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  1. #1
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    Velo Pasadena - what's their rep?

    I went to Velo Pasadena last week and was really impressed with this store. (I've never seen so many high-end frames in one place - I think it was a Colnago/De Rosa breeding farm! )

    I spoke to the guy in charge, Hrach, for quite a while about swapping out my handlebars. They had a big selection and I am curious about those FSAs with a compact drop. My K-wings are comfortable but on a couple of steep descents recently where I had to ride the brakes a lot (Baldy lifts and Chantry in the dark) I felt my fingers cramping up.

    Hrach saw my bike and said that the internal cabling of my K-wings did not exploit Campy to its best capabilities. He checked my brake levers and said they felt a little mushier than Record should be. He also agreed with me about switching to compact drops.

    So now I'm thinking about having him swap out my handlebars. He seems like the ultimate Campy pro, but I've never done business with his shop before. Has anyone gone there and what are his prices like? The kinds of bikes he has on display makes me grab my wallet to make sure it's still there.

  2. #2
    Senior Member thomson's Avatar
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    Joy, I have no input on Velo Pasadena but I do want to mention that you might consider looking for bars/position where you can stick your hands into the drops. Is that why you are looking at the compact drops?

    fwiw, my hands would probably cramp on long descents if I kept them on top of the hoods the whole way.

  3. #3
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    It's kinda hard to describe, but by the looks of it, the compact bars are shorter (front to back) and shallower (hood to drop). The compactness would set the hoods lower (more forward) on the curve of the bar without making me extend my reach. The lower position would also mean less extension for my fingers to grasp the brake levers when I'm in the drops.

  4. #4
    Spinning like a gerbel spingineer's Avatar
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    I got my pink diamond back there a really really long time ago, so I cannot vouch for pricing. However, the service was great. With so many choices for bike shops in Pasadena, it kinda raised the bar for all bike shops in that area.
    I'm in it to finish it.

    My Cycling Blog

  5. #5
    Senior Member thomson's Avatar
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    I would encourage any change that gets you comfortable in the drops on descents. The additional leverage means less strain on your (little bitty) hands.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by thomson View Post
    I would encourage any change that gets you comfortable in the drops on descents. The additional leverage means less strain on your (little bitty) hands.
    I've never been uncomfortable on descents since I'm not the white-knuckle type but I just noticed it recently on certain roads where I've had to be extra careful on my way down.

    And they're not "little bitty" bub... they're um... Space Efficient.

  7. #7
    riding once again jschen's Avatar
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    Well, a slow descent down gravel-paved Baldy switchbacks will cause lots of hands to cramp up.
    If you notice this notice then you will notice that this notice is not worth noticing.

  8. #8
    Game on! Gretzky's Avatar
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    Hi Joy!

    I am currently using the FSA Compact bar, and also used to use the K-Wing. With the K-Wing I never got comfortable with the reach. After trying several other bars, the FSA Compact fit like a glove.
    As you have said, shorter reach, and drops, and much easier to dial in the front end (for me).
    Red Spoke

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jschen View Post
    Well, a slow descent down gravel-paved Baldy switchbacks will cause lots of hands to cramp up.
    Sweetie, there is only one thing in this world where it's acceptable to have your hands cramp up. And descending on a bike isn't it.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gretzky View Post
    Hi Joy!

    I am currently using the FSA Compact bar, and also used to use the K-Wing. With the K-Wing I never got comfortable with the reach. After trying several other bars, the FSA Compact fit like a glove.
    As you have said, shorter reach, and drops, and much easier to dial in the front end (for me).
    Thanks Greg, good to know. I really like the flat bar tops of the K-wings on long rides, but the compact bars just seem to make more sense.

  11. #11
    riding once again jschen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Happytime View Post
    Sweetie, there is only one thing in this world where it's acceptable to have your hands cramp up. And descending on a bike isn't it.
    So confused... so when is it acceptable for my hands to cramp up?
    If you notice this notice then you will notice that this notice is not worth noticing.

  12. #12
    Turtle1
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    I got a pair of Sidi's at Velo Pasadena recently. They've got a lot of cool stuff to ooh and ahh at and the staff was pretty friendly and extremely helpful.

  13. #13
    Gr8 day 4 hill repeats JustMe's Avatar
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    Prices are high. Try Steve at Open Road or Incycle down the street. Both have more inventory, in fact Steve at Open Road claims to have more inventory than most any other. Nothing against Hratch or his operation, he just tends to sell everything on the high side.
    "Thunder is good, thunder is impressive; but it is lightning that does the work." - Samuel L. Clemens 1908 letter

  14. #14
    Senior Member socalrider's Avatar
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    Hrach is a good guy and was quite a racer in his day.. He has one of the nicer shops in so cal.. They moved a couple of years ago and the shop is a much bigger size now.. He has one of the few local shops that stock assos and the vintage bikes he has hanging are worth the trip alone..

    His prices are a little on the high side but he knows what he is doing.. If you are dealing with high end campy I can't think of a better shop to go to in the pasadena area..

    http://velopasadena.com/page.cfm?pageID=115
    Last edited by socalrider; 09-07-07 at 04:56 PM.

  15. #15
    Pink Hammer Girl Kar3368's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Happytime View Post
    It's kinda hard to describe, but by the looks of it, the compact bars are shorter (front to back) and shallower (hood to drop). The compactness would set the hoods lower (more forward) on the curve of the bar without making me extend my reach. The lower position would also mean less extension for my fingers to grasp the brake levers when I'm in the drops.

    Hi Joy!
    I have the compact bars and they are GREAT! Before I got them I had to descend on the hoods,
    I got the FSA compact right before Mulholland Challenge and I was able to descend Deer Creek in the drops (my hands could finally reach)!

    Karen
    "Integrity is doing the right thing, even if nobody is watching."--Jim Stovall

  16. #16
    pretty n pink grrlyrida's Avatar
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    One of my favs

    Hi Happy,
    Velo Pasadena is one of my favorite shops. They're straight talkers most of the time and if you hit it right they have a major sale around this time every year. I mean everything in the store is put on sale. Hrach spent almost an hour trying to fit me for sidi's (I have narrow, small feet). They're a great shop. I can't say enough about them.

  17. #17
    no more nellie
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    Quote Originally Posted by Happytime View Post
    And they're not "little bitty" bub... they're um... Space Efficient.
    It's not the size that counts.

  18. #18
    Spinning like a gerbel spingineer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merider1 View Post
    It's not the size that counts.
    I've actually heard the contrary ... are you saying you are that unique?
    I'm in it to finish it.

    My Cycling Blog

  19. #19
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    I think Pas Velo is a great shop. I bought my ICE frame from Harach and got a great deal. He was impressed when I told him I was taking the frame to my LBS ,Universal Cycles," to be built up. He said that he said he wished he had loyal customers like me. Get on their mailing list. They have 2 fantastic sales a year. Reminds me of the sales Circle Cycle used to have. 30%-50% off.

  20. #20
    drop you like a potato
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    save yourself a load of $$$ and buy online

  21. #21
    Junior Member Colnago_ed's Avatar
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    Great shop for high end stuffs, I got all my bikes there & service there , it's feels like shopping @ Rodeo Dr.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Socalcycling View Post
    save yourself a load of $$$ and buy online
    Yeah, and put the remaining few good bike shops out of business to save a few bucks, not this guy.

  23. #23
    drop you like a potato
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    Quote Originally Posted by vertical bob View Post
    Yeah, and put the remaining few good bike shops out of business to save a few bucks, not this guy.
    its bound to happen soon.. and its not just a few bucks...

  24. #24
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    Hrach is very knowledgeable. He was a great racer who raced for the Soviet National team in the early eighties. He even did the Coors Classic against Greg Lemond. His shop is very nice but pricey. He is a good businessman and if he knows you are going to spend money he will gladly take it. He "sponsored" a team that I rode for that had a director with deep pockets. The sponsorship consisted of allowing us to run up a large tab that he knew the director would pay for at full retail. I don't blame him, our director was very naive.

  25. #25
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    Thanks for the input, folks. It mostly reaffirmed my first impressions of Hrach and his store, which were very favorable. While I am happy with my local mechanic, his shop is limited in their merchandise selection. So when I walked into Velo Pas I was amazed at not only their goods, but the easy familiarity with all things Campy -- not something I find in most bike shops (as good as they may be).

    I was also impressed that they carried a ton of high-end bike apparel (Assos, Campy, Giordana etc) AND bib shorts for women. I don't mean to sound like a snob, but my girly bits prefer the fit and quality of the imported stuff. And honestly, most of the clothing you see in one bike shop is exactly the same as the next one. It's nice to see something different.

    I'll keep an eye out for the next sale. Thanks for the heads-up!

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