Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Classic & Vintage
Reload this Page >

Sometimes, it's better just to pass

Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

Sometimes, it's better just to pass

Reply

Old 04-12-10, 08:44 AM
  #1  
Doohickie 
You gonna eat that?
Thread Starter
 
Doohickie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Fort Worth, Texas Church of Hopeful Uncertainty
Posts: 14,677

Bikes: 1966 Raleigh DL-1 Tourist, 1973 Schwinn Varsity, 1983 Raleigh Marathon, 1994 Nishiki Sport XRS

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 139 Post(s)
Sometimes, it's better just to pass

I got excited when I randomly stopped at a thrift store this weekend: Three older full-sized bikes in the corner! I started looking at them and found a totally unremarkable Open Road bike with cheap bits all around, a Volkscycle (first time I've seen one) that looked to be a little better quality, but was probably a 1970s vintage and heavy as a brick. It had cottered cranks. The third bike was a Cavalier (never heard of it) three-speed English roadster in ladies frame, similar to perhaps a Raleigh Sports. I wanted to buy it; I really did. But then I started to consider what it would take to either restore it or harvest good parts off it... the whole bike including wheels and tires had been spray painted blue. It was missing its shifter and shift cable including index chain, the hub was so crusted over with dirt and paint I couldn't even see if it was a Sturmey Archer.

I decided to pass on all three bikes. If that last one hadn't been all painted up, it might have been good for parts, but what a pain it would be to clean it up.

A year ago I would have been excited by the find and maybe bought two or all three of the bikes. Nowadays I have a little more knowledge about what it takes to get a bike in working order and I just didn't think these were worth the effort. If I had more time to work on bikes, maybe, but....
__________________
I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.


Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
Doohickie is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-10, 08:48 AM
  #2  
USAZorro
Señor Member
 
USAZorro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Florence, KY
Posts: 16,066

Bikes: Mostly English - predominantly Raleighs

Mentioned: 42 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 650 Post(s)
Discretion is the better part of valor. Not everything that was ever made is worthy of admiration and preservation.
__________________
In search of what to search for.
USAZorro is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-10, 09:02 AM
  #3  
BigPolishJimmy
Senior Member
 
BigPolishJimmy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Southwest Michigan
Posts: 1,561

Bikes: Fuji Monterey, Schwinn Traveler, Fuji Special Road Racer, Gitane Interclub, Sun EZ-1, Schwinn Frontier, Puch Cavalier, Vista Cavalier, Armstrong, Raleigh Sports, Schwinn Stingray

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Indeed, I'm with you both on this. I still see bikes and want to buy them and save them but it's not cool to put 60 bucks into a bike that will then be worth 25. I was smitten last week by a Ross compact ladies 10-speed because it had interesting bar wraps with a blue to white fade. Having just sold a couple of bikes I dropped the 25 bucks on it and took it home. I'd given it a cursory look-over, spun the wheels, they were straight, but the gumwalls were shot. Ok I thought, I've got a set of whitewalls in good shape at home. Well, my whitewalls were not in as good of shape as I thought. Plus every time I touch this thing and fix one thing, it seems like 2 others break. The biggest regret is that I didn't realize this was set up with the Shimano FF system. I thought the rear wheel was toast because the freewheel was not freewheeling properly, nope, it's supposed to be that way. bleh... if I'm lucky I'll break even, still it was a cheap lesson learned. I need to be more selective so I can spend my time riding and working on bikes that are worth my while.
BigPolishJimmy is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-10, 10:14 AM
  #4  
bornhere
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 115
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Me too, I have passed on quite a few lately. I feel good about it as well. I don't need a parts bin full of low end crap, or frame sets that I can't sell, or worse, wheel sets. I need good old bikes that I can ride or sell with minimum effort. I'm done with fixer uppers that need much more than fresh grease, tires, cables, and a cleaning.




Unless they are free
bornhere is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-10, 10:31 AM
  #5  
love2pedal.com
Senior Member
 
love2pedal.com's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Kansas City, MO
Posts: 817

Bikes: Colnago C50

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 20 Post(s)
Sometimes the best deal is the one that never gets made
love2pedal.com is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-10, 10:50 AM
  #6  
roccobike
Bike Junkie
 
roccobike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: South of Raleigh, North of New Hill, East of Harris Lake, NC
Posts: 9,548

Bikes: Specialized Tarmac, Specialized Roubaix, Giant OCR-C, Specialized Stumpjumper FSR, Stumpjumper Comp, 88 & 92Nishiki Ariel, 87 Centurion Ironman, 92 Paramount, 84 Nishiki Medalist

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 44 Post(s)
I went to a yard sale and got all excited over two Sears 3-speed roadsters. I paid $40 for the pair. The ladies model needed so much work I landed up donating it. Now I'm hoping to flip the man's model and recover the $40 plus repairs I've got into the bike. If I break even I'll chalk it up to a learning experience. All in all, I wish I had your forsight and had passed on these two.
__________________
Roccobike BF Official Thread Terminator
roccobike is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-10, 11:00 AM
  #7  
unterhausen
Randomhead
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Happy Valley, Pennsylvania
Posts: 17,528
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
so far, I've been immune to all such projects. I think it has to do with suffering through the bike boom as a mechanic, I saw almost every nasty piece of bike boom junk at least once. Add a layer of rust to a poorly constructed bike, and the only thing that can lead to is frustration.
unterhausen is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-10, 11:17 AM
  #8  
robtown
Muscle bike design spec
 
robtown's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Sterling VA
Posts: 3,676

Bikes: 70 Atala Record Proffesional, 00 Lemond, 08 Kestrel Evoke, 96 Colnago Master Olympic, 01 Colnago Ovalmaster, 76 Raleigh Gran Sport, 03 Fuji World, 86 Paramount, 90 Miyata CF, 09 Ritchey Breakaway CX, Bianchi Trofeo, 12 OutRiderUSA HyperLite

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
I've had my share. I've recently picked up some steel wheel clunkers. The current one had a cottered crankset, and needed tires. I found out after I removed the rust that it had rim damage. That takes care of the alloy rear wheel I had as a spare. I found that stripping the frame for fixie bait and selling the wheels as beaters sometimes brings in sufficient cash for the least work. I'll profit on the bikes but it doesn't provide the satisfaction on refurbishing a worthy (most likely Japanese) steel frame bike w/alloy wheelset and three piece cranks.
__________________
Korval is Ships
See my Hyperlite 411 it's the photo model on OutRiderUSA web page
robtown is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-10, 11:24 AM
  #9  
Chombi 
Senior Member
 
Chombi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 11,139

Bikes: 1986 Alan Record Carbonio, 1985 Vitus Plus Carbone 7, 1984 Peugeot PSV, 1972 Line Seeker, 1986(est.) Medici Aerodynamic (Project), 1985(est.) Peugeot PY10FC

Mentioned: 19 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 138 Post(s)
Yes, sometimes it's really hard to pass on items for auction or for sale. I had to pass on a few nice items at eBay lately because the prices for the classic parts are just spiralling upwards as the season get started and the sellers are breaking out their stash of goodies. Things that averaged 70 bucks are now going for almost double the price with bidding wars happening at the last minute of the auctions. I end up just setting a max price and see how it goes. It usually ends up with more that 4 or five bids topping me at the last 30 seconds of bidding. All I can think if is these winners are usually overpaying way too much these days and they can have it if they want it that bad........thing is I sometimes think I really want those missed items more than that winner. I just make it a point to delete my bookmarks for them as son as I lose the auction.....
It's a long summer ahead of us, more good classic stuff will pop up for sure!

Chombi

Last edited by Chombi; 04-12-10 at 11:28 AM.
Chombi is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-10, 11:29 AM
  #10  
Doohickie 
You gonna eat that?
Thread Starter
 
Doohickie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Fort Worth, Texas Church of Hopeful Uncertainty
Posts: 14,677

Bikes: 1966 Raleigh DL-1 Tourist, 1973 Schwinn Varsity, 1983 Raleigh Marathon, 1994 Nishiki Sport XRS

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 139 Post(s)
Originally Posted by roccobike View Post
I went to a yard sale and got all excited over two Sears 3-speed roadsters. I paid $40 for the pair. The ladies model needed so much work I landed up donating it. Now I'm hoping to flip the man's model and recover the $40 plus repairs I've got into the bike. If I break even I'll chalk it up to a learning experience. All in all, I wish I had your forsight and had passed on these two.
See, though.... you occasionally see one of those fixed all nice & purdy here on this forum, so when you see one in the rough you think it might be worth it. I bought a couple bikes like that for $10 early last year. I traded one for a frame that I still haven't built up (but have a plan for it). The other one, a Hawthorne cruiser made by Hercules with a very cool frame, still hangs forlornly in my garage. I did a little checking and that old Cavalier might be worth picking up for parts after all. The tires are the same size as the Herc, and according to some info I found on the net, it is likely that the Cav has a SA hub. Right now, the rear wheel is the worst thing on the Herc, so maybe I could make the one from the Cavalier work. I didn't want to buy the Cavalier on a spec basis, hoping it would work with the Herc, but now it looks like they may be compatible. We'll see; we'll see. If it's gone before I get back around to it, it wasn't meant to be.
__________________
I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.


Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
Doohickie is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-10, 11:49 AM
  #11  
rumrunn6
Senior Member
 
rumrunn6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: 25 miles northwest of Boston
Posts: 21,817

Bikes: Bottecchia Sprint, GT Timberline 29r

Mentioned: 66 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2714 Post(s)
put a paper bag over the headset and you wouldn't know the difference ... wait, what?
rumrunn6 is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-10, 11:52 AM
  #12  
StephenH
Uber Goober
 
StephenH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Dallas area, Texas
Posts: 11,619
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 146 Post(s)
$15 bike + $25 in parts + 4 hours labor = $25 bike. Lesson learned.
My daughter did ride it in the meantime, so it wasn't a total waste.
__________________
"be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."
StephenH is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-10, 12:34 PM
  #13  
Kobe 
Senior Member
 
Kobe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Schwenksville, Pa
Posts: 2,502
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 142 Post(s)
I think I am learning to walk away. Last week at the thrift store there was a Mongomery Ward 3 speed with a really nice basket on the front. I have been looking for a nice wicker basket, and the price of the bike was a little more than what I would pay for a new basket.

But, then I am stuck cleaning up a Montgomery Ward because I just can't allow myself to sell it without at least making it safe. So I passed on the $30 bike and will probally end up buying a new basket for $25.
Kobe is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-10, 12:49 PM
  #14  
wrk101
Thrifty Bill
 
wrk101's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Mountains of Western NC
Posts: 21,698

Bikes: 86 Katakura Silk, 87 Prologue X2, 88 Cimarron LE, 1975 Sekai 4000 Professional, 73 Paramount, plus more

Mentioned: 60 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 552 Post(s)
+1 I picked one up last week that I should have walked away from. I need to just donate off some of the low end stuff that has accumulated in the last two years, and get myself some working space.
wrk101 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-10, 12:53 PM
  #15  
Glennfordx4 
Holy Spokes it's Batsman!
 
Glennfordx4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: South Jersey
Posts: 1,855

Bikes: Too many Bicycles to list

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 58 Post(s)
I still find myself messing with low end beaters that need a ton of work or even mid level bike's for that matter,but for me sometimes I look at something and say that would be cool looking fixed up,take this Liberty for example it is nothing special in fact rather one of the cheapest bikes I ever worked on but still there was something about it. I found the bike in the trash so the cost was right, I had everything it needed except tires and tubes in stock so cost for parts was low for me but the labor that's another story because of the chrome I spent hours polishing and cleaning. I stripped this to the bear frame and went from there, now I have no idea what to even try to sell it for but it is a great looking bike that is almost 40 years old and it's not taking up room in a land fill. If I had to buy the parts it needed maybe I wouldn't have done it, but then again The one thing about this bike is that it was sold by the Chicago Cycle Supply Co. (Schwinn).

I think I have OCD when it comes to working on bikes and I always keep going to make sure it is right,even the seat had a pin hole but I just couldn't leave it alone so I made a custom iron on patch for it,but why? LOL.








Glennfordx4 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-10, 12:53 PM
  #16  
southpawboston 
Senior Member
 
southpawboston's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Somerville, MA and Catskill Mtns
Posts: 4,024
Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 15 Post(s)
it takes experience to know when to walk away from a deal. a few weeks ago, i thought i had stumbled upon a seriously good craigslist score on a bike, from which i wanted to keep the comp set and resell the frameset to recoup my cost. i was the first responder to the ad, so i got first consideration. i asked several questions of the seller, and his answers were all satisfactory. i drove an hour away to see the bike, but upon seeing it first hand i realized the bike would need *way* more work than the pictures had suggested, and most of the parts were worn from high mileage, abuse, and weather. it became a toss-up decision: do i walk away from the deal and go home, losing two hours of my time and $10 worth of gas, and call it a day? or do i buy the bike anyway, to part out and turn a tiny profit? it was one of those situations that leave you feeling a little deflated whichever way you decide to go. i ended up buying the bike and will be parting it out to make what i expect to be $100 profit at most, but after tallying my time in doing the part-out, the advertising, and the shipping, it's barely worth it. in retrospect, i should have just walked away.
__________________
Velo Lumino - Lighting components and integration solutions for fine hand-built and classically inspired bicycles

Riding the Catskills blog

Flickr

1971 Mercian Olympic | 1972 Jeunet 630 | 1982 Jack Taylor Tour of Britain | 1984 Shogun 1500 650B | 2013 Rawland Stag | 2014 Jeff Lyon L'Avecaise | 2015 Bike Friday Haul-a-Day
southpawboston is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-10, 01:20 PM
  #17  
clubman 
Youngman Grand
 
clubman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Nova Scotia
Posts: 5,164

Bikes: roadsters, club bikes, fixed and classic

Mentioned: 74 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 801 Post(s)
I had an early 60's Cavalier...good quality Birmingham bike. Shame about the blue paint but underneath is a nice quality British Sports model equivalent to a Raleigh. It's nice knowing that if you harvest it's parts, everything is good quality steel. Headsets and bottom bracket on that bike are ISO and are generally bombproof. Not that you must pick it up and restore it...but you could.

It's a labour of love.
clubman is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-10, 02:08 PM
  #18  
RobE30
Wherever I may roam....
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Topton Pa
Posts: 1,893

Bikes: A few bikes

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Originally Posted by USAZorro View Post
Discretion is the better part of valor. Not everything that was ever made is worthy of admiration and preservation.
I'm learning that everyday
RobE30 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-10, 03:01 PM
  #19  
Doohickie 
You gonna eat that?
Thread Starter
 
Doohickie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Fort Worth, Texas Church of Hopeful Uncertainty
Posts: 14,677

Bikes: 1966 Raleigh DL-1 Tourist, 1973 Schwinn Varsity, 1983 Raleigh Marathon, 1994 Nishiki Sport XRS

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 139 Post(s)
Originally Posted by clubman View Post
I had an early 60's Cavalier...good quality Birmingham bike. Shame about the blue paint but underneath is a nice quality British Sports model equivalent to a Raleigh. It's nice knowing that if you harvest it's parts, everything is good quality steel. Headsets and bottom bracket on that bike are ISO and are generally bombproof. Not that you must pick it up and restore it...but you could.

It's a labour of love.
Actually, the labor of love would be using parts of that bike to resurrect this one:



Note that on this bike, the seat stays continue past the seat tube and go all the way to the head tube, kind of like on a mixte. It's got a 1960 SA AW hub. Its back rim is badly bent as is the crank. But if a Cavalier is a Birmingham-built machine, its parts should work on this Hawthorne which was also made in Birmingham (by Hercules). I've never seen another bike like this one, even in pictures. It's way too small for me, but I like to think that if I get it fixed up I can sell it at a swap meet to someone who'll appreciate it.

EDIT: By the way... I really should have walked away from this one in the first place!
__________________
I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.


Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
Doohickie is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-10, 03:52 PM
  #20  
svt4cam
On a mission from God
 
svt4cam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: In a squalor
Posts: 290

Bikes: 6? Favorit (under construction), 82 Bianchi Nuovo Racer, 76 Alan, 8? Raleigh Fixie, 75 Atala, 94 Cannondale 2.8, 75 Paramount P13, 94 Cannondale RT1000 tandem, 76 Masi Gran Criterium, 81 Motobecane Grand Touring, 77 Mondia Super, 12 Specialized Crux

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
so far, I've been immune to all such projects. I think it has to do with suffering through the bike boom as a mechanic, I saw almost every nasty piece of bike boom junk at least once. Add a layer of rust to a poorly constructed bike, and the only thing that can lead to is frustration.
+++1 from another old fart bicycle mechanic
svt4cam is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-10, 04:03 PM
  #21  
tmh657
Senior Member
 
tmh657's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: SoCal
Posts: 2,846

Bikes: A few BSO's.

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 140 Post(s)
I have walked away from a few now that I know a tad bit more than a year ago. I have also learned to avoid looking at Craig's list bikes at night if possible. I almost got burned on a Trek 330.
Perhaps a balloon light would be good.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
Picture 2..jpg (14.7 KB, 16 views)
tmh657 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-10, 04:31 PM
  #22  
illwafer
)) <> ((
 
illwafer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 2,412
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
the feeling in your gut of buyer's remorse is one of the worst.
illwafer is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-10, 04:39 PM
  #23  
longbeachgary
Senior Member
 
longbeachgary's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Beautiful Long Beach California
Posts: 3,605

Bikes: Eddy Merckx San Remo 76, Eddy Merckx San Remo 76 - Black Silver and Red, Eddy Merckx Sallanches 64 (2); Eddy Merckx MXL;

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 141 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Glennfordx4 View Post
Did you make it in the shape of a penis on purpose?
longbeachgary is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-10, 04:52 PM
  #24  
cb400bill
Administrator
 
cb400bill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Kalamazoo MI
Posts: 15,991

Bikes: Fuji SL 2.1 (carbon fiber), Pinarello Stelvio (steel), Cannondale Synapse (aluminum)

Mentioned: 29 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1125 Post(s)
When I started in this C&V world, I bought some less expensive bikes to flip. Think bikes like a Schwinn Varsity, Fuji Sports 12, etc. They made great bikes to learn bike mechanics on because of their mostly standardized parts and if I messed something up I wouldn't have been out very much money.

Now that I have refurbished and sold a few, I don't pick up anything that doesn't interest me or that I can't easily sell on CL for enough to make it worth my while.
cb400bill is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-10, 05:16 PM
  #25  
Bianchigirll 
Bianchi Goddess
 
Bianchigirll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Fort Wayne, In
Posts: 25,295

Bikes: Too many to list here check my signature.

Mentioned: 77 Post(s)
Tagged: 2 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1088 Post(s)
I don't want to hijack the thread, an maybe someone brought this up but, is this a 'daul pivot' brake?

__________________
Bianchis '87 Sport SX, '90 Proto, '90 Campione del Fausto Giamondi Specialisma Italiano Mundo, '91 Boarala 'cross, '93 Project 3, '86 Volpe, '97 Ti Megatube, , '90 something Vento 603,

Others but still loved,; '80 RIGI, '80 Batavus Professional, '87 Cornelo, '09 Motobecane SOLD, '?? Jane Doe (still on the drawing board), '90ish Haro Escape
Bianchigirll is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service