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Velo Bike Shop is closing after 55 years of business

Photo of the front of Velo Bike Shop with store closing signs in the windows.
Photo from the Velo Bike Shop announcement on Facebook.

Velo Bike Shop is closing after a remarkable and influential 55-year run. Founded in 1968, Velo helped supply the city’s bicycling boom in the 1970s. The shop continued to be an important source of bikes and service for decades on Capitol Hill before moving into the Via6 building when it opened in the Belltown/Denny Triangle area in 2013.

Their last day of business is May 13, and they will have lots of stuff on sale until then.

The Tamuras started renting bikes out of a closed gas station near the Arboretum in the 1960s and expanded to include a Lake Washington Boulevard location to support the city’s Bicycle Sunday events that started there in 1968. They then opened several bike shops around town initially named Velocipede. The Sekai bike brand was their shop brand, so if you have one you own a piece of Seattle bike history. Lloyd Tamura has been running the shops for decades both on Capitol Hill and then in the current location at 6th and Blanchard.

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They moved to Via6 to be part of the building’s larger bike focus, which included an indoor bike parking facility complete with showers that even non-residents could use if they joined the ViaBike Cycle Club.

It’s sad to lose such a storied shop, and the departure will leave a void for people in the area looking for bike service. Velo has bailed me out several times in just the past year, including when I broke the chain on the cargo bike on the way home from preschool. But it’s a well-earned retirement for Lloyd.

More details from Velo:

After 55 years of business, Velo Bike Shop will be closing. Our final day of operation is Saturday, May 13th. We are no longer performing service and have adjusted hours:

Tuesday: 10AM – 3PM
Wednesday – Friday: 10AM – 6PM
Saturday: 10AM – 5PM

We urge you to stop by before our final date to say goodbye and pick up any items that you may need. Select gear and bikes are on sale.

Thank you to all of the incredible customers that have supported Velo over the years. It has been a pleasure serving the Seattle cycling community.

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9 responses to “Velo Bike Shop is closing after 55 years of business”

  1. I’ve been told the owners are retiring, so I’m happy about that. It’s still sad news in that we’re losing a bike shop in Seattle, and the one in downtown at that. I haven’t bought anything major from Velo Bike Shop, but gotten help and advice from them a few times as I used to work a couple of blocks away.

    1. Ridehard

      There is one more bike shop downtown. MBR Bike Shop is only about 6 blocks from Velo.

      1. Jessi

        On the other side, there’s also Back Alley Bike Repair in Pioneer Square.

        I’m sorry to lose Velo too. I used to go to their Cap Hill location back in the day.

  2. Alkistu

    I worked for Lloyd and the Tamura family when there was a U District, Pine St., Velocipede and where I finally settled down at West Seattle Bike Shop. This was so long ago that it does not seem real. I loved the original Velociped Bike Shop on Lk Wa. Blvd. as it was a gas station turned bike shop. These stores came about during the 70s bike boom. It was a different time. I will always remember listening to a Prairie Home Companion while working every Sat @ 3pm. Or watching Perry Mason reruns with Craig Tamura during our lunch break at Velocipede. End of an era.

  3. Demian

    Great story! Someone must have some pictures of the old gas station shop.
    Too bad the shop couldn’t be sold to someone else to continue. It’s a tough business so perhaps better for owner to retire.

    1. Peri Hartman

      It’s really too bad they didn’t try to sell it. But there is still – albeit very small – MBR bike shop near by.

  4. Art

    I bought my first bicycle from them in 1974. Too bad to see them go.

  5. Stan Gregg

    Loyd and Craig are good people and have definitely earned retirement. Can’t quite believe we were on a Raleigh trip to the Caribbean with Loyd 36 years ago!

    1. alkistu

      Craig and Arlene have been living on the road , so to speak, in their motor home for the last 3 or 4 years. I am sure they are enjoying retirement.

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