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Anyone bought from “Steel Vintage Bikes” shop?

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Anyone bought from “Steel Vintage Bikes” shop?

Old 12-25-21, 01:01 AM
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FML123
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Anyone bought from “Steel Vintage Bikes” shop?

Has anyone bought a bike from an internet vintage bike seller named “Vintage Steel Bikes,” in Berlin? Are they trustworthy? How do they compare to other vintage bike shops selling on the internet?
https://steel-vintage.com/bicycles

Thanks!
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Old 12-25-21, 01:59 AM
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They're plenty trust worthy I think, should be for the $$$$$$ they ask for their stuff, seen plenty bikes from them priced like well preserved, excellent condition collector bikes when they were definitely not IMO.

I think their regular retail operation mainly caters to serious "buy it now" clientele that need, want and can buy for a Leroica or the like and don't have to worry about the $$$$$$.

They have something you really, really want?

You might want to ask in the ISO-WTB thread, we have plenty to offer and several members are divesting some of their bikes after long runs of acquisition.
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Old 12-25-21, 07:04 AM
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Yeah, I've only heard of one bad issue someone had from them and that was a badly rusted frame that they should have caught. I don't remember the outcome.

Otherwise they always seem to have a nice inventory but as already stated, their prices are quite high. I've never bought from them despite wanting some bikes they have. Too much money in most cases for what's being offered.
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Old 12-25-21, 07:50 AM
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I think it's over on the CR list where I've seen reported that this shop sometimes glosses over issues with some of their offerings.
Similar to what jamesdak reports in the post above, but more than just once,
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Old 12-25-21, 08:52 AM
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Yea, I have seen some very nice bikes that they have had for sale but asking tall prices. I also heard the story over on the Classic Rendezvous site about the very rusty frame issue. I would look elsewhere else (like in this forum) for something and if you are in S.F. there are a large number of collectors near you. If you are looking for a certain bike , it is probably closer to you than Germany. Maybe get in touch with Ed Litten , he has done awesome restorations and knows people who have some very nice bikes. Maybe he would know someone. I have seen great looking bikes on Craigslist and eBay . I have bought on both and had good results but it is a gamble if you can’t actually inspect it in person. The right bike is worth the journey.
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Old 12-25-21, 11:56 AM
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When I started looking into steel and vintage bikes few years ago - it's a new hobby/lifestyle for me - Steel Vintage in Berlin was my first inspiration. But actually never bought anything from them more than the odd spare part or component. I started buying from others, specializing in vintage and classic bikes, on Facebook, Instagram or wherever they set up their "store" - I live in Sweden/Europe so Craigslist is not really a thing here although we have other market places. Found the value to be much better, and the bikes had been "loved" in a different way, not just put together with parts that were lying around. For example, bought a restored Wilier Ramata a year ago, and just after found a similar restored Wilier at SV. But while my Wilier was set up with parts of equal great condition, their Wilier was a jumble of good to fair parts, which definitively didn't give any credit to the beautiful, restored frame. Obviously they will have great bikes from time to time, but the more I learned about vintage bikes and the market, the less I have visited their website.
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Old 12-25-21, 03:19 PM
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Down the digital hall on the CR Google group there have been much anguish written with complete bikes. They even eventually responded and attempted to mount a defense once but the defense was lacking. Difficult to describe yourself as a expert and “not aware”.
the implication on the site is that they go through the bike fully. To me that means repacking everything.

I would consider purchasing In Person but not overseas. If they have something you really really want…
carefully, carefully look at the set of images of a bike you might consider, then ask for images that are missing that might more fully report the condition. If those are not forthcoming… there’s the answer.
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Old 12-25-21, 04:30 PM
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Generally speaking, they are trustworthy. However, like any business they slip up/screw up from time to time.
Prices are absurdly high for the crowd here, you can do much better price-wise with a little domestic shopping.
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Old 12-25-21, 09:22 PM
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Originally Posted by rccardr View Post
Prices are absurdly high for the crowd here, you can do much better price-wise with a little domestic shopping.
The prices are for people who go to the LBS and buy a new bike. On SVB the prices are downright cheap comparatively. And those very people want to walk into a shop and buy something, they don't want to scour to buy a bike. It is not a hobby for them. SVB has them covered. And good for SVB. They are even a place where our widows can unload our crap and make a few bucks over the Goodwill.
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Old 12-26-21, 07:27 AM
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Completely agree.
I've met and ridden with the owner/operators and they have a solid business plan.
But most of their customers are probably not BF regulars.
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Old 12-26-21, 11:14 AM
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Speaking of SVB, even restored, this Bianchi has all the right bits and is really cool. The site says 1947 but the serial number and dropouts say 1941.

https://steel-vintage.com/bianchi-fo...ctible-bicycle
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Old 12-26-21, 11:24 AM
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I followed them on Instagram for a long time. As others have said, the bikes are prices for those who just want to walk into an LBS for the bike they want and ride it out without having to touch a thing on it. Considering that, yeah they are more expensive than we would think they should be, but are cheaper than buying a modern bike of the same quality.

However, I think it's also worth pointing the above out to people looking at such stores, as they may not realize that those prices don't exhibit what many of the bikes would sell for on the second hand market (facebook, classic rendevous, bikeforums, craigslist etc) in a condition that only needs a few days of elbow grease if you have some mechanical know how or are willing to learn. If that's the case, you can find many of those bikes for much, much less money. Which is what most of us here do.

I wouldn't want somebody thinking that stores like SVB is one of the only practical ways to get onto a beautiful vintage bike and into the hobby. But it's a good option for those willing to spend the money or who aren't looking to get into this as a hobby, but want a perfectly tuned and beautifully cleaned vintage bike.

It's also worth looking at LOVÉ. Good prices. All french bikes and many fun, beautiful mid range ones that didn't make it outside of the European market. They also do many entry level and the occasional grail bike pops up.

I watch them as they are likely the only way I'll get my Olive Peugeot PA60. They sold
in a too small size not too long ago.

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Old 12-26-21, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by polymorphself View Post
I followed them on Instagram for a long time. As others have said, the bikes are prices for those who just want to walk into an LBS for the bike they want and ride it out without having to touch a thing on it. Considering that, yeah they are more expensive than we would think they should be, but are cheaper than buying a modern bike of the same quality.

However, I think it's also worth pointing the above out to people looking at such stores, as they may not realize that those prices don't exhibit what many of the bikes would sell for on the second hand market (facebook, classic rendevous, bikeforums, craigslist etc) in a condition that only needs a few days of elbow grease if you have some mechanical know how or are willing to learn. If that's the case, you can find many of those bikes for much, much less money. Which is what most of us here do.

I wouldn't want somebody thinking that stores like SVB is one of the only practical ways to get onto a beautiful vintage bike and into the hobby. But it's a perfectly fine option for those willing to spend the money or who aren't looking to get into this as a hobby, but want a perfectly tuned and beautifully cleaned vintage bike.

It's also worth looking at LOVÉ. Good prices. All french bikes and many fun, beautiful mid range ones that didn't make it outside of the European market. They also do many entry level and the occasional grail bike pops up.

I watch them as they are likely the only way I'll get my Olive Peugeot PA60. They sold a beautiful one in a too small size not too long ago.
meta owns Instagram. Too bad
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Old 12-26-21, 11:36 AM
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Yes I did once. It was a frame with issues, pictures were clear. It came correct packed and quickly. In the box was exactly what I expected after seen the pictures. And yes, they are expensive.
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Old 12-26-21, 12:14 PM
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I've admired their bikes and often their page will come up in an internet search of a bike I'm looking for - even previously sold items. I just bought a vintage Colnago track bike from them a month ago:
1) The bike took exactly one week to arrive from Germany.
2) It was professionally packed
3) Exactly as described
4) Bike had been completely gone through - new leather saddle, leather tape, new tires, everything lubed and adjusted
5) No tax but did get hit with an import duty fee from FedEx (expected)

Are they the cheapest? No but their prices are fair - they're an actual store and cafe. You can't compare prices to private sales on facebook or ebay. That said, the last bike I bought on ebay needed everything overhauled, headset, bottom bracket, hubs. Of course the seller never mentioned that a complete overhaul would be required. Buy-it-now price paid, $2500
BTW - have you noticed some of the Buy-it-Now prices on ebay?
Here's a few from my watchlist:
Colnago Master Pista $3950 + $200 shipping.
Speedwell titanium roadbike: $6704 + $402 shipping
And for the more affordable: Trek 630 $990 + $250 shipping

I think people who are complaining about prices probably are not buying high-end vintage bikes from retail sites.
Of course, IF you can find what you are looking for domestically that would be the way to go.

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Old 12-26-21, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by iab View Post
The prices are for people who go to the LBS and buy a new bike. On SVB the prices are downright cheap comparatively. And those very people want to walk into a shop and buy something, they don't want to scour to buy a bike. It is not a hobby for them. SVB has them covered. And good for SVB. They are even a place where our widows can unload our crap and make a few bucks over the Goodwill.
Totally disagree here as you completely miss the point. The question is not what's a better buy - a steel vintage bike offered on craiglist within driving distance or SVB? It's not about convenience either, like I'm not interested in scouring the internet, so I'll just go to SVB to get my latest ride...NO - it's all about access and availability. I'm a collector. I spend hours of my free time looking for and looking at vintage track bikes online. Yes - it's a hobby!
The bikes I want are extremely rare. Seldom do they show up on ebay and almost never on facebook or craiglist in ANY city. Not all private sellers are interested in shipping either.
No, I can't just walk into a shop and find a steel vintage track bike. Sorry fresh out.
Steel Vintage caters to collectors. Some collectors are lazy and just want it to be over and easy. Most of us have to search long and far to find what we want. I just bought my first bike from them - see my other response. I was very pleased, totally pro service and paid pretty close to what I'd expect to pay on ebay. I look everyday and I have not found a similar steel 80's track bike for sale on ebay, craiglist or Steel Vintage bikes - sorry, fresh out!

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Old 12-26-21, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Biketiger View Post
Totally disagree here as you completely miss the point. The question is not what's a better buy - a steel vintage bike offered on craiglist within driving distance or SVB? It's not about convenience either, like I'm not interested in scouring the internet, so I'll just go to SVB to get my latest ride...NO - it's all about access and availability. I'm a collector. I spend hours of my free time looking for and looking at vintage track bikes online. Yes - it's a hobby!
The bikes I want are extremely rare. Seldom do they show up on ebay and almost never on facebook or craiglist in ANY city. Not all private sellers are interested in shipping either.
No, I can't just walk into a shop and find a steel vintage track bike. Sorry fresh out.
Steel Vintage caters to collectors. Some collectors are lazy and just want it to be over and easy. Most of us have to search long and far to find what we want. I just bought my first bike from them - see my other response. I was very pleased, totally pro service and paid pretty close to what I'd expect to pay on ebay. I look everyday and I have not found a similar steel 80's track bike for sale on ebay, craiglist or Steel Vintage bikes - sorry, fresh out!
I don't disagree about having rare bikes on their site. My post above outing a 1941 Bianchi SVB mistakenly calls a 1947 shows that. A post-war CC Bianchi is somewhat common, something from 1941 is a rare bird, even if SVB doesn't recognise it.

But it is not the only 1941 out there. You give me a year and half the SVB budget, I'll get you one. I honestly don't care how anyone spends their money. What they value is what they value. There is nothing on SVB can't be found with more time and less money.

btw, what's the difference between access, availability and convenience?
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Old 12-26-21, 01:01 PM
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I don't know about the Bianchi in question. Surely the may have missed something.
Convenience means it's easier, availability means it exists. The other piece is, Steel Vintage bikes are professionals.
They at least try to be fair, accurate and honest in their listings. I have never bought a bike from Pro's Closet.
Their prices are not the cheapest either but their listings are very good - excellent pictures, detailed descriptions, flaws noted and accurate sizing.
Yes prices are higher on Steel Vintage bikes and Pros Closet compared to private sales but you are also getting an excellent service. Convenience is nice but integrity is essential. I'm not convinced that most everyone selling a high end bike on craigslist, ebay, etc is up to the same standards. I have bought most of my bikes on ebay. BTW the bike that was the most inaccurately described, "she's a real beaut!) the one with rust all around the bottom shell? It came from a fellow veteran member of Bike Forums. The one and only bike I bought here - but that's not the norm either
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Old 12-26-21, 02:26 PM
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I have been to SVB's cafe and bike shop in Berlin. It is beautiful. I do believe they are a legit and trustworthy operation, generally speaking.

having said that, the one actual sale I knew of, the buyer received a bike that was badly rusted inside.

Given that return shipping is 200 bucks or more I think I would counsel the OP that he should not buy a bike from SVB unless he knows exactly what he's looking at,or has seen the bike in person.

Don't be seduced by pictures of a shiny bike on a website. at the very least get somebody who is an experienced bike trader to look over the bike (or the pics) before you push the buy it now button

post a link here if you want some additional opinions.

you can probably find lower priced alternatives without the shipping from Europe.

an

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Old 12-26-21, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Biketiger View Post
I don't know about the Bianchi in question. Surely the may have missed something.
Convenience means it's easier, availability means it exists. The other piece is, Steel Vintage bikes are professionals.
They at least try to be fair, accurate and honest in their listings. I have never bought a bike from Pro's Closet.
Their prices are not the cheapest either but their listings are very good - excellent pictures, detailed descriptions, flaws noted and accurate sizing.
Yes prices are higher on Steel Vintage bikes and Pros Closet compared to private sales but you are also getting an excellent service. Convenience is nice but integrity is essential. I'm not convinced that most everyone selling a high end bike on craigslist, ebay, etc is up to the same standards. I have bought most of my bikes on ebay. BTW the bike that was the most inaccurately described, "she's a real beaut!) the one with rust all around the bottom shell? It came from a fellow veteran member of Bike Forums. The one and only bike I bought here - but that's not the norm either
It seems we are in violent agreement.
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Old 12-26-21, 04:03 PM
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Okay Everyone has their unique experiences for sure. Having bought many used bikes over the years, I really appreciate sellers who know bikes, know what they're doing, give complete and accurate descriptions, including size, show flaws and, one more thing - know how to pack. This is what experienced sellers like Pro's Closet and Steel Vintage do. It's clear in their ads. I am still sadly surprised at the poor, inadequate bike listings on ebay from sellers who want thousands for their wares. It's gotten real expensive to ship bikes.
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Old 12-26-21, 06:31 PM
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...I cannot imagine how particular must be your tastes in old bikes, if you live in San Francisco, and cannot find something that will appeal to you as a rider, on the local Craigslist. When I first arrived in NorCal, over in Merced, I thought I must have died and gone to old bike heaven. And Merced is waaaay out on the fringes of the action here. I don't think I've been able to look at the Bay Area Craigslist once, in the past ten or fiteen years, when I didn't find something both interesting, pretty high quality, and my size.

But a lot of it is not without needing some restoration and/or maintenance.
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Old 12-26-21, 07:15 PM
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Thanks all, for your advice!
For better and worse, I bought a beautiful (IMHO) bike off SVB about 10 minutes after my original request for advice, without even checking back for your very useful advice. 🤦🏻

In my *lame* defense, I’ll just say:
1) I recently moved back to the US from 3 years in Germany, where SVB’s prices wouldn’t be terribly out of line for a vintage Italian race bike.
2) I’m on a sabbatical road trip, drifting between AirBNBs, with no permanent garage or tools for at least a couple more months. So no restoring/building space for a while. They’ll hold it until I’m stationary for a couple months in Feb.
But mostly…
3) I’d been drinking wine all Christmas morning with my wife. 🎄🍷🥳

Luckily, the bike I bought was on the lower-priced end of their catalog.
Live and learn, live and learn. 🤷🏻‍♂️ 😆

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Old 12-26-21, 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
.
...I cannot imagine how particular must be your tastes in old bikes, if you live in San Francisco, and cannot find something that will appeal to you as a rider, on the local Craigslist. When I first arrived in NorCal, over in Merced, I thought I must have died and gone to old bike heaven. And Merced is waaaay out on the fringes of the action here. I don't think I've been able to look at the Bay Area Craigslist once, in the past ten or fiteen years, when I didn't find something both interesting, pretty high quality, and my size.

But a lot of it is not without needing some restoration and/or maintenance.
Valid points, but I’m just in SFO for a couple months. I just changed my location to “road-tripping” or something.
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Old 12-26-21, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by FML123 View Post
Valid points, but I’m just in SFO for a couple months. I just changed my location to “road-tripping” or something.
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