Sunday, March 15, 2015

Swap Meet (Trek 620), and a few Playgrounds

This weekend, the Westerville Bike Club put on a swap meet down at the Franklin Country fairgrounds. Looking though my growing piles of bike stuff, I realized it was probably worthwhile to put down my $10 (plus service fee) to get a table and try to do a little spring cleaning. I started on a swiftly growing pile of handlebars, wheels, tires, and bar ends. In a fit of downsizing, I had a thought to streamline my fleet down to only 700c bikes (and, er, the fatbike), so I stripped down the ERB and converted ye Olde Trek back to its stock 27" wheels to ready them for sale.

With a week to go to the swap meet, second thoughts began to creep in. Looking at the ERB, and the superlight 26" scandium disc brake wheelset, I decided that combo was worthy of more saddle time, so it came off the pile... along with a pair of 26" knobbies to go with it. That left the Trek still on the bubble. Selling it would leave me at just four bikes, a number I haven't seen in quite some time.

I didn't intend to bring Henry along, but he asked about the swap meet when he saw it on our white board calendar, and of course he wanted to come along. "It'll just be four hours of sitting at a card table," I would tell him, but he was not to be discouraged. I figured he would end up spending most of the day on his iPad. As the day got closer, he just got more excited. At bedtime last night, he was thinking about how we should arrange our table: cheapest stuff on one side, progressing in price across the table. He was more excited than me!

We loaded up the car and got to the fairgrounds an hour early to set up (this also cleverly gave me an early chance to scope out deals). The WBC was running a bit behind, so we helped them lay out tables and chairs in our building. In no time at all, we were ready to go:

Business started off slow. In the first half hour, we managed to only unload one free tire. Net proceeds: -$12. One fellow spent a good five minutes examining a frame pump I had for sale. Can it work for schraeder valves? Is it made in the US? (yes and 'of course not' (though I didn't say it that way), respectively). A lot of thought went into a four dollar pump that he ultimately decided was not for him. Maybe he found a better deal on an American made pump at another table, but I have my doubts.

My Trek seemed to attract a lot of interest from, let us say, gentlemen of a certain age. As they stroked their greying whiskers and recalled how beautiful their old 620 used to ride, or what a good price this was if only they were six inches taller, or how lively that 531 steel was, I began to have some pre-seller's remorse about trying to unload it. I had the Trek listed separately from the 650B wheels and Compass tires, and I had some worries someone would buy one but not the other, leaving me without the pillowy ride of my fat tired Trek. A few times I thought about just pulling the tags off them, but I stayed true to my downsizing theme and resisted.

Things picked up around lunch time. I ended up selling a 700c wheelset, a Brooks saddle (good riddance!), some handlebars, and a few other odds and ends. I only bought a pair of nearly new 26" Intense micro knobby tires from the table next door, just the tires I wanted for my ERB project, and a bargain at only $20 for the pair. Aside from that, our only other expenses were some cookies and a root beer.

I almost spent a lot more. The recent issue of my favorite bike magazine had an extensive, glowing review of a Jones 29er mountain bike. Jones are rare bikes--I've never actually seen one in person. And they only come in one size, which Jones claims fits a wide size of riders. And there at the swap meet was a steel framed Jones, marked at $1600 for the complete bike. That was a very fair price, so I offered Henry up as collateral while I took it for a quick spin in the parking lot. One size may fit a wide range of riders, but it stops well short of my 6'3". Financial disaster averted.

No longer Jonesing for a Jones, I looked around our table about halfway through the swap meet and realized we'd sold about everything I wanted to sell... and I still had the Trek and 650B wheels. It seemed like a good time to leave, before someone came by to buy them. We loaded up the car and hit the road, some $200 richer in the bike fund.

Henry, by the way, had a good time, and never even fired up his iPad.

I spent a happy afternoon in the garage, drinking a beer and reconverting my Trek back to 650B. Single speed this time:

No fenders because I sold them at the swap meet. This will give me an excuse to get some metal fenders at some point.

I'm running a dinglespeed 42/36 front setup with a 16/20 freewheel:

I don't have a way to "fix" the 650B wheels easily, though if I like this enough, I may pull the freehub that Brian welded shut off my old 700c fixed wheel and put it on these wheels:

Or maybe just buy a real flip/flop 650b wheel. Could this setup threaten the supremacy of the Cross Check? Maybe.

Intending to take the Trek for a shakedown ride, when I announced after dinner that I was going on a bike ride, I had three volunteers that wanted to come with me. We mounted up the Camargue and headed to Avery park. Sam and Kate showed off their new bike helmets:

You can see the new handlebar bag that Jodi got me for Christmas:

It's an Ironweed bag, made in the USA, unlike any frame pumps (ever). It's well made, just the right size, very reasonably priced, but I'm having a heck of a time getting it to mount correctly. The steerer mounted decaleur I ordered with it didn't have enough reach, due to my frame size and rack setup. Then, I ordered a rack with an integrated decaleur from Velo Orange, which fit the bag fine, but the rack didn't fit my bike. Kinda wish VO had mentioned that when I asked them if this rack would fit my VO bike. For now, the blue straps will have to do until I make something better. Maybe I can find the solution at the next swap meet.


  1. Man that swap meet really snuck up on me, I was going to go but totally forgot it was this weekend. I've got a Kogswell P/R frame and a bunch of other odds and ends I wanted to get rid of too.

    I think the new really expensive Silca pumps are made in the USA.

    1. Hmm, I see a $450 Silca floor pump, but no frame pump. Maybe they're saving that for a late 2015 release, as the world is really waiting for a $300 frame pump.

      Your frame doesn't happen to be the 64cm 700c version, does it?

  2. It is the 64cm 700c version, actually.


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