I'm introducing a new feature to Freebird Velo: BIKE SHOP OF THE WEEK, which may turn into bike shop of the month, or even bike shop of the year, who knows, I can be flaky when it comes to computer work. I like bike shops, too much if you ask my hubby, he's always accompanying me to random shops across California. I know online shops are a pain in the local bike shops ass, cheaper prices, wider selection, and just plain easy. But online shops are missing something: tactility and community.
We need to touch these bikes and parts that we lust after. We need to ride them, lift them, ping the carbon with your fingers, admire the craftsmanship of a steel bike. Take my handlebars for example- I know it made a huge difference when I was looking to be able to hold and compare about 10-15 different bars. Yes this quest lasted over the course of a month and 7 different shops but I ended up finding what I think to be the best bars in the world. I couldn't say the same for my hubby, he bought his online and had to return them because they were a complete mis-fit. We also need to visit shops for camaraderie, whether it's chit chatting with the manager or watching the mechanic work on your baby. And be nice to your local mechanic, you may need a quick fix sometime and they're more likely to help you out if you treat them kindly. Bring em cookies or beer, depending on who you're working with and how much you know them. Support your local bike shop dammit! Now, here we go.
I'd like to introduce my first shop Velo Pasadena. I visited the shop when I first switched over from mountain to road. Since they're an hour away my visits aren't as plenty as I'd liked but each visit made has been worth my while. Open since 1988 by Hrach Gevrikyan, ex-pro road racer and Armenian National Champion. The shop has everything: cycling history, classic steel, beautiful new carbon, good clothing selection, all with a splash of Italian: De Rosa, Colnago, Campagnolo, Capo(I know, US, but it's made in Italy), Castelli, and 3T. Check out the display of vintage Campy, I do every time and I can't get enough. Hanging from the ceiling are vintage bikes that any aficionado would love to have in their collection. It's almost sensory overload so take your time. When you're done drooling head over to Intelligentsia's Pasadena Cafe, num, num coffee. I love Pasadena, it's probably my favorite city in Los Angeles, it's clean, there's good shopping, great food, and it's one of the most bike friendly cities in Southern California, definitely worth the trip.
2562 East Colorado Blvd
INTELLIGENTSIA'S PASADENA CAFE
55 East Colorado Blvd