Since my childhood age of ten or eleven, I’ve been poking around the local bike shops in search of a brake pad, cable or the such. Always riding or fixing up an older bike, there was some piece I would need to keep the wheels turning. I even had the pleasure of buying two brand new bikes back then. In more recent years, I like to visit bike shops when we are out-of-town to see and feel the local bike vibe. You can tell a lot about a town by the bike shops they support.
Here in my town, when I need an accessory or replacement part, my first stop is Q-Bikes. With shops in both Clairemont and Lemon Grove, they have treated me well and fed my bike needs with some great deals. After almost thirty years in the same Clairemont location, this summer they moved to a brand new facility across the street. Things are looking brighter than ever for Q-Bikes and their crew.
Xavier and Susan Schwartz are the owner-operators of both stores. Xavier has been with the shop almost since it opened, and took over the reins back in 1983. They took the Lemon Grove operation under their wings seven years back. As a Mom-Pop oriented business, they make sure both stores are well stocked, clean, and ready to take care of every need their customers desire. Their informative, helpful attitude is refreshing in this world of cookie-cutter bike shops. They do their best to cater to all bicyclists, not just a specific few.
Strolling through the aisles, you can see the vast selection of different types of bikes and the pieces to make it fit your needs. The recumbents and recumbent trikes caught my eye. Being more of a recreational rider, I saw several bikes that would be great to take to the road. The selection of kids bikes was also impressive. As you look closer you start to see some very nice touring and mountain bikes. Even some bikes my old-school mind-set did not recognize. Yes, you can tell that this shop is in the business of pleasing riders of all ages, riding styles, and price ranges.
In addition to the sales side of things, they pride themselves on quick and reliable repairs. They have the people and parts ready to get your bike up and running just the way you like it. Any upgrade or accessory they offer can be installed and adjusted by a competent, bike enthusiast crew. One of their mechanics is Tony Skojec. He has been seen vowing the crowds with his BMX and flatlanding routines. Right now he is happy to spin wrenches and do the family thing. But he still has the fire and spends all his days with the bikes. Manning the other bike stand is Chris. An avid biker, he recently did a ride from Berkley averaging ninety miles a day. He knows his bikes and how to make them perform. I have met some of their other shop members too.
Xavier is no slouch when it comes to pumping the pedals. With many riding interests, he makes sure that the pieces all come together for each customer. Xavier is a frame builder and big on the 29er trend. He puts up some great custom builds that many people search him out for. Also on his list of favorite bike items is the Rohloff Hub. This fourteen-speed hub is built for off-road competition. Xavier will be glad to explain its benefits and lace one up just for you. He told me that I can take one for a spin and report back on my impressions in a future article. I’m looking forward to that.
So if you are in the market for a new bike or some specific piece to customize it, give the Q-Bikes team the first chance to make you happy. Supporting your local bike shop says a lot about you and the shop you frequent. At the moment, their website is mostly geared for their BMX following. Xavier and Susan plan to expand it to cover their entire line. The BMX selection is heavily weighed with some top brands. That is just the tip of the iceberg for a shop like this.
You can find Q-Bikes at
4592 Clairemont Dr. 858-270-2412 and
7388 Broadway 619-469-9831 or
Keep an eye out for my review of the Rohloff hub. Thanks, Turbo Bob.
“As a kid I had a dream–I wanted to own my own bicycle. When I got the bike I must have been the happiest boy in Liverpool, maybe in the world. I lived for that bike. Most kids left their bikes in the backyard at night. Not me. I insisted on taking mine indoors and the first night I even kept it by my bed. Funny, although it was important to me then, I can’t remember what finally happened to it.”—John Lennon.