Bike Effect, Los Angeles
Bike Effect in Santa Monica, Los Angeles portray themselves as ‘Fine Cycle Goods since 2010’ and ‘Southern California’s Premier Bike Fit Studio’. Statements that put them at the top end of the market, and their listing as a Parlee Dealer confirms this. This added to my high expectations, and often enough shops in the UK or Germany who portray themselves along similar lines suffer from a lack of service quality and a shop that is overloaded, stuck in the Seventies and portray snobbery towards new and un-knowledgeable cyclists.
However Bike Effect blew my assumptions away with one of the friendliest welcome and quality of service that I have not seen in a long time, and from which a lot of sporting stores could learn a lot from. Their initial welcome was warm and friendly without being over-bearable or cheesy and their shop floor and service area was well organized with a small but perfect product selection ranging from Rapha & Assos to Moots, Parlee, BMC, Time, Passoni, Scott and a few selective more. All brands felt like they were carefully selected without the feel that they only stocked unaffordable pieces. I felt right at home, a feeling that does not happen very often.
My initial visit was to simply browse and having a chat about finding a set of lightweight but solid climbing wheels. My intention was to take their advice on board and purchase a set of wheels at a later date back in Germany where I m based, as I wanted a custom set build with my choice of hubs. But Bike Effect does not just offer great service, a fit studio, and great advice; they also offer custom build wheels. Their strength I find lies with their ability to make you feel completely comfortable, and I did not feel like an idiot asking silly questions about wheels. To often bike shops treat potential customer like idiots, something that often results in me purchasing products online instead. That meant that I decided to have the wheels build by Bike Effect, something they were able to do within 48hrs. The wheels were a set of HED Belgium Rims with CX-Ray Sapim and Chris King R45 Hubs and these were tested immediately in a climb of 1400m up Mount Wilson and down again. Result was a super stiff set of wheels that were very light and performed fantastically. I can’t recommend the wheels enough.
Would I recommend Bike Effect? A straightforward yes! Yes, because their service, product choices and shop are fantastic. I could go on, but go and judge your selves and visit them if your in need of a good bike service, a bike fit, a new bike or simply if you just want to have a good browse of a fantastic selection. I know that on my next visit to Los Angeles they be on my must visit list, and I might just join one of their group rides as well.