Bike Attack, as a bike shop, began in 1991 in Berlin, Germany, as a contractor for the U.S. Army under the Morale, Welfare and Recreation department. They were in charge of providing bikes for military members and their families. At the helm was 21-year-old avid cyclist and native Californian Ericson Monsalud.
By the mid-’90s, U.S. military presence in Germany was winding down, but demand for bikes from local Germans and other countries’ soldiers was still strong, so Ericson opened up the original Bike Attack store off base in Berlin. As it broke off from the army, it became an exclusive German distributor of Bontrager, Merlin, Foes and other iconic American mountain bike brands. In later years, Bike Attack was the biggest seller of Cannondale bikes in Europe.
“We’re looking forward to seeing what transpires from this!”
Though he was a downhill mountain bike racer at the time, the shop started taking more of his time, and he wanted to concentrate more on the business. He was sponsored by several companies to race, and he was really hard on bikes and parts, and learned what companies stood behind their products and which didn’t.
By 1998, Ericson decided to move back to his hometown of Venice, California, where he opened Bike Attack in the U.S.
Eventually, by 2010, the Venice location was too small, so he moved up the street to Santa Monica about the time he was selling more electric bikes than traditional bikes. As an early adopter, Ericson was able to bring electric bikes to an expanding list of new customers, and by 2013, as e-bike technology continued to evolve rapidly, the popularity of pedal-assist bikes really took off in the beach-side community.
Ultimately, this culminated in an electric bike-specific store called Bike Attack Electric+ and a mixed electric/traditional bike store in Playa Vista.
Playa Vista is a master-planned community near Los Angeles International Airport that was built with thousands of units of apartments and townhomes, as well as parks and retail shops. Recently, over 500 tech companies, like Google and YouTube, have moved into the area and has exploded. Google took over what was the giant hangar that Howard Hughes had once used to make the Spruce Goose. The area is now known as “Silicon Beach.”
The local property developers knew of Ericson’s reputation for getting things done and asked him if he’d open a bike shop there. He opened his new flagship store, and it immediately took off. This store sets a new standard for showcasing bikes. Each company has its own space in the store to properly show off what each brands’ strengths are.
On any given day, the store is packed with people, both customers and a generous staff to serve them. Techies, rock stars and movie stars frequent the stores, all looking for quality and a store that stands behind their sales with great service.
Bike Attack is now experimenting with producing some of their own bikes. This is interesting, considering the brand’s provenance with racing, service and customer input. We’re looking forward to seeing what transpires from this!
Both stores carry a huge supply of bikes and brands, including Stromer, BH/Easy Motion, Tern, Blix, Surface 604, E-Lux, Elby, M1, Fantic, KTM, Bianchi, Scott, Benno and more. Each brand has a strength, and the staff knows those strengths and can match them to customers’ needs.
Visit Bike Attack Electric+ at 2904 Main Street, Santa Monica, CA 90405, and Bike Attack Playa Vista at 12775 W Millennium, Playa Vista, CA 90094.
Their website is www.electricbikeattack.com.
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