If it’s your first time or your hundredth, a local bike shop is a great resource for information. They’ll give you the scoop on the best trails. Make sure that your bike is dialed. And provide a good sounding board on anything you could imagine when it comes to mountain biking. If you live in Northern California, here’s some of the best bike shops in Bay Area that we’ve visited.
True there isn’t a ton of trails within the city proper, it does make for a great home base to sample the surrounding region. After a day of singletrack goodness, you can finish it off with great cuisine and a local brew.
Located in the Presidio, this shop provides expert advice with zero attitude. In fact, when they opened in 2001, that was their goal. SHOW they are a high quality shop by word of mouth instead of advertising. And it shows. Quality gear, great mechanics, and even bike fit assessments. One thing to be aware of is their hours. Monday through Friday, they’re only open from noon to six and 10 – 5 on Saturdays.
Elevation Bike Co.
Charlie Kocornik, the owner and fanatic cyclist of this Outer Sunset shop, has been immersed in the bike world for almost four decades. In the late 90’s when he was competing in downhill MTB, he ranked top 5 nationally so you can expect that kind of passion in his shop too. They ride what they sell so imagine the best in mountain, gravel, and CX bikes.
Big Swingin’ Cycles
Just the name of this Russian Hill bike shop deserves a stop when in San Francisco. You’ll find killer bikes, mechanics that can whip your bike back into shape, as well as any other accessories you can imagine. Alongside their shop, they’ve opened “The Lodge” in Fairfax. Giving cyclists a base camp to access single-track, gravel grinds, and road tours surrounding the legendary Marin area.
Arguably home to the best trail network in the region – El Corte Madera Creek Open Space Preserve. Within it’s 2,800 acres, you’ll find a veritable smorgasbord of singletrack. Diving through towering red woods, skinny Douglas Firs, cratered sandstone towers, and even some near vertical drops.
Palo Alto Bikes
Talk about a pillar of the community, this shop has been around since 1930. Still led by the same family, they carry everything from road tackling touring machines to dirt devourers. You’ll find great service along with a big selection of gear to peruse. The mechanics are some of the best in the region and will make sure your two wheeled steed is dialed. One thing to note is their selection of full suspension variations are a little lighter than other shops.
Woodside Bike Shop
Easily located in the center of Menlo Park just across from Menlo College itself. When you imagine a bike shop, this is the kind of place that comes to mind. Within its four walls, you’ll find a wall-to-wall floor-to-ceiling cornucopia of bikes to choose from. You’ll be salivating at all the items to choose from. Alongside their bikes, this place carries more bike accessories in one spot than pretty much any spot we’ve been to. Well worth the visit if you’re on the peninsula.
If you know anything about the history of mountain biking, you’d know this is where the sport of mountain biking began in America on the slopes of Mt.Tam. Today, most of these trails are closed due to overuse but there’s plenty of other ridges in the region such as China Camp.
As our motto goes, “Get A Bike. Ride With Us. Ride Better”, the crew at Sunshine Bicycle Company reflects the same attitude. While the shop’s been around since ’71, the owner has been at Sunshine almost as long, joining in ’78. Even his son works there. They don’t just sell bikes… they are about the two-wheeled life in all its forms. Alongside that passion, you’ll find a great selection of mountain bikes, e-bikes, gravel grinders, as well as a hefty selection of accessories. Definitely worth a stop if you’re hitting up the trails surrounding Mt. Tam.
Split Rock Tap and Wheel
Best bike shops in Bay Area should always be a welcoming place to answer questions, fix equipment, and provide gear to purchase. A gathering place of like-minded pedalers. Originally Fairfax Cyclery, this bike shop is exactly that. Alongside the full service shop, they have a café serving up delicious handmade pizzas, signature sandwiches, and crafty barley pops to enjoy after a ride. What more could you want in a shop?
How could we list the best bike shops in Bay Area without listing this core shop located on the flanks of Mt. Tam. For more than six decades, this section of Miller Avenue has had a bike shop of some shape, form, or fashion. Tam Bikes is keeping this tradition and stoke alive by doing everything from fixing flats to custom builds of your choosing.
Santa Cruz Area
When the snows are deep in our neck of the woods up in Truckee, our personal favorite place to visit is Santa Cruz. There’s a reason why a mountain biking company is named after this region. From fast flowy goodness in Wilder Ranch State Park to the regional hotspot of Soquel Demonstration State Forest. Simply known as “Demo”, it’s a testing ground for some of the biggest mountain bike manufacturers such as Ibis, Specialized, Fox, Bell, and Santa Cruz just to name a few.
Another Bike Shop
You have to love a place that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Naming your business “Another Bike Shop” tells you that this bastion of cycling is in that category. Although they carry bikes for every type of two-wheeled fun, their primary focus is on serving gravity fed adrenaline junkies since ’87. You’ll find a friendly staff and some of the best bike brands on the planet. You can’t go wrong checking out “ABS.”
Trail Head Cyclery
Based in Cupertino and serving the San Jose region, this place is known far and wide as one of the best bike shops in Bay Area. A shop built on passion, the owners John and Lars Thomsen wanted to make it a dependable shop with top notch products and services all done professionally. Originally based in San Jose, they were forced to move from its original location in 2018 due to redevelopment. Instead of shutting down, they’ve become bigger, better, and stronger in the center of Cupertino. After two plus decades, Lars (the son of the father-son duo) is still passionate about the sport and has big plans for the new shop into the future.
As you can see, if you’re looking for a local shop to get your bike fixed, pick up some parts, or even cop a new set of wheels, there are some great places to do this. Instead of ordering on the intra-webs, visit one of the best bike shops in Bay Area. You’ll be glad you did!