On Roosevelt Way in Seattle there is a small brown building with the words “Bicycle Shop” cut from rusted steel and mounted on a yellow backing. A very clean, classic sign that separates the building from the other store fronts that attempt to gain attention through bright colors and neon lights. Inside Perfect Wheels sits owner Larry Naylor. Larry is a thin, soft-spoken individual who quietly goes about his work with the confidence of someone who is truly skilled in his trade. In Seattle, Larry is known for his custom wheels as well as his mechanical skills and attention to detail. Finding a shop like Perfect Wheels is a rare occasion. RBA took the time to find out more about the shop and its owner.
My passions have always been about artistic and functional creativity. I love the way the bicycle is such a perfect mechanical object—beautiful, efficient and simple.
After working at a local shop for three years I decided to set out on my own, opening Perfect Wheels in March of 1998. I set out with the intention of bringing a professional and conscientious ethic to the bicycle repair world. Today, I continue in my dedication to that ethic.
My goal as a mechanic is to make each bike function to its fullest potential. This means taking the time to get it right no matter what type of bike it is. I will give your bike the best of my mechanical ability.
My other objective is to provide a comfortable atmosphere. I don’t overwhelm people with tech talk, high pressure and attitude. It’s important to provide customers with a clear understanding of the bike’s problems and concise options for fixing them.
I carry Moots, Ritchey, Salsa, Soma, and Surly. For weight and ride quality a steel or titanium frame is the way to go. I only do custom builds, so when someone buys a bike from me I do my best to find out about their riding style and the intended use for the bicycle.
I have roughly 15 years of wheel-building experience. Due to my experience I am able to offer an honest, professional opinion regarding the best options for riders. A performance wheel for a 150-pound rider needs to be completely different than one for a 200-pound rider. Pre-built wheels can’t be customized for individual riders.
Every wheel sold at Perfect Wheels is hand built by myself. Every wheel I build I back with a three-year warranty. Hand built wheels are simply better, whether lightweight race wheels or heavy-use tandem wheels. After building several hundred wheels, one begins to learn that the spoke tension of wheels is very crucial and subtle.
I see Perfect Wheels moving more toward custom bicycles and fittings. I want Perfect Wheels to be a place where a customer comes in and has a fitting, where we discuss their needs and wants and then build the bike from the ground up. From the frame, components, and wheels, everything is customized for that person. I am also continuing to build custom wheels and searching for ways to make them lighter and stronger.
7009 Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115