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  1. #1
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Cheap Bike Finds

    My stepson Jerry just bought a bike at a yard sale for $6.00. It was an old Trek 800 mountain bike with brand new tires. The brakes need adjusting and it needs a good lube job. I told him the old man was proud.

    Have you seen any good cheap (or free) bikes lately?

  2. #2
    The Spider spidercyclist's Avatar
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    Good job on the find. I find a lot of good deals on eBay and at the LBS. Have a good night.

  3. #3
    I'll get there vilelamb's Avatar
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    I bought a 1980s steel Univega Viva Sport road bike for 20 dollars at a yard sale.

  4. #4
    CARFREE, THE LIFE FOR ME Autokat's Avatar
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    I got this off ebay here in aus for $50.00 still in the box ( unwanted prize ) it's only a single speed , 26" KHS manhattan nitrous . You can't buy these here in Aus ...well so far I haven't found a shop that has them or can get them .the pic with the rack is now ( I have to get the bars rechromed ) it's much more comfy to ride like this.

  5. #5
    Mxu
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    Kind of off, but after putting new tires on my used bike, its amazing to see what kind of a difference the tires have on how new a bike looks.

    Spiffy! I wish there were more places to get used stuff around here in NYC

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Last summer, I found a Giant Iguana on campus. It was unlocked and had been in the same exact position(laying near a bike rack) for over a week. So I walked down there, picked it up and rode it home. It needed new tires and tubs, a new chain, the wheels needed to be trued and a new seat. I'm currently fixing it up so my fiance can ride with me.

  7. #7
    Junk Collector
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    So far this summer, these are my garage sale finds:
    1984 Raleigh Super Course (purchased for $20)
    1971 Schwinn Super Sport (not purchased, guy wanted $150)
    An old Dawes cruiser style bike (not purchased, didn't know what it was)
    1984 Cannondale road bike (found in garbage, have recently repainted and installing new BB)
    1980's Fuji road bike (not purchased, bike wouldn't roll forward or backward)
    1960's (?) Schwinn HeaviDuti. Didn't get it, but I love the name.

    There are some I have forgotten, mostly dept store bikes. But if you ride around enough, you'll find some great stuff. I really wanted that Super Sport, but $150 and it needed major attention? I don't think so.

  8. #8
    SE Wis dedhed's Avatar
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    I just bought a late 80's Trek 1000 in excellent condition for 2 cases of Miller Lite ($17.00 if you have friends who work at Miller) I do have $20 into a new rear tire & tube and will have to buy a new seat yet.

  9. #9
    Stoked
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    Here's one. I bought a pile of bikes from a local thrift store owner (they weren't at the store, but when I asked if they had any bikes, she told me I could come meet her at her house) for $20.

    The pile included an old and heavy Schwinn 10-speed and the boardwalk cruiser pictured. The cruiser was brought up to its pictured condition with some odds and ends from the LBS (fenders, rack, basket, seat post), some stuff I had arround (seat, grease, labor), and some parts from the other bikes in the pile (18t rear sprocket, 40t chain ring, reflectors).

    So now my wife is thrilled to have her "Amsterdam bike" commuter. (We went to Amsterdam this spring and noted that most of the bikes were very utilitarian and that what we call "road bikes" they think of "racing bikes.")

    All in all, there's less invested in the bike than the trunk bag on the rack (largely because the LBS treats me well).


  10. #10
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Jerry (my stepson) needs a new business. I thought about encouraging him to to find old bikes and fix them up for resale. Do you folks think this is a reasonable plan for a business? I'm just not sure that poorer people around here are sophisticated enough to know that a rebuilt Trek or Giant (for example) would be a better deal than the $100 Walmart/Target/Meijer bikes, which are shiny new. What do you all think?

  11. #11
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody
    Do you folks think this is a reasonable plan for a business? I'm just not sure that poorer people around here are sophisticated enough to know that a rebuilt Trek or Giant (for example) would be a better deal than the $100 Walmart/Target/Meijer bikes, which are shiny new. What do you all think?
    Heck, the US cycling afficianados with lots of bucks or under the influence of trendy stylin' know even less about value when it comes to getting a practical bicycle for commuting. Your instinct is right, this is no way to make money in the US, competing with Walmart over low prices, especially with a second hand product shunned by the public at large. There is a reason your step son found that bike priced so cheaply at a garage sale - supply far exceeds the current demand for such bikes.

  12. #12
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
    Heck, the US cycling afficianados with lots of bucks or under the influence of trendy stylin' know even less about value when it comes to getting a practical bicycle for commuting. Your instinct is right, this is no way to make money in the US, competing with Walmart over low prices, especially with a second hand product shunned by the public at large. There is a reason your step son found that bike priced so cheaply at a garage sale - supply far exceeds the current demand for such bikes.
    Never thought I'd say this, but you're probably right.

  13. #13
    I'll get there vilelamb's Avatar
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    Today I was riding my bike and found an abandoned old 1980s black Univega!

  14. #14
    Very rigid mountain biker
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    Found a late 80s/early 90s Japanese "touring" bike (don't remember the manufacturer or model, it's outside in the shed and it's dark right now) in the garbage a couple of weeks ago. Lugged steel frame and hot red color, garbage or not I wanted it! I guess it's an early attempt at a hybrid bike - 26" (like mountain bike 26", not those faker hybrid 26" wheels with the fractional and not decimal width) wheels, flat mtb-diameter bar, Shimano thumb shifters (yay!). It's almost had it's "overhaul" (I left most of the rust on as I decided this will be my beater now), just needs new shifter cables. I promise to post photos. A weird thing about the bike is the cable routing technology - originally it had downtube shifters, the clamp for these now serves to route the cables to two steel sheets rolled at the top in the form of curved half-pipes to direct the cables at an angle. Also amazing was the fact that despite the seatpost (fluted too! what a find!) having a thick layer of aluminium oxide near the end of the seat tube, it pulled out with almost no effort - turns out the inside of the seat tube had caught a lot of overspray when the frame was painted, which prevented the seatpost from binding! I wish more frame manufacturers would paint their frames that way. It also had the stereotypical junk bike rusted-solid chain. It had almost no wear on it. I tried to see if I could make it into the world's rustiest working bicycle chain, but even after lots of work a good third of the links are stiff. I abandoned the idea. I suggest this to anyone looking to try the same.
    Put the fun between your legs.

  15. #15
    TMX
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    Quote Originally Posted by craigery
    Last summer, I found a Giant Iguana on campus. It was unlocked and had been in the same exact position(laying near a bike rack) for over a week. So I walked down there, picked it up and rode it home.
    So, basically, you stole someone else's bike. Nice.

    -Bob

  16. #16
    Senior Member
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    No. Not at all. It was in the summer. There were no students on campus. The thing had been in the same postition and unlocked for over a week. It hadnt been touched. It wasnt registered with the university, and it had a tag on it from the police saying that the bike must be moved in a certain amount of time or they would take it. I really dont consider it stealing. It wasnt even near a dorm room, it was near this path that goes next to the river.

  17. #17
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    i was given an old bianchi road bike by my younger brother after an accident. after taking it into the shop where i work to check the damage, all i had to do was straighten the frame slightly and replace the front wheel. since then, i've put a single speed cog on it and a longer seat post.
    grand total for my brand new (old) single speed commuting bike? $45 (canadian)

  18. #18
    jfz
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    Two weeks ago I bought a Specialized Rock Hopper from my neighbors yard sale for $5.00. I saw he put it out at 7:00 A.M. and all day I kept telling myself I should go and look just in case it was a good bike. I went over at 4:30 P.M. and couldn't believe it. Yes the supply is much greater than the demand!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by craigery
    No. Not at all. It was in the summer. There were no students on campus. The thing had been in the same postition and unlocked for over a week. It hadnt been touched. It wasnt registered with the university, and it had a tag on it from the police saying that the bike must be moved in a certain amount of time or they would take it. I really dont consider it stealing. It wasnt even near a dorm room, it was near this path that goes next to the river.
    I left my bike on campus one summer. It was still there when I got back. Glad I don't live around you.

  20. #20
    Senior Member
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    I've been commuting to work and running errands on a crummy L.L. Bean hybrid I bought at a yardsale for $20. It appeared to have been rarely ridden. Of course, I wound up putting slightly more than $20 in parts and accessories into it.

  21. #21
    "SURE!"
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    I landed a lugged, celeste Bianchi Grizzly from some extremely nice folks on my local Freecycle list earlier this summer. All it needed was a new set of tubes, a new rim (which I had lying around) and a seat.

  22. #22
    jack of one or two trades Aeroplane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Ridley
    I left my bike on campus one summer. It was still there when I got back. Glad I don't live around you.
    You left your bike unattended, presumably outside, for upwards of two months and it was still there when you got back? This is both na´ve and incredibly lucky. Taking a "found" bike is an ethical gray area, and craigery felt justified. How long would you wait until you took it home? A month? A year? Does that make it less or more justified?
    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Irwin Goldstein
    Men should never ride bicycles. Riding should be banned and outlawed. It is
    the most irrational form of exercise I could ever bring to discussion.

  23. #23
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    I looked at garage sales, thrift stores and flea markets for bikes for a month or so, and finally bought a "new" bike on eBay. It was assembled for me by the seller (retired LBS owner), and cost me $70 for an older vintage 10 speed (my guess is 1980's) that had never been out of the box. Univega Custom Ten.

    In all of my other shopping I had only seen kids bikes.

    My first bike (about 30 years ago) was based on a free bike from a friend. I did lots of work, but spent very little money on it. I foolishly laced my own back wheel to upgrade from single speed to three speed, but lucked out on having the proper size spokes.
    Slow Ride Cyclists of NEPA

    People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.
    - Ralph Waldo Emerson

  24. #24
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aeroplane
    You left your bike unattended, presumably outside, for upwards of two months and it was still there when you got back? This is both na´ve and incredibly lucky. Taking a "found" bike is an ethical gray area, and craigery felt justified. How long would you wait until you took it home? A month? A year? Does that make it less or more justified?

    I agree that it is a gray area but at least I waited a while. Its not like I took it the first time I saw it. My fiancee did make me feel bad about though. It probably belonged to some spoiled rich kid who didnt really care about it or even know it was a nice bike.

  25. #25
    Senior Member GP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aeroplane
    You left your bike unattended, presumably outside, for upwards of two months and it was still there when you got back? This is both na´ve and incredibly lucky. Taking a "found" bike is an ethical gray area, and craigery felt justified. How long would you wait until you took it home? A month? A year? Does that make it less or more justified?
    I work at a marina that has 10-15 bike racks. Some of the rusted "abandoned" bikes are simply left there by seasonal boaters who pump up the tires, spray some WD-40 on the chain and ride them around in the summer.

    We have a strict policy regarding taking anything, including bicycles, home. If it's trash, it goes into a dumpster. If it's salvageable, we haul it to the police property yard so it can be auctioned off.

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