Sunday, March 15, 2009

Parts for Pizza

So today I stopped by Griffin Cycle in Bethesda, one of the more feral bike shops in the area. I needed some rear axle spacers for the chronic Mondia project. The Mondia has a 120mm rear spacing, as does the Campy wheelset. And I have a nice 14-30 Suntour Ultra 6 freewheel, NIB. Sounds like a match made in heaven, no?

No. Just not quite enough clearance, so I need to respace the hub a smidge and then redish the wheel, which I did this evening. I just respaced the hub to 123mm, which allows me to spring the wheel into place, no frame resetting, and allowed 1-2mm of axle overhang beyond the locknuts. The redishing was drudgery, but another brick in the great wall of Mondia.

Anyhow, while at Griffin, which is crewed by a pretty young set, the manager said, "Oh, you're the guy that works on the old bikes". We chatted about this a little and got on the web, gawked at a few of my projects.

Then the manager said, "We've got a lot of old parts in the back you might be able to use", and then disappears, returning shortly with a set of old Dura Ace calipers.

Well, I'm not all that interested in old Shimano stuff with a few exceptions, like M700 shifters, a few other things. Just not my bag, and I mentioned this politely. They were a little surprised by my diffident response, twentysomethings perhaps having heard that old bike parts are worth money, especially to crazy old coots who ride around on lugged steel in street clothes.

So then they get a little more daring, venturing that maybe they'd let them go for $30 a caliper. Again, I politely explained that I don't really go for the Shimano stuff and that I don't have a project that needs recessed mount brakes. Then, gently letting them down, I added that if I did need something, I could pick up a set of used Record calipers for $50 or so on ebay.

They took this in, and we then talked more about vintage bikes and their role in the current fixie trend.

As I was getting ready to leave, they fix me with a hungry gaze - as I said, it is a bit of a feral operation - and one says, "Ok, how about you buy us lunch for the brakes". Well, I really didn't want the brakes, but somehow I was a little touched by these young guys trying to work up lunch money, so I asked, "How much do you guys eat?" They said a pizza would cost fifteen dollars and I threw in the towel.

So I have these brakes, which are now on ebay where we'll figure out what they are actually worth to somebody.


Jim G said...

You realize those brake calipers are missing the adjusting barrels, right?

robatsu said...

Oh yes, I do (and did) realize that they are missing the barrels. I just got to feeling a little sorry for the guys.