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Dumpster diving guidelines

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Dumpster diving guidelines

Old 11-08-04, 06:26 AM
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suntreader
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Dumpster diving guidelines

My parents are farmers who live near Conway SC. Each day my father goes to the nearby Regional Recycling Center (i.e. highly organized trash dump) to drop off the trash and pick up old furniture, which he repairs and gives to people in need.

Yesterday my dad told me that the scrap metal bin at the recycling center is usually full of bikes. Knowing that many forum members have had great luck in the dumpsters and thrift shops lately, I told him to keep an eye out for good stuff. He asked me to be more specific, since he doesn't want to haul in every bike at the recycling center. I gave him these general guidelines:

1 - The bike should appear mostly intact and not completely rusted out
2 - Anything with drop handlebars
3 - Anything with an Italian or French sounding name
4 - Anything with a classic, retro look

Does anyone have additional criteria that I need to add to the list?
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Old 11-08-04, 06:45 AM
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I've never met a bike I didn't like. I look for unusual features. For example ,I once found a Bruce Jenner AMF 10 speed with a single shifter that shifts both front and rear derailleurs.
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Old 11-08-04, 07:22 AM
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Don't forget english or japanese sounding brand names, but then again that's coming from a guy that really likes his Raliegh and Fuji.

How about anything with a banana seat? Those seem to bring in some bucks from aging yuppies that miss their youth.
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Old 11-08-04, 07:40 AM
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Brooks seats.
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Old 11-08-04, 08:50 AM
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Dwontube shifters.
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Old 11-08-04, 09:09 AM
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Why do you want to revive them? If it is for you, then look for features you want and a size you need. If you want to refurbish them to give away to the needy or to sell at a church sale, then check for "common" sizes and newer parts such as indexed shifters. And if you want to revive vintage bikes, then go in the dump yourself.

If I had access to such a "bike mine" (aka gold mine), I would probably look for a bicycle with standard parts and would generally prefer a bike with some parts in top shape and others in need of replacement, rather than a bike with not so good parts. You might also look for parts (ex.: good wheels on a ****** bike or vice versa, or narrow road bars for your child). I would also avoid brands with non-standard parts such as:
- Peugeot (either French or standard parts depending on vintage)
- Schwinns (from what I read, non-standard wheel sizes, except for their 27").

But sometimes, these bikes are a good source of non-standard parts.
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Old 11-08-04, 10:16 AM
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Take them all, strip the parts, then sneak the real junk back in at night.

A good set of French BB cups can bring $$.
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Old 11-08-04, 10:17 AM
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For me , the easiest way to identify a quality frame from low-end when you dont know brands and labels, is to take a quick glance at the rear dropouts. If they are plain stamped steel, it's low-end. If they are moulded (investment cast), with changes in thicknes, then its probably a quality bike.
Even bikes with stamped dropouts can make rideable beaters.

I recently say a reasonable frame in a dumpster, but on closer indpection it was crash-damaged, with the rear dropouts crushed in.
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Old 11-08-04, 10:55 AM
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yer getting so much conflicting info. so i thought i'd add my several cents worth as well. it might be interesting to see if there is a bike project in town (or maybe a larger town farther away) that can use any bike at all, high or low end, or just for every single part you can strip off. it is my opinion that dumps are pretty awful places filled with things that haven't exactly lived their full life yet, like perfectly good bikes.
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Old 11-08-04, 10:58 AM
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I'd bet there are a ton of cruiser bikes in there since you are in Myrtle Beach.

Maybe you could find some decent cruiser bikes and sell them in the local classifieds?
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Old 11-08-04, 10:59 AM
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Sorry, I see your father's in Conway.

Still, if he finds a cruiser it may sell in Myrtle Beach eh?
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Old 11-08-04, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by MichaelW
For me , the easiest way to identify a quality frame from low-end when you dont know brands and labels, is to take a quick glance at the rear dropouts. If they are plain stamped steel, it's low-end. If they are moulded (investment cast), with changes in thicknes, then its probably a quality bike.
The forged vs. stamped drop-out rule isn't always true though... My best riding bike, otherwise nicely built out of top grade stuff (rare series of Nervex lug & full 531 DB) has stamped drop-outs. It also has a beautiful enameled headbadge, super comfortable "pencil stays" and a longish wheelbase. It wasn't a dumpster find, but was overlooked at a bike swap meet, probably due to having stamped drop-outs. Another frame I have, a fillet brazed Jack Taylor, also has what appear to be a cheap, stamped drop-out. While they probably were cheaply stamped, they're stamped Campagnolo cheapies, and work just fine.

As for the dumpster diving thing, I say take all you can get with those drop bars, and decide what's really junk when it's in front of you... You can always stick the stuff back in the trash can. BTW- my best dumpster finds were a '80 753 Raleigh Team frame (no parts on it), and a '60ish Bertin frame (Reynolds 531 DB), also with no parts. I was happy to climb in & pull each one out...;^)
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Old 11-08-04, 11:45 AM
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If you need to communicate how to easily pick out winners for the untrained, here is my 2 cents....

* A worthy bike will be light compared to others-- For example, the weight difference between a Guercotti and a Sears Free Spirit will be very noticeable.

* All decent bikes from the 80's and beyond will have aluminum rims. Many of the earlier bikes will also have alu if the owner has upgraded wheels.

* Cranks. Show pictures what good chainrings and cranks look like. You know super/nuovo record campy stuff. Chainrings should be held by crankbolts, not rivets.
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Old 11-08-04, 11:56 PM
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One other thing not mentioned is that many of the older quality frames had spring loaded axle adjusting screws through the back of those cast rear dropouts, I have never seen these on anything less than a mid level bike. Don
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Old 11-10-04, 07:38 AM
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the dropouts are very imortant, some 50's 60's early 70's put stamped dropouts on quality frames for the french factor. to change der's you had to worry about what dropout you have, french , italian? damn simplex dropouts where different then the rest. so just mount the der on a hanger was there answer. i had a Jenuet that had dropforged dropouts that didn't have a hanger as well, simplex of course. Hope that helps
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