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  1. #1
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    Thoughts? This story will make you cry.

    A few weeks ago I take a Sunday afternoon ride, doing about 40 miles or so with some of it on a state highway and most of it on farm roads that go up and down and up...etc. Just before I turn off the main highway I pass this place that sells commerical kitchen appliances (used), tractors, riding mowers, old cars, vending machines, beds....you get the picture. I've passed the place often in a car. Only this time I notice a bicycle, tied with bungee cord to the front of an old trailer.

    I stop to look.

    The tires are threadbare with cords showing. The spokes are rusted. The plastic seat is mutilated. There is no front brake. The drop bars are turned upside down to make it easy for him. There is a set of rusty baskets on the bike, mounted where my panniers should go. But there is no mistaking what's there, its a Trek 720 with 700 wheels and a 7 speed rear cog.

    The next day I drive out at lunch, navigate through ten dogs, and find the owner's wife. I ask if he would like to sell the bike, since EVERTHING ELSE on the place is supposed to be for sale. She says "oh no, he couldn't sell his Trek, he rides it around when we go to the Trade Days", referring to a well known once-a-month flea market gathering in East Texas that takes up about half of a Texas county.

    Any ideas on how to get him to sell it? I had thought of taking him a new Wal Mart Schwinn with a rack or baskets (figure $200) and $100 cash. He doesn't realize that if the threadbare tire every stops in an ant bed it will go flat, and he won't be able to find a 700 tube in the county where he lives. Its enough to make a grown man cry...like using a Corvette to pull a manure spreader. But it's his bike, not mine. Thoughts?

    UPDATE 4/12---- Did I neglect to mention I left my card? The guy called yesterday and said he wanted $350 for the bike and I said maybe, but I needed to look. All that I wanted was the frame, and a new LHT is about $400. Anyway, when I look at the bike there is an unhealthy noise in the crank. Further inspection reveals that the BB looks like it has a grinder taken to it and the serial number is unreadable. Maybe stolen sometime ago? There was a crack and jagged hole in the bottom of the BB shell where the rust had gotten. So that was the end of that.
    Last edited by Monoborracho; 04-13-06 at 10:18 AM.

  2. #2
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    I think a new, decent quality bike and cash in trade is a fair deal. I don't see whay he'd stay with the 720 with that kind of deal.

  3. #3
    Life is simply timing...
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    You're right. It's his bike, not yours. Leave it so.

  4. #4
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by foggydew
    You're right. It's his bike, not yours. Leave it so.
    +1
    Visit my blog! The Leadership Almanac
    2012 Masi Evoluzione
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  5. #5
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    if you're quoting her verbatim, I find it interesting that his wife said, "oh no, he couldn't sell his Trek " instead of "oh no, he couldn't sell his bike." This rather implies that they both know what kind of a bike it is, and it matters to them. I know that if anyone ever tried to trade me something cheap and shiny for something old and dependable, even something I didn't know anything about, I'd be terribly offended.

    If you want to go back and talk to them, say "I'll offer you X amount, you could buy another bike easily for that, I'll help you find one if you want," that might be ok. Otherwise leave it be.

  6. #6
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    He won't sell..... You're only going to make him realize his bike is actually worth something and he'll join Ebay.
    .cinelli.olympic.surly.long.haul.trucker.kona.ku.surly.steamroller.
    .litespeed.classic.litespeed.firenze.bianchi.pista.dean.colonel.plus.more.

  7. #7
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    Why don't you buy and ride the schwinn and keep the cash

  8. #8
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    20 years ago I found a then 20 year old Lincoln Continental in a side yard under a tree. The car was in decent shape and I thought it would be fun to drive it around on Sundays, so I approached the owner with an offer to buy it from her. "Oh no, My son is going to fix that car up for me, I'll never sell it" came back the reply. And she was true to at least part of her word. Today that car sits, beyond salvation, slowly rusting into the ground under that tree. Frustrating as it is to watch, in the end, that's all we can do. Getting people to part with old belongings is an art form.



    I agree with the previous posters, make a reasonable and fair offer, then walk away if it's not accepted. Leave the farmer your name and number with a standing offer to buy if he changes his mind.
    I'm just trying to be the person my dog thinks I am.

  9. #9
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    Trading him a k-mart bike for his dependable ride sounds like the height of carpet-bagger. Taking advantage of his assumed lack of knowledge for your gain is hella dishonest. You should live and let live on this one.
    Saddle Stitching is like Razorblades for Your Crotch.

  10. #10
    Thighmaster
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    Do you have to swap him a k-mart bike?

    Just approach the guy, and tell him that he has the bike that you always wanted when you were younger and your touring ambitions with such a bike. Offer to sort him out with a trade day special. Something more suitable for sifting round markets like a racked up beach cruiser. Something with a bit of class and a lot of comfort.

    If he sees that his beloved bike is going to a good home and is getting something that suits his taste in return then I think a deal could be made.

    This is hardly selling aluminum siding on finance to the poor. If you offer him a fair deal, you may both walk away happy. But if you push him, he has every right to refuse.

  11. #11
    In Memory of One Cool Cat Blackberry's Avatar
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    Just a small warning, if you happen to end up with the bike--The stock wheels and tires were 27-inches (at least on my 1983 Trek 720). When I had 700 cc wheels built for my Trek 720, I had to search all over the place for new brakes, cuz the cantis that came stock with the bike didn't have enough reach. the only thing that worked were some old centerpulls found in a box in a second-hand bike store. I'd stick with the 27-inch size if I had to rebuild wheels again for that bike.
    Dead last finish is better than did not finish and infinitely better than did not start.

  12. #12
    Hi. I'm in Delaware. Robbykills's Avatar
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    that seems kind of....gross.....I'd let him keep it

  13. #13
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    He's not stealing it, or forcing him; he's thinking of making an offer for it. It's no big deal, and might even be a welcome offer.

    Here's a true story. I used to have a Jeep. I went back to college, and the very first semester, my Jeep broke down. I used my extra financial aid-- the money I was supposed to live on, to fix my Jeep. I was very poor after that, but I figured it was for one semester. The next semester, my Jeep broke down again, and again, I used the money I was supposed to live on to fix the Jeep. Then it broke down again, in the summer, and I tore it apart to fix myself. And kept tearing it apart, because I kept finding things wrong with it. Then the fall semester started, and I left it torn apart. Some time went by. One day, I was sitting in my living room, thinking about the Jeep, and I decided I would just sell it. At that very moment, and this is the weird part to me, there was a knock on the door. I opened the door, and this guy asked me if I was interested in selling my Jeep. I said yes, we struck a deal, and I walked away with some much needed cash, he walked away with a rare Jeep he had been looking for.

    I don't think it hurts to ask, and it might even be a welcome offer. I agree with the posts about making it a fair offer.

  14. #14
    Thighmaster
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    She was also respectfully adhering to the happy relationship commandment: 'Though shalt not sell your partners stuff while they are out'.

  15. #15
    Bob Rae for PM! Sadaharu's Avatar
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    On the other hand, you could just leave him his familiar steed, and buy this one off of ebay:

    http://cgi.ebay.ca/Vintage-Road-Tour...QQcmdZViewItem

    I have no idea what the difference between a 710 and 720 is, but that 710 sure do look nice.

  16. #16
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    UPDATE 4/12---- Did I neglect to mention I left my card? The guy called yesterday and said he wanted $350 for the bike and I said maybe, but I needed to look. All that I wanted was the frame, and a new LHT is about $400. Anyway, when I look at the bike there is an unhealthy noise in the crank. Further inspection reveals that the BB looks like it has a grinder taken to it and the serial number is unreadable. Maybe stolen sometime ago? There was a crack and jagged hole in the bottom of the BB shell where the rust had gotten. So that was the end of that.

  17. #17
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    Here's a clue:

    KING OF MERCIA TOUR 631......375.00 + VAT

    That's about $550 plus shipping.

    The King of Mercia is sort of the original REAL(tm) touring bike and was always 100 times better than the Trek 720.

    Mavic Kyserium Equipes off of ebay - $250

    Mixed Shimano group:
    Brakes: Avid Shorties $50
    Brake Levers: 50
    Bars: 20
    Barend Shifters: 80
    Bar Tape: 5
    Cables: 20
    Bottom Bracket 25
    Nashbar Tekking Triple Crank 75
    Front Derailleur (SRAM) 10
    Rear (Deore) 35
    Chain 20
    Cassette (9-speed 11-34) 20
    Tires (Pasela 28 mm)(10 ea.) 20
    Tubes 12

    Total $1242

    Haul it all into a bike shop and pay him to put it together - $80 or so.

    Add fenders: $40
    Add high quality racks: $100

    For $1,500 you get one of the best possible touring bikes in the world.

    Any questions?

  18. #18
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    Man buy the new schwinn and let him keep his junk.

  19. #19
    Calamari to go cc_rider's Avatar
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    $350 for an old Trek 720? That's more than I paid for my old 720 back around '90. After less than two years it was stolen and I replaced it with a 750, for around $350.
    It has a good solid frame, but $350????
    Last edited by cc_rider; 04-13-06 at 08:39 PM.

  20. #20
    NoPo nateted4's Avatar
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    It is unforunate that that bike was allowed to disintigrate, but such is the nature of the universe. Time waits for no Trek.
    Saddle Stitching is like Razorblades for Your Crotch.

  21. #21
    In Memory of One Cool Cat Blackberry's Avatar
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    That bike sounds like Daisy Duke--25 years removed from her prime. That Mercian, on the other hand.....
    Dead last finish is better than did not finish and infinitely better than did not start.

  22. #22
    Banned Bikepacker67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackberry
    That bike sounds like Daisy Duke--25 years removed from her prime.
    Ohhh, but in her prime...

  23. #23
    Very Senior Member MikeR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cc_rider
    $350 for an old Trek 720? That's more than I paid for my old 720 back around '90. After less than two years it was stolen and I replaced it with a 750, for around $350.
    It has a good solid frame, but $350????
    Ha Ha! I love reading things like this.

    Last fall I bought a 1984 Trek 720 in great condition. It had maybe 200 miles on it. Tires were dry rotted and the BB bearing races were falling apart from just sitting around in the guys rec room for 20+ years, but the bike itself looked like it just came out of the show room.

    I paid $80 for it! Rides like a dream!
    It's better to cycle through life than to drive by it.

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