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Old 08-14-09, 03:51 PM   #1
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What's Your Worst Vintage Nightmare?

We've all had them and we read about them here. I thought we might want to share those dark moments that we sometimes like to forget.

Mine was finally finding the Centurion Ironman I wanted at a reasonable price only to find the stem was frozen solid to the steertube. It was so bad I took it to the LBS to have the experts take it out. While trying to remove it, the the stem snapped. It took three days of soaking and prodding and a metals expert to figure out how to get the stem out. Still, the threads on the steertube were damaged, but it works.

So what's the worst nightmare you encountered?
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Old 08-14-09, 04:46 PM   #2
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It would have to The One That Got Away. Late 1960's Cinelli for $100 or so. This was in 1973 or 1974, when I was a teenager, and I didn't have the $100. By the time I arranged financing terms with the neighborhood loan shark (my Mother), someone else had snapped it up.
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Old 08-14-09, 04:51 PM   #3
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The seat post on my Cooper was badly frozen when I got it and it took days and hours to get it out using every technique known.

Next up is the stem on my 1954 Raleigh...
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Old 08-14-09, 04:56 PM   #4
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my current picnic bike thought I was getting a good deal however it was missing the front fender the freewheel was in really bad shape the rear fender was crushed

it was all pretty easy to fix but it was a pain in the rear realizing I spent too much on the bike
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Old 08-14-09, 05:31 PM   #5
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After 36 years of ownership:
http://i985.photobucket.com/albums/a...n/P6010928.jpg
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Old 08-14-09, 05:39 PM   #6
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Oh No!!! What happened? Are you okay?
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Old 08-14-09, 05:54 PM   #7
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Car vs. bike. She turned in front of me when I was going about 20-22 MPH. Broken left Humerus, 12 rib left rear, left Scapula. Punctured lung, floater now in the left eye, significant soft tissue damage to the left arm and the requisit road rash on the face, left leg and some bruises on the right inner thigh from the top tube.
Picture doesn't show the bent top and down tube. The fork crown is also bent torsionally between the fork tube and steerer tube.

Anybody want to part with a 72 Motobecae Le Champion frame and fork in 24" size?
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Old 08-14-09, 06:02 PM   #8
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My brother-in-law wanted his Cilo converted from double DA 7400 to triple DA 7700. I bought the parts, including Octalink 70mm bb and we gathered on a Saturday to strip and rebuild. The R bb cup is flippin' IN THERE, so we took it to LBS, who couldn't get it either. We brought it home, and I put all the parts on an Ironman frame for him, then he got called away to DC, I got called away to WI, and he missed the event that required a triple. Meanwhile, LBS lost the rest of the BB parts.

I stripped the Ironman back down, and sold it to a BF member, lsdmt, who helped me build it back up with 600 Ultegra in only 3 beers.

I gave a Lemans RS with 2x8 STI's to my brother in law to ride. I think he likes it.

The Cilo is sitting here waiting for me to throw it under a train, frame, R bb cup, and all.

I have a box of 7400 DA 2x6 indexed parts with awesome wheels rebuilt by Bill Moulden in DC. I guess I'll need a bb. If I ever decide not to throw the Cilo under a train, and some fairy bike wrench removes that bb for me, I'll put it back to OEM, after powdercoating the frame.

I also have a box with 2 DA Octalink triple bb's, one 68, one 70, a 7700 triple crankset, FD, and long cage RD.

I have a box with Sora long cage RD, FD, and 3x8 brifters. Whence I find a triple crankset and matching bb, I'll get the Lemans RS back, make it a triple, and he can have it. Then I'll have those parts.

This project has been a long trip to Yuengling Land.
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Old 08-14-09, 06:06 PM   #9
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Wife counts the number of the bikes in the garage?
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Old 08-14-09, 06:11 PM   #10
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Car vs. bike. She turned in front of me when I was going about 20-22 MPH. Broken left Humerus, 12 rib left rear, left Scapula. Punctured lung, floater now in the left eye, significant soft tissue damage to the left arm and the requisit road rash on the face, left leg and some bruises on the right inner thigh from the top tube.
Picture doesn't show the bent top and down tube. The fork crown is also bent torsionally between the fork tube and steerer tube.

Anybody want to part with a 72 Motobecae Le Champion frame and fork in 24" size?
You have my sympathy, wishing you a full and speedy recovery. IMHO a car driver who either is or has been a cyclist or motorcyclist makes a much safer driver - should make it compulsory to ride on two wheels for a year before allowing anyone to learn to drive a car. Balance notwithstanding, riding in the open makes a rider much more aware of what's going on around - and conscious of road surfaces, grip, weather and especially other road users. Rant over, Real shame about your frame - hope you find a suitable replacement.
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Old 08-14-09, 06:15 PM   #11
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So what's the worst nightmare you encountered?
Seeing your basement, and realizing how the big kids play with bikes.
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Old 08-14-09, 06:34 PM   #12
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Seeing your basement, and realizing how the big kids play with bikes.
Yeah, It's kinda scary down there, even for me.
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Old 08-14-09, 06:36 PM   #13
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Wife counts the number of the bikes in the garage?
OUCH! That's gotta hurt. That's a really bad dream.
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Old 08-14-09, 06:37 PM   #14
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The seat post on my Cooper was badly frozen when I got it and it took days and hours to get it out using every technique known.

Next up is the stem on my 1954 Raleigh...
Frozen Stems and seatposts = Vintage bike collectors #1 PITA.
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Old 08-14-09, 07:38 PM   #15
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About 10 years ago I found a nice Schwinn Suburban men's three speed. The usual never ridden & shoved in the garage shape. Paid $10.00 for it because I needed one little piece off it for my Hercules.

I threw away the the bike after keeping in the garage for only a month or so. Only kept the seat. It fit me better than the Herc (which I gave away to a forum member). Stupid stupid stupid.
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Old 08-14-09, 07:52 PM   #16
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Oh I got a good one. Mines being canadian, nobody wants to ship to me lol and it costs to much for shipping and theres never any bikes I'm interested for sale here they are all in the us, Just one balloon tire bike, just one! but no. that big heavy thing would cost me an arm and a leg! So being canadian is mine.
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Old 08-14-09, 09:15 PM   #17
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Trying to true wheels that have the spokes "frozen" in the nipples, or those P.O.S. cheapo steel rims that have "waves" in them. You true it to one side, but the other side is all over the place. Bolts that snap off when you apply the slightest bit of torque with a wrench. Fenders and chain gaurds that are impossible to line up correctly, or to get the rattles out of. Chrome that literally peels of in flakes, and is razor sharp. Derailleurs that never "spring back" in the right direction. I have to stop here, since I think this stuff is giving me a headache!
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Old 08-14-09, 09:26 PM   #18
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I had spectacular plans for the sexy steel celeste Bianchi frame that I was twitterpated with. I spent hour after hour on the Internets trying to learn how to pronounce "Cam-pan-ee-olo", started to throw around money like a Sicilian mob boss, bought a new pair of Pearl Izumis and some fancy riding glasses, started drinking beer made by a micro-brewery, started giving cute young women a side-glance; and then, and only then did I notice the crack along the head tube lug. The world has a funny way of lassoing you back to the ground every once and awhile when you start to spin off it.
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Old 08-14-09, 10:17 PM   #19
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Ooh, that would be the '57 sunburst les paul that I bought and owned for about a day back in the late '60's. I sold it for the fantastic sum of $600...I just had a friend tell me that they are worth $500K now.

I would be retired if I'd kept that guitar...dang.
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Old 08-15-09, 06:28 AM   #20
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My bikes are in the front room of my house. This arrangement is possible because my wife is somewhat tolerant of my hobby, but only assuming the space doesn't look like a garage. So I had to get stands for the bikes that are in there. One of the first ones I got was one of those floor-to-ceiling jobs that has to be screwed tight against the ceiling. First morning after I get it all set up, I'm having my morning coffee at the computer in the family room when I hear a huge crash from the front room. The stand had not been tight enough because of the carpeting, and the '69 Masi Special perched on the second level had come crashing down to the floor onto the drive side. The '71 Colnago on the lower level (with the pristine Playing Card paint and decals) had consequently fallen over into the NOS late-80's Merckx corsa temporarily parked next to the stand. Miraculously, the only damage I was able to discern was a very small chip to the paint on the top tube of the Colnago. Everything else was fine, with a little readjusting of some handlebars. So the story has a more or less happy ending (especially since I replaced the stand), but hearing that crash from the other room and realizing what had just happened ...
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Old 08-15-09, 08:04 AM   #21
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Mine are the ones that look great when I start and keep ending up needing more and more work. I am just finishing up a Varsity that was rather clean when I got it. I ended up needing to overhaul the headset, the crank, and both hubs. Then the rear wheel had problem with spokes, so I disassembled the entire wheel and lubricated each spoke. The bike pulled heavily to one side, so I had to straighten the fork! Only one spoke was frozen. I completely rebuilt the wheel. Then the rim has a tiny imperceptible defect such that all tires I put on it would blow out, so that cost me several tubes. I finally found an old tire that stays on. Fine, bike is ready, right? Oops, now the chain skips, so I have to replace it. Replaced it, and chain still skips, so I replace the freewheel.

Similar things happened with a 55 year old three-speed bike. I thought it would be the death of me, but I finally finished and sold it to my daughter's girlfriend.
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Old 08-15-09, 10:00 AM   #22
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In the mid 90's I picked up an old Peugeot from the Salvation Army for $5.00. It was perfect except for a missing rear wheel. It sat in the garage for a couple of years until I got into an accident with my original Bottecchia. I then threw the back wheel from the Bottecchia on the Pug and rode the snot out of it. When I moved to Colorado I found the gearing was not at all suitable for the terrain here but I didn't know at the time what to do to upgrade it or even what model Peugeot it was. That's how I stumbled into the this forum. I posted about it and the initial replies I got all said it was a low-end junk and not worth fixing up. I couldn't ride it the way it was so it sat in the garage again until I was doing the spring cleaning and I sat it out on the trash minus a few pieces that I saved. Later I was back on the forum and found that several other more knowledgeable folks like miamijim and T-Mar had replied and identified it as a 1985 PH10LE.
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Old 08-15-09, 10:30 AM   #23
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Kommisar, that's the best and worst of the internets right there in that one story.

Things I've learned about the webs:

Experience trumps anything I read.

The experience of those posting is useful, what they think they know usually isn't. The worst thing on any forum are the piles of people typing what they'd read somewhere and think they know. Almost every forum has some guy who knows very little from his own experience but parrots some local expert or has a vast collection of things he's read somewhere on the internets who jumps onto every newb question to "help." Then the guys who actually know something A- convince newb that the authoritative-sounding crap he's getting is wrong and B- increase their BP meds C- go away in frustration.

Unlike the internet, not everything IRL is either "teh suXX" or "teh AwEsOmE!!!11" Almost everything is somewhat useful and could be improved.

Fortunately the group is mostly good, but like like you pointed out, it happens here too.

One guitar amp related forum has a great sticky thread titled something like "who you can believe" thread that lists the real guys.

Ya know, if if a guy is dumb as a bag of hammers and hasn't done much of anything, as long as he's posting things that he has actually experienced and done, I can learn from it. It's when people start extrapolating from limited experience they get into trouble.

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Old 08-15-09, 01:26 PM   #24
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Car vs. bike. ...
72 Motobecane Le Champion frame and fork in 24" size
Oh my, this is one of the saddest bike stories I've heard for quite some time.
I share your pain ...
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Old 08-15-09, 03:12 PM   #25
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But wait there is more.... she wasn't insured!

The Colnago is the replacement for now. Happened 5/28, I expect to be back on the road in 3-4 months from now.
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