I can confidently say that Santa Monica Mountains Cyclery has the nicest bathroom ever seen in a bike shop: and after joining the group for a shop ride and using it as my home base to go see the finish of the Tour of California I’d say it might be the nicest shop I’ve ever been in. After the morning shop ride, I grabbed breakfast at the bakery next door, sat down in a fat couch, had an Espresso, and watched the previous day’s stage of the ATOC.
The shop certainly caters to a higher-end clientele with some rather nice bike and component brands in stock. That said, the prices weren’t any higher than you’d find elsewhere. SMMC tried to differentiate itself with its level of service and makes certain that customers are happy. They apparently go to great lengths to ensure 24 hour turnaround on repairs -even if it means late nights at the shop. Demo bikes are available if you want to take one of their top-end bikes out to the local trails or never ending hills (as I found out on the group ride).
More on the shop ride after the jump…
The shop ride is led Saturday morning by Dave – the shop owner. The ability levels are varied, but the unrelenting hills overlooking Malibu don’t really allow for the group to remain together for all that long as people take their own pace on the climbs and regroup at the tops. Of course the day I was there, the fog was in, but I’m told the ocean views are pretty impressive. As you ride past some of the houses in the area, you understand why the shop stocks Campy 11. Most houses have “names” on the front gate rather than house numbers. We rode past what I’m told is Will Smith’s house, and apparently it’s pretty common for “shopping assistants” to come into the store to shag gear for their employers – very LA.