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American Eagle 10 speed - What's it worth?

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American Eagle 10 speed - What's it worth?

Old 11-09-18, 04:02 PM
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Stenavpix
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American Eagle 10 speed - What's it worth?




Hi, a local thrift store just got one of these in. Googled the bike there isn't a lot of info, there's a few references here. It has a 1974 Denver bike license plate on it. Here's a few crappy photos if anyone can tell me more about it. Thanks!
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Old 11-09-18, 07:05 PM
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$25. Nothing special. Denver plate may be worth as much as the bike. Fastest way to evaluate an obscure brand is to pick it up and look at features instead of worrying about google/brand/model. Steel seat post and handlebars, steel rims, stamped dropouts, claw RD hanger, cottered crankset, etc. Going to be heavy.

The American Eagles I have found were predecessors to Nishiki. But the head badge was different. But age and built is about right.

Last edited by wrk101; 11-10-18 at 07:15 AM.
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Old 11-09-18, 08:17 PM
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The bike looks like it is nice shape. Bikes like that are often popular commuters, and can have a lot of years and miles left on them.

I'd agree with @wrk101, not worth a whole lot, but just about anything around here that is clean and ready to ride is worth at least $100.

There are some $25 bikes that pop up from time to time, but they're awfully battered.

The tires look clean. Have you replaced them?
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Old 11-10-18, 07:49 AM
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I've bought a lot of bikes in Denver, its a favorite camping area for us, and there seem to be endless deals out there. Based on my experience, this is not a $100 bike in Denver.

I've bought hundreds of vintage bikes at thrift stores over the years, and I have yet to have found a single one that did not need a complete service (not just a simple tune up). If you do the work yourself, its not too bad, although you will use $50 to $75 in consumables. Servicing a cottered crank can be a PITA. Everything with bearings will need service: bottom bracket, wheel hubs and headset. Then you have cables and housings. After that comes chain and freewheel.

Personally I would not give $25 for that bike at a thrift store, as by the time I was done with it, I would be upside down on value.

If you want a vintage bike in ready to ride condition, visit Lucky Bike in Denver (co op). Nice people.
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Old 11-10-18, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
$25. Nothing special. Denver plate may be worth as much as the bike. Fastest way to evaluate an obscure brand is to pick it up and look at features instead of worrying about google/brand/model. Steel seat post and handlebars, steel rims, stamped dropouts, claw RD hanger, cottered crankset, etc. Going to be heavy.

The American Eagles I have found were predecessors to Nishiki. But the head badge was different. But age and built is about right.
Thank you! I do dig that plate. I've never seen one.
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Old 11-10-18, 09:22 AM
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American Eagle was a brand of West Coast Supply Supply, a Califormia based bicycle importer and distributor. The bicycles were contract manufactured in Japan by Kawamura and circa 1972 the brand was changed to Nishiki.

The subject bicycle appears to be a late 1960s, entry level model. It has some replacement parts, notably the top mount shift levers. The stays have been crimped and spot welded to stamped dropouts, which is generally seen on department store bicycles. This feature is particularly interesting because it is often stated that Kawamura was chosen by Cohen because they they were the only Japanese company that could meet his high quality standards. Yet, here we have an example that is clearly built to low standards, using the most economical process available.

On the surface, it looks like a $25-$50 bicycle. However, it is an interesting example of a pre-boom, Japanese, derailleur bicycle and it does have a couple of possibly collectible parts. It appears to have the earliest version of the Shimano Skylark rear derailleur with the long, rearward facing claw. More interesting is the piston style 3.3.3 (Shimano) front derailleur. Neither are high end but they are examples that are quite rare in North America and Europe. The derailleurs alone might bring a good price from the right collector. If the OP picks it up, I'd be very interested in the serial number.

Last edited by T-Mar; 11-10-18 at 09:30 AM.
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Old 11-10-18, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
The bike looks like it is nice shape. Bikes like that are often popular commuters, and can have a lot of years and miles left on them.

I'd agree with @wrk101, not worth a whole lot, but just about anything around here that is clean and ready to ride is worth at least $100.

There are some $25 bikes that pop up from time to time, but they're awfully battered.

The tires look clean. Have you replaced them?
I didn't buy it. I would consider it if I could flip it with out much fuss, hence the reason I'm asking you guys.
This particular thrift store actually pulls stuff right out of people's houses, for a fee, so you never know what will turn up there sometimes. (I just found an English Royal 3 speed there last month that I'm keeping) Thanks everyone! Much appreciate the input.
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Old 11-10-18, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
American Eagle was a brand of West Coast Supply Supply, a Califormia based bicycle importer and distributor. The bicycles were contract manufactured in Japan by Kawamura and circa 1972 the brand was changed to Nishiki.

The subject bicycle appears to be a late 1960s, entry level model. It has some replacement parts, notably the top mount shift levers. The stays have been crimped and spot welded to stamped dropouts, which is generally seen on department store bicycles. This feature is particularly interesting because it is often stated that Kawamura was chosen by Cohen because they they were the only Japanese company that could meet his high quality standards. Yet, here we have an example that is clearly built to low standards, using the most economical process available.

On the surface, it looks like a $25-$50 bicycle. However, it is an interesting example of a pre-boom, Japanese, derailleur bicycle and it does have a couple of possibly collectible parts. It appears to have the earliest version of the Shimano Skylark rear derailleur with the long, rearward facing claw. More interesting is the piston style 3.3.3 (Shimano) front derailleur. Neither are high end but they are examples that are quite rare in North America and Europe. The derailleurs alone might bring a good price from the right collector. If the OP picks it up, I'd be very interested in the serial number.
Oh, wow. This is why I'm loving this site! (I'm relatively new) You guys amaze me with your knowledge! As I just posted above I didn't buy it.
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Old 11-10-18, 02:58 PM
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There are a lot of people that flip low end bikes.

Buy low, and keep your expenses in check. Buy consumables as cheaply as possible and in bulk.

On a bike like this one, probably simply make sure the tires are good/safe, and it shifts and brakes fine.

You can strip the bike down, repack every bearing, etc, but I doubt it would really be worth it to do so, unless the bearings are obviously really bad.

A lot will depend on the thrift store. Some are quite thrifty, some are not.
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Old 11-10-18, 05:06 PM
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I enjoy bikes like this. Low price with some cool bits(rack.plate).
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Old 11-15-18, 08:56 PM
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It's a pretty bike with some potential. As - is I would give you $35 for it. Put a new stem & some upright handlebars on it. Put a down tube cable clamp on there. Install thumb shifters, new brake levers, soft cushy grips. New cables. Wowza. It's worth $200. Ditch the chrome steel wheels. Then, it's closer to a $300 bike. (But, I don't know too many people that would put a $150 set of alloy wheels on something like that).

Last edited by ramzilla; 11-15-18 at 09:01 PM.
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Old 11-16-18, 09:22 AM
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Update. Someone else bought the bike. Hopefully someone is getting some good use out of it. Thanks for all the responses! :-)
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