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Urgent Help Needed for Birthday Bike Surprise

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Urgent Help Needed for Birthday Bike Surprise

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Old 10-19-12, 02:33 AM
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lilspoon82
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Urgent Help Needed for Birthday Bike Surprise

Hi All,

I am hoping that I can get some much needed advice from all of you bike experts out there.

My boyfriend is bike mad and loves restoring and fixing them up. He already has a rare Pashley Guv'nor.

His birthday is coming up, and I thought it would be a nice idea to get him a special bike for his next restoration project.

He was born in 1974 so thought if possible I could get something from that year to make it more personal and special.

My knowledge of bikes is limited at best, I just about know the difference between mountain, road and hybrid bikes!!

I would be eternally grateful if I could get some ideas and advice on what might be a good bike to look for? Just imagine the girlfriend brownie points I would get if I could find him something rare, interesting and in need of lots of boy garage time!!
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Old 10-19-12, 02:56 AM
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I personally prefer finding the bikes myself and that is part of the fun for me.
Maybe another idea would be to buy some good tools instead?
Does he have a proper workshop stand , is he short on any essential tools etc.

Good luck and i'm sure he will enjoy whatever you get him.
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Old 10-19-12, 03:26 AM
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What is your budget? A lot of us are cheap and patient. If you are after something specific, you may pay a premium for it. Of course, finding the right bike is only part of it; whether or not the bike fits trumps the find. If your budget is below a the cost of a complete bike, you might also focus on "consumables" such as tires. Most bike nuts are happy to get tires, even if they aren't needed at the moment. For instance, Grand Bois makes some excellent (and expensive) tires that would look good on a Pashley Guv'nor. Beyond the Pashley Guv'nor, does he have any particular interests? Some collectors are focused just on British, or French bikes, for example, or bike from a specific era.
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Old 10-19-12, 03:51 AM
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I think tools or materials would be great to receive as a gift. If you were able to get a photo of what is in his toolbox or his chemical stash (for bikes) we may notice some missing items.

Things I have and use a lot that can be had at a hardware and auto part stores:

Wash bucket with unusual shaped brushes (a special narrow brush is a bike shop item) and strong soap (in New England try "Incredible Pink") park tool for the brush set
durable disposable gloves (auto parts store)

cheepo plastic wedges or scrapers in assorted sizes (some dirt has to be removed by force)
fine grades of steel wool
real copper wool (chore boy)
aluminum foil
light machinery oil (three-in-one)
stoddard solvent (clean kerosene)
Save-o-gran wood bleach/oxalic acid (rust removal)
aluminum polish
assortment of polishing and wiping rags.

I really like that my wife understands how much I enjoy working with my bikes and that my interest in them causes her no distress or anger. Giving him anything with the message that he may "make the best of his hobby time" with your gift will go a long was. Fiddling with bikes is really about peace of mind.
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Old 10-19-12, 03:56 AM
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This was his last completed project. It was in a right state when he got it. he has bikes of all shapes and sizes, like this. Ones with the little wheels.... all sorts.

I'm so sorry not sure what it is?? A path racer?? That rings a bell to me!!

I have a 200 budget.

Sorry I can't be more specific
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Old 10-19-12, 04:01 AM
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I amat his house at the weekend, I will sneak into the garage and get a picture of his tool kit.

Thank you for the list, if I can't find an actual bike I could make up a posh tool kit or something!!
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Old 10-19-12, 04:07 AM
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Ya, the fella is already way into this with a fine cycle like that. Pick something vague like a trip to a cycle museum, jumble or perhaps a credit at a auto part store. There is a UK based club "veterans cycle club" or V-CC that I use for research quite a bit.
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Old 10-19-12, 04:11 AM
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I'm not looking for anything already done, just an old beat up one that he can restore.

Was just thinking that something from 1974, the year he was born, would make it more personal thats all.
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Old 10-19-12, 04:20 AM
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buying a bike for your man is a very nice gesture.

the more pics you take the more we can judge on his tastes.

this might sound strange, but maybe find a vintage tandem for him, or somethign you know he dont have and both of you can enjoy.
it also shows that you want to share his hobby.

just a thought.

there were some very fine English made tandems and most any cycling fan would like somethign special.

Claud Butler
Jack Taylor

its just a thought...
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Old 10-19-12, 04:20 AM
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You may have to be careful looking, because if he has our disease, he's always looking, too.
Perhaps a gift certificate from PBK or ribble, but I think a surprise bike is a great idea.

You may be able to enlist the assistance of a crusty old bike shop worker, who would be able to separate the hopeless cases from the viable projects. It's not that hard to find someone to help spend bike money vicariously.

Good luck. As far as "girlfriend brownie points," all men are the same........
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Old 10-19-12, 05:36 AM
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Best. Girlfriend. Ever.

+1 on the tandem suggestion. Extra challenges in the restoration, plus you might promise to ride it with him ...
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Old 10-19-12, 05:53 AM
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Perfect idea......set up a romatic evening, candle light, table for two, some soft jazz and a lap top (computer) Bring up Hilarystone.com and tell him you'll pick up the tab and you two shop together online....ahhhh....if you can make it throught that evening....you were meant for each other!
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Old 10-19-12, 06:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Velognome View Post
Perfect idea......set up a romatic evening, candle light, table for two, some soft jazz and a lap top (computer) Bring up Hilarystone.com and tell him you'll pick up the tab and you two shop together online....ahhhh....if you can make it throught that evening....you were meant for each other!
Great idea.
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Old 10-19-12, 06:26 AM
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As nice of an idea as it is, finding the right bike from the right year in the right size would be fairly difficult. A few other ideas?

http://www.bikequarterly.com/books.html

If he doesn't have them, either of the two books in the center of the top row (Competition Bicycle and Golden Age...) are must-have books....

http://www.v-cc.org.uk/

And, if he isn't already a member, as FTwelder noted, the Veteran Cycle Club would be cool...

Or, a day out at a cycle jumble would be heaven for most of us...

hthttp://www.bikejumbles.co.uk/tp://

A day trip out to the cycling museum in Wales? It's fairly modest, but still a very cool place. I loved it, and the drive there is nice.

http://www.cyclemuseum.org.uk/

Best of luck! You're a fine woman!
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Old 10-19-12, 07:11 AM
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Does he have another bike friend that can help you with the search? It takes a fair amount of knowledge to tell the difference between a worthy project and a POS. And then you have his personal tastes (what he likes).

The tandem or tools are both good suggestions.
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Old 10-19-12, 07:22 AM
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I think what you're doing is really sweet...and it's awesome that you're taking an interest, but I agree with some others here; the minutia and details of a bike being special or desirable are going to make this a difficult project for you. I think, like others, there might be a better road - maybe a really nice saddle, some really nice tires...maybe even a cool vintage 74' part that he can pick a project to incorporate. Tools or a stand were GREAT ideas (my wife bought me a nicer stand as a birthday gift). I don't think you could go wrong getting him a nice Brooks saddle and some matching tape. Our type can ALWAYS use another saddle

My wife has learned more about bikes than she ever wanted to know...and she takes an active interest in what i like and don't like...but she'd never try to do what you;re talking about; she knows she wouldn't be able to predict my likes and she wouldn't have the eye or experience to check for cracks, dings, etc.

I'll say this...me and the misses get a LOT of fun with the tandem. You can usually get them surprisingly cheap and you don't need anything fancy; the idea is fun, leisurely rides together. Think picnic basket.
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Old 10-19-12, 08:03 AM
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There have been some good ideas and opinions here - I'll throw in my 2p.

First, if he has a Pashley, I'd suggest sticking with a British bike. Also see if you can verify that a '70's bike is of interest to him, the Guv'nor was a '30's bike. I'd seek a complete, original as possible bike in nice shape, Meaning higher $ possibly. Incomplete, rusted, wrecked, or modified bikes make the restoration process is exceedingly time consuming and expensive. I'd also suggest that you aim for a high-end builder and model to be certain he'd appreciate its value.

Visit http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/builders.html for some builders to search for, maybe even on craigslist.

Next, what's your deadline? Finding a bike that can be accurately dated to 1974 might take some time to find, so you may have to settle for something merely circa 1974.

The tandem idea is cool but it depends on if YOU also ride!

The tools idea is great but maybe shift the idea to vintage tools or accessories such as bottle cages, bags, tire pump, gloves, shoes, clothing, shop signs, advertisement posters...?

Now as far as your gesture, it's a wonderful thought and you should carry through on it. I wish my wife considered my bikes as a little more than a semi-expensive amusement!

ps: Hmmm....http://www.ebay.co.uk/dsc/Bikes-/335...&_osacat=33503
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Old 10-19-12, 08:18 AM
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I love that my wife takes an interest and rides with me...it means so much to me and it's something I really value about her. I am not exaggerating when i say that my favorite thing on Earth is riding our tandem together; it combines my two favorite things...bikes and time with her. If we could get a cat with us, it would be even better! I think you're firmly on the right path here.

I have a pretty good idea...a saddle bag made by our own Rootboy! It's VERY unique, his quality is INCREDIBLE and they'd go quite nicely with his style of bike.
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Old 10-19-12, 09:27 AM
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tak a picture of what bikes he has in his collection- then we know what he would possible want.

If I saw 2-3 brand ABC bikes then we know he is into that, if we see several bikes of the same style- we know what style he likes!

pictures!
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Old 10-19-12, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by THE ARS View Post
You're in Europe?

Dekerf frame.

Trust me.



Tom
Is there some Canada <--> Europe connection I don't know about?
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Old 10-19-12, 10:27 AM
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By one means or another find out what sort of bike, nationality, color, size, frame style, etc. he really wants next. Here is why:

Whatever you give him he will then be obligated to build, whether it interests him or not. If you give him a frame or the beginnings of a bike that doesn't interest him very much, it will drain his attention, time and finances away from the bike he really wants. If he sort of avoids it you will one day ask him "Are you ever going to finish that bike I gave you?", followed shortly by "What's the matter, don't you like it?" You will have given him an obligation as well as a gift.

On the other hand, if it's the right bike, well then...
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Old 10-19-12, 10:28 AM
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Wow, you are Awesome! I bet everyone on this forum is jealous...

On http://www.retrobike.co.uk/ you will find a large variety of bikes in your neighbourhood.
Judging from the pic of his last project, I figure he is into single speed. Maybe you can find a nice frame in his size which he will cherish and built up with only the best stuf because YOU gave it to him...

Or as someone else already suggested, tools, parts, are always fantastic presents for bike-geeks. But for the best advice we need to see pics of toolbox and his other bikes!

Cheers ,

Don
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