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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 12-19-06, 09:51 AM   #1
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Bike selling ethics

Over the weekend, I bought a Puch road bike in modest shape for $20. I bought it for the sole purpose of having a new toy to play with at Bike Church the following night, and to sell it this week and make a few bucks towards a saddle on my other bike. The problem I'm having is that I can't decide what I want to reveal to the potential buyer. So I guess this thread is about bike selling ethics.

I had a blast stripping down the bike, and I consider that as enjoyment and a hobby, not as an hourly rate towards what I should re-sell the bike for. I donated the derailleurs and such, they weren't in good shape and I'm not going to use them for anything. I converted the original wheelset (the two chainwhip trick to remove all the gears and thread the last one back on) to a singlespeed, and cleaned it. I Goo-Goned the bike and shined it up a bit, so it looks kinda pretty. Re-gripped it, put a nicer saddle on it that I had lying around. Now is where it gets ugly. The bottom bracket threads are heavily damaged, so I can't replace the crankset. I unbolted the smaller chainring and broke it off- the larger ring is fully attached to the crank arm at the center, and I'd rather keep the larger ring than have both on there. The gearing is 52x14, which is really stupid. And lastly, I found a tiny "Made In Taiwan" sticker inside the head tube...not Euro-made.

So my question to you is, what would you reveal about the bike when selling it? Some scenarios I came up with are:

a) "Sold As Is."

b) Take a ride, it's nice, I maintenanced the whole bike except the bottom bracket, which is super smooth, surprisingly. Bike rides fast, mash around town.

c) I overhauled the bike, minus the bottom bracket. It's stripped out. My suggestion would be to get a cheap 700C wheelset and up the freewheel to maybe 17. Then you have a nice looking setup (until you need a new chainring).

d) I overhauled the bike, minus the bottom bracket. It's stripped out. Have a bike shop remove the cranks, chase the threads and then get a new crankset for it and consider a 700C wheelset as well. You could get the wheelset first, then replace the crankset when it wears out later.

Anything I've left out? I think I've decided on revealing everything I know about it, suggesting how to fix it, and selling it for no more than $50. I feel like since I posted this, it's kind of a no-brainer.
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Old 12-19-06, 09:54 AM   #2
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you want to try and make $30 on a $20 piece of crap? I would call it experience and then give the frame away to someone who wants to tinker. a pig in a dress is still a pig in dress.
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Old 12-19-06, 09:55 AM   #3
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yes, I agree with you final comment. This is one of those times that your dad sits you down, looks you in the eye, and says, "Son, I think you know what you need to do". We don't need to actually tell you whats right, you know what is. So just do it and sleep well tonight.
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Old 12-19-06, 09:57 AM   #4
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"bike has a few tech issues, ask for specifics"
"great beater"
"feel safe locking this bike up"
"hard gear, but hey, philly is flat"


and 165 is wrong. its not a piece of crap, but a beater.
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Old 12-19-06, 09:59 AM   #5
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get a bike shop to install a threadless bottom bracket (you need to mill the bb shell, don't try it yourself). build it up so it's solid and get it into the hands of someone who'll ride it. tis the season.
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Old 12-19-06, 10:03 AM   #6
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A polished turd is still a turd.
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Old 12-19-06, 10:03 AM   #7
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You don't need to suggest what they could do with the bb problem, that makes it look like it's going to cost a whole lot of money. I think just a "The BB shell is stripped out, but it runs fine as is," would be plenty. Diagnosing the problem is fine, you don't need to prescribe a solution.
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Old 12-19-06, 10:08 AM   #8
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I take 10 speed bikes, turn them into single speeds, polish them up, and sell them on ebay for $100 quite a bit. Most of them I get for Free. The only one I've actually kept so far is this Peugeot P8 turd, which I'm not sure what I'm going to do with.
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Old 12-19-06, 10:10 AM   #9
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I wouldn't sell a bike in that condition. If I couldn't make it better, I'd either pitch the frame, and keep the parts for the next project, or give it away to someone who wanted to tinker on it. If you want to recoup your $20 investment, keep, or resell any parts you like.

edit: or just ride it or sell it for the $ I've got in it if it's rideable, but I wouldn't consider that gearing practical, so that rules out cheap practical transportation.
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Old 12-19-06, 10:36 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genericbikedude
and 165 is wrong. its not a piece of crap, but a beater.
plus one.
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Old 12-19-06, 10:39 AM   #11
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you should have no problem selling it in philly for at least 100 bucks. remember philly craiglist is ******** expensive for ****ty bikes
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Old 12-19-06, 10:44 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I Like Peeing
I think I've decided on revealing everything I know about it, suggesting how to fix it, and selling it for no more than $50.
Your best move.
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Old 12-19-06, 10:51 AM   #13
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if you work at a restaurant and make a gourmet meal then realize you'd used cream that had soured you're not going to try and figure out how to still sell it at a restaurant
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Old 12-19-06, 10:54 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soyboy
if you work at a restaurant and make a gourmet meal then realize you'd used cream that had soured you're not going to try and figure out how to still sell it at a restaurant
but the bike is ridable. soured cream is not eatable.

faulty analogies are almost as bad as lying through song, and I hate it when people lie through song.
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Old 12-19-06, 11:00 AM   #15
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I mean, how stripped is stripped? Most bikes will never have their BB's opened until either the cranks stop turning or something falls off. I'd have no problem selling someone a bike and saying, "look, the BB shell on this is kind of shot. It'll be fine if you just want to ride it and not put huge miles on it, but I wouldn't tinker with it. If the **** hits the fan in the next month, you can have your money back, and if it goes on you later on we'll find you another frame and just migrate all the parts." It's like a car where the main bearings are kind of hosed -- it's not going to last forever, but somebody with minimal cash can drive it for a while and it'll be fine.
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Old 12-19-06, 11:09 AM   #16
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There are also The YST BB's that are made specifically for stripped out BB's, and another option too ( I forget). Say as little or as much as you want, as long as you don't lie you're in the clear in my book.
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Old 12-19-06, 11:10 AM   #17
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I got stiffed by someone palming off a frame with a stripped out BB shell, I'm still bombarding him with emails and phone calls, and when I track down where he lives, I'll be on his doorstep.

It shouldn't be such a big deal to me, but getting turned over by a so called fellow cyclist just bothered me a great deal, so I will keep irritating him until I feel better or get some cash out of him.

The moral is, be honest and hope others are honest in their dealings with you.
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Old 12-19-06, 11:13 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeroplane
There are also The YST BB's that are made specifically for stripped out BB's, and another option too ( I forget). Say as little or as much as you want, as long as you don't lie you're in the clear in my book.
That BB probably costs more than the frame is worth with a stripped BB. Old cheap frames are a dime a dozen. One with a stripped BB is worthless.
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Old 12-19-06, 11:27 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genericbikedude
but the bike is ridable. soured cream is not eatable.
genericbikedude is wrong - the sour cream would be inedible
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Old 12-19-06, 11:28 AM   #20
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full disclosure is the only way to go on this one.
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Old 12-19-06, 11:40 AM   #21
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Nice variety of replies. I definitely want to make my money back on it, and I know I will...singlespeeds on craigslist clear $125 for low-end ones. I think $50 is really fair in the market. The frame is worth what I paid for it, easily. The wheelset, handlebars, brakes and so forth are worth the rest.
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Old 12-19-06, 11:53 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [165]
genericbikedude is wrong - the sour cream would be inedible
yeah, but [165] is wrong again. sour cream and soured cream are two different things.
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Old 12-19-06, 11:55 AM   #23
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Act like there is nothing wrong. Sell at full price.
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Old 12-19-06, 12:13 PM   #24
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Tough call. Spending the time/money to fix the bb issue is probably not going to be worth it to you, but someone might be willing to take it on as a project. The main problem is the folks willing to do this also probably know what the frame is worth and might not want to bother.

I'm for full disclosure on the bb issue and pricing accordingly.

As for the origins of the frame (made in Taiwan), buyer beware. Tell the truth if they ask though.

Last edited by marqueemoon; 12-19-06 at 02:38 PM.
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Old 12-19-06, 12:18 PM   #25
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The catch all answer to any question involving ethics: If you have to ask if something is ethical it probably isn't.

When in doubt take to the moral high ground, and if you don't care about being ethical, don't ask.
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