7. Bicycle Shops in Monterey County–and Tips on New and Used Bike Purchases
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Looking for a good bike shop in Monterey County? There are solid, locally owned bicycle shops in:
- Carmel (mouth of the valley)
- Pacific Grove
Below is a sampling of local bike shops….
You’ll find these and more on this site’s Bicycle Shops, Services, Clubs, and Resources page, “Section 2, Bike Shops.” That page includes the most complete list of local bike shops!
First, why support local bike shops?
While Monterey County does not yet (as of 10/27/13) have a formal bicycle coalition, informally, local bike shops are among those who work together to show support for biking! Click here for one example; click here for another. Local bike shop owners are typically supportive of their communities in so many ways. Here’s another example:
Below is Saul Soto, owner of Tony’s Bike Shop, Castroville–following his barricade volunteer shift at the inaugural Ciclovia Salinas, Monterey County’s first Open Streets. For examples of other local bike shops who helped at that historic event, click here. (Photo courtesy of Juanita Turner Photography.)
All local bike shops sell new bikes. A few occasionally have used bikes for sale as well; scroll down to “Tips on Purchasing – Used bikes.”
Here’s the sampling of local bike shops
And remember to refer to the complete list of local shops on this site’s Bicycle Shops, Services, Clubs, and Resources page, “Section 2, Bike Shops.”
Sports Center Bicycles, Seaside
Home of Team Everybody: The slogan of Sports Center Bicycles, Seaside, epitomizes what Bicycling Monterey, and the heart of the Monterey County bike community, are all about: “the home of Team Everybody!” Sports Center loves to help others bike, whether you are a racer, a commuter, or a preschooler on two wheels for the first time. My 23-year-old got her last bicycle there, having long graduated from her Burley trailer.
Visit the Sports Center website for images of the types of cyclists they serve–yup, Team Everybody! Or stop by their shop and get a chuckle from the sign in their window. There you’ll see their own list of “Why bike?” in their window. Their reasons: “*@#! BP, breathe deep, fatten your wallet, slim your backside, and teach your children.”
While they express their beliefs with a dose of humor, the staff at Sports Center is seriously dedicated to their customers’ biking experience. Intimidated about stepping into a bike shop? Some folks are. But after your first visit, you’ll realize that you needn’t be at Sports Center Bicycles!
Robert Cepeda, service manager at Sports Center Bicycles of Seaside
provided complimentary mobile bike mechanic services
at the Intergenerational Ride, a new Bike Week activity in 2012.
Winning Wheels, Pacific Grove
The Monterey County Weekly’s readers said, “Best Bike Shop of 2012!“ The Weekly‘s 22nd annual readers’ poll awarded Winning Wheels of Pacific Grove the honor of Best Bike Shop. Stop by and learn why this business of 25+ years is such a favorite: 318 Grand Avenue, Pacific Grove; phone 831/375-4322.
Avid cyclist Patty at Winning Wheels in Pacific Grove
Aquarian at Bay Bikes, Old Monterey
Triangle’s Fun Social Spot: Aquarian at Bay Bikes–AKA Bay Bikes, Downtown Monterey–is another local shop with a longstanding reputation for helpfulness. This is the shop where our family purchased a Burley bike trailer back when my 23-year-old was a baby. Located at 486 Washington Street in Monterey, Aquarian is next door to the East Village Coffee Lounge at the corner of Washington and Pearl. You’ll often see Velo Club and other bikers relaxing there on the triangle plaza. (Direx tip: Munras becomes Abrego at Eldorado; and Abrego becomes Washington at Pearl. If you’re confused about our streets, it’s not you, it’s Old Monterey!)
Aquarian at Bay Bikes is part of the Bay Bikes family of shops. The Monterey County Weekly’s readers voted Bay Bikes, “Best Bike Shop of 2013!”
Click here to read the Weekly’s notice about this 2013 award.
Aquarian at Bay Bikes, and its neighbor, East Village Coffee Lounge, draw a lot of cyclists to the triangle plaza.
(Photo above courtesy of Leo Kodl.)
Salinas: Bobcat Bicycles in Oldtown Salinas is near the National Steinbeck Center.
Carmel: Residents wished for bike shops and got two at the mouth of the valley, Carmel Bicycle and Bay Bikes.
Tony’s Bike Shop & Skateboards, Castroville
Tony’s Bike Shop & Skateboards is at 11402 Haro Street (near the Class I bike path–in the little shopping center behind Union 76), Castroville; 831/272-8409. As of 10/18/13, regular hours are 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Bilingual English-Spanish. Se habla español!
The shop, named after his father, Tony, is run by Saul Soto. Among services provided: Used and new bike sales, maintenance, repair, painting. Included are BMX, cruisers, fixies, mountain bikes, and more!
Tony’s has moved from here…
Looking for some old favorites?
Joselyn’s Bicycles closed January 2012. The Joselyn’s crew is alive and well, and you’ll find some of them working at local bike shops. Two of these respected veterans–Micah Mozal and Sean Rigmaiden–opened a new shop, Peninsula Bike Works on September 1, 2012. Stop by their shop–located at 1271 10th St, Suite C, near the Naval Postgraduate School–or give them a call,
Aquarian Bicycles (AKA Aquarian at Bay Bikes) was acquired by Bay Bikes of Monterey, Inc. in spring 2012; many of the old Aquarian crew members continue to work in the bike community as well.
Here’s an update as of May 15, 2012 from Devin Michael Meheen of Bay Bikes of Monterey, Inc, which includes Carmel (Barnyard), Downtown Monterey (former Aquarian), and New Monterey (Cannery Row) locations.
- Frank Pinto, former owner of Joselyn’s, is now general manager of Bay Bikes.
- Jackson Sherry, formerly with both Joselyn’s and Aquarian, joined the Bay Bikes of Monterey, Inc. crew.
- Native Mackenzie (Mack) Crouch is now shop supervisor at Aquarian at Bay Bikes. Mack worked at Aquarian for seven years before joining the Bay Bikes team in 2011.
- Existing Bay Bikes of Monterey, Inc. staff members Robin Roby, Mark Daniels, and Chris Paruolo will be present at all locations to bring along their expertise and certified mechanic skills to all of Bay Bikes.
Tips on Purchasing
Here are tips on selecting a bike from San Francisco’s 511.org.
Investing in a new bicycle from a local shop–where clerks are knowledgeable and can find the right bike for your body and your needs–is first choice.
Check those 511.org tips on selecting a bike, then ask local bike shop staff for more guidance.
If you find yourself with a new bike from a “big box” store, see tips from Ray Hosler–click here, then scroll down to subheading “…bike quality.” As Ray cautions, in his experience on assembling such a bike for a charity, “These bikes need tuning by a pro….What of the poor person buying this bike and trying to assemble with no experience? It’s a frightening thought.”
If your budget doesn’t permit a new bike, or if you aren’t really sure if you’ll bike much and just want to test out an inexpensive used bike for awhile, what to do?
First, although local bike shops primarily sell new bikes, some also sell used bikes. It never hurts to ask!
Tony’s Bike Shop & Skateboards in Castroville sells used bikes, as well as new, on a regular basis. Tony’s is at 11398 Haro Street (behind the Union 76 station) in Castroville. Phone 831/272-8409. As of 3/14/13, regular hours are 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Website forthcoming.
Some shops, like Sports Center Bicycles, will sometimes have a couple used bikes to sell, along with their new bikes. Others have a couple or more used bikes in their inventory all the time.
If you’re lucky enough to get a used bike from a local bike shop, you not only save money while buying a quality bike, you also have the well-founded confidence that the bike is in safe operating condition–because a local bike shop mechanic has gone over it! Feel free to contact me, as I am sometimes aware when the local bike shops have good used bikes in stock.
Next, check with local bike rental stores. For instance, at least one of them typically sells their used bikes in October. Another scheduled a used bike sale for January. They had purchased the bikes new at wholesale prices, maintained them well throughout their rental life, and are now ready to sell them to prepare for purchasing new ones again for next season. What does this mean to you? The possibility of finding a sweet deal on a used bike!
You may also want to consider Craigslist or yard sales. However, if you are not mechanically savvy, it’s wise to take a used bike for a safety check-up and maintenance recommendations at a local maintenance/repair shop. Most of April, and through Bike Week in May, those are only $10; year-round, simply ask for their best price on safety inspections.
What’s the dollar value of that used bike? You may want to refer to the bicycle blue book.
These tips on “How to buy a great used bicycle” may also be helpful to you.
In our neighboring Santa Cruz County…
- The Bike Church of Santa Cruz helped get the Bike Shack in Watsonville started. Now Bike Shack is able to offer not only a DIY bike repair space and repair/maintenance skill sharing, they’ve also been able to sell affordable bikes–$20 to $100, sliding scale.
- Be inspired by these neighboring cities!