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Mid 80's Lotus 12 speed road bike w/600EX components, NOS?

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Mid 80's Lotus 12 speed road bike w/600EX components, NOS?

Old 01-14-11, 12:09 AM
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slowleak
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Mid 80's Lotus 12 speed road bike w/600EX components, NOS?

I went to look at a bike today that was in a local free paper, it's listed for $400.
I answered the ad after searching for a large framed, older road bike. I need a 64CM frame, and prefer to be able to run a fairly robust tire due to the rough roads.

The bike is mid 80's, no model designation on the bike at all, it has a complete 600EX group, derailleurs, freewheel, hubs, chain, brakes, shifters, headset, and bottom bracket. The handle bars and stem are SR, the chain rings are SR, and the seat is a Selle Royal padded leather. The tires are older IRC Kevlar with I am told, puncture resistant tubes. The guy has receipts from 1985/86 for $712 in parts and labor from a bike shop in NE PA.
The bike looks almost unused, the tires still have their flashing, their is no wear or dirt anywhere on the bike other than some dust from sitting in storage. Everything is super smooth and works as it should. The seller says the frame was bought as a bare frame, ordered with special measurements for a big man.
The one thing I noticed right off was that it takes a long reach to shift or just to reach the bars. The top tube measurement is 57.5cm, the seat post is 64cm, and it's built to take 27" tires. It weighs only 24.7lbs hanging on a scale, which surprised me a bit as I expected it to be closer to 30lbs due to it's size and the heavy tires and tubes. There are no frame decals at all other than the decals that came with the 600 EX group and a Lotus headbadge. I snapped a pic with my phone, it's not a great pic but it should give a good idea of the bike's condition.

Is $400 a fair price for a bike like this?
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Old 01-14-11, 05:58 AM
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The bike is clean but I think $400 is a bit steep for a lotus with 600.
You could probably pick something up with Columbus tubes and campy parts for that price depending on your local market. I'd say $250-300 is closer to what super clean example should bring.
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Old 01-14-11, 06:57 AM
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$400 is way too high. $250 is about right.
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Old 01-14-11, 07:04 AM
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
$400 is way too high. $250 is about right.
+1
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Old 01-14-11, 07:59 AM
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Something smells fishy. Why would somebody spend $712 in parts and labor on a bicycle which had a replacement value of about $450 at the time of the repairs? It doesn't make sense.

Regardless, based on the headbadge and components the bicycle is slightly older than mid-1980s, more like 1980-1983. At the time, Lotus had four models with 600EX. Based on the particular component mix, the most likely candidate is a Lotus Eclair, and if so, the frame would be Tange 3 (i.e. single butted CrMo) which would explain the weight. In my region this would be a $200-$225 bicycle.
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Old 01-14-11, 08:31 AM
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I'm in lined to say a little higher based on condition. If it were a run of the mill well used 600EX bike Id agree with everyone else.
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Old 01-14-11, 11:55 AM
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Where were you a week ago? I just sold a 62cm Lotus Classique for $220, that was in just as nice shape as this Eclair. I just needed to make some room for other projects.

His CL ad says $400 firm, no way I would pay that. My max would be $200, but if you really need it, $250.
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Old 01-14-11, 12:02 PM
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Classique is most likely a better bike, quite a bit better. My 1984 Classique has a Tange 1 Champion frameset, chrome stays, fork crown, fork blades, 700c wheelset. A really nice vintage bike IMHO.

I must be missing it, but that Lotus does not look near NOS to me. All of the Lotus's I have seen have nice seat tube decals, etc. If that bike is NOS, where are the decals?


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Old 01-14-11, 12:54 PM
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Back in or around 1984/85 I looked at a similar bike, I believe it was labeled at Champion #2 tubing then, they were selling just the frames to be custom built, the shop I talked to back then sold Lotus, Shogun, and Schwinn. I had priced out a nearly identical bike then at around $700 including shop labor, which seemed to be about the average then. I couldn't afford it then, and ended up buying a lesser model, Schwinn Letour for $500.
The seller of this bike has a receipt for the frame dated 1985 from a shop somewhere in PA for $365 for the bare frame, $36 for the fork, and $216 for the 600EX parts, and the rest for rims, tires bars, etc. Those prices don't seem that far off to me here? I was told by several that the frame is most likely Tange #2 not #1 regardless of what they advertised it as back then. It's a very light bike for it's size, lighter than a similarly sized Raleigh I have here with Reynolds 531 tubes.

Something I thought about is what would it cost me to build a new bike like this today, if I could even find a new old stock frame? The wheels would be no less then $250, a new old stock 600EX group on eBay would be at least $300 or more by the time I pieced it all together, and the rest would no doubt add another $150.
This bike is complete.
Being 6' 4" tall, 300lbs, I probably don't want the thinnest lightest tubing, and with a 36" inseam, I do need a big frame. I just priced out a set of wheels for another bike, using DT stainless spokes, NOS Suntour hubs, and Weinmann rims in 27" and was told $300. plus $56 for tires and HD tubes. My plan was to build up a bike using my old Schwinn Letour frame but found several cracks in the frame after stripping the paint.
(The rims were priced out as follows at a local bike shop, Rims-$38 each, DT stainless spokes- $72.00, Suntour XC Pro Hubset 126mm spacing-$80 Two wheel skewers-$30, two IRC Kevlar belt 27" 1 1/8" skin wall tires, $32, and two thorn resistant tubes at $24. The rest was labor to build them, about $42.)
I priced out the same parts on eBay, and came up with far more, plus I'd have to pay to get them built, and I doubt a shop would charge me only $42 to build a set of wheels if they didn't sell the parts. The last time I went that route the best price I got was $100 to lace up two wheels and it took them two months to get to them.
With the cost of new wheels in mind, I didn't think that a whole bike for a few dollars more was too out of line?
By looking at this bike, if the guy didn't tell me he rode it for a week himself, I'd have figured it was never ridden. The only signs of use are a few rub marks from pant legs or toe clips on the crank arms. Nothing else shows any use. The cables are shiny, the tires still have flashing on them, the seat is mint, the chain and sprockets are mint and still clean and shiny with no wear pattern. There are a few touched up nicks on the frame but that's to be expected over 30 years or so. The bike is as it was the day it left the dealer way back when.
I may try to get it for a bit less but I doubt he'll budge much, but if it were mine, I don't think I'd sell it for any less.

Something else that I have to consider is that this is my size frame, and from past experience, shipping one of these big bikes can be a challenge. I had tried to ship my Letour, also a large frame and UPS wanted over $100 to ship it since it simply could not make it into a smaller box. Finding a box is also an issue.
This Lotus is also not some well used or restored bike with hundreds of miles and abuse, it's mint, basically brand new. Even if I were to find a new in the box off the shelf bike from back then, I'd not likely find one with these components, and certainly not with this wheelset or spokes, and it would certainly not sell for any less than it did back in 1984 or 85.
I looked at new bikes, I don't want a new bike, I don't want a made in China bike for $900 or more. I can't stand the new shifting systems, I'm too heavy for low spoke count wheels and aluminum frames. At 300lbs I no doubt should stick to a steel frame, and probably a heavier one at that. Going to a super light tubing would most likely be sure failure riding on the rough roads here.
The only thing I'd do different on the Lotus if I were to have had it built would be to go to a double wall rim, but the problem with that is that I doubt if there is such a thing in 27" and I have had good luck with the wider Araya rims. I do know that I destroy the narrow Araya rims which were only 20mm wide. They also don't take a wider tire as well.
I plan to call the guy with the Lotus later today and see if we can make a deal.
Unless anyone knows of a better deal out there?
It would have to have 36 spoke wheels, HD tires and tubes, 600EX or better components, and be in mint or new shape for less than $400. Might anyone have a new old stock 64cm bike they want to sell within driving distance of southern NJ?
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Old 01-14-11, 01:47 PM
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About 6 years ago I put together a Lotus bike much like the one your looking at, same color, 27" wheels, and with a headbadge not decal. The frame came to me as new old stock from a defunct Lotus dealer, he claimed to have ordered it for a customer and got stuck with it. It was also 64cm, and was listed at Tange #1 tubing. Apparently they had some sort of frame only program back then, the frame I bought was very similar to the frame on my Panasonic DX2000, which is labeled Champion #2 tubing throughout. I was also told by several here that the larger frames were only available in #2 tubing. Mine came with no decals, only a headbadge in a bag, no forks, nothing. The seat post Diameter was 26.6mm, which to me is a good indicator of tubing type. If it were water pipe, I'd expect a much smaller seat post diameter. Check the seat post diameter on that bike. As someone who is also well over 250lbs and 6'3" tall, I'd not want to rely on any of the lighter tubing sets.
I was told that #1 tubing would take a 27mm seat post tube, but I've yet to run across any 64cm or larger bike with such a seat post measurement.

When I built my bike back in 2003, it cost me around $600 total and that didn't include all the shipping charges and time it took to compile all the parts I needed. I too used 600EX but I had the group of parts to begin with, I went looking for an suitable frame. I didn't have the 600EX cranks, I used a set of lesser Exage cranks, and at the time, didn't think I needed the heavier tires and tubes, three rides later and I was upgrading tires and tubes. I also went with the IRC Kevlar tires and HD tubes, they were the only thing that held up and didn't pinch flat on rough roads. I had my wheels built with DT Champion Stainless 2.0 straight guage spokes, and more modern Araya single wall rims as they were the only thing I could find at the time. I'd have preferred double wall but the only double wall rims I could find were Rigida 1320s which were known to be soft, and I had flatspotted many in the past. I paid $27 each for my rims in 2003, had the hubs, and the spokes were about $50 for a box of 100. The shop that sold me the spokes would only order and sell them by the box.
I built the wheels myself, and as someone who has been building wheels for many years, the going rate for assembly is about $50 per wheel. No matter how fast you are, it still take time, and time costs money. You can buy cheap replacement 27" wheels but they don't compare to a custom built wheel from good components.

I bought my frame from a shop in VA, the owner was sort of glad to see someone that could use it and sold it for only $150, still in it's original box. The original price was $350 on the box, he paid $162.50 for it as a dealer in 1983. Also, from what I can tell, the last headbadge frames were from around that era, I pretty much figured mine is a 1982/83, maybe an 84 model, the headbadge came with the bike, but it was not installed. There are numbers stamped on the left side of the seat tube, and the top of the chainstays have the Lotus emblem embossed in the tube ends filled with gold. My frame is dark metallic blue, with the headtube being painted solid dark blue, a few shades lighter.
I went with a chrome plated Champion #3 fork, it was the lightest I could find that was long enough. I did buy and still have a Champion #2 fork with a forged crown but it was a tad too short to work with the taller stack height of the 600EX headset. If were to have uses a lower height Tange chromoly headset, I could have used the better fork. The fork on mine is what made me go to 27" wheels, the rear brake bridge would work for either 700c or 27". the 27" wheels clear by about 1/4" and the 600EX brakes adjust out fine. I was ok with the 27" wheels as they gave me a bit more stand over height too. From your pic, yours appears to also have a chrome fork?
Again, being as big as I am, I don't think I'd want a super thin, super light fork, its the last place I'd want to risk a failure due to my size.

The one thing that I did notice about this frame on mine is that it's rather long up top, I'm a big guy and its a reach for me with a 110mm stem. My top tube measures 57.5mm as well, compared to only 56mm on my Panasonic. While my Lotus is better equipped than is my Panasonic, I do ride the Panasonic more. The one feature that makes that so much nicer to ride is the Suntour bar end shifters, which are far easier to reach than the downtube shifters on the large frame. On the Lotus, I have to bend to the point my chin hits the stem to reach the shifters.

As far as price, you will no doubt spend more than $400 to build that bike with all new old stock parts. You will probably spend double that going by what some of these parts sell for on eBay. Most dealers don't have many friction shift parts left, and those that do know they can get top dollar.
Don't compare a new old stock bike or anything in that shape with a used bike, there's a big difference between clean used and new, never ridden, and more importantly, well stored for all these years. A bike could be never ridden and stored in a barn or outdoors and be worthless.
I would never sell mine for $400, I don't care what someone thinks it's worth, it can't be built for that amount, not back then, and certainly not now. I bought my Panasonic new in 1980, and with all Suntour Cyclone components, Araya 700c rims, leather saddle, and SR GT cranks sold for $600, and I had to bargain and play one dealer against another to get that price 30 years ago. Keep in mind too that my Panasonic is a lesser model than my Lotus, regardless of frame tubing.

Something people don't seem to realize is that when your over 250lbs, a few pounds of weight on the frame means very little, and often the lighter frame may be a liability in both safety and flex.
If you have ever had a bottom bracket give way from the frame or a pair of chainstays buckle under you know what I mean.
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Old 01-14-11, 02:10 PM
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I guess the bottom line here is how bad do you want it? Sounds like you want it pretty bad. So pony up the bread and get the bike. Is it worth $400.00? Not to me, but then I don't collect Lotus and am not 6'4" tall.

I don't believe for a minute that the guy has all of the money invested into it that he seems to indicate. I'm also not sure if the figures above include the frame, or if the frame and fork cost is to be added to the $712.00 in parts and labor. Also, if he has the receipt, he can verify if it was '85 or '86, it wouldn't be 85/86. I also agree that the frame appears to be several years older than the parts. That is neither good not bad really, just a fact.
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Old 01-14-11, 05:17 PM
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I sort of figured that the frame is circa 1980 to 1986, the parts are 1984/85. Close enough for me. Back then it wasn't hard to find a new bike built with older parts right off the showroom floor.
The receipt he has has no date, it's hand written and yellowed pretty bad, it was taped to something at some point and the tape preserved most of the writing in the middle.
If this was built from a bare frame, it could be just about any model, but I'm not sure what difference it makes whether it's straight gauge, double or single butted tubing when your talking about a 64cm frame? It's not gas pipe, its lighter then most bikes this size, I was actually amazed that its under 25lbs. (In other words were not talking about a Schwinn Varsity here).

I've looked at dozens of small bikes, all cheap but all well used. I looked at an all Campy Raleigh last week but its a 21" frame and has sew up tires, none of which are much good to me here or at my size.
I can find 21" frame bikes all day long, this is only the second 64cm frame I've seen for sale. There also seems to be an abundance of old French, or Italian bikes in small sizes, it seems that only the British and Japanese brands made larger frames in any numbers. I did look at a 25" frame Peugeot but it's a low end Tourmalet from the late 80's and it needs everything and the guy still wants $150 for it. I looked at what was supposed to be a decent used Nishiki International with all Suntour Cyclone components but the frame had damage to the rear stays, it looked like they were compressed or something, there were accordion type ripples in the tubing about midway down. They still wanted $200 for it, and it was well used.

I called and made the guy an offer of $350 on the Lotus in an attempt to get it cheaper, he said he'd think about it, but had another buyer coming to see it. Maybe he does, maybe he doesn't, but I'll wait him out.

The brand makes no difference to me, but most older Japanese bikes are easy to get parts for. Unlike some older French, Italian, and some British bikes. To me, all the Japanese frames were so similar they look alike. It's hard to tell a Lotus, Panasonic, Shogun, Nishiki, or any other Japanese bike frame apart other than maybe an engraved logo on the stays. This is especially true with bikes with decal headbadges.
I wouldn't mind any of the following bikes but they would have to be in new condition and in a 64cm or 25" frame,
Raleigh Super Course 1977/78
Motobecane Grand Jubilee 1974-1979
Panasonic DX2000 1979/80
Raleigh Marathon 1984/85
Lotus Classique 1980-85
Shogun Samurai circa 1985
Nishiki International up to 1984.
My requirements are a 64m frame, 36 spoke wheels, friction shifting, 10 or 12 speeds, a steel frame, and 600 or better running gear. I am not particularly after a high end bike, but I don't want bottom end junk either. I figure that this Lotus is upper mid range, as would any full 600EX bike would be. I'm also not looking for a collectible, just a good daily rider, I don't wish to pay for collectible.
Basically, I've been looking for almost a year with no luck, nothing but junk. The few that I've seen go off on eBay were either well used or shipping was too high. I did win a super clean Raleigh Super Course about a year ago, but UPS destroyed the bike in transit. It arrived looking like it had been run over in the box, with both rims crushed, and the frame twisted more than 4. The guy even shipped it in a double wide box, padded with foam and protected on both sides with 1/4" plywood, and it still got destroyed. I got my money back, it was insured but it was probably a new old stock bike from 1979 that got destroyed.

Let me ask this: How many here would sell their perfect or mint original bike for less than $400?
So far all I see for sale is worn out and abused junk for several hundred dollars or more.
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Old 01-14-11, 06:07 PM
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I've got a fairly good collection of that era components here, I've got a new in the box Shimano 600EX crankset with a $139.99 price tag on it, a pair of hubs new in the box, marked $59.99, I've got a complete Shimano 600EX group set with derailleurs, hubs, skewers, crankset, brakes, levers, and shifters marked $304.99. I've got several new old stock Araya 27" single wall rims, the one's that came on almost all mid range bikes back then which sold for $14.99 each back then, but I have no trouble getting $50 each now. Spokes back then were cheaper, maybe $.50 each, but most shops built with double butted spokes, anything heavier would be special order and more money. Stainless spokes weren't nearly as common then as they are today. A Selle Royal saddle isn't high end but they were nice saddles, they sold then for about $30, and bring about $50 or so now if you can find someone that still wants one. Most everyone now seems to want a gel saddle or Brooks leather, there's not much in between.
As far as the frame, most brands that did or would sell bare frames didn't sell entry level frames, only higher end frames, no decals isn't surprising as one frame could also serve as the basis for several models. Thus they didn't apply the decals at the factory. I can even remember having to drill headbadge holes.

Who ever built that bike probably made the right choice in the chrome fork, if that is indeed a lighter tubing, chances are it's got plenty of flex in that size frame. I've got several larger Nishiki and Panasonic frames here, and anything Champion #2 and better is pretty flexible down low. Adding a thin, extra light fork under a big rider is rarely the right choice. I can't count how many forks the roads around here have detroyed under my 325lbs.
I've never ruined a replacement fork, most that I've used have been Akisu or Champion #2 or #3 tubing.

A custom assembled bike in say 1984 or so would have no doubt run well over $700.
In 1980 I bought a brand new Ross Super Grand Tour with all Shimano 600, it was the cheapest bike on the floor at the time and it sold for $389. I remember wanting a new Motobecane Grand Jubilee but couldn't swing the $599 at the time. The Grand Jubilee was an all Suntour model with Cyclone derailleurs, Weimann rims and brakes and Atom hubs. The next up the food chain then was the Grand Record which was all Campy and sold at $750, and this was in 1980. (A buddy of mine bought the Grand Record, and still owns it today, never ridden more than a few miles). He upgraded it to Dura Ace with SIS when it came out in the mid 80's and still never rode it much. He finally let me put it all back to stock a few years ago.
So to think that 5 or 6 years later, a bike with all 600EX and anything but stove pipe tubing would be more than $700 isn't unbelievable at all. Also, a lot may also have to do with where in the country it was bought, bikes seemed to be higher in some areas.
If that Lotus was indeed built from a bare frame, and is as clean as it looks in the pic, I'd have to say it's worth every bit of $400. That's not to say I wouldn't like to buy it for $200, but I think the seller would be a fool to let it go so cheap. I have little doubt that if he broke it down and parted it out on eBay he'd get more than the $400 he's asking and still have the frame to sell.
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Old 01-14-11, 06:39 PM
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That's rarely the case around here, most get stored outside in sheds or on porches in the salt air, anything steel rusts, all the aluminum is chalky white, and the bad roads tear up rims.
Even seeing a good old bike is rare, I can't remember when I just happened upon a vintage road bike in use, for that matter, I can't remember the last time I found any road bike for sale at a yard sale, flea market or other outlet. There hasn't been a bike shop here that sells or stocks road bikes in years.
The nearest bike shop with road bikes, new one's that is, is an hour away, and they have nothing under about $2500 when it comes to a road bike. Bikes must sell for a lot less in NC than they do in NJ?

I got to thinking about the Lotus, and gave the guy a call and said I'd take the bike, but was too late, it's sold.
So much for that one. He sold the bike minutes after I called and made my offer. I did find another guy selling a 25" Nishiki International bare frame for $175, and I got the impression he'd take $150. I mentioned I wasn't looking to spend that much and he made it clear that $150 was his bottom price. There's also a 26" frame Raleigh Marathon that needs wheel work, cables, and a lot of cleaning for $250, but that's a very low end frame compared to the Lotus. The Marathon doesn't even have lugs, and it's got Steel hubs, Silstar cranks, and is in somewhat rough shape.

So after all this, I'm still looking.
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Old 01-14-11, 07:26 PM
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Here is a large framed Lotus for sale in the Columbus, Ohio area. No mention of components or tubing but the size may be right for you. It's been posted and reposted for a while now so you may be able to talk the seller down some.

https://columbus.craigslist.org/bik/2159764389.html

Just giving you another option.....

Last edited by GentlemanGeorge; 01-14-11 at 07:29 PM.
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Old 01-14-11, 08:25 PM
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Originally Posted by slowleak View Post
Let me ask this: How many here would sell their perfect or mint original bike for less than $400?
So far all I see for sale is worn out and abused junk for several hundred dollars or more.
Me, all the time. I have sold several in the 63cm to 64cm range, in outstanding condition, for a lot less. I rarely sell a bike for more than $225 to $250. I don't pick up XL frame bikes very often, as there are limited customers out there for them.

And I would encourage you to look beyond NOS condition. First, IMHO, that term is overused. Secondly, it is almost always a sign that the seller is looking for top dollar.

Sometimes a seller will describe the bike as needing work, not rideable, and so on condition, when it reality, it just needs a little cleanup and it could be in outstanding condition.

The Classique I have posted above came from a thrift store, it was really filthy. But underneath all the dirt, was a really nice bike.

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Old 01-15-11, 01:18 AM
  #17  
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I found this on eBay, at least its within driving distance of here, although probably a few hour drive or so each way: https://cgi.ebay.com/1985-62CM-MIYATA...item41560be269

Its all 600 equipped but I don't think it's in the same class as that Lotus was, and a bit smaller which I could live with but close to my ideal size.

I have no problem with used, it just needs to be super nice, I don't care to be cleaning and rebuilding, all of that costs money. Better yet, try to get a bike shop to 'clean and polish' and old bike. It's hard enough to get basic maintenance done. Most won't touch an old bike at all, most won't do any big repairs, they just want to sell parts. I sort of understand where their coming from if these bikes aren't worth any money, why spend $100 cleaning and regreasing every last moving part only to get $150 - $200 for a bike, no wonder they don't do used bikes anymore. I tried to get several local shops to clean and repack all my bearings on my Schwinn several years ago, none would touch it and only one would go so far as to say that they would install a new bottom bracket if I bought a new one. I was told they don't service parts, they replace them. I couldn't even buy a new axle, cones, and bearings for the original Shimano hubs. I ended up buying a new wheelset for $240, which didn't last but a few months. I later ended up mail ordering a custom built set of wheels with better hubs, SS spokes, and Araya rims, those cost me over $330 plus shipping from the west coast.

Something I do miss on most bikes is the side levers and stem mounted shifters, they may not be high end or appropriate but they do make riding on the street day to day much easier. I have a really tough time on some bikes getting down into position to even reach the brake levers. I tried a mountain bike but hated the feel of the bike and all the added resistance pedaling those big tires on pavement.

I don't think there are any 'Thrift' Stores around here, certainly none that sell bikes. Besides, if it needed repairs, the bargain would soon be gone after I got the bike shop bill.
Add a new set of wheels to the list and it's not usually much of a bargain anyhow.
If big bikes are a hard sell, then why don't I see more for cheap? It seems every time I find a big frame bike, it's well over $400, at least for anything I'd want.
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Old 01-15-11, 07:25 AM
  #18  
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That Miyata 310 is not Shimano 600 equipped, that's all Shimano 105 on that bike.

Yes, if you are not interested in doing the rehab on an older bike, that can change the economics a lot. A good shop can charge $200 plus to do the basics, that even most clean bikes on ebay will require. I bet that Miyata 310 on ebay will need $100 to $150 in work: bearings, cables, grease, clean the chain, etc. Older bikes that are never ridden, even when stored perfectly, deteriorate. The paint can look awesome, but the basic consumable parts will be shot.

In your case, I would look for a good flipper in your area (study C/L ads for a short period, and it will be pretty obvious), tell them what you are looking for. Even if they don't have what you want right now, they can find one. There are different types of flippers out there: some just find a bike cheap at a garage sale, thrift store, whatever, and knock the dirt off and resell for a quick profit. Others will go through the bike meticulously, making everything right, before they sell it. Find the second guy, they are out there.

For a point of reference, I just sold this Trek 412 this week, nice Ishiwata frame, 25 1/4 inch size (63cm), totally refurbished, in great condition, for $200. In riding season, I might sell a bike like this for $235.


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Old 01-15-11, 01:41 PM
  #19  
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Something that I don't get is why a complete bike would sell for less than the sum of its parts?
If I tried to build that bike you sold here, with all mid range components or better, I'd spend well over $400, maybe over $600.
I did look at a very similar bike near here a while back, It was a dark blue Trek but I think the guy said the model was a 410? It had been all redone and repainted. I know the guy that painted the bike, he charged him $200 to strip and repaint it and have it re-pinstriped. The guy replaced everything with new old stock parts, but nothing was very high end, the frame decal read Ishiwatta 022, the paint looked to be the same color as yours, but with all white cables and grip tape. The bike was set up with all Suntour Cyclone II derailleurs, a Silstar crankset, Rigida 1320 27" wheels, Michelin tires, and Miche low flange hubs. It had Suntour bar end shifters and Dia Compe 500 side pull brakes, and a hard leather saddle with no name on it, other than saying "Made in Japan".
The bike was a work of art but he wanted $550 for it, I got a look at it when he was just finishing the bike, it wasn't ready to ride yet. I told him to let me know when it was done but he sold it the next day. I didn't feel I missed much as it wasn't too high end of a bike, and I'm really not familiar with Trek bikes at all. There was never any dealers near me so I never crossed paths with one back in the day. I had always thought Trek back then sold only frames.

What did a Trek 412 compete with back then? What year were they sold?
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Old 01-15-11, 02:30 PM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by slowleak View Post
Something that I don't get is why a complete bike would sell for less than the sum of its parts?
That's not surprising to me, its pretty common on manufactured products. Try building a new car a part at a time. Compare it to what that car sells for complete.
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Old 01-15-11, 06:24 PM
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My 1983 Panasonic DX-4000 is a good example of just this.
This bike cost $523.99 when new, it cost me nearly that again about 6 years ago to rebuild it with all new components, and that was with building the wheels myself. It's all Suntour Cyclone from 1983, just as it was equipped when new other than it's got Weinmann rims now, and I added the bar end shifters vs. clamp on downtube shifters. I still have the original seat, but prefer the softer sprung saddle that's on it now. The tires are 700Cx25 Michelin Dynamics, on double wall Weinmann 20mm rims. The hubs are Suntour, the brakes are Dia Compe Gran Comp 500. I've seen a few of these with Shimano hubs, and a few with drillium chainrings, but this came with solid Sugino rings as are on it now. The inner ring was steel when it was new, it's now alloy.
I was offered $450 for the bike last summer and turned it down. Nothing short of $550 would take it. The way I see it, I can't buy another one in this shape for even that amount these days, let alone in a 26" frame.
The tubing decal reads Champion #2, the fork just reads Champion Chromoly Tubing.
This bike has been one of my all time favorites, it got the most use over the years next to my Raleigh Super Course and my Super Gran Prix. All are 25+in frame bikes.

In my past experience, if you need a large frame bike, the options are limited as the majority of older bikes were built in smaller sizes. I'd say only one in 50 were over 24" tall frames. On top of that, clean examples are few and far between in any size 30 or more years later.
My favorite bikes were from 1977 to 1983, mainly since that was a time when I was riding the most and quality bikes could still be found fairly easily under $1000. Most mid range bikes hadn't crossed the $500 mark yet at that point.
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