Unlike Mr Goodbike and Recycled, Chain Reaction is a shop I've frequented before, and one where friends have actually picked up bikes. My college buddy Pete got a Fisher Montare there way back in about 1994. The shop is still in the same place, although ownership has changed "for the better" says the current employees. I guess the last owner wasn't well liked, locally. I seem to remember the place having more to peep at, but the current iteration of CR stocks next to nothing. Maybe a U-lock. Bleak. Props though, for still being in the old converted house at the back of a parking lot.
On to the rates, fire up the grill!
-2 Crispy Kids. They had tubes and water bottles. Oh, and they had tubes and water bottles too. There might have been some tubes and water bottles there also, but it was hard to see them, what with the shelves packed as they were with tubes and water bottles. This is also the perfect shop to visit if you need a tube. Or a water bottle.
- 4 Engulfed Embryos. Not a bunch of stuff to even sprinkle around, but special points for loaner bikes and rentals, even high-zoot Pivots and Stumpjumper FSRs available for rent. Neat-o! Bonus points for the old house thing. Did I mention the tubes and water bottles?
- 3 Torched Tots. Specialized and Giant. Nothing insultingly cheap or crappy, but still about as vanilla as you can get. I'm not convinced that shops don't understand how they really miss the boat when they don't commit to at least one brand of fluff-bike. Pivots were in the house too, but please, a Stumpjumper with a different name is still a Stumpjumper. Deductions for "Gators" team frames on the wall.
- 3 Torched Tots. I was greeted, and the guy gave me a run down of the rental program and talked to me a bit. But there was a marked difference between how I was treated and the way another couple of regulars were treated. Polite, but different. Different isn't bad, but obviously different makes me feel like I'm in a Ford Dealership. Giant and Specialized stuff on the wall also make me feel like I'm in a Ford Dealership...
- 3 Torched Tots. I felt like I was at the Gap. A Gap in an old house at the end of a parking lot. I don't really mind the Gap, but it doesn't make me want to buy a Stumpjumper either.
Average 'em up! 3 Torched Tots! A good solid shop, but if I drove 2 hours for something special and found only this place, I might stick a fork in somebody's neck, and then one in my own. Modern Gainesville probably doesn't know the difference, though..bra-less and pierced as it is.
When you go, stop by and have a burger at the Copper Monkey, right next door. I think they still clean their kitchen...
Chain Reaction Bicycles
1630 W University Ave
1630 W University Ave
Next up! Super Cool Bike Shop