Re: [CR] Care of vintage bikes

(Example: Framebuilders:Jack Taylor)

Date: Sat, 3 Oct 2009 18:55:50 -0700
From: "Steve Whitting" <>
To: <>, Tom Sanders <>, Jerome & Elizabeth Moos <>
In-Reply-To: <>
Subject: Re: [CR] Care of vintage bikes

I look at what the shop owner/head mechanic rides - if his stable includes a quality hand-brazed steel-framed bike and he has plenty of gray hairs, then I'm more likely to trust him to work on my pride-and-joy.  The presence of an old-style Campy tool-kit in the shop adds a degree of confidence.  Otherwise, I'll do everything to my Ciocc that I can by myself.

Steve Whitting
"The Ciocc Cat"
Prairieville, Louisiana USA
Website at

--- On Sat, 10/3/09, Jerome & Elizabeth Moos wrote:

From: Jerome & Elizabeth Moos <> Subject: Re: [CR] Care of vintage bikes To:, "Tom Sanders" <> Date: Saturday, October 3, 2009, 8:30 PM

I nearly never take anything to a shop anymore.  Most shops have young mechanics, and even owners, who are totally ignorant of classic bikes.  It is even worse, because I have a lot of French bikes, and the idea of having a French bike worked on by someone who never heard of French thread is downright frightening.

There are those rare vintage oriented shops like many associated with the CR List, that have the tools, knowledge, skills and interest, but these are probably no more than 1% of all US bike shops.  And they tend to be located in large or at least decent sized cities, while I have lived in small towns much of the last 20 years.  The best chance in small towns is often to find a Schwinn shop that has been in businees for several decades, maybe for more than one generation.  There was one such shop in Warren, PA, a metropolis of 11,000 souls, where I lived for several years.  Even then, I had little mechanical work done there, as I had probably as many classic tools as he did, but I did dig through his parts bins for small parts that sometimes had been in inventory for 25 years.  Also enjoyed taking bikes by to show off and he always enjoyed seeing them. I remember him enjoying explaining to his young helper the function of the suicide front derailleur on my 1950 Claud Butler.


Jerry Moos
Big Spring, Texas, USA

--- On Fri, 10/2/09, Tom Sanders wrote:

> From: Tom Sanders <>

\r?\n> Subject: [CR] Care of vintage bikes

\r?\n> To:

\r?\n> Date: Friday, October 2, 2009, 5:52 AM

\r?\n> I'd say it all depends on your bike

\r?\n> shop.  When you find a good one, really

\r?\n> go out of your way to cultivate a good relationship with

\r?\n> them.  I am

\r?\n> fortunate to have one with a 40 year mechanic who is just a

\r?\n> super guy and

\r?\n> I'm proud to count him as a friend.  He takes such

\r?\n> pride in his work, that

\r?\n> he will often insist that I bring the bike back in the off

\r?\n> season so that he

\r?\n> can do something that he sees could be done better. 

\r?\n> We have spent many a

\r?\n> slow afternoon drinking coffee and puttering on one of my

\r?\n> bikes.  He loves

\r?\n> vintage and just lights up like a light when I bring him

\r?\n> something neat.

\r?\n> The guy is sheer joy to be around.  It is really fun

\r?\n> to see him take a

\r?\n> really recalcitrant tire and just roll it onto a rim with

\r?\n> his fingers after

\r?\n> the shop guys have broken tire irons on it.  He weighs

\r?\n> maybe 130# soaking

\r?\n> wet and all are in awe of his ability to do this.  He

\r?\n> can figure out ways to

\r?\n> do things that I have thought impossible. 


\r?\n> One caveat: you may have to ask that he do the work himself

\r?\n> and not give to

\r?\n> one of the young kids in the shop.  I have had a

\r?\n> couple of less than

\r?\n> satisfactory experiences when that happens.  I also

\r?\n> try to take most of my

\r?\n> work to him in the off season, and let him not get tied up

\r?\n> with it during

\r?\n> the shop's peak season.


\r?\n> If you've got a good bike guy, for goodness' sake do

\r?\n> patronize him (or her,

\r?\n> my buddy Karen is about as capable as anyone I know) and

\r?\n> they can for sure

\r?\n> use the income.


\r?\n> Tom Sanders


\r?\n> Lansing, MI USA