While a lot of people are familiar with the hobby of restoring antique cars, not nearly as many know that maintaining and riding classic bikes is also quite popular. While bikes from yesteryear may not have the advanced features of today’s models, they were generally very well built, and have a strong nostalgic appeal. Of course, one of the challenges with this pastime is finding vintage bike parts in good condition. Here’s a look at some possible sources.
- Flea markets, yard sales, and “junk” shops – these can be a real mixed bag. While finding the exact part you’re looking for might be hard, every once in a while you come across a huge find, like a cycle from the ‘60s or ‘70s in great shape. Just keep in mind that these sources are hit-and-miss and usually only take cash. Nonetheless, the occasional terrific find makes visiting them worthwhile.
- Craigslist, Ebay, and other online sources – like the options above, these can be mixed blessings. The sheer size and scope of the Internet makes it highly likely that you’ll find what you’re looking for. However, you’ll almost certainly be dealing with people you don’t know and will never see in person (except for maybe on Craigslist). So you’ll be parting with your hard-earned money based on a hope that what you end up with is worth the price you paid. To minimize your chances of being taken advantage of, we recommend only dealing with merchants that have long-established reputations for treating their customers right.
- Your local bike shop – this is often the best source of all. Bicycle enthusiasts are a tight-knit bunch and love to talk about their hobby. Come by Alamo Bike Shop next time you’re in the area and tell us what vintage bike parts you’re looking for. Odds are good that one of our staff will be able to provide you with the right part or a good lead.
If you’re in the San Antonio area, drop by and see us, and feel free to bring your vintage bike if you like. We look forward to meeting you!