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Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

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Old 08-07-14, 10:38 PM   #1
nata
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C & V Shops

I live in the west metro around Minneapolis, which is pretty suburban. Most of the bike shops around me are very sporty - lots of Treks, Cannondales, and Specialized and lots of tri equipment. They're good shops, but I feel like I get looked at a little funny when I bring in my bike or mention I have an old steel road bike. It's like I have to prove I'm a real cyclist too, even though I don't ride modern aluminum or carbon. I've found a small shop or two that carries NOS parts and appreciates some vintage beauty, but the majority are only into new stuff. I know that shops have to make money, which they do by selling new bikes and new parts. But just wondering if I'd be able to find a shop that understands my love for vintage bikes. Can anybody else relate? Or do you have good shops that support the C & V bike hobby?
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Old 08-07-14, 11:22 PM   #2
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I've found Charlie's Tangletown, The Hub, One on One, Angry Catfish, Sunrise and Calhoun Cycle (all in Minneapolis) to be good places to get my C&V bikes worked on- they all seem to have an appreciation for older bikes (and the knowledge and parts to service them). I've also heard good things about Behind Bars but haven't had work done there. Lots of good independent shops in the Twin Cities in addition to the chains...
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Old 08-08-14, 06:18 AM   #3
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C & V Shops

I have the legendary RRB cycles within walking distance of my house, though typically I ride there. But even with their treasure trove of vintage parts there are times they don't have what I am looking for. But after buying and flipping dozens of bikes I have a pretty good stock of odds and ends that keep my vintage bikes on the road.
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Old 08-08-14, 06:39 AM   #4
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But just wondering if I'd be able to find a shop that understands my love for vintage bikes. Can anybody else relate? Or do you have good shops that support the C & V bike hobby?
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Old 08-08-14, 07:43 AM   #5
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My local shop stocks only new gear, but one or two of their customers have high end vintage bikes that make their way through from time to time (it seems most who are into C&V wrench for themselves). The head mechanic is great and appreciates the C&V bikes and parts. He flips, so I get good deals from time to time. Latest was a set of Record track pedals off of a steel custom (forget the builder atm) track bike that a customer didn't want anymore...

...Related:
I showed up to their shop a couple years ago on a Centurion Pro Tour 15 I used to have. It turned out that they were prepping for a shop ride that was to roll out in 30 min. They invited me to tag along and assured me that I wouldn't be dropped (implied due to riding a steel bike). I most certainly was not dropped.

Last edited by Sir_Name; 08-08-14 at 08:02 AM.
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Old 08-08-14, 08:28 AM   #6
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There are lots of older LBS here, in eastern Massachusetts. Most are very helpful to steel bike owners.

A word of advice, have a very good idea of what you want before walking into any shop.

Read and educate yourself, they don't have time to teach.

Try not to call by phone with a lengthy series of questions.

With few exceptions I've found that bike mechanics are most helpful IF you have as much info as possible.

Pay what they ask with a smile.

Stay the heck out of Walmart!
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Old 08-08-14, 09:02 AM   #7
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the shop here that's into all the modern stuff sold me most of my tools so i can work on all my old stuff myself.

every once in a while, i'll go in there and ask they remove a freewheel (which they do for free), and i'll buy some brake cables, a tube or a seatpost bolt.
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Old 08-08-14, 09:46 AM   #8
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In Atlanta, we are lucky to have a wide variety of LBS shops...from Performance all the way through some great, hole in the wall, work on everything type shops. Now, you might have to do a bit of driving between the shops, but, that is not unusual for this car oriented city. But, above all, we have one shop that is really cool for C&V...Atlanta Bike Tech. Here is a link to their webpage...

Atlanta Bike Tech Llc - Bicycle Repair Shop, Bicycle Sales, Bike Parts

While the website really does not show the C&V, Scott (the owner) is VERY C&V! He has helped me with several interesting improvements on bikes...
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Old 08-08-14, 10:42 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by nata View Post
I feel like I get looked at a little funny when I bring in my bike or mention I have an old steel road bike.
Isn't that part of the fun of having vintage bikes?

When I've brought a nice vintage bike with me into a shop I've been surprised by how many times the oldest guy in the shop (often the owner) will pop out of the service area to shoot the bull and reminisce about "the old days." Of course this works best if, like me, you're an old guy (or gal) too. My hat is off to you younger folks who are keeping the love for these old bikes alive!

Brent
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Old 08-08-14, 10:52 AM   #10
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There is a C&V shop here, that scours craigslist/garage sales/etc full-time, acquires all of the good deals, and flips them for more than they should be priced at. They are, in my opinion, ruining the market and driving up the prices of old bikes. The long-standing LBS's here will also be happy to work on vintage bikes even though they don't stock them.
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