How to Find the Best Bike Shops in Marin County
The best bike shops in Marin County sell new bicycles including mountain bikes (also known as off-road bikes or trail bikes), road bikes (also known as street bikes or commuter bikes), and used bikes too in some cases.
The following research by The Prime Buyer's Report identifies the best bike stores in Marin County and issues related to buying new bicycles, bike accessories, and bike repair.
Updated November 04, 2016
How to Find the Best Bike Shops in Marin County
There is no state license required for bike sales in Marin County and so no state standard for competency. This makes it all the more significant that all bike stores bearing The Prime Buyer's Report—TOP 10 designation have been evaluated by our research staff, and have had to pass all the requirements for Prime Buyer's Report—TOP 10 status such as survey phone calls to previous customers to verify high satisfaction, clean complaint record, best business practices, length of time in business, and more.
Popular Types of New Bicycles in Marin County
Think about the kind of bike riding the new bike will be for, before you decide among all new bikes for sale. There are many popular types of bikes and bikes on sale at good cycle shops and bicycle stores in Marin County, and different new bikes are suited to different surfaces and uses in the San Rafael CA area and greater Marin County.
Road bikes, once called 10 speed bikes (though often now 12 speed or 15 speed bikes), are bicycles used primarily for riding on roads and paved surfaces. Street bikes generally have lighter frames and thinner bike tires than mountain bikes. Road bikes are usually used for bike racing or long-distance biking and can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars depending on the road bike features and materials used to make the bike frame.
Street bikes such as commuter bikes and touring bikes are favorites of people who ride their bikes to work or bike for fitness. Like road bikes, street bikes are built for speed and ease of riding, so they have thin, lightweight bike frames.
Mountain bikes have bike suspension systems for off-road biking, cross country biking and downhill biking. Mountain bikes generally have thicker frames and heavy-duty bike tires that stand up to tough biking conditions.
Beachcomber bikes, also known as beach cruiser bikes or simply cruisers, are known for their comfort, affordability and unique bike frame style.
BMX bikes, short for bicycle motocross bikes, are specialized bicycles that usually have 20 inch wheels and are used for off-road bike racing, dirt biking and as stunt bikes.
Bike Frame /
Type of Bicycle
Off road biking, wilderness biking, rough path biking, all terrain biking
Thick bike frames, sturdy bike frames, wide bike tires
Mountain bikes, downhill bikes
Road biking, paved path biking
Thin bike frames, lightweight bike frames, thin bike tires, multiple bike gears in 10-15 speeds
Road bikes, 10 speed bikes, commuting bikes, road racing bikes, sport touring bikes
Paved road biking, dirt path biking
Sturdy bike frames, bike frames built for comfort, reclining bike seats, reclining bike frames
Recumbent bikes, trikes and tricycles, touring bikes
Sand biking, dirt path biking, paved road biking
Sturdy bike frames, decorative bike frames, thicker bike tires. May come with only one gear.
Beachcomber bikes, beach cruisers, cruiser bikes
Motocross biking, off road biking and bike stunts
Thick bike frames, sturdy bike frames, 20-inch bike wheels, sturdy bike tires
BMX bicycles, jumping bikes
Finding the Best New Bike Stores and Cycle Stores in Marin County
There are many new bike shops and used bike stores in San Rafael and throughout Marin County that offer good new bikes and used bikes in a variety of bicycle types, such as road bikes, mountain bikes, cruisers, comfort bikes, recumbent bikes, tandem bikes and BMX bikes. Many of the better cycle stores also carry necessary bike equipment, bike parts and biking accessories such as bike locks, bicycle racks, bike helmets and cycling clothing (like biking shoes, cycling jerseys, cycling jackets, cycling gloves and bicycle shorts).
Some bike shops are affiliated with major bicycle brands and sell only new bikes and used bikes from those bicycle manufacturers, such as Trek bike stores, Cannondale bike stores and Schwinn bike stores in Marin County.
Some customers looking to buy new bikes report that they've been able to save money by buying cheap bikes made by the high quality bike manufacturers at local bike stores in Marin County that also have used bikes for sale.
Why Buy Your New Bike from Bicycle Stores in the San Rafael CA Area
Some bicyclists prefer buying new bikes from professional bike stores in Marin County instead of big box retailers. That's because new bikes arrive at Marin County bike stores unassembled, so it's important that your bike shop employees are experienced biking enthusiasts and professionals who know the best way to assemble new bikes.
The employees at the best bike stores are also skilled in choosing the best bike for you based on your height and bike riding requirements. And once you've chosen among the best new bikes or used bikes, the employees at good bike stores in San Rafael or throughout Marin County should give you all the advice you need to ride safely and keep your bike working properly with good bike maintenance and bike repairs.
How to Test New Bikes and Choose Among the Best New Bicycles for You
Bicycling experts say that getting the right fit in your new bike is the best way to ensure your comfort and safety. The experienced staff at the best bicycle stores in Marin County will help you find the best new bikes or used bikes that fit you perfectly. Items to take into consideration include bike frame height, bike frame length, handlebar height and bike seat adjustments.
How do you know when new bikes are the right size for you? Follow these helpful guidelines to make sure your new bike fits you:
Bike frame height: Stand over the top bar of the new bike or used bike you're considering. You should have one to two inches of clearance on road bikes and between three and four inches for mountain bikes.
Bike frame length: Sit on the bike seat and lean forward to hold the bike handlebars. You should be able to comfortably reach the handlebars without having to stretch too far. Bike handlebars should be close enough to give you control of the bike, but far enough away to allow you to straighten your back.
Bike seat and bike handlebar adjustments: Sales staff at the best bike stores in Marin County should help you make the adjustments so all new bikes are comfortable, including the bike seat and handlebar adjustments. When you're sitting on your bike seat, your knees should be bent between 25 and 30 degrees when your foot is on the bike pedal in its lowest position. The bike handlebars should be one inch lower than the bike seat and should be about the same width as your shoulders.
As always, before buying any new bikes from bike stores in the San Rafael CA area or Marin County, take it on a test drive. Do you feel comfortable riding the bike? Are you in control of the bicycle movements? Turn the handlebars all the way to the side to make sure they clear your knees at their highest point. Are you able to easily shift the bike gears? Does the new bike brake smoothly? Practice standing on the bike pedals, taking turns, starting and stopping, leaning from side to side and holding the bike handlebars in different positions.
Bike Maintenance and Bike Repairs at Cycle Shops in Marin County
The best bicycle stores in the Marin County area also provide bike maintenance, bike tune-ups and bike repair for all types of bicycles, including road bikes, mountain bikes, cruiser bikes, recumbent bikes and BMX bikes. Some of the best bicycle shops in the San Rafael CA area can show you how to perform do-it-yourself bike maintenance and home bike repairs.
Some good bike mechanics in San Rafael work at full-service bicycle repair shops that provide all types of cycle repairs for Marin County bike riders. From bicycle wheel straightening, bike derailleur adjustments and general bicycle brake maintenance to bike frame welding and bike chain repairs, it's important to find bike repair shops in Marin County that will get you back on the road fast.
Buy New Bike Equipment and Bike Accessories at Good Marin County Bicycle Shops
New bike dealers in Marin County also offer mountain bike equipment and street bike accessories that make riding safer and easier. Some of the most popular cycling gear and cycle equipment from these good Marin County bicycle stores include:
• Bike helmets / bicycle helmets
• Bicycle odometers, speedometers & timers
• Bicycle headlights & bike lamps
• Bike bags
• Bike tire patch kits
• Spare bike tire tubes
• Bike chain lubricant
• Bike locks
• Bike racks
• Bike repair tools
• Bike tire pumps
• Bike tire pressure gauges
• Bike water bottles and water bottle cages
• Cycling clothing and bike clothing
• Cycling shoes / bike shoes
• Cycling gloves / bike gloves
• Biking goggles / biking glasses
• Cycling shorts / bike shorts
• Cycling jerseys and cycling jackets
Some Bike Stores in Marin County Are Much Better Than Others
The Prime Buyer's Report lists these bike stores in Marin County: Summit Bicycles San Rafael CA, Bicycle Odyssey Sausalito CA, Mike's Bikes of San Rafael San Rafael CA, Cycle Works Mill Valley CA, Mike's Bikes Sausalito CA, Caesar's Cyclery San Anselmo CA, Village Peddler Larkspur CA, Mt. Tam Bikes Mill Valley CA, REI- Recreational Equipment Inc. Corte Madera CA. Other stores for bikes in San Rafael CA who might still be in business include .
How to Deal with Bike Stores in Marin County
Know What You Want Before Buying New Bikes or Used Bikes in Marin County
Do some preliminary research before you look for bike sales at bike stores in Marin County. Once you know what type of bike riding you'll want your new bike for, describe your ideal new bike to the staff at the bike stores in Marin County.
Explain the road surface, the speed and the duration of the rides you'll use your new bike for. Take time to outline specific items that are important to you, such as the styles of bike frames and bike wheels you prefer. Some bike shops will ask you about bike colors you like so they can help you find the best bikes for you.
Ask Questions of the San Rafael CA Area Bike Shops and Cycling Shops
Before you choose among the best cycling stores in San Rafael or Marin County, talk with a bike sales representative from each bike shop and make sure they offer everything you need to buy a new bike or used bike. Take notes on their responses so you can find the best bike shops after you've talked with several. The researchers and editors at The Prime Buyer's Report have put together the following list of questions to get you started.
• Do the Marin County bike shops sell new bikes and used bikes?
• Do the Marin County bicycle stores carry only popular brands of new bikes such as Cannondale bikes, Schwinn bikes, Gary Fisher bikes, Mongoose bikes, Univega bikes, Specialized bikes and Trek bikes, or do they offer other bicycle brands or used bikes also?
• How do the Marin County bike stores decide pricing for the new bikes and used bikes they sell?
• How do the Marin County cycle shops price bike accessories and bicycle equipment they offer?
• Will the employees at the Marin County bike stores help you find the right kind of bike to fit your riding style and lifestyle?
• How will the Marin County bike store sales staff help you decide between mountain bikes, road bikes, recumbent bikes and hybrid bikes?
• Can you also buy cycling clothes, bike accessories and bicycles equipment at the bicycle stores in San Rafael and Marin County?
• Will the Marin County bike store sales staff help you choose between the best bike accessories and bike equipment to go with your new bicycle?
• Will the bike shops in Marin County or specifically the San Rafael CA area also provide bicycle maintenance, bike repairs and bike tune ups? What are the charges for these bike repair services?
Make a Preliminary Decision Among Good Cycle Shops in the San Rafael CA Area and Marin County
Once you've talked with each of the best bicycle sales stores in Marin County, including San Rafael CA, look over the notes you took on each of the new bike stores and decide which offered the best new bikes, used bikes and bicycles on sale. You want the best value for your money when it comes to buying new bikes and bike equipment, so review your notes from the Marin County bike stores carefully. You should also take into consideration factors such as whether the Marin County bikes shops and cycling stores offer bike accessories and bike equipment and if they also specialize in bike repairs and bicycle maintenance.
When you've narrowed down your list to the bike stores in San Rafael and Marin County for you, verify the cycle stores' certifications, affiliations and licensing. If you are buying a name brand bicycle, check to be sure the bike stores are authorized dealers for that bicycle brand. Some of the best bike stores in the San Rafael CA area and Marin County have been recognized by different bike brand makers. Other cycle shops belong to Diamond Certified, the Better Business Bureau or chambers of commerce in San Rafael or other cities of Marin County.
The Prime Buyer's Report lists these bike shops in Marin County: Summit Bicycles San Rafael CA, Bicycle Odyssey Sausalito CA, Mike's Bikes of San Rafael San Rafael CA, Cycle Works Mill Valley CA, Mike's Bikes Sausalito CA, Caesar's Cyclery San Anselmo CA, Village Peddler Larkspur CA, Mt. Tam Bikes Mill Valley CA, REI- Recreational Equipment Inc. Corte Madera CA. Other bicycle stores that might still serve the San Rafael areas include: .
Get Guarantees in Writing from Good Bike Stores in San Rafael and Marin County
After you've chosen among your favorite new bikes, ask the bicycle sales staff at the bike shop to give you a written and signed copy of the bicycle sales agreement, bike warranty information and any guarantees that come with the sale of their bicycles. Make sure you understand all of the details, including bike delivery, bike assembly and bike maintenance.
Resources About Bike Shops in Marin County
Regulatory Bodies & Trade Associations for Bike Stores in San Rafael CA
ACA Adventure Cycling Association (http://www.adventurecycling.org/)
IBF International Bicycle Fund (http://www.ibike.org/)
IUF International Unicycling Federation (http://www.unicycling.org/iuf)
LAB League of American Bicyclists (http://bikeleague.org/)
USA Unicycling Society of America (http://www.unicyclingusa.org/)
USBPA U. S. Bicycle Polo Association (http://www.bikepolo.com/index.html)
CBC California Bicycle Coalition (http://www.calbike.org/)
CORBA Concerned Off-Road Bicyclists Association (http://corbamtb.com/)
IMBA International Mountain Bicycling Association (http://www.imba.com/)
USA Cycling (http://www.usacycling.org/)
ABA American Bicycle Association BMX (http://www.ababmx.com/)
APBA Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (http://www.apbp.org/website)
CABO California Association of Bicycling Organizations (http://www.cabobike.org/)
NBDA National Bicycle Dealers Association (http://nbda.com/)
BBB Better Business Bureau (http://www.bbb.com/)
Media Related to Bike Sales in San Rafael
BBC Sport - Cycling
Cycling Hall of Fame
Dirt Rag Mountain Bike Magazine
Mountain Bike Action
Mountain Bike Magazine
Vintage Bicycle Quarterly
Transcend Magazine: Downhill Mountain Biking
The Prime Buyer's Report provides information for TOP 10 Bike Stores in Marin County within the following zip codes:
94942, 94912, 94977, 94964, 94938, 94963, 94914, 94979, 94933, 94957, 94973, 94978, 94950, 94971, 94929, 94948, 94966, 94976, 94915, 94913, 94924, 94940, 94970, 94945, 94903, 94901, 94920, 94965, 94974, 94949, 94939, 94960, 94937, 94956, 94904, 94947, 94930, 94946, 94925 and 94941
The Prime Buyer's Report provides information for TOP 10 Bike Stores in Marin County within the following cities:
Bel Marin Keys, Belvedere, Belvedere Tiburon, Black Point, Bolinas, Corte Madera, Dogtown, Fairfax, Greenbrae, Ignacio, Inverness, Kent Woodlands, Kentfield, Larkspur, Marin City, Marinwood, Marshall, Mill Valley, Muir Beach, Muir Woods, Nicasio, Novato, Point Reyes Station, San Anselmo, San Marin, San Quentin, San Rafael, Santa Venetia, Sausalito, Stinson Beach, Strawberry Point, Tamal, Tamalpais Valley, Terra Linda, Tiburon, Dillon Beach, Forest Knolls, Lagunitas, Mission Rafael, Olema, Ross, San Geronimo, Tomales, Woodacre, Almonte, Lucas Valley and Sleepy Hollow