Spotted old Chinese omafiets in a Seattle antique store on Saturday. They were restored, polished, and on sale for $500.00 – $650.00. I paused at that price for a moment, but then got lost in all the rich history these bikes must have.

Hand brake

To arrive here, in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood, after 1/2 a century in China, was quite a journey. The owner was very proud of them and showed me the details of each. Like a phone cord connected to the light dyno or the peculiar patina of another.


Not shown is one that had a rebar rear-end. You’d never find parts for these and maybe just ride them a few times around the block. Then set them in a corner of up on a wall. If interested, buy these for the art and history. Make the owner an offer with cash and find these bikes at David Smith and Co. Antiques.

Phoenix badge

I mentioned this antique bikes to Henry from WorkCycles and he replied with a post he wrote in 09 and a gallery of old bikes in Amsterdam with patina.

All of the bikes in my photos have rust, but it’s mostly the dark brown (sometimes beautiful) patina of quality steel; It forms an oxide layer after the original paint or chrome has been worn off and then doesn’t corrode further. This is partially because the steel has few internal impurities so it doesn’t rust from within.

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