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!
I’m looking for Bonnie and Kim, Kim used to own a bike shop in SLO, I lost track of them because I moved out of state, Mary Cardone
Hi Mary. I’m looking for Kim also! I’m actually looking for a guy that used to work for him, with him, who made panniers and tents, I think his name was John? Cutler? Did you find Kim? Sincerely, Steve
Hi Mary! I don’t know Bonnie or Kim, but do you know what shop they used to own? Or, do you know where it was in SLO? I might be able to help you out.
I think that a guy named Kim had a bike shop named Spirit Cycles in SLO
The People at Art’s Cycle Shop are very nice, helpful & knowledgeable about Bikes.
However, my bike shopping experience at Art’s was disappointment. I wanted to replace my old friend Rockhopper with Sirrus Elite or Comp and a But new bike for my wife. Ready to Buy:
Art’s did not know what a Specialized Vita Vinyasa was. I did.
Art’s did now know they had a Specialized Vita Vinyasa in Stock. I did, saw it on their web site.
Art’s did not know the 2017 Specialized Sirrus Models were available. I did.
I went to Art’s to Learn, not Teach the Staff.
Art’s did not have Sirrus Elite or Comp or Expert to test ride.
Art’s did not have any Sirrus Elite or Comp bike colors to look at.
Art’s Staff agreed Test Drive before you Buy. Art’s Staff agrees Art’s don’t provide this experience.
Art’s Staff told me they would assemble the Vita Vinyasa “in the Shop” for us.
Went to Art’s Cycle next week to Buy the Vita Vinyasa only to discover Art’s Staff had Lied to me.
Yep, NO vita Vinyasa. But they did agree to order it.
Then went to Art’s Cycle to Buy the Vita Vinyasa only to discover they had assembled it wrong.
Yep, brake wire in spokes.
Art’s is not a good place to Buy a Specialize Bike.
After leaving Art’s without a Bike, I did my own research and decided to Buy the Specialized Sirrus Carbon X1.
Went back to Art’s and told them of my desired Bike to Buy this bike.
The Salesman said “you don’t want that”, “Specialized does not even make such a Bike”.
Yep, back teaching the Staff at Art’s about Specialized Bikes.
Disappointed again I left Art’s Cycle Shop without a Bike.
I went back YUK to beg Art’s to beg them to sell me the Specialized Bike I wanted.
The salesman said he did not know anything about Specialized Bikes but had reviewed the Spec’s of the Specialized Sirrus X1 and it would be good bike for me.
Grateful Art’s let me spend over $3,000 for 2 Bikes?
Nice people with lot’s of Bike knowledge but CLUELESS about the Specialized Bike they sell.
Oh my God, got to back to Art’s pick up my bike next week, hope they know how to assemble it.
Art’s is not a good place to Buy a Specialize Bike.
I’m hosting a special one-time screening of the film Le Ride at Edwards Santa Maria 14 on July 12th
To reserve your tickets, please visit my Demand Film Event Page here: https://tickets.demand.film/event/1782
Unlike a traditional movie showing, my Demand Film screening requires that 48 more tickets be reserved in the next 13 days in order for the screening to occur.
I’m going to need your help if we’re going to make this event happen! I’d love to see you in the audience, and I’d really appreciate you helping me spread the word. Tell your other friends and have them join us for this special screening of Le Ride! Thanks for all your support!
Thanks for this great article. Going to SLO next week and wanted to rent quality road bikes for my wife and myself to do a couple of 50 mile afternoon rides. Do any of these stores rent higher end bikes and as I have never ridden in this area, can you point me to any good websites/resources for finding a couple of routes? Many Thanks