Santa Barbara Mainstay Bicycle Bob’s Closing After Nearly 40 Years

Husband-and-Wife Owners Bob and Julia Zaratzian Announce Retirement on Social Media

Bicycle Bob's | Credit: Ingrid Bostrom

Bicycle Bob’s, one of Santa Barbara’s most well-known bike shops — and the Santa Barbara Independent’s “Best Bike Shop” winner for the past three decades —  will be closing after nearly 40 years, and the Old Town Goleta shop will become Trek Bicycles in the near future, according to an announcement from husband-and-wife shop owners Bob and Julia Zaratzian on social media.

“We are proud to have served the Santa Barbara cycling community for all these years and so pleased with how much cycling has grown,” the couple wrote in the announcement. “The future is bright. However, we are ready to leave the business end of cycling to have more time to enjoy being with our growing family and, of course, riding together.”

Julia and Bob Zaratzian | Credit: Courtesy

The husband-and-wife team opened Bicycle Bob’s more than 39 years ago, and for the past 31 years in a row, the local shop has been voted Santa Barbara’s “Best Bike Shop” in our annual Best of Santa Barbara® Readers’ Poll.

In their farewell statement, Bob and Julia wrote that they are thankful for “being a part of the amazing Santa Barbara cycling community,” and thanked the local customers, “many of whom have become friends,” they said, who helped grow the business from its humble beginnings.

“It has been a true joy to share our love of riding with you all over the years,” they wrote. “We can’t believe that it has been almost 40 years since we first opened Bicycle Bob’s in a tiny shop on upper State Street.”

Bicycle Bob’s has had a long working relationship with Trek Bicycles, and the couple decided to retire and sell the Kellogg Avenue location to the company, which is expected to begin the transition in the next week. Bob said that he would be at the location throughout the weekend before the official transition into a Trek shop.

“As you may know, we have worked with Trek Bicycles for many years and we have not found a better company in the bicycle industry to do business with,” the statement read. “We believe that Trek will continue to support the Santa Barbara cycling community and serve you well.”

The family is eager to enjoy retirement, but thanked the local community for decades of supporting the local bike shop.

“We would like to sincerely thank you all for being a part of our lives and supporting Bicycle Bob’s,” they wrote. “We are honored that you have chosen our local family business for 31 consecutive years in the Independent’s Best Of readers’ poll. We appreciate each of you who have shown up for our community fund raisers, weekend rides, clinics and special events. It has been an awesome ride. We will miss seeing you in the store, but we hope to see you on the road!”

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