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Thread: Old Bikes

  1. #1
    dark and cynical PapeteeBooh's Avatar
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    I got a great road bike (10 speeds) in immaculate condition at a yeard sale yesterday. I can't believe it. It was in such good condition I did not even had to adjust the derailler. Just a little oil and inflating the tires and it was good to go. $10!! I still can't believe it. Some people are crazy. This bike is great. It may be 15 or 20 years old but as good as new.

  2. #2
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    That's great, P.B. I've been thinking about that myself lately. Mike is really big on that, I understand. I keep thinking of all the great deals out there, and you just proved it! In fact, one day at a yard sale I passed up a "his and hers" set of old Schwinn 3-speeds. I guess too many people think of bikes like they are all department store types that aren't any good after a few years. Shoot, I bought a Schwinn ten speed around 1979, and the man I gave it to last year still rides it. In fact, he bought a Wal-Mart bike a month ago (which I warned him about), and he went right back to the Schwinn 10 speed. Since I bought that Schwinn, I have had about 5 cars: 3 are dead, one is missing and the one we drive is getting ready for the grave! Good bikes just outlast cars (or 5 cars, to be exact)!
    Last edited by LittleBigMan; 04-30-01 at 10:11 AM.

  3. #3
    BikeForums Founder Joe Gardner's Avatar
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    $10.00?! What a deal! Im going to try to hit some yard sales this weekend, i want to make myself a nice single speed track bike, you know, the fixed gear bike with no brakes

  4. #4
    Senior Member mike's Avatar
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    Yahoo! I am glad to hear you guys are finally finding the treasures of the '70's vintage road bikes.

    This is THE time to rescue these magnificent machines before they find their way into the dumpsters and are lost forever. For almost nothing, you can buy bicycles of quality that are almost untouchably expensive if bought new today. Of course, you can get Schwinns which are nice quality and reliable, but you can also find some super-nice lightweight European bikes for almost nothing. Most people don't know the value of "that old bike sitting in the garage".

    One of the real beauties of the old 10-speeds is that you can easily repair them for nothing. Buy yourself a couple of bikes and use them for parts. You usually don't even need many special tools.

    My one most important suggestion is that you clean and grease all bearings. I work on a lot of vintage bikes and the one common ailment is dried or lost grease. It is not hard to do on the old bikes. Clean and re-grease the headset bearings, bottom bracket, and bearins on the wheel hubs. If you don't you will quickly ruin the bike.

    Note that most of the good old bikes had free bearings, so be sure to disassemble the bike on top of an old blanket so as to catch any bearings that come rolling out. While you are at it, you can change the bearings too. It will only cost about $5.00 to completely change all the bearings on your bike.

    Contact me if you have any questions.
    Mike

  5. #5
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    It gets addictive. After you scan for 10-speeds, you find average 10 speeds (which are very good finds) and exceptional 10 speeds (which thrill my heart). I have 4 of these finds in my stable. One is set up for commuting, one is set up for fast riding, one for fixed gear. I don't know what to do with the latest.

    The cool thing is that these bikes were nearly the top of the line it their day, and age does not diminish their ride.

  6. #6
    Mr. Cellophane RainmanP's Avatar
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    Mike and Oscar (ie Racso Oscar) and others into the vintage thing,
    How about a couple of lists of brands we could be on the lookout for, broken down as EXCEPTIONAL brands and average brands. For instance, I would assume that Schwinn, Peugeot, and Fuji would fall into the average but pretty good category. Can you expand? What would you consider to be EXCEPTIONAL brands? You know, the kind of bike that if we told the group we got one for $10-20 everyone would pass out with envy.

    Along the same lines, someone has been advertising an old Schwinn tandem that "needs work" for $270. Should I go take a look? What should I look for to see if there is irreparable damage?
    Regards,
    Raymond
    Last edited by RainmanP; 04-30-01 at 02:11 PM.
    If it ain't broke, mess with it anyway!

  7. #7
    Senior Member mike's Avatar
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    Old bikes don't always have their original parts, so it is important to look. Before I knew what I was doing, I bought a Peugeot PX-10 for $15.00. Later, I realized that the owner had replaced almost every part with Campagnolo parts including the derailures and hubs! What a treasure!

    Some of the Italian bikes are treasured like Bianchi or Giatane. I like my British Raleigh bikes like the Grand Prix. Check out www.oldroads.com and look at the Vintage Lightweights. There is a lot of conversation going on there about vintage lightweights.

    $275.00 is not unreasonable for a Schwinn tandem. Many of the parts are interchangeable with the single riders and could be used for replacement if necessary. Check to make sure that none of the tandem specific drive train parts are missing or damaged - it could be near impossible to find replacements.

    If any of the chrome is peeling, the value would be greatly reduced.

    If you want a tandem and riding a heavy bike doesn't bother you, go for it.
    Last edited by mike; 05-01-01 at 05:42 AM.
    Mike

  8. #8
    dark and cynical PapeteeBooh's Avatar
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    Hi,

    I am really quite found of my new bike

    The brand is Benotto. Apparently this is a Mexican bike (makes sense I live in NM not very far). Anybody heard of them?

  9. #9
    Senior Member bjlaw's Avatar
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    I just finished rebuilding my old 1973 Falcon 10 speed. As I remember it was about the best bike I could find at the time. It's a British bike that was very light weight for the time with tubular tires and campy components.

    I just got back into riding again a couple of years ago and bought a Trek 5200 which I love. I was looking for a backup and realized that the old Falcon was stuck up in Northern Wisconsin at my parents cottage on Lake Michigan and hadn't been out of the garage for 15 years. You can imagine what it looked like being stored right next to the lake for that long. I spent many hours on it in my basement this last winter. I took it out last weekend and could not beleive how great the ride was. The only change I plan on making is upgrading the saddle. That's where technology really pays.
    BJ

    When victory in battle is assured, time to tighten helmet strap.

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    I think Bennoto is an Italian-owned company which produces bikes in Mexico. I saw one Ben, and it looked very Italian in its geometry and paint scheme. If it rides well and fits, you'll love it.

  11. #11
    dark and cynical PapeteeBooh's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Oscar
    I think Bennoto is an Italian-owned company which produces bikes in Mexico. I saw one Ben, and it looked very Italian in its geometry and paint scheme. If it rides well and fits, you'll love it.
    That makes sense. The frame is a little small for me but otherwise the bike is excellent. I keep it for the use of friends or family on visit.

  12. #12
    dark and cynical PapeteeBooh's Avatar
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    I go another ten speeds today at a garage sales $20. Not quite such a nice bike as my dear benotto (that is really really nice) but a fine bike to go around town. I bought it for parts at first but it is actually in good condition so I cannot justify cannibalizing it.

    I start buying this stuff because I live car-free in a city with more or less no public transport and wanted to have bikes around for friends on visits. Halas, I have now a garage full of old bikes (5 at last count) and yet few people who bother to visit me in my desert. I still keep getting this stuff. I am addicted. Help! :confused:
    In the paper there was a guy selling trikes at a yard sales today but it is really quite far. ...

  13. #13
    Carfree since '82. Grrr! JonR's Avatar
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    Originally posted by PapeteeBooh
    I still keep getting this stuff. I am addicted. Help! :confused:
    As addictions go, I'd say this is a pretty healthy one. I hope you get more visitors, to take advantage of your stable of bikes.

  14. #14
    Senior Member mike's Avatar
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    PapeteeBooh

    You are hooked, man. The bike collecting monkey is on your back and he goes with you to every yard sale, every thrift shop and every flea market.

    There is no cure. Even your wife can't cure you.

    The good news is that there are others like you.

    Go to:

    http://www.oldroads.com/d_ltw_def.asp?rec_count=1

    The other good news is that you will find joy in every garage. Every old hippie that bikes along on a vintage wheel will be riding a treasure for you to admire.

    This is the dawning of the age of vintage lightweight bicycles

    The age of vintage lightweight bicycles..

    Oh, bicycles...

    lightweight bicycles!

    La la la la la laaaaa, la la, la la la la la laaaaa

    (I haven't made the rest of the words yet - to be sung to "Age of Aquarius". Note: written while experimenting with various contenders for the best beers for bicycling.
    Mike

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    At the swap meet today:

    A very early Trek road bike from the early 80's with a Nashbar trainer. The guy wanted $75 and never got it.

    An early 70's Raleigh Super Course in immaculate condition sold for $40.

    A tall Bianchi for $100.

    I stayed relatively clean and bought only brake lever hoods.
    Last edited by Oscar; 05-21-01 at 09:51 AM.

  16. #16
    0^0 fubar5's Avatar
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    I was cruising ebay today and saw some cool old bikes. There were a couple 70's- 80's Bianchi's for 200 dollars or so. I also saw a Schwinn Continental for 26 bucks. I dunno if thats a good deal or anything. The bike that really caught my eye was a peugeot for 305. The paint scheme was cool, the size was right.And $305 is a lot cheaper than any road bike at a bike shop.
    Booyah!!

  17. #17
    0^0 fubar5's Avatar
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    I just checked out roadbikereview.com and they have classifieds. There are some cool buys!!! At least I think so..
    Last edited by coolio; 05-20-01 at 09:05 PM.
    Booyah!!

  18. #18
    Carfree since '82. Grrr! JonR's Avatar
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    I just never have understood about eBay and other auction sites though--how can you tell what's for sale isn't stolen or has concealed defects? I guess this 61-year-old child of the information age just hasn't managed to step over that particular cyber-threshold. The price is right, but....

  19. #19
    0^0 fubar5's Avatar
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    Yeah Jon I've kinda wondered the same thing. I mean, what if someone with no intention of buying bids on a product just to run up the price? I dunno, I'm gonna stick with mikes idea of thrift stores and my idea of pawn shops. Its fun to cruise ebay though.
    Booyah!!

  20. #20
    dark and cynical PapeteeBooh's Avatar
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    I made a lot of auctions (not for bikes though) on Amazon. Some buyers have a return policy for large items it is also possible (but costs some extra) to use an escrow service (third party company that hold the fund until you had a chance to inspect the merchandise). The problem is that even so, it tend to be slow and the shipping cost can be high.

    immediacy of yard sales/pawn show vs world market at your fingerprint.

  21. #21
    Senior Member mike's Avatar
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    I have found that the availability of good old collectible bikes varies from city to city.

    Some cities are bicycle gold-mines. Others are bicycle ghost towns.

    This disparity is what keeps the e-auctions hopping and interesting.
    Mike

  22. #22
    Senior Member technogirl's Avatar
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    Yeah, I would like to get a used bike myself, but it's more difficult I think to find something my size. My MTB has a 13" frame, so I've been looking for a used road bike around that size. I haven't found it yet.

    I've used eBay, but that was kind of nerve wracking while you're waiting around for your product while someone has received your money. I got it eventually, though.

    --Sussette
    -------------------------------------
    "Hard work often pays off after time, but craziness pays off now."
    -------------------------------------

  23. #23
    dark and cynical PapeteeBooh's Avatar
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    Just an update. after many months, I eventually got my Benotto $10 yard sale bike restored (I replaced the seat post, the handlebar and a few other minor things). What a threat to ride!

    I never experienced such a smooth ride. The bike is light and very smooth (perhaps because it is a steel frame). I like riding it better than my new Bianchi Volpe. This bike is unbelievable. I will take care of it, threat it with a paint job sometimes and perhaps upgrade some components to make it a read road racer!

  24. #24
    Senior Member pat5319's Avatar
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    Rainman,
    It might be better to restrict your self to looking for European bikes with good tubing, possible exception Fuji. Look for stickers like Columbus SP or SL, Reynolds 531, Vitus or possibly 531 straight gauge or main tubes. If you can't find a tubing sticker, flick the main tube if says "ping" it's probably pretty good if it says "thunk" forget it. If it has steel parts, unless it's real old, it's probably forgettable. Stay away from thin dropuots.
    Look very closely at the lugwork, the lugs should have no sign of seams and sould be filed fairly thin at the ends, ( apx .5 mm), with no sign of excess solder/brass at the seams. Generally speaking the better bikes are niceley finished and more "intricate Lugwork"
    Be cautious dealing with German bikes and some Frenchies, the Germans never made good bikes with the possible excetion of Puch and Austro-Daimler, and a lot of the Frenchies were slapped together during the "bike boom" same for some of the English, especially those that were not "top of th line". French bikes made/imported before '85 have french threads so no current parts will work ie., headsets, BB's etc. etc.
    Names (some)- Olmo, Pogliaghi, Masi, Legnano, Motobecane, Gitane, Mondia, Gazelle, Bob Jackson, Rene Hearse, Tom Cooper, Falcon, Junet, Ital Vega, and almost any Italian name.
    Ride till you're old
    Pat
    Pat5319


  25. #25
    Mr. Cellophane RainmanP's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info, Pat! Since this tread started a few months ago, I have acquired the late-80's Bianchi Brava I have described elsewhere and an early-80's Schwinn Voyageur. The Bianchi hardly qualifies as an old bike since it was barely ridden and in, for practical purposes, showroom condition. The Schwinn has seen a lot of miles and needs some TLC and a good overhaul, but is a sound, quality bike. You don't see many bikes these days with 40-spoke wheels!
    If it ain't broke, mess with it anyway!

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