New York Cycling History

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Anonymous's picture

This article is on the Rapha website (

It is an interesting read for the history and inflationary effects. The frame names have changed but the attitude pretty much remains the same. Does anyone remember any of the shops mentioned? Have any of them morphed into the current slew of cyclist stores?

Anonymous's picture
Richard Rosenthal (not verified)
Old bike shops in NY

"What remains of Stuyvesant is now on far West 14th. The aforesaid Sal was Sal Corso. Corso Bicycles, out of that same address, was (also) an importer and Campagnolo distributor (to other shops). Sal, an Italophile, guessed wrong on Shimano and refused to carry it.

Tom Avenia's Harlem shop was the inspiration for that famous and fabulous Sempé cover on an old New Yorker of a lone figure in a shop looking up at bikes overhead.I think it was Tom who opened the shop/a shop in Haverstraw.

Gene's is deservedly out of business. Someone told me it charged him $45 to true a wheel. I took a perfectly good wheel there after unscrewing a single nipple several turns, asked a salesman could it be ""repaired or fixed or whatever you guys call this."" He took it, looked at it solemnly for awhile, said he would have to take it in the back room, and emerged a few minutes later to say he thought maybe it could b e saved, but that it would cost around $40.

""Gosh,"" I said. ""What if we just did something like this?"" ...Whereupon I put a spoke wrench on the offending nipple, gave it a few turns.

Another time I went to buy a SR seatpost. The salesman opened a Campy box and proudly produced one and announced the price. It was scarred and clearly a used seatpost.

I allowed as how it looked used.

""Well, OK, I'll knock the price down ten bucks for you.""

""That's great!"" says I. ""Then it'll cost only $20 over everyone else's new price.""

The store whose passing I lament was on Bond St. (East 3rd.), next to a firehouse. It was the very short-lived creation of Oliver ""Butch"" Martin, a two-time Olympic rider and one-time Olympic women's coach. ""Butch"" had a terrific inventory, but, sadly, little interest beyond getting laid. When last heard of, he moved to Carmel, NY to coach Cindy Olivari."

Anonymous's picture
Richard Rosenthal (not verified)
Oops: inadvertent duplication (nm)
Anonymous's picture
Herb Dershowitz (not verified)

Stuyvesant became the A bike shop, just east of 9th Ave. on 14th St. I recently saw another A bike shop. Forgot the location and don't know if it's a second shop or a new location for the original.
I bought my first high end bike from Tom Avenia, a classic Frejus. Bill Richards still rides one.

Anonymous's picture
af (not verified)
A Bicycle Shop is moving from west 14th St.

New address effective Sept is:

163 West 22nd street between 6 & 7th.

Anonymous's picture
don montalvo (not verified)
down time when 14st was being ripped up...

...good to hear they're a block from tekserve. :)


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