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Classic and Vintage Bicycles: Whats 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 04-28-12, 07:42 PM   #1
TNDave
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Sterling Superlight-SIS - got it for $10, worth anything?

Picked up a Sterling Superlight-SIS at a garage sale today for $10. It is Tange 1000 Cr-Mo frame, Shimano Light Action stem shifters and derauilers, Diamcompe sidepull brakes, Sachs-Huret front wheel odometer, Sakae SX crank, Sakea Champion Handlebar, Araya alloy wheels. It is in really good shape, but I can't anything online with serial numbers to find out it's age - to me I think it is early 90's but I can't tell for sure.

How did I do? For $10 I didn't think I could go wrong. It is a bit too small for me so I will probably clean it up and flip it to feed the monster. Is it worth anything cleaned up (cleaned with all hubs and bb repacked, etc)?

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Old 04-28-12, 09:10 PM   #2
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That wasn't as a bad as I thought it would be. You could probably sell for $100 or so. The brand name isn't going to help your resell any though.
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Old 04-29-12, 05:35 AM   #3
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$10 for this? I am not sure if it qualifies as the deal of the century but if it fits you did pretty good. These Sterlings were actually a sister line to Univega. Univega used the sterling label on their kids bikes but also made some decent adult bike. This bike may have sold for say $50 less than the a comparble Univega.

I am just worried about fit since the seat looks really low. Looks like with a good tune up and some wrap on the handlebars you'll have a great rider.

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Others but still loved,; '80 RIGI, '80 Batavus Professional, '87 Cornelo, '09 Motobecane SOLD, '?? Jane Doe (still on the drawing board), '90ish Haro Escape
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Old 04-29-12, 06:41 AM   #4
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All the Sterlings I have seen were bottom of the barrel, this one is the best one I have seen. Should be a nice flip in the $150+/- range once fully rehabbed and road ready.

Forget serial numbers, just look up component codes. Serial numbers on bikes are almost always a waste of time on dating, with just a handful of exceptions (typically higher end desirable bikes)
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Old 04-29-12, 07:04 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
Forget serial numbers, just look up component codes.
This is a new one for me - learning something every day from this forum! Where would I find typical component codes? Like possibly on the bike side of the chainring or back side of the crankarms - places like that? And then there are databases of component codes? Very cool - thanks for the tip!
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Old 04-29-12, 07:21 AM   #6
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Yes back side of the cranks, on the back of the brake arms and bak side of the RD body. It is most likelya '87ish bike. Bikes like these though would have been specced and built say for the '86 model year, but often the same bike was then stocked as an '87.
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Old 04-29-12, 09:33 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by TNDave View Post
This is a new one for me - learning something every day from this forum! Where would I find typical component codes? Like possibly on the bike side of the chainring or back side of the crankarms - places like that? And then there are databases of component codes? Very cool - thanks for the tip!
Vintage trek site has a section devoted just to component codes. And it does not matter whether your bike is a Trek or not. All the bike companies bought from the same handful of suppliers. At most, the only thing Trek actually made was the frame, everything else was bought from others (and sometimes they didn't make the frame either). So the unique Shimano code on a derailleur does not change, whether it is mounted on a Schwinn, a Trek, a Peugeot, or whatever.

I have found date codes on a myriad of parts on a bike: derailleurs, bottom bracket, crankset, chainrings, freewheel or cassette, hubs, stem, seat post, handlebars, brake calipers, brake levers, shift levers, etc. The trick is finding parts that are original to the bike. I wound start with the derailleurs and crankarms.

Frankly, trying to decipher serial numbers on bikes is a total waste of time, except for a couple of brands. I don't even look anymore, I just go to the component codes.

The link between Sterling and Univega is kind of interesting, as the only thing Univega made was brochures. They outsourced everything, to a few different manufacturers. That means that the Sterling was most likely just a marketing brand. Some of those marketing brands just went with the low cost bidder. For instance, you will see many references on this list that Univega was made by Miyata. Well, I have a 1988+/- Univega made by KHS.

Last edited by wrk101; 04-29-12 at 09:36 AM.
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