When a shop has been around since 1978, it’s likely that there are a number of relics that have managed to dodge the ebb and flow of supply and demand. Either that or they were buried in other merchandise over the years and never managed to make it off the shelf. Whatever the reason, we occasionally find treasures hidden in the guts of the Freewheel that might be more than a dusty shoe box (what’s inside?!) or a decapitated manikin.
Look Carbon Cleats. Neon Green, Serie Limitee.
Middle-aged mutant ninja pedals
Confucian philosophy says that everything moves in circles. Neon green has niche appeal again, and the discovery of these pedals might be a harbinger for the hue’s launch back into the mainstream. These bad boys herald back to the days of Greg Lemond, back when Sammy Hagar was still relatively competent and Glen Plake’s mile-high mowhawk was helping to popularize the neon green craze. Carbon was of the utmost novelty back in the day, but the production techniques were nascent at best and made for pedals that probably weigh more than a pair of alloy platforms from last year. If you didn’t gather from the French in the sub-title, they’re limited edition pedals #7,886 out of 9,600. After they were exhumed from the depths of the basement, we marvelled briefly, shrugged and put them back.
Look Cobra Water Bottle
Cobra! Hiss Hiss
Naming a water bottle after one of the world’s most venomous families of snake almost makes sense when you remember that cobras are known to hiss and spit at predators or prey. Otherwise it seems like an ill-advised marketing campaign. This De Stijl-equipped water bottle pre-dates the discovery that bisphenol-A (BPA) was capable of offering the user convenient water storage with a side of cancer. Either of these attributes might explain why it’s still here. More likely is that it was part of a promotional Piet Mondrian-themed Look kit.
Velox Tire Sewing kit
Made with bits of real frenchman, so you know it's good
Anyone who needs to sew up their tires nowadays is either commendably frugal or has a certain avidity for doing something the hard way because its old school. In any case Velox punched out these little life savers back in the day in an effort to turn a profit. It comes with a thimble! Its price tag at a menial 60 cents combined with the fact that is was made in France testifies to its creation in an era when France was still manufacturing things aside from $5,000 bike frames and the dollar was actually worth something. Yeah, old.
SFBC Bike Map 1972
Pre-dates the discovery of the wiggle
Perhaps one of the more interesting pieces we’ve come across was a 1972 version of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition’s bike map. We found it buried in the crusty depths of a customer’s panniers that had been entombed in a shed for decades… we’re guessing about four of them. In those days, according to the map, you could license your bike at City Hall for 50 cents and park your bike for 25 cents at the Civic Center Garage. The 1972 SFBC suggests a case-hardened chain and padlock for security purposes, advises that a 10-speed bike is adequate to tackle the local topography (as in 2 up front 5 in the back, whereas Campagnolo and Shimano are now pushing the limits of creativity with the advent of the 11-speed rear cassette), and urges cyclists to watch for doors…no need to join Jim Morrison. Since those days, the SFBC’s membership fees have increased 3,500% percent.