Located in Los Angeles’ Eagle Rock neighborhood, Budget Pro Bicycles is an unassuming bike shop tucked into the corner of a low-slung strip mall. Inside, rows of hanging wheels line the ceiling, while bike parts, accessories and riding gear make up the front portion of the storefront. There are ready-to-ride bicycles available for sale as well, set into rows and organized by style and age range, which makes Budget Pro a perfect shop for a child’s first set of wheels. There’s even a small service shop, which tunes, repairs and maintains bikes for some of the many riders throughout the neighborhood. And as a bonus, Budget Pro guarantees their repair work for a full 30 days, which means you can be riding in style – and with peace of mind – in no time.
Things have changed a bit since DTLA Bikes first opened its doors in 2009. The store began as a small basement shop with around 20 bicycles for sale along with a handful of basic accessories. Over the next few years, the business rapidly expanded to the point where the full-service facility now features more than 1,500 bikes in stock and a collection of parts and accessories that includes, among other things, gloves, helmets, lights, locks, and Babe Ruth rookie cards to put between the spokes. DTLA Bikes also employs two full-time mechanics, who are capable of performing tune ups as well as major repairs. Another major feature within the store is its indoor track, which allows customers to test ride anything from a mountain bike to a commuter bike.
Since it first set down roots in Venice in 1995, Boardwalk Skate & Surf has equipped adrenaline junkies and tourists with surfing, skateboarding, and biking gear by top brands. Shoppers can fit themselves up with an Arbor, Penny Nickle, Sector 9, or Z-Flex skateboard with a hip design, and then match their new deck to a pair of skate shoes or sandals. The shop also has a department dedicated to rentals, giving patrons the option to take a surfboard, bicycle, or pair of inline skates out for a spin, so long as they return it before it gets homesick.
Buena Park Bicycles Co. operates two locations—Fullerton Bicycles and Buena Park Bicycles—and that still isn't enough floor space to showcase all of their bikes. Their ample stock canvasses almost every inch of the show-room floor, expanding to the walls and hanging from the ceiling amid bike gear, accessories, and apparel from renowned brand names including Specialized, Giant, Fuji, Bell, and Nike. The knowledgeable staff helps customers choose from road cycles, dirt bikes, or BMX rides, throwing out recommendations about which bike has the best shocks and which won't turn back into a unicycle at midnight. Also accommodating patrons who have already been paired with a two-wheeled steed, the certified maintenance professionals keep bikes rolling with expert tune-ups and free estimates for repairs.
At City Grounds, a team of riders and cycle mechanics promote eco-friendly transportation by offering equipment and services for urban cycling needs. Knowledgeable staffers constantly seek out innovative equipment and accessories from manufacturers around the globe, stocking digital odometers by Blackburn, chains by Kryptonite, and Lezyne CO2 cartridges to combat against glass shards on city streets. They can also fit customers with bicycles for several riding styles including BMX, mountain biking, cyclocross, and commuting. Besides bike nuts and bolts, City Grounds also attends to riders' style with a selection of bold graphic tees as well as sleek backpacks and bags by Chrome, Herschel, and Manhattan Portage.
When Brian McInerney reflects on the humble beginnings of Wheel Fun Rentals, Inc., he points to his childhood passion for bikes. "As far back as I can remember, I had a real love affair with bicycles," he recalls. During a trip to Italy in 1987, Brian's affinity for cycling blossomed into a full-fledged obsession when he spotted locals' transporter of choice, the surrey. Inspired, he began importing the Italian four-wheelers to a rental business in the U.S. that eventually expanded into Wheel Fun Rentals, now a nationwide web of shops that also loans out bikes, electric cars and mopeds, and man-powered watercraft. Adventuresome athletes can also compete in activities such as surrey scavenger hunts and blindfold obstacle courses navigated via shouted instructions from a seeing teammate or exceptionally long rounds of trial and error.