Sunday, December 16, 2012

Orange County Bicycle Service and Garage!!

I recently stumbled upon a local business that deserves a little "shout-out".  It's Orange County Bicycle Service and Garage, located in Laguna Hills, CA.  They've been around for only a couple of years, but seem to be gaining a reputation for themselves by offering a set of unique services for Southern Orange County.

First off, the mechanical service is top notch, coming from expert mechanic and owner Corey Clayton.  In my brief conversation with him, it became clear that he loves bikes, and cares about his customers, having a strong desire to keep their rides in good working order so they can stay on the road or trail.  While in the shop, someone came in with a mountain bike that had a brake issue.  Corey quickly put the bike up on the stand, diagnosed the problem, fixed it, and explained to the customer how to prevent the problem in the future ... and with a minimal service charge, the customer was back out the door within about 15 minutes, his brakes working better than they ever had before.  That seems to be the consensus about Corey's work ... the bikes are returned to the owner working better than when they were new.  Next-day and Same-day turn-around service is available.

I also noticed that there's none of the usual condescending attitude that's prevalent in most bike shops.  You've all experienced the LBS staffer who appears loathe to talk with anyone about anything not related to high-end race/performance bikes or products.  This shop has a great sense of broad knowledge and love of all bike types.  In for service was a range of bikes that included top-of-the-line mountain and road bikes, commuter rigs, and even a very old Raleigh frameset that appeared to be in the process of full overhaul.  You'll also find a good selection of parts ... including more UN-common things like 8-speed cassettes and chains.

So far, this is all great, but not necessarily unique.  HOWEVER ... there are some offerings that make this place quite cool.  Things like bike pick-up and delivery service, emergency roadside assistance within a 30-mile radius, even mobile service for those times when you just can't make it to the shop but need something fixed.

One of the MOST unique things about this shop is that they are one of only two Park Tool Certified Schools in Southern California, offering classes in bike repair and maintenance.  To go along with this, they have several fully-equipped workstations that are available for rent ... so you can work on your own bike in a proper environment with professional tools and an expert mechanic within earshot if you find yourself stuck.

Beyond all of this, they're one of very few places in Southern Orange County where you can buy quality used bicycles.  They don't really stock new bikes, but do offer consignment sales of bikes that pass the test.  This is truly great for both buyers and people who have nice bikes to sell.  While you can certainly go the CL route to sell your bike, that requires you to be available to meet with potential buyers and answer a lot of silly questions, not to mention the whole haggling issue.  Not my personal preference.  Having your bike for sale at OCBG means it's always available for customers to see and test ride, and you don't have to deal with the price negotiation.  Yes, there's a fee for consignment sales, but it's worth it for the savings in time and effort.

Here's the promo video for OCBG:

If you're in South OC, take a little time and go check this place out.  You'll be glad you did!