Need a brand new helmet? Don’t need a brand new helmet, but want to feel more awesome? Go get a brand new helmet! Or bar tape, or kit, or saddle, or . . . OK you get the idea.
I started this blog to chronicle cycling and triathlon-ing around San Luis Obispo county. SLOCyclist.com has gotten a bit bigger than I really intended–with tons of traffic from plenty of countries, but I’d like to get back to home base a bit. Heck, whether you’re local or just visiting, you’re always in need of a good bike shop–even if maybe you don’t really neeeeeeed any new gear right now.
First, let me give you 5 quick reasons to frequent your Local Bike Shop (LBS) rather than Amazon.com (Yes, I know I’m guilty of linking to Amazon’s products, but no one is perfect, right?):
- Your coolness factor doubles when you’re friends with a bike shop employee. It’s science.
- Making friends at your LBS also leads to excellent advice and, you guessed it, discounts. And aren’t all we roadies prone to loving a good discount?
- They’re honest with you about repairs–especially when you really don’t need them. Trust me on this one. The guys and gals at Art’s Cyclery have often adjusted my derailleurs, let me grab a free cleat screw from an old shop bin, or told me not to buy an expensive replacement part when a cheap fix will do. Love your shop, and they’ll love you back.
- They’ll tell you about local rides, and probably won’t drop you when you show up. Pretty selfless of them, right?
- You can touch stuff and test it out before you buy it. That’s one thing Amazon will never have on them. Plus, you can always read the employee’s face to make sure that white and orange helmet really does look as sweet on your head as you think it does.
Now that we’ve established why you should go, now where should you go? When you’re shopping in SLO, browse these aisles first!
The Best Bike Shops in San Luis Obispo:
Art’s Cyclery www.artscyclery.com
181 Suburban Road, San Luis Obispo
My favorite bike shop for a few years running now. Not only do they have a huge inventory since their move to a super large warehouse space, they also sell just about everything you need in store. I know, they may be pretty well known as an online retailer now, but I shopped there back when–and I still do. Plus, they’ve recently expanded their line of triathlon gear, which is great for those of us who crossover the sports here and there.
Their brick and mortar houses not only several brands of road and triathlon bikes (Cannondale, Specialized, Kestral, Neil Pryde, and Orbea to name a few), but a huge supply of pretty much anything you need by several different brand names. They also offer a full-service repair shop and bike fits. The staff is super friendly, approachable, and really tries not to pressure you into something you don’t need.
Try them out. You might just find your new favorite shop (oh, and, um, well, they do have a really large online store as well. But . . . I . . . that’s kinda beside the point of this whole post).
Foothill Cyclery www.foothillcyclery.com
767 East Foothill Blvd Ste B, San Luis Obispo
On the other side of town, you’ll find Foothill Cyclery. Way back when (or like last year–time is fuzzy for me), this was my sponsor shop. My collegiate cycling team always frequented Foothill Cyclery, and not just because they were our sponsors. They offered us killer deals on Trek bikes, Bontrager shoes and gear, and, the real kicker: bike fits.
Josh at Foothill is a certified bike fitter, and he really knows his stuff. As a member of the team, I got my pro fit from Josh who fixed my knee pain, straightened out my pedaling style, and stopped my back from aching so much. If you’ve never had a real bike fit before, you’re really missing out. Josh is the man to get you riding your bike right–plus some of their Trek bikes come with a pro fit, completely free. Seriously, if you’re suffering on the bike, but not because you’re riding too hard, maybe you’re just riding wrong. Go see Josh.
Plus, you’ll also find a really decent selection of tools, shoes, sunglasses, kits, you know the drill.
Go For It Sports & SLO Bike & Run www.slobikerun.com
8040 El Camino Real, Atascadero
883 Marsh, San Luis Obispo
OK, I’m cheating a little with this one. I really, really like Go For It Sports in Atascadero, but now they have two locations to love. Although I haven’t been to the SLO store much, the shop in Atascadero has always offered me great selection and fantastic deals on triathlon gear. Everything from wetsuits and tri suits to bike tools and socks–Go For It Sports has lots to get stoked over.
Their second location feels a bit more like a bike shop, which is great since downtown SLO has gotten a little thin on bike shops lately. They offer Bianchi and Raleigh and Cervélo (heck yah) in both road and tri models. Plus, if you’re in the market for running shoes, they’ve got plenty.
These two stores are really more of the local triathlon hubs, so go there if you also love the swim and run (whoa, people like to run?!).
A Few More:
Without having frequented the following shops much, I can’t in good faith offer you an honest review of them. But I have yet to visit a local shop I didn’t like. So, here’s a list of more shops around here–heck, take a whole day and visit them all. It’s worth it.
Wally’s Bicycle World www.wallysbikes.com (Pretty sure they do bike rentals!)
306 Higuera Street, San Luis Obispo
CBO (Cambria Bike Outfitters) www.cambriabike.com
1422 Monterey Street, San Luis Obispo (I’m told there’s also one in Paso??)
Best Bike Zone www.bestbikezone.com (Hey, their name says they’re the best)
712 Paso Robles Street, Paso Robles
Flanders Bicycle www.flandersbicycle.com (I’ve heard great things about them, but haven’t had the chance to stop by yet)
1951 Santa Barbara Ave., Unit D, San Luis Obispo
The Bike Shop Morro Bay www.thebikeshopmb.com (Let’s help an MB shop take off! About time one really stuck there)
842 Main Street, Morro Bay
Baywood Cyclery www.baywoodbikeshop.com (Heard some great things, but don’t make it to Los Osos too often)
2122 9th Street, Los Osos
OK, that’s all the shops I’ve heard of around here. Who am I forgetting? Been to one you love? Tell me and your fellow SLOcals why they’re so awesome in the comments section!