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When does a fix 'n flip cease to become a fix 'n flip?

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When does a fix 'n flip cease to become a fix 'n flip?

Old 09-06-11, 09:19 AM
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sykerocker 
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When does a fix 'n flip cease to become a fix 'n flip?

I write this, curious on the opinions of some of my fellow mechanics in the forum. It comes about mainly because of the Kolbe I recently picked up.

Anyone who fixes and flips vintage bicycles knows that resurrecting an old bike, getting it back into running condition, onto Craigslist, and into the hands of (most likely) some college student looking for cheap transportation is also just deferring the death sentence for that bike. Being bounced around campus, little to no maintenance, probably ending up being stolen, or vandalized at the locking stand, and most likely abandoned at the end of the semester/four-year college term means that while we probably saved that bike from a landfill, it's most likely going to end up there anyways a few years down the road.

Of course, if we're just talking some 80's Centurion, or another UO-8, another Schwinn, etc., so what? There's still a couple thousand more of them around hanging in damp sheds or over-cluttered garages. But what is your standard if the latest find turns out to be some bit of gaspipe that nobody's seen in decades? Bikes that were brought in by some jobber at the height of the bike boom, with no national distributor, and promptly dropped by said jobber as soon as 10-speed madness was replaced by the next fad.

As you've probably guessed by now, I don't think that Kolbe is going to see Craigslist. Instead, it's most likely going to get the same kind of overdone, can't-possibly-be-worth-it full restoration like I just did with the Roger Riviere. Because the bike is somewhat unique, even if it's not valuable. And, of course, the rough part is going to be coming up with the generator and fender bits - once I finally figure out what the bike originally had, in the first place. Something that's that . . . . . . . . er . . . . . . . . rare (yeah, I know, Confente Masi's are rare, not Kolbe's) deserves better than being killed by some uncaring college student.

At least, unlike the Riviere, this frame is my size. Which means I should be able to ride it comfortably.
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Old 09-06-11, 09:43 AM
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Syke, I guess the lack of the flip is the defining factor. I think we've all had keeper bikes, that weren't and bikes we weren't sure about that are still around.

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Old 09-06-11, 10:05 AM
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For me its about enjoyment. Will I enjoy the process of bringing the bike back to a usable state? Will I enjoy riding it going forward? Does it do something that one of my current bikes doesn't? Will I make a substantial profit and be able to plow that profit intpo another bike I would enjoy more? Each bike and the corresponding trasactions are different.

They, the bikes, will all meet their end someday, just like us, so I don't really worry about what the future might hold for a bike I sell. I hope they get used and enjoyed but past that, there are too many other cool bikes to go get!
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Old 09-06-11, 10:10 AM
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For me it would cease to be a flip bike if I have to buy anything other than your standard consumables.
Then again, I've never flipped a bike. What do I know?
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Old 09-06-11, 10:30 AM
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So you're in the beginnings of a bike museum of the unknown and unloved?
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Old 09-06-11, 10:49 AM
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When the time and/or money needed to rehab it render my return on the flip valueless. A bike is a bike to me, not anything to be valued beyond it's monetary value, utility, and craftsmanship.
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Old 09-06-11, 11:35 AM
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Hey now! I'd cry if I saw a centurion like mine on it's way to death! I've never seen another original year centurion though.
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Old 09-06-11, 12:11 PM
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Well up until now I have never cared about keeping a bike, but this gas pipe i picked up (as you know) is just too cool. I picked it up to flip it but after a short ride and a few hours spent admiring it it went from flip to firm fixture. I guess for me, not making a million dollars a year anything relatively inexpensive and unique becomes a keeper. way more prone to keep something unique and low end than nicer mid end common bike. go figure
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Old 09-06-11, 12:47 PM
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Everything I find is flip bike potential. Even the really nice ones come and go. Even the really nice ones, that fit, come and go. But not unless I get what I feel the bicycle is worth. And I set my prices high these days because I do not know what the darn things are worth.

So, my guess is that all of you are pretty much the same. If you are good at finding bikes, you will, sooner or later have too many really nice ones, that fit, to keep them all. So it will be time to flip something that was not flip fodder earlier.

That's the way I see it and that's the way it seems to happen.
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Old 09-06-11, 01:13 PM
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I usually end up keeping things that should be flipped. I've been riding around on a late 60s Schwinn Speedster that I paid 15 dollars for. I don't get it.. I mean it's between a 72 Fuji Finest and an 81 Schwinn SuperSport and I still grab the beater. Maybe I just feel sorry for it.. lol..
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Old 09-06-11, 01:38 PM
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I understand what you're saying... The two most ridden bikes for daytime rides are my Peugeot UE-8 (I've put tons of money into that gas-pipe bomb, because I wanted an IGH test bed) and my Schwinn Collegiate with a Sachs P5. For night riding I ride my Cannondale. That'll probably change once I get suitable lighting for the Peugeot or the Schwinn. Of course, I just bought an IGH for the Cannondale and that'll probably end remaining my night-time rider.

Anyhow... I've not flipped anything yet, but though I might flip some stuff, but after working on them and riding the ones I've messed with so far, I'm inclined to just keep them. I've spent far too much money for them to be a money-making proposition.
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Old 09-06-11, 02:08 PM
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Anything my size is a keeper, until I finish it, ride it a few times, and don't fall in love with it. Then it's subject to be traded or flipped. I rarely go after bikes that I know wouldn't fit me, unless it's like a screaming deal like a $29 Cannondale at Goodwill or something like that.
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Old 09-06-11, 03:07 PM
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Here's the way I rationalize it:

99% of what I start with is a bike that has been ignored/neglected for 20 years or more. So I reset the clock, fixing what needs to be fixed, replacing what has dry rotted or decayed, and getting it road worthy.

So now, the new owner (lets say your college student) buys it, rides it for a while, then neglects it. Puts it in his garage, and eventually, 20 years from now, it gets pulled out, donated to a thrift store, or sold at a garage sale, and another flipper repeats the whole process over again.

Through the flipping, rehabbing, upgrading my personal fleet, and repeating many, many times, I have ended up with pretty nice bikes in the fleet. Just sold a "keeper" this week. My keepers tend to get replaced whenever something better comes along. So the word keeper is a misnomer. Its more like keep for a while....
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Old 09-06-11, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Ex Pres View Post
So you're in the beginnings of a bike museum of the unknown and unloved?
Yep. And especially the un-statused. I love the idea of riding something that is both common and unique.
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Old 09-06-11, 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by bennie222 View Post
Anything my size is a keeper, until I finish it, ride it a few times, and don't fall in love with it. Then it's subject to be traded or flipped. I rarely go after bikes that I know wouldn't fit me, unless it's like a screaming deal like a $29 Cannondale at Goodwill or something like that.
I like the methodology.
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Old 09-06-11, 05:14 PM
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I am just naive enough to think that if a kid plunks down good money for a spiffy road bike, it is unlikely he'll trash it along with the oceans of Magna, Huffy's and Wallmart Schwinn MTBs rotting on the campuses. I think it more likely he will care for it and keep it long-term - and I believe that someday, these road bikes will be recognized universally, as having significant interest and value.

I have some long experience with one of the other C&V vices (Vintage instruments) and I see many parallels there: Forty years ago, you could buy vintage guitars at garage sales and junk stores. Some of these became planters, or were stashed in sweltering attics or moldy basements. Others were "saved", by folks with an abiding interest in "old" guitars. That hobby was then, about where C&V bikes are today. The principal difference is that no internet forums like this existed to share information.
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Old 09-06-11, 05:20 PM
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I fixed many of my friends bikes in college, the ones that road regularly and had nice bikes treated them very well, those who bought BSO's did not.
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Old 09-06-11, 08:02 PM
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you can't save 'em all. But as long as you're enjoying saving the ones you can, or want to, more power to ya'!
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Old 09-06-11, 08:08 PM
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About a year ago, I bought my [now] 18 year old son a decent Novarra road bike... not only does he seemingly cherish it, I believe the acquisition of this bike has resulted in his being imbued with the "cycling" spirit. 'Nuff said.
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Old 09-06-11, 11:07 PM
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Originally Posted by jeepr View Post
I usually end up keeping things that should be flipped. I've been riding around on a late 60s Schwinn Speedster that I paid 15 dollars for. I don't get it.. I mean it's between a 72 Fuji Finest and an 81 Schwinn SuperSport and I still grab the beater. Maybe I just feel sorry for it.. lol..
It's like clothes: you have a really nice tie, that you love. You love it so much, you wear all of the more mundane and worn ties, so you keep your favorite tie nice. Ten years later, you realize that you never had the pleasure of wearing that tie because you were always too worried about keeping it pristine. So yeah, I get the point. I have a '72 Woodrup and a Trek 1400 and somehow I still find myself on my well-used Peugeot PFN10.
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Old 09-06-11, 11:13 PM
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I end up in the same trap; I just lugged in an Austro Daimler frame, a Raleigh GP frame, and a Bianchi Brava frame, for no sane reason other than someone was discarding them and they needed the love. My son smirked and reminded me that not everything that is rare is valuable. With a lot of that old stuff, there's a reason few people wanted it in the first place.
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