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Might buy Franklin w/Dura Ace--worth over $850?

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Might buy Franklin w/Dura Ace--worth over $850?

Old 08-14-12, 07:42 PM
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Might buy Franklin w/Dura Ace--worth over $850?

58cm Franklin custom with 8-speed Dura Ace, Phil hubs. 1996ish vintage. Owner claims it's pristine. Is over $850 out of the question?

Franklin is a one-man custom builder in Newark, Ohio. Not a big name but he does exellent work.

Sorry about pics---the seller took them. Plan to see it tomorrow evening.





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Old 08-14-12, 07:48 PM
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Seems a bit steep for a 531 frame. The stem, seatpost, saddle, and pedals are all lowend or noname. For $850+ I would expect a much better parts selection. Tires appear shot too.

Do some ebay comps on what $850+ will buy you.


Edit: It's been for sale on/off since May. Started at $995, currently@ $895. I would offer $450 cash.

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Old 08-14-12, 09:20 PM
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Our local CL is filled to the brim with Walter Crolls.

An excellent local builder of some renown in this area.

They go nowhere.

Another example is this Eric Ware.

Been on the local CL forever and a day.

Cool bike that goes nowhere.

For $400.

Heck if it fit me I'd probably take a shot at that price.

Campy and Phil Woods for el cheapo prices.

https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/hn...195757626.html



Sometimes these regional builders don't get enough love.

But they could easily be worth a shot.

I'd go with Thinktubes price and see what happens.

Looks like a fun bicycle to try out.
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Old 08-15-12, 05:11 AM
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I don't think that asking price is that crazy, depending on if it has the advertised Dura Ace gruppo...if you offered me $450, I'd hang up. Some of this depends on your market. Franklin builds some nice bikes - I've envied a fellow member's many times. Keep in mind that the wheels are likely worth $200ish. If it fit, I'd offer $700 and walk home with it.
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Old 08-15-12, 06:07 AM
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Boils down to the dura ace group, I think. It's a very nice looking frame, from what I can see. I think 850 is a bit steep. I'd wind up somewheres between Kon Aaron and thinktubes on this one. As I've said, it is harder to price a lot of American custom builders, and this accounts for the variance. Take a tape measure with you; customs sometimes have odd geo/measurements. Can't tell much from the pic, but that stem is long (130?) for a bike that size (56?). Suspect it is on its' second owner now.

The Ware looks nice and is underpriced IMO. Surprised it won't sell.
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Old 08-15-12, 07:12 AM
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Yeah, maybe $450 is a bit low; but I wouldn't go much higher.

This bike has been sitting on CL for a long time and if you're in Ohio, cycling season is winding down lowering the demand for bikes. Given these factors, I would not be in a rush to pay anywhere near top dollar.

Regardless of quality, custom frames can be tough to sell. Demand is limited and depreciation is high, unless the frame is from a top-tier maker.

Agree that it's probably on a second or third owner. Either that, or the owner cherry picked some of the better parts before listing.
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Old 08-15-12, 07:23 AM
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The seller claims to be the original owner and says he has the receipt. He did a fitting with Jack and it's made to measure. Unfortunately, he has short legs and long torso, so it might not bethe right bike for me.

I hear you on the resale value with builders who haven't aggressively promoted their businesses. I can't ignore that. But I also see value in it beyond resale given the high quality of the frame for the price.

Can't believe the saddle.

I think I might offer something along the lines KonAaron suggests.

I will take a tape and also test ride.

Thanks for all your insight. Feel free to give more.

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Old 08-15-12, 09:36 AM
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Bike is in great shape (stem and saddle MUST go), and that 8 speed DA group is my favorite (along with the 8 speed 600 tricolor). Its what I have been migrating my keeper fleet to.

All that being said, price is silly high. My experience on C/L is that vintage bikes at higher price points go nowhere. This is great as a buyer, sucks as a seller. Parted out, the seller could do pretty good on that bike.

I recently picked up a Tommasini with that group off C/L. It sat on there at least a week, with a significantly lower price than the one above (and a motivated seller, so the price had quite a bit of flex to it). Custom frame builders get zero respect. +1 on stem length, if that bike was a custom build for the owner, I would have expected a longer TT and a shorter stem, that's pretty weird (its how I set up most of my bikes, as they are not custom builds).

Why is resale value important? I just don't like overpaying for anything: car, house, bicycle, you name it. OK, if its a one of a kind, special situation, I will do it (like the rock house on my avatar, I overpaid for it). So its a guide to the market value. And there are so many bikes out there, unless it is a grail bike to you, I just wait for a better deal. I have been known to just make an offer, IN PERSON, on overpriced bikes. I am honest with the seller, "this bike is only worth $xxx to me, it may be worth more to someone else". I have offered as little as 30% of the asking price, it really depends on the bike. Guy was really flabbergasted with that offer. But I explained it: stuck seat post and stem, trashed out paint, worn components, etc. Guy passed on the offer, called me 15 minutes later, and took it.

I have picked up several high end bikes off C/L, its really where the deals are IMHO. But I make an offer, sometimes I get it, sometimes I don't. I picked up a Colnago, sat on the local C/L for over two weeks. Anyway, I was honest with the seller, "I really am not looking for a Colnago, its a high end bike, I am on a limited budget, yadda, yadda. Offered him $xxx, and I told him, this bike is worth more, I would just wait if I were you." My offer was 1/3 less than asking price. Turned out I was the only one that came out to look at it!

Higher prices scare away the competition. Offers in person, in cash! So when someone asks too much, I go look anyway.

I realize some sellers won't go for my offer, no problem, as there are plenty of other bikes out there! And you have a nice budget, which puts you in the DRIVERS seat on C/L (high priced stuff sits....)
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Old 08-15-12, 09:43 AM
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I like the frame and I like Dura Ace and Phils are supposed to be damned great, I'd be happy to pay $600 for it.


Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
+1 on stem length, if that bike was a custom build for the owner, I would have expected a longer TT and a shorter stem, that's pretty weird (its how I set up most of my bikes, as they are not custom builds).
I bet that the fellow had this bike built up for him 20 years ago and that the stem and saddle have been added recently. Ask him if he has the original parts.
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Old 08-15-12, 09:45 AM
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wrk101, what would you consider offering?
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Old 08-15-12, 10:01 AM
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I agree with Wrk, but I also don't. He's right that higher priced stuff sits on CL - usually no matter how nice it is. It is a mistake to use part out value or eBay value when buying on CL. That being said - would a high quality frame with a DA gruppo and Phil Woods hubs be worth $700 to me? Yes...and I like Franklin. Wrk is right that you might have a hard time getting that cash back if you wanted to resell it, and he's right that better deals will come along...but, based on some things that sell for $700 - I'd pay it.

It's sad that small name customs get such little respect, but it's great as a buyer. Also - I've found you CAN get more cash with a well written ad that really goes into the builder. Prices on this stuff vary more FOR SURE.
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Old 08-15-12, 10:11 AM
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+1 Is the bike worth $700? Sure. Will it bring $700 on an average/decent C/L? No. Now, if you are in a large metro market, could go that high, or even higher. And of course, the super hot markets, it could bring more.

+1 I hate sellers that try to use ebay values on C/L. If you want an ebay price, sell the freakin bike on ebay. And get prepared for all of the fees, and the variance in bid prices, and the need to ship, and oh yeah, buyers are king on ebay so the bike better be perfect, and you will have to wait for your money, and have you even sold a thing on ebay? 99% of the sellers that bring up ebay to me have zero experience with ebay. I just recommend they put it on ebay.

In most markets, a buyer ready to spend $500 on an older bike is a rarity. While I could sell a 4 year old Trek 1000 for $450 to $500 around here, older bikes (even ones vasty superior) sit.

Now, if I was set on getting a Franklin, in that size, I would pay the price. But if I was just looking for a super nice vintage bike, and was open to brands, I would keep looking. Being flexible on brand/model gives you much more bargaining power. And it could introduce you to something you would not have considered.

That Eric Ware is a great example. Minneapolis is a pretty strong market, yet that bike sits. Even though seller says he is firm on $400, in person, someone might be able to get that bike for $350. Oh, it has a mix of components, but it has tasty Phil hubs, some Campy bits, 531 frame, etc. A resourceful buyer could straighten out the parts mix and have a great bike.

Even where a price is firm, I have done well looking for other possible throw ins, to offset the price. On the EM I recently picked up, besides the Merckx, I got a set of Super Comp BMX wheels, Suntour barcons, four bbs (new in box), spare Campy RD, collapsible aluminum wheel barrow (wife wanted that), spare set of wheels, a couple sets of pedals, a set of DA QR levers, etc. Be creative, and you can end up with a win/win. Seller gets their price, you get a nice deal. I have done this many, many times.
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Last edited by wrk101; 08-15-12 at 10:22 AM.
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Old 08-15-12, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
+1 Is the bike worth $700? Sure. Will it bring $700 on an average/decent C/L? No. Now, if you are in a large metro market, could go that high, or even higher. And of course, the super hot markets, it could bring more.

+1 I hate sellers that try to use ebay values on C/L. If you want an ebay price, sell the freakin bike on ebay. And get prepared for all of the fees, and the variance in bid prices, and the need to ship, and oh yeah, buyers are king on ebay so the bike better be perfect, and you will have to wait for your money, and have you even sold a thing on ebay? 99% of the sellers that bring up ebay to me have zero experience with ebay. I just recommend they put it on ebay.

In most markets, a buyer ready to spend $500 on an older bike is a rarity. While I could sell a 4 year old Trek 1000 for $450 to $500 around here, older bikes (even ones vasty superior) sit.

Now, if I was set on getting a Franklin, in that size, I would pay the price. But if I was just looking for a super nice vintage bike, and was open to brands, I would keep looking. Being flexible on brand/model gives you much more bargaining power. And it could introduce you to something you would not have considered.

That Eric Ware is a great example. Minneapolis is a pretty strong market, yet that bike sits. Even though seller says he is firm on $400, in person, someone might be able to get that bike for $350. Oh, it has a mix of components, but it has tasty Phil hubs, some Campy bits, 531 frame, etc. A resourceful buyer could straighten out the parts mix and have a great bike.
Bill - on point, as always. There are different kinds of value...market value and bike value. This has less of the first and more of the second. Most of the time I'm unwilling to pay bike premiums for brands...but every now and then the logical part of my brain takes a vacation and I end up with a Vanilla

Mercian - I'd take it for a spin and see how you feel. If you really love it, buy it and enjoy. Let's say you over pay by $100...if you enjoy it for 5 years, and lose $100 when you re-sell it...is it the end of the world? Probably not. Also - I know I could get my cash out on that bike if I used eBay.
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Old 08-15-12, 10:27 AM
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I would still start very low with an initial offer and be prepared to walk. The buyer is in the driver seat for a bike like this. It's been sitting for months and months. There is no demand or competition to support his pricing.

Don't be afraid to negotiate and bring cash.
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Old 08-15-12, 10:49 AM
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All of this advice is very valuable--thanks to all of you.
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Old 08-15-12, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by thinktubes View Post
Seems a bit steep for a 531 frame. The stem, seatpost, saddle, and pedals are all lowend or noname. For $850+ I would expect a much better parts selection.
Seatpost is American Classic, stem looks like a Salsa or Waterford. As good as it gets.
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Old 08-15-12, 03:01 PM
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That bike could get $600 here. Eventually.
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Old 08-15-12, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by jet sanchEz View Post
I like the frame and I like Dura Ace and Phils are supposed to be damned great, I'd be happy to pay $600 for it.




I bet that the fellow had this bike built up for him 20 years ago and that the stem and saddle have been added recently. Ask him if he has the original parts.
+1 The original stem and saddle set up would help greatly on this one. Since it is custom frame with non stantard geoemtry fit is also a big issue if it happens to fit you just right I could see paying around $600 while $500 would be more in the ballpark for CL. If the fit isn't just right you should probably pass on this one.
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