Buying your Santa Cruz from Biketreks

published by bktr on 05/12/2014 16:46:00

Santa Cruz Bronson C in the Biketreks Workshop

Here at Biketreks we know that no matter how little or how much you want to invest in your next bike you want to get it right.  You’ve spent months or years saving up for your next purchase and when the time comes to finally treat yourself to a new investment you want to get it just perfect.  This is where we come in.

By the assumption that you are reading this blog you’ve decided on an incredible Santa Cruz which we have sold and ridden since the first day they were imported into the UK.  As such we have a passion, understanding and burning desire for this brand and all it encompasses.  We have a Santa Cruz expert Sarah who knows them inside out, and as the UK’s biggest dealer after the importer, we hold plenty of stock in all sizes and colours to be able to get you out riding in the fastest possible time.

So where does your journey start with us when you’re looking to buy your bike?  With a consultation, that’s where.

Full consultation surrounding your Santa Cruz purschase

With the bike industry changing on an hourly basis we know it can be a daunting place when you start looking at what you want to buy.  At Biketreks we look at your needs and desires from the point of view of getting you out riding more, with more confidence and with the view to riding to places you never thought possible.  We won’t blow your mind with technical jargon, we won’t make you uncomfortable in your knowledge or lack of it, and we will always offer you a beverage to calm the nerves (we are opposite a bar, have 2 trained barista’s on site with a proper coffee machine, and have more flavoured teas than Booths!)

On average we will spend an hour going through the options available on a Santa Cruz (or an Orange) mountain bike, but if you know what you want then it can be as quick as 10 minutes, or if you need more help then we won’t clock watch, we will work until we get it right.  It sounds cliché but we really are one of the few cycling businesses who sells products from the point of view of your needs and future desires rather than on a technical spec and a price point.  We’ve won awards because of this approach!

We will take you through a logical process of building a bike from the frame upwards, helping you select components that are suitable for your end goal.  We have used, abused and thrown away many of the supposed “greatest things since sliced bread” products that come to the market, and riding daily in the rigours that the Lake District throws at us we know what works and doesn’t on a bike.  You might think something looks great in a mag, and Mr MBR said it was amazing but the reality is often very different.  This is again another reason why many people choose to buy their bikes from us, we will give you no nonsense advice based on fact and having used the products rather than a marketing budget!!

We will listen, fine tune and expel the virtues of all the possibilities available on these bikes and then help you make a decision as to what best suits your needs.  It’s no use telling you that BOS forks are without a doubt the most incredible suspension fork on the market if you’ve got a busy lifestyle and don’t know one end of a spanner from the other, and equally if you want to start hike-a-biking after a years worth of riding we won’t sell you a Highball, and just because we ride SRAM 1 x 11 doesn’t mean we will push you onto it.  We will build you a bike that suits your budget and your hopes and dreams!

Get sized correctly and professionally on a Santa Cruz

When it comes to sizing you on a bike we have not only 30 years experience of sizing people on bikes, but we also have a nifty piece of software written by our ex-teacher Bryan that will take some vital statistics from you and then give us a  size based on them.  We will then send you out on one of our bikes that we have on site for you to see how it feels and give us some feedback based on a test ride (we have both a car park and an off road test circuit).  If you are one of the few people who wants a full off road demo on a bike before their purchase then we can organise this for you, but since 90% of people buying bikes do not need this don’t get caught up in the endless rut of demoing bikes.  We have some customers who have tried bikes for 3 years and still haven’t bought anything and since we struggle to understand the mentality behind this we offer a sizing and satisfaction guarantee on our bikes.  If you buy a bike from us and you are not happy with the size or the way it rides then we will swap it for a size that you want.

Santa Cruz Bikes at Biketreks

Once we have a clear picture of what we are creating for you we will compile a spread-sheet of everything we have discussed so you know what to expect when you collect your bike.  If we promised to put red decals on your forks and blue bore caps on your brakes then we will ensure that happens.  We will give you an estimated delivery time based up on the facts that we’ve got, and we can’t always promise you a firm date as sadly the bike industry around us doesn’t operate in the professional manner that we do, but where a scheduled date changes or a component becomes unavailable we will let you know.  We will offer alternatives if possible and believe us when we say we have an admin chap Piotr who is good at getting results from stalling companies!  We will always be honest with you even if it leaves you a little disappointed, we won’t just say “oh it’s around 6 weeks away” which is the typical Santa Cruz dealer response!

As parts arrive for your bike we will let you know and finally when all the parts arrive we pass your soon to be a bike on to our service centre…

Professional care and pride in the Biketreks Workshop

A workshop is only as good as the tools that are in it and the mechanics that wield them.  We have one of the largest selections of specialist tools in this industry and we are the envy of many bike shop owners.  In fact I’d hazard a guess that we have more money in tools in our service centre then we have in bikes in our shop.  This means that we fit, remove and assemble all components using the correct tools rather than botching them together.  There’s no ill fitted creaking headsets that come out of our workshop as they been fitted without retaining compound, and some workshops would do well in noting that there’s more than one type of Loctite available to use on your Santa Cruz!

Biketreks and Santa Cruz

Using all our tools are our highly prized mechanics whom without our business and certainly my custom building reputation wouldn’t exist.  A hardened pair work in there at present Sam and James, who along with CyTech qualifications and numerous other industry certificates have the most important skill of all – common sense and life experience!  They not only work on our bikes day in day out, but they also own them so they know how they ride and perform over time as well as straight off the shelf.  They are more than happy to chat to you about the longevity of parts, teach you how to service this and that, and help you along your way.  They are open to any hope and desires that you may want to achieve on your bike so if you like your bike setup just so, then they will do that for you.

Santa Cruz in the Biketreks Workshop

On average it takes around 3 hours for us to build your Santa Cruz or Orange mountain bike providing we are not Invisiframing it (see here to learn more on this incredible option) or fitting custom decals which in this case it can take upwards of 6 hours.  We will dedicate this time to working only on your bike, it won’t be a pick it up and put it down job.  Only one mechanic will work on your bike from start to finish, writing up a progress report as they go so at every stage we can confirm that x,y and z have been fitted and installed to the correct torque using the correct tools.

The beginning of a Santa Cruz Bronson at Biketreks

We will strip any frame or bike all the way back to a front triangle and rear triangle so we know exactly what has gone on with your bike.  Not many shops will know that Santa Cruz export their bikes without a sufficient amount of grease in the lower link for export duties, which means that from off you can be riding a “dry” bike that will soon start to creak!  A few years ago a thread was put in one of the forums asking if people thought that we actually did this and yes we do, it is what sets us apart from those who just sell Santa Cruz’s not live, breathe and take pride in creating them.

Custom Santa Cruz Builds at Biketreks

As your pride and joy progresses through it’s various stages of assembly we will photograph it and if you ask us to we will email or message you photos as we go along.  Most customers we deal with have no idea of the complex nature that’s involved in producing their bikes and love to see how a myriad of boxes turns into something they throw down the trails on their weekends.  In some cases we’ve even produced a glossy book in print or digital format if the bike is a surprise present for someone!

Invisiframe protection applied skillfully at Biketreks

Attention to detail is what Biketreks was founded on over 30 years ago by our MD Andy, and we’re not ashamed in saying we have a high staff turn over because of it.  Everything is done, re-done and done again until it passes his strict protocol whether that be lining up logos on headsets, cutting cables with cable cutters rather than pliers, or removing every inch of Invisiframe and starting again.  Having builtsix Santa Cruz’s of my own, my current bike is a million miles away from what my first looked like after 6 years of training under his watchful (and very critical) eye, having initially thinking that I knew how to turn out a good looking and mechanically sound bike!

Invisiframe is true to the name. Perfect with your Santa Cruz

We have access to some the world’s most lusted after products and nothing pleases us more than fitting them in your bike, so just because you don’t see it on our shop floor or website please do not assume that we can’t do it.  We can customize almost any element of your bike from decals to coloured cables to wheel builds.

Chris King headset with this Santa Cruz Custom Build

When it comes to wheels our Sam in his mechanical career estimates that he’s built over 5000 pairs of wheels and as such to be riding around on a hand built set by him is something of a privilege.  Whether going for a custom set of ENVE wheels or an off the peg offering from Mavic we will ensure that all bearings have been pressed in correctly i.e. straight, because again don’t assume this is a given, some companies have had too many shandys at lunch time with some of the hubs we’ve seen from people who should know better! 

We will true, de-stress, re-stress and true again and again until all the spokes are bedded in where they should be so on your first ride they aren’t popping into place and by the end your wheel isn’t touching the seat-stays.  We will NOT build any of our bikes with alloy nipples no matter how shiny and colourful they are.  If you want to constantly pay us to chase the snapping spokes around then we will make you sign a form to say as such, otherwise it’ll be brass nipples people.  This is why we say we can only customise 90% of your bike – some standards we will not lot slip no matter what the response.

The Biketreks Workshop Team are wheel-building outliers

We are huge advocators of setting bikes up tubeless as the Lake District rocks will give you plenty of pinch punctures if you don’t.  Tubeless is something that we will discuss with you at the point of sale but it is nothing to be afraid of if you’ve never heard of it or what it entails.  Whether you choose tubeless or not, something that we will ensure is that your logos on your tyres and wheels are aligned properly for the photo’s that will be taken of you on the podium.  Some people prefer an opposite the valve approach, others as seen here an alongside one!

Masterfully built wheels at Biketreks

A hugely important area of building your new bike is cable routing.  Along with our specialist knowledge on Santa Cruz lower links, very few shops know that there is a correct and incorrect way to cable your Santa Cruz bike, and should your bike be subject to a warranty claim because of it, you have little no room for negotiation with them.  We will always ensure that we cable your bikes as per the requirement and keep as many cables as we can off your paintwork.  Having seen a rear-mech cable saw through a Blur XC chain-stay (not a bike from us I might add) it is something you need to get correct!

Santa Cruz Cable Routing perfection

Cabling is another area like wheels where we will not compromise on the quality of cable we will use.  If you want coloured cables the only ones we will fit are Shimano cables as they are the best there are.  When you think about shifting gear it’s something that should just work and you take for granted, but if you try a bike running Jagwire or Superstar cables versus one running Shimano stainless steel polymer coated ones you’ll feel the difference straight away.  A Stainless steel inner teamed up with a silicon coated outer means precise and frictionless shifting for many hours of pleasurable riding rather than building up your thumb strength with substandard cables.

Tasty componentry on this Santa Cruz Custom Build

Installing certain components requires certain specialist knowledge, for example SRAM X1 cassettes need at least 5 hours of riding in them before their rivets will quieten down, and SRAM X01 and X1 chainsets will creak like billio unless you apply copious amounts of grease to them which seems contradictory on a carbon chainset.  This is again knowledge we have and others do not.  As well as building our own bikes we spend a lot of time fixing other people’s Santa Cruz’s who haven’t been built correctly by other dealers.  They may have got a cheap price but when it doesn’t work the smile soon fades from their face.  Buy once and get it right, don’t spend time fixing it, you should be riding it!

Chris King on this custom Santa Cruz Bronson

When setting up your bike we will leave room for manoeuvre when it comes to bar width, stack height, and seatpost length as we can always take it off we can’t add it back on.  With every bike we sell we offer a free one month service where we will not only check that everything has bedded in as we expect it, but we will make any adjustments to position that you feel are necessary.

Renthal Bars compliment this Santa Cruz Bronson well

Before you collect the bike from us we will ensure that all forks and shocks are set to their base tune for the given frame and shock combo that you are investing it.  Some bikes that come to us for repair are dire in their shock set-up as people love to fiddle with things they don’t understand!  We will talk you through this at the point of collection or just do it for you if you couldn’t care less about what’s going on and just want to ride.  If you choose not to collect it from us in store then we will ask you your weight and riding style and set up the shock and fork to the best of our ability without having you present.

Cane Creek shock on this Santa Cruz Bronson

Once our mechanic's are happy with their creation and the shop staff have checked it over to ensure all is as the new owner is expecting, we will put our much sought after sticker on it.  The owner of the bike I have used throughout this post has waited for 20 years to get this sticker!

Santa Cruz Custom Bikes - Built with Pride at Biketreks

Once done and dusted we will get together all your manuals and grease gun (if required), take a final picture of your stead, weight it on the all important scales of justice (it never ceases to amaze me what some people claim they’ve got their bike down to without any evidence!) and send you a picture asking when you’re available to come and collect him or her!

The completed Santa Cruz Bronson custom build

We will arrange a suitable time and date to hand over your bike and opening 7 days a week allows us plenty of flexibility.  We are more than happy to come in before work or stay behind after work if it suits you better, you’ve only to ask. 

At the point of collection we will go through as much or as little detail as you want.  Some customers want to know how to adjust and setup everything, others are just bursting with excitement to get out, so we are flexible either way.  What we do promise is that you and your new bike will not leave us until you are 100% happy in everything you see before you.

Get that Santa Cruz out for a ride straight from the Biketreks Shop in Ambleside

Since we are located in the best place to ride in the UK (in our opinion anyway) Ambleside in the heart of the Lake District we have many people who make a weekend of collecting their bike.  If this is something that appeals to you we can find you accommodation, meals, something for the Mrs’/ Mr’ to do, and either send you out on a route we’d recommend or better still we will take you out ourselves!  We don’t need much of an excuse to get out riding and come hell or high water we will take you on a tour of the best the Lakes has to offer if that’s what we’ve arranged.  Here you’ll see our John with new Bronson owner Damian getting a guided rainy tour of the Lakes (we’ve saved you the “in the pub afterwards” pictures!!)

One happy Biketreks customer takes his new Santa Cruz out for a spin with the team

So there you have it, more than one or two reasons why we feel that buying your Santa Cruz from Biketreks is the best decision you’ll ever make.  We are here to help at every stage of the buying, owning and servicing process, and we have as many “regular” customers based in Surrey as we do in the Lake District. 

Each and every Santa Cruz is special to me and Biketreks so we will always do our upmost to get it right from the off, and should that not be the case further on down the line then we will always envisage to solve that too.  Buying your bike is not a one time thing, we will be here for you when you are ready for your next one!

I look forward to seeing and hearing from you all, and carrying on my 6 years and counting love affair with the brand and the customers who feel the same.



And as a final word I’d like to say a huge thank you to Damian for allowing me to use his Bronson CC build for this article and writing us some kind words on his experience with us:

“I'm not sure if it was "the new bike feeling" that I just wanted it to live up to, but even if I tried, I can't fault it. The feedback through the carbon frame was instant (if that makes sense) I've ridden the same trails in the Grizedale area for 15yrs or more and have never felt so in control, although being a bit "portly" in stature, I seemed to glide over the rocky terrain, rather than being bounced and shook off one rocky section to the next! The Cane Creek shock kept the rear wheel "planted"(as John described it) giving me more confidence as I descended, to ease off the brakes a little bit more each section.

Having bit the bullet and gone for some Mavic SLR's (on Sarah's recommendation), I really noticed the positive agility of a light, quality wheel set and now realise that wheels are where to consider spending your money!

I'd really like to thank both Sarah and John for their patience and advice on helping me choose the set up on this bike as they guided me through the "pro's and con's" of every component, helping me achieve a bike build that I've dreamt about for donkeys years!

Buying the Bronson from Biketreks has been a real pleasure, dealing with people that have a true passion for bikes and cycling made the whole experience truly enjoyable and I'll have no hesitation in recommending Biketreks to friends (or strangers ) if I get asked where to buy a new bike.

Many thanks to all at Biketreks and I look forward to getting out on the trails with you.