Known to many as Grizedale Mountain Bikes, Velo are an independent bike shop based in South Cumbria, Ulverston. Cat took some time out of her day to share a brew and ask Pat and Ian some questions!

What is your top tip for riding on the trails?

P: Heels down, eyes up.
I: Survival food.

What are your top three trails in the Lake District?

I: Legal, or...?
C: You best had - I'm writing an article!
I: Oh...
I: Styx Pass is good, off of Helvelyn. Even better if you venture off and do the seldom seen footpath towards the bottom. But I do like the original greatwood rideaway at Grizedale and Grizedale tarn back down towards Glenrydding.

What is the most common question that you get in the shop?

I: At Grizedale, that would have been an easy question... "Is this Go Ape?".
All: [Laughs]
I: In here, it's probably, "have you got any e-bikes?"
C: [Laughs] and what's your response?
I: "In there" [Gestures towards the e-bike room]

What is your favourite or most used tool in the workshop?

I: [Claps and laughs giddily]
C: That got you excited didn't it?!
I: This is a longstanding favourite tool, it's called the nipple driver.
P: She asked you your favourite tool in the workshop to use.
All: [Laughs]
I: Yeah. That's my favourite. It is very useful and it has a funny name.
C: What do you use it for?
I: For driving nipples? [laughs]. No, for wheel building. Threading nipples onto spokes.

Of all of the bikes that you work on in the workshop, which do you think is the best made bike?

I: Best made... like most well thought about?... yeah, that's a good question.
I: If we're talking about mountain bikes, there's a few brands that have done internal cable routing on carbon frames really really well, and that makes life a lot easier to work on. Like Specialized, Santa Cruz and Yeti all have really good internal cable routing. Thread the cable into one hole and it pops out the other hole with very little faffing.

On Santa Cruz's, all the bearings are in the linkage that you take out, so you don't actually have to press or pull any bearings out or apart from the main bit of t e frame, which is incredibly clever, and makes life as a mechanic working on them much easier.

I think those are the things that as a mechanic make life easier. Especially now that more and more bikes are internally routed. Any company that considers mechanics working on their bikes are a good brand! [laughs]

What will we see next for MTB? What does the future hold?

I: I think we're only going to see more e-bikes. That side of the market is going at a rate or knots. If that does continue, what I hope is that the components are going to get better. Because at the moment, they're not really doing as well as they should be doing. The amount of motors, batteries and other e-bike components that end up back here that need replacing, doesn't really live up to the amount that people are paying for them - in my opinion.

I think we're going to see more people running slightly narrower bars [laughs], because that's what the pros do.  I think bike are going to get more stable and faster.

Can you tell me a little bit more about your involvement in Trash Free Trails 

I: Yeah, so...
P: Because he likes the Wombles
All: [Laughs]
I: Yeah, I got involved with Trash Free Trails 2 or 3 years ago when they did their first ever spring trail clean tour when they came to Grizedale. I knew John a little bit from working with him years ago in North Wales and I helped them get the trail clean at Grizedale. Then I got involved as an A-team ambassador.

As an A-Team ambassador, I've become a point of contact here in the lakes, along with two other ambassadors we've got here that you can get in touch with. We organise cleans and represent Trash Free Trails through social media, though being out riding, positive role modelling, through whatever we can do really.

Have you got anything scheduled?

I: I'd imagine that the next big project will probably be some kind of spring clean, but eyes and ears peeled!

C: Spot on, thank you very much!


Velo Ulverston is a friendly and knowledgeable local bike shop in Ulverston, on the edge of The Lake District. We specialise in all types of bicycles, with a dedicated showroom for Electric Bikes.