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What is the cheapest/worst quality vintage bike that you own?

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What is the cheapest/worst quality vintage bike that you own?

Old 01-01-22, 06:05 PM
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What is the cheapest/worst quality vintage bike that you own?

I will start with my Sears. I got the bike with no wheels for free. It has a 27 inch front wheel with wing nuts, a 700c flip flop rear hub, BMX cranks, super narrow riser bars (also free), a grandpa seat only to add extra height, and a front fender on the rear. Bike handles terribly. I am also too tall to ride it.
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Old 01-01-22, 07:56 PM
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No truly "worst" bikes, a couple of low end ones from storied makers that were probably relatively "cheap" back in the day.

Turns out no pics of either but a Torpado and a Bianchi, stamped DO's, some bottom of the line parts but both also likely punch well above their weight class, that is probably rather hefty.
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Old 01-01-22, 08:23 PM
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I've got a Flyxii Chinese carbon road bike, had it about 5 years, has over 7,000 miles on it. Frame cost about $370. It rides great, isn't a super light carbon, is probably why it's lasted.
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Old 01-01-22, 08:44 PM
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Low end bikes, those with high tensile tubing instead of the more exotics and with steel components? That'd be my Raleigh Sportses, a 23' men's and a 23" ladies' version, The were also among the cheapest (one was free) but not bad quality. The center one (also free to me) has since been given away.
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Old 01-01-22, 08:50 PM
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Umberto Dei gaspipe. Stamped dropouts. Big ugly weld across the width of the BB shell. do like riding it.

Umberto Dei 01 by iabisdb, on Flickr
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Old 01-01-22, 09:13 PM
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I'll throw up my '72-ish Humber. Plenty of brazing gaps on this Nottingham product. Was originally set up like a Raleigh Sprite, with 1x5 Huret Allvit stuff. It has seen many variations. Most recently was a three speed. I've gone back and forth between upright and drop bars.




It is currently undergoing yet another transformation - back to derailleur gears, and back to the Huret Allvit.
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Old 01-01-22, 09:23 PM
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Tough.

the most pedestrian would be a Schwinn New World from before WWII - cottered cranks which places it above the one piece.
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Old 01-01-22, 10:42 PM
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….basically all of mine….
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Old 01-02-22, 12:55 AM
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Eddie Koepler

Because hand made and French do not equal high end, still I love the way it rides and it’s quite unique. Appears to be optimized for a front load and by the bottom bracket height, long chain stay dimples and brake mount location it also appears to be convertible between 650b and 700c wheels by design.


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Old 01-02-22, 01:51 AM
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For me, it's this 1973 Nishiki Olympic. I originally bought it for $20 as a parts donor for a Clunker 100 Challenge, and then I stripped it down to bare metal and a few years later painted it and built it as an entry in a subsequent Clunker 100 Challenge. I've since added some fenders and decals. It would be a great bike for puttering around town, but I don't generally putter around town, so I'm not sure why I still have it.



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Old 01-02-22, 05:58 AM
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Well I am not sure these qualify but it has to be either my humble '93 Bianchi Project 3 by virture of it *GASP* seamed Tange Infinity tubeset {screams of horror} and the Frankenbike factory build of Shipman Exage ES derailleurs, and for some odd reason LX cantis, Exage brake shift lever and, OH the humanity of it all SR Fusion crankset




Or my Ugly Betty Hilda. Now here is a true frankenbike!! The frame could be SL/SP or 531 DB or it could be Gara or 501 or even Vitus! The build is wildly eclectic with Campi HF hubs, shifters, brake levers, RD, HS all from various and sundry groups, Sakae crank, Sante' FD, 600 calipers, horrific Kalloy hybrid stem, Nitto(?) post? 'shorty' fender possibly from an old schwinn and all topped of by a Portatecana system! WOW what a collection of junk! OH I almost forgot those lovely "Bark N Squeal" tubular rims wif mixmatch tires!!



I really need some updated pics of some of my bikes
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Old 01-02-22, 01:12 PM
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Here are a few more of those American 10 speeds with clamped in dropouts. I threw both of these away shortly after.

Montgomery Ward Open Road. I had to get rid of this one as the bearing protector on the crankset chewed through the right chainstay.





A Huffy Strider with 26 inch wheels.




This bike was originally green and had cottered cranks. My guess is that is used to be a 3 speed. I had a pic of the complete bike, but I think I lost it.

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Old 01-02-22, 01:24 PM
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I guess that’s my Sears Ted Williams Free Spirit, but it is one of the full Reynolds 531 models built in Austria. Currently sporting an electric-assist front hub, adding to the overall ugliness.

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Old 01-02-22, 01:43 PM
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The Schwinn Sprint was their bottom of the line road bike in the 80s, which is saying something. About all that I’m using is the frame and headset. The rest is a pot pourri of my old “good” bike parts like Superbe brakes and hubs and original DA crank along with a collection of new, cheap parts. And yet it is such a fun ride!




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Old 01-02-22, 02:15 PM
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No complaints about quality. Definitely the cheapest. $7.50 at the local Goodwill store. First day of Spring in Wyoming, 2021.


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Old 01-02-22, 02:32 PM
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I guess this would be it, extensive mods probably destroyed the value, gets a lot of use though.
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71 Schwinn Sports Tourer

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Old 01-02-22, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by hazetguy
My Ross Paragon is the cheapest/worst quality bike I own.
There is no room for gaspipe / deptartment store level / bottom of the barrel / garbage bikes in my life.
Not even as a joke or some kind of "how low can you go" nonsense (other than for the clunker challenges, and even then i've found really good bikes for dirt prices).

Those Ross "safety fork ends" qualify for the thread all by themselves.
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Old 01-02-22, 06:23 PM
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I have a strange "Pinarello" made in Germany that's typical "bike boom" level of quality. I got it impulsively as sort of an oddity.

The little information I could find about it is that it's not a counterfeit, but probably not affiliated in any way with the Pinarello company we know and love. It might just be a random company using an "Italian sounding" name to lend some aura of quality to an otherwise unremarkable bike.

Lugged steel, low end components, no complaints other than it's sort of an albatross in my collection.
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Old 01-02-22, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by hazetguy
My Ross Paragon is the cheapest/worst quality bike I own.
There is no room for gaspipe / deptartment store level / bottom of the barrel / garbage bikes in my life.
Not even as a joke or some kind of "how low can you go" nonsense (other than for the clunker challenges, and even then I've found really good bikes for dirt prices).
I have the same philosophy If it doesn't have a full ChroMo frame/fork (preferably butted) and a rear derailleur hanger it isn't for me.
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Old 01-02-22, 09:34 PM
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Originally Posted by hazetguy
There is no room for gaspipe / deptartment store level / bottom of the barrel / garbage bikes in my life.
It’s funny how things go.

I bought the Schwinn a few years back to be a campus bike for my son; something so old and cheap as to be less likely to be stolen. The 25”frame turned out to be too tall for him but ok for me. I found a 23” Le Tour and built his bike using all the parts from the Sprint.

I even tried to sell the 25” frame at a swap meet for $5 but no one took it.

Then I noticed that the finish was trashed and the 11”+ BB height made it perfect for riding our gravel trails and better suited than my much nicer US made Witcomb frame that is all double butted 531 tubing and perhaps even made by a young Peter Weigle who was building frames for Witcomb at the time.

So, the accidental, gas pipe frame gets thousands of miles of riding each year and the nice frame hangs on a tether.

Otto
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Old 01-02-22, 09:57 PM
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This is the cheapest bike ($30) that I own. Not a bad ride though.

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Old 01-02-22, 10:52 PM
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Originally Posted by grant40
I will start with my Sears. I got the bike with no wheels for free. It has a 27 inch front wheel with wing nuts, a 700c flip flop rear hub, BMX cranks, super narrow riser bars (also free), a grandpa seat only to add extra height, and a front fender on the rear. Bike handles terribly. I am also too tall to ride it.
Looks like a C.H.U.N.K. 666 creation😆... I LOVE IT!!!
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Old 01-02-22, 10:56 PM
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Originally Posted by tkamd73
I guess this would be it, extensive mods probably destroyed the value, gets a lot of use though.
Tim


71 Schwinn Sports Tourer
THAT is BADASS!!! 👍👍👍👯👯
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Old 01-03-22, 12:36 AM
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Free Spirit Sunbird is the cheapest keeper I have. I've had it for almost 10 years now.

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Old 01-03-22, 03:52 AM
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Originally Posted by ofajen
It’s funny how things go.

I bought the Schwinn a few years back to be a campus bike for my son; something so old and cheap as to be less likely to be stolen. The 25”frame turned out to be too tall for him but ok for me. I found a 23” Le Tour and built his bike using all the parts from the Sprint.

I even tried to sell the 25” frame at a swap meet for $5 but no one took it.

Then I noticed that the finish was trashed and the 11”+ BB height made it perfect for riding our gravel trails and better suited than my much nicer US made Witcomb frame that is all double butted 531 tubing and perhaps even made by a young Peter Weigle who was building frames for Witcomb at the time.

So, the accidental, gas pipe frame gets thousands of miles of riding each year and the nice frame hangs on a tether.

Otto
Great save on your part.

Old, cheap, gaspipe, heavy.

While apt and somewhat accurate, these terms do not apply to Schwinn's for the most part by a long shot.

From Klunkers to Electro Forged frames, they are some of the toughest ever, generally indestructible in the hands of mere mortals let alone regular cyclists.

And no they weren't cheap either, but they were a very good value for the quality and reliability they delivered.

https://www.sheldonbrown.com/chicago-schwinns.html
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