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  1. #1
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    seeking small higher end road /light touring/rando bike

    I have been foiled again, someone selling a bianchi, late 80's, columbus special bianchi tubing, shimano 600, gorgeous metallic celeste, I was totally fantasy riding it already, super excited to go and buy it....and hyped it up, so they decided to keep it. I am so disappointed. This is the second time this has happened in a matter of months. I would like a bike(not another frame!). A bike that is in good working order and ridable as is, no bent bits, excellent condition. Standover height 29-30 inches.., shortish top tube. I am a smallish rider, need to go lightweight. Possibly campagnolo parts, or better shimano. Columbus tubing, sl or better, or reynolds 531 or better, top end tange, ishiwata etc.. Ideally would like the italian experience. My husband has an italian bianchi and japanese bianch, hands down swears the italian is far superior even though mid tier.
    I would love a shiny metallic celeste bianchi!
    I am in the Vancouver area, highly overvalued market. I had been searching for a high end lady frame bike, but those are near impossible to find. So usual straight top tube it is.
    Last edited by CbadRider; 03-12-14 at 09:34 AM. Reason: Removed comment that violates forum guidelines

  2. #2
    Senior Member gaucho777's Avatar
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    Unless you are lucky, you often have to be willing to do the hard work of turning that cruddy, neglected Bianchi into a shiny one if you aren't willing to pay "overvalued" prices, especially for Campagnolo-equipped celeste ones.

    Tell the seller not to lose your number. Seller may change his/her mind again. If it wasn't getting ridden before, maybe it won't get ridden again. Pester/beg/implore the seller again. Wait a week and check in again. Consider offering more money if you are comfortable with that. Don't let the snow melt!

    I never over-hype a bike I'm about to purchase, but I also don't pay too much attention to pristine bikes either. My budget usually dictates that I seek out ones with warts, and I make sure the seller knows I see those when I check out the bike.

    Good luck in your search.

  3. #3
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    There is nothing wrong with selecting among modern steel frames. Finding a classic is a slow process and best done while looking for a second or third bike. I went through four builds before finding two classic bikes that both fit and performed well. In the meantime, I was riding a modern steel bike with great results. The small Soma Stanyan might work for you. See: Stanyan Frame Set | SOMA Fabrications If that's a little large for you the smaller sized Smoothie will work: http://www.somafab.com/archives/product/smoothie
    Last edited by Barrettscv; 03-12-14 at 09:01 AM.
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  4. #4
    Fat Guy on a Little Bike KonAaron Snake's Avatar
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    Agree with the above posts...and Barrett is exactly right, they're (too) easy to find once you have one.

    It is usually my experience that when people say "the bikes are all over priced" what they are really saying is "I am unwilling to pay anything near market value". Sometimes you have to pay market, especially on the first bike, or if you ride an unusual size. That to me is reinforced by your request that someone might give you an extra frame...why would you think someone would, or should, give you a frame? There are members here that I would give a bike to if they suffered a disaster, but those are people I know well. There is time involved in getting good at this, and in forging the relationships.

    Also, don't be fooled by reading about the amazing deals you see here; those are huge exceptions, and a lot of the time those deals happened 10+ years ago - before shows like American Pickers introduced rusty gold. Some folks also exaggerate in my opinion. Usually getting those deals also involves a lot of leg work and searching - it means being in the swap meet's parking lot at 2am, CONSTANT CL checking, combing yard sales and flea markets, most of which turns up squat and multiple eBay scans of brands others may not know as well. It means having relationships with your bike shops, so that when something turns up, they call you (that also means spending money there). It means the slow process of network building...so that you scout for friends and they scout for you. You pay, you just pay in labor.

  5. #5
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    What you have described has significant value, even here in Hooterville. Very hard to find, and geting one complete adds another complication. At least half the high end bikes I find are frankenbikes, owners changed components over the years, making a mess of it. The most common change I see is on pre-index or pre-STI bikes, where owners change out derailleurs and shifters to "benefit" from the improvements. For instance, I picked up a nice Batavus Professional, beautiful bike. Components were mostly Campy, but prior owner had swapped out the nice Campy drivetrain with the bottom of the barrel Shimano STI (RSX). Would anyone buying this bike from me want that Shimano stuff on there? Not a chance. And parted out, it would bring 3X what it would bring complete. So would I forego 3X #$$ return just so the buyer got a complete bike, and then watch as the buyer parts it out (it has happened to me, and it has happened to others on here).

    In the end, its just a transfer of wealth from my family to theirs.

    I have another nice Italian road bike, XS size, parted out it will bring X, complete it will bring AT MOST 1/2 X, more likely 1/3 X. And it is a frankenbike as well (Campy Super Record except derailleurs and shifters that are Superbe Pro).

    +10 "They are all over priced here" = they are properly priced for my market, but I would like to pay a lot less. If the bikes are selling for these high prices, then thats what they are worth in your market. I would guess that salaries in your market are higher than here for sure.
    Last edited by wrk101; 03-12-14 at 01:28 PM.

  6. #6
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    Soma Buena Vista?

  7. #7
    Keener splendor TimmyT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake View Post
    It is usually my experience that when people say "the bikes are all over priced" what they are really saying is "I am unwilling to pay anything near market value". Sometimes you have to pay market, especially on the first bike, or if you ride an unusual size.
    In all fairness to the OP, I was just in Vancouver for a month, and in scanning CL, there are very few reasonably priced bikes. NYC flippers have more realistic expectations.

    In this case, I agree with the sentiment that a new frame is the way to go.
    Last edited by TimmyT; 03-12-14 at 08:07 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Craigslist View Post
    Note to you BLOWHARD MORONS out there: The fork is not bent. Most PEUGEOTS of the '70s forks DID NOT line up with the head tube angle. This is normal. The last pic is from the 1972 Dutch catalog showing this EXACT MODEL in diagram. Keep your comments to yourself......
    It's pronounced, "Co-burn."

  8. #8
    Fat Guy on a Little Bike KonAaron Snake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimmyT View Post
    In all fairness to the OP, I was just in Vancouver for a month, and in scanning CL, there are very few reasonably priced bikes. NYC flippers have more realistic expectations.

    In this case, I agree with the sentiment that a new frame is the way to go.
    I'll definitely bow to your greater knowledge, but I have a bike that came by way of Vancouver, my 1972 Cinelli. It sat on their CL at a pretty reasonable price for what it is.

  9. #9
    Administrator CbadRider's Avatar
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    Just a reminder that any WTB and Sale transactions need to be conducted in the Marketplace forums. Thanks for your cooperation.
    Quote Originally Posted by toddles View Post
    So Tom only hires people that are nutty? Is part of the requirement to be a moderator on this site is that you have to be nuts??
    Forum Guidelines *click here*

  10. #10
    Keener splendor TimmyT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake View Post
    I'll definitely bow to your greater knowledge, but I have a bike that came by way of Vancouver, my 1972 Cinelli. It sat on their CL at a pretty reasonable price for what it is.
    There are deals to be had, but they are few and the Cinelli is in the upper end of the market. That would make it sit. In general, for a regular rider, the bikes in Vancouver are overpriced, and for whatever reason there isn't even the richness of used bikes the Seattle market has. And that's another idea, scope out a few bikes on the Seattle CL, and then go down there for a weekend.
    Quote Originally Posted by Craigslist View Post
    Note to you BLOWHARD MORONS out there: The fork is not bent. Most PEUGEOTS of the '70s forks DID NOT line up with the head tube angle. This is normal. The last pic is from the 1972 Dutch catalog showing this EXACT MODEL in diagram. Keep your comments to yourself......
    It's pronounced, "Co-burn."

  11. #11
    Vello Kombi, baby Poguemahone's Avatar
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    Every time I've looked at Van City CL, the prices have struck me as ranging from high to insane.

    +1 You are looking for something that is in high demand. I exist at the other end of the frame size spectrum, where bikes are surprisingly cheap (And often drastically overpriced at first, because sellers compare them to smaller bikes, and then wonder why they don't sell at the small bike price).

    +2 broaden your search geographically

    +3 the era of the amazing deal is really over by and large-- you can still find the occasional deal, but it is almost dumb luck. The internet has evened up knowledge for the most part on value-- a moment's research can give you a value on anything. 10-15 years back, I used to go to a three times weekly auction, and buy road bikes for 5-25$. The regulars thought I was insane. No more. Be prepared to pay for the cool stuff.

    +4 The market's high end tends to sit. On CL, the better deals are there.
    "It's always darkest right before it goes completely black"

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  12. #12
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    Thanks. I did say vintage bike, not new. I would be in another bike forum asking about ride quality of soma if that is what I wanted. I cannot afford a new soma frame and all the parts, nor do I want one. Last time I looked the smoothie did not even come my size. The soma buena vista is nowhere near lightweight and has an incredibly long top tube. If I went new and had the money, it would be a mercian, or fully custom.
    I would be willing to pay for a higher end vintage bike my size, but they simply do not come up very often, get snatched up immediately, or in my case, the owners have second thoughts.
    I have 2 vintage frames, one was given to me, discovered it has a bent fork, another frame I spent a good deal of money on is in poor cosmetic shape and appears to be bent as well. Annoyingly, the cost of getting one of these bikes sorted out and built out would be more than just getting a decent vintage bicycle. The bianchi I was going to buy was $375 obo which is a great price. You have to consider that bike components cost far more in Canada for whatever reason.
    I have been looking for X bike for years on CL and it's pretty much over priced. There are deals of course, but you have to be on top of it and I live to far away to just hop in and look at a bike. I do not know why the Vancouver market is so overhyped. Most people ride beaters around for fear of having their beautiful bikes stolen. But even the beaters cost way too much. My husband has paid through the nose for many bikes on CL only to have to pour more money into them to get them even ridable! Higher end bikes of greater value will sit for awhile especially as they tend to be larger. My husband spent a premium on a bianchi with campy victory had sat on cL for ages because the seller would not budge on price. If a small campy columbus tubed bike came up, it would be gone immediately. Hopping down to Seattle is not an option anytime soon though it would be fun. I sometimes fantasize about buying a bike down in Seattle or even Bellingham where I have seen amazing bikes on CL and riding home.
    I do not have marketplace access to put up a wtb posting, and am simply putting it out there. The best CL finds thread is full of amazing bikes, especially the boston area, but what's a girl to do.
    I missed out on a campy bianchi on ebay by $1.
    Last edited by Heatherbikes; 03-13-14 at 12:54 AM. Reason: forgot info

  13. #13
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    Oh I know, I noticed on ebay, vintage bikes are going for over a thousand that used to be much less. I know I have to pay for the cool stuff, but I'd just be happy with something mid range!

  14. #14
    Senior Member Narhay's Avatar
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    There are lots of deals to be had on Vancouver CL just like any other city. A specific brand, a specific size, a specific component set, a specific colour and a seller willing to accommodate your schedule all narrow your options significantly. For what you are looking for, unless you are patient, will be hard to find without paying market value. And what you want has a high market value so you'll either have to pay it or resign yourself to lurking in the shadows until who knows when your bike will crop up.

  15. #15
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heatherbikes View Post
    There are deals of course, but you have to be on top of it and I live to far away to just hop in and look at a bike.
    Live too far = lack of convenience. It would be hard to live further away from deals than I do here in Hooterville. 100 miles one way is the norm. The deals that show up relatively local (60 miles or less) are extremely rare.


    When bikes are for sale on a public forum, you either have to pounce or pay top dollar. Its just the way it is. An area as large as Vancouver is going to be full of buyers willing and ready to pounce. The "discount" they get in part is the reward for the inconvience and miles driven, as not all deals you chase will be good in person. Nothing worse than driving 100 miles one way and finding the bike is nothing as described.
    Last edited by wrk101; 03-13-14 at 07:24 AM.

  16. #16
    Still learning oddjob2's Avatar
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    Vancouver has many affluent Asians, so that exacerbates the market demand for quality small frame road bikes. If you are homebound due to a remote location and don't have elderly friends, neighbors, or family with a stash of road bikes in their barn or garage, it is not realistic to expect to score a deal like the members of this forum, many who peruse craigslist continuously, lurk at the back doors of their local resale shop, or work at the local bike shop or coop.

    Having a ready-to-ride small Columbus SL or better tube set bike delivered to your CANADIAN outpost would actually carry a premium, due to competition for small frames and shipping costs. A lot of Bianchi road bikes, particularly the Asian source models, are poor value IMHO compared to other brands, but some noobs think they are getting a prestigious Italian bike. Maybe the market needs a Schwinnerelo, a Raleighini, or Fujilissimo.

    Guys seeking frames over 58cm get a break because there are about zero women buyers and only 5% of men qualify.
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  17. #17
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heatherbikes View Post
    Thanks. I did say vintage bike, not new. I would be in another bike forum asking about ride quality of soma if that is what I wanted. I cannot afford a new soma frame and all the parts, nor do I want one. Last time I looked the smoothie did not even come my size. The soma buena vista is nowhere near lightweight and has an incredibly long top tube. If I went new and had the money, it would be a mercian, or fully custom.
    I would be willing to pay for a higher end vintage bike my size, but they simply do not come up very often, get snatched up immediately, or in my case, the owners have second thoughts.
    I have 2 vintage frames, one was given to me, discovered it has a bent fork, another frame I spent a good deal of money on is in poor cosmetic shape and appears to be bent as well. Annoyingly, the cost of getting one of these bikes sorted out and built out would be more than just getting a decent vintage bicycle. The bianchi I was going to buy was $375 obo which is a great price. You have to consider that bike components cost far more in Canada for whatever reason.
    I have been looking for X bike for years on CL and it's pretty much over priced. There are deals of course, but you have to be on top of it and I live to far away to just hop in and look at a bike. I do not know why the Vancouver market is so overhyped. Most people ride beaters around for fear of having their beautiful bikes stolen. But even the beaters cost way too much. My husband has paid through the nose for many bikes on CL only to have to pour more money into them to get them even ridable! Higher end bikes of greater value will sit for awhile especially as they tend to be larger. My husband spent a premium on a bianchi with campy victory had sat on cL for ages because the seller would not budge on price. If a small campy columbus tubed bike came up, it would be gone immediately. Hopping down to Seattle is not an option anytime soon though it would be fun. I sometimes fantasize about buying a bike down in Seattle or even Bellingham where I have seen amazing bikes on CL and riding home.
    I do not have marketplace access to put up a wtb posting, and am simply putting it out there. The best CL finds thread is full of amazing bikes, especially the boston area, but what's a girl to do.
    I missed out on a campy bianchi on ebay by $1.
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  18. #18
    Collector of Useless Info
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    I bet one of the Forum Folk has something nice for sale. Pony up the money and then you can post on the WTB thread. I bet somebody will facilitate to Seattle if you can take a day trip.

    Also, there are quite a few very nice '80's sport touring bikes out there. You shouldn't get too stuck on Bianchi and Columbus tubing. All the tubing companies, including Miyata, made very good Chromoly tubing for their vintage touring/ sport touring lines.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heatherbikes View Post

    I have 2 vintage frames, one was given to me, discovered it has a bent fork, another frame I spent a good deal of money on is in poor cosmetic shape and appears to be bent as well. Annoyingly, the cost of getting one of these bikes sorted out and built out would be more than just getting a decent vintage bicycle.

    (snip)

    I do not have marketplace access to put up a wtb posting, and am simply putting it out there. The best CL finds thread is full of amazing bikes, especially the boston area, but what's a girl to do.
    I missed out on a campy bianchi on ebay by $1.
    A replacement fork is more than $375? And last time I checked, it doesn't cost anything to check the marketplace forum, or the frame doesn't fit thread.

    Look, I sympathize with your frustration. However, there are other options. Instead of holding out for your dream bike, you can buy something less dreamlike and make it work. I rode (and still ride) beater bikes that I learned how to wrench on while I saved for a "better" bike. Having purchased a couple "better" bikes, I find I still enjoy the beaters more. I checked out the Vancouver CL and see that mountain bikes are reasonably priced; you could pick up a smaller frame and do a drop bar conversion for a poor man's LHT.

    Or you can do what everyone else does; wait and watch until you get lucky.

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