Epicenter Cycling - Santa Cruz Bike Shops

Santa Cruz Locals Making a Difference

1730 Mission St, Santa Cruz 831.423.9000 - 8035 Soquel Dr, Aptos 831.662.8100

Epicenter Cycling, with bike shops in Santa Cruz and in Aptos, is your home for Trek bicycles, electric bicycles, bicycle rentals, bicycle repairs, bicycle fitting, and bicycle service. We carry electric bikes, pedal-assist bikes, mountain bikes, road bikes, urban bikes, comfort bikes, dirt jumpers, women's bikes, kids' bikes and beach cruisers from Trek Bicycles, Electra Bicycle Co., Vintage Electric, Blix Bicycles, Fit Bike Co., Wallerang, and Haro. Our friendly and knowledgeable crew is here to assist you seven days a week. Locally owned and operated by family and friends.

Helmet Trade-in Sale


Helmet Trade-In Sale
March 1 - 31

Trade in your old helmet and save 25% on a brand new one. Come check out lids by Bontrager, Bell, Giro, Fox, and Electra for men, women and kids.

Your helmet is your most important piece of crash protection gear. We want to make sure you are keeping yourself safe out there!

In stores only. Limit one per customer.



You should replace your helmet every three years or after any significant impact, such as after a crash. Keep in mind that your helmet may be compromised even without visible marks on the exterior, as cracks may form in the foam liner.

Not sure what style you should be wearing for the type of riding you enjoy? Road helmets feature lighter weight and plenty of ventilation. Mountain biking helmets focus on extended coverage for cross-country, all mountain/enduro, and downhill riding.

And what about fit? A properly fitting helmet is crucial – it's not going to protect your noggin if it doesn't sit just right. Different designs fit different shaped heads. Fitting systems vary, too, from sliders to dials, to get that perfect snugness. Be sure to snug up the retention straps. Move the sliders so they touch the bottom of your ear and the length of the straps are equal for balanced tension. The fit should be snug enough that the helmet won't shift even on impact.

Muy importante: WEAR YOUR HELMET ALL THE TIME !!!! Some of the worst head injuries can happen when you least expect you will crash.

Come by either of our stores and our friendly crew will help you find the perfect lid for your dome!

She.is.beautiful Santa Cruz

We're happy to be involved year after year with this wonderful running event that empowers women and girls. This year, our very own rad and mighty ladies Grace, Vanessa and Elin will be on their bikes, leading the races!

Come by our booth at the post-race festival at Lighthouse Point to say hello. We'll have a sweet selection of electric women's bikes on hand to try out for FREE including the Trek Verve Lowstep, Trek XM700, Trek Powerfly 5, Electra Townie Go, Blix Komfort+ and Blix Avney+.

We'll also be distributing our coveted "Epicenter Bike Bucks" — come 'n get 'em while they last!

EPICENTER women.jpg

About She.is.beautiful

Empowering women and girls through movement and community in a supportive environment where they are able to take the lessons learned on the road and trail into the rest of their lives. We believe that beauty is more of a feeling than a physical attribute. We believe everyone deserves to feel beautiful, strong, smart, and capable in their own unique way. We believe so strongly in the power of sweat and community. We think there is something powerful that happens when a women/girl learns how strong she really is and how this can impact the rest of her life.

She.is.beautiful was born on a dream, optimism, hard work, and love. It was fueled by a passion for running and to celebrate life in all its mess and beauty. Running brought so much strength, gratitude, power, and grounding to Melissa’s life since she began running regularly on her high school’s cross country team at age 15. Melissa knew her passion for running was a feeling shared with others yet she also aware there were many others who had yet to feel the magic… and she wanted to both change and celebrate just that. She.is.beautiful was built on the idea of showing and reminding women and girls how strong they truly are in their bodies can give them a new confidence that will positively affect other aspects of their life. Seeing a women or girl develop and own her body and life, that, that right there is beautiful! Endorphins, kindness, joy, empowerment, and support for yourself and those around you…that is something worth celebrating!

With a background in marketing, event production, dreaming, and a separate full time job, at 24 years old Melissa kicked off the first year of SIB. Her barely-older sister was in Physical Therapy School at UCSF at the time but agreed to show up and help with the race- which is good because not only is Sara quick on her feet and has great ideas, but she’s also SO MUCH FUN. With a love for community, self love, health, girlfriends, sweat, confidence, and keeping it real, She.is.beautiful started with 500 women on a start line in Santa Cruz, CA and has now grown to 6,000 women in Santa Cruz and 2,000+ in Santa Barbara, CA. Hearing the stories and journeys of the women and girls that participate in the event is what keeps the sisters inspired to make each event better than the last.

Eight years later, the course is still lined with inspirational sassy sayings, the ladies tend to show up in pink (but not required), and the positive energy created on these race mornings can move mountains and make you want to crush the rest of your life with more joy and overall badass-ness. You deserve to live a life that makes you feel good!

Since year one, She.is.beautiful has donated to Walnut Avenue Family Center in Santa Cruz and Girls Incorporated of the Greater Santa Barbara Area. SIB is on track to hit their goal of $100,000 donated to Walnut Avenue Family Center by their 10th annual year.

Learn more here.

Test Ride the 2018 Domane 6SL Disc


FEATURED BIKE: Trek Domane SL6 Disc

The Trek Domane SL 6 Disc has all the road-smoothing advantages of a carbon frame with Front and Rear IsoSpeed, with hydraulic disc brakes and a full Shimano Ultegra groupset. It's a performance road bike that's both fast and comfortable — with disc brakes, high-end parts, quality wheels, and a lightweight carbon frame. Learn more here.

Fall in love with the road! Come by to test ride the Domane today.

2018 Demo Fleet Now Available



Yeeeeee! The 2018 Trek demo bikes have arrived ... hop on the saddle and fall in love. This year, we offer these full suspension mountain bikes: Slash 9.8, Remedy 9.8, Fuel EX 9.8, Women's Fuel EX 9.8, and Powerfly 7 FS Plus (electric), as well as the X-Caliber 8 (hard tail mountain), Verve Plus Low Step (electric hybrid) and Domane SL6 Disc (road).

The price of any demo will be credited towards your purchase if you buy the bike!

Learn more about these fine bicycles here; give us a call (Santa Cruz: 831.423.9000 / Aptos 831.662.8100)  to reserve your one-day or 24-hour demo now.

Trek Dirt Series: Co-Ed MTB Skills Camp


1730 Mission Street, Santa Cruz

Trek Dirt Series is back at Epicenter Cycling for its 7th year running! We are proud to host this highly acclaimed mountain bike skills camp and hope to see you among the smiling faces May 5-6.

Trek bikes are available to rent for the clinic at $50 per day and include fitting and suspension set-up. (Call to reserve; subject to availability.) Plus, if you buy a bike from Epicenter after renting, the rental fee will be applied towards your new bike purchase.

Registration opens February 10; register hereThis camp sells out quickly, so be sure to sign up as soon as reg opens!

Learn more about Dirt Series at dirtseries.com and below.


Dirt Series

If you’re looking to learn new skills, increase your confidence on the bike, or simply enjoy the sport like never before, Dirt Series mountain bike camps are for you.

Based in Whistler and traveling throughout Western Canada and the US, Dirt Series offers personalized instruction, professional programming, and an incredibly skilled, enthusiastic, and supportive coaching staff.

In the past fourteen years they've taught over 11,000 participants, cross-country and downhill, beginner through advanced.

Thinking of joining a camp and want some extra encouragement? Check out the testimonials on the Dirt Series website, or some of the press the program has received here.

Follow Dirt Series on Facebook here

Redwood Rosies Women's Cycling Group

Redwood Rosies.jpg


We're excited to announce the debut of the Epicenter Cycling Redwood Rosies Facebook Group — a cycling group for female cyclists of all levels and ages. We'll be posting shop events and rides, and encourage members to post their rides as well.

Our objective is to support the women's cycling community in Santa Cruz County. Mountain biking, road riding, pump track sessions, cruisin' around town, commuting to work ... let's spread the joy of cycling!

Join the Redwood Rosies Facebook group here. Sign up for the Redwood Rosies email list here.


Cam McCaul and Casey Brown Make First Ever Mountain Bike Descent of Corbet's Couloir

Anyone who has ever skied or snowboarded Jackson Hole (WY) knows just how nerve-racking it can be to send it into the infamous Corbet's Couloir, even in the best of conditions. Doing it in icy conditions on mountain bikes is nothing short of insane, and that's exactly what Teton Gravity Research wanted to do.

This past spring, Trek riders Cam McCaul and Casey Brown attempted this first ever mountain bike descent of the double black diamond ski run — one of the most legendary and challenging ski runs in the world.

How to describe the lines McCaul and Brown threw down? Sketchy, heavy, and borderline suicidal all come to mind ... and ultimately, the end result was jaw-dropping.

Vid clip from Teton Gravity Research's 2017 ski film Rogue Elements, presented by REI.

MBoSC 2025 Strategic Plan


Our local trail building and advocacy organization — Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz (MBOSC) — recently released its 2025 Strategic Plan and Vision, which speaks to an amazing future for mountain biking in Santa Cruz! Check it out at mbosc.org/2025vision.

Donations to this non-profit will be matched by a generous donor up to $30k. Its goal is to raise $60k with this campaign ... let's help them get there!

More about MBoSC (from its website):

Since 1997, Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz (MBOSC) has worked to support, preserve, and expand trail access and responsible mountain biking in Santa Cruz County.

We are recreational riders, trail builders, racers, bike industry professionals, and general mountain bike nuts who promote legal and sustainable mountain bike access through trail building, races, events, and collaboration throughout our county.  Strategic partnerships with land managers, other trail users, the local bike industry, and enthusiastic volunteers help MBOSC do what we do best—build cool trails.

MBOSC was originally founded to raise funds for the expansion of Wilder Ranch State Park through the purchase of Gray Whale Ranch. Today, MBOSC is made up of hundreds of members and volunteers who contribute hard-earned funds and thousands of hours of effort to support sustainable mountain biking. Nearly all funds raised go toward MBOSC’s advocacy and trail-building efforts. Operating overhead is less than 6 percent of revenues.

MBOSC boasts an impressive number of achievements and current projects. We welcome you to explore all that’s happening with mountain biking in Santa Cruz County.


Free Repair / Maintenance Clinic

Tuesday, December 12 • 6pm
1730 Mission Street, Santa Cruz

We're excited to announce we're reinstating our monthly FREE bike repair and maintenance clinic. Swing by our Mission Street shop on the second Tuesday of each month with your bike and questions!

We're Hiring!

Help create a better world one cyclist at a time!

Do you live to make a difference? Have you ever contemplated a world where people are healthy, active, community oriented, and truly happy? We have. At Epicenter Cycling, a family run local business and the only multi-location cycling shop in Santa Cruz, we are making a difference. We see cycling as a way to create positive change in the lives of those we meet. We are committed to inspiring and educating new riders and to supporting our local cycling community.

We know that cycling has profound lifelong benefits, and that, for many, the first step toward a new lifestyle begins with buying a bike. That’s why our experienced sales people are the best at finding the bike that’s perfect for any rider, while promoting the benefits of buying a new bike. We live to make and difference and to get people on great bikes.

If your interests align with ours, please send us an email at edeshaies@epicentercycling.com telling us about yourself!

Epicenter Crew Takes Tahoe

A few weeks ago, owner Shawn Wilson called me over and asked “Do you want to ride Tahoe next Thursday?”. So there I was at 5:30am on a Thursday morning, scrambling in my garage to find and extra tube and the match to my glove. I put my day pack on my back and swung my Camelbak around my belly, hopped on my saddle and pedaled in the dark over to the Mission Street shop. To my own surprise I was the first to arrive, questioning whether I should run over to the 24 hour Ferrells, but concluded that I didn’t want to keep riding around on a mountain bike in the dark with packs on my backside and frontside. Soon enough everyone arrived and we all gathered in excitement, as we were about to drive to Lake Tahoe, ride Mr.Toads Wild Ride, a trail only the boss-man had ridden before, and return to Santa Cruz all in one day. It was sure to be an adventure. We barely hit any traffic and arrived to the trailhead some time past 10am.

First we shuttled Armstrong and Corral. It was incredible! Armstrong was a glimpse into the rocky loose terrain we would later encounter on Toads, while Corral was full of berms and tabletops. The Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship built Corral a few years ago and you can tell it was built by professionals- it is the perfect example of a sustainable, fun, and accessible trail. Bravo, SBTS!

After our second lap on Armstrong and Corral, we drove to the top of Armstrong and scrambled up the climb to Toads. The climb was about 8 miles long, and I think I dismounted more on the climb than I did on the descent due to lack of momentum. I thoroughly enjoyed the entire climb. It was flowy- no steep pitches. It was mostly in the shade, too!

Once at the top we were all excited and a bit antsy for the descent. I had heard so much about Toads beforehand- that it was difficult, that I might have to walk sections. It was like sailing through a gorgeous alpine paradise, with changes in terrain and habitat with every drop in elevation. I think I laughed and cheered the entire 6 miles down. I could not stop smiling. My teeth were caked in brown, high elevation dust. It was non-stop fun, and one of the best trails I’ve ever ridden. The first half was mostly rocky sections that never seemed to end. Nothing was extremely steep, just technical. We crossed through several meadows and breathtaking vistas. Unexpectedly, near the bottom it became very flowy and loose with long, wide turns, and a few staircases. I can’t express enough just how fun it was to ride such a long descent with so much variation in discipline.

We finished riding around 6pm and headed to the lake to jump in. Magically, a reggae concert was just starting on the beach. We sat in the water, letting the waves wash over us, and looked around at each other grinning. Without saying anything at all, we knew we had just shared a day in paradise.

Trail Dog's First Trail Experience

After many a mornings cruising in De La Veaga park, it was time to go on a real trail experience together. Meet Iva Belle, my 6-month old trail-dog-in-training. We loaded up the car, picked up our buddy Lawrence, and headed down to Cuesta Ridge in San Louis Obispo. With only a 2.8 mile climb up a paved fire road, we were ready to descend and boy was my dog fast! She totally outran my bike for a good 2 miles. It was impressive watching her take the outside line on berms and running from side to side of the trail. The last part of the trail was called "The Eucs," which had amazing wood-berm features and small jumps, which we lapped two...okay three, maybe four times because we couldn't get enough! On the way out, we got to descend back down the 2-mile paved road. Iva Belle was lagging behind, wiped out from her day of adventuring. She found herself a nice comfortable spot on my lap, resting her face on the handlebars enjoying a nice breeze of cool air hitting her face all the way back to the car. From there we exchanged high-fives and headed to SLO Brew to share some beers.

-Courtney Short

Brandon Semenuk 100 Seconds

Semenuk sets the world on fire in 100 seconds of awesome, combining unparalleled slopestyle talent, blazing speed, and unique terrain. You're going to want to watch this one at least twice!

This video was filmed on the old X-Games BMX downhill race course at Woodward West in California following a major revamp by Semenuk and crew. Man, this is good!

Credit: Revel Co // Red Bull

Refresh Your Ride

Comfort on Contact : Candice Covello

Here are some inexpensive and easy things you can do to personalize the feel of your ride where your bits meet your bike. Easy on your body and easy on your wallet.


Let's talk about your hands. They're important. They do the shifting and lifting on climbs and descents. You want those arm-stars to be comfortable  and ready to rock and roll.

Gloves: I ALWAYS recommend wearing gloves while riding, even when it’s hot. Gloves will help your sweaty hands stick to the bars! Plus, if you ever crash (it happens to the best of us) you want to make sure those suckers are covered. Hand abrasions suck.

Grips and Bar Tape: Try them before you buy them! A few things to consider when you’re looking for new grips and bar tape are width, texture and material. For MTB, cruiser and recreational bikes you will find all kinds of different styles of grips – the best way to tell if you'll like it is to feel it. Bar tape for your road bike is a little easier. Bar tape is usually made of cork or foam and has different thicknesses and colors.


Although your legs do most of the work on a bike, your booty takes the abuse. A good pair of shorts and the right saddle can make all the difference in the world of comfort.

*I won’t go into ALL of the details of saddle fit, because most saddle fitting procedures depend on the shape of your... “sit”... region… which varies greatly from person to person. What usually doesn’t vary too much is the width of the sits bones and that is a great place to start.

Width: Saddles come in different sizes! We have this handy tool at the bike shop that you can sit on and it measures the distance between your sits bones. Always get measured before you buy.

A saddle that is too wide will push your sits bones apart, which can cause bruising. A saddle that is too narrow can cause damage to your soft tissues. Both of those are bad. And unpleasant. So come in... we can measure your sits for FREE!!!

Curvature and Density: Whoa – big words. Okay, so you know how you see those hard-core roadies and mountain bikers and they’re on these little bitty seats. Well… a narrow, flat and hard saddle can be more comfortable than a big squishy gel saddle, depending upon the kind of riding you do. It’s all about what position you’re riding in! Check out these Bontrager saddle fit diagrams:

Dense saddles seem hard, but often they are more supportive than a squishy seat – AND they help to keep your circulation flowing through your seat region.

If you’ve tried a dense saddle and you wish you had a bit more padding, try a pair of padded shorts. The benefits of padded shorts significantly outweighs the dorky feeling you get when wearing them. Because the pad moves with your body they help keep blood moving allowing for proper circulation while riding! Good stuff.

Cut Outs: Have you seen those saddles with the hole in the middle? That hole is called a “relief zone.” I have a saddle with a cut out and it works great for me, but they don’t work for everyone.

Be sure to give your saddle a try before you commit to it. Saddles have a break in period of approximately ten good rides. Some manufacturers, like Bontrager, offer a comfort trial. You can buy a Bontrager saddle, ride on it for 30 days, and if it doesn’t feel right, return or exchange it and try another on.

Saddle Fit: Once you’ve picked the right saddle, you want to make sure it’s installed on your bike at the right angle. If you’re not sure how to set up your saddle, swing in. We offer saddle fit options. Click here to view pricing.


There are two types of pedals that we’ll go over – clipless and flats. Certain shoes are designed to work with different types of pedals, and I touch on that too.

Clipless Pedals: Clipless pedals are equipped to work with certain shoes. A little metal bit on the bottom of your shoe “clips” into a receiver on the pedal. This allows you to lock your feet into a comfortable position and it allows you to use your legs to pull up on the pedals as well as push down. Pulling up and pushing down gives you more control of your cadence, and it works different muscles. I highly recommend using clipless pedals if: you ride long distances, you have knee or leg discomfort while you ride, you want to maintain an even cadence.

Clipless Shoes: There are two types of clipless pedals: road and mountain. Road cleats mount to your shoe with 3 bolts, they are not really designed to walk around in, so if you plan on walking a lot, try mountain bike pedals and shoes. Mountain style cleats mount to your shoe with two bolts, and mountain style shoes also have more tread on the bottom so it’s easier to get of the bike and walk. This picture shows road shoes vs. mountain bike shoes.

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Flat Pedals: Also called platform pedals… these are great for all types of riding.

Shoes for Riding Flat Pedals: You can wear all kinds of shoes with flats. My FAVORITE shoes for flats are Five Tens. They have a really grippy sole, so it kinda feels like you’re clipped in. AND they have a nice rigid sole, so you don’t get sore feet.

Bikes Change Lives


Epicenter Cycling loves sharing inspirational cycling stories on our website and on social media.

Follow us on Facebook or read the posts below.

Have a story that you'd like to share? 
We'd love to read it! Check out the info below the "Stories" section on this page, and find out how you can inspire others for the New Year!



Let's Hear Your Story...

Share your story and inspire others to take up cycling and turn their lives around! If you don't have time to write your story, we can write it for you. All you have to do is schedule an interview with us via email. Please send your info. to ccovello@epicentercycling.com.

Here are some questions that could be good starting points:
- Was there a moment in your life when you experienced the switch from a "person who owns a bike" to a "cyclist or bike" person'?
- Is there a rad person in your life who you never would have met without bikes? 
- What's your favorite only-accessible-by-bike place in the world and why?
- Or, more generally, why bikes?

Those are just suggestions, feel free to branch off as you please. Also, if you have pictures of you and your bike, those will be useful.

Bicycle Shuttle and Tours

Shuttle Smith Adventures offers bike shuttles daily from Epicenter Cycling to the top of Forest of Nisene Marks, where you can ride the challenging singletrack loops of Soquel Demonstration Forest, one of the leading freeride and cross-country destinations of Northern California. When you’re done at Soquel, you’ve got nothing but downhill awaiting you — a whole 15 miles of descent at the speed of your choice, back to Aptos Village just south of the city of Santa Cruz. (831)234-3383 Santa Cruz Bike Tours offers guided sightseeing tours for folks of all skill and fitness levels. Private tours daily, including winery, brewery and culinary tours, plus scheduled public events. (831) 722-BIKE (2453)

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Girly Ride - Girls Rock Event Recap

We love supporting the ladies and building their stoke!

We were proud to host the June Girls Rock - Santa Cruz MTB Group ride on Saturday June 6, 2015 at our Aptos store. We kicked the morning off with breakfast and coffee, then Velocity Bike Parks took nearly 20 beginners under its wing for a skills clinic while Shuttle Smith Adventures gave 20 lucky intermediate and advanced riders a lift up to SDSF to catch the flow. Intermediate Nisene and SDSF self-shuttlers bumped the total number of women up to somewhere around 60!

Trek Bicycle offered their awesome demos and we served up delicious BBQ and other goodies for the hungry dirt pedalers upon their return. Bell Bike Helmets – thanks for the sweet raffle prize!!! Special gratitude to the volunteer ride leaders and sweeps who make these supportive fun events happen.

Check out this slideshow of photos from the event!

For more information on Girls Rock events, click here. To be in the loop about our Girly Ride and other events for women, click here.

Adventure Sports Journal : Fat Tire Freedom

We're excited to report that our lead mechanic, Sarah Hansing, is writing the Fat Tire Tuesday blog for Adventure Sports Journal. Be inspired, read on!

First, the good news: I can still fit in my cycling kit. I know it may seem like a small victory, but I was skeptical at best, and very very grateful for elastic and lycra’s stretchy qualities.

Prior to today, it had been over a month (33 days, to be exact. 792 hours, if you want to translate it into how it felt) since I had gotten to pedal my mountain bike on some real live honest to goodness singletrack. Because life happened. The same way it happens to us all: First, the holidays and the family time and expectations and over-commitments I make. every. single. year. Maybe I help “celebrate” this most joyous of seasons with an extra drink, or a cookie or three more than I would usually have. And maybe there is also cake involved.
…. “Um. I think we’re lost.” The utterance of this sentence probably would not come as a huge surprise to many people who know me; I think it is safe to say that very few people would gasp in shock.

But for a moment, it felt very, very uncomfortable to acknowledge that we didn’t quite know where we were. Or how far it was back to the car (and by extension, the food and beer that was in the post-ride plans). As humans, we like our familiarity. We embrace our routines, and find comfort in consistency. And being lost in what felt like the middle of nowhere, with the day waning, a questionable amount of water left, and no functioning GPS felt like the OPPOSITE of comfortable.

SDSF Flow Trail Grand Opening - Recap

Yay, the SDSF Flow Trail is now open ... all four miles of it!! We are super proud to have sponsored the creation of segment three, one of the first two segments to open in 2014.

On Saturday, May 9, 2015, we were stoked to join Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz (MBoSC) for the Grand Opening celebration of this eagerly anticipated trail. The event included food and drink, live music and a volunteer raffle.

Go ride the flow – your cheek muscles will get as much of a work out as your legs from the non-stop ear-to-ear grin! Be sure to pack enough water and allow time and energy to climb in and out from the trail. SDSF can get very busy, so watch your speed and look out for other riders. And consider carpooling or shuttle up from Aptos with Shuttle Smith Adventures!