Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Bike (shop) Tour

As summer approaches many of us will head out on the roads, the trails, the mud and the back roads, testing our skills on our two wheeled sidekicks...our bikes. As an owner of a trusty mountain bike I appreciate all of the awesome bikes out there on the market, but with the need for speed I decided to head out and investigate, research, read, and research some more until I found just the perfect road bike for this summer’s adventures.

Like I mentioned before, when I go to buy something I tend to over research the matter to the hundredth degree, and this was no exception. Saturday mornings were mornings for "finding a bike." Some days involved my friends, some involved trekking through the snow, some just hanging out with the "bike boys." Each time I picked up something new and noteworthy about my impending "investment."

Below are some of the area stores I hit, and we are truly lucky to have access to all of these great bike shops in Northeast Ohio. If you are in the market, any of these retailers will not disappoint.

Spin (www.spinbikeshop.com)
An amazing "boutique" shop with great selections for any type of high performance bike. Along with bikes, they also stock an assortment of shoes, helmets and sports bars (Espresso power bars, my favorite!). The staff is younger, tattooed and the tunes are rocking the house. Some of the main lines they carry are Felt, Specialized, Kona and Santacruz. Visit them at 14515 Madison Ave Lakewood OH.

Eddy's (www.eddys.com)
This retailer is a staple in the Cleveland bike community with bikes ranging from tiny tots to those lazy day touring low riders, and they definitely know their stuff. They carry both Trek and Cannondale bikes. They pride themselves on a perfect-fit system, an interesting high-tech computer that scans your body and aligns your bike to your specific body frame. The sales staff were very pleasant and knowledgeable although all of their women’s road bikes were pink with butterflies...not my specific style, but maybe for someone else? Eddy's has locations all around the region but I visited the North Olmsted store, 25140 Lorain Rd. North Olmsted, OH

Performance Bike (www.performancebike.com)
The only true chain store I explored was filled with lots of great deals. Unfortunatley bikes weren't what caught my eye. They had many bikes for your weekend warriors and lots of children’s bikes, but their selection for road bikes was small. However, they did have the largest selection of apparel and those little hard plastic bottomed road bike shoes, including a large clearance department with super low prices. Located next door to Panera Bread in Rocky River (in the old Pier One space), 19707 Center Ridge Road Rocky River, OH

Century Cycles (www.centurycycles.com)
A friendly, neighborhood staple filled with bikes for any cyclist. With bikes hanging from the ceiling, stacked in boxes and propped against every exposed wall, there really was something for everyone. Some of the brands they offer are Giant, Raleigh and Bianchi. The staff really took their time talking with me and teaching me about all the bike options and what makes one bike $1200 vs. $800 (carbon). This store offers bike rentals and group rides out of their Peninsula location, and they also have a shop in Medina. The Rocky River store is located at 19955 Detroit Rd.

Every employee at each bike shop was super helpful, knowledgeable and enthusiastic...I wish I could have bought a bike from every store. The selection and staff enthusiasm is what made me most excited to buy my new bike from Century Cycles. Neil, Ken and Ray could not have been more helpful or pleasant to learn from.

I finally settled on an amazing intro compact road racing bike by Giant. It is black and silver (and will match with anything!) and comes complete with Shimano Sora shifters and brake levers and Kenda Kontender Tires...I told you I hung around the shops a lot!

To those of you who have heard me rattle on and on about this darn bike, thanks! I look forward to seeing you all on the road...please don't try and hit me!

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Blogger guv said...

FYI, Cleveland Bicycle Week is May 10 - May 18 -> come check out some of the fun rides and events!

April 30, 2008 at 10:23 AM  
Blogger Charity said...

GUV, thanks for that heads, up. We plan to ride to work all week! Can't wait. I actually took my new wheels out for a spin last night, and besides the lakewood pot holes, it was a really smooth, FAST ride!

May 6, 2008 at 8:35 AM  

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