Not only can you eat some tasty grub, find some great handmade and vintage goods at the Hester Street Fair, you can also buy a great looking refurbished bicycle. Most Saturdays this summer, you’ll find Carlos, “The Bike Doctor,” in the front corner on your right when you enter the fair off Essex Street. He’s always got some new models to check out, but mostly what he brings to this fair are vintage road bikes and 3-speed cruisers. “That’s what sells down here these days,” he told me when I visited him last weekend.
Carlos has been buying used bikes and fixing them up for re-sale for almost twenty years. He noticed an opportunity when he first moved to the Lower East Side and discovered all kinds of bikes, and bicyclists, in the neighborhood. “I could barely fix a flat back then,” he said, “but I started working on the bikes and slowly grew my business through the years.”
Carlos used to take flyers to local restaurants to see if the delivery men needed loaners when their bikes were in the shop. Now he travels the state, buying used bikes at police auctions and from people who are going to sell them for scrap metal.
He says he only buys high quality bikes with ‘skinny’ wheels. “Those department store bikes people buy don’t last more than a few weeks before they start having problems,” he said, “these will last you forever.” His bikes are priced, on average, from $150 – $175.
Carlos has never had a brick and mortar shop. He moved out of the LES a few years ago and has three large storage units where he keeps his bikes and repairs them. He has been succescfully using Craig’s List to sell most of his bikes and you can also find his bicycles at the Mary Help Us Church Flea Market (at the corner of 11st. & Ave. A) every Saturday & Sunday from 8:00am.- 6:00pm.
He sells his bikes at the Hester Street Fair every Saturday from 10am. – 5pm. To find out if he has the bike of your dreams on hand, call him at: 917-238-8031.
To find him on Craig’s List, copy and paste his cell number in the search bar (in the For Sale section, under BIKES) for all his listings.