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  1. #1
    Honesty is my only excuse carpediem's Avatar
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    Pittsburgh Shops

    Hey All,

    I was wondering if anyone here was from da'Burgh?

    I've been riding for a few years, mostly offroad. I've been bitten by the Fixie bug and for the last couple of weeks I've been scouring the area thrift stores and garage sales for just the right bike. No luck yet, at least nothing that would fit me.

    My question is this: I throw all of my business to two local LBS in my immediate vicinity (South Hills). When I talk to them about converting a bike to FG they look at me like I've got two heads. Both shops are mainly into selling new bikes and they don't seem real interested in helping me out with my project. Has anyone dealt with any Pittsburgh area shops that are agreeable and willing to help out on a FG project? It's sorta hit or miss and I don't really want to drive all over the place visiting different shops if someone already knew of someone that deals with FG on a regular basis.

    Thanks in advance for any info.
    -R

  2. #2
    Honesty is my only excuse carpediem's Avatar
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    Bumpitty bump...

    Nobody here from Pittsburgh?

  3. #3
    I Voted for the Green M&M South Fulcrum's Avatar
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    My best friend lives in Pittsburgh. In fact I'm heading up there on Monday. The last time I was up there, we went to a bike shop in Squirrel Hill. Not the one on Forbes. I think if you're going up Forbes from Pitt and right when you get to the commercial area of Squirrel Hill, you take a right - down the hill a bit. They had a few fixies and a mechanic who rode fixed. They seemed nice.

    It is odd that there aren't more folks from Pittsburgh here. I always see a lot of bikes and a lot of fixies when I go up. I've never really been to the Southside yet. Any suggestions for my up coming trip? Bars, etc?
    Well at least I'm housebroken.

  4. #4
    Honesty is my only excuse carpediem's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info...

    If you're looking to go to the Southside, I would suggest Fatheads. Good sandwiches, lots of micros.

    If you're just looking for a place anywhere in Pittsburgh and you like good beer, try Church Brew Works or The Sharp Edge. Both have very good craft beer and food.

    I've had some pretty weird experiences with bike shops here. Like I said originally, I try to frequent the local shops in my area. The one frowns at me when I mention fixing an older bike because they want to sell me a new one. The other one is just plain bizarre. It's really close to where I work, so I call and ask the guy if they carry any used bikes and he says no. I decide to drop by anyway and when I walk into the place they have about 100 bikes and more than half of them are used. Varsities, Raleighs, a few lightweight older Treks and basically a bunch of bikes that I could build a sweet fixie out of. When I ask the guy about them he just says "eh you don't want to buy that bike, it will take too much work to get it going" etc... I told him that I am interested in an older lightish frame with horizontal dropouts so I can build a fixed gear. He just kept on BSing and complaining about dumb customers and going on and on so I left.

    I have hit a ton of garage sales and thrift stores but I haven't been able to find anything usable yet. I think I might take another ride over to that weird guy's shop and see if he has had a change of heart. I stopped in there the other day and asked where he kept the spoke wrenches. He just looked at me all weird and said that he only had a generic one and that I didn't want to buy that. So strange...

  5. #5
    band-aid tester Gasper's Avatar
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    Ahh... that shop in Squirrel Hill is Pittsburgh Pro Pedals on Murray Ave. They are AWESOME!
    "What am I on? I'm on my bike busting my ass six hours a day. What are you on?"
    - Lance Armstrong

  6. #6
    my dad can still crush me
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    WTF! Surprised that this didn't come up earlier but ill drop it in there. There are two places in Pittsburgh that are really great for FG, first is a bike shop called Kraynick's Bike Shop (picture guy in a closet filled with bike parts, thousands of bike parts. He will let you use his shop for free and just charge you the parts that you used to fix (build) your bike. He is a really good guy and his prices beat ebay. Secondly is a shop called Freeride, they get bikes donated and then fix them up and sell them cheep, they also do a program where you can work for a bike, fixing others bikes up. Their purpose is to fix bikes, and sell them super cheep so that people in the city can get a cheep good source of transportation.

    Kraynick's is in Garfield on Penn ave. west about three blocks from where Penn and S. Aiken meet. (google it, someone talks about it somewhere) his number is 412*21*1*0 (all * are 6's)

    Freeride is on the net. They are in East Liberty and are full of FG riders and SS'ers. It is only open from 1-5 on SAT 6:00pm to 10:00pm Tue and Thr. They are Left off of Penn ave. on N Lexington in a building called Construction Junction, they are in the back right of the building behind the pile of bikes.

    I am currently building a FG sometimes at Freeride and sometimes at Kraynic's (depending on the parts I need). Once I get wheels I'm rolling.

    Milo

    EDIT: F*ck't email me if you need more info. the_name_at_the_end_of_the_post@cmu.edu

  7. #7
    H23
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    I second the rec for Kraynick's.

    He can get a little surly at times (at least he did in the mid-90's), but he is cool and the shop is a great resource. I wonder if the OP was talking about Kraynick's as the "wierd" bike shop!?

    I also used to like the huge shop in Ambridge PA, an hour from downtown. Mechanics seemed to be skilled.

    The Murray ave place was a bit on the expensive boutique-y side.

  8. #8
    Honesty is my only excuse carpediem's Avatar
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    Since I posted this thread, I have met several people that have told me about Kranick's. I've heard the guy can be a bit salty but that he is the absolute best source for everything bicycle in Pittsburgh. I used to live in Ambridge a few years back but I haven't been back to that bike shop in quite awhile.

    Thank you for all the great info. Milo I will drop you an email once I get my machine rolling. Maybe we ride?

  9. #9
    my dad can still crush me
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    Absolutely. There is a little project called the "Negley Hill" I have been working on.

    Kraynick is a little less surly since he switched to a recumbent

    DIRTY HARRY'S
    730 Allegheny River Blvd.
    Verona, Pa. 15147
    (412) 828-2667

    Also good (far away without a car)

  10. #10
    misses the city
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    Yay, Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh Pro Bikes on Murray Ave CAN be sort of snotty, but they have been really helpful to me.

    I am also in the process of building a bike at Free Ride and will hopefully convert it to fixed eventually, but right now I wanna know how it works before I try any craziness. (I mean that with love, of course.)

    There's going to be an Alley Cat on 30 Oct, if anyone's interested.

  11. #11
    my dad can still crush me
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    There's going to be an Alley Cat on 30 Oct, if anyone's interested.
    Where, When?

    Milo

  12. #12
    band-aid tester Gasper's Avatar
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    what's an Alley Cat?
    "What am I on? I'm on my bike busting my ass six hours a day. What are you on?"
    - Lance Armstrong

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    pittsburgh is a haven of bike shops and community. free ride is honestly the best joint going right now. kraynick is the ****ing deal maker , hes crotchety at first , but he is for sure a stand up gent. go in a few times get to know him , and you will be treated with hella respect , and get better deals on parts.

    if you need directions , or want to hook up prior to a free ride session (for directions sake) ill be more than happy to hook it up.

    stevemikrojones@hotmail.com is the email i can be reached at.

  14. #14
    Honesty is my only excuse carpediem's Avatar
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    Let's keep this thread active...

    I'll definitely be interested in a ride or 3 in the months to come.

    I have yard work today, and then the weather is just perfect for a spin on the trails

    I have been in contact with a good friend of mine who has literally TONS of bikes and parts. I may take a ride out to visit him later today to find some stuff for my fixie project.

  15. #15
    band-aid tester Gasper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xjohnnyxeb4y
    pittsburgh is a haven of bike shops and community. free ride is honestly the best joint going right now.
    Free Ride location

    or check out Bike-Pgh.org and click Free Ride on the left
    "What am I on? I'm on my bike busting my ass six hours a day. What are you on?"
    - Lance Armstrong

  16. #16
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    I picked up a bike at Freeride about two months ago (A light blue univega 15 speed). Freeride is a good place to work on your bike or to find new projects to start.

    As my univega got swiped the other night I am now looking for a replacement to commute to CMU. I hope to make it to Kraynick's and Freeride this week to pick up another. Any attempt at the negley hill on a fixie is plain crazy...but worth a try.

  17. #17
    misses the city
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    Gasper: an Alley Cat is a bike messenger-style race. You get a manifesto and you have, for example, six checkpoints to go to. It's in real traffic and it's a lot of fun.

    cmu_xj: I have a friend who used to ride up South Negley every single evening on his way home from work on his fixie. I'm trying to get an IRO in the next few months (as soon as I can scrape together the cash) and am going to end up going on the same route, as I live in the house he used to and now work at the same place he used to. It should be interesting.

  18. #18
    my dad can still crush me
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    I have an IRO Jamie Roy, I have been able to hit Negley at 42x16 but it wasn't the easiest thing ever. Don't have breaks so i'm not going down it. I highly recommend IRO if you haven't seen my shameless promotions all over this board.

    CMU XJ there is a group of CMU people who ride at night every once and a while, a guy named Mike has a blue Schwinn with a red fork set up as a single speed that I think he built at Kraynics. If you have the little bit of extra cash and want a finer solution than what you can get a freeride Kraynics is the way to go.

    If anyone is interested in riding at night send me an email and Ill add you to our makeshift night riding email list.

    Milo

    Milo:at:cmu:dot:edu

  19. #19
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    Man that Alley cat sounds like a blast. I would love to participate. It would be a serious challenge as my knowledge of Pgh roads is very limited. Even if the race was confined to places that I normally ride I am sure that I would get lost.

    I have more money than time at this point but not much of either. I hope to have another bike (Any bike) by the end of the week. I hate riding the bus.

    A3rd.Zero I will send you an email for the night riding list. I may be able to make it every once in a while.

  20. #20
    search and destroy! go!! nabiiy's Avatar
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    Hey everybody... Carp, I'm in Pittsburgh as well... In my opinion Freeride is definitely the place to go if you're looking to find a cheap bike of any kind or to fix up what you've got now. You can also take a bike maintenance program for free and fix up a beat ride and at the end of the whole deal the bike is yours... good stuff.
    -seth

  21. #21
    misses the city
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    cmu_xj: the best part of an Alley Cat is that if you don't know the streets very well, you find someone who does and keep up with them.

  22. #22
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    First post. Been lurking on these forums for quite a while now, but never spoke up.

    ...But Pittsburgh is my place. Been here forever, and ride my fixed bikes everywhere around town. Fixed Crosscheck, IRO Jamie Roy frame, and a Schwinn beater for around the neighborhood. And yes, Kraynick's is the shop to go to in this town.

    We do have alleycats here. In fact, I'm handling the next one, which is the reason for the post...

    Iron City Icepick.
    Allycat. Pittsburgh PA.
    December 18th.
    Duke's Bar, N Oakland.
    4pm.
    Multiple manifests. Derby! Skids. Trackstands.
    $5 - Proceeds donated to local in need or messenger fund.

    Any questions? Email devolution@dirtragmag.com

    -brad

  23. #23
    my dad can still crush me
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    Cool to hear that someone else owns a Jamie Roy. I had heard rumors about the alleycat, thanks for the beta.

    Milo

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