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Sympathy rescue bikes

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Sympathy rescue bikes

Old 09-12-22, 08:55 AM
  #1  
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Sympathy rescue bikes

I知 sure I知 not the only one but sometimes I値l see an ad for a bike that was decent in its day but has led a hard life and is one step away from being binned. Usually these things are really cheap and need a ton of work but, if complete, could be made into a useable conveyance for someone.

My dilemma and a general question. I bought a really scabby but complete and dent-free Univega Sportour for $20 with 600 Arabesque bits that I will make rideable but I have no intention of keeping it. Most of the paint has been scraped off the forks and seat stays but the seat post and stem came out easily. In fact, the whole bike came apart easily like someone had plans to service it but never got around to it. I知 not concerned about making a profit but breaking even would be brilliant. I would be thrilled to get $100.

My question is about the cosmetics. There is much bare metal so should I hit the bare metal with a rattlecan that slightly resembles the remaining color or let the buyer address the cosmetics? I知 leaning towards the rattlecan thing since it will somewhat extend the useful life and I hate things being tossed just because they aren稚 purdy. No, this won稚 be a full strip and re-paint and I won稚 represent it as a 途estoration, just a mechanical refresh. Parting it out would be the sensible thing and that isn稚 out of the running.

What have some of y誕ll done in this scenario?
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Old 09-12-22, 09:08 AM
  #2  
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How about lightly sanding and primering the bare metal spots to prevent rust?
I am facing a similar problem with my 1970 UO-8, since I live about 1km downwind of the Pacific Ocean, and everything rusts around here.
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Old 09-12-22, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by John E View Post
How about lightly sanding and primering the bare metal spots to prevent rust?
I am facing a similar problem with my 1970 UO-8, since I live about 1km downwind of the Pacific Ocean, and everything rusts around here.
The only sensible answer. 👍 Let the next owner worry about cosmetics.
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Old 09-12-22, 09:16 AM
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I had a super early Romic (serial number in the teens. Should have kept it) that had obviously been stolen at some point in it's life, with all the paint sanded off the main triangle. Amazingly it wasn't very rusty, but had a unique patina. I sold it during the great sell-off of 2014 to a guy who loved the look and was taking it with him to Burning Man. Sometimes the buyers like the anti-theft look.
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Old 09-12-22, 09:24 AM
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If you are looking to save the bike and not worried about your time, I would rattlecan it and sell it for $100. More likely than not the next owner is not going to do anything to it. Most buyers of my bikes don't want to do anything to them, just ride 'em.
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Old 09-12-22, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Kobe View Post
If you are looking to save the bike and not worried about your time, I would rattlecan it and sell it for $100. More likely than not the next owner is not going to do anything to it. Most buyers of my bikes don't want to do anything to them, just ride 'em.
True 租is! I値l probably swing by the co-op for some tires and a saddle and get this thing down the road. It痴 a medium sized frame so it should sell reasonably quickly.
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Old 09-13-22, 07:17 AM
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I help a young man with any major work on rescues he takes to the Gospel Mission. What I understand is they prefer a reliable bike that is not attractive to a thief so we do next to nothing for appearance. He then brings me the 501c3 donation receipt which is a tiny help with my taxes.
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Old 09-13-22, 10:39 AM
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Over here in Germany many bike builders offer "anti-theft look" as an option. I only realized, when parked next to a colleague, who always made me wonder "well, even if she's not filthy rich, why she just not rattlecan that poor thing...". Turned out to be a custom made frame, with decent components from one of the local mass bike tailors.
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Old 09-13-22, 11:19 AM
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I've bought a few cheap sympathy bikes - fixed major issues - and have passed them on usually by placing a "Free" sign around the top tube and leaning them against a big oak tree near my house on a weekend. Every one of them was gone within three hours.
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Old 09-13-22, 11:20 AM
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I thought this was going to be a "show us your saves" where you showed a really ratty purchase and saved it to some extent.
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Old 09-13-22, 11:23 AM
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I often pour way too much (parts, labor and accessories) into rescue bikes, maybe I should learn and find another outlet?
But if the orphan seems like it has any potential I tend to build it like I was going to use it, so I scrimp on stuff I don't put much stock in (mis-matched wheels and tires, mixed gruppos, saddle that may not be the ultimate "keeper") but I do go to the trouble of touching up paint if it's not "heavy lifting".
Touched up paint is another thing I can live with, rust is not. I don't go in for full rattle-can re-sprays very often on any flipper, but dabbing "close-enough" paint over de-rusted steel I often do.
I rarely make money on rescue bikes, lucky to break even....sigh...
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Old 09-13-22, 12:39 PM
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I thought they were all sympathy rescue bikes.
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Old 09-13-22, 01:05 PM
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I've been experimenting with phosphoric acid on the rust and then coating the whole bike with Penetrol. The phosphoric acid turns the rusty metal grey. I've tried mixing my own treatment with diluted concreate etch, but I think its to strong or I need to neutralize it a bit as it seems to keep creating a grey dust when left out in the rain. The treatment works well on chrome. I haven't realy tried adding a paste wax yet. The bikes I've done this to are bikes that spent time at the beach. I'm still waiting to see how this holds up.
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Old 09-13-22, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by merziac View Post
I thought they were all sympathy rescue bikes.
Some of us like to pretend that they're worth what we spend on them.
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Old 09-13-22, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
Some of us like to pretend that they're worth what we spend on them.
Wait, what, you mean they're not, I need some more Kool-Aid......
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Old 09-13-22, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by merziac View Post
I thought they were all sympathy rescue bikes.
The baggy Legnanos I drag home are rescues. A scabby $20 Univega with mismatched 27 wheels is like adopting a stray cay with one eye and known health ailments. You feel sorry for it so you bring it in, take care of it and realize 6 months ago your neighbor offered you a healthy kitten for free.

Makes sense in my irrational worldI guess.except I知 allergic to cats..
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Old 09-13-22, 04:07 PM
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One of my college pals, and fellow 1972 double century completer, had given me a 1960 Capo Modell Campagnolo frame and random parts, which I had built up into a transportation beater. The frame got bent back in my one-and-only close encounter of the wrong kind with a motor vehicle in 1976. I had it straightened and rode it for a few more years until it started to rupture right at the end of the downtube butting. Bicycle theft at UCLA was rampant, and I always rode a bike that looked far worse than it was.

Fast forward about 15 years, and when I saw a Capo for $20 at a yard sale, I just had to have it for old times' sake. It turned into an expensive art project / money pit at CyclArt, but it looks great, is reasonably light at 11 kg, and is a delight on a long ride. With plain gauge 531 tubing, it is pretty comparable to something like a Raleigh Super Course. Be careful with those sympathy bikes.

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Capo: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger (2), S/N 42624, 42597
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