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Sanwa 700 Mixte Road Bike (Blue)

Old 07-09-10, 12:03 PM
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thombombb
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Sanwa 700 Mixte Road Bike (Blue)

Hey Guys - long time reader, first time poster.

I happened upon a Sanwa 700 Mixte road bike this morning at a thrift store. While it is a mixte, someone modified by adding an aluminum vertical bar to give it the appearance of a traditional men's road bike (sorry no pics); the bar is simply bolted the head tube and seat post, so I can easily remove that if it decreases the value of the bike. I'm kinda a newbie when it comes to the ins and outs of bike repair/flipping/finding a good value, but I did notice it had quick release wheels. Other than that, all parts appear to be original and in VERY good condition.

My two basic questions are:

(1) How old is it? The serial number begins with KEN...will that be enough to ID it? I've spent a couple hours now surfing the web trying to find info about this, but with no luck.

(2) At a $30 price point, is it worth my time to do some tuning (and maybe a little riding, it's a pretty nice looking bike!) and put it up on craigslist? I live in SE Wisconsin, so there's plenty of demand with all the students and hipsters. How much can I reasonably get out of it?


Thanks for your help, and I look forward to posting here more often!
thombombb

P.S. The store let me put the bike on hold til the end of the day today, so some quick answers would be helpful and MUCH appreciated!
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Old 07-09-10, 01:40 PM
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Yes, a tacky homemade modification lowers the value. And in this case, it is a mod that turns it from a mixte (which sells for a premium) to a standard bike. Imagine if I modified my Corvette to make it more similar to a Chevy Impala. Every mod would lower the value, and irreversible mods drop an atom bomb on the value (common irreversible modifications on bikes = anything that involves a drill, a hammer, a grinder, a file, or a can of spray paint).

Serial numbers are just about worthless on most bikes (except for a couple of manufacturers), you date almost all bikes by the codes on the components. Age has almost no impact on value, and with a mixte, model has very little impact on value as well. Most manufacturers only made one or two mixte models, and most were near the bottom of the product line (there are many exceptions. Those exceptions are where the model does make a difference.) The difference between two bikes, one made in 1985 and the other in 1978 is nothing, except for the differences in build quality (frame material and quality of parts used to build the bike) and the condition of the bike. Time spent identifying the exact year can be better spent cleaning the bike.

Sanwa was a minor Taiwanese brand. Really no following whatsoever (I have one myself). So bike's value will depend on how clean it is, and the basic build quality. At most, the only thing Sanwa built on that bike was the frame. Everything else came from the same suppliers that everyone else bought from. So if Sanwa bought crappy parts from Shimano (fill in part manufacturer name of choice), it is very likely a crappy bike. On the other hand, if the manufacturer bought top of the line parts from Shimano, then it is very likely a very good bike. Go to Walmart, and just about every bike will have Shimano parts, crappy Shimano parts. Go to your favorite bike shop, most of the bikes will have Shimano parts as well, good to very good Shimano parts.

Even bottom end mixtes have decent value out there, if they are in great shape.

Worth $30, yes very likely. Worth your time fixing up? What is your time worth? Flipping bikes as a financial undertaking rarely pays close to what a basic job pays. I am retired, so piddling around rehabbing bikes is worth my time. But when I was working, I made a heck of a lot more for my time (but enjoyed it less). Do you have all the tools/time/knowledge/skill to rehab a bike? Do you have the knowledge to manage (minimize) the cost of parts, components and consumables? As a hobby, flipping is great. But as a job, financially it stinks.

How much can you get for it? Post pics in the completed ready to ride form, and I will give you my estimate.

Last edited by wrk101; 07-09-10 at 03:02 PM.
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Old 07-13-10, 09:07 AM
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Update...

Well, the bike is pretty much set for sale, and here's some more detailed info (and pics)

*Lugged steel frame
*Front and rear quick-release wheels
*New(er) panaracer panela tires
*Suntour ARX front and rear derailleurs
*Sugino GT cranks
*Dia Compe brakes
*Selle Royal saddle

https://s824.photobucket.com/albums/z...b/sanwa%20700/
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Old 07-13-10, 10:42 AM
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get it! if you haven't already. totally worth 30 dollar. that seems like a nice bike.
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Old 07-13-10, 11:31 AM
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For that kind of money, that's a steal - tires alone are worth that - plus all the other parts.

I used to have a Sanwa, for a lot of years. It was a great bike.
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Old 07-13-10, 11:56 AM
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I did! I did! I did get it!

When I went back to the store to check out the bike one more time (and probably to buy it) I took a closer look at the tires, because they look new and not just gently used original tires. And sure enough, I saw they were newer panaracers (the URL marked on them was a dead giveaway!) and I was immediately sold.

But now that I know I got my money's worth, what can I expect to get out of it, or reasonably ask for it?
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Old 07-13-10, 02:24 PM
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Post pictures of it finished, fully cleaned up and in ready to ride condition. And part of the process is your ability to market the bike. The bicycle market is very inefficient. Poorly marketed bikes, even really good ones, go cheap, really cheap. Well marketed bikes, even mediocre ones, can go for more.
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