When I set out to launch the xbiking AMA series a few months ago, I was fortunate to have reached out to Igor Shteynbuk, owner of Velo Orange. As an unknown bike enthusiast attempting to establish something novel, I had serious doubts about whether and how I’d get the xbiking AMA series off the ground. It was Igor’s willingness to conduct the inaugural AMA, despite it being an untested event, that set the tone for the successful series that they’ve become.
The friendly and accommodating nature I remembered about Igor from those earlier interactions was again on display during my shop visit to Velo Orange and bike ride with Igor this past Friday. His favorite Bambi mug in hand, Igor was happy to shepherd me around Velo Orange’s office and shipping center in Annapolis, MD, and to introduce me to the members of their six-person operation.
While not a true bike “shop”, Velo Orange is open to walk-in traffic. Those who do find and enter the nondescript facade are greeted with a refurbished VW bus, a set of old-school beach chairs, and several unique bike builds ready to be spun around the block.
Strewn throughout the office are all sorts of Velo Orange components and builds- “Here are our new rims,” he says as he holds up a silvery hoop, and proceeds to explain the requirements of tubeless compatibility to me. On another wall, four bikes hang in a square, each one looking as fun to ride as the next.