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  1. #1
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    "I'm upside down moneywise but I don't care what people think I like the bike" thread

    Finally a thread for us schmucks who aren't gifted in the fine art of negotiating Masi's, Pinarello's, or Merckx's for pennies on the dollar from unsuspecting CL sellers. Post them if you got them. Or post them if you got took by them. Or, whatever.

  2. #2
    johnliu@earthlink.net jyl's Avatar
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    I believe that would include every bike I own :-(

    Every "nice" project bike I've pieced together from a frame and parts ends up costing $1000 by the time I count every last piece, including the original costs of the parts from the bin. But they aren't worth near $1000.

    For example, my commute bike is a Peugeot PSV that cost about $180. But over time it got Mavic hubs, Mavic rims, nice DB spokes, Retroshift levers, Mavic derailleurs, new chain, Ultra 7 freewheel, new tape, new tires . . . add that up and it is $1000 sunk into a bike that might be salable for $400. But it does save me $400/month in parking and gas.
    Your signature contains too many lines and must be shortened. You may only have up to 2 line(s). Long text may have been implicitly wrapped, causing it to be

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by jyl View Post
    I believe that would include every bike I own :-(


    You are sometimes too honest for your own good my friend. Isn't it uplifting to unburden yourself? Amen, I say to you. Who wants to step up to the pulpit next?

  4. #4
    Fat Guy on a Little Bike KonAaron Snake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jyl View Post
    I believe that would include every bike I own :-(

    Every "nice" project bike I've pieced together from a frame and parts ends up costing $1000 by the time I count every last piece, including the original costs of the parts from the bin. But they aren't worth near $1000.

    For example, my commute bike is a Peugeot PSV that cost about $180. But over time it got Mavic hubs, Mavic rims, nice DB spokes, Retroshift levers, Mavic derailleurs, new chain, Ultra 7 freewheel, new tape, new tires . . . add that up and it is $1000 sunk into a bike that might be salable for $400. But it does save me $400/month in parking and gas.
    I don't think this is unusual, and you almost always end up in a money pit buying a frame, regardless of how good a deal it was. On the plus side, my favorite bikes are all frame up builds.

    If we're talking most spent out of proportion to value, definitely this:





    It started life as this:



    My wife wanted a pink bike. I knowingly overpaid for it at the outset because she liked it, the powder coat cost what the bike is worth on top of it. GP 4000s. SS cages, $40 water bottles, MKS pedals, new saddle, custom head badge, Handlebra tape, Rootboy bar plugs, new tektro dial pivots, campy seatpost, bell from hill cycles, Ortlieb shopper. It probably has near $1000 into it, and it's about a $250 bike. She likes it, that's what matters.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Lascauxcaveman's Avatar
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    I've never bought expensive components. I'm a real cheapskate, so I generally do at least a little better than market price on whole bikes; sometimes way better. My one exception would be my 1987 Tempo. I didn't pay all that much for it, but now that I'm a more seasoned shopper, I realize it was about 30% more than I'll ever get out of it. But I still think it's my fastest bike, overall. (It has more appropriate wheels and tires on it now)
    ● 1971 Grandis SL ● 1972 Lambert Grand Prix frankenbike ● 1972 Raleigh Super Course fixie ● 1972 Peugeot UE-18 Mixte ● 1982 Motobecane Jubile Sport ● 1983 Nishiki Landau ● 1984 Peugeot PH10LE ● 1984 Bianchi Limited ● 1985 Peugeot Vagabond ● 1985 Trek 600 ● 1985 Shogun Prairie Breaker ● 1985 Raleigh Elkhorn ● 1986 Univega Nuovo Sport ● 1987 Schwinn Tempo ● 1996 Kona Lava Dome ● And a Bike to Be Named Later ●

  6. #6
    Retro Grouch onespeedbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lascauxcaveman View Post
    I've never bought expensive components. I'm a real cheapskate, so I generally do at least a little better than market price on whole bikes; sometimes way better. My one exception would be my 1987 Tempo. I didn't pay all that much for it, but now that I'm a more seasoned shopper, I realize it was about 30% more than I'll ever get out of it. But I still think it's my fastest bike, overall. (It has more appropriate wheels and tires on it now)
    What is this "more than I'll ever get out of it," for which you speak? You don't mean x*-1 do you? ("x" being the bikes you own).
    Chiunque tenti di scappare a queste regole dovrÓ mangiare un piatto largo di polenta vecchia di tre settimane e sarÓ schernito per questo, soprattutto se Ŕ straniero

  7. #7
    Senior Member OldsCOOL's Avatar
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    '86 Trek 760 Pro Series....100.00


    Good things do happen. This was from a friend.
    Having a flat tire as part of the total cycling experience is highly overrated. Knowing how to fix one quickly is not.

    '85 Trek 460 road racer

    '89 Raleigh Technium PRE

    '79 Motobecane Super Mirage

  8. #8
    Senior Member OldsCOOL's Avatar
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    Started with a frameset from @bobotech added fancy wheels (didnt have to) and ended up at 200.00 for this build. Introducing CRITter, an '88 Cannondale Criterium Series......

    Having a flat tire as part of the total cycling experience is highly overrated. Knowing how to fix one quickly is not.

    '85 Trek 460 road racer

    '89 Raleigh Technium PRE

    '79 Motobecane Super Mirage

  9. #9
    a77impala a77impala's Avatar
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    The enjoyment I get from building up a bike from parts far outweight the cost. The first test ride I break even and its downhill from there.
    Treks, 85-420, 87-560, 90-930,92-970, 95-930, 96-1220, LeMonds, 2000 Zurich, 05-Etape, 06-Versailles

  10. #10
    What??? Only 2 wheels? jimmuller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by onespeedbiker View Post
    You don't mean x*-1 do you? ("x" being the bikes you own).
    Oh, come now. With over 2000 posts you've been around long enough to know it is "N + 1", not "x + 1".

    I'm having trouble understanding the concept of this thread, "N + 1" notwithstanding. If the bike ends up being great and I enjoy riding it, is that upside down? If the intrinsic value of the components is greater than what is normally considered the value of the frame, is that upside down regardless of its riding qualities?

    My UO8 is just that, a UO8. I gave it toe clips and straps, a rack, lights and a generator around 1973 or '74, but it hasn't always worn the lights. I tried fenders on it (twice) but never like them. I upgraded the derailleurs, wheels, and crank around 1980, and shortly thereafter the seat post. Later the handlebar, saddle, and pedals. I've restrung both hubs with nicer rims. The lights are now B&M LEDs, plus it now has additional lights, L&M rechargeable headlight and a blinky taillight. It will never be a featherweight. The components outstrip the original value. But I ride it a lot. It feels great. I've commuted on it over 1000 miles a year for the last 3 or 4 years. That's a win-win scenario but financially it is upside down.
    Real cyclists use toe clips.
    jimmuller

  11. #11
    no one cares -holiday76's Avatar
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    I likely overpaid for both my last two Jack Taylor purchases ( Super Tourer, Tour of Britain) because I wanted them, and buying things from the UK with shipping is expensive.
    I prefer emails to private messages - holiday76@gmail.com
    Jack Taylor Super Tourist, Jack Taylor Super Tourer Tandem, Jack Taylor Tour of Britain, Px-10, Raleigh Portage, Carlton Flyer,Fuji The Finest, Bianchi Squadra, Voodoo Cross, Santa Cruz Tallboy, Cetma Largo, Riv Betty Foy (wife's), Gitane 500A Mini Racer (sons).

  12. #12
    RIP Sonny RaleighSport's Avatar
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    I've managed to keep most of my builds at ~$500, but considering most of my bikes are probably worth 200-300 in a realistic semi quick sale....yeah I love them, even though my collection is purely British, Japanese, and American production bikes.
    "Seriously is what I want to be, so I put on spandex and show off my gear, my junk, my thing, yes my ding-a-ling."

  13. #13
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    If it is something you ride and not hang on a wall -- it is a moot point. I would cry if i paid 3k for a vintage ride thinking it had Super Record , and find out later it had a lesser group on it or something ---- or that the beautiful ciocc/ Merckx/ Masi etc i just bought for a premium was made of 501 tubing and not SLX or 531 --- thats a tangible loss

    --- But - as in the case of the pink Hello Kitty bike, - if most of the money in the restoration was tied up in consumables anyway (tires, bar tape, seat, bottles/cages, - that type of thing , - or in parts i can move to another bike - i doesnt matter much what i have in it - as most of those costs i would be spending on any bike -- and a pink paintjob may not add real value, but it adds tangible value to the end user (It looks pretty slick too )

    Heck, my new Cannondale carbon bike got a new seat and post (changed to zero offset post) , plus wider bars and tape, different pedals, and better tires within 3 or 4 days of ownership , basically after the first 2 rides that told me what was wrong with the stock setup

  14. #14
    Bianchi Goddess Bianchigirll's Avatar
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    This is only half the story I sold four of these and only broke even on one. I may have come out even or made money on one of the others but I don't keep complicated records like some do. My goal isn't to make money but enjoy my bikes but when one has to go it would be nice to at least break even.



    DSC_0550.jpg
    Last edited by Bianchigirll; 12-02-14 at 08:56 AM.
    Bianchis '87 Sport SX, '90 Proto, '90 Campione del Fausto Giamondi Specialisma Italiano Mundo, '91 Boarala 'cross, '93 Project 3, '86 Volpe, '97 Ti Megatube, , '90 something Vento 603,

    Others but still loved,; '80 RIGI, '80 Batavus Professional, '87 Cornelo, '09 Motobecane SS, '?? Jane Doe (still on the drawing board), '90ish Haro Escape

  15. #15
    Ride Fast and Ride Safe! gioscinelli's Avatar
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    I guess my strategy is different when buying a bike. I look at what I can sell the components for and the frame and what I can keep for my collection. It's like a corporate take over, assess the base value, sale off assets and keep the most valuable core.
    85 Gios Professional - 95 Cinelli SC - 06 Colnago C 50 - Peugeot PX 10 - Peugeot Mixtie

  16. #16
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    It's a hobby, not a small business enterprise.

    Compared to golf we're getting off easy.

  17. #17
    RIP Sonny RaleighSport's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by headset View Post
    It's a hobby, not a small business enterprise.

    Compared to golf we're getting off easy.
    Just because of green fees... golf is another hobby that is amazingly cheap to get into, and you can collect some classic clubs etc.. but if you don't watch out it will always consume your money!
    "Seriously is what I want to be, so I put on spandex and show off my gear, my junk, my thing, yes my ding-a-ling."

  18. #18
    Senior Member RobbieTunes's Avatar
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    We all have frugal intentions. It's the rationalizations afterwards that are the issue.

    I'm leaving it at that. Yes, I've built the $1000 Ironman.
    Last edited by RobbieTunes; 12-02-14 at 03:17 PM.

    Robbie ♪♫♪...☻

    I'm not a doctor, but I watch them on TV.

    1982 Lotus Classique
    1987 D'Arienzo (Basso) SLX
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    2006 Cinelli XLR8R-2
    2008 BMC Roadracer SL01
    2014 Wraith Hustle
    2014 Wraith Paycheck

  19. #19
    Senior Member SJX426's Avatar
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    For many it is about breaking even or even making money. It is not for me. It is enjoying the bike, and the therapeutic impact of riding, working on the bikes and parts. I also enjoy the memories triggered by looking at the parts, drive trains and overall bikes.

    I have had profits and losses in terms of overpayment. If I think I paid too much, I just keep it and learn more about whatever the bike or part. Learning is also an upside that is challenging to quantify. For me it is a hobby for self gratification and to fill a difficult need difficult to articulate.

    I admire and respect the views and actions of the likes of wrk101, but that is not me.

    Having said all that, I do try to get good deals, it helps the N+1 NEED!

  20. #20
    Senior Member Pukeskywalker's Avatar
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    I dropped $2,000 building a nashbar touring frame and swore I wouldn't do it again.

    Then I found a Cannondale touring frame and did it all over again.

    Then I did the same thing a few more times in the $1,000 range.

    About 6 years into bike building as a hobby, I'm starting to straighten out. I have a bike fund, parts must be sold before more money is spent.

    I'm coming to accept and enjoy building bikes frugally. It's a hobby within the hobby. Cleaning and rebuilding trashed parts, riding ugly bikes, stratched bikes, heavy bikes. Using friction shifting because you just don't have compatible parts. Humbling but still fun. The best is home-brewed solutions, like hacking an SS tensioner out of old parts.

    One thing I've learned: Don't get too obsessed with a single idea or bike concept, forcing it to fruition with brute-force buying ebay parts. instead sit around and watch for a special bike/part to come to you. Set up filters on ebay and CL so you don't have to check constantly and get tempted by other bikes.

    One thing I'll still drop money on is tires.
    Last edited by Pukeskywalker; 12-02-14 at 09:37 AM.

  21. #21
    Still learning oddjob2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by a77impala View Post
    The enjoyment I get from building up a bike from parts far outweigh the cost. The first test ride I break even and its downhill from there.
    + 1

    Quote Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
    My advice, just don't post and ask "what is this one worth?" and then get torqued when someone tells you its a lot less than what you have in it. My "path" out if/when I sell is to rebuild it in a more affordable manner and resell then.
    +1

    IMO C&V bicycling is a hobby, it's somewhat collectible, it's exercise and it benefits the environment. I don't view it as a financial investment like stocks and bonds or real estate.

    As others enjoy woodworking or vintage firearms, I enjoy refurbishing and restoring bikes. The biggest downside like woodworking, it takes a fairly sizable chunk of space for a shop area and bike storage. Luckily, if you enjoy the time at your bike work stand and don't mind some dirty fingernails, you can make it almost a self supporting hobby by turning a few over.

    There is a thrill to the hunt too whether it's acquiring vintage tools, stamps, coins, or bikes. What collector isn't ecstatic when they score a deal?

    Some bikes are collectible and will appreciate in value, but the vast majority are retained for other reasons only known to it's owner. I admire the astounding depth, knowledge, enthusiasm, and unselfishness of the regulars on this forum.

    Being outdoors to enjoy whatever environs you live in, to fill your lungs with fresh air, get your heart pumping, and enjoy the view is PRICELESS. And it can make us aging boomers feel like a teenager! My knees gave out long ago from jogging, but I am thankful I can enjoy riding.

    By rescuing neglected vintage bikes from garages, barns, sheds, and landfills, we reduce waste and the bikes we labor over on our work stands earn an opportunity to serve the pleasure and needs of another generation of riders. I ride most places within 5 miles of my house, if I don't need to carry more than 2 cubic feet of groceries or other items, so I save fuel and automotive upkeep.
    Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. Albert Einstein
    2014 Additions: 1985 Trek 560, 1992 Trek Multitrack 700 (my 2nd), 1994 Trek Carbon 2200, Peugeot PX-10, 1981 Schwinn Voyageur 11.8, 1989 Bridgestone RB-1, Miyata 912

  22. #22
    Rides Majestic
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    I've been upside down on a couple. At one point a couple of years ago I had to have a fillet brazed Schwinn and paid a bit too much for a frameset on ebay. The thing is you just don't see that many of them in my area. I think that it's easy to get upside down if you have to have a specific bike for whatever reason.

  23. #23
    incazzare. lostarchitect's Avatar
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    Like others, I'm upside down on every frame I build up. I really like building them, and I tend to get carried away. The only time I ever profit on a bike is the rare occasion where I buy one whole, original, and cheaply, then fix it up.

    I can't even begin to figure out how much I spent on this baby:

    1964 JRJ (Bob Jackson), 1973 Wes Mason, 2000ish Colian (Colin Laing), 2013 Velo Orange Pass Hunter

  24. #24
    Retro Grouch onespeedbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmuller View Post
    Oh, come now. With over 2000 posts you've been around long enough to know it is "N + 1", not "x + 1".
    "N" stands for how many bikes is enough (N=N+1), not how many you own. My math, x-1 was to represent the irrationality of actually reducing the amount of bikes one owns.
    Chiunque tenti di scappare a queste regole dovrÓ mangiare un piatto largo di polenta vecchia di tre settimane e sarÓ schernito per questo, soprattutto se Ŕ straniero

  25. #25
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    Here you go. Lower level with many upgrades. Check out those components. Stronglight 99, Simplex barcons/SJA102 FD, Wolber 58's, Suntour VS and the claw hanger! Heck, the Solibloc pump wasn't cheap, but it matches so well! This is still my everyday ride. Give the French credit, they sure knew how to build an all around all day rider. When this picture was taken, my wife had permanently "borrowed" the Christophe toeclips I had on another bike. So I had to rotate a pair between this one and the other one until I got some more. BTW, the SJA102 FD has no problem shifting the triple.

    20140519_095750[1].jpg
    Last edited by seypat; 12-02-14 at 12:14 PM.

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