Being half stupid I completely failed to notice the socal shops thread two below this one. I'll definitely check out the Broadway Helen's, and while I'm down there Cynergy and Bike Attack.
On a related note, where do the horror stories come from? People have off days, but how does it add up when one person says it's the friendliest/most knowledgeable place ever, and another says the shop blatantly lied/ripped off/whatever, even on the same day.
 

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tyo said:
On a related note, where do the horror stories come from? People have off days, but how does it add up when one person says it's the friendliest/most knowledgeable place ever, and another says the shop blatantly lied/ripped off/whatever, even on the same day.
Honestly, I think its how you deal with their attitude. There's a high-end shop in Burbank that the staff gets a lot of "snob/rude" accusations. I've never had trouble, but I have sensed a little attitude infrequently and quickly defuse it with a little humor.

I was in Cynergy yesterday looking for some bib knickers. I found some Castellis that I liked but they weren't on sale. It was closing time and they were eager to get out of there. The employee directed me to the "sale" (crap) rack. I came back and looked at him and said - "there's nothing there, so feel free to knock off whatever's appropriate on the Castellis." :D

He looked at me like I was nuts.

Then he took off 15%.

Unless the shop is way over the top a-hole-ish, you can usually turn things around in your favor instead of just leaving. Maybe not all the time, but enough to save driving all over L.A. looking for the *perfect* shop.
 

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I discovered Hollywood Pro Cycles on a ride a month or two ago (soon to be Topanga Creek Cycles since they moved to the top of Topanga). The owners are great, super laid back and not pushy at all, and they got me the Ridley that I wanted at a price that was cheaper than anywhere online. The best is that since it is in Topanga you can easily make it a stop during a ride around the Malibu/Topanga area. I've also had good luck at Velowerx on Lincoln in south Santa Monica, and Bike Attack as far as service and help goes those guys rock. Stay away from the Bikecology on Pico and the one in Malibu, the owners were rude and pushy and said a) that would not fix my hub, even before I told them what was wrong with it and b) to look online at the Trek website and tell them which Madone they should order for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I might make a riding weekend out of it, down to Santa Monica one day to see the stores there, then a longer ride to Topanga - will be fun to get out after two weeks off.
Thanks for all the advice, and it's nice to meet other cyclists in our car-crazy city :) .
 

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Check out Bike Improve, on Santa Monica Blvd. east of Sepulveda.
Nir is the owner, and has recieved good reveiws.
If you can make it the Westchester, Summit ski and cylces, it is a friendly neighborhood shop, they are road bike oriented.
 

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nagatahawk said:
Check out Bike Improve, on Santa Monica Blvd. east of Sepulveda.
Nir is the owner, and has recieved good reveiws.
If you can make it the Westchester, Summit ski and cylces, it is a friendly neighborhood shop, they are road bike oriented.
I pass by there all the time but haven't been in yet. I should change that.

I would also add to the others mentioned above Tri-Zombies on Santa Monica and Centinela. Their bike selection is pretty small, but their nutrition section is the best around.
 
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