Peter D’Addeo and Ari Sneider have spent the last couple of years tinkering away in various garages in Brooklyn, fixing up mopeds and taking them for a ride. After getting sidelined from their last spot in Greenpoint, they decided it was time they had a moped shop to call their own. Enter Second Stroke Mopeds on Broadway.
Second Stroke‘s homely wood-paneled showroom, currently decorated with bike-flavored artworks by Pat Perry, features mopeds that the guys have lovingly built, restored, and repaired using 1970s- and ’80s-era parts. "It’s a big hobbyist thing to search for the parts — they’re not always readily accessible," said D’Addeo, who bought his first moped about five years ago after a family trip to Italy, where he was impressed by the ubiquity of two-wheeled transport.
In addition to vintage mopeds, which are created in the spacious workshop behind the front showroom, Second Stroke also sells brand-new mopeds and scooters from the popular European manufacturer Tomos, one of the few makers that ships to the United States.
"The trend with mopeds has been to rebuild old bikes, but we wanted to bring the new bike option to the city, and we think people are ready for it," said D’Addeo, who claims that Second Stroke is the first Tomos dealership in New York City in about 20 years. "We’re the first in a long time to have these bikes available locally," he said.
The mopeds are 50cc, local-traffic-only bikes powered by lawnmower-type carburetors, and they can reach 30 miles per hour. A regular driver’s license is all you need to ride them. Vintage mopeds are in the "grand range," while the new Tomos mopeds sell for around $1,300 to $1,600.
There’s also the Tomos scooter, a 150cc motorcycle (requiring a motorcycle license) that can reach speeds of up to 80 miles per hour. It’s priced at $1,800 — a bargain when you consider that it’s equivalent to a Vespa, which sells for around $3,000.
The new Tomos bikes are "cooled out" in the workshop to give them more character (add vintage headlights; ditch the bright stickers), so they still have the Second Stroke touch — "they’re a bit tacky when they come straight out of the box," said D’Addeo.
A handful of bikes are for sale at any one time; when one is sold, another is created.
There are obvious benefits to having a moped: It can free you from the schlep of cycling, the frustrations of public transport, and the cost of taking a car. Plus, these vehicles make getting from A to B slightly thrilling — and could get you over the Williamsburg Bridge in as little as 4 minutes, we’re told.
"It’s fun to go fast, it’s easier because you don’t have to pedal so much, and you don’t have to be a sweaty mess when you arrive," said Sneider. "You’re going with traffic; you’re doing what the cars are doing — so it’s safer than being in a bike lane," where there’s the threat of getting doored. And there are no parking hassles; you can slot a moped into a bicycle rack.
Sneider and D’Addeo are clearly not just about selling their product; they want to spread their passion for the two-wheeled machines and build up the moped community in Bushwick. "It’s not like you just buy a bike, you leave, and we never see you again: We want people to come back," said Sneider. Moped enthusiasts can hang out on Second Stroke’s comfy couches, share repair tips, and participate in monthly gatherings and weekly group rides.
You may have to pay for your wheels, but moped-loving pals come at no extra cost.