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!
Here at Alamo Bike Shop, we stock components for all types of bicycles, including mountain, comfort, and street bike parts. Street bikes are an increasingly popular option for getting around urban areas. If you’re considering buying one, here are some basic tips to keep in mind.
Street Bikes 101
Street bikes, also known as “urban” or “road” bikes, are designed specifically for riding on pavement. They stand apart from mountain and comfort bikes in the following ways:
- They’re usually lighter in weight.
- They’re ideal for virtually any kind of finished-surface cycling, whether for fitness, commuting, long-distance or touring. They also make great racing bikes.
- They accommodate any level of riding experience, from beginner to veteran.
Enough of the basics; here’s how to choose a great street bike.
- Choose the right size. This is perhaps the single most important factor in selecting the correct street bike for your needs. A poorly fitting frame can make your ride uncomfortable or even painful. Knowledgeable staff at your local bike shop should be able to help you determine the best fit for you.
- Know whether you want a drop-bar or flat-bar design. The choice comes down to aerodynamics vs. comfort. With a drop-bar bike you’ll be riding while bent at the waist, which reduces your air resistance. However, it can also cause back, neck, and hand pain. A flat-bar permits the rider to sit up higher. This is not only more comfortable, it can also be safer, as it allows riders to better see obstacles and other hazards.
- Shop carefully. As with other kinds of bikes, street cycles vary widely in terms of quality. Read reviews, learn about the different brands, and make sure you’re happy with the model you ultimately get. After all, you work hard for your money, so make sure you get a bike that’s worth its price tag.
One way to be sure that you get a great deal is to buy your next bicycle from Alamo Bike Shop. Come visit our store to browse our great selection of cycles. If you already have your perfect cycle, feel free to bring it by for repairs or street bike parts. We’ll see you soon!