Wheels Are Turning

Photos by Kamala Kirk

Upon entering Jones Bicycles II, you’ll quickly discover it’s not your average bike shop.

From the wood floors and skylights to the chandelier hanging from the ceiling, it has a special ambiance that instantly makes customers feel at home. Located in San Gabriel’s historic Mission District next to City Hall, it’s less than a 10-minute drive from its former location in San Marino, where it had been since 1995.

“We moved here about two years ago,” said owner Benson Lam. “Part of the reason was for a change of pace, as well as the fact that the building we were in was a bit too large for our needs. People who used to frequent our shop in San Marino have noticed that this is very different from our old space. We like the building and area we’re in — there’s a lot of charm and character here.”

Jones Bicycles II retails a wide variety of bikes for all types and levels of riders. Its top-selling brands include Giant, Bianchi and Pure Cycles, and it also sells electric assist bikes.

The store also carries a vast selection of bike parts and accessories, including clothing, helmets and shoes. Customers who purchase bikes from the store also receive a lifetime of free tune-ups.

In addition to retail, the shop offers different bike services such as safety checks, repairs, adjustment and replacement of various parts, cleaning and custom building from scratch. It also has a bicycle concierge service, where for a $10 fee customers in the surrounding community within a five-mile radius — including South Pas and San Marino — can have their bikes picked up and dropped for servicing.

“We cater to everyone from little kids all the way up to your hardcore mountain and road enthusiast,” Lam said. “We have a great selection for the entire family. We do fittings where we make sure that you’re correctly positioned and not riding in a way that will hurt your knees. We also do bike-accessory installations, whether you purchased from us or elsewhere. We welcome it all — we want to make sure that we service all of our customer’s needs.”

Jones Bicycles II is the bib sponsor for the L.A. Chinatown Firecracker Bike Ride, which takes place in February, and has partnered with SPIN Movement to offer discounted pricing on bike clothing and accessories for customers who sign up for classes at the cycling studio.

Lam has also given talks to local scout troops on proper bicycle safety and maintenance, helping them prepare for their bicycling merit badge, as well as worked with schools in the area during Bike Safety Week.

Lam’s interest in bikes developed as the result of spending time with a close friend in high school who was a cycling enthusiast cycling. During freshman year of college, Lam bought his first mountain bike, and his newfound hobby quickly turned into a passion.

“I learned how to work on bikes and began to understand how to assemble, disassemble and clean them,” he said. “I started to get nicer bikes, and like many people, I thought about how fun it might be to have a job that allowed me to support my hobby.”

Jones Bicycles II was a nod to the original Jones Bicycles location, which serviced the Long Beach community for 108 years. The business was taken over by a couple who used to work for the previous owner, and they later expanded to open another location in San Marino. Lam was an employee at Jones Bicycle before eventually purchasing the San Marino location from the former owners — who have since closed the other location — in 2003.

“It’s always been a passion of mine to own my store,” Lam said. “It’s a very enjoyable industry. I like dealing with people and helping them, as well as making new friends. I’ve seen generations of children grow up in San Marino, and many of them have come back to buy bikes for their kids, several have even worked at my shop. I encourage everyone to stop in ‚ we’re only a few minutes from our old location and many people have said that we’re actually closer now.”

Jones Bicycles II is located at 417 South Mission Ave. in San Gabriel. It is open Monday-Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Thursday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and closed on Sunday. For more information, call (626) 793-4227 or visit www.jonesbicyclestwo.com.

Jones Bicycles II Spotlight appeared in the print edition of the South Pasadena Review on 11.22.19. Support Local Business.

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Kamala Kirk is a contributing writer for the South Pasadena Review, San Marino Tribune and The Quarterly Magazine. Kamala formerly served as Managing Editor of Beauty Launchpad Magazine, West Coast Editor of American Salon Magazine, and Digital Editor for E! Online. A native of Hermosa Beach, California, she is a proud USC Trojan and pug mom to Wrigley the Pug (@pugofpasadena).