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I'm new posting here, but not new lurking and certainly not new to mt biking Marin, got my first Stumpjumper in 82. Anyway, where is there a good shop with decent inventory, mechanics and knowledgable staff? I know Gravy is probably the best, but they don't stock anything. I like to see options before I buy parts. I'm in Novato and work in The City, so SF to Santa Rosa is my home area. Thanks for the help.
 

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bike geek
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SF Jakey said:
I'm new posting here, but not new lurking and certainly not new to mt biking Marin, got my first Stumpjumper in 82. Anyway, where is there a good shop with decent inventory, mechanics and knowledgable staff? I know Gravy is probably the best, but they don't stock anything. I like to see options before I buy parts. I'm in Novato and work in The City, so SF to Santa Rosa is my home area. Thanks for the help.
My personal LBS is Mill Valley Cycleworks. They have GREAT mechanics, who are willing to let you borrow their tools, or perform quick on-the-spot maintenance, if you're a regular. Their staff is knowledgable also, even though they've been opposed to 29ers and are only now just coming around (they finally got a GF Paragon on the floor). One thing I appreciate about their staff is that there is NO turnover. It's a bunch of 30-50 something total bike geeks who've all been there as long as I can remember, rather than a bunch of young guys bouncing from one job to the next every 6 months. It's the same guys every time I walk in. I know them, and they know me. Ed the owner is one of the nicest guys around. I support them whenever I can, although I do more and more of my own maintenance, and have not bought a new bike off the floor since my GT Tequesta in 1992.

Their inventory is huge, but it's a bunch of mainstream FS bikes by brands that I couldn't care less about (Specialized, Trek, Giant, etc) but admitedly I'm on the fringe, prefering singlespeeds, 29ers, rigid forks, fixed gear, and other weird stuff. They do a lot of road bike stuff too, high-end stuff like Colnago and Serotta.
 

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aka baycat
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I like Gravy Wheels a lot for my mechancial and wheel building issues, despite the other post flaming Gravy Wheels.

Another one is the REI in Corte Madera, they have friendly mechanics and they know their stuff. And if you are a member you get a discount on the hourly rate or tune up.

I personally have found it hard to find a good shop that I constantly go back to in Marin, I much prefer one in the city, Roaring Mouse.

Mikes Bike in San Rafael is good too. Knowledgable, friendly sales people and mechanics.
 

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don't try this at home
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if only to give a plug to some shops in Sonoma.

I tend to spread my business between Santa Rosa Cyclery - Fritz and JD are good people, know a lot about bikes and the industry; Cambria Bikes in Santa Rosa - they're good guys there too, many of have been there awhile(can check what they might have online); closer to you in Novato is The Hub in Cotati - when i lived in RP i went there a lot(kind of "far" now that i'm in santa rosa); and for roadie stuff - Norcal Sport - they've been around a long time and so have some of their mechs, they are also involved quite a bit in local riding/racing scene/advocacy - if they're good enough for Levi, they're good enough for me.

however i do most of my own wrenching but when i need something done with a tool that i don't have, most of these places will pop it on or off quickly and cheaply(free).
 

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Singletrack Mind
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NorCal Bike Sport, SR Cyclery, Cambria in Santa Rosa

NorCal Bike Sport on College Ave in Santa Rosa is the best bike shop in Santa Rosa, though they focus on road & tri bikes (their sister store, The Bike Peddler, does family & mid-level MTB's down the street). If you're lucky you might see Levi Leipheimer hanging out at the shop in the off season. Glen Fant's the best mechanic I've had the honor of wrenching on my bike, (Bill and Rob are excellent as well). After going to Glen several times, I discovered that he's been the SS champ at the Sea Otter several years running, and is now a pro roadie with the Monex squad, as well as being an all around nice guy. That being said, the guys at Santa Rosa Cyclery have been good to me, getting my Martas to run drag-free. I see Fritz in Annadel every now & again. On top of that, the guys at Cambria (formerly in Rohnert Park, now on Santa Rosa Ave. in SR) have done good work on my Hammerhead, and stock a good deal of road & MTB bits. We're lucky- we live in a bike Mecca.
 

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