The Internet will never eradicate the local bike shop. As the world continues to increasingly shop more online, certain professions are more at risk than others. Ticketing and video rentals are having problems and local travel agencies have all but disappeared. But unlike reserving a room in Barbados, working on bikes requires expertise. Owners of Campagnolo groupsets will always need to know where they can receive the best advice and expertise. Proprietary tools make it so individuals must pony up in order to become home mechanics. But along with the skill set and tools required to make a bicycle function smoothly, a bike shop must also bolster the community. Southern California has a thriving cycling community with numerous manufacturers and many prestigious races. At the heart of the local road community is Velo Pasadena.
What Makes It Great
Started in 1988 by Hrach and Nevrik Gevrikyan, the shop in Pasadena has grown into a collage of racing history and contemporary treasure. Hrach is the former national champion of Armenia; he won it 13 times during the 70’s and 80’s. He has stayed in the US after moving here to race continentally. Over the years the shop has grown, today it is one large space in Pasadena and a smaller shop in northeast Los Angeles called Velo Studio. In the early days Hrach was often known as Mr. Velo, mostly because ‘Velo’ wasn’t a term that many American’s knew. In fact, Hrach has even complained that Velo is overused in modern cycling and, if he were to do it again, he would have chosen a different name. It is this tenacity to be different and the best that separates Velo Pasadena from the pack.
The locations are convenient for riders looking to head into Griffith Park or up Glendora Mountain Road. The collection of Colnagos that hangs from the ceiling in Pasadena is a worth the trip.
Who is Going to Love It
If you have Campy in LA and need work done, this is where you should go. People will the love the shop for its collection of new and used. If you are restoring a bike to period spec, it never hurts to ask if Hrach has that elusive part (he often does). Their inventory is great if you need a new bike. They carry pro race frames form Italian, French, Swiss, and American companies, as well as numerous entry level rides.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
Velo Pasadena is located at 2562 East Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena. From the 210 Freeway, exit at Altadena Drive and head south (away from the mountains). After half a mile, turn let onto East Colorado Boulevard. Velo Pasadena is on the right at the corner of Virginia and Colorado – it is first intersection after Altadena Drive. Parking can be found in back.
Velo Studio is located at 3200 Los Feliz Boulevard in the Atwater Village neighborhood of Los Angeles and right next to Griffith Park. From the 5 Freeway, exit at Los Feliz Boulevard and head east. You will find Velo Studio on corner of the first intersection; turn right onto Glenfeliz Boulevard to find parking.