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Inkwolf 09-07-02 09:19 AM

Can anyone tell me anything about Sanwa bikes?

There's a road bike at a rummage sale nearby for $10, obviously needs a lot of work. I'm debating buying it. Considerations are:

1. I want to learn to do bike repairs, without ripping up my good bike

2. ...but no point in trying to repair a bike I can't get parts for.

3. 90% chance it will just sit in the garage while I try to find time to do something with it anyway.

It's a 7-speed road-type steel bike with brazed joints (if that's what it's called) weird little half-fenders, and a Shimano derailleur.
Any ideas or comments?

D*Alex 09-07-02 05:07 PM

Just another cheap, department store bike. May be worth $20, if it were in good shape. Those half-fenders are a dead giveaway as to being cheap, heavy, and junky. Sure, you can probably still find a freewheel to fit it, but everything else is old, cheap, and obsolete, and didn't work too well even when new. This bike cost about $150 when new, in a day when sears bikes started at $175. Repair it? Well, you can probably find something that fits, but that's about all.
Offer them $5-that's all it's worth.

Inkwolf 09-07-02 05:14 PM

Thanks for the knowledge, Alex!

I actually went back this afternoon, pumped up the tires and test-rode it. It was too scary for me. :D Possibly just because the tires were bad, or because I never rode a road bike or a bike with drop bars before, but it felt very wobbly and unbalanced. So, the search goes on.

Pete Clark 09-07-02 06:43 PM

Originally posted by Inkwolf
... the search goes on.
Inkwolf, there are many rocks on the beach, and also a few gems.

Amongst a bunch of Huffys and such at a thrift shop, I found an old Mongoose (from the days when Mongoose was not sold in department stores, but bike shops,) with the bike shop sticker still intact (some California shop.) $25.

Nothing wrong with this bike whatsoever. Hardly any needed adjustments. Bought it for my 6 year-old for when she got big enough.

Well, she rode it last weekend, no problem, even though it's still too big for her at 7 years old. She mastered the hand brakes and grip shifters instantly (but coming to a complete stop seems to be a case of Eval Knievel (sp?) "leaping off before dropping the bike" type of stop. ;) )

1oldRoadie 09-07-02 10:19 PM


Suggestion> start looking for a frame/old bike to build a fixedgear bike out of. I have already started looking for it as a winter project.

Don't let my wife know she thinks 6 bikes are enough in a 2 bedroom townhouse.....silly girl.:rolleyes:

pinerider 09-08-02 05:10 AM

Inkwolf - the proof is in the riding!
I say even if it is an old x-mart of some sort, if it rides well and seems in good shape, buy it. Back in the day, I bought a used 10 speed (a TopRider!!) and rode it occasionally for more than 10 years, just changing brake pads and adjusting stuff now and then.
On the yard sale circuit, I passed on a very nice looking top of the line, but 20 years old Free Spirit for $40 (rode ok) one weekend, and found the Bianchi I bought the next weekend for $35. I've put 2 tubes in it and have ridden it 3 or 4 times a week for the last month.
The drop bars take a bit to get used to!! You might want to try a few rides on someone else's to get accustomed to them. My first ride on the Bianchi was very wobbly, but after I lowered the seat and "refreshed" my drop bar memories, it was great!!

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