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Old 04-29-12, 08:05 PM   #1
robertofergy
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Fun at the Old Bike Auction

So my city (Winnipeg) had our yearly Police Bike Auction this weekend. I had pretty low expections going into it because last year the low end rusty road bikes were going for >150 and that is not the price I want to pay for crappy bikes. I figured getting a bike at a reasonable price was going to be quite unlikely. Add to the fact that I could only go on sunday and not the much larger saturday auction, I figured the chances of finding anything I even liked would be slim.

So I walk around looking for drop bars in the sea of plastic mountain bikes piled together in long rows, I see a Kuwahara (never heard of it) but It had Shimano 600 brake levers and indexed downtube shifters, a decent wheelset, nitto bars, could be a decent touring bike which would fill a need in my collection. So I jotted down the number. Other than that the only thing that caught me eye was an old Marin with a funky paint job. So I figured it would be a long day of sitting around and having nothing to show for it.

3 hours later the Kuwahara Caravan comes up and it starts at 100$, no one bids, he drops the starting price to 50$, I bid. Couple bids back and forth and I get it for 70$. Score! The funky Marin is about half an hour down the row, but I stick around to see what it ends up going for. So the Marin comes up they start it at 50$ so I bid, and bid, and bid and get it for 80$. Score? What is going on here? I was starting to worry I had bid on the wrong bikes and maybe I should have brought my glasses.

This is what I rolled away with;



Kawahara Caravan (late 80s?)

At 62 cm its slightly larger than I typically ride but didnt actually feel that big. Needs brake work but it shifted very nicely on the bike stand.














Even came with extra spokes! Never seen that before

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Old 04-29-12, 08:07 PM   #2
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Marin Eldridge Grade (1991-ish?)

I swapped the wide Schwinn brand gel seat for a beat up Vetta, the front rerailleur needs adjusting, the front brake need to be rewired, other than that it is ready to roll. On the test ride it felt great, so great that I fear some of my road bikes might see less action and/or find a new home.


Its hard to take a good pic of the paint, but its nicer in person, and when its not about to rain.











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Old 04-29-12, 08:13 PM   #3
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Excellent find on that Kuwahara...you're not going to find many purpose built touring bikes for $70 these days.
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Old 04-29-12, 08:27 PM   #4
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nice finds rb! The paint on that Marin is fantastic!
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Old 04-29-12, 08:32 PM   #5
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Thanks man. Did you go check it out at all this weekend? also, did you buy that Miele on friday?
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Old 04-29-12, 08:46 PM   #6
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No I was gone for the weekend riding the North Star Trail out by grand beach. That Kuwahara looks like the same year and one model up from sauze's kuwahara supertour. I wonder if a shop in the peg was selling them exclusively. As I recall sauze was having a hard time finding any info on it whatsoever.


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Old 04-29-12, 09:36 PM   #7
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Great scores, the Kuwahara seems like a very nice deal. The paint on the Marin is completely bonkers, I've seen plenty of neon Marins, but the splatter paint takes the cake!
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Old 04-29-12, 10:24 PM   #8
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Yeah I love the paint on that Marin. Reminds me of the that Park Pre that I've seen here on C&V a few times.
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Old 04-30-12, 07:21 AM   #9
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The Marin Eldridge Grade is a nice riding bike; I think you will be riding that one quite a bit. I think that you have a 1990 since that paint scheme wasn't available in 1991 and the rear brake is not original. Those Marin frames are surprisingly light for a steel mountain bike (I think that my 92 Eldridge frame of the same size is about 4.75 lbs).
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Old 04-30-12, 11:24 AM   #10
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Damn I knew I should have got out of bed early and checked out the auction those are some nice finds, I was too lazy.

@Kuso I could be wrong but I THINK my Kuwahara has a bike shop sticker from Calgary some where so it may have not originated here in WPG.

Edit: Anyone know the difference between Kuwahara's 'Super Tour' and 'Caravan' ? Just from a cursory glance the frame's seem nearly the same but the Caravan has slightly better components? Super Tour has Suntour Accushift stuff for the most part.

Last edited by sauze; 04-30-12 at 12:01 PM.
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Old 04-30-12, 03:12 PM   #11
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Is there a tubing decal on yours sauze? If not, I would pull the fork to see if there are any markings.
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Old 04-30-12, 06:34 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leecycle View Post
The Marin Eldridge Grade is a nice riding bike; I think you will be riding that one quite a bit. I think that you have a 1990 since that paint scheme wasn't available in 1991 and the rear brake is not original. Those Marin frames are surprisingly light for a steel mountain bike (I think that my 92 Eldridge frame of the same size is about 4.75 lbs).
Thanks for nailing down the year, i figured it was around there but I didnt see it in the catalogs I looked at.

I rode it to work today and it was a great ride. I actually cut 5 minutes on what had been a 40 minute ride. Hard to give more credit to the bike or barely hitting any red lights, but both to and from work were record speed.

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Old 04-30-12, 06:44 PM   #13
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Edit: Anyone know the difference between Kuwahara's 'Super Tour' and 'Caravan' ? Just from a cursory glance the frame's seem nearly the same but the Caravan has slightly better components? Super Tour has Suntour Accushift stuff for the most part.
Since theres little info about Kuwaharas we can just figure out the differences here;

Heres what mine has;

frame - Ishiwata Cr Mo Quadruple Butted
headset - shimano 600
brake levers - shimano 600
shifters - shimano 600 indexed
crank - sugino VP
front and rear D - shimano deore
brakes - shimano something
rims - arraya 700c
hubs - i dont recall, suzue?
bars - Nitto
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Old 04-30-12, 09:25 PM   #14
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Suzue are fantastic hubs. A came across a 48 spoke touring/tandem front wheel with a suzue hub and it just spun and spun smoother than any other hub I've seen.
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Old 05-01-12, 09:33 AM   #15
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Is there a tubing decal on yours sauze? If not, I would pull the fork to see if there are any markings.
The tubing on my is the quad butted Ishiwata as well.
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