DRF aka Thrifty Bill
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: The NC Mountains
Bikes: 86 Katakura Silk, 87 Prologue, 87 Cimarron, 14 frame school custom, 73 Paramount
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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!!
Last edited by wrk101; 09-13-12 at 01:51 PM.