Thursday, December 8, 2011

Where to find vintage bicycle parts

I received a tweet today that read, "Hey @RacingBicycles where does one shop for vintage parts? I am a Bianchi nut and have 4 new and looking to rebuild 1 early 80's."  

I love questions like this, because, unlike many other things in my life, I think I have a pretty good system in place for searching for vintage bikes and parts.

I have several ongoing searches in eBay. With each search, I opt for eBay to email me when it the item is listed. Some of these searches are category-specific, and others are general searches across all categories. The latter is great for catching items that people may not know how to categorize. For example, I won the auction for my 1973 Nuovo Record rear derailleur by simply searching for "campagnolo deraileur +rear" in the eBay general search. This search returned most of the hits in the Sporting Goods>>>Outdoor Sports>>>Cycling>>>Road Bikes and Parts, but there were also several in Collectibles and Art>>>Collectibles>>>Transportation>>>Bicycles>>>Bicycle Parts. Since this category gets less traffic, there's a good chance fewer people will bid on the items, and you'll get a better price. This doesn't always work, but it's proved effective in many instances for me.

In addition to eBay, I use the RSS feature in CraigsList. I'll post a video walk through on this soon on this, so stay tuned, but the process is simple once you get used to it. The RSS feed is a subscription for a particular search. That feed is aggregated within Google Reader, although you can use any RSS reader you wish, including many new good ones available for iOS mobile devices. 

I check Google reader as time permits each day, and scan the results. There's some secrets to searching within CraigsList that I'll share in a future post - SOON, I promise. As I said, lots to be covered in the subject of searching for vintage bike parts, and I want to share everything I know. 

Unfortunately, right now I have to run. My seven-year-old is in the bathtub at the and I think our Dachshund is about ready to jump in with him, so I need to discourage that ASAP! :)

Keep up with the tweets, comments, and emails - having a blast, and I hope you are too! 

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