VO2 Max Cycles, Inc. was created with the vision of providing top notch service to the triathlon and cycling community as well as bringing local triathletes and cyclists together and fostering those relationships by creating a welcoming and no-nonsense bike shop.
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Pierre Beaulieu, owner of VO2 Max Cycles, Inc., is a triathlon and cycling advocate that has been involved in endurance sports since the 1970's. Previously, Pierre was owner of the International Cycling Centre for 12 years in Calgary, Alberta. In addition, Pierre was the Professional Mechanic for the Canadian National Team in the Japan World Cup, Tour de Feminin, and Tour de l'Aude Cycliste Feminin; as well as the Evian Cycling Women's Team Mechanic in the Tour of Bordeaux, Kahlua Women's Professional Cycling Team Mechanic in the Ore-Ida Women's Challenge and the Individual Mechanic for Kathy Watt in the Barcelona Olympics where she won the Road Race Gold Medal and a Silver in 3km Track Persuit.
After moving from Canada to the U.S., Pierre obtained his full Mechanic Certification through the Barnett Bicycle Institute and has lived from the Oregon Coast to the Florida Keys, ultimately settling in San Antonio, Florida to realize his dreams of bike shop ownership and to ride and run the beautiful rolling hills of San Ann!
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Derek Wilkerson, a San Antonio native, caught the cycling bug at age 3 with his first bike. At 19 he won the US National Criterium Championships in Cincinnati, lapping the field! He became a pro with Team Jelly Belly, racing for them in the US as well as in Europe. Until recently he's been coaching and racing in California but decided to return home to San Antonio this winter. He'll be building and repairing bikes at the shop and will also be leading some local coaching sessions.
In late summer 2019 LOOK published an article about our shop...
In a new series we drool over dream builds and the mechanics and shops behind them. Our first lust worthy bike is a 785 Huez RS custom built and tipping the scales at a feathery 12.6lbs built by Pierre Beaulieu from Vo2Max Cycles in San Antonio, Florida.
We caught up with Pierre and he gave us some insight into his life in the bike industry, his passion and dedication to the riders that come into his shop and the low down on our first #lookcycledreambuild. Check out Pierre's story below and his beautiful 785 Huez RS.
How long have you been in the bike business?
"I went to the Barnett Bicycle Institute in 1986 and got my bicycle mechanic certificate, and opened my first bike shop in 1986 in Calgary, Alberta where I lived for 15 years. My bike shop in Calgary sold only road bike, I carried Colnago, Pinarello, and Masi, most of the bikes I sold were built with Campagnolo.
In 1991 I became the mechanic for the Canadian National Team and worked the Ore-Ida women’s race, Tour de L’Aude and Tour of Epinal in France. I also worked for Team Evian at the Tour of Bordeaux in France, the Word Cup in Japan, and was mechanic for the winning team in the Tour de France Feminin in 1992. I sold my bike shop in 1994 and moved to the US.
I returned to the bicycle business in 2014 when I opened Vo2Max Cycles in a small 700sq/ft old house selling Focus and Argon 18 bicycles. The business grew quickly and in March 2019 we expanded to our new location. We now focus on selling Cervelo, Argon 18 and our new favorite Look Cycle."
What’s your favorite ride or place to ride (worldwide) and local?
What’s the focus for Vo2?
"Customer service is our number one priority. We give our customers what they want and need. There is no extra charge for swapping saddles or stems. We customize the bike to the customer need, with a fitting done before any test ride. This includes changing the stem if needed without any buying commitment. The customer gets to test the bike for the weekend if they wish at no charge. I want my customers to be fully happy with the bike before they purchase it."
As a high-end shop how much emphasis is put on the details: from parts selection, setup and fit for the rider and build finish details?
"Before a customer takes their bike home, we make sure that everything is torqued to spec, I personally test ride every bike before they leave the store, all gears and brakes must work perfectly. We let the customer know about torque setting on seat post clamp and stem if they decide adjustments need to be made, and walk them through the operation of quick release or thru axle installation before every bike leaves the shop.
We sell a lot of bikes that are custom builds. Our customers can pick their components, wheels, group set, handelbar, saddles, etc. SRAM is our favorite group set and 80% of our custom build bike are sold with SRAM e-tap. We carry stock to build bikes with everything from Shimano 105 to Campagnolo Super Record EPS. I’ve personally always loved Campagnolo components but the cost makes it difficult to sell."
Favorite LOOK bike that you’ve ever built and/or ridden?
"I have a Look 795 Blade Rim brake build with Campagnolo Super Record EPS, Campagnolo Bora Ultra Wheelset, which is super fast and very comfortable.
I also have a 785 Huez RS Disc that was my first Look bike. On my first ride I fell in love with this bike and that is why I am now selling Look bicycles now."