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  1. #1
    Senior Member dingster1's Avatar
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    Ever bought a bike from Goodwill??

    Has anybody ever done this? Picked one up and restored it?? I saw a Fuji 12 speed today with flat bars for $35 that looked decent except for a little rust and needing brakes. If I get it and take it to my LBS what's something like that ususally run? Oh yeah and I'd change to drop bars of course. THe bike is a perfect fit!

  2. #2
    |+|+|+|+|+|+| * jack *'s Avatar
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    Sure. Go for it! Hard to find a decent bike at a thrift shop around here, and sometimes they are a little pricier than yard sale bikes, but if it fits and is in good shape, why not?

    Doing your own work on the bike is more cost-effective than taking it to your LBS, natch. At some point, the bike's not worth it if you have to spend more cash just to get it rolling.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dingster1
    Has anybody ever done this? Picked one up and restored it?? I saw a Fuji 12 speed today with flat bars for $35 that looked decent except for a little rust and needing brakes. If I get it and take it to my LBS what's something like that ususally run? Oh yeah and I'd change to drop bars of course. THe bike is a perfect fit!
    That doesn't sound to me like a very good plan. The part about buying the $35.00 bike is all right. Taking a $35.00 bike to an LBS for a tune up and handlebar and brake lever replacement could easily boost your total cost to over $200.00. My advice would be to keep looking around until you find a bike that already has dropped handlebars.

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    One of my first bikes as an adult was an old Raliegh Record that I picked up for 25.00 at a Goodwill. The same for new tires and tubes- rode it for a year till I could afford something better.

    Unless you do your own work, it can get expensive; bike shops typically charge 50.00 plus per hour for labor.

  5. #5
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    Scrounging only makes sense if you can overhaul it yourself. Once in a while you hit on something unique but usually you don't.
    2000 Montague CX, I do not recommend it, but still ride it.
    Strida 3, I recommend it for rides < 10mi wo steep hills.
    2006 Rowbike 720 Sport, I recommend it as an exercise bike.
    1996 Birdy, Recommend.
    Wieleder CARiBIKE (folding), decent frame.

  6. #6
    Banned. folder fanatic's Avatar
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    I restored 2 bikes-one a Schwinn World sold for $50.00, and a Raleigh 3 speed for $25.00. I had my friendly neighborhood bike shop tuned up each to check each one for safety. I simply added new cables and tires to each. I gave away my World when it threatened to cost me $$$ for simply replacing parts that wore out with use after I had it almost 10 years-and I grew tired of it too. I still have my Raleigh and would not give it up for anything. I replaced the front hub and rim last year due to sheer age. I think it is worth every dollar that I have put into it far more than the World. It depends on what you want and value.

  7. #7
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
    That doesn't sound to me like a very good plan. The part about buying the $35.00 bike is all right. Taking a $35.00 bike to an LBS for a tune up and handlebar and brake lever replacement could easily boost your total cost to over $200.00. My advice would be to keep looking around until you find a bike that already has dropped handlebars.
    + 0.49

    Dingster1,

    In general I agree, unless part of your joy is the thrill of the hunt, and the satisfaction of doing some of your own work, then buy this bike for the frame and drive train since they seem suited to you. Then keep your eyes open for another bike to scavenge for the parts to convert to drop bar. In the mean time, ride it!

    The frame for the parts can be:

    1) In sad shape
    2) Almost any size

    One quick purchase for a bike with the stem, bars and brake handles you want gets you in the ballpark of an easy $70 bike... A few dollars more gets you new brake cables and pads if you need them. If any parts are in good enough shape, you can also start your spare parts inventory.

    EDIT - I have a set of drop bars, and old brake levers with the "safety" levers that you can have for the cost of shipping... They're in OK shape. PM if you are interested.
    Last edited by Little Darwin; 07-07-06 at 12:05 PM.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member ollo_ollo's Avatar
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    I have several "finds" from our local Goodwill but you have to do your own repair work to make it pay. You will find that 98% or more of the bikes are useless junk, however, if a classic road bike is dirty & has flat tires, GW may price it at $9.95! I used to find them from time to time but the supply seems to be drying up & prices are definitely going up, even on the junk bikes.
    visit my homebuilding blog: www.monoplanar.blogspot.com

  9. #9
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ollo_ollo
    GW may price it at $9.95! I used to find them from time to time but the supply seems to be drying up & prices are definitely going up, even on the junk bikes.
    You must be right about rising prices. I had to pay $10 for a Schwinn Voyageur SP in good shape at a garage sale yesterday.

  10. #10
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    yep.

    my dad got me one for $25. Turned out to be a bit small for me. I replaced the tires and repacked the bearings, check it over and all. Sold it on Craigslist for $150.

    I think it is can be a good idea if you are handy with bicycle mechanics. Not so much if you are not.

    -D

  11. #11
    Senior Member SingleSpeeDemon's Avatar
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    I think Goodwill employees pick through the good stuff before anything hit the floor. I've noticed bikes in the back room (yes, I'mnosy) that NEVER made it to the sales floor. I've had better luck with thrift stores.
    My Current Bikes:

    • 1993 Giant Kronos
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  12. #12
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    Before you purchase an old bike, take some tools with you and make sure the seatpost and stem are not frozen in place. It only takes a minute to check and will save you much trouble later.

  13. #13
    Lost in Los Angeles Bizurke's Avatar
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    I say get it and do the work yourself. If you're not knowledgable on how to work on bikes this would be a great way to start leaning. You can get drop bars for as cheap as $9.95 on nashbar and other places. Brakes I'm sure you can get cheap or buy some used ones they have laying around the LBS or something. Over all you could probably get the thing working pretty well for about $50 and you'd have yourself an $85 bike. If it ends up crapping out after a while there's not too much loss, and you got the experienece of working on it and the joy of liberating a bike from the thrift shop and making it worthy.

  14. #14
    Senior Member mlh122's Avatar
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    I owe my re-entry into biking to the Goodwill. I had just been notified my cholesterol was high for my age. Then i was at goodwill looking at halloween costumes. and saw an Outfitters Mountaineer for $30. from what i've researched they're like a cheap Iron Horse, so half a step above an xmart bike, it weighed 31 lbs, had satin red finish, hourglass seatstays, Acera-x drivetrain, suntour duotrack fork, aluminum wheels, sram grip shifts. it was pretty much new, brakes and derailleurs didn't even need adjusting, both tires were flat, i just pumped them up and they held air, added a $7 computer and better seat and rode it for about 270 miles in 6 months and got the bug and upgraded to a trek 4500.

  15. #15
    Senior Member mlh122's Avatar
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    gotta go up into the rich neighborhoods for the good goodwills. ive seen low end treks/giants there for $15 to $50 several times.

  16. #16
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    Is anyone old enoough to remember when all Goodwill bikes were spray painted really awful variations of colors of red, blue and green (actually some were similar to what everyone drools over on Bianchis)

    The bikes seem to have been dragged into a warehouse and sprayed without removing or masking anything...

    Back then, the Goodwill I went to in Seattle had a minimum of 20 or 30 bikes...
    Slow Ride Cyclists of NEPA

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    Yep, Fuji just like yours.

    My late 70s-early 80s Fuji 12-Speed came from the Helping Hand for ten bucks. Someone put MTB bars on it and it really needed work. It's a really nice ride now and a vintage LBS even had a set of nice period Nitto bars for it. I really like the Suntour drivetrain and the Sugino crank ain't too shabby either. The Dia-Compe brakes are decent, not great though. Someday it's getting Weinmann centerpulls. Those things can stop like nobody's business.

    Do the work yourself. Good Therapy after dealing with idiot cow-orkers. I tear the bike down to the frame and then start re-assembling. Each part gets cleaned, polished, rebuilt. Did my fourth bike, looking for another. Two Puegeots, the Fuji and a Panasonic. Lately I discovered Nashbar as a source of parts for old steel. Local LBS are nice guys but geared toward the modern stuff. Still they got some old hands who know old weird French stuff.

    The Panasonic Sport 500 was the last. It may have been a bottom feeder of the entry level bike boom bikes, but after rebuilding it and replacing a lot of the steel parts with aluminum, it was a nice ride and with "Hi-Tensile" tubing at that. Too small so it went to on to a new owner. A picture just cuz.

    Yeah, lugged steel bikes of any qaulity seem to be getting harder to find here at the Goodwills and Thrifts here. Mebbe those old Kents and Rosses should have come home with me. Been nothing after that.
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