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Old 10-29-06, 06:19 AM
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Originally Posted by russian fighter
Anyone know good ones the Chicago area? Boulevard Bikes can be helpful for repairs, but they don't stock/sell anything vintage.
Here are several:

George Garner Cyclery, in Northbrook, Illinois. This is the midwest branch of THE George Garner Cyclery that was so instrumental in the growth of Schwinn and the birth of the Paramount. Now sell Specialized and some others, but the staff remember their heritage. It's still mainly an LBS, so I didn't see any C&V on the stand, but the staffer I met was able to speak intelligently about them.

Wastyn Cycles, Fullerton Avenue, Chicago. Owned by the son of Oscar Wastyn, who was also one of the drivers in the birth of the Paramount. 5 to 10 great old machines on display.

Roberts Cycles, North Clark Street, Chicago. Current owner maintains previous (my former employer) owner's philosophy that if you run a bike shop, you must be capable of working on any bike. Former (as many others) importer of Holdsworth, back in the day sold Raleigh, Peugeot, Gitane, and Fiorelli.

Gary's Cycles, North Clark Street, Chicago. Store in place since at least 1950, my childhood LBS. Owned by original owner's son. Gary's BSA racing bike is hanging on the wall, and the shop looks exactly as I recall, but no Raleigh Superbes or Internationals are on the racks anymore.

RRB Cycles, Green Bay Road, Kenilworth, Illinois. Ron Boi (and brother) is one of the better frame builidng and servicing locations in the Midwest and perhaps farther away. Ron has an active business in custom bikes, selling bikes to the neighborhood as an LBS, supporting his customer's products, and selling modern performance and sport machines. One of his custom frames, with Tange Aero tubing, was used by an RAAM winner (would that I recalled better!) and at least was planned to be placed in the Smithsonian. I can't confirm that it is there. I needed my Trek 610 aligned and wanted to have the trail increased, and Ron did the job to perfection. A guru of C&V bikes.

The Pony Shop, Evanston, Illinois. This has been in place since the early '70s if not longer. May still be a good repair place, not really sure.

Sportif Importers, Lawrence Avenue, Chicago. A big shop with lots of display space. Some unsold vintage frames are hanging from the ceiling, Paris-Sport, and Nishiki. Character of the shop is as it was 30years ago: We are here to sell and support product, and we will help you as much as we can with that. We do not have time to chat. Lots of good NOS parts in a display case.

Ridge Cyclery, Ridge Road, Highland, Indiana. Most shops in Northwest Indiana are Trek corporate stores, it seems. Ridge takes the niche to support family bikes, and any other old stuff someone brings in, for a suitable parts/labor pricing. Not to say they're gougers, just you won't get a $100 job done for $50 just because the bike is worth $20. The best part is, he has many old top-grade parts on hand, he has a few sources for vintage high-end parts, the owner loves C&V, and has some NIB vintage lightweights. He keeps a low profile because he has core business that keeps him fully occupied.

I hope that will keep you Chicagoans busy! It's a big city, there are a LOT of shops, and many of the LBSs have career bike folks that know how to handle the old stuff, and can teach the young'uns.
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