|610 3rd Street|
|1965 (Current Owner in 1997)|
B&L Bike Shop has expanded into the space toward E Street that was last a Sprint mobile phone store and before that a Verizon and Fix for Less.
Next door at 608 3rd Street is now B&L Too, which carries cycling apparel for men and women, accessories, and bicycle themed gifts and jewelry.
It's a bicycle store that sells quality new bikes and everything bicycling related. They also rent bikes (only cruisers) and are a sponsor of the Davis Bike Club. They have a friendly, knowledgeable staff that is ready and willing to help anyone coming into the shop and experienced mechanics who can quickly and precisely solve nearly any bicycle problem under the sun. While your bicycle is in for repair, they offer loaner bikes so you can still get around town.
Between the buildings is a bike station with bike pumps with compressed air and a hand pump. They have a shop pump for public use for high pressure tires and bikes with presta valves - they just ask that you be courteous to other customers and pump outside.
B&L carries Jamis, KHS, Free Agent, Electra, Fuji, and SE Racing (Single Speeds). They are also listed as one of the Davis dealers for Pake. They have the largest selection of accessories in town, and the staff will assist you to make sure the accessories you want will work on your bike. They also carry Davis's own BRÜBAR Energy Bars.
B&L Too has everything from jerseys, cycling shorts, outerwear, and socks to water bottles, jewelry, and sunglasses. They carry Canari, Bellwether, Chrome Bags, Klean Kanteen, Camelbak, Tifosi, Serfas, Sock Guy and more.
This is the home of Milo, the shop cat. He is furry, friendly, and good with kids. Many Davisites visit the store solely to see Milo, but he is sometimes upstairs napping or eating when they come by. Milo has his own email, Facebook page1, and section of the store's monthly e-newsletter. He has also started writing B & L's blog. Milo is awesome.
Bicycle Shops — other bike shops in Davis
Bicycling — a good starting point for your bike-related inquiries
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Again, friendly knowledgeable staff. Great place for most bike needs. I enjoy giving them my business when practical. Small selection of road bikes, but good overall bike selection. - EricKlein
I've been riding in Davis a lot longer than I've been working at Ken's, and B&L gets my business when I can't find what I need at my shop. I got my first real mountain bike from them many years ago and have gotten great service from these guys. - KenNeville
2005-10-23 19:20:07 Didn't like the service. I think he was unclear and ripped me off. Go elsewhere. —XeDty
2006-06-14 16:38:16 I've had good service here consistently, whether I've brought my bike in for repair, tune ups, fill ups ect. I've come in with some small repairs for my bike that the techs have gladly fixed for free. Also, theres a hose on the fence on the right where you can fill up your tires. Also, watch out for the cat, it's not so friendly. —CharlesGeorge
2006-08-31 18:56:23 Prices are definitely high. Service can be shoddy - not all their employees are knowledgable. I recently bought a bike rack for my son's bike and they sold me a rack that came without installation instructions and did not fit, even though they knew the size of the bike and model I was putting it on. —WilliamMead
2006-09-16 21:27:19 Very helpful staff. They let me look at bike locks even while they were closing shop. It was past 6pm on a Saturday and a staff person answered my questions about various locks and told me to take my time. —MattLow
2006-09-19 23:38:35 Great customer service there, and very glad I bought the premium package for my bike with the bad luck I had with flat tires. —JenniferKucich
2006-10-09 20:46:20 They definitely try to rip people off here all the time. They don't really give you many options or tell you what they're thinking. Also, when trying to rent a bike here, they took my boyfriend's card and put the $400 authorization without really explaining what it was or what it would do to his bank account. Unfortunately, this happened over the weekend so the bank couldn't do anything about the "authorization" which made $400 vanish from his bank account. The manager was also very hesitant to clear the charge on her end. Needless to say, he didn't rent the bike. —MegDana
An authorization asks your credit card company to verify that you have a given amount of money available below your limit. It also asks your credit card company to put that money on hold, in case further charges need to be made on the account. This is a common practice in many rental places, as well as any hotel you'll ever stay at. The company you're dealing with does not take your money, and therefore cannot give you anything back. Most credit card companies will release the authorization within 3-4 days; some take as long as 10. Regardless, while the authorization is on the card, no, you can't use the money, but that's the entire point: The company making the authorization wants to make sure they don't get screwed by reckless individuals. Again, this is especially significant at hotels, which will commonly authorize two or more times the cost of the room on the card to make sure you can't skip out on the bill. —BrettHall
2006-10-16 23:52:47 I went there to fix my bike on 3:00 pm, they got it, and walked back to my dorm. 2 min after I sit down to my chair, they called me it is ready, and I walked back with amazement of how they manage their business (they said it will be ready late evening or tomorrow). When I got there, I noticed that I did not bring $10 fee for the bike. I asked them that if I may take my bike and give money later (I bought $400 worth new bike there 2 weeks ago, they got my information, which make me credible) but rejected. I asked again to salesperson to ask to his boss, and the woman (who's probably the manager) rejected. Then I begged to that salesperson to personally borrow me $10 bucks and I will bring it right away, but he again did not accepted. He rather recommended if I rent a bike if I really need a bike, I said no (see what happened to MagDana) I walked back to my dorm and brought money and again walked back to Bikeshop. I got several water blisters and muscular ache on both legs. B&L, remember that, when you give a good service to a customer, that person will bring 3 more customers. But if you piss off a customer, you will lose 33 customers instantly. —ChickenNuggets
To me, this doesn't seem unreasonable on the part of the business owner. I would actually be surprised to find many businesses [at least in the United States] who operate on the faith you expected. And in a college town, it's not unusual for people to make empty promises, e.g. I'll come back with the money. Unless they led you to believe there would be no charge for the service, it's reasonable to expect that you would have brought some form of payment with you. In my book, this interaction doesn't relate to poor customer service... perhaps just different expectations. —AlphaDog
Right, but think about it. In exchange for risking a loss of $10, they could have made a friend who would have brought in more business. Worse came to worst, they'd have lost $10. It's not like we live in NYC over here, and people really ARE looking for an excuse to not just buy the cheapest thing off the internet. In Davis, people want personal service from local businesses. —edubin
2006-11-15 14:56:09 So far, I have not yet had a problem with B&L. The staff knows what to ask when buying bike parts so you don't get the wrong item and realize it later when you get to repairing your bike. —MartySmith
2007-01-05 16:56:11 I was looking for a bike trailer. The salesperson was showing me a used trailer and toled me it was used for display only. He also told me that it's a 2005 model when later on I found out it's a 2002 model and that it was used for four years they didn't even apologized. I have got the feeling that I got their “special welcome” for foreigner with accent. —LoTam
I have got the feeling that I got their “special welcome” for foreigner with accent. Or a combination of a mis-informed salesperson and miscommunication led to hurt feelings. The trailer in question is in fantastic condition, and looks like it may well have sat in storage for five years instead of being used as much as it was - there's nothing wrong with it aside from someone else having owned it for a while and taking excellent care of it. Charges of racism are serious, especially when a much more benign explanation more easily addresses the issue. And especially when the charge is leveled against someone who is himself a minority, and would thus be less likely to express such views. If B&L gave such "welcomes" to people with foreign accents, they would lose a very sizeable portion of their customer base. —BrettHall
2007-01-22 18:36:06 B&L, I like your shop. Lots of cool stuff to look at, plenty of assistance, parts, repairs, some cool bikes too, you should have more parts though so everybody in Davis can really start to customize their bikes... I recommend the Pedros SynLube (green bottle) for Davis students this Winter - It stays on a long time, and you can't get it at Freewheeler! —GarrettGallegos
2007-04-02 16:34:51 I bought a 700 dollar bike + bunch of accessories. They usually have really awesome service but I was SHOCKED that they actually charged me for 2 zip ties after buying an overpriced CPU holder for the aero bar today. I mean come on, it's only 2 zip ties! Are those 18 cents worth repelling a regular customer? —KaiWan
2007-04-29 18:28:35 As a gift in December, my boyfriend, Karl, took me to get a bike at B&L. At first, I was very hesitant about their bike selection, but after (very little!) wheedling and cajoling, I was convinved in getting a bike there. I got a "hybrid" bike, meaning it's half mountain bike and half recreational/street bike. It's a really good bike and it fits me perfectly. I've even strated calling it my Mint'N'Chip Mobile. :)
If you get certain packages with them upon buying a bike, they will send you notices in the mail about future check-ups and tune-ups. In February, I received a letter reminding me that my 60-day check-up was due, and that I needed to bring it in within a certain window of time. So I called B&L, told them I received their letter, and asked if it was acceptable to postpone my 60-day check-up until April. They said it was okay, and I took down the name of the person who gave me this information. I just recently went it to redeem this, and I was told that I could not get my bike tuned for free (as it was part of the initial buying package). I told the person that I called, was told contrary information, and even gave him the name of the person. He simply nodded and took my bike in the back and they fixed it. Very good customer service.
So word to the wise. Do not make assumptions about any business. Be sure to get people's names, dates, and times, in case anyone tries to hassle you if they believe you are dishonest. I got this advice from my mother, and it has helped me immensely in my life, as there are always going to be individuals and businesses who try to take advantage of you or do not believe you because of prior customers —ArielaHaro
2007-05-13 21:01:32 I sold my old truck and thought I would turn some of that cash into a bike, and given the service that I've gotten at B&L, I walked in and got myself scanned. I was looking for a bike that I could balance on and ride without my hands, like my old bike. Nothing quite fit me. Either the bike was so tall that I might as well have gotten a horse, or it was too small and I looked silly on it. When it seemed like I wasn't going to be able to find one that fit me, they remembered that they had one unassembled that was similar to one of the smaller-framed bikes that almost worked. They offered to assemble it for me by the next day, and when I tried out this copper-colored bike I was quickly sold. A perfect fit. A couple hours later they had my toys installed on it and it was mine. I've been to many bike shops in Davis, some good, some annoying, but I would recommend that people try out B&L first. —KarlMogel
2007-05-19 06:47:13 Pretty good on tools, I was able to buy the 16 tooth widget to remove a shimano bottom bracket. —BillBroadley
2007-05-21 16:19:21 I went in today to get a lock...the staff was helpful and informative. I was impressed. —AdamFerguson
2007-07-07 12:56:19 Move some shit around so it's easier to walk around in here... —GarrettGallegos
2007-07-14 01:35:39 Normally I go to Ken's, but I went to B&L during the sale. Guy named Adam (apparently 53 adams work there) helped me extensively. Extremely helpful, I will definitely go back to B&L for more gear and/or technical help. Not dissing Ken's at all, but the service at B&L was excellent! :) Also - here's a secret for those considering doing their own repairs - bikes are actually pretty easy to work on if you have the right tools!! Two greasy thumbs up, B&L!!! —JeffieBaby
2007-08-06 17:01:54 theyre helpless when it comes to bmx. altho their is supposed to be one guy who knows whats up, he just never seems to be working. —piratechef
2007-08-24 11:45:27 I'd take B&L over the bike barn any day. They even helped me sell my old bike when I didn't want to pay to fix it. —HakonHope
2007-10-02 00:54:38 They have a pretty long application full of interesting questions.. better than most other places I have tried to work. —DavidPoole
2007-10-09 18:55:55 This is where I take my older Trek bike. The staff is always really helpful. The guy who helped me most recently (Adam?) was extremely patient, explaining different options to me. There was no sales pressure and no condescension about my older bike. I can't say the same for other shops in town! They also have a good selection of acessories. —SusanCameron
2007-10-15 18:48:59 I think B&L is great. A lot of the staff is friendly and very helpful. I bought a lot of my parts for a bike tour here, and just got a cool little bike light for $10. —PxlAted
2007-10-19 05:16:26 they have a new sign. cool. —EliseKane
2007-10-27 15:56:14 I bought a bike light from them about a month ago. The batteries that came with it corroded the contacts, making it useless. I went in today and showed them what it was and the readily gave me a whole new light and bracket set and I didn't even have my receipt anymore! I've never had any problems and they're more than helpful when you need it. —MartySmith
2007-11-14 14:32:05 Beware of the eggbaig. It was first sighted here. It tried to rob a mechanic at baig point. Scary I know, just be wary. Carry on. —snacks
2007-12-17 15:37:26 I went there yesterday and asked them for a 26" rim. When I got home and tried to fix my bike, I realized that there was no way that my tire would fit this rim. After measuring, I realized that they had actually sold me a 27" rim. This isn't that big of a deal, but it is definitely an inconvenience.
2007-12-31 16:50:27 I had a great experience here. The staff was extremely friendly and helpful and they had an excellent selection. I will definitely return next time I need anything for my or my husband's bike. —dhsandler
2008-02-14 23:37:31 They have a good selection of parts which the other shops seem to have to order, like stems and so on. I haven't had them do any work for me, but they have always been helpful when I needed advice on selecting parts. The prices might be high, but when you factor in the cost of shipping when you buy cheaper parts online, it comes about even most of the time. —twblalock
2008-05-21 18:35:02 B&L seems to cater to the low end of the Davis bike market.
Went here looking for a good long distance commuting hybrid bike. Couldn't find one. They mostly seem to carry heavy comfort bikes. They put me in a measuring device, which took about 10 minutes to figure out what size bike I needed. Freewheeler's employees figured out the correct size in seconds. I wanted to test ride one of their bikes, just to see if it might meet my needs. They wanted to hold on to my driver's license or credit card (I forget which), and wouldn't let me try a bike without them. I realize that they want to make sure that the bike comes back, but it didn't make me feel very good about the place. At Freewheeler, they just let me take out the bikes that I wanted to test ride, and I bought a nice bike there as a result. —IDoNotExist
What, exactly, are you complaining about here? That they took the time to fit you right (a whole ten minutes!)? That they required— as most places do— you to take your license out of your pocket before taking their merchandise out of the shop? If you want to sing Freewheeler's praises that's fine, but if you want to do it on B&L's page make it should make a little more sense. —BrianLum
2008-05-21 23:41:09 The measuring device seemed rather gimicky, and didn't do any better than the employees at the other store. It also kept asking for contact information (name, address, phone number), which was being collected for marketing purposes. I don't like being marketed to, or receiving sales calls or junk mail, so as a rule, I don't give that info out to businesses unless it is actually legitimately needed for a transaction (for example, if I were signing a lease, it would make sense.)
As for the license requirement, there was a big difference in how I felt shopping at B&L and how I felt at Freewheeler. It's certainly understandable that they would not want someone to run off with their bikes, and Freewheeler would probably have won anyway because their products were simply much better for my needs than B&L (and unlike Wheelworks, they actually wanted to sell me something!) But given how they made me feel between asking for marketing info and asking me to trust them with my ID, it definitely decreased my desire to buy a bike there. So if they had had a comparable bike, I'd probably have gone to Freewheeler. They didn't though. Their bikes were not what I needed given my needs. —IDoNotExist
BodyscanningCRM (the fitting software/device that B&L and Ken's use) requires some form of contact information before it will continue. From working at B&L for almost 3 years (I no longer work there), I can tell you they use your information for very little aside from contacting you when you need to be contacted. The only physical direct mailer that has gotten sent to the mailing list at large is the beginning of the year tuneup special - and even this had to be cut back this year due to massive response last year. Any physical mailings are prepped by the staff at the store, and are not junk mail. The most mail you'll receive is if you purchase a bike, they'll mail a free tuneup reminder and details about whichever package you received with the bike - all done by hand at the store. B&L doesn't do sales calls (they do, however, continue to call if you leave your bike there for several months or don't pick up a special order). They don't sell contact information. No, really. They DO, however, help recover stolen bikes, which they can only do if they have your contact information. Indeed, there are boxes of records of bike sales dating back into the '80s in case any of those people ever need information about the bike they bought.
As for trusting a store with your ID: Do you ever use a credit card? Every transaction you make at a physical store gets recorded. Every retail store will have a closing procedure where the transactions for the day are printed out. Because they are required to track that sort of thing (and oh my god closing out is tedious - but it catches errors made during the day). Most small stores (and many big stores) have, on the store copy of the receipt, all the information needed to do a manual credit card transaction (this helps with correcting the aforementioned errors). There are a whole mess of laws and morals that prevent employees from taking advantage of this fact. But if you want to be paranoid (note: paranoia does not mean they're not after you), stick with cash only. If you want to fuel your paranoia, check the receipts you're signing - most of the time your full CC# will be at the top. For a retail worker with few morals, physically stealing your card would be ridiculously stupid with access to this sort of information (you call within a few minutes of knowing your card is stolen - thief gets little opportunity to use the information). —BrettHall
2008-05-24 07:41:23 http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/
1747.09. (a) Except as provided in this section, no person, firm,
partnership, association, corporation, or limited liability company
that accepts credit or debit cards for the transaction of business
shall print more than the last five digits of the credit or debit
card account number or the expiration date upon any of the following:
(1) Any receipt provided to the cardholder.
(2) Any receipt retained by the person, firm, partnership,
association, corporation, or limited liability company, which is
printed at the time of the purchase, exchange, refund, or return, and
is signed by the cardholder.
(3) Any receipt retained by the person, firm, partnership,
association, corporation, or limited liability company, which is
printed at the time of the purchase, exchange, refund, or return, but
is not signed by the cardholder, because the cardholder used a
personal identification number to complete the transaction.
(b) This section shall apply only to receipts that include a
credit or debit card account number that are electronically printed
and shall not apply to transactions in which the sole means of
recording the person's credit or debit card account number is by
handwriting or by an imprint or copy of the credit or debit card.
(c) This section shall not apply to documents, other than the
receipts described in paragraphs (1) to (3), inclusive, of
subdivision (a), used for internal administrative purposes.
(d) Paragraphs (2) and (3) of subdivision (a) shall become
operative on January 1, 2009. —DonShor
2008-06-12 12:19:37 I love B&L. They've worked on my bike a couple of times and I've bought many odds-and-ends parts from them. Every time I've been in, the staff have been friendly and helpful. They really listen when I explain what I'm looking for and their suggestions are clearly just that, not attempts to up-sell! —LizPhillips
2008-06-21 17:40:16 My partner and I moved to Davis and did not own bicycles. We were looking for comfortable simple reasonably priced bikes. I priced out our bikes at all the stores in davis and the surrounding area and it would have been about $20 cheaper to buy them in Sac but I figure it was worth it to go local and get their maintenance package. The staff was friendly, informative, and effecient. If you want a simple but nice bike to get around town with I would suggest this shop. —Zeeba
2008-08-06 16:59:53 Just went here for some inner tubes. Helpful staff, very knowledgable, but I had the feeling that the staff member who was helping me kept trying to upsell me stuff. Kinda' annoying and not a good way to earn loyal customers. —GabeDavis
2008-08-09 10:49:21 Good Shop with very helpful staff. However, some one there thinks a moose can derail a train. —FrankJones
2008-08-14 16:18:06 I liked this place initially after moving here (I've taken three bikes there over the past couple of years) and the service (mechanical) has been good, but the labor is overpriced in general, and the last couple of times I was there 1) I had an obviously brand-new employee try to help me, which took much too long—and there were three other employees loafing about, and 2) The employees in there have made my wife feel like crap. (Ralph is an exception.)
What is it with people in retail businesses that makes them think they can treat their female customers differently from the male ones? I'll never go back. Ditto for my wife. We'll go to Ken's instead, I suppose, or I'll fix the damn bikes myself. —Octavian
As a current employee of B&L Bike shop, I would like to offer my opinions on the previous comment. I would first like to address the topic of the new employee taking "much too long" to help you out while three other employees were "loafing about." It is a fact that at B&L we do have several new employees on the sales floor which are not as knowledgeable as some of the veteran employees. If our new employee was checking in your bicycle for repair, it may also take a bit longer for this new employee to make sure that every part of the bicycle was inspected for safety. We do through inspections for two very important reasons 1) To make sure that the customer's bicycle is safe to ride and 2) so that the mechanics (which are separate from the sales staff) do not have to contact the customer while repairing the bicycle with additional safety concerns. Although a bicycle is a relatively simple vehicle (mechanically speaking), there are many parts which a sales person (a new one especially) must remember and address before the bicycle is fully checked in for repair. I would like to personally apologize if you felt that your time was wasted.
As for the three other members of the sales staff "loafing about," I would like to state for the record that every new employee is instructed (many times) to ask questions often, or to ask for assistance, if they so feel assistance is needed. If not directly addressed for help, it is reasonable that the other employees would trust in their co-worker's ability to properly assess the condition of the bicycle. Furthermore, it can often get crowded in our shop due to our limited floor space. Therefore, our employees often appreciate a generous amount of space while working one on one with a customer, unless explicitly asked for assistance. Once again, I can only offer my apology if you felt like our new employee took much too much of your time without asking for assistance from any of the other sales people.
As for other employees (besides Ralph who, I am happy to say, personally trained me) making your wife feel like "crap," I would like to once again offer my apologies. Specifically, I would like to know how our employees made your wife feel as though she was belittled so that our employees can address the problem. We make a distinctive effort at B&L to greet every customer at the door in order to make them feel welcome in our business. We know that, in Davis especially, you have many choices for bicycle shops, and even more choices once you enter those shops. Because of this, I feel that I can speak for all of B&L's employees in saying that we all present the customer with their choices in a manner in which they should feel comfortable and able to make an educated decision. If you or your wife feel at all like you have not received the proper attention at our shop, please let us know.
2008-08-21 17:03:56 Daniel, I understand the comments regarding your new employees. And Beth is the one who treated my wife with the most disdain. —Octavian
2008-08-22 13:00:04 B&L misinformed me about a bicycle part and seemed extremely condescending about it. It was about whether a sizing for a part would be alright (and it was: apex, wheelworks, freewheeler all said it was fine), and the guy was just a straight up ass about it. I thought it was just me but my friend was with me as well and he could tell as well. Its funny though that FSA makes the carbon sizing of the part I wanted and the guy insisted that size would "snap". You guys have to realize that not all customers are dirt racing or mtn biking. I was looking for the size because I was trying to race track, to make my ride as light as possible and durability is not an issue when I'm on a velodrome. —btt
2008-08-24 15:53:52 I always regret shopping at B&L. Maybe I have finally learned my lesson. I bought a bike seat for my toddler's new bike (new to her. bought at a garage sale and it didn't have a seat). The salesguy assured me that the seat he was selling me would fit any toddler bike. I asked if I could return it if it did not fit. He said it would fit and that I could return it but would be charged a restocking fee (I find this annoying since he had just assured me that it would fit. but at least he was up front about it).
The seat didn't fit. We brought the bike and seat into the store and asked if someone could help us either find a different seat that would fit or if we needed another part to make the purchased seat fit. We found the sales people to be reluctant to help us, skeptical of our credibility (we couldn't use the charge card because "we weren't in the system" yet we had the receipt in hand from the bike seat THAT WE CHARGED a week earlier) and in general, not helpful. We ended up buying an adaptor to get our seat to fit. But when we asked if we could check it before buying it, we encountered lots of mumbling and reluctance. The experience made me and my family feel like whiny losers (why should we have to try so hard to get help after we have already given them our business? and if they made a mistake in telling us something, couldn't they try a little harder to help fix the situation?). After we left, we walked down to freewheeler to purchase a bike rack. I'd recommend going there or Ken's if you want more consistently friendly and helpful service. —Lasan
2008-09-15 22:21:59 I went to B&L after hearing that they were friendly to regular bike riders, not just hard cores. Well, not so true. I brought in my cruiser for repair. They lost the ticket, and the work wasn't done when I went to pick it up. Ok, stuff happens. But when I arrived the second time to pick up my bike, the guy I dealt with needed me to explain everything again that I explained when I first asked them to repair my bike. Little things, like asking for help with seat and handlebar adjustment seemed like too much to ask. I wanted to purchase a lock and a helmet from B&L, but after the snobby attitude, I decided I'd take my money elsewhere. —mphpnj
2008-10-03 17:29:57 Good selection of quality parts and tools at high prices. Always got good service, however its madness in there on weekends the place is so busy. Seem to stock lower end bikes. —jcoffman98
2009-01-04 10:56:24 I came here for a quick, easy repair (simply screwing back on the derrailleur and the rear brake, which had to be taken off for transport) and they looked up the closest equivalent in thei price book and said they'd have to charge me for a full derrailleur /installment/ and that it'd be no less than 36 bucks and might take all day. I dragged my crippled baby over to Ken's and they did it on the spot for five bucks while I waited. The merchandise here looks good but I wouldn't go here for repairs. —LaFrance
We wouldn't just reinstall a derailleur without making sure it is properly adjusted once it was reinstalled, same goes for the brakes. Charging for the work being done is how a business stays in business. —BethAnnon
2009-01-22 12:03:49 Avoid this shop for any servicing-related needs. I brought in a brand new, beautiful lugged fork to be threaded one inch...waited for 2 days to come back to a fork threaded only a half-inch, complained and was told to come back the next day so they could thread another half inch. I came back to find that not only did the second threading mismatch the first threading done, but my new fork was cosmetically damaged by a mechanic who put the fork unprotected into a vice and clamped down. That was great.
I had to wait another week for them to replace the fork, and on top of that I had to take a loss on my stem, headset purchases due to the fact that I had to go threadless because this is the only bike shop in town with the appropriate threading tools...needless to say, I wasn't going to have them do a another threading job.
In general though, the turn around here for servicing is quite slow and pricey, and the sales floor not very knowledgeable (having to call on the upstairs mechanics for many of my questions). There are only two mechanics there worth talking to; Ralph and one of the younger guys there he personally trained. If you want a good price, a knowledgeable mechanic/sales person to talk to whenever, a fast turn around, special items ordered and delivered fast, and a friendly atmosphere try APEX Cycles. —mistermestizo
mietermestizo insisted on changing to a threadless fork. We offered him the exact same replacement fork. He was given an new fork and refunded for the labor that was originally performed. Mistakes happen and we took care of the customer in the exact way that he asked.
As for calling upstairs for a mechanic that is where the mechanics work. So if you need to talk with a mechanic they have to come downstairs. —BethAnnon
2009-03-07 02:18:52 B&L has to be the best bike shop in Davis. They have a very knowledgeable and friendly staff, good selection, and good prices. I try to go to B&L for any biking problems I might have. —dj123
2009-03-17 23:39:11 I have been to all the Bicycle shops in Davis. Their service is the best so far. Staff is friendly and very knowledgeable. Everytime I have been to this store they made me feel cared even if I buy a small stuff. They always offer good solutions to my bike repair projects. They have large selection of parts and tools. They offer good bicycles for all ranges and the prices are very reasonable. Great store, great selections, great service,great prices, great people. My first address whenever I need something for my bicycles.I will definitely buy my next bicycle from B&L. —Aytug
2009-03-20 17:05:58 My experiences with B&L have been great. My first experience with B&L began after I had taken my wife's bike to several other shops in Davis looking for a new comfy seat. However, the seat tube diameter was nonstandard. The other bike shops in Davis said I was SOL, that the bike was a piece of crap, and there was nothing they could do but sell me a new bike. B&L on the other hand, gave me some options including helping me get a different tube so that I didn't have to replace the bike. B&L didn't make a dime but they helped me out anyway. A year later I went back and to buy a new bike for myself and they really went all out in their service. After "fitting" me for a bike they let me try many different bikes with no hard sell. I went back on several different Saturdays to try the bikes until I found one I really liked. Again, they were very nice and didn't pressure me. The after sale follow up has been great. Wonderful experience overall. —RScott
2009-04-29 22:38:29 B&L is great. They not only took care of my repairs quickly but the guys in the repair shop were super friendly and went the extra mile to make sure that my bike was operating at its best. I commute to Sacramento on my bike so it's important to me that it's reliable. B&L will get my business as long as I live here. They're awesome. —Hiveman
2009-05-06 18:35:47 Well, I just stopped by the B&L yesterday, picked up a shiny new chain and a tube. Their newest employee, Daniel, is the nicest guy around, and quite knowledgeable about his bicycles! —JohnDudek
2009-07-09 13:20:32 Just came across a woman who was sold the tip to a 1/4" gig line as a presta to schrader adapter for 50 cents at B&L, another quality transaction —steveguyman
Google says a gig line is the straight line formed by a military uniform's shirt, belt buckle, and trouser fly. Searches for various spellings (jig?) come up with nothing useful (closest was for fishing-type gear, which I've tried and failed to find in the store). Also there are buckets of proper adapters at each counter and the staff does indeed know what they're for, so I have no idea what Mr. Anonymous Story is trying to say. More details would be appreciated. —BrettHall
2009-07-09 21:05:58 I like this shop. We have bought 2 bikes, a helmet, bike trailer & some locks from them and they are very knowledgable. Had a few repairs done too and they were fair on pricing. Great customer service. —jwendt
2009-07-21 20:21:46 horrible service. Brought my bike here to have the front wheel straightened. The person who checked in my bike said it would be no problem. Three days later I get a call and they tell me they cant fix my bike because the front wheel has dents in it ... so I rode the bike they loned me over to the shop to get my bike and when I get there they tried to give me my bike without the front wheel attached to the bike and without the tire on the wheel. I said "you going to put that back together right?" They said, "oh, was it together when you brought it in?" I said "of course". Next a second employee came out to try to explain to me why they couldnt reassemble my bike .. for liability issues. I told them to put my bike back together, in the same condition it was in when I brought it, and they refused. They made me put it back and made me go outside to inflate my tire. I have never ever been treated so poorly by any business. —RealComputers
That's not the conversation I remember. Rather than play your word against mine, though, I'll try to explain the liability issue: If we perform work on a bicycle, where we know that such work makes the bike unsafe (or less safe) to ride, and you are injured while riding this bike, we are liable for your injuries or death. Further, you instructed us to stop work when you did not want us to complete the work necessary to make the bike safe to ride. If we have to disassemble part of the bike (or, in this case, remove the tire from the rim) in order to perform the work ordered, we aren't going to then complete the work when you tell us to stop. I'll also note that the mechanic was asked to put the tire and tube back on the wheel so that you could pump it up, and for the whole time we had your bike you had one of our rental bikes at no charge, because we know how inconvenient it can be to be without your bike. I'm sorry if our actions seemed like bad customer service to you, but unfortunately it's the way this industry has turned (especially in California, home of the frivolous lawsuit) (there is a large portion of this decision that is based on simply caring about the safety of our customers, and wanting them to enjoy their cycling experience as much as possible - I'm emphasizing the legal aspect because that's how it was brought up). So customer beware: If you want a bike that's unsafe to ride, B&L will not work on your bike (conversely, we're willing to resurrect just about anything you can dig out of your garage if it's able to be fixed and you love the bike enough to fix it). —BrettHall
2009-09-01 16:24:25 This place is a rip-off for small parts. They tried to charge me $4 for a set of bearings that cost $1 at the Bike Barn on Campus. That and the guy that helped me was pretty clueless. I had bought another part a few days earlier thinking that it was way too expensive, but was assured by Brett (the same Brett who feels the need to defend his store against all negative comments here) that I was paying a low price compared to similar parts in his inventory. Sorry, but this store is kind of a joke. If you want a nice road bike, go to Wheelworks or Ken's. If you need a commuter, go to Free Wheeler. If you need parts, go to the Bike Barn. If you need to get ripped off on parts that are marked up about 1000%, go to B&L. —Jibbajaba
The axle I sold you should have gone for $11, not the $7 I charged. Our fault for not labeling it clearly, but thank you for pointing it out so I can add more things to my to-do list. Oddly, the only reason I remember this transaction is that I thought Mr. Jabba's reaction was that the price was so low. Wheels Manufacturing does make some inexpensive axles (including the one in question), but none that should be sold for that much under $10 (assuming the goal is to make some semblance of profit). —BrettHall
Well then I'm sorry, but that's even more ridiculous. I can buy an entire new coaster brake kit for $19, and that includes the axle, three sets of bearings, the clutch, two brake pads, etc. Everything except the rear cog. And that's for a Shimano brake kit. You are charging $11 for an axle, plus $4 each for bearing sets? That's $23 just for those 4 parts. I should have just returned the axle to your store, but it was my mistake for not doing my research first so I just ate it. I went back to the Bike Barn and got the bearings I needed. Brett, you seem like a nice guy, but your store seems like it's set up to take advantage of the clueless based on some of the comments here. —Jibbajaba
I can't believe you are complaining about prices and then advising people to go to "WheelJerks". Last I checked they don't even sell a road bike for under $1000 and if you even ask them about prices they look at you like "you don't belong in this store". Ridiculous. —AmandaAbughosh
2009-09-02 15:07:44 B&L has provided pretty good service to me, and on the rare occasion that they didn't meet my expectations, I contacted the manager and she was very helpful in resolving the issue. It is funny that some people complain about reasonable business practices such as asking for payment when the customer picks up the bike, or charging for each item used, or asking for an ID when you take their bike out and could ride away with it. Holy cow. But...peace and love, peace and love. Serenity now... —RonB
2009-09-13 19:52:17 I advise AGAINST going here to get any work done on your bike at all. I went there last year just to get a tune up (my bike was working fine but I try to bring it in anyway every year). When I tried to ride it home the gears began to stick and I could not move the pedals at all. When I brought it back they said that the chain was bad and that I would need to either replace it or only use it on one gear. For basically breaking my bike I got charged over 80 dollars. Then today I had Aaron from the bike shop on G street (APEX Cycles) come by just to fix my flat tire and in just a few moments he had fixed my gears as well- not charging me extra. You should go there instead of this place, which as others have mentioned, only rips people off, treats them rudely, and does not seem to really understand how bikes work. —jsh314
2009-09-18 17:13:08 i bought a used hampton and wanted to know more about the bike he took my bike put it on the stand and started taking it apart with no explanation then told me i had to pay for a service fee i felt uncomfortable oh and the lady manager kicked my bike chain that was on the ground really do not like them would NEVER ever reccamend them —tylor
2009-09-18 22:24:36 i have no idea why everyone keeps saying their staff is so friendly. i went in to get a rack on my bike. the guy refused to put it on for me because they were too busy. most of the employees were just standing around. he told me i could put it on myself in 20 minutes, yet didn't give me any tools. i returned the stuff and took my bike to freewheelers. i've never had worse service anywhere. —tlynn
2009-09-30 00:18:57 Always great (& friendly) service and competitive prices. Highly recommended! —Oleg.Lokhvitsky
2009-11-12 08:24:03 I love B&L Bike Shop and the folks that work there. I needed to replace some part on a older bike (tires, brake levers, brake pads, etc) and went there looking for options. I received excellent and knowledgeable advice on every part I looked at. Sure I could of used the staff for information, written down part numbers and went searching on internet hoping to save a few dollars. Except without the advice of the staff I would have purchased the wrong parts online and would have had to exchange or repurchase the parts. Thanks B&L staff for saving me both time and money! They also have the best selection of tools of any bike shop in Davis. —mjwood
2010-02-24 20:07:55 Good accessory selection, mediocre servicing; overpriced, sluggish, disinterested, and rarely thorough. There are some good mechanics here, but you'll only get them on the third or fourth try. I perceive a self-righteous vibe from some of the floor employees, which is more or less confirmed by the commentary they leave here. Since when is it appropriate to berate a dissatisfied customer? If not for the tone, I would let it go, but the hostility is tangible. I'll be coming back to shop for add-ons, but no service. Too bad, its a really nice space and in a prime location. —JaneKostina
2010-04-18 15:02:26 I've been trying really hard to like this bike shop, but they are making it oh so difficult for me. Ordered an integrated headset w/ installation. Didn't have the part in stock, which isn't really their fault. After 1 week, they had the part, but said the wrong part was ordered. This was not my fault since I asked two workers which headset I should get. They returned that headset and ordered another one. A week later (today) I give them a call and they say that the part is out of stock in their main warehouse, and will proceed to order the part from somewhere else. So they are going to place an order on monday, and have it arrive NEXT Friday.
Basically, if you want a headset change to take nearly a MONTH, go to B&L. otherwise, go some place that knows bikes. goddamn i am pissed. —kidkoryo
2010-05-03 16:57:06 Note on B & L policy: Customers may not borrow tools to install newly purchased parts. —NicoLinesch
That seems very reasonable and should probably go without saying. —AmandaAbughosh
2010-05-23 14:40:11 Through the summer, B&L offers lead rides around the Davis Bike Loop, Saturdays 4:30-6:00pm — lots of fun! The leader was knowledgeable and aware of his riders' capacities. As a second-year Davis resident and bike commuter, I very much enjoyed the opportunity to see the other two-thirds of our town. I would unhesitatingly recommend this as a family-friendly weekend activity.
(And for those who might find their way around the bike loop, or larger loops, on their own, consider the advantage of having a mechanic's attention for an hour-long, open air, FREE consultation :)
2010-06-13 10:34:14 I'm really surprised at some of the negative reviews here! I bought my bike here about a year ago and it was very reasonably priced and exactly what I needed. Since then, anytime I needed something for my bike the staff was SUPER friendly and never took over a day for any service request. —AmandaAbughosh
*I'm not to surprized by the wide range of reviews. Most shops in Davis that have been around for more than a couple years have both very satisfied and very unsatisfied customers. My B&L Experience has been decidedly mixed, good value, not so good service. -Rocksanddirt
2010-08-15 14:11:50 I needed some minor adjustments to my bike, and they helped me out, free of charge. Great service. They are willing to help people in need, even when it is not convenient for them. —tylertucker
2011-03-11 23:16:16 Go elsewhere. Super disappointing service and repair! There are too many bike stores in town to put up with mediocrity. :-( —RobynW
2011-03-26 12:37:33 I was bummed that they didn't stand by their accessories. I bought a light there that broke the very first time I tried to change the battery (I had not done anything weird or out of the ordinary in trying to change it) . I figured they'd stand by the product and replace it, but no dice. —edubin
2011-04-17 15:48:39 Extremely friendly and helpful! I got a flat on picnic day, and brought my bike in the next morning. I didn't have a lot of time, and needed to work in north Davis in the afternoon, so they fixed it while I waited. Thank you!! —GwenBarrow
2011-04-21 08:07:00 I went in to get my tube replaced for my road bike and payed $20 for the new part and labor. Unfortunately the guy who put the new tubing in neglected to take out the glass in the tire that had caused the flat in the first place. So after leaving the shop on my bike...the tubing popped again. I went in to ask for them to fix it with free labor but they denied me. So I payed another $20 to have them fix their own mistake. They were fairly rude about the whole situation and I feel as though it was just a big rip off. Next time I'll fix my own tire and get it right the first time.. —Johnramp
2011-09-05 22:51:30 Our experience of B&L was very different in a "time of need" scenario. We had just finished running the 10K Labor Day Race and found my tire was flat. We walked over to B&L and asked if we could buy a tube and change the tire. Nowhere posted does it say, you can't borrow tools. We weren't asking for a headset wrench or cone adjustors; we only needed one tire iron. They shook their heads saying "Nope. We'll change it for $10 though." This "neighborhood store" wanted to take advantage of us when we were most in need and low on cash. We promptly walked out and over to Ken's Bike and Ski and bought one there. I will never walk in B&L again and will send all my friends to Ken's where they didn't hesitate to loan us a tire iron. —DebWestergaard
2011-10-09 19:18:18 Went there today. I felt as if I've been discriminated. I went in first and this other girl walks in and she got service before i did just because she had a "more expensive" bike. Well sorry some jerk had to go and steal my "cheap" bike seat and seatpost. After that I proceeded to stand in awkwardness for the next ten minutes with a seatless bike when obviously at least three different workers saw me and yet none offered any help to me. I walked out. I am very disappointed in their service especially when I've seen some very great customer service comments on here. —HyeRin
2012-01-25 20:19:35 Stopped in today to buy parts for my used, dingy bike. Friendly, helpful staff that greeted me when I came in and were great at getting me what I needed and answering my questions. Didn't make me feel like my bike was beneath them! Thx! —sherrillstone
2012-02-21 00:13:34 As a decadal Davis cyclist, I have sampled nearly every road and shop. Today, Jesse at B&L affirmed my positive belief in downtown Davis bike shops. With regard to my last bicycle repair, I am all smiles. Thanks B&L for hiring Jesse and the other guys I interacted with today. They were all cheerful and honest. Please make an effort to carry more combination locks. —bartbart
2012-03-12 20:32:12 I went in today to get a quote on fixing my bike's brakes. I think someone who was parked next to me caught my brake cable on their bike and when they pulled away...they just kept pulling. Anyway, the staff was very friendly and Dante re-threaded my brake cable for free. They were very nice and I will definitely return for all my bike needs. —MichelleHV
2012-06-14 10:19:05 Went here for a bike repair and could not have been more disappointed. First it took 45 min to drop off my flat tire because an estimate was necessary for me to sign. However during said 'estimate' numerous customers were helped and rang up for purchases. I asked if they could just call me with the estimate but was refused. So finally left with an estimate for a flat tire and came back the next day for pick up only to find the front basket not attached properly to the wheel because they couldn't figure it out.I was told that the last person had done it wrong, we had the basket attached at this shop by these same people. They attached correctly after I explained how. All in all my flat tire took 2 hrs for drop off / pick up. Considering that the reason I paid someone to do it was to save time, it was all rather ridiculous. I am going somewhere else next time with better knowledge and customer service. —Zeeba
2012-07-17 20:48:19 Comment on the employees! I biked over to use their free air pump, and caught my leg on my fender as I was getting off my bike. This gouged my leg, and I started dripping blood. I walked to the doorway, Eric saw me (but not my leg) and asked if I needed anything. After I asked for a paper towel or bandaid, he saw my leg, rushed over and opened up the bathroom for me to clean up. James (another very kind employee) brought in my bike so it wouldn't get stolen. Eric pulled out a massive first aid kit, gave me alcohol swabs, found gloves, and bandaged my leg. No joke, he bandaged my leg! The entire time, James and Eric exchanged the cutest and most hilarious banter.(sidenote: I do not know them personally, they told me their names as I was leaving.) (sidenote#2: if bike shops aren't their calling, I suggest they start a sitcom.) All in all, the greatest customer service I have ever gotten, especially considering I bought nothing. And it was the best surgery I have ever gotten in a bike shop. —Kaylaaa
2012-08-05 02:13:34 I have had nothing but positive interactions with the staff at B&L. When I dropped off my bicycle for a tune up, the staff member (I can't remember his name) asked me questions about my biking habits since I wasn't sure what I needed to get done. He explained each of his suggestions in detail, and being familiar with basic mechanics all of the suggestions made sense. He didn't try to sell me on maintenance that wasn't necessary and he alerted me to mechanical issues to pay attention to as I commute and cover 100+ miles a week.
As for some of the negative reviews here - I think a misunderstanding of liability and basic payment practices are the chief complaints. A business that touches and repairs a mechanical transportation device (be it car, motorcycle of bicycle) has a legal obligation to make repairs that are necessary for the proper and safe functioning of your bicycle. If, upon making the requested repairs to your bike, a mechanical flaw is found that makes the bicycle unsafe for you to ride, the business MUST fix this problem before giving the bicycle back to your possession. This is why you are provided with an estimate. If you read the estimate and the legal language, this is spelled out for you most of the time. I cannot say that my estimate said this because I didn't check for the language. I didn't check for the language because I understand that mechanical flaws that are discovered and deemed required will be fixed and those charges will be added to my bill.
In addition, most estimates include a clause that states if you refuse to pay your bill, the business will legally retain your property until payment is rendered within 30 days. After that period, the business has the right to keep your property and do with it what they please. This provides the sometimes very necessary incentive for people to pay their bills. This is commonly referred to as a lien and is completely legal. Given that the cost of repairs on most bikes won't exceed the cost of the bike, there is no reason for a business to not keep your property and pursue small claims court to recoup the cost of repairs. Small claims court has no purpose in this industry, and a lean is far more effective at safeguarding the business that has provided a service to you.
I hope this helps customers understand the intent behind policies and understand that it's not a slight to customer. The policies used by B&L are standard of a repair based business and reasonable when viewed by how a business can be affected if they do not think ahead. At the heart of these policies is the intent to provide safe service to you as a customer and safeguard their business to continue operating in the future, which is good for the business, good for Davis and good for their customer base as a whole.
B&L — You have a loyal customer with me. Keep up the outstanding work and I'll be seeing you in the near future for my next tune up! —MichelleKoehler
2012-10-11 06:19:18 If you want a cruiser, a 50 lb/ bike that usually female college students like, come here. If you want a sports bike, hybrid or road, don't bother. They have very few bikes. This shop is clearly tailored to non-serious bike riders. —DavisLurker
2013-04-23 18:52:07 Great shop! I once had a flat tire and didn't have the right pump, and after a call to B&L they actually arranged for a family member to come help me out. When the inner tube popped pumping it up, the person helping me left, got a new one, came back and replaced it at no charge to me. I can't say I've ever had customer service like that before, and I'll always go back. —ChrisFarmlett
2014-05-30 11:03:30 My thanks and appreciation to mechanics Blair, Dane and Paul, for getting my bottom bracket replaced after Freewheeler gave up on it. Blair for assuring me they could get the old stuck cup out for sure, no matter that the other shop had failed; Dane for cautioning me that there might be an extra labor charge if it was especially difficult, and that I should consider whether the bike was worth it; Paul for figuring out how to do the job quickly and efficiently, without complaint and without extra charge, and even describing his technique to me afterwards. Very impressive staff! —stephthrasher
2014-12-05 21:04:33 Chronically understaffed. They do a pretty good job though. I prefer kens. —ScottB
- 1As of 5/30/2010, the management and staff of B&L don't know who controls Milo's FB account, so while it can be considered awesome, it can not be considered official