Classic & Vintage - How High to Go
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..if at all.
(only adding because I love the curved frame)
I've been searching for a mixte for months and months. Ideally I want orange or yellow but I figure I can just get it painted if I find a decent bike at a decent price. These are all local so I can pick up w/o extra charges.
What should I ask about it and any thoughts about how high to bid on the ebay bikes, if at all.
To me, the Nishiki is the most interesting. None of the postings detail frame material, which is troubling to me.
If you can go and inspect them, you might be able to get one really cheap (like the Univega). It may be a low end bike, but if you can get it for around $50, it would be a really good buy. Sometimes ebay bikes can be had cheap, particularly if the seller has a high shipping charge (and you can pick up the bike). Thats the case with the Univega, so that would be my target.
08-13-09, 10:12 PM
Hard to tell from the photo, but the univega is the best of the bunch. Looks like one piece forged crankarm and spider (unlike any of the others) and potentially has forged drop-outs which means it is potentially chromoly. That would be my first choice... the second auction would be my second choice.
08-13-09, 10:16 PM
The Record is a boat. The Astra looks nice, but... the first two are the best. I think the frame on the Univega might be the best of them, but the components on the Nishiki are the cream of this crop hands down.
08-13-09, 10:43 PM
I would not go more than $50--without shipping--on either eBay bike without seeing it in person. The Nishiki is well described but he conveniently leaves out what kind of wheels it has, and 'Toshiba steel' is just an advertising term. The Univega's seller can't be bothered to describe the bike or change the tubes--it may be a gem or have been sitting in the garden for ten years. Even if they are in great shape neither is more than a $100-125 bike.
The Motobecane is kind of cool looking, a bit expensive and might be a pain to maintain, but if you like it you are unlikely to see another!
The Raleigh seems fairly described, as the seller acknowledges some rust (if it's only where he says), the price is reasonable and obviously you can see it in person. And it's orange already.
Functionally I doubt there's much difference between the four bikes (other than the style of handlebar/seat and the Moto's 'loop' styling). All are from late 70s-mid 80s, all likely have hi-tensile or 'mild' steel frames and chromed steel rims, average components, stem shifters, probably bolt on derailer hangers, all bikes likely from the bottom of their makers' lines. (But, if in good condition, all perfectly rideable bikes with that 'mixte' flair.)
If it were possible for you to check each out in person that would be ideal. As you're looking for yellow or orange, I'd suggest looking at the Raleigh first. A decent paint job would cost more than the $60 this bike would cost. If it suits you and the Motobecane's swoopy lines haven't seduced you, buy it, set it up the way you want, and forget about the other two.
08-13-09, 11:13 PM
How about this?
08-13-09, 11:18 PM
These three are roughly equivalent, with the Miyata on top, Nishiki in the middle, and Raleigh on the bottom. But the Raleigh is less expensive than what I predict the selling prices will be on the other two. It's a Grand Prix. I happen to have scored one of those just this week. Private-message me if you are interested.
Thanks for all the great feedback. I'm kid and husband free tomorrow so I think I'll try and do some bike visits. Afa painting, I have a resource for $40 frame painting through a bike organization I work with. However, mixte's might run a little higher, I don't know.
08-14-09, 11:49 AM
I am sure wrk, cycle and zorro are right about the potential merits of the two Japanese bikes. If you can really look at them all or most, great. Let us know how it goes!
Nishiki - hands down! Great condition, white (most underrated bike-colour), (half-)chrome fork & Arabesque-components, come on, you know you want that one :love:!
08-17-09, 11:24 AM
The Nishiki is over $200 with 8 hours left to run on the auction. So clearly 'the market' agrees on its merits. It is awfully pretty. It almost certainly has a mild steel frame and fork and steel rims though, as the seller was clearly looking to advertise every angle he could. Univega has a couple of days to go and it's much less flatteringly displayed.
08-17-09, 12:16 PM
I got my daughter a Raleigh Gran Prix mixte, and ultimately she was unhappy with it. Too heavy. She ended up with a smaller boys frame, a Competition, and loves it. She uses a small boys Record, upgraded with Alloy cranks and wheels, as her beater bike.
Whatever you choose, make sure you have aluminum cranks and wheels. Don't settle for a tank.
08-17-09, 02:24 PM
Well, the Moto is gone, the Raleigh is heavy, the Nishiki is pricey - that leaves the Univega. If you can look it over, great. Assuming you like it, put in a bid in the last 5 seconds of the auction. Sniping programs are the way to go, IMO. Don't forget to factor in fix-up costs. By the same token, paying an extra $20 to win the bike and minimize your potential future search time might be well worth it. Good luck.
08-18-09, 01:59 PM
The Raleigh is now listed on eBay--by the same seller who sold the Nishiki, yankeepeddaller. Did he already own it? Who knows? More interestingly, he has now listed a Swiss made mixte, a Coronado, which has not only the Shimano 600 group but a Columbus frame, downtube shifters, and generally looks to be quite upscale for a mixte. Pretty white color too. If the Nishiki went for $200+ will this be more or will the unknown name drag it down?
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