Moving to Salt Lake City Utah

Questions about bike hire abroad and everything light bike related. No off-topic chat please

Moderator: Moderator Team

Posts: 92
Joined: Thu Feb 11, 2010 6:46 am
Location: Jacksonville FL

by Jersland

Moving in the next couple months to Salt Lake City Utah and was wondering about what areas are considered better parts of town. Ive been told that the eastside, or downtown area is a good place to live. Just wondering on what LBS, rides, routes are good. Also hows the road racing scene? Can any fellow weenies pass on some info about the area.


Posts: 115
Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2010 8:36 pm

by blantonator

Cottonwood Heights is a really nice area and super close to all the awesome nature SLC has to offer.

User avatar
Posts: 5432
Joined: Thu May 04, 2006 4:43 pm
Location: Wherever there's a mountain beckoning to be climbed

by HammerTime2

Jersland wrote:Ive been told that the eastside, or downtown area is a good place to live.
Did the people who told you this tell you what their criteria and preferences are, or already know yours?

Case in point, I was speaking with a real estate agent some years back about buying a house in specific town which was in the mountains. When she asked my why I wanted to live there, I told her that it was in large part because I liked to bicycle. She said, oh no, you wouldn't want to live there, it's terrible for bicycling ... there's nothing but hills.

Some people think it's great to live in the middle of a dense urban region with all the hustle and bustle. As a cyclist, perhaps you'd like to be able to just hop on your bike and immediately be on good roads for cycling.

Of course, if you have a job or are going to school, then the commute to work or school might be a big factor. Also, whether or not you will have a car.

Posts: 92
Joined: Thu Feb 11, 2010 6:46 am
Location: Jacksonville FL

by Jersland

I was told that the eastside is downtown or a more urban side of town. Id like to live in an area that I can ride to group rides from my house or access nice roads.

Johnny Rad
Posts: 1842
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2006 6:22 am
Location: Zion

by Johnny Rad

I lived in SLC, UT for +30 years and just moved a year ago to Boulder, CO.

In my opinion, the rides you'll want to take go north (towards Ogden), south (towards Provo) and east of the city (canyon rides). There's not much going west due to ugly urban sprawl and/or flat boring in-town riding. Wherever you end up, you won't be too far from the mountains. SLC is relatively small geography-wise.

* Emigration Canyon is a popular canyon ride that is quick and easy. Levi Leipheimer allegedly has the record time at 21min or something crazy. It's close to the University of Utah and Hogle Zoo is at the mouth. It's also a great way to get back into more canyons and rural areas since most of the others are dead-ends.
* Just to the north of Emigration Canyon by ~15min riding, you'll find City Creek. It's another easy ride, but a great one to do in the heat of the day because much of it is shaded by big trees.
* About 20-40min riding south from Emigration Canyon, you'll find three more canyons: Millcreek (easy at the bottom progressively getting steeper past the gate), Big Cottonwood (moderate ride) and LIttle Cottonwood (a tough one for sure).
* Connecting the bottom of most of these is Foothill Dr / Wasatch Blvd, which is a fair ride in and of itself.
* There's another couple of great canyon rides just a bit farther to the south. I forget their names, but they're gorgeous rides. Sundance resort something or other is up one of them.

For ride details, check out this link:"

Contender is consistently ranked as one of the top bike shops in America. They stock top end gear for top end prices. They'll treat you right. It's near the University of Utah in an area called 9th and 9th (900 South and 900 East).

My strong preference is Cyclesmith at the University of Utah. They're small, but keen to impress.

SLC proper is chock full of smaller houses (Harvard Yale, Sugarhouse, lower St. Mary's). As you hit the burbs, house sizes increase. If you stay on the east bench (foothills), you'll be minutes from one or more of the canyons.

Feel free to PM me.

There's a frequent poster here from SLC that goes by Carbon something or other... I'm sure he'll weigh in.

Posts: 92
Joined: Thu Feb 11, 2010 6:46 am
Location: Jacksonville FL

by Jersland

Johnny Rad, Thanks for the detailed post. That website was helpful. Coming from Jacksonville, FL i havent a clue what its like to climb in the mountains. Everything here is just fast flats riding. For gearing we run an 11-23 with a standard crank set. Wonder what gearing I will be needing? Any flatter rides in town?


User avatar
Posts: 455
Joined: Sun Oct 31, 2010 10:54 pm
Location: London

by canbakay

I lived in salt lake city for about 3 months a few years back to train at a high altitude camp called Gym Jones - what time we had left (with energy) we toured Utah and it is simply amazing! I don't know about the shops or anything but terrain wise it is spectacular, in addition, having seen pretty much most of the world i can say that Utah has some of the nicest people I've met.

good luck!

Posts: 189
Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 2:23 am

by markc

I lived in SLC from 89-96 so a bit dated. I spend a couple weeks in Park City each year to mtn bike and stay in touch with my colleagues in town. So grain of salt to be taken (ha ha).

Our home was near east high and rowland hall. Nice enough neighborhoods and near to 9th and 9th which has developed into a nice spot with some food, bread, good bike shop and a Smiths. When we were there it was just starting to get hip. Easy riding up to Emigration or to the U over to the Avenues and City Creek.

The typical evening road rides involve just a few roads and some easy climbing so you'll find your favorite way to get to those routes soon enough. Note, I consider the top of Emigration to be easy climbing. Coming from FLA where an overpass is a hill, your idea of a climb may be different. That will change after a season :-)

I always enjoyed riding the Big and Little Cottonwood canyons, Guardsman, that sort of thing.

There is also a lot of dirt so if you aren't into mtn biking now you probably will be soon after arriving.

If I were moving back I would likely live in one of three spots: (1) Upper Avenues, (2) the area southeast of the Zoo, or up in Emigration. With a strong preference for the latter if I wanted to stay near the valley. Would also consider Jeremy Ranch area as it's a quick shot down I-80 to town and that puts you right in some great dirt and road riding. It depends a bit where you'll be working and if you want to walk or bike to work. It isn't bad to get around SLC but no sense making travel time longer than it needs to be.

Gearing - I rode 12-23 stuff on the road but today I would put on a 13-26 and depending where I was going perhaps a compact up front. Actually, I'd build two road bikes with different gearing / purpose. One for circuit racing and the other for climbing. ....and a FS mtn bike and a SS mtn bike probably rigid front and rear. But I digress...

The racing scene is solid.

Short of it is we loved it there but career took us away. I would go back in a heart beat for the right opportunity and have seriously considered retirement in the region. Hope you enjoy it too.

User avatar
Posts: 2032
Joined: Sat Aug 29, 2009 4:30 pm

by Rick

I am in Sandy. I work downtown and commute on the bike most days. You can ride anywhere in the SL valley (i you are careful)

The cycling is great and you have a huge variety: long flats and/or rollers in the North-central or over to Tooele (directly west).
Small climbs and non-busy neighborhoods to the Southwest
canyons and huge climbs on the East side.
Mountain ranges to 10,000 ft + within about 40 miles.

Where to live:
That's complicated.
Newer high $ mini-mansions in South Jordan;
Nice but older homes in the North and Northeast;
Reasonable, modest homes in West Valley;
Reasonably new, nice homes in Sandy

Plus, there is really a lot of variation within each generalization. There is no place where you really wouldn't want to live except maybe about a 10 square block area in West Vally and another in Rose Park (North West). Even those aren't really bad, but it is where whatever gang activity that happens is always reported.

BTW: I can't really spin a 34-28 up ANY of the climbs. But If I gear lower I just end up going slower. :mrgreen:

User avatar
Posts: 852
Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 1:13 am
Location: Utah

by carbon2329


Sorry , I just saw this thread.
Congrats on moving to Utah (at least I hope you feel that way :D ). The only bad part about Utah is 5-6 months of winter. Anyway.....

I have lived in Utah (Salt Lake City and surrounding area) my entire life.

What a lot of folks have said is correct. It is a great place for climbing and great rides, really. If you like climbing and riding short or long distances there is a ton of variety and great mountains areas. I could explain but this post would be extremely long.

I live in the "East Bench" of the city/suburbs. For example (on the bike) ;
-I am 15 min. (on the bike) from 3 canyons (4-14.7 miles long canyons)
-25 min. from another (7 miles long canyon)
-45min from another 2 canyon (7 & 4 miles long)
----and there are more :D :thumbup:

Then there are a lot of other areas where you can get in other canyons that take you to other areas and do loops about 70-105 miles long where you get in flats, hills, and canyons with some great scenery.

Utah is not perfect, but is really has some great riding.

If you are really interested in some help and direction, please PM and we can chat. We could even talk on the phone, if you want, (for where to live or where to ride).

The racing scene is pretty good. (lots of crits and a descent amount of road races.)

There are A LOT of LBS. I go to:
Contender- always voted one of the best shops in the county (lots of high end frames, knowledgable mechanics, but $$$$)
Millcreek- pretty nice shop, mechanics can be disorganized, BUT......the owner is the best bike fitter in the state, hands down.(for a fit, don't go anywhere else, really

In regards to where to live, that depends on;
-personal likes
-how much $$$ you want to spend
-how close to work or school you want
There are a lot of good options.

Let me know and best of luck moving.

bc sparks
Posts: 57
Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2008 9:42 pm

by bc sparks

The Utah Cycling Association is the local USA Cycling racing association.
Between weeknight crits and time trial and mountain bike races and weekend road and stage races, you can usually race about 4 or 5 times per week.

There is also a full cyclocross series in the fall.

bc sparks
Posts: 57
Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2008 9:42 pm

by bc sparks

carbon2329 wrote:There are A LOT of LBS. I go to:
Contender- always voted one of the best shops in the county (lots of high end frames, knowledgable mechanics, but $$$$)

I think Contender always get rated so high because it is in the heart of the yuppie neighborhood and cater to cyclist who don't want to know anything about their bike and who assume that more expensive service is better service. In my experience, Contender is 15 to 20% above retail, especially on small parts, and their service is expensive but sub-par.

User avatar
Posts: 852
Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 1:13 am
Location: Utah

by carbon2329

My experince with Contender has been good and dependable (and I know quite a bit about my bikes). They are definitly $$, but they do a proper job (in my experince) and they double check their work.
Yes, their prices are high, but I get most things online anyway, but jsut have mechanical stuff etc.. from them, so problem solved :thumbup: .

I know this is a forum and we can freely express our opinions, however I hope we don't have to resort to "virtual" name calling.(yes, I know technically you aren't "name calling", but you know what I mean. But, that is a pretty intense response to a post stating, "this is where I go" ).

This is not ment to start an argument at all, I totally understand your opinon and respect it. Maybe we can ride some time (I assume you live in Utah) :D

Really, not meant to create an argument. My appologies, if my response was based on misunderstanding.
Kindest regards,

bc sparks
Posts: 57
Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2008 9:42 pm

by bc sparks

Admittedly my experience with Contender is limited, but it was all bad, very bad. But I haven't been in there for 3 years or more, so maybe they have improved.

Anyway, I lived in the Salt Lake area for ~25 years, but I now live in Moab, the land of over priced bike shops.

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Last post