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I fear drew is at it again (also post your "boomerang bike" stories)

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I fear drew is at it again (also post your "boomerang bike" stories)

Old 05-17-10, 11:24 PM
  #1  
shopgirl
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I fear drew is at it again (also post your "boomerang bike" stories)

I sold a bike earlier today to a guy asking about the best way to make it a single speed. All I can think is, This bike is in perfect shape as a twelve speed, and you live out in the foothills; this is a really dumb question. My response was a bit more diplomatic than my thought process, but essentially I tried my best to talk him into keeping it as a geared bike.
It wasn't a super nice bike, but I still hate the thought of someone possibly painting it and shaving off all the useful parts. It pains me to see a good bike go to waste. It's like watching someone kick a puppy.
I might be taking it too personally. I always have to remind myself that it's not my bike anymore, and that the bike is not a sentient object, and that this pile of metal does not actually care who rides it or what is done to it.
I also know I can never volunteer at the SPCA.
Anyone have stories about boomerang bikes? I got the idea for this particular thread thinking of the many bikes that I've sold and wondering where they are now. There's a couple that I occasionally see around town. Most others I haven't seen but still think about often. Have you ever tracked down and bought any back? Had a bike stolen and then recovered?
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Old 05-18-10, 12:05 AM
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Originally Posted by shopgirl View Post
It's like watching someone kick a puppy.
I concur.
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Old 05-18-10, 12:15 AM
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I've has a few bikes come back to me, thats the issue with reselling department store bikes, people expect to much from them and they never stay "unbroken" so people try to return them because they did something with it they shouldn't be doing, if you want a nice quality bike spend more!.


As for a good one, I sold a vintage 3 speed to a girl a few years ago and she dropped it off a few month back to get a flat fixed, still looked clean and well loved!
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Old 05-18-10, 01:30 AM
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Originally Posted by shopgirl View Post
It pains me to see a good bike go to waste.
As long as someone is riding it, it's not going to waste in my opinion. As long as they don't throw the extra parts in the garbage!
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Old 05-18-10, 04:53 AM
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Originally Posted by mkeller234 View Post
As long as someone is riding it, it's not going to waste in my opinion. As long as they don't throw the extra parts in the garbage!

I think it depends on the bike, and yes...I know I'm a snob. If it's a Schwinn Varsity, a mid-level Japanese whatever, a Raleigh below the Super Course level, etc...who cares. There are plenty of those bikes around for anyone who wants one in the future. I'll even go so far as to say it makes sense to convert those bikes...it ends up a heck of a lot cheaper than a new track bike and can give you a low maintenance, low cost reliable means of transportation for a flat area.

I think what gets done to them also matters...it the parts are changed out, they can always be changed back. Hacking stuff off is more of an eyesore, but it's their bike.

I've seen a few bikes I've sold end up on Craigslist a year or so later. My Miyata 916 ended up back for sale. I got to see my old Kona JTS in a local cross race, which was extremely cool. I sold a red Raleigh 3 speed that I see around town ALL OF THE TIME.

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Old 05-18-10, 05:23 AM
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When I am selling a bike and someone starts asking about turning it into a single speed I always offer to do if for them at no extra cost. It takes a little more time but it insures that it is done right (no grinding) and I get to keep the extra parts. Win/Win situation
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Old 05-18-10, 06:06 AM
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^Great idea.
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Old 05-18-10, 06:25 AM
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I sold a Record last winter to someone who was going to use for primary transportation including commuting to work and said that he thought about turning it into a fixie. Knowing the terrain around here, I suspect that he might have had second thoughts...
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Old 05-18-10, 07:10 AM
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I am of the "as long as it is getting ridden, it is ok" school of thought. Bikes should be ridden not hung on a wall. Personally, I would never try to pass off a road bike as a track bike but have no problems with those who like to tinker with their rigs to get the bike they have in their mind's eye out on the road. (I do have a problem with people who lack the skill/strength necessary to ride brakeless -danger to all and give the rest of us a bad name).

I bought this frame/fork a few years ago from a guy who had used it as a fixie "for stunts and tricks". It had a front aerospoke, micro flat bars, no brakes etc. Thankfully, none of the braze-ons were removed (he knew enough to not ruin it):


and spent the winter getting it back in shape for my wife:

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Old 05-18-10, 07:20 AM
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I really don't sell very many bikes. I have had several come back home though. The two best stories are my Giant Iguana and an old Eddy Merckx. The Giant was purchased new in 1989, stolen in 1995, recovered (partially stripped) sold it to a buddy of mine in 1996, he had it stolen in Memphis, recovered it a couple of weeks later, sold it to his BIL and it came back home in 2008. Now it is being converted to an expedition tour bike.

The Merckx wasn't mine but was stolen out of my garage when I was servicing it for a buddy of mine. Driving down the road a week or so later I saw a little brat that was way too small for the bike riding it. Pulled up along side and grabbed the top bar and told him he could either bail or go along for the ride he bailed.

Most of the bikes I sell go to someone that I see on a regular basis, and quite often end up servicing for them.

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Old 05-18-10, 08:28 AM
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I would Drew a bike to save a dog. Kicking a dog and drewing a bike are not even close in my book. Here are mine and my GF's strays:



the beagle in particular has rough backstory. I'd drew a Paramount or a Masi for the little guy, and that includes grinding off every braze on and hacking off the mech hanger and sticking deep v wheels and a little tiny set of bars on it. And colour co-ordinating it with some eyebleed colours.

Fortunately, I haven't had to do it. Phew!
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Old 05-18-10, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by mkeller234 View Post
As long as someone is riding it, it's not going to waste in my opinion. As long as they don't throw the extra parts in the garbage!
I wonder though, how many guys think, ah fixie like the NY hipsters, buy an old bike, convert it to fixie using a grinder and a sawzall, and then find out that riding fixed isn't as easy as they thought and end up tossing it in the trash, because it costs too much to try converting it back and nobody wants the hacked up frame.
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Old 05-18-10, 08:36 AM
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Folks, The Weekly Fixie Rant® isn't supposed to start til Wednesday.

I realize this is about single speed, but they are both covered under that heading.


A few bikes I've bought (and a few random parts too) I've had the seller ask me to send a picture at some point in the future. Most recently someone cut me a break on the price on a saddle on the condition that I send them a pic of it on my bike for their website.
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Old 05-18-10, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Wogsterca View Post
I wonder though, how many guys think, ah fixie like the NY hipsters, buy an old bike, convert it to fixie using a grinder and a sawzall, and then find out that riding fixed isn't as easy as they thought and end up tossing it in the trash, because it costs too much to try converting it back and nobody wants the hacked up frame.

You are missing the point of the "Fixie like the NY Hipsters".

The point is not to ride the bike. The point is to walk around with the bike to be seen.

Besides if YOU found a Confente with a hacked off Derailleur hanger in the dumpster, I'd bet you'd pull it out and take it to a proper frame builder for repair....I know I would.
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Old 05-18-10, 08:58 AM
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I rarely sell bikes, but give away a few. It's a real pleasure to see a bike I've gifted JRA.

I've a friend who's traded a lowly Sears FreeSpirit back to me twice. We both like this bike, but I'm the one who does the real quality work on it.
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Old 05-18-10, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by purebikes View Post
When I am selling a bike and someone starts asking about turning it into a single speed I always offer to do if for them at no extra cost. It takes a little more time but it insures that it is done right (no grinding) and I get to keep the extra parts. Win/Win situation
Out of curiosity, what do you do specifically? Do you leave both brakes? Remove the freewheel (or cassette) and replace it with a spacer and single cog? What about the crankset? Just remove one of the chainrings? I've never done a conversion to single-speed or fixed...
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Old 05-18-10, 09:29 AM
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This bike is in perfect shape as a twelve speed, and you live out in the foothills; this is a really dumb question. My response was a bit more diplomatic than my thought process, but essentially I tried my best to talk him into keeping it as a geared bike.
If I was in your shoes; I would gentlely suggest that they ride as it for a little while, find out what gear they are most comfortable riding in, and then bring it back, and you would convert it to a fixie in that gear. It could very well be that they decide having more than one gear is not so bad after all.

I have been somewhat fortunate in having two bikes stolen, and two bikes recovered. The first one was a Varsity; they apparently took it for a joy ride, and ditched it in junked condition.

So, I bought the Viscount to replace it. I was riding it to trade school every day, and chained it up to the same lightpost. One of the guys in the shop convinced his teacher that since he saw the bike there every day, it was abandoned, and his teacher loaned him a pair of chain cutters so he could take it home.

When I reported it stolen, the word got around quickly to the shop teacher, and he drove me personally to the student's house to recover it. It stayed by my drafting table after that.

(Which is why I do not support liberating "abandoned" bicycles unless you know for a fact from the owner that it is abandoned.)

-James
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Old 05-18-10, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by purebikes View Post
When I am selling a bike and someone starts asking about turning it into a single speed I always offer to do if for them at no extra cost. It takes a little more time but it insures that it is done right (no grinding) and I get to keep the extra parts. Win/Win situation
Gold Stars. This is a smart diplomat.
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Old 05-18-10, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Wogsterca View Post
I wonder though, how many guys think, ah fixie like the NY hipsters, buy an old bike, convert it to fixie using a grinder and a sawzall, and then find out that riding fixed isn't as easy as they thought and end up tossing it in the trash, because it costs too much to try converting it back and nobody wants the hacked up frame.
Nice hypothesis, but wrong. No one trashes a fixie conversion. First, they may have significant money in it. Second, among teen/young adult riders, there is a great deal of trading bikes back and forth.
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Old 05-18-10, 10:21 AM
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This is great.
Poguemahone, those are some cute pups. I would definitely drew a bike to save my cat any day of the week. Off topic, somebody else got started on drewing my cat before he found me; poor boy is missing a back leg! I'll try to post a pic but he's a really bad model.
I didn't strictly intend for this to be another fixie rant, sorry to get ahead of schedule for the week. But it is interesting to think of how bike nerds relate to bikes, compared to everyone else who rides a bike. Most people think I'm crazy when I tell them I have 6+ bikes, that I keep them in the house, that I normally work on them myself, etc. I can't imagine not having a bike, or having only one bike.
I imagine the guy I sold the bike to yesterday is having second thoughts about it. Still, I have seen some kids riding fixed up there, and I've ridden a single speed out where this guy lives too. It wasn't fun. With all those hills and the hot summer coming, I'd bet he's thinking twice about it.
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Old 05-18-10, 10:34 AM
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I sold a bike to a local fellow flipper for his personal use.Now we cross path's once a week, trade parts and loaned tools back and forth. Nice guy,But I'm sure he gets tired of me asking about the bike.
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Old 05-18-10, 10:39 AM
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I had one bike boomerang a few times.
My first ever good road bike; a Bianchi Squadra, bought new in the late '80s when there seemed to be a glut.
Rode and raced it for a few years, then sold it to my brother. He added SIS shifting, but then didn't ride it, so I bought it back.
Sold it to a neighbour. He didn't ride it so I bought it back and gave it to my GF. She rode the wheels off it, but didn't fit it that well, so I took it back and bought her a modern bike.

Finally, as I was paring down the fleet prior to the big overseas move, I put it on CraigsList and sold it for the same price I'd paid for it 20 years earlier.
Kept the GF.
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Old 05-18-10, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by RFC View Post
Nice hypothesis, but wrong. No one trashes a fixie conversion. First, they may have significant money in it. Second, among teen/young adult riders, there is a great deal of trading bikes back and forth.
Sure they do, a lot of people in their mid 20's to late 30's have grown up in the throw away generation, they throw away the cell phone they paid $300 for, because it's last years model. It's not necessarily the bike they will throw away, but the frame that would have made a perfectly good geared bike, until they hacked away at it. In some ways the teens and younger are growing up a better lot, because the Eco/Green craze means they are more likely to either trade a bike with someone else, or they leave on the parts that will be needed to convert it back. Mind you I think those getting into the fixie thing now are late in the game.

Fixed will probably not be a big thing with the eco generation who will use their bikes for more utilitarian purposes then the previous generation.
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Old 05-18-10, 11:14 AM
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[QUOTE=Zaphod Beeblebrox;10828642]Folks, The Weekly Fixie Rant® isn't supposed to start til Wednesday.

I realize this is about single speed, but they are both covered under that heading.


A few bikes I've bought (and a few random parts too) I've had the seller ask me to send a picture at some point in the future. Most recently someone cut me a break on the price on a saddle on the condition that I send them a pic of it on my bike for their website.[/QUOTE]

Actually, the FG/SS/Drew handwringing encounter session is always on Tuesdays. The "why aren't road bikers nice to me" thread is on Wednesdays. And the "Do any of you guys actually wear spandex; I always wear my overalls when I ride my bike" thread is every second and fourth Friday.
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Old 05-18-10, 01:08 PM
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All I can say is, I recently kept myself from bidding on what first looked to be a very nice Vitus Plus Carbone 9 at ebay recently (Could have been a great candidate for my next "Tout French" project........till I saw what looked to be a bolted on, probably cobbled up derailleur hanger holding the RD. A high-line bike like that that was not made in real big numbers just does not look right with a bulky "prosthesis" RD hanger on it! Asked the seller what's going on and he was nice to confirm that it was a repair and he added that "those hangers were very fragile anyway...}. I'll take the explanation as it was as no one is forcing me to bid on and buy the bike anyway......... so the point is, I dont think most of us really have anything personal against "Drew", it just feels really bad when we do encounter real nice, hard to find "dream" bikes that have had amputations done to them, deliberately, or not.......... Drew's just kinda conveniently there, most of the time, to throw our frustration on.........Oh yes, it's Tuesday already!!.....

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