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Faber's Cyclery Is Closed (1921-2007)

By Brad Quartuccio

Legends only become so once they are gone. Faber’s Cyclery sat on the corner of 1st and Market St in downtown San Jose, CA and is now only a thing of memory to the generations of cyclists that have been through.

The building was condemned for a long time—during a spring ’07 visit the building visibly leaned, the stairs were treacherous. And most everything was out in the yard, maybe a precursor to the inevitable. But the bikes still inside and those out were remarkable, and told more than words about the 80+ year history within the same walls. In the beginning it was a saloon, blacksmith shop and brothel. Soon after a bike shop that sold countless Schwinn’s to NorCal cycling legends of their own right. Faber’s is cited as a source for many of parts of the 70’s mountain bike pioneers, and up until its recent closing housed a veritable museum of the American bicycle experience. The most obvious example of the heritage was the outdoor bicycle graveyard and tons of steel waiting for another run. Inside the shop was a beautiful mess – amongst the piles of components sat a kids bike from the 20’s, a Penny Farthing from when they were still in service, and a bike supposedly from the asylum assembled completely from plumbing pipes and scavenged parts. Few know what was really hidden inside those walls. When I ventured in the garage out back, there was a row of perfect condition, spit shined NOS cruisers from the hey-day of fenders and chrome. I’d never seen one in such condition, and here was a half dozen – with unopened boxes behind. Gone into private collections, individual’s hands and surely some to scrap. Another legend born.