Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Bike Shop Tales: Back In The Shop

Now for another look back in the shop area of Advantage Cycles............

Probably one of the lesser know pursuits of a bike geek is that of rummaging through an old bike shops parts bin area. You bike geeks know exactly what I am taliking about! Usually the older shops have either been picked through, or the owner knows what he has and won't let it go. Sometimes you can run across the odd, out of the way, older shop where deals that will blow your mind can still be had in this day and age. Advantage Cyclery really wasn't that kind of shop, but it had parts laying around that even some old skool shops would have found to be odd and valuable.

Advantage wasn't all that old a shop, so you wouldn't expect to find anything much in its parts bin at all. However; Tom was a parts junky, and he knew a classic part when he saw it. There was treasure in them thar shelves and I was privy to all of it.

Campagnolo stuff was one of Tom's favorites, and he even had some of the odd mountain bike parts made by the company. Euclid brake lever sets, the twist shifters, and some other odds and ends. He had a huge stash of Campy mountain bike rims too. Of course, the road stuff was on the shelves there. That's where I scored my Campy friction bar end shifters that I still use to this day.

You know, it's funny how some of that stuff was seen as pretty worthless back then that I wish that I had been smart enough to grab. Tom had a set of 7spd XT cassette hubs in black ano that were in the box he would have practically given to me had I expressed interest in them. That hubset would be worth some bucks to a vintage mtb collector now, but that's how it goes sometimes.

It was a unique place because of that, for sure. I learned a lot about cycling's past hardware while working on the latest and greatest new stuff. And there was a ton of that as well. The old stuff and new stuff lived side by side in those days. We were going through tons of serviceable bottom brackets, for instance. We had a machinists cabinet stuffed with DN-6 and every other kind of spindle. Cups and bearings from Tange, Sugino, SunTour, and others. At the same time the cartridge bottom bracket was prevalent and we were doing UN-52's all day long with the occaisional UN-72 and the 90 series on a rare occaision.

We had standard headsets of all sizes. We overhauled them all the time, while at the other end we were working on the new Aheadset standard and thinking it was super cool. Stuff like that was what made that time special. It was a transitional time in componentry that was fun to be a part of.

Next week: Going To The Show.........

1 comment:

Travel Gravel said...

Bike Barn in Ogden used to have a few cool old parts floating around. Still has some old BMX stuff in there. I scored an early 80s Falcon San Remo, with Superbe Pro everywhere (Well, Campy headset & BB)for a song, and missed a Bridgestone MB-0 with Mavic components. Some guy in California bought that one. NOS! Assembled but never ridden. Wow!