Last Summer was just not my Summer: I was plagued with a very large, very dark cloud of bad luck and general misfortune. The biggest whammy? Getting door’d and hit and ran by a car and ultimately getting my bike stolen. How lucky was I?! If anything, it made me more aware of how to be a better biker in Los Angeles and learn everything you need to know about bike trouble in Los Angeles. After more than a half a year, the time has finally come: I got a new bike! It feels very long overdue and like one of those, “Ahhh: back to normal!” moments.
We did some shopping around, too. The need for a bike came from starting a new job that simply was too long of a walk from a Metro station to deal with: it was finally time to get a new bike. We dug around online for types of bikes we wanted and resolved an urban/street bike with front and rear breaks and one to three gears would be ideal. Drop handlebars and being as lightweight as possible were also things we were looking out for. We went to a few places around town but, unfortunately, there weren’t any places that had this bike in stock and ready to go. There were a lot of attempts to up-sell at other stores and quite a lot of blasé attitudes about selling a bike: there wasn’t really a care for the bike that the customer wanted nor was there a note for what the bike would be used for. We had a feeling the search would go as such which is why our last stop in bicycle outfitting was the one we knew would be the most rewarding: Orange 20, the Mel-Hel biking destination that is the capital of the informal Bike District mini-neighborhood.
Orange 20 is fairly large and, for a casual biker, it can be a little bit intimidating because you have stepped into the world of the hardcore biker. We walked around and took a survey of the bikes and found a handful that looked to match our biking specifications in addition to our price range of “in and around five hundred dollars.” We eventually set our gaze on a matte black Fuji bike that was on the top shelf of a wall rack. We stared at it for a while and–as we were looking–were approached by two or three salespeople who mentioned to grab them if we had any questions.
One of them eventually grabbed us, asking what we were looking for and if we wanted to check out this Fuji that we had been eyeing. They took us through the basic crash course of bike outfitting, asking me to straddle the bike and to make sure “your testicles do not touch the frame.” Since the bike had everything we wanted (brakes, drop handlebars, one gear, etc.), the guy asked if I wanted to take the bike out for a ride. So, I did–and he even offered up another bike in case Bobby wanted to ride along, too. How nice is that?
After a quick ride, I realized a few little changes that needed to be done: the handlebars were in desperate need of taping and they were a little too low for my liking. Aside from that? The bike was perfect. We told the bike guys about the changes and, unlike any of the other bike stores, they told us they could have the bike ready to go in twenty minutes. What?! They had all the parts *and* could do it quickly? That was unheard of considering we had already gone through the customization rigamarole with other bike shops in town, all of whom noted it would take over a week to have the bike ready to go.
Everything about getting a bike from Orange 20 was perfect. They have some pretty affordable bikes, they have salespersons who know what they are talking about (and treat you more as a bike enthusiast instead of an ignorant biker wannabe), they are fast, and they are super, super happy to get you with a bike. As we walked out of the store, we could tell that the clientele was half bike nerds and half new bikers hoping to learn more about the subject. The place has a very warm atmosphere and we very, very highly recommend you visit here the next time you go to buy a new bike.