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70's Schwinn Coaster brake Speedster

Old 07-03-20, 01:43 AM
  #1  
reelfishin
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70's Schwinn Coaster brake Speedster

I went to an outdoor estate sale/auction last weekend, it was the first since this virus thing started.
They had everything outside on the lawn and driveway like a yardsale, the auctioneer went item to item taking bids from the masked crowd.
I went out of boredom and wasn't really looking for anything but spotted a complete but rather rough/rusty Schwinn Speedster, in a 24" tall frame.
The bike is pretty much all original but appears to have spent some time either outside or with minimal shelter over the years, the chrome wss pitted, the rims were true but had lots of chrome loss, particularly in one area. The coaster brake was innop, the bike wouldn't pedal forward nor engage the brake.
The chain turned but was stiff. The saddle and bars showed signs of road rash from being flipped upside down on pavement over the years.
The rear tire was original, the front tire slightly newer but still Schwinn. I could tell that the rusty bits were too far gone to cleanup, the bars were rough and covered in heavy rust scale on top. Someone had painted the hubs silver and wrote their drivers lic. number on the top of the saddle in marker. The headset bearings were crunchy, and likely rusted. The cranks were bent slightly, no longer parallel. According to the web, it was a 1972 model, with the serial number beginning with FH501XXX.
I saw all that it needed an figured it was a parts bike at best so I set my limit at about $50. When the bidding started I actually went as high as $80, but thought better of it and dropped out.
I was shocked when it went for $450! (plus 10% buyers premium and sale tax as well) The winning bidder likely paid close to $530 for this by the time he left.
There were other bikes as well, but this was the only older Schwinn, other bikes went for crazy money as well, with one steel rim Nishiki Sport from the early 80's going for $350 in rather rough shape.

Other items weren't bid up that high, just the bikes, and those weren't advertised in the ad.
Has the value of these bikes suddenly skyrocketed lately?

I snapped a pic of the Schwinn at the sale.


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Old 07-03-20, 02:53 PM
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vintagebicycle
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Old Schwinns have always been popular. Over the last few years even the lesser coaster brake models like the Racer and Speedster have been finding new owners and are holding their own price wise. I've seen a few that I felt were way overpriced sell pretty quickly as of late. It seems that the latest turn of events has brought on a new bike boom or bike fever lately. Everything sells all of a sudden, whole bikes, project bikes, parts, etc all have become hot items again with the vintage Schwinns at the top of the list.
The earlier cantilever models have always been popular and now even the diamond frame models are catching on strong. Bikes that were once popular and quite common are getting old and few and far between. Especially complete examples. Bikes that would have never sold at all are now being bought up and restored.
The going rate for a complete Racer or Speedster seems to be between $300 and $500 lately. Do an eBay search for the various parts and see what the parts alone are bringing. Even if the bike as a whole isn't worth much, the sum of its parts is.
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Old 07-05-20, 08:30 AM
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rustymetal
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There was a pretty clean one like that on CL here last week, the ad was up for a day when I replied but someone beat me to it.
The ad was for $275. I later saw what looked like the same bike listed again two towns over for $400 and it was gone again in a day or two.
Someone told me that those frames are in demand all of a sudden as messenger bikes in the city. I've not been able to touch one around here.
I've been looking now for five months and every last one I've seen has gone way out of my price range for a bike.
I've been searching for something simple to ride around locally just to get some exercise and the diamond frames came in larger sizes than did the cantilever models. Apparently everyone else has the same idea.
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