Wednesday, April 19, 2006

A new, no-longer-new Astoria bike store. What joy!

One year ago I reported on the opening of a new Astoria bike store. A good one. One in whose hands I would trust my nice bikes.

Unfortunately, it opened right after a spend a lot of money building two bikes. So I didn’t actually have a need to go there too much. And when I did go there during the day, the main man’s wife was often manning the store. And neither her English nor her bike knowledge is too great. The main man worked for another bike store during the day.

I was always afraid the place would close. It was never that busy. And if you went there during the day you might not know a brilliant bike mechanic would be there that evening.

Anyway, it did close… but reopened a block away in an improved space. They lost their lease. But now have a five year lease in a store with more space! And they even specialize in Bianchi… my favorite bike.

The store is the Bicycle Repair Man, 40-11 35th Ave, (718) 706-0450. Just East of Steinway, near the 36th Street and Steinway St stops on the R/V/G.

The main man, Andres, says starting next week, he’ll be there 7 days a week. They’re open to 10pm on weekdays. And if you ask him nicely, I’m sure he’d love to show you his spoke making machine.


Nick James said...

I'm gonna check this place out this weekend. Thanks, Fotaq!

Fotaq said...

I think Andres said he'd be there this Sunday till 6. And then much more next week.

Nick James said...

Boy F, this post was just in time. I noticed a little wobble in my rear wheel on my way to work yesterday, so I left the bike at work and took the subway until I had time to check it out. So tonight I remove the rear wheel, take off the cones, and my axle falls completely apart. At some point, I had snapped the damn thing in two. The skewer was the only thing holding the wheel together.

Save me, Andres!

Fotaq said...

What timing! I don't know what bike axle you have, but if you can, replace the cup and cone system with a simple shimano hub. It's the best thing to happen to bike technology in the past 20 years. Stronger, no maintenance, cheap, and good. If it's a old road bike it's probably compatible. And you just put it the bottom bracket and never think about it again. And you’ll never have to do another cone adjustment. I know you can do a cone adjustment. But when you don't have do one, you never miss it.

I learned that when I started riding the Screamin’ Salmon, my converted fixed gear, back in 1999. I busted two axles because of the greater strain on the bottom bracket. Then I put in some $20 shimano hub and I’ve never had another problem. Deep down, I kinda think I should be a Campy fan—it’s older school and I like things I can fix—but I love Shimano.

nick james said...

I went to the bicycle repair man today. Andres had me back in business in two hours, which was a relief, considering my overpatronized bike shop in Manhattan quoted me a few days to a week. Not an option, guys; the thing is my primary form of transportation, not a fair-weather plaything.

Which Shimano hub do you have, exactly, or are they all cup/coneless? I might go with that next time I make some changes (or if this happens again).

Fotaq said...

Was that you with the very large-framed bike talking about legal lights? I went in there to buy a kickstand for the Hot Karl, the bike I just put together for a friend.

Shimano only sells "sealed" bottom brackets. That's their thing. The only difference between shimano hubs is price and weight. But even their bottom of the line is good quality and will last you years of unadjusted maintenance-free riding.

nick james said...

Nope - I would have been the one in the leather jacket with the black Dahon with bullhorns. I was there in the afternoon.

The Hot Karl looks great. No rear brakes?

Elliot said...

Thanks so much for this post. I had seen the shop's listing in the Yellow Pages, but it still had the old address and when I went by a few weeks ago I just figured they were out of business. Thanks to your blog I went by today and met Andres.
I've been looking for a new bike for a couple of weeks, not having ridden in years. I've looked at Trek, Raleigh, Bianchi, K2, Specialized, and Jamis (at Andres's)
Andres is the first store owner or salesman to suggest that I might want to upgrade my old Peugeot U08 frame rather than buy a new bike. So, I'm going to dust off the old workhorse, trot it over to Bicycle Repair Man and see what we can figure out.
I love a renovation project.
Thanks again for the blog.

Fotaq said...

Glad to help!

Anonymous said...

I love this place. The owner is very friendly. Gives me discounts on parts whenever I buy. I guess it helps that I bought two Marin bikes here this summer. I think they are the only bike shop in the area that sells Marin's. Definitely have a good selection of top notch bikes.