[CR]Collecting and money and being younger and poorer- response to Caleb

(Example: Bike Shops:R.E.W. Reynolds)

Date: Fri, 4 Apr 2008 12:12:09 -0700 (PDT)
From: "Harry Schwartzman" <harryschwartzman@yahoo.com>
To: Calebhawley@yahoo.com, Classic Rendezvous <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
Subject: [CR]Collecting and money and being younger and poorer- response to Caleb

Caleb and others on the list with similar thoughts,

I am thirty one. I've been collecting bikes since I was a kid of about fifteen. My first job was at a bike shop, just sweeping the floors and saving up to buy the Bridgestone Radac in the corner. I've worked in bike shops off and on ever since. Currently, I'm employed at a museum here in New York City.

New bikes are the most boring awful riding iterations of bicycles that I've ever seen. I am a fan of the workmanship and elegance of older steel bikes and have no interest in carbon fiber gee-gaws and 'improvements'. When my Radac (a nice Bridgestone made of bonded aluminum) took too much blood from me one day, I only thought of replacing it with a steel bike, despite having access to good deals on new bikes.

This hobby -for that is what it is- is cheap, compared to others like oh... yachting or watch collecting or whatever. Sure, the real expensive bikes out there cost a fortune. A California Masi bought from a knowledgeable seller will run you several multiples of a grand, but there is PLENTY available for less. You just have to keep your eyes open and, for me, that's the fun of it. I have a 'desirable' bike (Frejus late fifties track) that I bought off a guy on the street for a very reasonable amount of money... under four hundred bucks in fact. I've put together wonderful on-topic bikes for waaaay under a grand. Under five hundred bucks, actually. I own three on topic bikes, one full suspension mountain bike from a California boutique builder and a POS street machine. Not ONE cost me over one thousand dollars.

The big money paid for bikes is really the true cost of a used bike plus the 'convenience' fee of not having to look for the bike, make deals that may pan out in six months to a year, not having to restore it and not having to deal with looking for the right part till everyone you know is sick of hearing about it.

Ebay isn't the only outlet for bikes, ya know? Just keep digging and I guarantee you'll find a gem. Or at least learn something while looking for it.

-Harry Schwartzman Woodside, NY, USA

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