Thursday, April 29, 2010

Via Bicycle packing up after swap meet makes the news

"Joel Flood of Via Bicycle in Philadelphia hurries to pack up his van as rain falls on the 30th annual Ann Arbor Bicycle Show & Swap Meet at the Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds Sunday afternoon."- Melanie Maxwell |

Ann Arbor dot com captured us dodging rain drops, well cold chubby rain. It is a nice little write up.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Swap meet before and during

Empty van and trailor.

After 2 days away. Since then, we then bought another 20+ bikes, including a tandem.

- Posted from my Phone

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Early morning line

The line leading into swap meet. The line actually starts the night before. A lot of secret and not so secret bike sales happen on line waiting to get in. Flashlights and money in hand.

-- Post From My iPhone

Some cool bikes so far at the swap meets

Mostly balloon tire bikes. Descriptions to follow.

Very cool schwinn Aerocycle. Prewar, 1938ish. This is the bike PeeWee Herman wishes he had.

One switch on the handlebar activates the horn, another switch illuminates the speedometer on the crossbar of the handlebars.

Great looking pile of bikes- Shelby Donald Duck bike, Whizzer, etc.

Minty 1920s motobike. Repaint is a little potent, maybe orginal paint was not so acidic

1950s-1960s Aquila city bike.

-- Post From My iPhone

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Rainy day at a swap meet. .

Is no fun.

-- Post From My iPhone

Derailleur demonstrator

Back in the 1960s, there were a couple different gear demonstrator offered to bicycle shops to help educate customers how the 'new' derailleur gear bicycles worked. The Schwinn gear demonstrator was the most common one, like a mini bicycle, with feet that would sit on the a counter top, and a handle as a 'pedal.'

The Schwinn demonstrator was offered over a long enough period(estimating around 10 years) that collectors can find them with different era derailleurs and shifters. All the ones I have seen have been equipped with Huret gear(some labeled Sprint, but mostly "Schwinn Approved").

I have come across French ones in my travels as well, one Peugeot and one Gitane. They were both equipped with Simplex rather than Huret and Stronglight cottered cranks.

(the Schwinn gear demonstrator in the photo above was a 1970s one, with the large Schwinn stem shifters. The price tag of $250 is ambitious, as I usually see these selling for $100 or less. Behind it is a display showing the all the merits of the construction of a Schwinn bicycle, messing a couple bits.)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Swap meet pics

Some more pics. Looks like today is going to be beautiful.

Some rare bikes here for sale. Too rich for my blood.
-- Post From My iPhone

Swap meet beginnings

Swap meets are a lot of hanging around trucks.

-- Post From My iPhony

Thursday, April 22, 2010

some expensive bikes at the Copake Auction!

I have a friend that is looking for a tandem bicycle. This frameset, 1889 Singer Tandem Trike, would be a nice start to build up a nice rider. It would be a pricey build up though. $14,500 start up, plus paint and parts.

This 1891 Union is a classic example of a very nicely restored bicycle. I have overheard collectors talking of Bob Jameson restoration work, and it is so good that in selling a restored bike, you mention his name and price of the bicycle goes up in value. $19,500

1890''s Bronco style cross frame pneumatic bicycle. With bicycles in it's infancy, there were some weird and wacky designs out there. $8,600.

1883-86 Columbia built 3 Track Tricycle. this was used for racing. It is hard to imagine that with our lightweight, go fast streamlined bicycles of today. $27,500

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

For Sale- Shimano Dura Ace 10 pitch

For Sale- Shimano Dura Ace 10 Pitch cranks and wheels.
Used in excellent condition.
The cranks are 165mm long, and have a 48 tooth chainring.
the wheels are mismatched. the rear is 28 spoke and the front is 36 hole. Tubular rims.
no lockring. no chain


Monday, April 19, 2010

WTB- looking for parts for BSA Airbourne Paratrooper bicycle

A customer brought in a wartime BSA Paratrooper bicycle. The bicycle folds in half and was used in service by British paratroopers, during WWII.
We are looking for a set of brakes, unique to the bicycle, not sure if available on other model bicycles. And we are looking for the BSA saddle for the bike.
(disclaimer- these are not photographs of the bicycle we have at the shop, but from photos online HERE, where someone was trying to sell a complete bicycle.)

"Analysis of the serial numbers indicate that over 70,000 were made. They are now considered to be rare, and collectible. Many were sold surplus after WWII for as little as Canadian $3.95 from Capital Iron in Victoria BC, to Cdn $9.95 from the Hudson's Bay Company.

The early airborne bicycles had twin columns under the seat. Later models, which appeared sometime between serial numbers R8000 and R13000 had a single column under the seat.

These bikes are often called "parabikes" by collectors, but so far it seems that this is an erroneous term. This appears to be a post-war nickname applied to a commercial variant. The only war time manual references found so far clearly call it the "airborne bicycle".

The bike was designed to be folded in half and carried on board an aircraft. It could be landed by glider, thrown out of the aircraft with its own small parachute, or carried by a paratrooper as he jumped out of his aircraft. It was NOT carried on his back as some authors have suggested, as he had his parachute there.

By the time of the big invasion of June 1944, larger gliders were available and other larger vehicles were available, so the folding bicycle was already obsolescent.

The paratroopers disliked them and the main combat use was by infantry in the second wave on the British (2 beaches) and Canadian (1 beach) on D-Day, 1944 June 06. The other two beaches were American and they did not use them apparently. The soldiers disliked the bikes intensely and most were discarded within a few miles of the beach."

More info on BSA Paratrooper Airborne bicycles can be found=
Here (pictures of one with rare bag and tool kit)
and HERE (with detailed photos and some history)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Some pictures from Copake, NY swap meet

Ben Hur headbadge. It was a turn of the century bike, built in Philadelphia.

Interesting routing of the front derailleur. This was on a 1960s German road bike.

New departure "devil" bell. This was in the catalog as a Pluto bell. One of the rarest and most desirable bell. I would love to have this bell, but the price reflects how rare it is.
recently unearthed track bike. Old hang tag list it as a Kopsky, A six day race bike builder.

A very nice pair of Raleigh Clubmans for sale. they both sold. There was a total of 4 Raleigh Clubmans for sale there!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

customer bike- Flying Scot

Small world story- Well we featured a possible Flying Scot bike on the blog a couple months ago- HERE- and at the same time we were setting up that bike as a round the town city bike, this Flying Scot came to the shop for a similar treatment. They both wanted it set up as a single speed, with upright handlebars and fenders. One is a fixed gear and the other is a single speed with a freewheel. Here's where the story gets weird (especially because we are in Philadelphia, not Scotland), the two customers are ex-roommates. What a coincidence!

This one is outfitted with Honjo Fenders.Montmantre handlebars, brake levers from Velo Orange, a rare underslung stem, Mafac Racer brakes, Campagnolo Tipo hubs, and Stronglight cranks from us at Via Bicycle.