Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Dallas area, Texas
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Some of the French bikes (as in, 10-speeds) used different bearings and all that may be very hard to find in the US. And some of the US bikes of the 1930's used different chains and all than are common now. With an old foreign bike, that could be a double whammy for any kind of repairs.
With US bikes, there were tandems made in the 50's and 60's that were pretty much cheap crap when made, and haven't gotten any better, while there were other good bikes out there, and if you don't know the difference, that's not a good sign.
With US bikes, it is not at all uncommon to see bikes made in the 50's or 60's being advertised as from the 1920's or 1930's. I don't know if that is ignorance on the part of the sellers or just outright lies. Anyway, if you don't actually know when the bike was made, be aware that the description could be off on that point.
With very old bikes (as in, 1930's or older), it is not uncommon that numerous minor (and major) parts have been replaced through the years. If you anticipate any kind of collectible value, you need to be able to spot what is original and what isn't, as that has a major impact on value.
Shipping a single bike around the US will run around $100. Shipping a tandem overseas should be a BUNCH more than that. It'll also require some disassembly (normally) and if the bike is old enough, there's no guarantee that things will disassemble if they haven't tried it.
"be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."