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Classic and Vintage Bicycles: What's it Worth? Appraisals and Inquiries Use this subforum for all requests as to "How much is this vintage bike worth?"Do NOT try to sell it in here, use the Marketplaces.

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Old 03-30-10, 04:18 PM   #1
jingyel
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1978ish MOTOBECANE 10 speed $100---is this a good deal?

Hi all,

I am relatively new for cycling. I found the following ad from Craigslist:

http://newhaven.craigslist.org/bik/1650811911.html

I called the seller this morning, and he told me the tires are flat and the chain is rusty. I can do some simple job myself like changing the tube and chain etc. So, do you think if this is a good deal?

Thansk,

Jing
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Old 03-30-10, 04:36 PM   #2
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I don't think I could resist going by just to see what the free bikes were. Not a bad price. Let us know what else you take home...
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Old 03-30-10, 04:38 PM   #3
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For one, I would not trust that seller.

this (in bold):
Quote:
This is a classic touring bike. It needs a bit of work but could be worth much more. I am willing to throw in a couple of other bikes if you want. . I used in the late 70s and early 80s for long bike tours. Come take a look.....I paid much more for this bike than I'm asking (even in 1978 it was over 600.) Check out the brand on the net....it was//is a high end bicycle. 23" frame Motobecane Mirage
is a plain blatant lie. The Mirage was an entry level sports bike with a heavy high tensile steel frame and probably cost around $150 in 1978

$100 (including a couple of bikes thrown in) sounds like a good deal. You would need at least $35 for new tires and tubes and about $10 for the chain (and you would need a chain tool $5-10 to take care of that). The only problem I see is that it is a French bike with non-standard replacement parts, and if the seller lies so openly, you never know what else you might need to replace and it would be expensive and hard to find. And it's a 30+ lbs bike.
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Old 03-30-10, 04:40 PM   #4
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1978ish MOTOBECANE 10 speed - $100 (Seymour)

Date: 2010-03-18, 11:41PM EDT
Reply to: sale-xccaf-1650811911@craigslist.org [Errors when replying to ads?]



This is a classic touring bike. It needs a bit of work but could be worth much more. I am willing to throw in a couple of other bikes if you want. . I used in the late 70s and early 80s for long bike tours. Come take a look.....I paid much more for this bike than I'm asking (even in 1978 it was over 600.) Check out the brand on the net....it was//is a high end bicycle. 23" frame Motobecane Mirage Made in France;
  • Location: Seymour
  • it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
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Old 03-30-10, 05:36 PM   #5
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I did asked about the other two bikes, and he told me that one is a womans bike and the other is an around town type of bike...neither was too expensive maybe a hundred each....
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Old 03-30-10, 05:46 PM   #6
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+1 Seller is misrepresenting it as a minimum, or worse.
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Old 03-30-10, 06:00 PM   #7
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So the extra bikes aren't free? Boo!
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Old 03-30-10, 06:05 PM   #8
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I see the price is down to $85
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Old 03-30-10, 06:09 PM   #9
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It sounds like the extra bikes are free. So, if down to $85 do you think it is a good deal?
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Old 03-30-10, 06:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jingyel View Post
It sounds like the extra bikes are free. So, if down to $85 do you think it is a good deal?
Yes, even though I do not care for how it is being represented, it is a good deal at $85. Do you have tools/access to parts/interest in a project? French bikes have their challenges. Paying someone to do the work will turn a pretty good deal into a bad deal.

Note: I am assuming it has alloy wheels. If it has steel wheels, I would pass, even at $85.
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Old 03-30-10, 06:41 PM   #11
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[QUOTE=wrk101;10600347
Note: I am assuming it has alloy wheels. If it has steel wheels, I would pass, even at $85.[/QUOTE]

I suspect that '78 Mirages had steel wheels...
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Old 03-30-10, 07:06 PM   #12
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Steel wheels = pass on it in my book.
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Old 03-31-10, 07:01 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
Steel wheels = pass on it in my book.
+1 ... but make sure it's a Mirage and not a "Super" Mirage. (They looked about the same.)
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Old 03-31-10, 07:32 AM   #14
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I'd personally pass and wait for something else. If $100 is your absolute limit, maybe. I'd still wait - my .02.
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Old 04-09-10, 02:21 PM   #15
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(reviving a dead thread 'cause I now have a tall Mirage & a mixte Mirage...same setup on each at least...that i will be selling)....

those steel wheels with dimpled sidewalls are probably on par in weight with similar vintage/quality aluminum wheels...or at least, that's what I've found when i've compared the two on a few semi-junker wheel sets I have. I figure the steel is stronger and maybe even better for an urban 'beater'/commuter type use...but there's nothing 'high end' about the bike imho.

That said, would $60 sound like a fair price for a Mirage that is functional?...ie, good bearing movement and/or repacked bearings (nice thing about these -French or not - is that unless abused they can be rebuilt infinitely) and functional cables/brakes/shifters, OK (maybe new, maybe not) chain & OK tires (probably not new, but sufficient for utilitarian purposes). I'd rather not get into some sort of pseudo restoration on them, but I figured they're straight-forward enough that a with a few hours cleaning & tuning, they could make someone a very affordable tank of a bike & pay for some consumables for my own projects. I see these bikes being "pimped" for $150 or more (sometimes stripped & touted as a single speed), but I'd rather just go over the important parts to make sure they're OK and sell them rather inexpensively.

And, another question...for a bike like this....does having the original components have a great bearing on the value in this range? I originally was interested in the bikes for a few parts (which may be what I do with them anyway & just sell the semi-bare frames very cheap...and, actually it was the parts on the 3rd bike they came with that I was really interested in), and I could imagine keeping the Suntour RD and trading it out for a generic, ugly modern RD that works fine.....the Suntour may be ideal for a more interesting project that comes along, but I doubt I'll ever want to use a "Shimano SIS" RD on anything other than as a tensioner on an Xtracycle or something....
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Old 04-09-10, 03:15 PM   #16
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$50 dollar bikes sell here all day. If you want $60 ask $75. At that price, their main concern would be if it shifted and braked proper. It's not to often that you don't get a counter offer. Works for both parties if they do.
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Old 04-09-10, 04:17 PM   #17
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The downside of steel wheels is not limited to rust. They stop very poorly, rust, and are heavy. But at $50 to $60, bikes with steel wheels sell just fine around here. In pristine, ready to ride condition, steel wheel vintage bikes bring about $100 here. And on bottom end bikes, original parts have no impact on value IMHO. In fact, some of the original parts used back then were crap, so replacements would improve value. Anyone who has had a plastic Simplex RD crater on them would appreciate a decent replacement.

You are at the basic recreational bike level. So overall appearance and being in ready to ride condition will be what sets the market. Original paint and decals are important, as that is part of the "look" many buyers are seeking.

The time, cost and hassle of fixing up a bike that might sell for $100 is just as much as a $250 bike, so I would aim higher myself. Sometimes even if you get the bike for free, by the time it is road worthy, the investment is at or over market value. Sometimes on the bottom end stuff, I just go ahead and donate it to my favorite charity.

But if you picked them up to strip off some needed parts, that can make them a good deal. I routinely pick up donor bikes. The last one I bought just for the grips and matching seat (it was $2.75). I will put something else on it and donate it.

Last edited by wrk101; 04-09-10 at 04:23 PM.
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Old 04-09-10, 08:31 PM   #18
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right on. I have to say that the dimpled steel rims don't seem to be much worse for braking than the typical smooth cheap Al rim.

Neither the 100 or 250 option are really "worth my time" truly speaking, but rescuing mechanically distressed bikes (and cars) is something I enjoy, so if i can put the MBs back in running shape with spares from my workshop (and all the new cables they came with), that's cool with me. If there's a snag, i'll sell them in parts and probably have even more spares than i planned for other projects.
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