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Cost Of Restoring A bike

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Cost Of Restoring A bike

Old 09-27-21, 01:37 PM
  #26  
sykerocker 
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Originally Posted by JaccoW View Post
It's to have a level of deniability to yourself.

@OP I spent various amounts on the bikes here but it really depends on how much you do. I have often built new wheels which is a lot more expensive than just replacing the consumables (brake pads, cables, handlebar wrap and tyres) which often limits the cost to €30-100 ($35-116).
Anything I build to flip doesn't always get the same love because bikes are relatively cheap where I live and selling them without losing money is often impossible.

Mind you, I have a tendency to do more work on my bikes than I should. Or use fancier parts than needed. I'm contemplating a build around a $500 silent hub for example.
Given my private passions for Rossins, I can only imagine what I've spent putting my three on the road. The first one was "complete" but had three quarters of the components replaced because I wanted to build it up 7400 Dura Ace. The other two were just frames. The late 70's PX-10 that I've had in process for the past five years is probably worse, since I started with a really cruddy frame that I had repainted professionally.

It was supposed to be on the road this year, given my current progress, I'm now looking at next spring.

I know I've put motorcycles back on the road in reasonable cosmetic shape for less money than I've spent on the above four.

Oh yeah, I'm also working with the disadvantage that I lost my entire parts collection in the fire, which means I'm searching down each part, usually on eBay. And the lack of swap meets over the past year and a half.
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Old 09-27-21, 01:53 PM
  #27  
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@Colorado Kid,
Where are you (presumably in Colorado)? If you’re in the Denver area, Bikes Together is a non-profit in NE Denver on Osage St. Looks like you could develop bike wrenching skills there (or perhaps contribute your own!). I recall that they are a good source of used parts, work stands, tools, and folks that will help you to use them.
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Old 09-27-21, 02:32 PM
  #28  
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Depends what "restore" means.
I built a 79 Motobecane Le Champ frameset into my now 21 lb with pedals daily driver and it cost me a bit over a grand but sure couldn't buy a new bike as good for that
key
N=new
U=bought used
h=I had it
Frameset=u
Wheelset=n. Usually build wheels but had nothing to start with for this
rd_ (ultegra)-h
Bars-u
Saddle-u
Cassette-(ultegra)-h
Brakes-n
Brifters-n
crankset-h
BB-new
seatpost (thomson)-h
Pedals-n
Plus cables etc -n

Needless to say I did all the work stuff was picked for both cost and weight but NO PLASTIC(carbon)

Last edited by 3Roch; 09-27-21 at 02:37 PM.
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Old 09-27-21, 02:43 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Shrevvy View Post
I think you sell that project short. You would get well more than $500-$600 out of that bike. That is a very well done build.

The way I look at any of these is what would you spend new. Would you be as happy with an $1800 new bike? As soon as you buy and ride that new bike, you won't get anywhere near what you paid for it.* I think it is funny that we think we should get 100% out of what we pay if we build something to ride. I had to get over that myself. Sometimes that is true, but other times it is not. Doing such a build to flip rarely works. I know I approach a "flip" bike very differently than one I intend to keep. If you love it, who cares what you spend.

*Last 12+ months excepted.

Thank you

It was a labor of love finding a painter and sourcing the bits n pieces for sure. I just think that the same 2k or so wont even get you a base model Tiagra equipped Tarmac and smile ---- those of us that like vintage steel can have the bike of our dreams for that kind of cash (or less --- and a lot of times significantly less) - plus its fun to kit one out and obsess over every detail
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Old 09-27-21, 03:31 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by Colorado Kid View Post
I have a '81 Schwinn 11.8. I am in the process of restoring this barn find. I discovered the hills (mountains) around here beg for a triple. So it was back to the shop, again! To date, I guess I have spent about $1,300 USD on rebuilding this bike. (Bike+ rebuilding cost.) Is that average? What did you spend to get your bike to get it back on the road?
Its not hard to do, especially if your starting with a frame and have a wheelset built. Of course if your goal was thrift, its also pretty easy invest your own time and spend way less money.

Now lets see some pictures of the $1300 Voyageur!!!
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Old 09-27-21, 04:24 PM
  #31  
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I can only dream of spending a mere $1300 on my project.

I will say it is my first and only full restoration. Frame up, needing everything from paint, chrome on the fork and over a dozen completely unobtainium parts, hardware and other miscellaneous bits.

The good news is if I get half of what I put into it, I would consider it a win. I figure the odds of that happening are pretty thin. Really ******g thin.

Anyhow, link to the money pit - My first restoration
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Old 09-27-21, 04:55 PM
  #32  
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And since I'm in for a penny in for a pound, I'd like a 4-speed aluminum cog Regina freewheel. Made in the 30s. early 40s. I have never seen one other than an illustration in an ad. But I'd be stupid enough to buy one. Name your price.
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Old 09-27-21, 05:03 PM
  #33  
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I think some of the cost gets forgotten (at least with me) when we pull from “the bin”...they came from somewhere!

i am sure that my newer acquisition from England will cost me too much...looks like I have to sell more stuff!
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Old 09-27-21, 05:07 PM
  #34  
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To answer many of your questions, the reason why I chose to have my LBS do most of the restoring work is because I had cancer. Specifically multiple myeloma. Before the cancer left my body, it ravaged my back to the point I can barely stand anymore. Standing upright, working on a bicycle is an extremely painful experience. The only thing that's helping me is riding a bicycle as I am suspended on two rubber tires (and also a good Brooks sprung seat. I want to publicly thank many folks in this area who went to bat for me and found me good, little used parts for my Schwinn Voyageur (you know who you are). Keep riding and always put a smile on your face.
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Old 09-27-21, 06:21 PM
  #35  
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CK,
Congrats on beating CA and still being able to ride! As for the cost of restoration I spent $110 today for a bunch of unobtainium Campy parts, but that is the price of a restore to original condition for me. JMHO,
Smiles, MH
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Old 09-27-21, 10:23 PM
  #36  
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As others have put it much more eloquently than I, spend what you can/need/want. It's your bike.
The resto-mod I did on a clapped out Mongoose IBOC Comp cost me $876 Canadian;
Original bike 175
New Fork 50
Used Fenders 20
Used Cruiser bar 15
Used Front rack 10
New Headset (installed) 93
Sandpaper/Primer/Paint 79
New Pedals 60
New V-Brake Calipers 60
New Cables/Housing 38
New Chain 22
Used Lights, caddy, tools, bottle cage 40
Decals 50
Labour 18 (beer)
New Tires 86
Bolts, more bottle cages 40
Basket 20
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Old 09-27-21, 11:23 PM
  #37  
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Two words: donor bike.

Won't help with the frame resto, but for parts it's way cheaper. I think many of us here also distribute the cost over decades, with stuff going in and out of the old parts bin ...
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Old 09-28-21, 05:22 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by Colorado Kid View Post
To answer many of your questions, the reason why I chose to have my LBS do most of the restoring work is because I had cancer. Specifically multiple myeloma. Before the cancer left my body, it ravaged my back to the point I can barely stand anymore. Standing upright, working on a bicycle is an extremely painful experience. The only thing that's helping me is riding a bicycle as I am suspended on two rubber tires (and also a good Brooks sprung seat. I want to publicly thank many folks in this area who went to bat for me and found me good, little used parts for my Schwinn Voyageur (you know who you are). Keep riding and always put a smile on your face.
Congratulations on your recovery!
I can relate to having a health condition hinder your ability to do the work on a bike. I had my LBS do some work on one of my rebuilds while recovering from a concussion after being told by my doctor to save my brain from having to deal with small bicycle parts. I spent way more than I planned, especially compared to the rebuilds I've done in the past when I was able to do the work myself. Do I regret it? No! I was able to get the bike ready when I wanted so I could do some sweet rides that, if anything, have helped with my recovery. Was totally worth the money.
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Old 09-28-21, 07:57 AM
  #39  
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You have explained well why your choice was RIGHT for you!


For others that might read this seeking advice on how to upgrade bikes at low cost, the process I follow is as follows:

Step 1: Find a donor bike.

Step 2: Take the parts you need.

Step 3: Sell the donor bike frame and whatever else is left and recoup your cost.

Only works when you DIY and look aggressively for a good donor. Donors are out there, sometimes they are the wrong size, or an unknown brand, or whatever. They all make good donors (may not recoup the cost selling a frame of an unknown brand, so there is that). Some lesser known brands were actually made by someone well known and well appreciated.

As far as frames, I'll treat rust and touch up paint, but I prefer my older bikes to proudly display their battle scars. I call it well earned patina. I prefer scared over pristine. Now mechanically, I want it to function like new, even if the parts don't look new.

Last edited by wrk101; 09-28-21 at 08:25 AM.
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Old 09-28-21, 01:58 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
Step 3: Sell the donor bike frame and whatever else is left and recoup your cost.
Not that I am disagreeing, but most times for me, I can't make that 1 to 1 comparison/payback. Typically it is a long while to motivate me to sell so I look at the out column as something that has no relationship thing the in column. So overall, some months are good, some are bad. Depending of course on your perspective of good and bad.
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Old 09-28-21, 02:44 PM
  #41  
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Q: How do you make a small fortune in vintage bikes?

A: Start with a large fortune.
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Old 09-28-21, 06:21 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
You have explained well why your choice was RIGHT for you!


For others that might read this seeking advice on how to upgrade bikes at low cost, the process I follow is as follows:

Step 1: Find a donor bike.

Step 2: Take the parts you need.

Step 3: Sell the donor bike frame and whatever else is left and recoup your cost.

Only works when you DIY and look aggressively for a good donor. Donors are out there, sometimes they are the wrong size, or an unknown brand, or whatever. They all make good donors (may not recoup the cost selling a frame of an unknown brand, so there is that). Some lesser known brands were actually made by someone well known and well appreciated.

As far as frames, I'll treat rust and touch up paint, but I prefer my older bikes to proudly display their battle scars. I call it well earned patina. I prefer scared over pristine. Now mechanically, I want it to function like new, even if the parts don't look new.
When I first jumped into C&V bikes, I was buying what I needed on Ebay and paying top dollar. I will still buy on Ebay if I have to, but now I always look for Donor Bikes that I can buy, strip, and donate the remains. All of 3 of my donor bikes in the last year had at least one part on them that would have costed more to buy the part on Ebay (and more importantly, I have used that part: Campy Rally RD; Campy NR Triple, Ideale saddle). The other thing I do is keep my eye out for parts I think I will need down the road. If I see a good price on a part on CL, I'll buy it to add it to the parts bin.
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Old 09-30-21, 04:34 AM
  #43  
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If you start from scratch, sky is the limit.
Especially if you buy tools at the same time.

I don't include the tool cost if I have to buy a specific tool for a build.

For most people here, it varies from 'deep parts bin' to 'being gifted donor bikes' and everything in between. Extended personal bike collections help as well.

Others have been at it for a long time so they know where and how to get the parts they want.

Your mechanical abilities matter as bike shop labour costs can be high and some bike shops don't know how to handle vintage stuff.

The process is not set in stone, get creative.
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Old 09-30-21, 11:03 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by Schlafen View Post
If you start from scratch, sky is the limit.
Especially if you buy tools at the same time.

I don't include the tool cost if I have to buy a specific tool for a build.

For most people here, it varies from 'deep parts bin' to 'being gifted donor bikes' and everything in between. Extended personal bike collections help as well.

Others have been at it for a long time so they know where and how to get the parts they want.

Your mechanical abilities matter as bike shop labour costs can be high and some bike shops don't know how to handle vintage stuff.

The process is not set in stone, get creative.
Which means, after the fire, at least the first 5-6 restorations I do are all running into five figurers apiece. Possibly more like 10-12.

Shrudder.
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Old 09-30-21, 12:28 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by genejockey View Post
Q: How do you make a small fortune in vintage bikes?

A: Start with a large fortune.
^^^^^^^^^ well said--sad

The costs for restorations on this thread are way above my pay-grade literally as well as figuratively.
I am a bottom feeder.
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Old 09-30-21, 12:29 PM
  #46  
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double post
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Old 09-30-21, 12:46 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by iab View Post
And since I'm in for a penny in for a pound, I'd like a 4-speed aluminum cog Regina freewheel. Made in the 30s. early 40s. I have never seen one other than an illustration in an ad. But I'd be stupid enough to buy one. Name your price.
unobtainium.

Maybe if you ventured to the big "swaps" in Italy.... with a couple of fists full of euros.
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Old 09-30-21, 12:48 PM
  #48  
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I cannot afford to restore a bike unless it arrives in super, complete and cosmetically sound condition. Restoration is expensive!

I have, however, "street restored" quite a few bikes, including this Torpado that cost me about $400.00 to bring back to road worthy and eye candy life...


This old Rabeneick set me back closer to if not more than $500.00 to street restore...


And this Legnano (purchased as a frame/fork set) has set me back three to four hundred + dollars for components and I have not even attempted to engage the cosmetic issues (perhaps I never will)...
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Old 10-04-21, 07:49 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by Colorado Kid View Post
I have a '81 Schwinn 11.8. I am in the process of restoring this barn find. I discovered the hills (mountains) around here beg for a triple. So it was back to the shop, again! To date, I guess I have spent about $1,300 USD on rebuilding this bike. (Bike+ rebuilding cost.) Is that average? What did you spend to get your bike to get it back on the road?
I do think that’s a bit much…tho at prices today, who knows? I can only hope you’re riding now on it.
You seem to be living in Colorado, from your “handle”…not knowing what part, if you live anywhere close to the Springs, try to talk with the people at Barnett’s Bicycle Institute (used to be just outside Old Colorado City, at least when I attended it in ‘90). There were also a couple of bicycle shops in the city which were excellent. I’m sure there are similar shops in the Denver area or Boulder or…..

The thing is you’ve already spent the money, but if you rescue another frame you might consider getting or checking out components from flea market estate sales garage sales…however, you need to get knowledgeable about vintage components with the knowledge of your riding or if you wish to flip/sell…
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Old 10-05-21, 09:58 AM
  #50  
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@Colorado Kid, Thank you for explaining your situation, and you'll get a lot of support here for having a vintage bike with which you're thrilled. That's good. Best wishes for your continued health.

My wife and I have a fully transparent set of finances, so our habit is to discuss purchases well in advance of when they might occur. That way, we can plan better in terms of how a discretionary purchase might fit in with quarterly bigger expenses like taxes, insurance and the like. If I'm going to embark on a vintage build, it's usually with the potential of re-sale fully in mind. I might turn out to like the bike very much, and could (in theory) keep it for a longer period, but I make decisions so that the result can be sold without being upside down.

Exceptions are project bikes that are intended from the start for my use. For example, I built up a fixed gear over this year, after searching the Asian web vendors for a suitable frame back last fall and into winter. It took many, many months to obtain the frame. In the interim, I had several bike flips and sales of parts to accumulate the net of costs needed to pay for the wheelset and other bits. My wife doesn't begrudge me these silly expenditures, because she knows that I enjoy riding what I've built. So, not a restoration and not collectible, but this recent build came in just south of $900.

Is it worth it to me? Yes.

Can I re-sell it in a few years for nearly what I have into it? Maybe. It'd be close, and very market dependent. I'm moving from DC ($$$) to San Antonio ($) sometime at the end of this year. What will folks there be willing to spend on bikes? I'll find out, I guess.
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