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Shop Recyles used bike parts

Central Point store owner Dale Griff buys, sells and trades to keep bicycles running longer

CENTRAL POINT ' The wheels are always spinning at Dale Griff's bicycle shop.

There may not be a bigger stash of used bicycle parts in the Rogue Valley than Griff's collection at his 49 S. Second St. store, aptly named Recycles.

People can drop off bikes or come pick up bikes, Griff says. Some need repairs and there are a lot of 10-speeds that aren't popular any more.

Griff carries new KHS mountain and road bikes from Rancho Dominguez, Calif., adult tricycles and recumbents made by Sun Bicycles of Miami, and Free Agent BMX bikes for kids.

But what sets Recycles apart is its buy-sell-trade, wheel-and-deal philosophy with his 200 or so weekly customers.

He estimates there are 70 parts to most cycles and when you break that down to different makes and manufacturing specs, you're talking a lot of nuts and bolts, not to mention chains and sprockets.

It's more sophisticated than a horse, but less sophisticated than a motorcycle or car, Griff says. We try to keep everything in its place, because people can mess up their bikes with the wrong parts.

Nonetheless, the 40-year-old Griff admits, the secondary market isn't what it once was.

We found we can't compete with Wal-Mart, where they sell bikes for &

36;50, Griff says. We can't repair them for that.

As a result, the free pile (estimated at more than a ton) has taken a life of its own outside the shop.

The homeless and veterans can have what they want that way, says Griff.

Then there are the backyard hobbyists, who turn life's metallic refuse into works of art.

They just pick out whatever they want, he says.

The bike shop location has housed a laundromat, built in the 1950s with recycled material from Camp White, a new-age gathering place and, most recently, Sutton's Custom Dolls prior to Griff's arrival in 1998.

When Griff was discharged from the U.S. Army in 1983, he enrolled in Rogue Community College's motorcycle technology program.

His affinity with motorcycles lasted eight years before his allegiance drifted to non-motorized cycles.

It was gross and dirty and I was fed up with it, Griff says. I was ready for something a little lighter and better for the environment.

He went to work assembling bicycles at Al's Bikes and Toys and eventually decided to go into business for himself.

I figured Central Point was the best place after doing a little market research, Griff says. There was no bicycle shop and it was a bedroom community for Medford with lots of kids.

The business is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and noon to — p.m. Saturdays.

Mondays are pretty flying for us, says Griff, who has one other employee. Lately, things have been picking up. But they did slow down during the forest fires, because a lot of people weren't exercising.

The most common need on any given morning is fixing flat tires, for which he recommends Slime Tire Sealant.

The shop sells about three new and used bikes a week. Buying used bikes for the shop can be a little tricky.

If one shows up on the police's stolen list, he can be out the price he paid.

Sometimes people won't report a stolen bike, Griff says, until they come in and see it here.

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Recycles' Dale Griff has just about any part you'd need for bicycle repair at his shop on Second Street in Central Point. Click the photo to see a larger (45k) version. Mail Tribune / Bob Pennell - Mail Tribune Bob Pennell