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Pity Bikes

Old 01-22-22, 09:15 PM
  #1  
Chuck M 
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Pity Bikes

Have you ever felt sorry for a bike and wanted to rescue it from becoming a poorly executed fixed gear perversion or yard art?

There is a sad looking Western Auto 3 speed not really local to me, but close enough I'd drive to get it if it was worth a damn. I really don't know enough about it to be sure, but I wonder if it is a rebadged Raleigh. I can't tell if it is the dangle to the angle the photos are from or if the front fork is bent and the NDS pedal is wack. Other times it has been listed, from the drive side I have seen other issues. And from any angle there are issues that can't be hidden by photography. This bike is frequently posted on facebook marketplace always at the same price making me thing the seller won't entertain lower offers. Previous times it has been posted make me believe it is at a second hand store, flea market or other thrift store type place. And each time it is posted, it seems a little more patina disappears. The $65 asking price, cables, tubes, tires, rim tape, brake pads, labor and gas money don't incline me to go look at it. But somehow, I think I would get a lot of warm and fuzzies making it ridable enough to spin around the neighborhood with the grandkids or take the short ride to the office in the evening to handle a few things.

Below is a before and after of an '84 Raleigh Competition I think was destined to become a fixed gear or single speed and the Western Auto 3 speed and I am in love with that bike. I just don't think the Western Auto would make me as happy as the Raleigh has, but I keep thinking about it. Have you ever considered a bike that made no good sense to purchase, but were attracted to it anyway? If so what was it and did the warm and fuzzies come as you hoped?





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Old 01-22-22, 09:43 PM
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Rescued Bikes

1988 Peugeot Chorus Reynolds 753 frame had been abused as a fixie!



Restored to original with a complete 1st generation Campy Chorus gruppo.



1984 Gitane Super Corsa rescued from fixiedom....



I built it as a wet weather beater with a hodgepodge of components. Quickly became the Goldilocks bike I'd been searching for since 1975. Tied with my 1988 Peugeot Biarritz for my all time favorite riding and handling bikes.



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Old 01-22-22, 09:55 PM
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Yes, many times.

This one was going to get thrown away in recycling.



Same with this one. I know someone who really wants to have this bike once I gets tires on it.



Also was going to get recycled.




Friend was going to take this to the dump.


I turned it into this and donated it to the bike co op. Someone bought it from them.



I got a pic of the Galaxy 2. It is still a work in progress.








All of these are way too small for me to ride.

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Old 01-22-22, 10:02 PM
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That Nishiki step through looks a bit custom by crash up front.
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Old 01-22-22, 10:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Chuck M View Post
Have you ever felt sorry for a bike and wanted to rescue it from becoming a poorly executed fixed gear perversion or yard art?

There is a sad looking Western Auto 3 speed not really local to me, but close enough I'd drive to get it if it was worth a damn. I really don't know enough about it to be sure, but I wonder if it is a rebadged Raleigh. I can't tell if it is the dangle to the angle the photos are from or if the front fork is bent and the NDS pedal is wack. Other times it has been listed, from the drive side I have seen other issues. And from any angle there are issues that can't be hidden by photography. This bike is frequently posted on facebook marketplace always at the same price making me thing the seller won't entertain lower offers. Previous times it has been posted make me believe it is at a second hand store, flea market or other thrift store type place. And each time it is posted, it seems a little more patina disappears. The $65 asking price, cables, tubes, tires, rim tape, brake pads, labor and gas money don't incline me to go look at it. But somehow, I think I would get a lot of warm and fuzzies making it ridable enough to spin around the neighborhood with the grandkids or take the short ride to the office in the evening to handle a few things.

Below is a before and after of an '84 Raleigh Competition I think was destined to become a fixed gear or single speed and the Western Auto 3 speed and I am in love with that bike. I just don't think the Western Auto would make me as happy as the Raleigh has, but I keep thinking about it. Have you ever considered a bike that made no good sense to purchase, but were attracted to it anyway? If so what was it and did the warm and fuzzies come as you hoped?





You need to get them to throw in the Coke machine.
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Old 01-23-22, 08:57 AM
  #6  
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I just finished this rescue. I bought it a couple of years ago for $20! It did not come with wheels , the first picture is just some rims I had laying around my shop . I had it powder painted and put different decals than original . I also went mostly Campy because that’s what is on my other bikes and I like the way they look and work. This bike was on CL for quite a while and I finally caved. I haven’t ridden it yet except a couple of laps up my street but it should be a cool change from my racers, this is a 1980 Motobecane Grand Sprint. It has a longer wheel base than I am used to. I still need to change the tires , these are what came with the wheels I bought for it.

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Old 01-23-22, 09:14 AM
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Pity can extend to framesets as well:

Pity followed by work and luck can lead to a Karma bike, when the work is achieved by multiple dedicated karmic hands.

excuse missing tt cable clamp.,. some of these lil rascals with .001mm hex screws are a witch with twitchy hands. Corrected subsequently.

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Old 01-23-22, 11:08 AM
  #8  
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Pity frame, crashed early 80s Bianchi I got for free.
Tim



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Old 01-23-22, 11:30 AM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by zandoval View Post
Was throwing this frame in a dumpster after removing the dynamo remnants and fenders then realized how light the frame was. Turned out to be a PUCH frame labeled Sears Ted Williams. I reassembled it with components from the parts bin and it has become a family favorite!
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Old 01-23-22, 11:50 AM
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When someone was offering this bike on a local classifieds site for €10 and no one was buying it, I decided to do the decent thing.



I offered €25 and went and picked it up. It took a couple of days of my time and ~€50 in paint and consumables and small parts to make it into this:

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Old 01-23-22, 12:15 PM
  #11  
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A pair of Ross mountain bikes showed up at a nearby second hand shop a few years ago. They were in decent original condition, needing only lubrication and consumables. I wanted the larger of the two, but after watching the other one sit outside all summer, I went back and bought it for $10. My wife rides it occasionally.


1987 Ross Mt. Hood
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Old 01-23-22, 12:29 PM
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I have rescued so many quality bikes that were cast offs that ended up at the bike exchange. Here is one of my favorites . It came to me as a frankin bike with a mish mash of parts that some bike mechanic had probably built up as a beater . reasurch revealed it to be a high class French frame of uncertain origin, probably built by a small custom builder. After a repaint and age appropriate French components it looked like this

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Old 01-23-22, 04:42 PM
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This Centurion Comp TA , was gifted to me by a IM enthusiast . He was on his sales route thru the Mid West and stopped at a little bike shop and took pity on this , the owner of the BS was stripping it down to sell for parts . When I got it , it was just a frame , fork , headset . The only reason the headset was there is because the steer tube had been cut too long and the top nut bottomed out and was stuck . Even Centurion has a bad day .


IMG_0192 by mark westi, on Flickr
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Old 01-23-22, 04:52 PM
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I saw this Swiss 3-speed Condor at the co-op and was pretty sure it would wind up in the dumpster so I went back and got it and some handlebars. I justified the purchase by claiming that thirty bucks for 700C Sturmey-Archer wheels for my Raleigh Pro 3-speed project was too good a price to pass up.
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Old 01-23-22, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by capnjonny View Post
I have rescued so many quality bikes that were cast offs that ended up at the bike exchange. Here is one of my favorites . It came to me as a frankin bike with a mish mash of parts that some bike mechanic had probably built up as a beater . reasurch revealed it to be a high class French frame of uncertain origin, probably built by a small custom builder. After a repaint and age appropriate French components it looked like this
Those dropouts are very interesting - do you have any closeups, or have I missed a build thread about this one?

-Kurt
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Old 01-23-22, 05:15 PM
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I was visiting a well known horse trader who offered me a 20 kg bag of pure lye ( don't ask ). He had a 1950's Jag in a barn, thousands of feet of wide, rough-sawn old growth lumber and this sad, sad 52 Humber Sports, an entry level model. I had to wheedle him down to $35 just to save it from rusting away over the next winter. All chrome plating is %100 shot but that bonderized primer and Raleigh paint is hanging in there. Still have it, it's an unusual model and colour.



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Old 01-24-22, 07:03 PM
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There are two bikes on the local marketplace that I've considered rescuing, but neither appear in the photos to be the right frame size for me to actually ride them. One's a Lambert Viscount Grand Prix 15-speed that's asking $60, and the other's a Centurion Cavaletto with an asking price of $30. Don't need another bike, but if I knew they were the right size, I might get one or both of them.





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Old 01-24-22, 09:40 PM
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Well......after I said no more bikes I saw this one for sale in a post here. Saw potential and abuse and just had to make a try for it.


Detailed pics in the ad showed dried mud or something on the shifters, some corrosion on the components, missing inner tube, bar tape coming off, etc.


Only had it a few days so far but took it to here with it's first cleaning and some newer wheels.


How it sits tonight after a teardown yesterday. Still need to pull the BB. Then I'll fully clean the frame, touch it up, service the headset, and rebuild it with some Dura Ace 7400 parts.

It had been neglected. Everything worked but the FD was pretty corroded, the chain a mess, and even though it did shift and brake the cables and housings were badly gummed up. BB and headset actually feel ok if I'm honest but I'm expecting to find some gummy grease in there. Although, the original wheels hubs weren't that bad.
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Old 01-24-22, 10:58 PM
  #19  
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This Centurion Signet was $10 at a scrapyard - I bought it for its scrap metal value. I replaced the rear wheel with one I had kicking around and rode it for a while, then donated it -




This 1986 Univega Arrowpace was $24.99 and awaits warmer weather and more time to work on bikes -


- and this 1999 Cannondale SP500 was $25 and went from this -


- to this -



And for now, I'll close with this one, currently in mothballs until the next Clunker Challenge 100. It is THE saddest Schwinn LeTour I have ever seen in my life, and it cost me a whopping $15.

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Old 01-25-22, 12:28 AM
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Old Huret Dropout

Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
Those dropouts are very interesting - do you have any closeups, or have I missed a build thread about this one? -Kurt
Kurt, that's a mid 60's Huret dropout...




Functional but not very svelte.

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Old 01-25-22, 04:05 AM
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My 83 Nishiki Olympic. My granny was on her way to my house, and said she saw a bike on a side street. After she left I walked to look at it, and it was a bike I actually seem days prior headed the direction it was found. Guy was riding it with no rear tire&tube, disconnected brakes, a 26" front wheel on it. Wish I had a before picture.

I was wanting to build a single speed anyway, so it was all the excuse to keep it- that and it fit(especially after an inch shorter stem). I hate the colors of it, though.

This was last summer, and the bike was a budget build, with no intentions to be perfect, more parts-thrown-at-it-clapped-out-fixie-without-being-clapped-out-fixie. Stickers(some) aside, all the money spent on this bike was; pedals, chainring bolts, chain, rear wheel& sprocket, brake levers.

Original crank is a Sugino VP, now with RaceFace 48t chainring, 16t sprocket.
Stolen Thermolite pedals.
Vuelta Pista rear wheel, State Bike Co front wheel.
Sora front brake, Tiagra rear brake.
Ponzo San Marco seat & SunRace seat post(already on bike).
Stem from my Nishiki Prestige.
Origin8 levers.
Jagwire cables.
Forgot what bar was, but those 1" bull bars are unubtanium in this city, the co-op had one
Innertube bartape from old tubes.

It's a nice ride. I wish I could get a different fork for it, though.
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Old 01-25-22, 05:47 AM
  #22  
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It looks like many of you have taken pity on abused and misfit bikes and have made some silk purses out of them.

There is another pity bike on my radar because my wife doesn't like her six speed Bridgestone mixte. A three speed Takara is languishing away for want of a twenty dollar bill. The Takara would would require almost another $20 of gas to get, lunch with her friend that lives in the area and would never be as pretty as the 'Stone. But I have a soft spot in my heart for Takaras and I could probably find room in the garage for another bike that my wife won't ride.


The Bridgestone was a pity bike too by the way but also an excellent survivor.

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Old 01-25-22, 05:55 AM
  #23  
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What is this, slamming Fixed Gear? The best old bike to get around town is a Fixed Gear.
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Old 01-25-22, 05:58 AM
  #24  
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1981 Fuji Royale in Anthracite Gray


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Old 01-25-22, 10:52 AM
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Can't save 'em all, but when a C&V'er comes across a neglected or damaged bike or frame, we know what to do.
@Wildwood mentioned the Zeus, above, which came to me from @Stevensb, I bent it back into shape, then sent it north to Stewart.

A few years ago one of our local co-ops had a nearly perfect Raleigh International frame in that classic copper color for $85 up on their website. I was shocked that it was so cheap, so I called, made sure they still had it. It was hanging form the ceiling 15 feet above us, when they got the hook out and brought it down my heart sank - it was a "three legged dog". One of the fork dropouts was missing! I figured for the price I could fix it. Luckily I had a set of Campy front dropouts and was able to braze them back in. On the same trip I saw a nice orange and white Stella frameset for $85 as well - this one had been castrated by a fixie idjit (dropout hanger hacked off). No problem, I had some inexpensive horizonal dropouts from framebuildersupply, so I cut off just the hanger, did a bit of filing and fitting and brazed a new hanger on. These two bikes were hanging up in my shop for awhile, and I can usually pawn off any 57cm frames to @Andy_K, who has posted both of his builds to this forum. The Stella repaint was steller, probably Andy's best looking bike (and I lost count of how many he has!) I've also learned how to replace a fork steerer and have done several in the past few years.

So a call-out to the BF C&V clan, if you have a frame that's really nice but has what appears to be a fatal flaw, I've got a soft spot for them. Maybe with a little bending and/or torchwork we can get it back on the open road where it belongs.
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