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Thread: MIT auction

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    Too many bikes bikemore's Avatar
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    MIT auction

    Some small insight into the student market in Boston

    He got it for $5; he may have overpaid.
    annual bike auction the worst day of the year at Cambridge Bicycle, just up the street, because people who fix bikes for a living know that some problems should be left unsolved.

    Last year, a mechanic quit rather than spend another day doing triage like a battlefield medic, telling the students - including the many looking for cheap parts - to put the bikes out of their misery.
    http://www.boston.com/news/local/mas...diy_challenge/

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    www.theheadbadge.com cudak888's Avatar
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    Lousy article. It strengthens the notion that all used bicycles are hopeless disasters, and that anyone looking for a used bike in this manner is a hopeless idiot with a dream. The interview with the shop staff doesn't speak any good of the MIT student body either.

    For that matter, I fail to see the "do it yourself" concept if the students are simply hauling their newfound heaps to the bike shop. That's not DIY; that's the same thing that every other non-mechanic (or mechanic less tools) does.

    -Kurt

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    Why auction? For a local resident, just wait till the end of the semester in May. It's a picker's dream. Everything gets thrown out on moving day. Harvard used to have dozens of bikes tossed in the trash. Apartment managers would cut locks off abandoned bikes and ask people to come by to take them.
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    I wish my school would offer the bikes that were abandoned at the start of the next year. I am pretty sure they just send them to scrap yard.

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    Senior Member Captain Blight's Avatar
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    If an engineering student at the premiere engineering school on our East Coast-- maybe the world-- has to take a bike to a shop to get it fixed--



    we are all doomed. DOOOOOOMED!
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    Boston is the Mecca of trash picking when the students move in and out. I have less of an incentive since I've left University, but I swear I could furnish a whole apartment, cleaning supplies included, from what I've seen on the streets. It's hilarious.

    On the article, you wouldn't believe the amount of crap bikes I've seen sitting on the racks at Student Union. I mean, occasionally I'll see the nice old MTB...but the rest are box store casualties, etc. Sometimes it's just better to throw them out. In my experience, the MIT students I've met aren't real knowledgeable about practical mechanics; their solutions tend to be absurd and operate on infinite budgets.

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    WNG
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    Quote Originally Posted by smoothness View Post
    In my experience, the MIT students I've met aren't real knowledgeable about practical mechanics; their solutions tend to be absurd and operate on infinite budgets.
    +1
    That was my experience as well when I lived there. But there were some exceptions, totally brilliant individuals...but they were mostly grad students.

    And yes, the 'trash' picking was unbelievable!
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    To be fair, I found, when I was up Mass AVE from MIT a bit, and living on dear old Irving ST, that the "wrenches" working at Cambridge bike shops to be marginal at best.

    I was always amazed how the female wrenches at Ace Wheel Works were top notch, but at Broadway BIcycle School they had about as much knowledge about how to fix or fit a bike as your grandmother. It was all so normative for them: Everything English 3 speed is great, everything else is junk. I was looking to learn some stuff I didn't know (building wheels, facing BBs, etc.) and I learned I wasn't going to learn anything there. So I read this article as a function of the facility of the mechanics as much as anything. That and that Harvard deserves some equal press in that they had some god awful bikes in their own right.

    I remember when ATA opened. That shop just took the buzz from Ace and they never gave it back. It was awesome hearing their stories about trading olive oil for components as the budget for the Turkish teams didn't cover decent kit.
    Last edited by mtnbke; 11-15-11 at 03:40 AM.

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    Senior Member miamijim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
    Lousy article. It strengthens the notion that all used bicycles are hopeless disasters, and that anyone looking for a used bike in this manner is a hopeless idiot with a dream. The interview with the shop staff doesn't speak any good of the MIT student body either.

    For that matter, I fail to see the "do it yourself" concept if the students are simply hauling their newfound heaps to the bike shop. That's not DIY; that's the same thing that every other non-mechanic (or mechanic less tools) does.

    -Kurt
    The shop I owrked at was located in Endicott, NY, the birthplace of IBM. Other fledgling industries sprouted up and eventually major players in the aerospace/defence industry were local like GE Aerospace, Lockheed Martin, Link Flight Simulation and many others.

    What a bunch of pain in the a$$ customers, they over analyzed everything and always tried to fix things that couldnt or shouldnt be fixed. One guy had 17 patches on his inner tube and wanted to know why he needed a new one. Another guy was test riding a bike and his 10yo kids says to me, "yea, we've been shopping for 2 months, he's not going to buy it. It took him 4 months to buy a chainsaw."
    WWW.CYCLESPEUGEOT.COM 2005 Pinarello Dogma; 1991 Paramount PDG 70 Mtb; 1976? AD Vent Noir; 1989 LeMond Maillot Juane F&F; 1993? Basso GAP F&F; 1989 Terry Symmetry; 2003 Trek 4700 Mtb; 1983 Vitus 979

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    Too many bikes bikemore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbke View Post
    To be fair, I found, when I was up Mass AVE from MIT a bit, and living on dear old Irving ST, that the "wrenches" working at Cambridge bike shops to be marginal at best.

    I was always amazed how the female wrenches at Ace Wheel Works were top notch, but at Broadway BIcycle School they had about as much knowledge about how to fix or fit a bike as your grandmother. It was all so normative for them: Everything English 3 speed is great, everything else is junk. I was looking to learn some stuff I didn't know (building wheels, facing BBs, etc.) and I learned I wasn't going to learn anything there. So I read this article as a function of the facility of the mechanics as much as anything. That and that Harvard deserves some equal press in that they had some god awful bikes in their own right.

    I remember when ATA opened. That shop just took the buzz from Ace and they never gave it back. It was awesome hearing their stories about trading olive oil for components as the budget for the Turkish teams didn't cover decent kit.
    ATA seemed like a place that was set on selling you a new bike. Ace seems more like they will give you want you want.

    I've never done more the buy pedals at Cambridge Bicycle so I don't know their wrenching skills.

    Harvard has Quad Bikes, again never been. http://www.quadbikes.org/. Not to be confused with Quad Cycles out in Arlington.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Blight View Post
    If an engineering student at the premiere engineering school on our East Coast-- maybe the world-- has to take a bike to a shop to get it fixed--



    we are all doomed. DOOOOOOMED!
    Hey, "How hard can it be ?"
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Twain
    Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.

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    Senior Member Iowegian's Avatar
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    Practical mechanics seems to have gone the way of practical politics and practical economics. Why bother with common sense realities when it's so much more entertaining and rewarding to argue esoteric talking points of minutiae.

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    Fat Guy on a Little Bike KonAaron Snake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miamijim View Post
    The shop I owrked at was located in Endicott, NY, the birthplace of IBM. Other fledgling industries sprouted up and eventually major players in the aerospace/defence industry were local like GE Aerospace, Lockheed Martin, Link Flight Simulation and many others.

    What a bunch of pain in the a$$ customers, they over analyzed everything and always tried to fix things that couldnt or shouldnt be fixed. One guy had 17 patches on his inner tube and wanted to know why he needed a new one. Another guy was test riding a bike and his 10yo kids says to me, "yea, we've been shopping for 2 months, he's not going to buy it. It took him 4 months to buy a chainsaw."
    I get like that too...we shopped a new mattress for well over 3 months. My wife finally got tired of it and just picked one. God I love her

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    My nephew was trying to hire engineers to work on his project, but he was having a hard time finding any that would go out into the field and get dirty. They just wanted to sit at their desk and design solutions on the computer. I work in a plant that was designed by that kind of engineer. We are always wondering why there are valves in places that you cannot get to, when it could have been located a few feet further along the pipe and been reachable.

  15. #15
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Blight View Post
    If an engineering student at the premiere engineering school on our East Coast-- maybe the world-- has to take a bike to a shop to get it fixed--



    we are all doomed. DOOOOOOMED!
    I am a mechanical engineer that went to a prestigious school (not that one), and let me say that, working as an engineer for 27 years, I've learned at least as much working on bikes than I did in school, in terms of engineering stuff I actually use on the job. Maybe my edumucation helps me understand why bikes work the way they do and why the are assembled as they are, but the practical knowledge of how stuff is built came when I was 12, wrenching my own bikes.
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

  16. #16
    Too many bikes bikemore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pompiere View Post
    My nephew was trying to hire engineers to work on his project, but he was having a hard time finding any that would go out into the field and get dirty. They just wanted to sit at their desk and design solutions on the computer. I work in a plant that was designed by that kind of engineer. We are always wondering why there are valves in places that you cannot get to, when it could have been located a few feet further along the pipe and been reachable.
    I am working for a private contractor doing work for the government. At first we can get things done, then there is some new paper work. Then they say wow that was fun, let's see if we can double that. Then there is more paper work. Soon the only tasks we be making sure the paper work is done. Figuring out that the design makes sense is way lower then a secondary concern.

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