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  1. #1
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    I got a strange notion. I thought,

    Why not use old 10 speeds from thrift shops to store up an arsenal of commuting bikes? They are found from $10 to $30 apiece and have many interchangeable parts. I could be set for biking for a sweet song and have fun also.

    I can't get it out of my head (Beatles' song...) So I found an old Raleigh 10 speed ($8.99) and a Unic Sport made in France by Gottfreid ($15.15,) both probably sold during the 1970's American bike craze. My goal is to swap a few parts and create a commuter. Heck, most of these bikes, old as they are, have been sitting in garages and hardly ridden--you can tell by the neat and tidy chainrings that show no real wear. I'm amazed at how well a bike can still shift after 30-odd years sitting idly (but the rubber parts can deteriorate if exposed to air, like tires and brake hoods.)

    Have I found a new love, or have I lost my mind? Any suggestions?
    Last edited by LittleBigMan; 04-05-04 at 08:49 PM.
    No worries

  2. #2
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    A friend of mine does basically that. Just about all of his bikes are made up of spare parts from bikes that he buys at garage sales and so on, then assembles himself. His commuter -- well it looks like such a beater that he doesn't even have to lock it up!
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
    "We invite everyone to question the entire culture we take for granted." - Manic Street Preachers.
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  3. #3
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    I got my commuter from a Salvation Army thrift store. It's an old Raleigh as well. I've put a few dollars into it, but it's still a cheap bike with a lot more character than an xmart bike. My reasoning is that if it gets stolen it's not a major loss.

  4. #4
    Zin
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    On your what?!? Zin's Avatar
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    Old Raleighs never die! I have 3 myself. 1 1978 Grand Prix, 2 a MUSTANG SIS ATB, 3 Just picked up a Rampar R1027! All for under 25bux each. I ride them more than I do my fancey 2002 FS MTB!

    http://www.bikeforums.net/attachment...id=11318&stc=1
    http://www.bikeforums.net/attachment...id=11244&stc=1
    Last edited by N7CZinMT; 04-05-04 at 10:53 AM. Reason: Added links to photos of my 2 Raleigh commuter bikes.

  5. #5
    put our Heads Together cerewa's Avatar
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    A friend of mine does basically that. Just about all of his bikes are made up of spare parts from bikes that he buys at garage sales and so on, then assembles himself. His commuter -- well it looks like such a beater that he doesn't even have to lock it up!
    My friend had a really rusty 12 speed in a horrible color of green that he left inside his apartment building* with no lock and it got stolen. But this is Montreal, one of the 10 worst places worldwide for bike theft.

    *which is accessible only to residents and their guests... and anybody who follows them through the locked front doors before they shut
    Some awesome folks who are working to give Haitians the ability to manage their safety and their lives:
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  6. #6
    Patrick A
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    I just bought my girlfriend this weekend her errand bike, a late 60's Nottingham built Raliegh with a non-internal hub/derailleur 5 speed for $10, with an old Zefal frame pump too. I have a couple of old junkers, a 60's Huffy 3 speed I got for $15 at a garage sale, a JC Penny (!) woman's we got for free, and two cheapo early 70's Taiwanese 10 speeds, one of them with a sticker stating it was sold at Western Auto. But both of those have decent lugged frames and don't weigh all that much, and I got them both for $8 so I can't complain. I figured that I could build them into good backups. Heck, even my Trek 820 commuter was purchased out of the paper for $75.
    Last edited by Patrick A; 04-05-04 at 08:30 AM.

  7. #7
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cerewa
    My friend had a really rusty 12 speed in a horrible color of green that he left inside his apartment building* with no lock and it got stolen. But this is Montreal, one of the 10 worst places worldwide for bike theft.
    You haven't seen my friend's commuter bike yet. Trust me, no thief would be confident of making a getaway on it -- or selling it for enough to buy any drugs.
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
    "We invite everyone to question the entire culture we take for granted." - Manic Street Preachers.
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  8. #8
    slower than you Applehead57's Avatar
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    You know, I've been kinda thinking on those same lines. I have a 1978 Peugeot UO-10, that I just can't leave in the barn. $-wise, it probably doesn't make much sense, but I keep telling myself that with a few modifications, it would be better than new. I'm trying to figure out now what limitations (thread size, diameters etc) I need to work around.

    Hey, the snow is almost gone! Long, d*** winter, time to ride!
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  9. #9
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    well, many people do similar things and turn the bikes into single speed commuters or fixed gear bikes or whathave you. my bike is built on a 7 dollar schwinn frame and i tried to use as many used old parts as possible on it. unfortunately, fixed gear being what it is, i had to spend a few bucks on the rear wheel(actually, rear wheel, at 130, costs much more than the rest of the bike put together). i've been really happy w/ it so far. i ride it to work every day, groceries, that kind of stuff, but i also do 50 mile group rides. old junk rocks.
    dan

  10. #10
    seeking simple
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleBigMan
    I got a strange notion. I thought,

    Why not use old 10 speeds from thrift shops to store up an arsenal of commuting bikes? They are found from $10 to $30 apiece and have many interchangeable parts. I could be set for biking for a sweet song and have fun also.

    I can't get it out of my head (Beatles' song...) So I found an old Raleigh 10 speed ($8.99) and a Unic Sport made in France by Gottlieb ($15.15,) both probably sold during the 1970's American bike craze. My goal is to swap a few parts and create a commuter. Heck, most of these bikes, old as they are, have been sitting in garages and hardly ridden--you can tell by the neat and tidy chainrings that show no real wear. I'm amazed at how well a bike can still shift after 30-odd years sitting idly (but the rubber parts can deteriorate if exposed to air, like tires and brake hoods.)

    Have I found a new love, or have I lost my mind? Any suggestions?
    I'm really not seeing where the wierd part of this is at all.

  11. #11
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    Beware weird French threading.
    In the US it seems to be that people equate beater bikes with cheapie 1970s sports frames that were pretty low grade when new. As a long-term project you might want to hunt around for something with a bit of quality, maybe a Pug PX10. The label doesnt matter too much, but you can always spot quality on a lugged bike.
    High grade beater bikes, even with low-grade components, ride well. You have the added satisfaction that only those in the know will be able to spot your quality mount.

  12. #12
    Desert tortise lsits's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleBigMan
    I got a strange notion. I thought,

    I can't get it out of my head (Beatles' song...)
    You HAVE definitely lost your mind. "Can't Get it Out of my Head" is by ELO (Electric Light Orchestra), NOT the Beatles.
    Wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then. - Bob Seger

  13. #13
    Center of the Universe ngateguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleBigMan
    Have I found a new love, or have I lost my mind? Any suggestions?
    Both
    Matthew 6

  14. #14
    Vello Kombi, baby Poguemahone's Avatar
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    Not a new idea, but a good one. You can find high quality bikes cheap if you look. Some of mine include a Trek 850 (Reynolds 531) a Trek 560 (Reynolds 501 with shimano 600 salvaged from another bike), a Peugeot UO10 (all purpose beater), a PX10, The five dollar Magneet... you get the idea. None of these cost in excess of 100$, and all but one under 35$.
    "It's always darkest right before it goes completely black"

    Waste your money! Buy my comic book!

  15. #15
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lsits
    You HAVE definitely lost your mind. "Can't Get it Out of my Head" is by ELO (Electric Light Orchestra), NOT the Beatles.
    Of course, I knew that.
    No worries

  16. #16
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelW
    High grade beater bikes, even with low-grade components, ride well. You have the added satisfaction that only those in the know will be able to spot your quality mount.
    Thanks for your good suggestions.

    My greatest satisfaction will be in enjoying myself. I'm not sure that what others think about it really matters.

    Thank you all for your input. I hope to learn as much as possible. Right now, I'm just trying to develop a backup bike since the repairs on my current ride cost too much right now.

    No worries

  17. #17
    Senior Member bhchdh's Avatar
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    Definatly not crazy, I picked up a Trek 610 (1984) for $2.07 (including tax) at the DAV thrift store.

  18. #18
    bici accumulatori pinerider's Avatar
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    LBM - You haven't lost your mind, this is the way things should be. You should be able to buy half decent bikes for not much money and ride as much as you want. My $17 Bianchi thrift shop road bike still had the original Bianchi tires on i!
    My fleet of 8 comes from 2 @ thrift shops, 2 @ police auctions, 4 @ private sales, grand total of about $360 invested.
    I'd stay away from the old French stuff, though - collecting that could be a sign of instability!
    ...!

  19. #19
    Friend of Jimmy K naisme's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hair07
    well, many people do similar things and turn the bikes into single speed commuters or fixed gear bikes or whathave you. my bike is built on a 7 dollar schwinn frame and i tried to use as many used old parts as possible on it. unfortunately, fixed gear being what it is, i had to spend a few bucks on the rear wheel(actually, rear wheel, at 130, costs much more than the rest of the bike put together)
    .

    Hello, you rung my bell. I have four fixed gear wheels at the moment, all more than the bikes I put them on, I get more out of the wheel than I do the bike. All my rides are found/thrift/gifts that I've acquired over time, and I ride most of them a little each year. But looking at the pile of frames I don't I'm ready to chuck the lot of them, or trade them to a friend who gets the thrift store bikes and fixes them up for drinking money. Actually with the Twin Cities bus strike he's about out of bikes to work on.

    i've been really happy w/ it so far. i ride it to work every day, groceries, that kind of stuff, but i also do 50 mile group rides. old junk rocks.
    dan

    I commuted all winter on two garage sale bikes I've made into fixed gears, and now that summer is here I have a Schwinn World Sport that I dug out of a dumpster two summers ago, and have a Trek carbon fork on the front end, and I ride that all summer as a fixed gear.
    I learned some of what I do from my friend who is making sort of an off the grid lifestyle through building bikes and selling them for cash or trade. He drinks and lives with his brother, so he's sort of set that way. He's a good egg, just off a little.
    "I will remain the stranger who came from a faraway land." Lance Armstrong

    "The more you drive, the less intelligent you become." Miller "Repo Man"

  20. #20
    bici accumulatori pinerider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by naisme

    He's a good egg, just off a little.
    Aren't we all????????
    ...!

  21. #21
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinerider
    LBM - You haven't lost your mind, this is the way things should be. You should be able to buy half decent bikes for not much money and ride as much as you want. My $17 Bianchi thrift shop road bike still had the original Bianchi tires on i!
    My fleet of 8 comes from 2 @ thrift shops, 2 @ police auctions, 4 @ private sales, grand total of about $360 invested.
    I'd stay away from the old French stuff, though - collecting that could be a sign of instability!
    Well, my $15 (30 year-old?) French piece-of-work now has a full $35 invested in it. That's $15 for the bike, $10 for an old Raleigh which supplied a front derailleur, shift levers and an old Swiss rack, and $10 for some new toe-clips.

    I swapped my ho-made lights and horn over to it and I'll be testing it for commuting soon. (This could be addicting...)
    No worries

  22. #22
    My own worst nightmare
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleBigMan
    Well, my $15 (30 year-old?) French piece-of-work now has a full $35 invested in it. That's $15 for the bike, $10 for an old Raleigh which supplied a front derailleur, shift levers and an old Swiss rack, and $10 for some new toe-clips.
    Cool side-effect of this is that there's usually the better part of one or more bikes left over you can donate. I've bought whole bikes at the cop auction for $2.50 - 5.00 just to get a seat cover, or rack or the like. Then I donate the rest either to the group that fixes up bikes for underprivileged kids, or to the local anarchist bike collective.

    Ten bucks for new toe-clips! Wow, how extravagent! Now you've lost your mind.

  23. #23
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    I commuted all winter on two garage sale bikes I've made into fixed gears, and now that summer is here I have a Schwinn World Sport that I dug out of a dumpster two summers ago, and have a Trek carbon fork on the front end, and I ride that all summer as a fixed gear.
    [/QUOTE]

    hey, mines a scwinn world sport as well. nice bike. strong as an ox. a little flexy when really cranking on the big gear, but it is a nice comfy ride. take care.
    dan

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