Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Classic & Vintage
Reload this Page >

How Far Did You Go (to pick up your 'grail bike')?

Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

How Far Did You Go (to pick up your 'grail bike')?

Old 05-12-21, 10:40 PM
Roger M 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
Roger M's Avatar
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Snohomish, WA.
Posts: 2,715
Mentioned: 31 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 361 Post(s)
Liked 1,413 Times in 423 Posts
How Far Did You Go (to pick up your 'grail bike')?

The thread posted today about the mystery bike in SF sounds very familiar to me. Several people are interested in buying it, but the one that is seriously trying to get it done is Several states away. I have purchased a couple of bicycles out of state, and the owner(builder even) was nice enough to pack and ship those bikes. However, not too many sellers want to go through the hoops of shipping a bike.

I bought a bike recently that was a PSA on a Google group. The seller wasn't keen on shipping, but eventually he checked with a couple of local bike shops.

They both quoted very high fees just to box it up(not including shipping). I did the math, and determined that I could drive 1,575 miles and come out better, even spending one night at a cheap hotel.

Long story short, we(family) made a road trip out of it over spring break. I ended up with a very nice bike, and my family spent five days in Northern California and the Oregon coast.

So, how far did you travel to get that 'end all' bicycle?

Photos for attention

Roger M is offline  
Likes For Roger M:
Old 05-13-21, 04:44 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Southern Maryland
Posts: 1,388

Bikes: A few

Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 239 Post(s)
Liked 93 Times in 51 Posts
In 2018, I drove from Southern Maryland to Vineland NJ for a Legnano Roma. I thought it was worth it.
satbuilder is offline  
Likes For satbuilder:
Old 05-13-21, 05:13 AM
Senior Member
SJX426's Avatar
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Fredericksburg, Va
Posts: 8,490

Bikes: '73 Bottecchia Giro d'Italia, '83 Colnago Superissimo, '84 Trek 610, '84 Trek 760, '88 Pinarello Veneto, '88 De Rosa Pro, '89 Pinarello Montello, '94 Burley Duet, 97 Specialized RockHopper, 2010 Langster, Tern Link D8

Mentioned: 61 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1203 Post(s)
Liked 1,166 Times in 646 Posts
Not as long a trip as yours but I did 150 miles round trip with a broken arm in a brace to get my Colnago. It was on my bucket list mostly because of the info learned on BF. Slightly too small but I make do.
As purchased:
P7070974 on Flickr

Most current pic
P1040500 on Flickr

I have traveled more for less.
Bikes don't stand alone. They are two tired.

Last edited by SJX426; 05-13-21 at 05:16 AM.
SJX426 is offline  
Likes For SJX426:
Old 05-13-21, 05:41 AM
The Golden Boy 
Extraordinary Magnitude
The Golden Boy's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Waukesha WI
Posts: 12,986

Bikes: 1978 Trek TX700; 1978/79 Trek 736; 1984 Specialized Stumpjumper Sport; 1984 Schwinn Voyageur SP; 1985 Trek 620; 1985 Trek 720; 1986 Trek 400 Elance; 1987 Schwinn High Sierra; 1990 Miyata 1000LT

Mentioned: 79 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2346 Post(s)
Liked 970 Times in 572 Posts
I drove down to some place in Illinois for my Trek 400 Elance. I had a fever and was in a rented car. It was only like 106 miles, but it felt like 6 days driving being all sick and stuff.

(There are 106 miles to Chicago, we have a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses.)

I was also deathly sick when I drove like 60 miles to pick up my Trek 620.
*Recipient of the 2006 Time Magazine "Person Of The Year" Award*

Commence to jigglin’ huh?!?!

"But hey, always love to hear from opinionated amateurs." -says some guy to Mr. Marshall.
The Golden Boy is offline  
Likes For The Golden Boy:
Old 05-13-21, 05:54 AM
Le savonnier
johnnyace's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Oregon
Posts: 1,693

Bikes: I can count 'em on one hand

Mentioned: 56 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 721 Post(s)
Liked 551 Times in 258 Posts
I don't really have a "grail" bike (although a strong case could be made for an Ebisu), but I have made numerous trips to Portland to purchase bikes, which is only a 90 mile round trip. That's where I got my PX10 last week.
johnnyace is offline  
Likes For johnnyace:
Old 05-13-21, 06:02 AM
Useless Member
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 750
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 380 Post(s)
Liked 175 Times in 113 Posts
I did a 600 mile RT to pick up a lowly 1988 Schwinn Voyageur. Don't ask me why... I just needed a road trip.
UKFan4Sure is offline  
Likes For UKFan4Sure:
Old 05-13-21, 07:30 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Eastern Shore, MD
Posts: 1,563

Bikes: Road ready: 1993 Koga Miyata City Liner Touring Hybrid, 1989 Centurion Sport DLX, "I Blame GP" Bridgestone CB-1. Projects: Yea, I got a problem....

Mentioned: 17 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 532 Post(s)
Liked 282 Times in 196 Posts
With out over sharing, I will say that there is a place 463 miles from my home, where I have seen the grails gleam from afar more than once. I haven't made the pilgrimage yet.....
bark_eater is offline  
Likes For bark_eater:
Old 05-13-21, 07:55 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Menomonee Falls, WI
Posts: 1,532

Bikes: 1984 Schwinn Supersport, 1988 Trek 400T, 1977 Trek TX900, 1982 Bianchi Champione del Mondo, 1978 Raleigh Supercourse, 1986 Trek 400 Elance, 1991 Waterford PDG OS Paramount, 1971 Schwinn Sports Tourer, 1985 Trek 670

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 505 Post(s)
Liked 692 Times in 375 Posts
I drove about 110 mi to Oshkosh Wi for my Trek TX900, which is about as far as I would go. Beyond that easier to just pay for shipping.
tkamd73 is offline  
Likes For tkamd73:
Old 05-13-21, 08:42 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Elwood Indiana
Posts: 7,056

Bikes: they change so much I'm tired of updating this

Mentioned: 158 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1042 Post(s)
Liked 660 Times in 269 Posts
300 miles round trip for a $150 3Rensho that set on marketplace for a month. Horrible pics and no description. Ended up being a really nice frame with full 7400 group. Well worth it.
Semper fi
sloar is offline  
Likes For sloar:
Old 05-13-21, 08:46 AM
2k miles from the midwest
Dylansbob's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Washington
Posts: 1,687

Bikes: ~'75 Colin Laing, '80s Schwinn SuperSport 650b, ex-Backroads ti project...

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 402 Post(s)
Liked 639 Times in 313 Posts
I hate roadtripping, so I doubt I've driven more than 80m for any of my bikes. I did drive ~200m to locally pickup my racquet stringing machine. Bikes are easy to ship compared to one of those.
Dylansbob is offline  
Likes For Dylansbob:
Old 05-13-21, 08:52 AM
Senior Member
obrentharris's Avatar
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Point Reyes Station, California
Posts: 3,840

Bikes: Indeed!

Mentioned: 79 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1138 Post(s)
Liked 1,797 Times in 644 Posts
It looks like @Roger M and I did similar trips in opposite directions.
I drove 1,300 miles round trip between Lagunitas, California and Hillsboro, Oregon to buy this tandem. As you can see from the photo it was too small for me and just right for my wife.
It now resides in the Marin Museum of Bicycling.

obrentharris is offline  
Likes For obrentharris:
Old 05-14-21, 10:02 AM
Catnap's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Ridgewood, Queens
Posts: 1,456

Bikes: Zunow, 3Rensho, Look KG196

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 72 Post(s)
Liked 127 Times in 60 Posts
I've imported bikes from Japan and France many times before. Currently, I have four bikes waiting in a Tokyo warehouse. Air shipping is really expensive right now so I've been looking into sea shipping to reduce cost. It's been a nightmare to figure out. Two of the bikes are Zunows and one is a rare San Rensho.

When I found my grail Look KG 196, it was on French eBay and the seller was unwilling to ship to the USA. He was located in a small town in France, and had recently broken his arm, so he couldn't pack the bike for shipping. I paid for his local bike shop to box it up, and then for UPS to come pick it up from the shop and ship to the USA. That whole process cost around $1000, not including the price of the bike.

Domestically, I drove from Brooklyn to south New Jersey once to pick up a Surly Long Haul trucker, and another time I drove to the Poconos for a stash of vintage bikes. But neither of those were "grails".
Check out www.djcatnap.com for articles on vintage Japanese & French bicycle restorations, components and history.
Catnap is offline  
Likes For Catnap:
Old 05-14-21, 10:06 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 17,257
Mentioned: 113 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2340 Post(s)
Liked 1,261 Times in 950 Posts
A hour each way.
repechage is offline  
Old 05-14-21, 11:30 AM
Murray Missile 
Senior Member
Murray Missile's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: 700 Ft. above sea level.
Posts: 2,665

Bikes: Not as many as there were awhile ago.

Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 433 Post(s)
Liked 536 Times in 300 Posts
I've wanted an older Carlton built Raleigh for years but never found the right one. I stopped after work a couple weeks ago to pick up a really bad looking $20 parts bike. It was right on the way so no extra driving. I found out after I got it home it was a mid-60's Raleigh Carlton under the rattle can repaint and my size. So technically, I went zero miles for mine. Not much to look at right now but give me some time.........

".....distasteful and easily triggered."

Last edited by Murray Missile; 05-14-21 at 04:32 PM.
Murray Missile is offline  
Likes For Murray Missile:
Old 05-14-21, 11:46 AM
Senior Member
randyjawa's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada - burrrrr!
Posts: 11,178

Bikes: 1958 Rabeneick 120D, 1968 Legnano Gran Premio, 196? Torpado Professional, 2000 Marinoni Piuma

Mentioned: 199 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1210 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1,203 Times in 706 Posts
400 miles and across an international boarder...
"98% of the bikes I buy are projects".
randyjawa is offline  
Likes For randyjawa:
Old 05-14-21, 11:52 AM
Shifting is fun!
non-fixie's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: South Holland, NL
Posts: 10,146

Bikes: Yes, please.

Mentioned: 259 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1866 Post(s)
Liked 2,484 Times in 1,109 Posts
I don't have a "grail bike", but I did go out on a limb once, and had a bike shipped from Canada to Holland. Ended up with a $320 bill for a $65 bike.

But seeing mrs non-fixie being singled-out with it on the podium at the Retroronde made it all worth it:

I am still glad I did that.
Woo hoo!

non-fixie is offline  
Likes For non-fixie:
Old 05-14-21, 01:36 PM
Senior Member
Andy_K's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Beaverton, OR
Posts: 13,665

Bikes: Yes

Mentioned: 437 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2556 Post(s)
Liked 1,753 Times in 760 Posts
I'm not sure I even accept the premise of a "grail bike" in the singular sense, but the two bikes I've driven the furthest for probably qualify by most common usage (except that there are two of them).

The first was my 1973 De Rosa, for which I took a day off from work with no notice and drove 400 miles round trip to pick up in Hermiston, Oregon. (East coast people may be scratching their heads, thinking, "You didn't even leave the state?") Some forum members may remember this story as the Great Italian Bike Cornucopia of 2017 (or the Hermiston Heist, depending on who you ask) as I also picked up a Casati Monza and a Cinelli Supercoursa which I had agreed to facilitate for other BF members, plus a small mountain of parts and tools. It's almost unimaginable looking at this De Rosa, but I think it's possible I may have only gotten the third best bike in that deal.

My other grail bike trip also involved three bikes, coincidentally. This was a trip to Monroe, Washington, also about 400 miles round trip. The centerpiece for me was a 1974 Masi Gran Criterium. I also picked up an Alex Singer for a guy in Portland, and since I was driving up there anyway, I grabbed a Performance Superbe in Seattle as I was passing through. In this case, you might think the Singer would be the best bike of the lot, but I think the Masi is actually a bit nicer.

So, I guess the moral of the story is that I am willing to drive a long way for a bike, but I'm going to get a few other bikes on the trip too.
My Bikes
Andy_K is offline  
Likes For Andy_K:
Old 05-14-21, 05:39 PM
Senior Member
merziac's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: PDX
Posts: 9,842

Bikes: Merz x 5 + Specialized Merz Allez x 2, Strawberry/Newlands/DiNucci/Ti x3, Gordon, Fuso/Moulton x2, Bornstein, Paisley,1958-74 Paramounts x3, 3rensho, 74 Moto TC, 73-78 Raleigh Pro's x5, Marinoni x2, 1960 Cinelli SC, 1980 Bianchi SC, PX-10 X 2

Mentioned: 195 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3061 Post(s)
Liked 2,642 Times in 1,721 Posts
Early on in my tenure here, I jumped on a Cinelli SC frame that was in Sacramento, tried to wind it up to pick up at NAHBS that year.

So went to the show, reached out to the seller several times with no reply, it was not confirmed when I left PDX.

Seller had a family emergency so was unable to respond to or meet me.

The frame pickup was a swing and a miss but had a great time at the show. 1,156 mi. round trip.

The seller ended up sweetening the deal quite a bit, not sure if that was why.

On another related note, around the same time the venerable obrentharris delivered to my door the Moto Team Champion frame from the bay area, gotta love this forum.

I have gotten a frame from Austrailia, Washington DC and many points in between as many here have, glad I didn't have to pick those up.
merziac is online now  
Likes For merziac:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.