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Old 04-28-12, 10:14 AM   #1
Mercian Rider
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Vintage Bike Karma: Giving Them Away

Part of this hobby for me is helping people---friends, co-workers, neighbors and relatives--- find suitable bicycles. Sometimes it's a matter of me searching the local CL for them and going with them to evaluate a bike, and then fix it up. At other times, I find bikes, fix them, then give them away.

Perhaps my greatest joy is to rescue a bike from being put in the land fill and finding someone who will really use it and gifting it to them. I know there are trash pickers who sometimes "rescue" bikes too, but I wonder where they wind up--not necessarily with someone who will ride them, I'd think.

I have 3 more in the giveaway queue.

Who else is doing this?

Here are two I gave away recently:

1980 Raleigh Super Grand Prix to high school kid who is doing an internship at the local bike advocacy organization. He didn't want a fixed gear SS! Smart kid. Already using it for transportation.



1954 Huffy-branded Raleigh 3-speed going to co-worker who will use it for transporation and errands. She already has a road bike, but recognizes its limitations as an urban bike.



The bell--hope it keeps her safe!


Last edited by Mercian Rider; 04-28-12 at 08:36 PM.
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Old 04-28-12, 10:21 AM   #2
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Where do the bikes from the trash pickers go? Craigslist, with crazy inflated price tags. Seriously.

(great thread idea!)
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Old 04-28-12, 10:58 AM   #3
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Sadly, those bikes from trash pickers end up at the local scrap yard. I frequent one, and I've seen piles of them. No road bikes yet! I have a very good friend that fixes them and donates them through his church, and to homeless individuals. I buy them at garage sales and give them to him. He has been very generous and he has given me high end vintage road bikes. I think that's Karma too! :-)

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Old 04-28-12, 11:16 AM   #4
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He has been very generous and he has given me high end vintage road bikes. I think that's Karma too! :-)
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I think that's how it works. Not doing it to get free bikes, but they come my way.
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Old 04-28-12, 11:55 AM   #5
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That bell is amazing.

I sometimes pick up bikes for friends and fix them up. I don't expect to make any money on the deal and usually provide a lot of necessary bits that I have lying around, but if it needs anything major they usually will buy it.
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Old 04-28-12, 12:36 PM   #6
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A lot of the old bikes are being snapped up by single speed/fixie builders. There's a guy on CL who sells old road frames for $150 each, and judging by his turnaround, he sells a lot of them. Most of those frames are mass market, not high end.
As to my own stuff, I'd rather give it to someone who needs it rather than sell it. Two years ago when I changed residences, I gave away a vintage Peugeot and my old Diamondback Apex to a couple of my daughters friends who needed transportation.
With my latest project, I will be trying to sell the leftover odd bits, and I'll be trying for top dollar. I'm trying to see not only if I can make a "free" bike, but turn a profit by making careful used purchases.
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Old 04-28-12, 12:49 PM   #7
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Many years ago, when I bought a new Cannondale SR400, I gave my Fuji Grand Tourer to a friend who had no bike.
In 2009 a friend gave me his 1970's Proteus touring bike, lightly used, Reynolds 531, Campy...etc. Much kinder to my middle aged bones.
My friend is glad to see that the bike getting daily use. The Cannondale is now being used by my 14 year old.
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Old 04-28-12, 12:54 PM   #8
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I gave away this bike a few weeks ago to a friend who moved out of state. 1987 Prologue upgraded to 9 speed Ultegra. When he took it I had also replaced those Mavic Cosmos with a sub 1500g set of Neuvation wheels and changed the Concor Light for an Aspide.

It's a sweet bike and it hurt a little to let it go, but I'm glad to be able to help a friend...and I have plenty of bikes.

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Old 04-28-12, 01:02 PM   #9
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Well I'm glad I found this site and thread.This is a 70's Huffy Saratoga that I acquired and just don't have the time to restore/clean up.I'm not a collector or cyclist but I couldn't just to toss it in the trash,heck this thing is about my age and in better shape.I am located near Harrisburg,PA and Gainseville,FL in winter.If anyone is interested the ole girl would like a home other than scrap yard.I'm not looking to sale but if you wanted it shipped that would have to be covered by person that wanted it.None of the cables are frozen,gears work, and all seems original but the tires are dry rotted and need replaced.Those that know more about these things,if you think this is not worth bothering with please let me know.Like I mentioned before,just didn't want to trash it out.


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Old 04-28-12, 01:08 PM   #10
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I found an old Gary Fisher kids bike at Goodwill that I fixed up and gave to a friend's daughter. I picked up a beater MIyata mountain bike that will be going to another girl that needs a bike.


My reasoning: most people have never ridden a good bike before, especially kids. Introduce them to a bike that they really enjoy riding, and they'll be hooked. That's what got me into vintage bikes (a.k.a. quality bikes that I could actually afford).

I really believe that most people would enjoy bicycling. They just need the proper introduction.
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Old 04-28-12, 01:17 PM   #11
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I really believe that most people would enjoy bicycling. They just need the proper introduction.
True that. Get them on a bike that fits, is comfortable, and properly adjusted, and they're going to enjoy it and ride it. Also good to offer to teach them basic maintenance.
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Old 04-28-12, 01:19 PM   #12
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I picked up ten bikes (I bought them) a couple of days ago. Seven or eight of them will go to the co-op. I really only wanted two of them, but it was either buy them all, or buy none of them.

Several times I have bought a collection of bikes, where the seller was not interested in just selling one or two. So I just take the whole group, and donate off the ones I was not interested in.

Flipping gets a bad name, but by flipping one or two out of a group, I am financially able to donate the rest.

I do have some lazy neighbors, that put a lot of decent stuff out on the curb garbage pickup day. I will grab what is sellable by my favorite thrift store, and donate them. Many people do not understand the thrift store business model, which is to sell donated items to raise $$, and then to use those dollars to fund their charitable activities. They also use the store itself as a way to put people to work. Without donations, the stores would be gone.

Last edited by wrk101; 04-28-12 at 01:25 PM.
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Old 04-28-12, 05:48 PM   #13
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I routinely get bikes and give them away to someone that needs one. Nothing really fancy, for the most part it has been Schwinn or Huffy 3 speeds from the 80's and a couple of other bikes that were given to me. I also do free maintenance for a couple of guys that live past me on our road, they are car free, live on small fixed income and ride the crap out of their bikes. One has a Schwinn cruiser of some sort with a 5 speed drive train, I have seen him over 20 miles from home before. If I happen to run into him at the grocery store or somewhere else along the road I always ask how the bike is doing, quite often do a quick tuneup where ever we are.

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Old 04-28-12, 05:58 PM   #14
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I fixed up and cruiser-ized a Schwinn Sprint for a friend of my wife who was looking for something to try to get some exercise. She ended up never riding it, but her teenaged daughter does.

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Old 04-28-12, 08:01 PM   #15
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All of my friends but one ride bikes that I have given them or sold to them for what I paid for it. Makes bike rides to the park a lot easier when everyone actually has a bike
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Old 04-29-12, 09:51 AM   #16
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It's a great feeling to fix one up and give it to someone in need. I've been able to do it twice and have a couple more in the pipeline. And I've given a couple of frames away to BF familes also.

This Shogun went to the single mother of my son's best friend:

Got it like this:




This one went to the teenage son of a friend who was stationed in Iraq. He and the family thanked me every time I saw them. It started as an ugly late-60's Gitane frame that the lbs gave me but turned out pretty nice in the end.



Before the final touches were added:

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Old 04-29-12, 12:45 PM   #17
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keep up the good work, all! The thanks is priceless, IMO. I've got a nice project in the que as well: I fixed up a peugeot mixte for my sister, but that's old and tired and in need of a replacement, so I'm making the univega MTB my neighbour gave to me suitable for use so she'll have a nice little rugged machine to trash about. She's more into mtb than road, being an outdoor sports guide and all. I hope it nets some good bikey karma
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Old 04-29-12, 02:55 PM   #18
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There's a park locally near a shelter where homeless people congregate, waiting for the shelter to open.
I bought a Gazelle tour de la avenir for ten bucks off of CL, fixed it up and decided to drop it off at the park.

Wheeled it up and asked, "Anybody want a bike?"
A guy ran up, I handed it over and he had this huge smile-like it was his birthday present.

Meanwhile some chick, hands on her hips, was giving me the eye and asked, "You da po-po?"

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Old 04-29-12, 03:52 PM   #19
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My co-worker picked up the 3-speed today.

She had one almost exactly like it when she was younger, but gave it to her neighbors for their daughter who was going to college. She gave a bike away, and now she's getting one very similar free. I'm tellin ya, it's Karma.

And the kid who got the Raleigh is riding and showing it off on facebook. Fun!
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Old 04-29-12, 04:23 PM   #20
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Good thread.. good to see more people riding.. I find it hard to finish projects sometimes.. I do it more as a hobby
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Old 04-29-12, 06:18 PM   #21
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I rehab a lot of bikes and sell them, I do give away a few but I simply can't afford to do it often since the income from the rehabbing is basically in place of a real part time job and at least this way I'm doing something I enjoy.

On the other hand I sell my rehab projects WAY cheaper than even most of the dirt knockers around here ask for their project bikes.
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Old 04-29-12, 06:47 PM   #22
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Definately not CV (almost...), but this is the second mountain bike that I ever purchased (first one was stolen). Circa 1996 or 1997, I can't remember the exact date. I'm tired of moving it from place to place and hopefully someone else can have fun with it.

I placed a FREE add on craigslist and got a response within 3 hours. Hopefully the karma will come full circle.

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Old 04-29-12, 06:51 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brockd15 View Post
I gave away this bike a few weeks ago to a friend who moved out of state. 1987 Prologue upgraded to 9 speed Ultegra. When he took it I had also replaced those Mavic Cosmos with a sub 1500g set of Neuvation wheels and changed the Concor Light for an Aspide.

It's a sweet bike and it hurt a little to let it go, but I'm glad to be able to help a friend...and I have plenty of bikes.

Can I be your friend?
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