Classic and Vintage Bicycles: What's it Worth? Appraisals and Inquiries - Blue chromoly lugged/butted 19" KHS Express Mixte
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09-13-12, 12:56 PM
Hi. I am new at this. I want to buy a bike that I can tune up and customize. I have been volunteering at a nearby co-op to learn basic bike servicing and I want a bike of my own at this point to get my hands dirty with.
I am supposed to meet this seller today to buy the KHS Express listed in the ad below. Is this a decent deal? I have searched google images, forums, etc to see any restored versions of this bike and just haven't seen that many. My novice impression is that KHS is a good brand nowadays- I have no idea about this older bike though.
***this is the ad:
Blue chromoly lugged/butted 19" KHS Express Mixte(fits 5'1"-5'7"), Suntour Seven with ratcheting stem shift, original KHS spring saddle, ******** rear rack with spring, 2 brand new gumwall 27 x 1 1/4" tires with steel alloy wheels(q/r front), cleaned, lubed, tuned and ready to ride now for $225! My cell is XXX-XXX-XXXX, no texts, or reply to ad with rider's height to check fit and the best time available or deleted as spam.
Both are kind of pricey. Suntour 7 is the bottom of their line, works fine, but heavy and clunky. Carbolite 103 is bottom of the Peugeot line.
Like most the Asian brands, KHS made a full product line, from bottom end to top end and everything in between. Don't search for a particular model, instead focus on the construction: steel wheels, Suntour 7 derailleur, steel seat post, etc. = pretty basic.
Steel wheels are a big negative.
I would pass, hold out for something with alloy (aluminum not steel) wheels.
Want to get your hands dirty? With access to a co-op to boot? Use your budget to buy a nicer bike, but one that would benefit from some TLC. Then you get your hands dirty, building instant equity.
I only buy bikes that are a project. For that, I obtain a hefty discount. Then I have fun restoring/rehabbing the bike. I do try to always get a bike with nice frame paint, as fixing bad paint right is pretty expensive.
09-13-12, 01:52 PM
Thanks. I took your advice.
What would you recommend keeping an eye out for? At a price range of about $200 (because I need to save some cash for tubes, tires, etc that I would replace). I live in a place where I have to walk up a flight of stairs to get home, and it is not safe to leave bikes locked up overnight. For that reason, definitely something less clunky would be great so I can toss it over my shoulder.
09-13-12, 01:54 PM
A friend of mine forwarded me this website:
The restorations look really clean. I'd love to work up to the skill to pick up a bike someone is getting rid of and turn it into something like that to ride for myself!
That guy is a marketing genius for sure. 7 speed porteur? No, its a bottom of the line mtb, stripped of most of its parts, with a change in handlebars, well presented for sure. In general, he is taking low end bikes, spiffing them up, and charging high prices. So if that is what you want to do, good news: bikes like he is showing are cheap, moustache bars can be found at Nashbar for $14, easy project for you.
I've got that same model MTB in my garage, bought it as a donor bike at a garage sale. But maybe I will go the porteur route instead, I have several sets of the Nashbar bars.
I would not call any of the bikes restorations. Look at that Trek. OK, guy removes two out of the three chainrings, removes the front derailleur, removes the twist shifters, removes the original bars and brake levers, tosses original saddle, removes the original mtb stem, replaces a bunch of parts with road bike parts.
Those are creative repurposing of basic bikes (nothing wrong with that), to make a nice profit (nothing wrong with that either). None of the bikes on his first page are light, as far as carrying them up several flights of stairs.
Look for a project: garage sale or word of mouth. Learn to spot the difference between a diamond in the rough, and just rough. Visit Randy's mytenspeeds web site or similar. Get educated first, then shop.
With a good co-op, you are already at the skill level needed to make bikes similar to the ones on that website. And they may have parts and frames available to you at a very attractive price, start your bike search there. In many areas, people with lots of bikes will donate extra parts and frames to their co-op, to get them back on the road. I do that all the time, and the truck is full again, with more to donate. Your skills + the skills of the volunteers at most co-ops = fine to take on a project.
Forget spending $200, think about spending $25, maybe $50 instead, on a "project" and make yourself the bike you want from there. Expect to spend some additional money of course getting good consumables, tires for example, and maybe a few tools along the way.
And put your location in your PROFILE, and their could be a forum member in your area that could help you get started!!
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