You know how it goes if you’re a bike collector: Sometimes you won’t run across anything worth mentioning for a long spell, and then out of the blue, a bunch will show up in one day. Such is the case with this collection of twenty bikes which arrived last Friday. They had been in the care of a local gentleman for a number of years, hung in his garage, dry, safe and largely unseen. I’d heard that the guy had bikes, but had never laid eyes on any of it until it fell into my lap.
Like most bicycle collections that are accrued over a long period of time, this one has a wide and varied range of styles, spanning more or less a century. There’s everything from an early Columbia Penny Farthing to a first-general handbuilt mt. bike, with a lot in between. Amongst the collection are some real beauties such as an early full suspension Pierce Arrow, a 1890’s Meteor, some early track bikes and a “Boogie Bike”, the aforementioned mt. bike which was reputedly made nearby in Nevada City, California. Throw in some original paint balloon-tire bikes, a few ugly repaints, a couple middleweights, a Raleigh 3-speed and a Schwinn stingray or two and there you have it.
I plan on highlighting the most intriguing of the lot over the coming couple months so please check back as they are individually dusted off, photographed and posted. As always, I’m also hoping to shed light on some of the more obscure bikes so feel free to chime in if you have insight into any of them.
As far as what happens to all the bikes, one or two will likely join the Buzz Bomb collection while the rest will either fall under the ebay auction hammer this spring and early summer or will be sold at our annual bicycle sale in June.
For now, I leave you with some images of the collection, taken upon their arrival.
Around the shop, fall is the time when bikes are always getting moved around to make room for winter storage. This old fixed gear was in transition from one garage to another so we took photos of it while it was out. It was originally found in a shed in Silver Springs, NV of all places, about as far away from a velodrome as it could ever get. It’s amazing that the Lobdell wood rims didn’t cook during the many summers it sat in storage. Thankfully they (and the rest of the bike) weathered pretty well.
As far as what it is, we’re not really sure about the manufacturer or year of the bike. It has New Departure hubs which were pretty standard on bikes in the 1930’s-1940’s so there’s a hint if they’re actually original to the bike. It also has reverse dropouts so it looks like it was a purpose-built track bike rather than a simple conversion. Hopefully some helpful reader will chime in with some information.