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Old 08-08-14, 10:27 PM   #1
johnson430
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1973 Volkscycle Mark 100 Made in West Germany Rare find All Original.

I bought this from a man who got it from his boss. He said his boss bought this bike new in Hurst, Texas at The Bike Rack (still has the sticker)
in 1973-74 for $390.
(2014 value: $2100)

Made in West Germany
***Kalkhoff frame (edit)
All original
Unmolested

Brooks saddle with truss rod adjustment
Full Dura-Ace brakes
Shimano quick release 'flared mag' (unique looking) hubs. I was told by the seller that this was Shimano's first year quick release hub.
Shimano Wheels
Thunder Bird FD
Eagle GTO RD
Strange crank/large sprocket. Missing teeth. I have never seen this before, See photo.

Anyone have any information on these bikes?
I have looked on the internet but have had no luck.

Please help to give me any additional information and an estimated value.

This appears to be a rare find with better than average components. With a hefty original price tag of almost $400 US in 1973-74.
As stated by the seller, this bike was bought new for what translates to around $2100. He also told me his boss is a seasoned cyclist with money to spend.
Thanks for any help,
Johnson =)
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Old 08-08-14, 10:33 PM   #2
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Beautiful bike in nearly mint condition! German-made bikes seldom come up in the States, so this is quite a find.
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Old 08-08-14, 11:04 PM   #3
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Thanks Norman. I guess that is why I can't get any info. I bought the bike to fix up and ride but I am wondering if I should sell it if it has some value. Do you think it has any value as is?
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Old 08-08-14, 11:08 PM   #4
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Moved to Appraisals from C & V.
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Old 08-08-14, 11:20 PM   #5
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Germany_chris might be able to help you out.
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Old 08-08-14, 11:21 PM   #6
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Low end entry level bike in poor condition. Not even !00 in current condition. As to mint condition, nope not no but hell no.
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Old 08-08-14, 11:57 PM   #7
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Low end entry level bike in poor condition. Not even !00 in current condition. As to mint condition, nope not no but hell no.
With an original price of $390 in 1973-4. How can you call this is an entry level? What is your reasoning? I can understand if it was a Japanese made but ts is West German made and has some unique components. Including a Brooks truss rod saddle. That doesn't sound low end. And it has been in a warehouse since the 1970's, hence the dirt. The brake pads show no wear. The tires look never ridden. I do not understand your assessment of value.
Please explain.
Thank you,
Johnson

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Old 08-09-14, 12:38 AM   #8
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...sorry to pee on your parade, but VolksCycle bikes show up from time to time here at the
bike co-op as donations, and while sort of interesting, I've never seen one that was anything
other than bike boom level stuff.

Yours is no exception, but thanks for the photos because I've never seen an early Dura Ace centerpull
brake before, which is kinda interesting if you follow the manufacturing history of bicycle cycles.

It would take a long time (longer than i have right now) to explain to you the difference between this
and a high end bike from the same time period. maybe someone else will take a shot.

And ridden much or not, it is not what most of us consider as "good condition", but it might clean up better.

What you need to understand is that the Shimano company, and the Japanese in general, started out
making stuff that was an imitation of the European stuff of the time, and they got better and better at it,
but this early in the scheme of things, their stuff was still pretty primitive.

Historically interesting is not the same as high end or worth a lot of money.

Good luck with it. Current value is not the same thing as "what it cost adjusted for inflation".

If it were, my Raleigh Sports would be worth well over a thousand bucks.
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Old 08-09-14, 12:40 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by johnson430 View Post
With an original price of $390 in 1973-4. How can you call this is an entry level? What is your reasoning? I can understand if it was a Japanese made but ts is West German made and has some unique components. Including a Brooks truss rod saddle. That doesn't sound low end. And it has been in a warehouse since the 1970's, hence the dirt. The brake pads show no wear. The tires look never ridden. I do not understand your assessment of value.
Please explain.
Thank you,
Johnson
It is what it is, a low-end bike from the waning bike-boom era of the early 1970's.
I bought one at Goodwill some years ago, I took the brakes off and saved them, then used the bike's BF (Belleri-Franco) stem on my Gitane TDF. I had to really go at the crude stem with file and sandpaper to correct the jagged casting, but that's what I bought the bike for. I used the wheels on a flipper I think, then put the frame in the trash with the remaining parts still on it.

These bikes were unusual to come with that first almost-Dura-Ace brakeset (really a re-badged Tourney brakeset?), but overall these were low end bikes that sold for perhaps $140 in the US, not $200, not $300 and certainly not $399.

I might be a great-riding bike to restore, but it has a pretty low market value, perhaps $80 to $100 as it sits. I've restored and ridden bikes of similar quality, and some of them are worth the trouble.

Here's the bike's stem on my Gitane TDF:
[IMG]DSCF0133 by dddd2002, on Flickr[/IMG]
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Old 08-09-14, 12:41 AM   #10
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...OTOH, it ought to make a fine, functional rider, which is what you bought it for originally.

Needs total overhaul, though, which will take probably 20 hours or so to do correctly.
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Old 08-09-14, 04:45 AM   #11
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I have to agree. I am not expert on German bikes sold during the /70s 'Bike Boom' but my cheap Royce union had Eagle and Thunderbird derailleurs. The QR wheels and Dura Ace calipers may make this a bit more upscale but it is still a basic lower tier bike.

So you paid $2100 for this? Or did the seller just look on ebay and find a bike with Dura Ace brakes selling for $2100 and decided his was just as good?

Personally if you paid over $50 I think you should get your money back.

Volkscycle sounds a lot like Volkswagon which was meant to be a cheap affordable mass produced car so everyone could own one.
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Old 08-09-14, 06:43 AM   #12
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1973 Volkscycle Mark 100 Made in West Germany Rare find All Original.

People have strange recollections of what they paid for things 40 years ago.

My 1974 Motobecane Le Champion with full Campagnolo components was $425. Unfathomable amount to pay for a bike at the time for most people. The Volkscycle was perhaps a $130-50 bike back then.
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Old 08-09-14, 08:54 AM   #13
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Big chain ring is right on with price. I worked in a shop back then, and its 130-150 is pretty close. If the OP friend paid 390 for that bike the shop saw him coming all the way from the turnip patch in Arkansas.
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Old 08-09-14, 10:15 AM   #14
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Thanks for your help everyone.I do not have much money in the bike and it was purchased as a cheap get-around. I just didn't see anything about Volkscycle, now I know why.
The bottom line, it is my size and I like it.
=)
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Old 08-09-14, 10:22 AM   #15
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Thanks for your help everyone.I do not have much money in the bike and it was purchased as a cheap get-around. I just didn't see anything about Volkscycle, now I know why.
The bottom line, it is my size and I like it.
=)
It's a nice piece of history well worth fixing up and riding. The value is meaningless as long as you like how it rides.
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Old 08-09-14, 11:21 AM   #16
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It's a nice piece of history well worth fixing up and riding. The value is meaningless as long as you like how it rides.
What I hoped to hear all along, that perhaps the bike is a good fit for the new owner, and that it's serviceability will hopefully justify any and all needed upgrades over time.

Some of these lower-end "gas pipe" bikes as they are called, turn out to be great in the long term, with owners bringing them to a more-evolved state at minimal cost.
They're particularly useful because they don't attract thieves, ...the way that higher-end bikes are thus limited in their overall utility.

Welcome to the "gas-pipe riders" club, and enjoy your unusual Volkscycle! The bike actually looks pretty good with the chromed "socks" at the front and rear of the frame, and it surely has potential whether you keep it entirely stock or indulge in some level of upgrades.
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Old 08-13-14, 06:57 PM   #17
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Weigh the bike on a good scale, that's the first clue.
6lb. Fame only****

Weighed at my LBS.
What does that tell you?

Thanks.
OP

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Old 08-13-14, 08:03 PM   #18
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6lb.

Weighed at my LBS.
What does that tell you?

Thanks.
OP
To me, a weight of 6 pounds for a Volkscycle suggests that the bike shop's scale was broken.

I have owned a couple of Volkscycles and found them to feel heavy (never weighed one though) and sporting features that were not indicative of what a Quality Vintage Road Bicycle looks like. I have weighed lots of bicycles and none have come even remotely close to a single digit figure. Even today's carbon fiber wonders miss that mark by lots.

I can't really add anything other than agree with the BF member who questioned the original price, which to me, seems like an awful lot for such a bicycle.
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Old 08-13-14, 08:58 PM   #19
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mods -

the forum now has a twenty post thread on this machine here at appraisals and OP has begun a new thread on it at C&V.

is it necessary to have two threads on one cycle? it would be less confusing for readers if the two threads could be combined.

'73 Kalkhoff Restoration Project
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Old 08-14-14, 08:07 AM   #20
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mods -

the forum now has a twenty post thread on this machine here at appraisals and OP has begun a new thread on it at C&V.

is it necessary to have two threads on one cycle? it would be less confusing for readers if the two threads could be combined.

'73 Kalkhoff Restoration Project
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Old 08-14-14, 03:05 PM   #21
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mods -

the forum now has a twenty post thread on this machine here at appraisals and OP has begun a new thread on it at C&V.

is it necessary to have two threads on one cycle? it would be less confusing for readers if the two threads could be combined.

'73 Kalkhoff Restoration Project
My post was originally in C&V but then was moved to here.
I started a restoration process and therefore a new thread as I do not think my restoration needs to be placed in A&I.
Who are you? The forum police. =P
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Old 08-14-14, 03:32 PM   #22
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Old 08-14-14, 03:44 PM   #23
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=)
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Old 08-14-14, 03:56 PM   #24
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...no really, if you find it to be a thing of beauty and value, I'm in.

Sounds like a lot of work you plan on doing, but enjoy it and then ride it with panache and joy.
It's ten times better than the first bike I had...and I that bicycle cycle.
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Old 08-14-14, 05:32 PM   #25
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...no really, if you find it to be a thing of beauty and value, I'm in.

Sounds like a lot of work you plan on doing, but enjoy it and then ride it with panache and joy.
It's ten times better than the first bike I had...and I that bicycle cycle.
FYI, most of the work is done. =)
I think it is a thing a beauty. Waiting on bearings to come in for the rebuild.
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