Classic and Vintage Bicycles: What's it Worth? Appraisals and Inquiries - 1986 Schwinn Prelude - with pics
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12-04-10, 02:12 PM
I picked up a 1986 Schwinn Prelude last night near Chicago. I found it on CL. The owner was selling a Super Le Tour on CL and when I called he mentioned he had a Prelude same size for sale as well.
I stopped by last night to check it out and ended up grabbing the Prelude for 200.00. I thought it was a pretty good find. It's all original (minus the saddle) and really clean. Wheels need truing or possibly a few new spokes, but shifting was really smooth. There are little scratches here and there, but no cracks or any signs of serious damage. The owner mentioned that these were barely ridden.
I saw a couple posts out there about people really liking their Preludes and saw a range from 150-250..I offered him 175 and he didn't like that, he was originally asking 225...so we met in the middle at 200.
Any one still riding their Preludes out there? Any comments on the Weinmann aluminum wheels? Anyone move to 700c wheels? I only ask because i'm on the heavy side and want something a little more robust. I'll go through the Clyde and Athena page some more, but I'm basically seeing velocity deep v and mavics with a higher spoke count and ultegra hubs. Just curious if anyone has run into any issues and want to comment on what to look out for.
Thanks and ride safe!
12-04-10, 10:25 PM
Looks like it's in really nice shape. You did well for $200. In the spring, that would fetch $350 or more.
12-05-10, 05:22 AM
WHAT KIND OF BIKE IS THIS?
I think the $225 to $250 price is closer to the mark for a 1986 Prelude, for pristine, fully serviced, and ready to ride. I have bought and sold several Preludes in the last two years, including a couple 1986 models. The 27 inch wheel size, along with the high ten steel fork and stays, hold the value down a bit. Making the wheel swap is all about having 4mm of adjustment left in the brake calipers. Usually you will have that much left. If not, you will need to buy new, longer reach calipers.
Personally, I would ride it a bit with the existing stuff before pouring money into it. Now if it has broken/missing spokes, I would get those replaced and the wheel tension properly checked before riding it. I don't see any missing spoked in your pictures. A shop can true those wheels pretty cheaply for you. Weinmann is fine. Check with the Clyde crowd.
I would definitely do the basic maintenance, bearings and grease on headset, bottom bracket, and both wheels. Bike is almost 25 years old. The grease will be toast, unless the seller just refurbished the bike. Grease ages whether the bike has been ridden or not.
Good solid bike, should last for many more decades.
12-05-10, 12:02 PM
Nice find, looks good..:thumb:
I also found an 86 Prelude for $50, not in too bad a shape a couple days ago. Got a bent rear wheel. For the time being I took some 700c wheels I had laying around took them and the 86 Prelude to the LBS, told them to put on the wheels adjust the brakes and see what we got. So far I got just the original $50 invested in mine. If she turns up good, might opt for some new inexpensive new wheels and bar tape..
12-08-10, 10:49 PM
I have a Prelude that I ride all the time, and I think it's an '86 as well even though it's a different color than yours. the fork is hi-ten but according to the '86 catalogue the stays are chro-mo and of course main tubes columbus. It's plenty lightweight for me. I love the bike and the stock saddle is crap, so you're not missing out there. I got mine for $50 but it was in terrible shape (missing RD, wheels all junky, missing dust caps, real dirty). I don't remember what I did with the wheels, but it's got 700s on there now and the brakes reach just fine. I also got some aero brake levers for it, but I used those dia compe levers for a long time before that.
$200 seems like a good price for it if it's in great shape. If I were selling it I would have priced it north of $200 but I would have trued the wheels first.
This thread made me laugh. Imagine if this thread was acted out in real life, with real interactions, except instead of bikes the OP is showing us pictures of his new pet dog. We are all standing around and the OP is telling about the pup, people are commenting on how nice of a dog it is, everything is dandy. Out of nowhere, some lunatic (joyjumperr) comes in screaming, asking us what kind of dog his is. The picture that he shows us is of a dead opossum.
Good analogy, at first I thought your post was going to be like a dead possum too but you saved it in the end.
The OP's Prelude looks to be a 25" frame, which some people would say is a deduct. Selling a larger frame definitely takes more time but in the end should bring the same money as smaller bikes. I did sell a '85 last year for $200 and 2 days later it turned up on CL for $300. I don't know what he got, but I think $250 is about the max for these bikes.
12-09-10, 09:13 PM
Points to degan for using the original spelling for opossum. I haven't seen it in print in years.
There is a pink '87 Prelude on the Detroit area CL for $75.
03-11-11, 08:11 PM
Thanks for the comments all. I've yet to learn my forum etiquette since this is now 4 months old! But did want to express my thanks.
I added some upgrades since I've purchased the bike. I went with Velocity Chukkers, 48h Phil woods, and my gf bought me a brooks saddle! Aside for some minor adjustments from the LBS, this thing is pretty sweet. Downtube shifting is a new thing for me. It's sort of difficult if I'm not already in the drops, but I'm getting better at it!
Safe and happy riding to you all!
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