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Stuyvesant Bicycle

Old 05-18-09, 04:36 PM
  #1  
Mike Mills
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Stuyvesant Bicycle

Does anyone here remember this New York City bicycle shop?

Are they still in business, or perhaps have changed names/ownership? If not, what happened to send them under, as they were a huge shop with (seemingly) lots of business.
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Old 05-18-09, 04:48 PM
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Google lists a shop with that name on 2nd Avenue.
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Old 05-19-09, 12:33 PM
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Hmm,... I don't remember it being that far east but it has been a long time since I was in NYC. I also don't remember it being called "East". Callin it "East" implies there is a "West" (or at least another shop, in some other direction, ).

Has anyone been to this shop? Are they still today the large shop they were in the seventies?
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Old 05-19-09, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike Mills View Post
Does anyone here remember this New York City bicycle shop?

Are they still in business, or perhaps have changed names/ownership? If not, what happened to send them under, as they were a huge shop with (seemingly) lots of business.
I remember them. The shop was on 14th Street and 9th Avenue. It was a pretty big operation. It's gone now, although for a while afterwards there was a much smaller shop (with a different name that I can't remember) on the same block. Maybe even in the same space (or some of it), not sure.

Not sure why they went out of business. I remember them as being pretty aggressive sellers, willing to sell riders completely inappropriate bikes. For example, years back, I wanted a bike that would fit my long-legged, short-torsoed frame. The salesman tried to convince me that hanging derailleurs and brakes on a track bike was the way to go (this was years, decades even, before the fixie craze, by the way). Didn't seem right to me.
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Old 03-17-17, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Mike Mills View Post
Does anyone here remember this New York City bicycle shop?

Are they still in business, or perhaps have changed names/ownership? If not, what happened to send them under, as they were a huge shop with (seemingly) lots of business.
I worked there in 1978 or 79 when I was in high school. I worked in the skateboard shop and also sold some bikes. At that time the store was on 14th St, and close to 9th ave.
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Old 03-17-17, 11:52 AM
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Stuyvesant was the an importer and distributor for Atala and Bottecchia during the early 1970s bicycle boom. They also had their own private label, Italian brand, Corso. They were established in 1939, according to old Bicycling advertisements. Sometimes in the 1980s they got out of the retail side of the business but continued to import and distribute Atala and Botttecchia. At least that's what I assumed happened as the new company was named Corso Bicycles, liker their private label brand, and operated out of the same location. I know they were still in business, into the early 1990s but lost track of them after that.
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Old 03-17-17, 11:59 AM
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I worked there for 5 years starting in the late sixties. We were on East 11th street, then moved to west 13th. Some time in the late seventies or early eighties their wholesale entity went bankrupt, and one of the brothers opened a smaller store farther west for his daughter and nephew. That closed a few years later, and there is no remaining entity.

I'm very familiar with the details through when I left in 1973, and pretty familiar with what came later, though with time lots of that faded.

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Old 03-17-17, 02:28 PM
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All of the above. I visited the 14th street shop one day in 1980 and ended up getting hired by Sal Corso to help make their wholesale catalog. He was very good to me, gave me deep discounts on everything (there was a special storage room for just the Campy components that I hit hard) and took me to the trade shows where he was quite the star. West 14th Street was pretty sketchy back then, now it's uber-trendy. Last I saw Sal was some years after when I took a friend there, who bought a Merckx from him personally.
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Old 03-17-17, 02:43 PM
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I went back and looked up some late 1980s road tests. The president of Corso bicycles was Louis Corso, the son of Salvatore Corso, who had owned Stuyvesant. The latter entity was officially dissolved on December 19, 1986 and at that time Louis had been vice-president of Stuyvesant. The transition from Stuyvesant to Corso has continuity of brands, location and family. It appears to have been a name change for financial and/or legal purposes.
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Old 06-26-17, 06:30 AM
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Fascinating (to me).
T-Mar, you are my new hero.
Had been looking up old Somec info' and you seemed to be "da man". Then I go searching for Stuyvesants bike shop (where I was told my bike was purchased, new, on my behalf, back in 1988...) and, again, you da man!
I've never been to the shop, myself.
But if you worked there in the mid to late 80's, you might have known my GeorgiaTech buddy, John Ellis who spent summers in NYC and likely was a familiar face in Stuyvesants. He's the one that procured my Somec for me, AFTER I received my first pay check out of college...
John told me something about the bike being new, but built up with a sort of hodge-podge of parts. I THINK it's a (high-end) "Air" model, but it came with cheaper parts all around (Modolo brakes, Campy Gran Sport cranks and derailler(s), etc.), instead of the Record gruppo that I think it should've had. And I think it was not that new in 1988...

Frame details, except for paint, are exactly like this 1984 Air 2001 SLX:...damn, "cannot post URLs until you make at least 10 posts".. Seriously?? In this day and age when urls are the examples available. Arghhh.

Currently, I'm resurrecting that Somec so that I can ride it in Singapore, where I visit annually. Getting it back right is challenging, but it's also making me nostalgic and interested in its past. I'm hoping to dig up a classic bikes scene in Singapore.
I also have a much older Somec that I bought for $25... It has issues, but you can understand that I couldn't pass up the opportunity when I chanced upon it - I was buying the dude's complete track bike (HATE that I to ever sell that) and spotted the silver Somec in the corner. Very rare to see in North Carolina. It's a fun fixie, now.
Well, the Somec's are both with me in Holland, now...for now.

Ok, gotta go put the old, smaller inner chainring on (not as strong as I used to be) and go for a test ride!

Cheers,
Steve, in the NLs
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Old 07-02-17, 09:40 PM
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Curious as to whether you had any insight into which manufacturer was responsible for my tandem frame, Steve.
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Old 07-02-17, 09:41 PM
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My apologies everyone, I mixed up a couple threads I'm in.
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Old 10-09-21, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike Mills View Post
Does anyone here remember this New York City bicycle shop?

Are they still in business, or perhaps have changed names/ownership? If not, what happened to send them under, as they were a huge shop with (seemingly) lots of business.
We visited the shop in NYC as teenagers in the early 1970s. I couldn’t afford anything that day but a friend left with a new Campy seat post.
I will always remember their most expensive bike had wooden rims for tubeless tires.
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Old 03-22-22, 05:32 PM
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I bought my first Botty there in 87. It was a red and white SL beauty with Campy's Victory on it and Mavic rims.
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Old 03-22-22, 06:18 PM
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Wow, I remember that shop from when I was little. I would pass by it all the time. That place, the other shop between First and Second aves, Bicycle Habitat and Frank’s downtown on Grand were points on the map for me and my friends.

Last edited by Rage; 03-23-22 at 03:36 PM.
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Old 03-22-22, 08:18 PM
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Was that the place with the giant rollers? i remember them being made of wood and as big as barrels.
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Old 03-23-22, 02:53 PM
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Did they have a satellite shop in Westchester?

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Old 03-23-22, 03:17 PM
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There was a bike shop on 14 St between 1st & 2nd Ave's I thought was Stuyvesant in the early 70's. It was across 1st Ave from Stuyvesant Town and Stuyvesant HS was on 15th around the block.
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Old 03-23-22, 03:32 PM
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There were like five or six different bike shops from east to west between 14th and 17th/18th street or so. But my friends and I hung out mostly at the ones I mentioned in my previous post. They were the ones that were more kid-friendly.
The shop dmark is talking about also had a spot on canal street, if I recollect correctly.
That whole area below 23rd to battery park was my stomping grounds when I was a kid. I even graduated from Stuyvesant in the 90s.
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Old 03-29-22, 05:48 AM
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Stuyvesant Bicycle

I worked their part time for about 6 months selling skateboards and bicycles in 1978. One of the workers was a guy named Gino. He was a bicycle sales man. His father was a bike mechanic that spoke Italian and not a word of English. I remember all the mechanics spoke in Italian. Whenever I went into the repair area to drill a deck, I thought I was in Italy. Gino was a band or singer manager for his other job. He said that he got Blondie (Debbie Harry) started. I remember one Sunday; he was painting one of the security roll up door in the front entrance on 14th Street from red to black. WNEW FM rock radio station was playing on the radio. Yes, in the middle of his paint job came on The Rolling Stone song, Paint it Black. He sang the whole song with his best loudest voice while painting with a brush in one hand and a cigarette in the other. He once took me and about 8 other skateboarders in the Stuyvesant Bicycle Van to Washington Square Park. The plan was to drive under and through the Arch, stop, Kick the back doors open, and one by one roll out. Jump down onto the pavement, and do skateboard stunts under and next to the Arch. Unfortunately, the NYPD did not like that, so they gave Gino a traffic ticket. He never asked money from us and took care of the fine himself. We were all teenagers at the time. In the early 80's, he opened a bicycle shop in the Bronx, a few miles past the Whitestone bridge. I remembered that the elevated train line was on his street. The last thing I remember of him was pulling a wheelie down the block in front of their bike shop in the Bronx on my 1982 GS1100E. He and his father waving good bye to me. He was a really good guy and I hope he is doing well. If anyone knows about his well-being, please let us know. That's some of the things I think about when I hear the name, Stuyvesant, 14th Street, hear a Blondie song, or sometimes riding my road bicycle in the country side of Chesterfield, Powhatan, and Amelia Va.
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Old 03-29-22, 06:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Rage View Post
I even graduated from Stuyvesant in the 90s.
One of the greatest High Schools in country, well done.

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Old 03-29-22, 08:28 AM
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Thanks, BTinNYC. It was a great school and I loved my time there. The students, the teachers, the neighborhood, just everything about it.

I even loved the commute to and from school because I had to ride my bike most days. NYC buses sucked so much back then. They’d arrive five or six at the same time and packed so full of passengers you couldn’t even get on.

Funny thing is that when I started high school we were up on 15th street but then we wound up in Battery Park City at the new/present location which was just a few minutes walk from home.

It actually bummed me out that the move to the new location shortened my commute.
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Old 03-29-22, 08:29 AM
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More stories about the old bike shops along that corridor?
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Old 03-29-22, 03:30 PM
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I raced in the 1983 Red Zinger Mini Classic in Colorado with a kid from Brooklyn (I think) who, along with his older cousin, were in some fashion sponsored by Stuyvesant. The kid in my age group was riding a stunning Cuevas—built by Francisco, his (I believe) grandfather.
Anyways, I traded my club cycling hat for one of his, amusingly misspelled "Stuyesant" instead of "Stuyvesant"...


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Old 03-29-22, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Marc 5 View Post
I worked their part time for about 6 months selling skateboards and bicycles in 1978. One of the workers was a guy named Gino. He was a bicycle sales man. His father was a bike mechanic that spoke Italian and not a word of English. I remember all the mechanics spoke in Italian. Whenever I went into the repair area to drill a deck, I thought I was in Italy. Gino was a band or singer manager for his other job. He said that he got Blondie (Debbie Harry) started.
Maybe I'm wrong but I thought Gino (or perhaps I'm misremebering, maybe Frankie?) was Sal's nephew. Whoever it was, while I was making their catalog in '81, Gino or Frankie or whoever asked me to design a cover for the first 45 release of a singer he was managing - one Silkë Berlinn. We did a photoshoot in an improvised studio and this was the final result:


I can assure you the typeface was much less of a hack font 40 years ago. I'm sure I have a copy of that disc somewhere.
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