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Looking for information on Apollo Capri

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Looking for information on Apollo Capri

Old 02-02-15, 07:17 PM
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Looking for information on Apollo Capri

Hello,

I have been on the lookout for a good frame for a fixie conversion. I've done one before on an unknown frame (bad paint job over bike with scattered, unknowable history) and I love it, but I'd like to have another go with a bike I know to be of a decent make, and making a few changes over the last time.

Anyway there is an Apollo Capri available in my area that's my size, for $100. I have heard good things about Apollos or maybe they're just trendy.

I can't tell much about the bike and the seller doesn't know a lot. They are not the first owners by any stretch and the bike has had some parts swapped off and on. But the crankset was on the bike when the seller got it and from what I can tell it's got a cotter pin. I don't know much about bike histories (or mechanics, while I'm being all confessional) but from what I know those weren't used since oldentimes and nobody would use anything like that these days, so I'm guessing the crankset is original and dates the bike to pre-80s?

I've done some varied Google searches on this model and all I've found is a few women who've inherited these bikes from their mothers. While their opinions of the bikes are invariably good, it doesn't tell me much. Also most of these were step-through frames so I don't know how comparable they are to, uh, regular triangular frames, which this bike has.

What I know about the Apollo brand in Canada is, decent entry-to-mid-level brand made in Japan by Kuwahara and imported here by Deeley. But all questions about value, etc. I've seen are about other models.

So, if anybody can help me out with more information or insights, I'd appreciate it!

Cheers,
MM.
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Old 02-03-15, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by wrk101
Actually, most Apollos are on the basic side. At the $100 price point, you should not expect much.

The Capris I have seen had cottered cranks, stem shifters, high ten steel frame, etc. All entry level. Depending on your market, $100 does not go very far, so this might be what you are going to get unless you shop aggressively or raise your budget.
Thanks wrk101. I realize Apollos are basic but my understanding was they are a decent quality for what they are. My market is fairly small, but alternatives are accessible, so in general prices are comparable to a larger centre but the selection can be limited.

I'm not looking to go very far for $100. In fact I've decided that $100 is too much to spend on a bike I'm going to strip to frame and fork (I would consider $100 just for the frame and fork if the quality justified it but I don't want to pay for stuff I'm going to recycle or landfill). Like I mentioned, I'm looking to build a second fixie and I'm wanting a reasonable frame. Part of the reason I want something with a brand is to learn the reputation and get an idea of its characteristics while having a frame of reference.

Unfortunately there are so many makes and models that it's hard to ask for a recommendation and there are other sites I could scour for that kind of thing. In general basic steel frames are recommended for this kind of project, but there's probably a lot of variance there. As I understand it chromoly frames are very common, I don't know how to tell the difference between high-tensile and chromoly steel, and I'm not overly concerned about weight.

Anyway, thanks for your input, I think now I'm looking for recommendations on how much I should spend on a steel frame for this kind of project, and if you have make/model recommendations I'd definitely be interested. But I realize those are out of the original context and maybe not appropriate for this forum either.

Thanks for taking the time to reply.

MM.
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Old 02-03-15, 12:31 PM
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I have owned several Apollo bicycles, and one or two were the Capri models. As nearly as I recall, and I don't have access to all of my pictures at the moment, the Capri was an entry level machine with 26", not 27" wheels. Again, I might be wrong about that model information. That said...

Most Apollo bikes to come my way were of good quality. To better understand what you are looking at, not just with this one bike, but with other potential purchases, try having a look at Vintage Bicycle Quality. Learn to recognize the key features of a good quality frame set, and you will be much better prepared to make a wise choice when the time comes.

Good luck with the learning experience, should you wish to take it, and welcome to Bike Forums.
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Old 02-03-15, 05:39 PM
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Thanks Randy. I've looked at that site a number of times and looked there for information on the Capri. Hey--you're Thunder Bay--is that your site? I have spent a bit of time over the years looking at this site!... my first rebuild (more of a cleanup and re-paint) a few years ago was on a Cambio Reno and on searching for info I came across "My Ten Speeds". I have also spent a few lunch hours looking at the bikes and stories on your site. But now that I'm moving on from the Capri I will look at the page you linked and the rest of the site again for help in widening my search and evaluating a broader selection.

Thanks for taking the time to reply! Not to mention sharing all your experience on that site.

MM.
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Old 02-03-15, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by wrk101
...

The harder you look, the better the deal. Figure you are going to waste some gas AND TIME chasing deals that turn out to be duds. Sharpen your skills at evaluating a bike from a crappy picture. The low end stuff is obvious with some practice. Assume sellers will not provide good information, and the information they provide is usually wrong (age, size, parts, etc.). I bought a bike from a guy, the only thing he could tell me is that it was blue in color. No brand, no size, no style, no pictures, no nothing. After the bike sat on the local C/L for several weeks, I felt sorry for the guy so I went to look at it. Turned out to be a top of the line Cannondale racing bike at a very attractive price. You never know.

Convenience costs $$$, you decide.

FWIW: The last SS/FG bike I made, I used a high ten steel Olmo from the late 1960s. It was a left over frame I had hanging around. Even though the frame was entry level, the lug work was attractive, and I liked the color.

Also, seek a complete bike, or near complete, with some tasty parts. The sale of those parts can offset the cost of your build. In the case below, the Olmo had some nice Campy bits on it (bike was not complete). I sold the Campy parts which paid for the entire bike and also paid for the replacement SS parts I used to rebuild it. So at that point, I had a "free" bike.

In my area there are bike co-ops, which is a great place to find a frame if you have a pile of parts. I picked up the black chrome 1990 Schwinn Sierra at the co-op. Sure it needed a lot of love. I paid $10 for it, they had a pile of tired and abused frame there and were glad to get rid of it. I am a frequent donator to the co-op, bikes, frames, components, wheels, various left overs. While I am there donating, I check to see if they have anything that could make an interesting project.

The more resourceful you get, the better the economics.
Thanks again for your help, wrk101. You make some very good points and I'll use what I can. Unfortunately my free time is at an absolute premium and I have to make the best of what I can. I can watch classifieds fairly closely, but I have to be comfortable with missing out on anything good because I won't be able to arrange a time with the seller before somebody else does. This happens quite a bit. Forget garage sales, I effectively don't get Saturdays off. Just the way it is while the kids are young.

We do have a place in town that I believe is like your co-op. I will have an opportunity to go down there tomorrow afternoon and see what I can find, which I've been looking forward to all day.

Finding a bike with good parts I can resell is above my current level of knowledge so I'll have to bone up on that, but if I don't fall in love with a frameset tomorrow then I'll look into that possibility.

Thanks for the pictures. The way you've done up the Olmo is how I've rebuilt my first fixie (unknowable make/model) and ride every day. Love the colour and I see what you mean about the lugwork.

Cheers,
MM.
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Old 02-04-15, 01:49 PM
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Thanks Randy. I've looked at that site a number of times and looked there for information on the Capri. Hey--you're Thunder Bay--is that your site?
Yes, MY "TEN SPEEDS" is published and written and paid for and... by me. And, yes, I do live in, Thunder Bay, or very close to it these days.
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Old 02-18-15, 10:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Model M
. . .

What I know about the Apollo brand in Canada is, decent entry-to-mid-level brand made in Japan by Kuwahara and imported here by Deeley.

. . .
Apollo frames from Fred Deeley were not all made by Kuwahara.

The Apollo Capri for some model years was made in Hong Kong and the serial numbers are not Kuwahara format.
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