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Old 10-04-11, 07:48 AM   #1
dingledangles
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VIntage Hiawatha...Worth It?

This is yet another appraisal/advice seeking thread Please Help.

I am new to cycling and want a vintage road bike fore travel and recreation. It is actually quite hard to find good deals on Treks, Shwinns, and other decent vintage makes online through eBay or craigslist.

I came across this Hiawatha on craigslist Ann Arbor and have arranged to test it. It is asking for 125, but I am sure I can bump it down to 100 or less.

http://annarbor.craigslist.org/bik/2630356558.html

I know nothing about this bike and clearly neither does the owner (I asked for model name and year, but got nothing). Is it worth my time? Plus the components are original and look ancient; will I be able to install modern components if I need to?

Thanks
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Old 10-04-11, 08:27 AM   #2
ricohman
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Not worth it. I owned a Hiawatha that my dad bought for me in the 70's. It truly was a department store special with cheap parts. Not worth putting a bunch of new parts on. I assume you are female and let me say that you would be better off with a smaller traditional road frame should you ever want to sell and "upgrade" your ride. Step through frames are popular on townies and cruisers though.
The bike in the pic is worth what anyone is willing to pay. I would guess it should sell for $40 or less around here.

Last edited by ricohman; 10-04-11 at 10:38 AM.
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Old 10-04-11, 09:42 AM   #3
dingledangles
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Im a guy, but thatnks for the advice. I will probably stick with the vintage bike shop in Ann Arbor.
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Old 10-04-11, 09:50 AM   #4
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Keep looking on the CL, good bikes come up all the time, this one is just a heavy old bike. It shows signs that someone picked it up at a garage sale and is trying to "turn a few bucks".
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Old 10-04-11, 09:58 AM   #5
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I will say it looks good. It looks good because no-one wanted to ride it. +1 on the $40.00 value- maybe if the buyer is in a benevolent mood.
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Old 10-04-11, 10:03 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Flying Merkel View Post
I will say it looks good. It looks good because no-one wanted to ride it. +1 on the $40.00 value- maybe if the buyer is in a benevolent mood.
+1

why buy a crappy probably problematic vintage when plenty of companies are now producing replications of old styles like Linus? A real vintage bike would be worth more. Often, "vintage" is just a sales pitch word to sucker in suckers on what is simply an old, decrepit bike. I'd say pass or buy for $40 or less even.
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Old 10-04-11, 10:05 AM   #7
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There are a couple of folks on the site here to shop the AA CL postings, one of them might have something for you. And just keep watching the local market, and be ready to jump fast if something good comes along.

It also helps to know if you do your own mechanic work or if you will need to have a shop do that stuff for you.

Do you just like the older bikes, or is cost and budget a primary motivator?

Also, it doesn't hurt to ask around at the various shops and see of one of the employees has a used bike they want to sell off. There is a shop in Dearborn I used to visit when I was still going there for work on my previous job, and they sometimes had used bikes in the store, and some owned by employees. Word of mouth works if you know what words to use.

edit to add this:
How fast can you respond, Schwinn World Sport for less than the Hiawatha above:
http://annarbor.craigslist.org/bik/2631932434.html

It will probably be gone in an hour or two, Ann Arbor is a cycling town and a college town so there is lots of competition.

edit again:
A Rockhopper can also make for a nice city bike with the right tires on it:
http://annarbor.craigslist.org/bik/2630801337.html
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Last edited by treebound; 10-04-11 at 10:10 AM.
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Old 10-04-11, 10:11 AM   #8
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There's at least one (and I think several) member here that restores and flips bikes who lives in Ann Arbor. Maybe you can hook up with him and see what he's got in your size?

Edit: Looks like treebound beat me to it and said it better.
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