Dick Power Inquiry

Nov 29 2015


“Hey guys.
Over the weekend I was having a talk with LI frame builder Jamie Swan about Dick Power. He was saying he had one he sold a while back at a Philly bike swap to a messenger type. (Sold in a pair with a corky road, another long island frame builder) So I remembered you guys had a dick power somewhere in your group and thought to ask. It was a chrome 56 square with campy inch pinch brooks saddle the wheel set was tied and soldered. Those are the details I can recall. Basically he was just wondering how it was doing.”
-Tommy G

That’s me. I bought them. We still have it in the fold. Its sitting in a storage unit now. Everything is the same as when I bought it except the leather on the Swallow saddle cracked right in the middle. It got passed down one time to a younger messenger named Joel who rode it as a Sunday show off bike when I moved back to New York. Jamie asked that I keep the two bikes together. I could not do it. I got hit by a car and fractured a couple vertabrae and destroyed a disc and was out of work for a bunch of months shortly after buying the bikes.

The Corky was beautiful. A rare Nuovo Record bike in new condition. Out of desperation when out of work I sold it to Curtis at Via. He asked me a bunch of times if I was sure and said I was selling him the equivalent of a Big Wheel bike. I look back on it now with regret. It paid my rent for that month and kept me rolling through a hard time. To soften the blow Curtis gave me a t-shirt.

Maybe we can get some pictures of the Dick Power online around the Holidays.

But about the Swap it came from and bike collecting. I went to my first swap in 1997, but I heard that 1996 was way better.

I think that anyone who went to a Bike Swap you’re going to currently will tell you it was better the year before. There’s elements of truth to it of course. There are no old men with hundreds of Campagnolo dust covers, binder bolts, chainring hardware etc.organized in plastic boxes. There are no 70’s track bikes being sold for $200 complete. There aren’t Wool jerseys thrown in a box for $5 each. No one is showing you a Colnago blanket. But its all relative.

Danlord and Lew Blum were the first ones in Philly outside of Curtis, Dweedles and Via gang to get into the hunt for vintage track bikes and ephemera. Dan had a Paramount first, then Lew, then Speed, then me. That’s how many were floating around. Many old timers were parting with their artifacts on the cheap and 70’s era Pista stuff was available. Obviously other cities had their own collectors. Notably in SF Josh L was a leader in the trade and advanced in comparison. Dan got a picture perfect Frejus with cottered cranks at some point here and I think the chase for classic steel was on.

(I’m going to post some stuff from Old School Track later that gets into a lot of track roots.)

The Trexlertown Swap was a standard on the East Coast. I believe that Curtis set up this one in Philly in 1999, behind the Art Museum which was mainly a place for Drum Circles in the Summer and not much else. Its nice there now. There weren’t many sellers, but the ones that were there had high quality stuff.

After I started working at Time Cycle I had some money to buy and got the Corky and Dick Power for $400.

I’ve never been a real bike collector. A lot of stuff that I like is way outside the borders of Nuovo Record road and track bikes. I like gaudy Italian mountain bikes, old track, 80’s Italian Steel and new road bikes. Most of these things are not classic collector area. I’ve never been to an auction or any of these real fiend events.

By the early 00’s I was buying 10 speed parts for my Pinarello Paris frame instead of track bike parts. I thought I’d lost the interest in old things for a while. I said it before I like riding bikes more than looking at them.

I can obviously appreciate the NR era, and I’d like to have a good bike like that that fit, but I’m more into off brand early 80’s Italian steel with to much pantographing and logos everywhere.

There was a resurgence in all of this after 2005. A lot of younger people got into the history of things way more than I ever would/or will. Landlord Gary Knight started with 80’s Italian Steel in the early 00’s and then went even further back enjoying the earlier era’s of Nervex and Reynolds. A lot of early Landlords posts were a reflection of this time.

A lot of people from that second messenger-inspired wave of interest are gone now-except for the die hards. They’re at the stage where they’ve seen it all and nothing is new. If they were really interested they will return in a year or two.

This isn’t a collector blog. It isn’t a bike messenger blog. It’s not a road bike blog or a track bike blog or whatever you want to call it. Its just Landlords.