Friday, May 31, 2013

Via Bicycles - A review



While there are many bicycle shops in Philadelphia there are none like Via Bicycles. Curtis Anthony opened in 1982 with a $5000.00 dollar loan from his mother with an antique bed for collateral. Finding Via Bicycles is very easy just watch for the van that is piled high with bicycles from one of their buying expeditions and a sidewalk lined with bikes ready for sale.


Thirty-one years later Curtis is still going strong at 9th St. and South St. What makes Via Bicycles unique is they do not sell new bikes; they specialize in reconditioned bicycles for Philadelphia commuters. The shop is filled with fully reconditioned vintage British three speeds, Schwinn coaster brake and 3, 10, and 12 speed bicycles. As well as stocking parts for to make any needed repairs. They also have a collection of truly vintage bikes that can be repaired and ready to ride for the true collector.

Curtis understands that bicycles are meant to be ridden and not end up on display in a collection. This is exemplified by his daily ride, a vintage fixed gear bicycle; a restored 1886 Victor Penny Farthing complete with an 1872 wrench.  A bike that any other collector would never even consider riding on the streets of Philadelphia on a daily basis.

This approach carries over into his business; the bikes he sells are fully restored mechanically, rust free, and the original paint on the frame is in great shape. When Curtis tells you something about a bicycle you are considering buying, listen. Curtis is providing you with information that you never knew and is important to the process of finding the right bike for you. Similar to a chef explaining what ingredients are in your gourmet meal and why it tastes the way it does.

Curtis and his mechanics treat every customer with respect, a douche bag free zone when it comes to bicycle mechanics. They often provide maintenance tips to help you do things at home. Via Bicycles is my go to shop for repairs on all of my vintage bicycles.

2 comments:

  1. I've been a client of his since the 1980's when he had his 1st shop on Lombard St, just below Broad. I have a photo that a friend took, of the original famous Via Bicycle Window. Love this place and Curtis!

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  2. Curtis no's a lot about old and vintage and pre war bicycles. Have a question about a part or a bicycle see Curtis at via bicycle. He's a great guy talk to about bicycles. He has one the coolest bicycle shops around the area it's like stepping back in time when you walk in to his shop. He has a lot of cool bikes to buy and look at in his shop via has something new every time I walk into his shop. Bikes form vintage to prewar to 10 speeds and old racing bicycles. 1800s to now. Used bicycles. Great bicycle shop a must check out and see shop Great shop for bicycle repairs.

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