We recently opened up our service area to provide Los Angeles area road bike rentals. Just like our shop that serves Orange County and San Diego County, our new shop offers free delivery and pick up of your bike rentals within our regular service area. Our LA area rental store’s service area is centered in Santa Monica and extends outward in an approximate 30 mile radius.
Greg Donovan is the co-owner of our LA road bike rental shop, and we thought it might be worthwhile to introduce him to you. On the left is a picture of Greg posing with one of the brand new Focus Cayo Evo 2.0 bikes in his fleet.
Greg, age 23, is an Atlanta, Georgia transplant to Irvine, California. He has been an avid athlete since his youth participating in many sports and activities including baseball, cross country, basketball, football, roller hockey, snow-boarding, surfing, mountain biking, and motocross. Greg’s current athletic endeavors are focused on triathlon competitions, setting his sights on competing in a half-Ironman distance this year (2014) and a full Ironman in 2015.
Greg has a keen interest in the bicycle business, recently teaming up with Joe Bartoe of Synaptic Cycles to expand the road bike rental business. In preparation for this endeavor, he wanted to brush up on his mechanical skills and recently completed a course in bicycle maintenance at United Bicycle Institute in Oregon. He’s also been working with Joe, learning the business and how to set up bikes for customers. Greg looks forward to serving other avid cyclists who have the desire to experience the beautiful California scenery on two wheels.
The new fleet at our Los Angeles shop contains a number of Shimano DI2 bikes from both Focus and Volagi. The Focus bikes are all Cayo Evo 2.0 with full Ultegra DI2. He also has a number of brand new Volagi Liscio 2 bikes with full Ultegra DI2 and Shimano hydraulic disc brakes. Other offerings are Volagi Liscio 2 bikes with brand new Ultegra 11 and TRP Hy/Rd disc brakes. All the bikes in the fleet are incredible riding bikes, ready for your Southern California riding adventures.
Pricing for rentals are the same at both the LA area and the San Diego/Orange County Stores. We offer the same level of service and the same experience at both shops so please do not hesitate to contact Greg and set up your rental if you’ll be staying in the greater Los Angeles area.
We are really excited about opening up our service area so we can better serve more of Southern California, and we are especially excited to bring Greg into the business! Please, help us to welcome Greg and help him to establish his shop’s presence in the greater Los Angeles area. Greg can be reached at (310)925-3969. Give him a call to reserve a bike when you’re in town!
Since we started our business, we have gotten calls for bike rentals in the greater Los Angeles area. Up until now, we have had to charge an additional fee for serving those areas. It was simply too long a drive and too far outside our normal service area to serve without charging for the extra time and mileage.
We are extremely excited to announce that as of the week of May 26th, 2014, we have officially begun to serve the greater Los Angeles area, along with our other service areas of Orange and San Diego Counties. In doing so, we will offer our same great service, along with FREE delivery and pick up within our normal standard service area. Our new service area will be an approximate 30 mile radius from Santa Monica.
To reserve your bike or contact us, check out our designated Los Angeles page. If you use our fillable forms, simply use the pull down menu to specify the area you are interested in. Otherwise, feel free to call us directly. Don’t worry about getting it wrong. We’ll gladly direct you if you’re not sure about what area to choose from the menu!
Greg Donovan will be the day to day manager/owner of Synaptic Cycles Bicycle Rentals in Los Angeles. He has been working hard behind the scenes to learn the business and get set up and ready to go. He will be starting out with incredible road bikes from Focus and Volagi. His Focus offerings will be the Focus Cayo Evo 2.0 with full Ultegra DI2 drivetrain. Additionally, he’ll have several Volagi Liscio 2 bikes with Ultegra 11 speed mechanical or DI2.
Greg approached me around the end of 2013 with a desire to partner up in the Synaptic Cycles venture. He was a former customer and a great guy so I though it would be worth exploring. Since then, he has worked with me to see how I go about the day to day business, attended the United Bicycle Institute courses to learn more about bike mechanics, and shown a willingness and desire to serve customers in a way that our customers have come to expect.
Along with individual bike rentals, Greg will be offering group and corporate event services, just like in our original service area of Orange County and San Diego County. Please, help me welcome Greg to the Synaptic Cycles family and get in touch with him about your bike rental needs in the greater Los Angeles area!
As someone who runs a high-end road bike rental company, I am often asked where to ride while my customers are in town. For some areas, this is a very easy question to answer while other areas pose problems. Not all areas have large numbers of rides easily accessible from the hotel where a customer is staying. Fortunately, most of San Diego County, especially the north county, has thousands of bike rides that are accessible from your doorstep.
One local club, the North County Cycle Club (NCCC), rides the roads of the north county of San Diego all the time with occasional trips up to south Orange County through Camp Pendleton. Someone with the club has put together an incredible resource for cyclists that allows you to search for San Diego County bike rides based upon your start site. It can be found here: http://bike.fullcommitment.net/.
The best part of this link is that it provides you with a map of San Diego County with potential start sites highlighted in red. Click on the red dot and you can see a list of rides from that spot. Click on the ride link and you’ll find a small map of the ride. Click on the “view full route” link and you’ll get a larger map and printable cue sheet.
Other resources for rides can be found here: http://socalcycling.com/training-rides/. Here, you’ll find a list of regularly scheduled training or group rides that are a lot of fun, especially if you want to find a more competitive ride.
Having grown up in the north county of San Diego, I can be a bit biased. I feel that for the sheer number and variety of bike rides, it’s pretty difficult to beat this are for riding on the road. Though some roads are high traffic, there are plenty of wide bike lanes, and it’s pretty easy to find lower traffic areas to ride, as well.
Usually, when the phone rings around here, we find that customers have some familiar questions for us. “We are staying in [insert town/city here]. Do you deliver there? Is there an extra charge for that?”
Just to have the record set straight, we want to let you know that we deliver high-end road bike rentals to areas within an ~30 mile radius of Dana Point, for free. I know this might not be very helpful to those of you who are not familiar with Orange County and San Diego County.
It’s difficult to create and exhaustive list of places within this radius, but we can to give you some idea.
In San Diego County, we deliver to Oceanside, Carlsbad, Leucadia, La Costa, Encinitas and Del Mar along the coast, and we’ve delivered inland to Rancho Santa Fe, Vista, San Marcos, and Escondido.
In Orange County, we can easily deliver to the coastal areas such as San Clemente, Capistrano Beach, Dana Point, Laguna Beach, Corona Del Mar, Newport Beach, Newport Coast and Huntington Beach. We have also delivered to inland areas like Rancho Santa Margarita, Ladera Ranch, Mission Viejo, Irvine, Anaheim, Anaheim Hills, Orange, and Fullerton.
This is not meant to be an all-inclusive list but it covers most. Don’t worry, we don’t get angry or testy if you ask where we deliver. We just wanted to say it somewhere so people can find it. So give us a call and we’ll set you up with your bike and get you out on the road!
We had our trials and tribulations over the past year. The biggest difficulty we had was due to hacking into our site that resulted in it being down for multiple months. Fortunately, we have solved that issue and put up a brand new site. If you haven’t had the time to browse around, please do! We are very happy with our new site and our new web developer (Thanks Luke!).
The year wasn’t without some great times. We enjoyed becoming re-acquainted with some of our customers as they came back into town for a visit, and we also had the opportunity to meet some wonderful new people who were using our services for the first time. Additionally, we had the opportunity to go on some great rides with our customers, enjoying learning more about them while showing them what our roads have to offer. All in all, we love to spend time with our customers and welcome the opportunity to provide them with our services.
Our year ended with a special delivery to a couple who would be riding our Volagis from San Francisco to San Diego over a 2 week period. This Swedish couple is planning on following the coast highway for most of their trip. As we bid them farewell, we couldn’t help but feel envious at the trip before them! We can’t usually guarantee a delivery in San Francisco with pick up in San Diego, but the the planets aligned, and we were able to get this to work for them.
As mentioned, we have taken on Volagi as one of our offerings for high-end road bike rentals. As of this writing, we now have 4 Volagis in our inventory, ranging from 50cm to 57cm. Two of the bikes have Dura Ace drivetrains and two have Ultegra drivetrains. Whenever possible, we are trying to upgrade our offerings to make sure that we can high-end rental equipment to our customers.
Volagi has proven to be cutting edge, as other makers are beginning to include disc-braked road bikes to their lines. Volagi, not content to rest on their laurels, have added a new steel bike line called the Viaje. It has many of the same features as the Liscio, but is made of steel, is rack-able, and has even greater tire clearance. It’s truly a bike for all kinds of adventures! We’re definitely intrigued and hope to get a look at one and maybe get to ride one soon. With some luck, we might have a few to offer for rent soon. Other new additions at Volagi include options on their Liscios for hydraulic disc brakes and internal wiring for electronic gruppos. We’ve been riding these off and on, and love the frame design and the disc brakes are great to have, especially when descending a twisty mountain road!
We continue our association with Calfee, going into our 3rd year. We have introduced so many people to this brand over the past few years through our rental service, and we are extremely happy to continue to do so! We are often surprised when our rental customers are unaware of Calfee before renting from us, but it gives us an opportunity to introduce them to a great bike company. Built in California from US-sourced materials, these frames are ready for long days in the saddle and pretty much anything you can dish out. One comment we get a lot from our customers is that they climb incredibly well. We had one racer pronounce his stiffer than his Giant TCR. We don’t really like to apply terms like “compliant” and “stiff” when describing bikes. It’s all relative, after all. All we can say, is that we like to ride the Calfees ourselves, at the expense of a lot of our other really nice bikes.
During the past year, we were outperforming our numbers from the first year of business by quite a bit. Most months, we were 50-100% above our sales from the previous year. We owe a lot of this to our customers! We were very pleasantly surprised to have a number of repeat customers this year, and we were even more excited to learn that they had referred a lot of business our way. Thank you all! We strive to provide a great experience to all of our customers, and the return business and referrals validate that we are doing a great job!
Unfortunately, we ran into website issues over the last quarter of the year and saw a significant drop in business. Thankfully, we’ve survived this little glitch and gotten it fixed and now have a fully functional site back online. Thanks for sticking by us during this time! We had several return customers write or call wondering what happened, and it means a lot that you stuck with us when it looked like we were in trouble.
Our new year is beginning like last year. Our first delivery of the year will be to a repeat customer and his wife. He even trusted us enough to send his Power Tap wheel out for us to put on his rental. Looks like he’s planning some serious training while he’s here! We’re also getting the opportunity to do a few corporate events. We’ll be providing bikes and leading a few rides over the next year. These are always a great time and allow us to ride and mingle with customers in a way that we don’t usually get to do.
As we begin the year, we are planning some new things as we move forward. We will be adding more bikes to the stable as we try to keep up with our customer base. Some of these will likely be a new brand that we bring in. Keep your eyes out for these new offerings. We hope to have a few racing wheel offerings as well. Both for rentals or to go along with your rental bike, if you like. We are also trying to gear up a bit so we can offer more touring style events. We have always been able to do this, if people ask, but we would like to formalize it a bit. For now, if you want a guided tour for a day or two, or you’d like to put together a group of friends and do a supported ride for a few days, let us know and we’ll see what we can do for you.
Well, that about covers it for our yearly review! I have to get going on a bike build as a brand new Volagi just arrived at the door!
We want to take this time to thank all of our customers for being so wonderful to work with! Obviously, without you, we wouldn’t be in business, but also, without you, we wouldn’t enjoy being in business.
Have a wonderful new year, everyone! We hope to see you all soon!