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Old January 4th, 2008, 9:33 AM   #1
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Default Cambria Bike Outfitters, MTB history

Many may remember Cambria Bike Outfitters as an early mailorder company, they still exist but it was different in the early 90's. They sold Fats, among other great bikes.
I pass thru Cambria on ocassion, beautiful town, the original building still sits and is for sale. The building is covered with mountain bike history, check out the logos, still on the facade.

There's some work being dome on the grounds, so it may not be long before this is painted over for ever.

I wish the tools weren't in the front against the building. This was New Years Day.
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Old January 4th, 2008, 1:58 PM   #2
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I would love to step back in time and walk into that shop. Cool photos and thanks for posting them!
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Old January 5th, 2008, 2:15 PM   #3
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Default Cbo

Back when I lived in CA I had one opportunity to visit CBO, probably in about 1990.

I spent the better part of an afternoon there checking out cool parts and test riding a bunch of bikes. I know that they had Fats, but I do not recall riding one that day. For some reason the bike that I recall liking most was an American M-16. Although I later bought a Fat frame from them, that day I think that I only bought a Monster Fat t-shirt.

They had a bunch of bikes lined up in front; neat bikes built up with the coolest parts and you could test any and all of them. All in all, a nice bunch of folks.

I remember that they came up for sale a few years later, don't know any details about that, but at the time I did mention it to my wife. No interest on her part.

While we are on the topic of cool bike shops no longer with us, does anyone recall the Bike Beat in Orange, CA? They were a local shop for me and also had great people and the newest and trickest bike goodies.

And now I can shop at FFB, I am very lucky indeed...

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Old January 6th, 2008, 9:17 AM   #4
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Cool story

If they want to sell, they shouldn't repaint it, but swing it on eBay. With those logos they can get a million !
Yo rider, Wicked attitude
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Old January 17th, 2008, 3:04 PM   #5
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Default CAmbria Bicycle , Mtb History

I Was glad to find your post, Cambria Bicycle Outfitter has been and still is a leader in the purveying the best niche brands and products in the high end MTB world since 1986.

I have owned Cambria since 1994, before and after that year Cambria Bicycle Outfitter was the #1 retailer in the US of Fat Chance BIKES for many years running. Chris and Wendyll are personal friends of mine. We would love to see the brand revived some day, as I am sure many of the people here would. And for you junkies MAtt Bracken(original Fat Employee) and other original Fat City alumni are still appeasing your cravings with I.F.........THere is a God!!!

That building pictured has been sold recently unfortunately, it is a very long and even more painful story related to Cambria Bicycle Outfitter and the bike shop's ability to stay in Cambria. It involves a very few unhappy and mislead people that got to the right polotitions and stopped our expansion, even though the village of Cambria and most of it's residents have always appreciated all of the customers we have brought to this beautiful remote tourist village and the patronage they have provided local businesses for over two decades. Allot had to change geographically for the growing Cambria bikes in our Area.

The main Retail part of our business is now in San Luis Obispo on Monterrey st, Our main warehouse/phone sales and another Retail outlet is now in Paso Robles in a 30,000 square foot facility. We are also working on a new store/MTB museum in Cambria, and we have a Large retail Store in Santa Rosa.

That building on 2164 center st and its logos have been pictured in Mountain Bike Action and other places over the years. It truly is a significant piece of MTB history that will be missed when it does get painted over. We tried to figure out a way to remove those logos (most of which are companies no longer in business or taken over by some corporate entity and lost it's soul along the way) unfortunately being painted directly on the Stucco made it impossible without breaking the paintings and/or completely destroying to structural integrity of the building itself. Very very SAD time for me and many others!!!

I posted this to tell you at least some good news. Even though The Cambria small town Politics did not favor well for that building and all of the aspects of Cambria Bicycle Outfitter Staying in Cambria. Cambria Bicycle Outfitter does have a new intimate store we are working on in Cambria. It is at 1602 main St in Cambria. It is a small building just like the original bike shop and we hope to create the same feeling of MTB warmth and hominess the Cambria store is famous for. The Wednesday night ride and Fire pit festivities after ride (although now smaller with many of us moving to different parts of the county) is still a religious experience that has gone uninterrupted since 1986...You can still even count on some of the original guys from the 80's showing up every week!!

I had someone take some high resolution photos of each of those logos on the original Bike shop and we hope to recreate them at the same size somehow digitally or otherwise for the new store. In addition I have been collecting for many years myself and from friends, bikes,frames parts, and memorabilia from the mtb world of 80's and 90's. While my collection does not rival Jeff's at Free flight Bicycles.........There will be plenty of great memories on display soon in the New Cambria Location.please come by and see the new store when in the area.....

We will never forget where we came from, and Our hardtail Singlespeed rides often remind us that we still are there!!!!! Steel is still real!!! FaT City will LIve forever, and we will help it stay alive!!

Ride on
Clay Akey CEO Cambria Bicycle Outfitter cambriabike.com
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Old January 17th, 2008, 3:45 PM   #6
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Great to have you on the boards. I was in that shop, probably in about 1990, which was about the same time i decided to give up my Klein for a Fat Chance. Being in that shop and checking out the bikes was plenty of motivation.

I'll be sure to stop by next time up in that area.

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Old January 17th, 2008, 3:48 PM   #7
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Default Awesome Clay

Thanks for checking in and giving us the straight dope. Best of luck to the CBO of the future!
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Old January 18th, 2008, 3:47 PM   #8
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Default First bike.

Hello all,
The ORIGINAL shop was on Main St. Big rocks in front with Bontragers, Fishers,Mtn Goats, Slingshots etc. out front wood stairs down the hillside brought you to the front door. very small place wood floor etc. I bought my first bike there Summer of 86 it was a Fisher Montare XT with bullmoose bars shimano deore components with deer antler logos on them. Steve (the owner) and the guys were great.

The place was like magic, Mtn. bikes were still a new and growing industry. Other bike shops said we can get it. Steve had it and, you could ride it.

Clay is doing a great job, and yes the Cambria district sucks for any kind of development. But it is sad that there are no more bike shops (I have seen a lot) that posses the kind of magic that CBO had in the 80's. By 90 it had become to much of a business.

Like Fat City I guess it's hard to appreciate what we have until it is gone.
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