by Jamie Ware
February 11, 2014
Your once a week dose of retail therapy from Singletrack’s Premier Dealers, stockists and advertisers, Tuesday Treats gives you a quality serving of independent bike retailing and a chance to win big in this week’s prize draw.
This week, we’re introducing: Velo Pro
This week we hand the batton over to Steven Bennett-Day and the good guys at Velo Pro, who are based on the outskirts of the (always sunny) Suffolk town of Bury St. Edmunds. Here’s why, if you’re on the A14, heading through East Anglia, there’s plenty of reasons to pull off for a friendly welcome at Junction 44!
Tell us a bit about what you do best…
We stock mtb, road and cross bikes from Lapierre, Genesis, Lynskey and Kinesis as well as a few exotics and the usual accessories, clothing and components.
There’s a sofa, mags, tea and a nice espresso machine, so you’re welcome to drop by and just soak up some cycling atmosphere. Sometimes there’s a plate of cakes, especially when we know a bunch of riders are heading our way.
We’ve got a full service workshop with Cytech trained mechanics plus a specialist with over 20 years of expertise in servicing and setting up suspension. What makes us a bit special or if we had a specialism, I’d say that’s being open and helpful. Cycling culture is changing and we embrace everything that comes through our door. Oh and talking suspension, we have the most experienced engineer in the region. We’ll be making some very important news on that in a few weeks, so stay tuned to get tuned in the near future.
How did everything come together in Bury St. Edmunds?
Velo Pro is owned and run by my good friend Kevin Harris and myself. At heart, we are two local riders who wanted to create a cycling venue in Bury St. Edmunds that went a bit beyond retail, supporting and building the local cycling culture.
Kevin spent years tuning road and motocross bikes trackside for pros before turning to bikes without engines. This man can tweak your sag with his eyes alone!
I spent years in advertising working with extreme sport brands. Following the Athertons down their local trails suggested it was time to stop pretending I was good enough and start helping out people who might well be.
Sounds like the perfect mix of skills. Anyone else involved?
Our part time mechanic Trevor was a world Minibike champion, which took him from Mildenhall to Vegas (that’s a long way). He has some very tidy bike skills and it’s always a lesson following him down a decent trail.
With Thetford Forest down the road, what’s its like locally for trails?
We’re slap bang in the middle of Suffolk – it’s flat, about 10 miles from Thetford Forest and its range of trails. East Anglian riders are an adventurous lot, we have to be because there’s not much in the way of natural obstacles so we’re always planning and travelling to ride somewhere new.
What’s hot in-store?
We know it’s been contentious but the one thing we’re all running at the moment is 650b’s. We’re particularly loving on the new Lapierre Zesty AM’s. We got one in as soon as we could and as each of us took it out for a run we came back glowing.
Another product that surprised us and been adopted by all of us when clipped in is Giro shoes. Light, stiff and comfortable.
Our last custom build was a (kinda) cross bike… A Genesis Croix De Fer. We made a beefier but lighter version than the off-the-peg build.
We’re really keen to support the local riding scene, and we’ve starting by sponsoring an amazing local rider, Jason Bouttell. Jason started mountain biking in 2011 where he won the National Series. By 2013 he was classified as Elite. When you read this he will be out in Cyprus preparing for the Sunshine Cup with his mentor Oli Beckinsale. He can also nail a Time Trial too, with 10 miles in 19:13.
Something that no one knows about the shop staff?
I used to be a biological surveyor in past life, so I humour people by identifying trailside grasses at 18mph.
We also run a Strava club called 101. If you record 101Km/month on mtb or 101 miles/month on road then you automatically get a discount in the shop and the odd VIP thing here and there.
We’re running a Lapierre Demo Day on Sunday April 6th at Coldham Park near Chelmsford. Not our local rolling ground, but the chance to ride the demo fleet around a course like that is too much to turn down. We’ll be there with a BBQ and welcome any STW readers to head over and have a go.
We’re helping out the local rugby club who are riding from the scene of an air crash 40 years ago just outside Paris to Bury St. Edmunds. A lot of local families were touched by the disaster. Kevin is travelling with them with a whole mobile workshop and we’re running some training rides and setting up all their bikes before the off.
Lastly, what do Singletrack Premier Subscribers get from you guys?
There’s something for everyone. 5% off new bikes and 10% off components. One free full bike service* or one free fork/shock service*.
Free servicing for 2 years* on new bikes and custom builds. Pick up and drop off for servicing within 10 miles of shop.
Most importantly free proper coffee and cake whenever you come in.
(* Excluding any parts needed).
Tuesday Treats Prize Draw