> I'm on my way to Philadelphia for a week, accompanying Susan who will
> attend a medical conference. This will leave me time to visit my alma mater
> St. Joseph's College, eat Philly cheese steaks, soft pretzels, and scrapple,
> as well as sightseeing.
> Are there any bike shops of particular interest to someone of my ilk
> (Masi/Colnago/Gios/Hetchins/Raliegh/Campagnolo/Cinelli fan)? Seems someone
> mentioned a place on South Street.
> Does anyone know if Bilenky is hospitable to visitors? (Non-lugged filet
> brazed frames are heresy, but he does some fine work nonetheless! :>)
Bilenky can accomodate visitors with advance notice; at least that's been my experience with them. Just be sure they've locked the dog in the office first - bad bark, worse bite.
I own three fillet-brazed Bilenky's: a custom single of Columbus Nemo that's built up into a 15.5 pound Campy Ergo 9-speed club rider, a stock tandem I ride with my wife (who sits on an Ideale Model 6 saddle), and a custom triplet I ride most of the time with my two sons, ages 4 and 8, but sometimes ride with my two regular riding friends. I cannot possibly say enough good things about the frames they build, nor about the service they offer. They *do* build lugged bicycles, by the way, and are happy to do so for anyone who asks. They define the word "custom" in my mind; whatever you want, they'll build it for you. They'll work with you, and offer their opinions and the benefits of their experience, but in the end you'll get exactly what you ask for, be it lugged, TIGged, or fillet-brazed. The only thing they won't do for you is build you a bike from anything other than steel.
Skip the scrapple, though - ugh, yech!
Steve "lived in Ardmore, PA, down the road from St. Joe's, from 1977 to 1982" Freides