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At cramped, dimly lit Manny's Low Rider bikes, you won't find the best stuff on display hanging up on the walls and ceilings — that's where Manny stores a lot of his extensive and relatively inexpensive bike-parts inventory. Sure, current-model beach cruisers and messenger bikes pack the storefront, but a legendary Schwinn, the 1950 Phantom, isn't even at the shop. A 1948 Whizzer, the only motorized bike Schwinn ever made, is housed discreetly in a back room that feels more storage area than bike museum. And as to the whereabouts of the collector-quality Schwinn nameplates that date to the 1930s, we've been sworn to secrecy. To purchase these trophies, it takes more than money: You'll have to prove that your appreciation of the Schwinn is as great as that of Manny Gonzalez himself. Too poor to afford one as a kid, he learned how to handle-glide test riding repairs at an uncle's bicycle shop. No wonder he's most comfortable repairing bikes in the back of this Venice old-school locals' favorite. 1613 Lincoln Blvd., Venice; (310) 306-3452.

—Tibby Rothman