Epicenter Cycling - Santa Cruz Bike Shops

Locally Owned and Operated with Shops in Santa Cruz and Aptos

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.

We Turned 10!

Locally owned and operated, Epicenter Cycling celebrates ten years of providing the best customer care to the Santa Cruz County cycling community.

2019 marks a decade of getting folks stoked on bikes, and our commitment to doing so is stronger than ever.

Epicenter was born out of owner Shawn Wilson's quest to promote the joy of riding. Like a lot of kids, Shawn pretty much grew up on a bike, and by the age of 15 he knew he wanted his life to be centered around cycling. He started racing downhill, going pro at 18 as a self-supported privateer with bicycle support from Trek.

During that time, the Santa Cruz native also commuted “over the hill” for a part-time gig at a bike shop in Los Gatos. At age 20, Shawn shifted his focus from racing to building a career in retail. He accepted a full-time position at that shop, and it wasn’t long before he became the store manager. When plans to co-own the store fell through, Shawn turned to home turf in his mission to center his life around bikes.

A Community Hub

Epicenter’s Aptos location was born out of that mission. Every time Shawn took to his local trails at the Forest of Nisene Marks State Park, he eyed a vacant building adjacent to the renowned Aptos Post Office dirt jumps. The site not only offered easy access to Nisene, but — via a heart-pumping fire road climb — Soquel Demonstration State Forest (Demo) as well. Contemplating the riders who converged regularly in the big dirt lot next to the building, Shawn’s imagination went wild with visions of an active hub for cyclists in south Santa Cruz County.

He took the plunge and set a plan in motion. With fiancé Kazia Pennino, Shawn meticulously put together a business proposal, and a private investor backed their vision. A local friend of theirs, World Cup downhill racer and bike mechanic extraordinaire Evan Turpen, joined their efforts, and Trek came on board as their main bike brand. To further serve the community, Epicenter led the effort to transform a weed-choked spot right in their backyard into a public pump track, which was a vibrant, popular scene for kids and adults alike for several years.

Epicenter also partnered with local mountain biking non-profit Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz (MBOSC) to bring the fledgling Santa Cruz Mountain Bike Festival to the vacant field between the pump track and dirt jumps. Epicenter continued to sponsor the event, which enjoyed several years at the Aptos location.

The pump track and Post Office jumps are sadly history now, as the land they were built on had been slated for development, and time eventually ran out on the free lease. But Epicenter’s Aptos store and its crew have indeed made their mark serving cyclists from all over who come to ride the area’s epic trails and roads.

Expanding the Community

Epicenter Aptos’ success inspired the opening of a location on the west side of Santa Cruz as well, in the spacious former Blockbuster store on Mission Street. Shawn and Kazia brought on local artist Steve Hosmer to paint an eye-catching mural along the parking lot side of the building. The image of a cyclist holding a surfboard hinted at a time to come when Santa Cruz County would be as renowned for cycling as for Santa Cruz. And so it is … and then some, thanks to the efforts of dedicated cycling advocates all over the county.

Shawn looks back at the past ten years and reflects, “For nearly a decade, Epicenter has been true to its mission to get more people on bikes. We’re all passionate about cycling. Bikes have been a huge part of my life and I can’t imagine a life without them. There’s just nothing like getting other people excited about bikes!”

A Commitment to Customer Care

We at Epicenter are proud of our positive, friendly environment with accommodating sales staff and knowledgeable mechanics. Both locations carry a wide range of bicycles and electric bikes, so you can rest assured that we have THE bike that’s perfect for YOU. We stand behind the brands we carry — including Trek, Electra, and Blix — as being those that ensure the most bang for your buck, offer the best warranty, and boast the coolest features in the industry.

Test rides are always free — no matter how many bikes you want to try out! We also offer the very best in accessories, clothing, parts, and service. Plus, we now offer an on-line reservation system for our bike rentals and a brand new shuttle service that offers a lift from our Aptos store to the world-class trails at Demo.

Celebrate with Us

Join us in celebrating our ten years as your local bike shop, and look for special deals and events throughout the upcoming year!

And if you're happy with the service Epicenter has provided you, the best “birthday gift” would be a positive review on Google and/or Facebook, and to vote for us as Best Bicycle Shop in the 2019 Good Times Best Of poll. We truly appreciate your business, support and friendship.

New MBOSC Trail Badge Supports Local Trails

The MBSOC Trail Badge is a sticker — a badge of honor really! — that you can proudly display on your bike, helmet, vehicle, etc. to show support of your local trails.

Epicenter Cycling is a proud supporter of Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz (MBOSC).

Since 1997, MBOSC has been working hard to support responsible mountain biking in Santa Cruz County, preserving and expanding trail access. The 501(c)3 non-profit has evolved into a highly skilled trail stewardship organization with expertise in advocacy, trail and bike park design, construction and maintenance, volunteer enablement, and project funding.

How can YOU help MBOSC in its efforts?

Buy a Trail Badge!

The MBSOC Trail Badge is a sticker — a badge of honor really — that you can proudly display on your bike, helmet, vehicle, etc. to show support of your local trails.

The $20 cost of the Trail Badge goes directly to Santa Cruz trails and pump tracks. 100% of it! You can purchase it at our Santa Cruz store (coming soon to Aptos); inquire at the register. 

You can get also get your Trail Badge by becoming a member of MBOSC. All MBOSC membership levels include one Trail Badge, and the base member level is the same price as a Trail Badge. Join MBOSC here. 100% of your membership dues stay right here in the Santa Cruz area.


About Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz (MBOSC)

Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz (MBOSC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit under the Internal Revenue Code, Tax EIN: 77-0457425. The organization was founded in 1997 to support, preserve, and expand trail access and responsible mountain biking in Santa Cruz County, and has since become a highly skilled trail stewardship organization with expertise in advocacy, trail and bike park design, construction and maintenance, volunteer enablement, and project funding.

Santa Cruz Holds the Second Highest Bike Commuting Rate in US

Getting around town effortlessly with the Blix Aveny Step-Through. Photo courtesy Blix Bikes.

Getting around town effortlessly with the Blix Aveny Step-Through. Photo courtesy Blix Bikes.

How awesome is this? According to the League of American Bicyclists, the City of Santa Cruz holds the second highest bike commuting rate in the US. Read the City of Santa Cruz press release below for more information!

SANTA CRUZ, CA (February 7, 2019)  The League of American Bicyclists recently released a report that shows the City of Santa Cruz holds the second highest bike commuting rate in the U.S. at 13.2 percent just behind Davis, CA. The report, titled Where We Ride: Analysis of Bicycle Commuting in American Cities, uses the US Census Bureau’s 2017 American Community Survey to gauge the status of biking in cities across the country.

In the 2000 census, the City of Santa Cruz held a bike commute rate of 4.6 percent. By 2010, this had increased to 8.4 percent. The 2017 increase to 13.2 percent is based on the most recent data and shows progress that reflects the City’s investment in quality infrastructure and programs. Numerous transportation options within the City are promoted through the Go Santa Cruz initiative which includes encouraging residents to try biking and walking for their daily trips. 

“We are thrilled that all of our efforts to inspire biking here in Santa Cruz are qualified by the League of American Bicyclists report,” said Mayor Martine Watkins. “With more Go Santa Cruz projects and programs in the works, I think we will surely give Davis a run for their money for first place!”

Since 2011, the City has won more than $21.5 million in competitive grants for projects to improve biking and walking, including the Branciforte Creek Bike/Pedestrian Bridge, Arana Gulch Multi-Use Trail, and projects to improve safe routes to schools. Since 2015, the City of Santa Cruz has held the League of American Bicyclists title of “Gold Level Bicycle Friendly Community” meeting criteria based on engineering, education, encouragement, enforcement, evaluation and planning.

In 2017 the City launched Street Smarts, a traffic safety campaign for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians and in 2018 the City partnered with Jump Bikes to bring bike share to Santa Cruz. The bike share program has been well received since the launch in May with over 179,000 trips taken, traveling over 435,000 miles.

The City has a proposal in the works to further its percentage of bike commuters. Last month the Downtown Employee Transportation Demand Management program — a package of benefits and incentives that make it easier for downtown employees to choose not to drive to work — was approved by the Downtown Commission. It will be presented to the City Council on Feb. 12.

More information is available at cityofsantacruz.com.

Take Action for Public Lands

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A Message from People for Bikes

In December, we told you about a package of important public lands bills up for consideration by Congress. Though the package failed to pass before the end of the legislative session, lawmakers promised to keep pushing forward — and now a public lands package is once again poised for consideration.

One of the most important parts of this package is permanent reauthorization for the Land and Water Conservation Fund. This would eliminate the pain of annual reauthorization debates (sweet!) and allow Congress to instead focus on how much money will be allocated to the fund.

We invite you to join us in supporting these bills by urging your senators to vote in favor of this new public land’s package. We’ve made things simple by drafting a letter for you — all you need to do is add a few details (like your name) and click “Take Action Now.”

Send your letter here: peopleforbikes.org/take-action-public-lands-package.

Love Your Bike: 14% Off Parts & Service

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Your bike makes you feel like a hero. Be a hero for your bike! The better you take care of your trusted steed, the better it will take care of you.

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, we want to help you give your bike the love it deserves. Save 14% on any parts or service you need … and not just on Valentine’s Day the 14th, but throughout the month of February.

And mountain bikers, be sure to check out our new guide to caring for your trusted steed here. We’ll be publishing a road/city bike version soon!

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Your bike makes you feel like a hero. Be a hero for your bike! The better you take care of your trusted steed, the better it will take care of you. Photo of Casey Brown by Ian Collins.

Your bike makes you feel like a hero. Be a hero for your bike! The better you take care of your trusted steed, the better it will take care of you. Photo of Casey Brown by Ian Collins.

Epicenter mechanics are experienced, knowledgeable and friendly! Stop by or call with any questions and we’re happy to help.

Epicenter mechanics are experienced, knowledgeable and friendly! Stop by or call with any questions and we’re happy to help.

Epicenter Cycling’s Guide to Caring for Your Mountain Bike

Photo of Ryan “R-Dog” Howard by Ian Collins.

Photo of Ryan “R-Dog” Howard by Ian Collins.

We know you LOVE your bike. Your bike makes you feel like a hero! You know the feeling: the dirt is tacky, you're carving turns, catching some air ... you can do no wrong. HERO.

And you ARE a hero, whether you're a weekend warrior, racer, or explorer. Getting on your bike means breathing fresh air, finding focus, and recharging in solitude or with friends and family ... all of which give you the energy to be the best that you can be.

To support you in being the dirt-slaying hero you are, here is a guide to maintaining the health of your steed.

Pre-Ride Maintenance and Safety Screening

When we suggest checking over your bike before a ride, we don’t mean ten minutes before you are heading for the trail head. Schedule some time when you won’t be rushed, and also have an opportunity to get something fixed if necessary.

Check Your Handlebars

Place hands on grips, press down with weight, and try to rotate them back and forth. If your handle bars have any movement make sure to tighten. This can be done very quickly at home with a 3-way hex wrench, usually 4 or 5 mm.

Long-term maintenance tip: Every year, lube the screws that connect the handle bars to headset with a squeeze of Park Tool grease + a Q-tip.

Retightening the stem clamp bolts with a Park Tool 3-way hex wrench.

Retightening the stem clamp bolts with a Park Tool 3-way hex wrench.

Check the Stem Tightness

This is the gap area where the headset meets the frame. To check, hold the front brake and rock the bike back and forth. If you feel any movement or play, first loosen the stem clamp bolts and tighten the screw at the top of the stem to a quarter turn more than finger tight. Then, straighten the handlebars and retighten stem clamp bolts.

With your left hand holding the front brake as you rock the bike back and forth, you can feel for play between the headset and frame with your right hand.

With your left hand holding the front brake as you rock the bike back and forth, you can feel for play between the headset and frame with your right hand.

Check the Bearings

These include: headset (feel for roughness, or vibration); front wheel (hold fork and spin front wheel; should spin nice and freely, no roughness); pedals (should spin freely, no noise); bottom bracket; rear wheel; rear shock, if full suspension. If this sounds like Greek to you, come by and we’ll demonstrate.

Check Your Brakes

Check the brake caliper bolts; make sure they are tight. Check pads for wear; make sure the pads are present and aligned, each pad an equal distance  from the rim or rotor. Ideally, the wear on your pads should be equal, if this is not the case it may indicate an alignment issue.

Your brake levers should have enough tension to pull to about one inch from the handle bars. If your pads are worn and/or your levers are loose, we can help you get them adjusted properly.

Ideally, the wear on your brake pads should be equal. Notice how, in this case, the left side is more worn than the right. This may indicate an alignment issue.

Ideally, the wear on your brake pads should be equal. Notice how, in this case, the left side is more worn than the right. This may indicate an alignment issue.

Check Your Tires

Make sure your tire pressure meets the minimum psi; this info can be found on your tire. There’s a fine art to running different amounts of tire pressure depending on terrain. We will cover this in details in another post (plus other helpful tire tips!), but in general, you want to run the psi indicated on the tire to avoid pinch flats and other issues.

Be sure look at the tire tread. If tread is visibly bare in center of tire, it’s time to swap it out for a new one. Pop on over and our knowledgeable crew can set you up.

For this tire, the acceptable pressure range is 30-50 psi. It’s helpful to have a pump with a dial at home.

For this tire, the acceptable pressure range is 30-50 psi. It’s helpful to have a pump with a dial at home.

Check Your Wheels

Prior to hopping on your two-wheel vehicle always, always make sure your front AND rear skewers are secure and tight. It’s good practice to set levers to between the 12 and 3 o’clock positions so they cannot be opened while riding.

Also, check to make sure the wheel spins straight. If not, come see us before you hit the trail. If you don’t notice a wobble at this checkpoint, but do on your ride (wobbly climb or squirrelly descent), you know it’s hot time to get that rear/front wheel trued.

Always, ALWAYS make sure your front and rear skewers are secure and tight.

Always, ALWAYS make sure your front and rear skewers are secure and tight.

Check Your Seat and Seat Stay

Make sure the seat is properly aligned (by getting on bike or eyeballing), and routinely check to make sure nuts and bolts connecting your seat to the seat post are tight and secure. If you move the seat back and forth and there is any play, you will need to tighten the connecting screws.

Also check the seat stay (the ring that holds the post in place). Use a 3-way hex wrench (usually 4 or 5mm) to tighten clamp if needed.

Lube Your Chain

Lube your chain every 40 miles or at end of your ride if the bike gets wet or muddy. To effectively lube your chain, first be sure to clean it before applying the chain lube. You can use a chain cleaner such as Park Tool’s CB-4 Bio ChainBrite, or at the very least wipe the chain down with a rag.

To apply the lube, backpedal while applying a thin stream to one revolution of chain. If you have a quick release chain link use that as a point of reference to ensure you cover the entire chain. If you do not have a quick release, back pedal three to four full rotations to ensure that full coverage.

Before wiping the chain, ride around block, or back pedal for 30 seconds to a minute. Then, use towels to clean dirt/muck from the cassette on rear derailleur. And using a towel, put the chain between your left index finger and thumb (use the bottom chain, moving from cassette to front ring), and use same rotation pattern described above.

Too confusing? Feel free to ask our service department for a quick tutorial!

Pro tip: We use Dumonde Tech because it lasts the longest and is best in class for protection of your chain.

To apply chain lube, backpedal while applying a thin stream to one revolution of chain.

To apply chain lube, backpedal while applying a thin stream to one revolution of chain.

Check Your Suspension

Take a look at your fork (front shock) and rear shock (if you have a full suspension bike). If you notice a lot of grit, grime, or build up around your the seals, it’s time for some professional service to keep that cush under your tush. And of course, it shouldn’t feel like you’re riding a jackhammer. Our mechanics can work their magic and get that buttery feel back for you.

Fork (front shock): Let’s face it — forks are expensive, and unless intentional, not ideal to replace. Proper fork maintenance will make your fork last as long as your love … a LIFETIME! Your fork maintenance schedule is determined by your riding style and conditions. If you aren’t sure of how often you should service your fork, stop by and chat with one of our experienced, knowledgeable mechanics for a recommended schedule tailored for YOU.

Here’s an example of a maintenance schedule based on a conservative riding style and three two-hour rides per week:

  • At four months (yes, even in that first year of ownership!), get the lowers removed and cleaned.

  • At eight months, have the wiper seal replaced (this seal is responsible for keeping dirt out.

  • At twelve months, get a complete overhaul, which includes draining the old suspension fluid from your fork, removal of the fork’s lowers, and a thorough cleaning of the stanchions and lowers, followed by an installation of fresh seals and oil.

If you ride aggressively, and in particularly dusty or dirty conditions, you’ll obviously want to service your fork more frequently. Keep in mind that following a recommended fork maintenance schedule will keep your fork running smoothly for much, much longer than if you don’t.

Rear shock: The rear shock on a full suspension bicycle allows your back wheel to soak up impacts, providing you with more comfort and control on your trail days. We recommend servicing the air can every 100 hours, and the damper every 200 hours. Again, this depends on your riding style and conditions. Be sure to get a professional overhaul yearly to replace seals and suspension fluid.

A healthy, happy looking front fork.

A healthy, happy looking front fork.

And a healthy, happy looking rear shock.

And a healthy, happy looking rear shock.

Post-Ride Maintenance Routine

After your awesome date with your bike, you’ll want to give it some love as well. This might be a great time to run through the checkpoints outlined in the Pre-Ride Maintenance Routine so you are all set for your next ride, instead of scrambling at the last minute because your week got too busy.

And if your steed got dirty, here are some pointers for sprucing it up:

Rinse

Use a hose to give it a rinse. Yes, a hose. You may have been cautioned against using a hose to wash your bike, but it’s important to know that spraying water on your bike will not cause damage. It’s HIGH PRESSURE that causes damage and can push out grease from bearings.

To avoid this, use a low to medium stream setting and take care not to directly spray the hubs, the bottom bracket, or anywhere with bearings. With this in mind, if you don’t have access to a hose, a water bottle will suffice.

If your steed needs a more thorough cleansing after an especially dirty ride, use a bucket of warm water and these supplies:

  • Brushes (we recommend the Park Tool BCB-4.2 bike cleaning brush set which includes a gear brush, a bottle brush, a combo bristle and sponge brush, and a frame cleaning sponge)

  • Solvent for the chain (you can’t go wrong with Finish Line Speed or Citrus degreasers)

  • Soap (Finish Line makes a great surfactant called Super Bike Wash)

  • Lube for pivots and derailleurs (Dumonde Tech is our favorite)

Dry

Dry your bike off well with a soft, clean towel. An old beach or hand towel works great.

Lube the Chain

See instructions on how to do this in the “Lube Your Chain” section above.

Other Necessary Maintenance

Along the way, you’ll want to maintain other aspects of your bike. This section may be a bit more information than you want to assimilate. But don’t worry, that’s why you have us. We’re happy to do the wrenchin’ so you can get out and play!

Whether you do it yourself, or put your trusted steed into our capable hands, we can’t emphasize enough the importance of regular maintenance. Worn-out parts degrade other parts, and that means unnecessary, expensive repairs. Regular maintenance will keep your machine running STRONG and smooth.

Our Service Team recommends the following TLC.

Drive Train

This is your bike’s “motor.” A worn drive chain does not feel good to ride! There are several components to look after in your drive train: the chain, the front chain ring, the cassette, and the front and rear derailleurs.

Chain: In addition to lubing your chain weekly, every few months you should check the wear on your chain. There is a special tool for this practice. Even with the most loving use, your chain will loosen over time (typically every 1,000 – 1,500 miles). This will cause increased wear on your cassette and chain ring, which may result in an expensive fix. Proper chain maintenance will extend the life of your front chain ring(s) and rear cassette.

Front chain ring: Keep an eye on your front chain ring. If the teeth start to look like little shark teeth (hooked), you should seriously consider replacing the component.

Cassette: This component will need replacement if the chain is skipping when you know you have a healthy chain.

Derailleurs: Ideal maintenance includes wiping dirt and grime from your rear derailleur after each use. If riding in dry conditions, wipe the pulley wheels with a rag and use a brush to clear dirt in between cassette rings  every other use or so. For the front derailleur, you can use a brush to wipe debris from the chain ring and the space between ring and derailleur.

Dropper Post

We recommend you get your dropper post professionally serviced every 200 hours. Servicing this component is intricate, and requires experience and precision, so we don’t recommend any DIY maintenance.

Epicenter mechanics are experienced, knowledgeable and friendly! Stop by or call with any questions and we’re happy to help.

Epicenter mechanics are experienced, knowledgeable and friendly! Stop by or call with any questions and we’re happy to help.

Your bike requires a lot of care, but you know it’s worth it! Here are a few other very important maintenance recommendations from our mechanics:

  • Pivot service every 300 hours

  • Cables and housing every 300 hours, for optimal performance

  • Bearings (headset, bottom bracket, and hubs) service every 300 hours

  • Brake bleed service every 1,000 to 1,500 miles

The above maintenance is incorporated into tune-up and overhaul packages we offer by our professional mechanics. We recommend that you tune-up your bike at least once per year; more often for frequent riders. Stop by to chat with our crew to determine the best service regimen for your bike.

You want your bike to last as long as possible, and the more regularly it is cared for, the better it will perform, and longer it will live. We are happy to guide you on DIY procedures, and on scheduling service. Whether you want to do the service yourself, or bring your bike into the shop, be sure to add regular bike care to your routine.

And … did you purchase your bike at Epicenter? Then remember you get unlimited FREE basic tune-ups for the life of your bike! Give us a call to schedule an appointment.

Save 14% on Parts and/or Service

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, we want to help you give your bike the love it deserves. Save 14% on any parts or service you need … and not just on Valentine’s Day the 14th, but throughout the month of February. Get your coupon here.

Your bike makes you feel like a hero. Be a hero for your bike! The better you take care of your trusted steed, the better it will take care of you.

Photo of Casey Brown by Ian Collins.

Photo of Casey Brown by Ian Collins.

Blix Dealer Spotlight

We’re proud to carry Blix electric bicycles, and we were thrilled to be chosen as January’s featured dealer! Here’s an excerpt from the Blix blog, and a link to the full Q&A with Epicenter’s owner Shawn Wilson. Enjoy!


Your Local Blix Dealer: Santa Cruz & Aptos, CA

Epicenter Cycling has been a supporter of Blix Bikes since the beginning and continually strives to support their bike brands and customers. They carry the largest selection of electric bicycles in Santa Cruz County.

QUICK FACTS

Local Shop:  Epicenter Cycling

Owner:  Shawn Wilson

Located:  Santa Cruz & Aptos, CA

                                                                 

Epicenter Cycling has been a supporter of Blix Bikes since the beginning. Located in Aptos and Santa Cruz, California, right down the street from our headquarters, Epicenter has shown dedication, knowledge, and experience with customers. As Epicenter Cycling continually strives to support their bike brands and customers, we found them to be a perfect fit for this month's Local Blix Dealer Spotlight.

Locally owned and operated, Epicenter Cycling offers two convenient locations with ample parking. Pictured here is the Aptos store located at 8035 Soquel Drive in the Village. There is also a store on the west side of Santa Cruz at 1730 Mission Street.

How did you end up in the fantastic world of bikes? 

Like many kids, I grew up riding bikes. By the age of 15, I knew I wanted my life to be centered around cycling. I raced downhill as a teenager, turning pro at 18. I commuted over the hill from Santa Cruz to Los Gatos for a part-time gig at a bike shop. This led to a full-time position as the store manager. When plans to co-own the shop fell through, I turned to my home turf in my quest to spread the cycling stoke. Epicenter Cycling’s Aptos location was born out of that quest. Its success inspired the opening of a location in Santa Cruz as well. For nearly a decade, Epicenter has been true to its mission to get more people on bikes. We’re all passionate about cycling. Bikes have been a huge part of my life and I can’t imagine a life without them. There’s just nothing like getting other people excited about bikes!

What is unique about your store?

Epicenter Cycling is unique in that we truly stand behind what we sell and the services we offer, and we genuinely care about our customers. Our knowledgeable, friendly crew are committed to providing solid pre-purchase guidance, and post-purchase support. We just want our customers to be stoked on bikes! Whatever we can do to enable that, we will.

If you could only cycle one last route before autonomous vehicles take over the world which one would it be?

Click here to read the rest …

Trek Dirt Series: MTB Skills Camp (Co-Ed) April 20-21

Trek Dirt Series is back! Photo: Bruce Dorman / Trek Dirt Series

Trek Dirt Series is back! Photo: Bruce Dorman / Trek Dirt Series

TREK DIRT SERIES Co-Ed Skills Camp
April 20-11, 2019 *REGISTRATION OPENS FEBRUARY 1*
1730 Mission Street, Santa Cruz

All of us at Epicenter are excited to host the Trek Dirt Series co-ed mountain bike skills camp in Santa Cruz on April 20-21, 2019.

We’ve worked with this program consistently since we first opened our Mission Street store (eight years running!) because it offers professional and supportive step-by-step coaching, and has the potential to teach you more in one weekend than you’d otherwise learn in months.

Whether you want a solid introduction to the sport or the chance to level up your current skills, don’t miss the opening of registration on February 1. This camp always sells out so be ready to sign up.

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.

Visit dirtseries.com to learn more and to sign up.

Trek Dirt Series Mountain Bike Camps
Hone your skills in a supportive environment with experienced instructors. Photo: Bruce Dorman / Trek Dirt Series

Hone your skills in a supportive environment with experienced instructors. Photo: Bruce Dorman / Trek Dirt Series

Smiles for miles. Photo: Bruce Dorman / Trek Dirt Series

Smiles for miles. Photo: Bruce Dorman / Trek Dirt Series

Learn (or re-learn!) correct positioning for safe, balanced riding. Photo: Bruce Dorman / Trek Dirt Series

Learn (or re-learn!) correct positioning for safe, balanced riding. Photo: Bruce Dorman / Trek Dirt Series

The Santa Cruz Trek Dirt Series camp boasts some of the best views and trails in the county. True story — we’re not being biased about that! Photo: Bruce Dorman / Trek Dirt Series

The Santa Cruz Trek Dirt Series camp boasts some of the best views and trails in the county. True story — we’re not being biased about that! Photo: Bruce Dorman / Trek Dirt Series

Those New Year Resolutions

I always had a little prejudice against New Year resolutions. “Time is a human construct,” I would obnoxiously lament. After all, one of my favorite adventurers — Edward Abbey — once said, “We are preoccupied with time.”

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Save up to $1,500 on an Electric Bike

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Our Santa Cruz store just got in several Trek factory demo mountain and hybrid e-bikes and one could be YOURS at a huge discount. We don't usually have electric bicycles to sell at this low of a price — don’t miss this rare opportunity to score a top of the line e-bike for an incredible price.

  • Trek Powerfly FS 7 — Electric Mountain Bike | Your cost: $3,799 | Retail: $4,999 — SAVE $1,200

  • Trek Super Commuter 8s — Electric Hybrid Bike | Your cost: $3,699 | Retail: $5,199 — SAVE $1,500

  • Trek Lift+ — Electric Hybrid Bike | Your cost: $1,500 | Retail: $2,799 — SAVE $1,300

  • Trek Dual Sport+ — Electric Hybrid Bike | Your cost: $1,999 | Retail $2,999 — SAVE $1,000

  • Trek Neko+ — Women’s Specific Electric Hybrid Bike | Your cost: $1,999 | Retail $2,999 — SAVE $1,000

To ensure a perfect match, you are welcome to try out your choice for up to 48 hours — take it on your regular commute or favorite trails to be sure you find the right match for you and your lifestyle. And if you're local, we'll even deliver up to three options to demo ... right to your doorstep. Fittings and all, with no strings attached.

Check out the discounted e-bike models below; availability limited to stock on hand. With prices slashed in a sale like this, these e-bikes won't last ... so snag one while you can!

P.S. Keep in mind that when you buy any bike from Epicenter, you get unlimited FREE tune-ups for the life of your bike!

TREK SUPER COMMUTER+ 8S  Electric hybrid bicycle, ideal for commuting and getting around town fast.
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TREK LIFT+  Electric hybrid bicycle, ideal for recreation and getting around town.
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TREK LIFT+ LOWSTEP  Electric hybrid bicycle, ideal for recreation and getting around town.
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TREK POWERFLY FS 7 PLUS  This full suspension electric mountain bike is ideal for trail adventures.
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TREK DUAL SPORT+  Electric hybrid bicycle, ideal for paved and dirt explorations.
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TREK NEKO+  Women's specific electric hybrid bicycle, ideal for paved and dirt explorations.
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Bike Rental and Shuttle Gift Cards Now Available

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Give the gift of STOKE this holiday season! We now offer gift cards for bike rentals, shuttles, and bike rentals with shuttles for an epic cycling experience.

Order on-line and choose whether to have the notification sent directly to your gift recipient or to you so you can present it yourself (tuck it inside a card or gift bag, or wrap it up in a box). Please note availability varies between our locations in Aptos and Santa Cruz.

Visit epicentershuttle.com to book a rental or shuttle for yourself!

Shuttle Gift Card

Looking for a gift for the mountain biker who seems to have everything? Gifting a shuttle is the ideal solution. Your gift recipient will catch a comfortable, scenic lift from our Aptos store to the top of the Forest of Nisene Marks State Park, from which point they can take on the renowned singletrack loops at Soquel Demonstration State Forest (Demo) before enjoying a beautiful descent through the redwoods back to the shop.

Shuttle 10-Pack Gift Card

A 10-pack of shuttles is the perfect gift for the frequent shuttler. Punch cards are kept on file at Epicenter Cycling in Aptos.

Rental Bike with or without Shuttle (Aptos)

Give the gift of adventure. Choose from top of the line full suspension carbon or hardtail mountain bikes from Trek, available for one day or 24-hour rental. Add on a shuttle to make for an even more epic experience on the bike! Please note, the shuttle runs from our Aptos location only.

Learn about the rental bike models in detail on our rental bike page. Click the button below for more information about and/or to purchase a rental bike gift card.

Full Suspension Carbon Mountain Bikes

  • Trek Slash 9.7

  • Trek Remedy 9.7

  • Trek Fuel EX 9.7

  • Trek Women’s Fuel EX 9.8

Hardtail Mountain Bike

  • Trek X-Caliber 8

Rental Bike (Santa Cruz)

Our Santa Cruz location offers a wide range of top of the line bikes from Trek, available for one day or 24-hour rental. Please note, there is no shuttle from this location.

Learn about the rental bike models in detail on our rental bike page. Click the button below for more information about and/or to purchase a rental bike gift card.

Full Suspension Electric Mountain Bike

  • Trek Powerfly FS 7 Plus

Full Suspension Carbon Mountain Bikes

  • Trek Slash 9.7

  • Trek Remedy 9.7

  • Trek Fuel EX 9.7

  • Trek Women’s Fuel EX 9.8

Hardtail Mountain Bike

  • Trek X-Caliber 8

Road Bikes

  • Trek Domane SL 6 Disc

  • Trek Domane SL 6 Disc Women’s

Comfort Bikes

  • Electra Cruiser 7D, Step-Over

  • Electra Cruiser 7D, Step-Thru

Mountain Bike Shuttle Service

Catch a comfortable, scenic lift from our Aptos store to the top of the Forest of Nisene Marks State Park, from which point you can take on the renowned singletrack loops at Soquel Demonstration State Forest before enjoying a beautiful descent through the redwoods back to the shop.

Read More

Fixin' to Fixie

On the go.

On the go.

September 15, 2018

Our Aptos crew recently made this cyclist’s day! And he — Jeremy Shapiro — was stoked enough to write in and thank us profusely. We thought you’d enjoy reading his story! Mind you … Jeremy rides a FIXIE. All over the place!

“I was coming down a gnarly descent (Eureka Canyon Rd) which is a wartorn, pothole ridden, abandoned road I likely shouldn't have been on. The fixie didn't love the descent and one of my hoods was getting loose which made climbs and descents challenging and ... my tires were feeling lower than I'd have liked. I popped into Epicenter in Aptos and even though they weren't open yet, the staff happily grabbed a floor pump for me to top up my tire pressure and when I asked if I could borrow some tools, even though they weren't open yet, they were happy to assist while they went about opening the store up.

“After spending far too much time struggling on my own, I realized that my hoods required a longer than normal tool to adjust, and went back to the mechanics (now that the shop was open) and not only did they have the right tools, they popped the bike up on the stand, removed the brakes (terrible hood design), tightened everything up, and put the brakes back on again and had me on my way in no time.

“There's no way I could have made it back up and over with the bike in the condition it was. They saved the day and I owe those guys a case of beer next time I'm down that way. :)”

Eureka Canyon Road.

Eureka Canyon Road.

Moon setting in Los Gatos.

Moon setting in Los Gatos.

Jeremy is a rock star on that fixie! He and his team “Team Whistle Pig” are racing the Silver State 508 right now as we post this. The Silver State 508 is a 508 mile race across Nevada and back. with 20,000 feet of elevation gain. They already hold a course record … and are off to set another.

Last night’s update from Jeremy: “Halfway point! Now we turn around and head back out across Nevada, Westward this time. I pounded a cold brew. Ate a spicy burrito. And now I'm ready to rock. This race — on fixed gear bikes — is likely the most physically challenging thing I have ever done. It's no wonder the 508 is called ‘The Toughest 48 Hours in Sport.’”

Join us in cheering Jeremy and his teammates on as they complete the course! Live race timing here: the508.net/live-race-tracking.

Team Whistle Pig

Team Whistle Pig



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 5:30 on a Thursday morning, scrambling in my garage to find an extra tube and the match to my glove. I put my day pack on my back, swung my Camelbak around my belly, hopped on my saddle and pedaled in the dark over to the Mission Street shop.

To my surprise I was the first to arrive and wondered whether I should run over to Ferrells for donuts. Everyone started arriving though and the excitement was high. We were about to drive to Lake Tahoe to ride Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, a trail only the boss-man had ridden before. And then we were to return to Santa Cruz ... all this in one day! It was sure to be an adventure.

We barely hit any traffic and arrived at 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 Toad's, 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 Toad's. The ascent was about eight 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, with no steep pitches, and was mostly in the shade.

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. In truth, 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 six 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.

Bikes Change Lives

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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!

 


Stories


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.

Adventure Sports Journal: Fat Tire Tuesday

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.