Yesterday I took a trip to Trexlertown, PA for the Lehigh Valley Velodrome‘s bike swap. It’s a sort of flea market where bike shops, vendors and just bikeheads come out and sell new bikes, old bikes, components, clothing, and pretty much anything else having to do with bikes. It’s heaven for a chronic DIYer like me. I wasn’t looking for another bike. I was just there for the parts.
This place was full of unbelievable bargains, and it’s just $5 to get in. You can find great deals on more expensive items like racing bikes & quality wheelsets early in the day, but there are bits and pieces all over, and the longer you wait, the better the deals get. You can haggle on practically everything, and sometimes, you don’t even have to. Hesitate for a moment after hearing the asking price, and the seller might cut it in half.
fixed cogs, hubs and chainrings
My mission objectives were clear. My primary objective: find a new rear wheel for my pal Ben, whose rear wheel was stolen off his bike while it was locked up on the street. He has a vintage Raleigh road bike, and was ready to give fixed gear a try. Secondary objectives: a rear brake for my wife’s bike, which previously had only a front brake, a new helmet that doesn’t make my head look like a mushroom, and a tasteful jersey. Tertiary objectives: bargain components. Targets of opportunity. I am pleased to report that all missions were completed. Here’s the full report:
Entire rear wheel for Ben: ($83.50 total)
- 1 700c rim laced to Formula flip/flop hub ($60)
- 1 Surly 15 tooth fixed cog ($10)
- 1 Suntour lockring ($3)
- 1 Vittoria 700x23c light tread tire ($5)
- 1 presta short stem tube ($4)
- 1 roll rim tape ($.50)
As you can see, I was able to find everything you need to complete a wheel. I assembled it in the backseat as we drove back to Brooklyn. I attached it to his bike that afternoon, and with some air in the tire, he was ready to ride.
- 1 Specialized helmet ($10)
- 1 all black Nalini jersey ($25)
- 1 Tektro rear road brake for Sara ($5)
- 1 Maeda 13 tooth fixed cog ($5)
- 1 Phil Wood lockring ($10)
- 1 Sovos flip/flop hub ($5)
- 1 Genuine Innovations cartridge inflator ($1!)
- 1 pair Avocet black steel toe clips ($3)
It was a day of success, for myself and my comrades Kalim and Stephanie, who went home with even more than I did. Kalim left with a new helmet, two pairs of Lake shoes, some Speedplay pedals, some quill stems and handlebars, and other assorted components. Stephanie got herself a complete bike – a vintage Raleigh road bike with straight handlebars. The saddle on it was ugly, so she replaced it with a much nicer WTB saddle they found for $5.
It was worth the trip out there. If you’re in the area, keep an eye on their calendar, cause they do this every year. I’ll be there again next year, no doubt.
Oh, I almost forgot. Greg LeMond was there.