7. LOCAL BICYCLE SHOPS in Monterey County–and Tips on New and Used Bikes

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This local bike shops section includes:

  1. Complete list, in alphabetical order, of “Local bike shops of Monterey County.” All sell new bikes.  A few have used bikes for sale too. (See part 4 of this web page.) And all do maintenance and repair.
  2. Local bike shops best able to serve Spanish speakers–see ¿Habla usted español? 
  3. Tidbits about Monterey County local bike shops–a sampling to help you get acquainted.
  4. Tips on purchasing new and used bikes.
  5. Bikes for people unable to buy their own.
Looking for…
First, why support local bike shops?

1. Local bike shops of Monterey County

Note: Most are linked, whether their name is black (an older link) or blue; just click on any shop name.

Þ   Bear Bikes (in North Salinas, between Sherwood Gardens and Alvin Square; look for  neighboring Kawasaki Suzuki motorcycle dealership) – 1288 North Main, Salinas; 831/444-8460.
Þ   Bobcat Bicycles (in Oldtown Salinas, parallel to and one block east of Main; not far from the Amtrak station and downtown Salinas MST bus plaza) – 141 Monterey, Salinas; 831/753-7433.
Þ   Carmel Bicycle (at the mouth of Carmel Valley, just off Class I path; look up for nearby windmill) – 26543 Carmel Rancho Boulevard, Carmel; 831/625-2211.
Þ  CSUMB Otter Cycle Center (in the Student Center on campus); contact via email. (Accessories, parts, repairs; no bike sales.)
Þ  Doug Chandler Performance AKA DC-10 (next to the Cycle Stop Honda shop) – 517 Abbott, Salinas; 831/422-3270. 
Þ   Marina Cycle & Skate – 214 Reservation Rd, Marina; 831/384-2453. (As of 12/4/14, no website, but on Facebook.)
Þ  Peninsula Bike Works – (just off freeway, not far from El Estero Lake, and very near Naval Postgraduate School’s 10th street gate) 1271 10th St, Suite C, Monterey; 831.643.BIKE (2453).
Þ Rooster Wheels & Coffee in Marina opened January 1, 2016.
Þ   Sports Center Bicycles – (close to Class I path near Roberts Lake and Embassy Suites) – 1576 Del Monte Blvd, Seaside; 831/899-1300.
Þ  FYI: Tony’s Bike Shop & Skateboards in Castroville closed in 2015.
Þ  Valley Bikes – (downtown Salinas) 64 West Alisal Street, Salinas; 831/422-3453.  Usual hours are 10:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. (Valley moved to their location on W. Alisal St in April 2015. As of 12/2/17, no website, but on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ValleyBike.)
Þ   Winning Wheels  – (downtown PG; above Lighthouse Ave, below Pine Ave) – 318 Grand Avenue, Pacific Grove; phone 831/375-4322. (As of 12/2/17, no website, but on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/winningwheelsbike/.)
Þ   Work Horse Bicycles – (downtown Monterey, on Griffin Plaza), 486 Washington St., Monterey; 831/375-2144.

2. ¿Habla usted español? Spanish-speaking bike shop professionals

Who are Monterey County’s most fluently bilingual bicycle shop professionals? 
Click here for Bilingual Spanish-English bike shop professionals in Monterey County, and other resources en español.
Spanish-language biking resource materials:

Note also that Bicycling Monterey’s “Resources/Los Recursos” section includes Información en español sobre las bicicletas. This resource compilation includes videos and written materials in Spanish, such as a summary of California bike laws (including equipment requirements), tips for helping children learn to bike (including helmet-fitting tips), safety tips (including about biking around big trucks and buses), and much more.

3. Tidbits about Monterey County’s local bike shops

Work Horse Bicycles, Downtown Monterey

Griffin Plaza, a Social Spot: The location of Work Horse Bicycles along Monterey’s Griffin Plaza, at 486 Washington Street, puts this bike shop next door to HER Helmet Thursdays charter participant East Village Coffee Lounge. You’ll often see Velo Club Monterey members among the many people who socialize on this plaza. (Direx tip: Head to the corner of Washington and Pearl. But note that 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!)

Work Horse Bicycles is owned by Frank Pinto, a longtime respected bike community leader. Frank was the owner of Joselyns Bicycles, which closed in January 2012. He was later a manager for Bay Bikes (which formerly had a shop at this address, as did the now-closed business Aquarian Bicycles). Congratulations on your new bike shop, Frank.

(My photo above—and the photo below, courtesy of Leo Kodl—are from when this popular bike shop location was Aquarian Bicycles. It later became Bay Bikes, then in July 2017 became Workhorse Bicycles.)

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  Weeklys 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

Bear Bikes, North Salinas

Bear Bikes 2014 calendar

Bear Bikes is tucked in a little shopping plaza off North Main, between Sherwood Gardens and Alvin Square. Youth have no trouble locating this popular shop!

Bear Bikes Salinas 8 Dec 2013

Bobcat Bicycles, Oldtown Salinas

Bobcat is located near many HER Helmet Thursdays spots, including the National Steinbeck Center.

Doug Chandler Performance, Salinas

MO Interview: Catching Up with Racer Doug Chandler tells some history of Doug and Sherry Chandler, and how they support youth and others who bicycle.

Carmel Bicycle…

relocated from mid-valley to Carmel Rancho II in October 2010.

4. Tips on Purchasing

Click here for tips on selecting a bike, tips provided on San Francisco’s 511.org.

4a) New bikes

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.”

4b) Used bikes

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!

Check the “Used Bikes” post for more info.

Some shops, such as Valley Bikes in Salinas, sell used bikes, as well as new, on a regular basis.  Other shops, like Sports Center Bicycles, will sometimes have a couple used bikes to sell, along with their new bikes.  Still other shops may 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. Discounted bike safety checks typically happen in April and May, to help celebrate Bike Week/Bike Month. And year-round, simply ask a local bike shop 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.

5. Bikes for people unable to buy their own

Gears 4 Good is a small organization organized on the Monterey Peninsula by Steve Benes, and as resources and time allow, Steve is happy to serve locals throughout Monterey County. For people who cannot afford a bike, Gears 4 Good provides bicycles for transportation to work or school, or simply if driving is not an option for them.

Gears 4 Good is a 501 (3) (c) nonprofit, since March 2013. Please visit http://www.gears4good.com/ and email Steve with your questions if you or someone you know needs help obtaining a bike.

Steve also welcomes people to contact him with offers to help in this philanthropic endeavor.

For related Monterey County opportunities, also see: How to help: Bikes, gear, skills for youth and others without.

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.