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  1. #1
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    Fess Up! Who *****s thru neighborhood garbage for bikes? List your BEST bike find too

    I must admit I did for quite along time. As of the last few years I haven't since my parts are overtaking the room in the garage. It was alot of fun, hoping to find decent aluminim components and what not. I have been able to salvage several bikes and turn a small profit from them.

    My best find was a Gitane Tour de France tossed out by none other than my neighbor across the street!!!! She didn't have a clue to it's worth and handcrafting. I did inform her that is was a very worthy vintage bike from France but she said to take it anyways. I cleaned it up and rode it for a bit then sold it!

    Presently, I am s-l-o-w-l-y building a hybrid out of a woman's Gitane mixtie frame for the wife. Found that in the trash too.... the frame not the wife!
    EDucator
    "The only thing worse than learning from experience is NOT learning from experience."

  2. #2
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    It really is amazing how ignorant (I don't mean that in a mean way,) the general population is about good bikes.

    They let them rust away in the backyard, or simply chuck them out.

    (Check out garage sales and thrift shops. Save the whales! Oops, I mean, bikes! )
    No worries

  3. #3
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    I hope they stay clueless, let's not do anything to wise 'em up.

    My best find is a mid 80's Nishiki Sport at Goodwill for $6, as mentioned on another post.

    I have a hard time finding someone to hold me by the ankles as I root through the trash hoppers.

  4. #4
    Junior Member RetroLung's Avatar
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    I need some pointers on this scavager hunt. I seem to be paying alot for junk bike part. Help! Grasshopper is calling.

  5. #5
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    Retro Lung

    Try visiting bike shop dumpsters but be careful of the uneaten pizza slices!! I have found many easily patched tubes that I will use for neighborhood kids bike repairs. They get to ride again and save money too. Afterall they'll blow that tube in a couple weeks too! I approached 2 shops and they agreed to set aside anything with some promise to it outside the dumpster for sanitary reasons. I picked up a Cannondale Road frame with crushed bottom bracket. I unbolted the replaceable derailleur hanger and kept it for myself as a spare. Got dozens of wheels and out of that pile made about 3 working sets of medium quality parts. Numerous other stuff too.

    Once I had this guy tell me to stop by as he had a pile of bikes I could rummage thru. In his back yard was literally a 6' high, lengthy pile of intertwined bikes. Mostly junk but a couple decent ones worth taking. I did take a Schwinn Sting Ray chopper "knock off" and resold that.

    When I walked thru Sears wharehouse once I couldn't believe all the bike parts lying about. I inquired and they were from incomplete shipments and returns and such. One MTB caught my eye and the dept. mgr. sold it to me as "scrap" (actually it wasn't but he didn't care anyways) for $40. It was a special one time model made for them using reynolds tubing, front suspension, Araya rims, Shimano gruoppo, etc. I just added a seat & post and a cog + chain + pedals. I still have the MTB today and am into it for less than $80!!! It even came with a frame pump and shouldering bag. That works for me!
    EDucator
    "The only thing worse than learning from experience is NOT learning from experience."

  6. #6
    Junior Member RetroLung's Avatar
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    Man, The best thing I ever got was A Peugeot Versailles for $150 bucks man I got to be more aggressive with it. Saddle Bags hell if their decent they are worth $40 alone.

  7. #7
    Junior Member RetroLung's Avatar
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    It even came with a frame pump and shouldering bag. still worth more then $40

  8. #8
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    My best find was a Schwinn Paramount . It was complete except for a front wheel, which was mangled and lay beside the bike. Got a new rim, built the wheel and sold the bike. It was a 25" frame which is way to big for me.

    Most bikes I pick up are junkers, but I fix them and donate to the Salvation Army or other charities.
    ljbike

  9. #9
    Chicago Cyclist ViciousCycle's Avatar
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    My frame is covered in reflective tape. After adding ridiculously large handlebars, a comfy seat, and enough carrying capacity to haul a Thanksgiving grocery run home, the manufacturer wouldn't recognize it.
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    My sister-in-law can't believe all of the bikes that Hillary and I keep in the living room. But, hey, my Peugeot came from the Salvation Army for $20 and was perfectly ridable once I replaced an inner tube. My Shogun cost me $45 bucks; I only had to replace a bent rear wheel to make it servicable. Ironically, my Peugeot and my Shogun both look like much more impressive than my hybrid, which I paid full retail for. Of course, when you live in a big metropolitan area, you don't want the bike that you use most often to look all that impressive.
    The Easter Island people were clever, but their civilization collapsed after they chopped down the last tree on their island. You can't be 'resourceful' if you've used up all of your resources.

  10. #10
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    All my bikes (but one) were destined for the boneyard. My latest is a 1970's Atala. It's in the worst condition off all of them I picked up. The paint is fried and nothing is usable except the frame and the wheels.

    But the frame, lads, lemme tell you about the frame: Beautifully straight with Campy lugs and no braze-ons whatsoever. Long chainstays for a smooth road ride. Chrome in abundance - headlugs, forks and stays.

    And the wheels - Campy high flange hubs and aluminum Weinmann rims that are skinny enough for 23mm tires.

    Looks like a paint job is in my future! Dark blue?

  11. #11
    SLJ 6/8/65-5/2/07 Walter's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Oscar
    But the frame, lads, lemme tell you about the frame: Beautifully straight with Campy lugs and no braze-ons whatsoever. Long chainstays for a smooth road ride. Chrome in abundance - headlugs, forks and stays.

    And the wheels - Campy high flange hubs and aluminum Weinmann rims that are skinny enough for 23mm tires.
    Oscar,

    To me that bad boy is just crying to be a single speed. Dark blue and chrome along with the natural beauty of skinny wheels, drop bars and a "pure" chainline. Can't go too wrong there IMO.

    I twice have found old English frames one with Campy dropouts. Light enough to be Reynolds but no positive ID was possible. Didn't hold onto either for very long Though I did build them and ride them for awhile.

    Once I saved a large pile of Schwinn Varsinental parts from the dump. Enough to build a bike or 2 anyways. Never got around to it and when I left for college they ended up in the dump anyways. This was a while ago when you could buy a new Schwinn so building old ones wasn't such a big deal. Nothing at all lately but I don't spend alot of time looking.

    “Life is not one damned thing after another. Life is one damned thing over and over.”
    Edna St. Vincent Millay

  12. #12
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    I tossed out a Canondale frame once. It deserved to be tossed, since it was crash damaged and steered like a drunkard, but I stripped off all the useful parts first.
    The 'dale was donated to my brother years ago by club members, and he took it to France on his sabbatical, but there was little point dragging a heap of junk all the way back to Utah.
    Within an hour, someon had rescued the frame, and I presume its still being ridden around the mountains of Grenoble. I just pity the rider on the fast hairpin descents.

  13. #13
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    My best scores were the full Reynolds 531 Capos ($0 for the first one, which was a repainted frame and crankset only; $20 for the current one, because it had been repainted and lacked the original Campy wheelset) and a quad-butted CrMo mid-1980s Team Fuji ($10, possibly because of the very small frame size). A friend once gave me a complete 1973 Peugeot UO-8 and a relative gave me a Varsity of the same vintage; these lesser bikes served me well as commuters.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
    Capo [dschaw'-poe]: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger, S/N 42624
    Peugeot: 1970 UO-8, S/N 0010468
    Bianchi: 1981 Campione d'Italia, S/N 1.M9914
    Schwinn: 1988 Project KOM-10, S/N F804069

  14. #14
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    OSCAR:

    I worked at a shop back then that sold Atala and Teledyne. Almost bought an Atala Competizione.


    Amen to some of those old custom framesets being turned into single speeds. I have some no-name frame that's going to be a candidate for such a project. All I know is it's Columbus tubing and Campy dropouts. I always wanted to build a track bike for the heck of it.
    EDucator
    "The only thing worse than learning from experience is NOT learning from experience."

  15. #15
    Lagomorph Demonicus stumpjumper's Avatar
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    Kurahara touring bike -$5 at a garage sale. Its still my commuter after three years. Ditched the 27" wheels and replaced with the ones below.

    Daccordi (hand-lugged steel italian bike) that was given to me by a co-worker who had just purchased his dream ride, a $5400 Colnago. Sold the frame after several years, and put the mavic ceramic wheels on the Kurahara for commuting.

    Raleigh 3-speed I dug out of the neibors trash in MINT condition. Included the original rack and frame pump. Rode it for awhile and gave it away.

    I used to work at a shop and would keep an eye on the dumpster throughout the day. I'd be back a few hours after close and...
    Lord Bowler: Uh oh. You hit the sheriff
    Brisco County Jr.: Yeah, but I did not hit the deputy.

  16. #16
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    Walter and ED:

    Since my Atala is so bare of brazes, it's gonna be a fixie. Not a true track bike like ED wants because its geometry is so...untracklike. Track bikes are quick on the move with steep angles and short wheelbases.

    I already have a Le Tour set up as a fixed gear, but I'm going to make it into an ersatz cyclocross bike. Doncha have a fixed Le Tour, Walter? Check out the high bottom bracket and you'll see what I mean. I'll use Mafac Racers for fake cantilever brakes.

  17. #17
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    I am developing a sinister lust.

    The dark side is calling...

    No worries

  18. #18
    53 miles per burrito urban_assault's Avatar
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    my find was a Centurian Le Mans RS. Complete and almost never used. The chain was rusted but overall great condition.

    It was leaning next to our apartment complex's trash compactor. The unwritten rule there was that if you had something that someone else could use, leave it beside the compactor and let someone else pick it up. when I moved last year after getting married, I donated a 25" TV, Doc Martins, and a lot of other stuff to the pile. A neighbor of mine was watching and would pick up things as quickly as they were left. I invited him to my apartment and gave him first dibs on everything i was not taking with me. That made packing so much easier .

    that bike became my beater/experimental bike for about 4 years. I stripped and repainted it 3 times, even had it covered with faux zebra skin for a while. (great response from Critical Mass riders and drivers, but it got dirty very quicky).

  19. #19
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    Originally posted by Oscar
    I'll use Mafac Racers for fake cantilever brakes.


    LMAO!! Been there! Done that! Used them on my first pseudo mtb. Took a Schwinn Super Sport and made an off-road hybrid from it. Still have it to this day. Guys in the club were laughing yet amazed as I kept right up with them and their Fat Chances, Treks, Klein mtb. Best of all the tires are skinny 27"ers. I attributed it to good bike handling from my days of motocross racing.
    EDucator
    "The only thing worse than learning from experience is NOT learning from experience."

  20. #20
    SLJ 6/8/65-5/2/07 Walter's Avatar
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    Oscar:

    Indeed I do. I run a centerpull up front myself. Came off of a Viscount and is badged Viscount. I'd guess it's a Weinmann. Don't use a rear as there are no hills where I live so no need to scrub off speed on the decline.

    Haven't ridden it much. I put it together with the gearing I had on hand and it's a little tall. No hills but an ocean breeze that's often a steady unending 15-20mph. As soon as I can rationalize the need for enough other things to justify shipping expense I'll order another cog from Harris.

    Your bike will look sharp.

    “Life is not one damned thing after another. Life is one damned thing over and over.”
    Edna St. Vincent Millay

  21. #21
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    The most boring thing in the world is sanding paint. I could have taken in to a blaster, but I was afraid for the chrome. Chemical goo strippers are nasty. Almost done, but I've learned that the paint is easy to sand off. It's the primer that's the bear.

    I found an old Gitane at the university yesterday. It was a mixtie with a broken downtube. My haul: Normandy high flange hubs (garbage but pretty), Simplex METAL shifters with plastic hoods and....Mafac Racers! More parts than bikes forever!

  22. #22
    Senior Member mike's Avatar
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    I notice that a lot of commuters ride older road bikes.

    Keeping a bike running EVERY DAY, means needing a lot of replacement parts.

    Scavaging old parts from dumpsters, yard sales, or whatever is what makes bicycle commuting affordable.

    If you had to buy all new replacement parts - and especially wheels - at retail prices from the LBS, it would certainly impact the economic advantage of bicycle commuting.

    To me, the best part of using old parts or old bikes that were heading for the landfill is that it is the ultimate in recycling.

    Reclaiming a bike from the dumpster, and riding it instead of driving a car is close to the zenith of environmental stewardship.
    Mike

  23. #23
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Originally posted by mike
    I notice that a lot of commuters ride older road bikes.

    Reclaiming a bike from the dumpster, and riding it instead of driving a car is close to the zenith of environmental stewardship.
    Mike, you should be the Czar of Bike Commuting.

    12,000 miles per year logged.

    Ice bike qualified.

    (Telemark skier? Well, let's keep to bikes...)

    Several dozen bikes resurrected, some even saved from being "put to sleep."

    Sub-zero die-hard.

    Rescuer of old Japanese motorcylists.

    Finder of mint-condition Sachs hub shifters.

    Pioneer of home-repair techniques.

    Do I exaggerate?

    Say, did you steal that "Huffy" EDucator left in NYC?

    No worries

  24. #24
    Senior Member mike's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Pete Clark

    Say, did you steal that "Huffy" EDucator left in NYC?

    Well ya, but I couldn't get the damned stickers off - even with ammonia and a hair dryer!
    Mike

  25. #25
    It's the fight in the man Rich's Avatar
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    I haven't found anything myself, but on a BMX forum I went to, a guy found a PK Ripper BMX in a dumpster...

    It just goes to show you how rewarding fessing can be!!!

    Rich
    Making New Zealand a safer place :)

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