Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Bike Shop Tales: Brands

I'm taking a break from bikes I owned to talk about all the bikes we sold............

I still work in a shop and every once in awhile I will see a bike come in for repair that I either put together out of the box, worked on, or sold. Sometimes all three in the same bike! Last week I saw one that inspired this post.

One of our sales people was walking a rig back to the hold area when I noticed out of the corner of my eye that it was a steel framed mountain bike that was teal in color. Now it is funny when that is all the visual info I need to bring to mind what the bike is and whether or not Advantage Cycles sold it.

I turned my head and looked closer. Yup! 90's era rigid steel in a teal color. Well, by this this time I am 75% sure I am looking at a Scott U.S.A. mountain bike and I knew it had a strong chance of being an Advantage Cycles rig. I leaned over the service counter and said, "That's a Scott, isn't it?" The sales guy looked at the down tube and said, "Uhh........yeah. I guess it is!" I said, "Look and see if it has an Advantage Cycles sticker on it."

He fumbled around looking, but before he found it I saw the familiar black rectangle outlined in silver and said, "Don't bother. It is an Advantage bike." (And I even knew by that sticker it was sold in 1994 or early 1995, because the stickers changed in mid '95 to blue and silver.)

Funny how old bicycles seem like long lost friends, yet I would have zero clues as to who owned it. Probably because I didn't sell most of the bikes I see from Advantage, but I did build a lot of them, and I worked on a lot of them. Sometimes an owner and bike will be ingrained in my memory, but those instances are rare.

Next week, more about Brands.


Jay Dub said...

Well, were you happy with your work from so long ago??

Guitar Ted said...

@Jay Dub,

Well, it doesn't really matter what I think, but what the customers think. I will say I haven't heard much complaining at all over the years. ;)

Travel Gravel said...

Your buddy at Black Mountain Cycles is always posting about that phenomenon. Any "Advantage Bottles In The Wild?" Also, trivial but I gotta know, how old is the oldest TI finisher?

Guitar Ted said...

@Travel Gravel: No Advantage bottles in the wild! ha ha! The person using one would be a bit miserly or foolish because the last "new" Advantage bottle sold would have been made in 1996!

As for the oldest T.I. finisher, that's a tough question. I don't honestly know.

My guess would be Joe Kucharski, Charlie Farrow, Jim Cochran, or Matt Gersib. I can't think of anyone that was obviously older than 40 something finishing, but again, I don't rightly know.