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Any chance at rescuing these two (or three) old beasts??

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Any chance at rescuing these two (or three) old beasts??

Old 02-13-17, 10:57 PM
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moogyboy
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Any chance at rescuing these two (or three) old beasts??

I have no pictures as yet, so I'll try to describe as best I can. My family are, to put it charitably, hoarders. We never threw anything away (an affliction which I've only timidly started to divest myself of); my parents' garage is full of relics of the past, including mine as well my two brothers'. I was disheartened to find recently that they had put two old bikes that my brothers had ridden when they were young (and I was very young), which had survived for decades in that garage but were now sitting in their back yard, rusting and solidified. I would love to save them if I can, but I don't know if that's possible.

One is an ancient, probably late '50s Huffy Impalla cruiser type which in its day had a nifty two tone paint job, single speed, coaster brake, original pinstriped wheels but missing any fenders and other stock decorative doodads. The other is a deep green Schwinn, unknown model or vintage (early '70s at the latest), with drop handlebars, 3 speed Sturmey-Archer type hub, and which had a Schwinn speedometer and a friction drive headlight. Very heavy, undoubtedly gas-pipe steel construction.

They may just be junk after sitting out there for so long, but if it's possible to resuscitate them they might be worthy projects. Any sight-unseen opinions?

There is a third frame which I think is still in the garage somewhere, no idea what it is except that I recall it being some kind of road-style frame in metallic red with chrome on the fork. One of those '70s 10-speed bike boom models, maybe? That one might be worth concentrating on, if I can get to it. It's been hanging from the rafters for at least 35 years.

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Old 02-13-17, 11:32 PM
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...you can probably restore just about anything with enough time and money. That said, old cruisers that have been out in the rain in the back yard are better off recycled. You can doubtless find similar bikes arouind that have been kept out of the elements, for not a great deal of money.

It just costs too much in time and money to make a well rusted machine reasonably attractive and ridable again.
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Old 02-13-17, 11:50 PM
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There seems to be a fair market for old "tank bikes", although I can't say why.

I suppose there is a market for old Schwinn Varsity and Collegiate or similar bikes, although I can't imagine why. It depends on how far gone it is. Too far gone, and perhaps it is better as lawn art.

Need ID for the bare frame. High-Ten steel, and it may be better to send to the local bike co-op. But, look at it before giving up on it. You could be surprised... maybe. Also, is it a bare frame, or does it have all the components minus wheels?
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Old 02-14-17, 08:39 AM
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As noted by 3alarmer, just about anything can be restored. It becomes a question of time and cost versus resale value and/or personal satisfaction. The line between the two can shift dramatically based on many factors, such as finances, ability, sentiment, etc. What's junk to one person could be a project of great sentiment and pride to another.
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Old 02-14-17, 08:41 AM
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Are the bikes men's or woman's? Mens version hold their value far better then woman's do. Of the three the first, the Huffy, has the greatest possibility for resale value, IMO. Probably dependent on paint and wheels conditions. But if the reason to consider rehabbing is sentimental then go forward and cost won't be the issue. Andy.
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Old 02-14-17, 08:55 AM
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Restoring a bike is a great way to get sidetracked from doing other things. In addition to the expense, there can be a substantial investment of time, both in the physical process, and in researching and tracking things down. (ask me how I know this).

Photos would be a good way to tell, but some things might need to be seen in person. If photos leave some question as to the state of them, I'd be willing to make the 2-hour drive to take a look in person - although there are likely some folks who are local who would be as qualified, if not more so than I to assist.
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Old 02-14-17, 09:48 AM
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Hey neighbor! It comes down to what your end goal is, why you're restoring them, and how much time and effort you're willing to put in. If you're looking to restore and sell these, it doesn't sound like you'd break even. If you want them for sentimental value, is it worth $100 - $200 per bike, plus a couple of weekends?

Post pictures so we can give a more detailed answer.

If you do go ahead, look into the Third Hand Bike Co-op. We have the specialized tools you may need and friendly members to help you learn.
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Old 02-14-17, 08:06 PM
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Update: I went in and had a peek in the ol' family garage this evening. No red & chrome frame hanging from the rafters as I remembered, but there are still the half a dozen or so assorted vintage 10-speed wheels that have also been up there for decades. My mom also told me that there are at least a couple of complete old bikes lurking in there somewhere under all the junk. I asked her nicely if she could please let me know about them instead of tossing them out in the yard if/when she and dad ever dig them out. More news as/if it develops.

Meanwhile, I also had a look at the other two. Amazingly the bottom brackets on both are still spinning relatively freely, although the Schwinn's headset is pretty well rusted frozen as is the the Huffy's fork (stem and handlebars missing). I groan inside.
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Old 02-14-17, 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
Are the bikes men's or woman's? Mens version hold their value far better then woman's do. Of the three the first, the Huffy, has the greatest possibility for resale value, IMO. Probably dependent on paint and wheels conditions. But if the reason to consider rehabbing is sentimental then go forward and cost won't be the issue. Andy.
My thoughts exactly. Sentimental value--they were the bikes my brothers had when I was little, and I remember tagging on for rides on the Impalla's top tube. And the Schwinn was just intriguing, especially that factory speedometer. I mean they were probably just the typical bikes that working class teenagers rode in the late '70s, objectively nothing special, but you know how it is. Just sad to see them cast out like yesterday's trash.
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