Meant to be used
Hello all my C&V friends! I came across this blog post today and thought it would be as good a reason as any to check in on crowd at the classic and vintage forum.
He relays a story about a Japanese gentleman that came by yearly to buy up all the rare vintage parts in the display case of the bike shop where he worked. That part wasn't particularly surprising to me, it was what he was doing with it. I didn't realize there was a whole vintage parts cult that snapped up all the bits to used for trade or to complete old grouppos. Maybe this is old news to most, but it explains to me a little more why the Japanese drive up pricing on ebay listings of select obscure vintage bike parts. Anyways, it was a cool post and also includes some commentary on actually using parts for what they were intended. I thought I would share it.
It works both ways. The Americans (and then most everyone else) drove the cost of older Japanese track frames and components in Japan over the last few years. Used frames that were close to free were overnight selling for $6-900. And if you restrict the discussion to classic MTBs, the Germans give anyone a run for their classic money.
Neat story though
And another, there are several Tokyo bike shops whose owners got rich in the post-war increase in land prices and began framebuilding and selling high-end parts. The bought stock of replacement parts for everything they offer to guarantee their customers' bikes' longevity (mostly randonneur-style and road bikes), and to this day you can walk in and buy NOS Campy galore and Ideal saddles, Brooks and Cinelli, TA cranks, etc etc. There is also a cadre of riders who ride and maintain their period-steeds, so it isn't all on the shelf, trust me. The prices are high, but are reportedly what retail was back in the 70s to 80s when they sourced the stuff and imported it. And yes, I've seen a few derailleur collections in my time in Japan.
I gotta say I've got my little hoard of cool NOS parts, some of them worth a fair bit. I acquire these sometimes with a long range view for a project a few years off. Sometimes then, when it comes around to using them, I just can't bring myself to do it and buy a slightly used part instead. My little neurosis, but it is a good way to build up a stash over time.
If you are in Tokyo, check out Setagaya Hasegawa Jitensha, this is probably the best old parts shop in all of Japan. No website or anything, just an old guy with his parts and a wife who serves tea to the customers.
Googled that shop and found this. http://www.flickr.com/photos/hardcor...7594531377893/ :whimper:
Originally Posted by robatsu