This Is Why I Love: Jim C. @ Orange 20 Bikes

Riding home last Friday I somehow managed to hit a big enough bump or pothole to dislodge the business end of the awesomely bright rear blinky light on my bike, leaving me with nothing more than than the rear casing attached to my saddlebag.

I used some of my small strap-on LEDs in the interim until a couple days ago when I could roll to the Bicycle District Square Gateway Homeland Zone Quadrant Town Epicenter at Heliotrope and Melrose where the literal hole-in-the-wall shack that ist Orange 20 Bikes is located.

Honestly, my last couple visits haven’t gone so well. I was sold the incorrect style of brake cable on one occasion, and most recently I purchased a new set of tires only to get home to find they weren’t the same size.  Trifling and resolvable matters too be sure, but frustrating nonetheless. Coincidentally, both of those visits took place while co-owner Jim C. was elsewhere.

See, Jim besides being a legendary cyclist who knows a looooot about bikes, is also a guy who will take the time to do right by you, and he’s the reason why on my way home Tuesday I passed by Palms Cyclery on Motor north of Venice and Chubby’s on La Cienega south of Guthrie and kept on going straight to O20 — whether Jim C. was there or not.

If he hadn’t been, I would’ve just bought the light and bailed without asking anyone else working there for advice with a situation my bike had developed because frankly and in all likelihood I would’ve been blown off. It’s happened before. Never by Jim C.

Fortunately he was there, and as such after purchasing the light I troubled him to check out the clicking sound emanating from around the headset/stem area that had started sporadically enough but had since grown to be a maddening almost-constant reminder that something wasn’t right.

But what? Was it damaged? Was it metal fatigue? Was it a potential hazard either way?

Keep in mind Jim C. coulda said  “well it could be symptomatic of a problem that will require me to take a look and cost you money for labor and parts,” and I would’ve been all “OK.” But instead Jim C. stopped what he was doing, came outside and manhandled the bars of my bike a bit and heard a couple clicks and said there’s no damage, there’s no fatigue, and no it’s not a potential hazard either way. Then he told me a simple DIY fix that involved me greasing the stem bolts that hold the handlebars in place and also the insides of the stem because by most accounts he said it’s just simple dry metal-on-dry metal contact that’s occuring somewhere in there that’s in need of a little lubricationalization.

I did that this morning and guess what: no more clicks. None.

And that is why Orange 20 is my go-to bikeshop.

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Will Campbell arrived in town via the maternity ward at Good Sam Hospital way back in OneNineSixFour and has never stopped calling Los Angeles home. Presently he lives in Silver Lake with his wife Susan, their cat Rocky, dogs Terra and Hazel, and a red-eared slider turtle named Mater. Blogging since 2001, Will's web endeavors extend back to 1995 with, a comprehensive theater site that was well received but ever-short on capital (or a business model). The pinnacle of his online success (which speaks volumes) arrived in 1997, when much to his surprise, a hobby site he'd built called VisuaL.A. was named "best website" in Los Angeles magazine's annual "Best of L.A." issue. He enjoys experiencing (and writing about) pretty much anything creative, explorational and/or adventurous, loves his ebike, is a better tennis player than he is horr golfer, and a lover of all creatures great and small -- emphasis on "all."