Even though I am relatively new to this wonderful, and sometimes expensive hobby of collecting vintage bicycles, I have definate feelings when it comes to parting out bicycles. I think there are two types of people out there; those that are truly passionate about bicycles and those that are in it for the money only. Sometimes these lines cross. I put myself in the first group. We love bicycles. We are passionate about not only the esthetics, but also the workmanship that goes into such a machine. We love to admire, as well as ride these wonderful pieces of history. In order to have a hobby like this is necessary to sell parts. Not all of us are fortunate enough to have an old shop clear out its stock for us. So we must buy- either through word of mouth or auction sites. I doubt there is a single person on this list who has not cannibalized a bike at some point in order to fund a new aquisition, or swap out parts for one reason or another. Now I am not saying I would tear apart a completely orignal 1940's Bianchi for the parts- there are limits to what gets "recycled". Unless you are wealthy or at least able to pay top dollar for parts, this hobby would only be accessable to very few. The people I do not agree with are the ones who do not have an appreciation for the bicycle. Those that only see the parts as a way to make money. They do not appreciate the workmanship and they could care less about history. They only see rarety as a precursor to a high sale price. As a caveat, we do need these people. We need them as a source of components, or a frameset that we never may come across on our own. These two types of sellers span all types of collecting. You see them in automobiles, art and so many more areas. Some look at the object as a commodity and others look at the same item as a cherished piece of history. They both benefit from this dichotomy- one feeds the other. Very few of us make our sole living in this endeavor.We should be less judgemental, and enjoy this wonderfully passionate hobby for what it is- a hobby. It means alot to many of us and we should all be supportive in this community, otherwise those that have, will hoard and collect, and those that can't afford to keep up will only be left with the scraps.
San Diego, CA USA