The Chainlink

I'm looking to find a vintage road bike. This will be my first road bike ever. I usually ride BMX bikes but those aren't ideal for commuting to school and what not. I've been checking craigslist frequently but I haven't really found anything I would consider buying. Are there any bike shops in Chicago that have a good selection of vintage road bikes. I would love to go and check them out if anyone knows of any. It would really help me out. 

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This is what I'm talking about.  $11.21 shipped.   Most LBS's should have these too for a similar price.

On second thought you probably don't want to use the bolted skewer on the rear wheel since you have horizontal dropouts and you might not get enough squeeze with these to keep the rear wheel from shifting in the dropouts under load.    But it would be fine on the front wheel.

But remember that bolted wheels are not a high security solution in the city.  Thieves have wrenches and will yank your wheel with bolted wheels just as quickly as a QR.  Only a lock is safe.  EVen the security skewers are easily defeated by thieves.  

Was in there today because I was in the area.   Wasn't in there for 30 seconds before getting barked at.  I won't be back.

Michael B said:

That guy's been an incredible asshole for at least 35 years. I can't believe he still has a Trek dealership. Lucky for me I have a Paramount & a Raleigh Pro. I wouldn't walk into that shop even if he was giving those bikes away. 

Andy Pielet said:

Sportif in Jeff Park has some 80's NOS Nishiki's, A bridgestone, Paramounts, and raleighs (2 super records, large sizes).  Not too many sizes, but 8+ MINT nos bikes.   If you can deal with the a$$hole that works there, charges $25 to fix flats, and is so rude it's comical, by all means check them out.

Sportif has a bunch of NOS Japanese 1980s bikes hanging in the front.  There is definite interest in that kind of lugged steel bike and some are quite good/collectible...but the ones hanging there are entry-level bikes: stem shifters, 'turkey levers' on the brakes, etc.  Perfectly nice utility bikes but nothing special.

That has not stopped the owner from apparently raising the price every so often as if they are top line racing bikes.   Strangely enough he must sell them once in a while...someone on CL not long ago was trying to sell a pair that he had bought from Sportif, but he had a sadly warped idea of what they were worth.

Walk in there with your bike and tell him you are just going to "look around" and see what he says.

Duane Waller said:

I kind of want to go to Sportif just to see how big of a jagoff this guy is. Is it worth the trip? I'm about 5minutes away.

I just read the reviews on yelp. That guy must be a total dick.

I'm resurrecting this thread because I want to talk about vintage road Chicago.

So, I purchased a Nitto Technomic stem for my bike to get my bars up to saddle level. It's disconcerting to see that I have to pretty much have it a little above the minimum insertion line to get where I need to be. Also, i definitely have more than a fistful of seat post showing. 

I had my wife help me measure my PBH, and I came up with 33 inches. That's a lot more than the 30 inches I came up with when i struggled to do it myself. Based on this PBH, and the length of my torso, it seems like a few guides are coming up with a frame size of 58-59cm. I currently ride a 53cm.

So...does anyone here ride a 58-59cm vintage, horizontal top tube bike? If so, would anyone mind If i dropped by and took a ride on it to see how it felt? 


Hi Jim,

I hear you!  You are welcome to try out my Trek, it is a 22.5 inch frame, which translates to about 57cm..

My Raleigh Competition is 57cm to top of top tube and I've got a high stem setup too if you would like to try that as well.  I'm in Logan Square very near the L-station which has a big city/LAZ parking lot attached to it behind the Chase bank.  It makes a great place to test out bikes without going on the roads and fighting traffic. 

I've even got platform pedals on it still as I swapped them in to ride CCM this past Friday on this bike (I swore off riding CCM with the eggbeaters.)

Gentlemen, I'll be messaging both of you shortly. 

If you want to try a 24in/60cm, I'm in the loop or near n side.


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