| Well, bicycling season is here and the Goodwill is trying to make a killing. Went there two weeks ago and they had the regular assortment of huffys and murrays and one good looking 3 speed Collegiate. I checked the price of the Collegiate - $40. Outrageous!!! Checked the price of the others, same deal, cheapest were the kids bikes at $20, Mountain bikes (Roadmaster etc) were $50, Huffy road bikes $30. I walked out in disgust. Went back yesterday to see if they came to their senses. All bikes $3. Same selection. I guess everyone else was thinking the same as I at those original prices. I picked up the Schwinn Collegiate and called it a day. |
| I very rarely go there anymore. Of the approx. 12 or so stores that I visit - I never see a bike. I would say at least 95.5% of the time - there is not bike at all. Of the ones I recall: A Schwinn World for $35. A Huffy for $30. The last real good luck I had at that store was a 78 Raleigh Grand Prix - it shined up and made a very pretty bike. It was amazingly $10.|
I've had better luck at other thrift stores, privately owned thrift stores, etc. Of course, even there - most of the time there is no sense of the prices.
| All thrift shops are a crap-shoot where you trade time (and gas) for a good deal. Obviously the good bikes go first so if you're not there at the time, forget it...at least that's the way it is here in CA where everyone is a bike collector and real estate agent. Couple of months ago the local Salivation Army wheeled out a custom-made sport tourer from the 80's. I took a look and no price tag...dang! Asked and they said the pricer was at lunch and I could come back. That bike didn't leave my death-grip for almost an hour...$45 and nobody else had a chance! |
| So far as Sport Tourer......I did spot one today....at Schwinn Sports Tourer.....early 70's - just like the one I already have. It was at an old bike shop - a shop that has mostly used bikes. The Sports Tourer was placed outside along with some other bikes. It literally was like it has been out in a field for years and years. It literally had weeds growing up both wheels. I believe the bike was frozen - every moveable part stuck. The green paint was faded. The alloy rims were still there - but the spokes were totally rusted. The only thing salveagable was the frame itself. Maybe if it was cleaned and waxed - it might not be too bad - but it was pretty faded. I thought about maybe offering $20 or $30 for it......but as I recalled - that was the same shop that tried to sell me a mid 80's Schwinn Traveler, minus handlebars and stem - for $200. So, I didn't bother.|
| I think you made the right decision to pass it up Gralyn. Although the Sport Tourers are nice bikes in many ways (I have a couple), they shouldn't command a high price, unless perhaps mint, and therefore the work this one needed would not be cost-effective for most folk. Of course if you needed a donor bike for a nice but stripped frame...that's something else.|
| I have stopped making specific trips for bikes. A bike like that one probably has a slurry of rusty water inside the BB. Water gets into the frame from the open seat-post, headset and BB spindle. I used to fix up free junk, just for the challenge of getting it to run again, but I would not pay for one. |
| i luv this bike but the old lady wants it gone, if its worth something i'll tell her to stick it, well i'll probably tell er that anyway. not sure what year it is but its pretty old still in okay shape. any ideas about the worth?|
| Someone might be able to help you if you describe the bike in some detail; brand and type of components, etc. I suppose the John Deere brand might be of some interest to tractor collectors, but would interest an old bike fancier mostly for its intrinsic value.|
| I stumbled on a bike that I got sometime back. It is a "Clubman". Were these Austria builds? I know there was an English "clubman", but this one is not that ancient; I'd say about mid-bikeboom era. I was pushing some "sprites" out of the way, when I spotted this one leaning against the back wall. Last-in-First-Out applies here, so it must have been a couple years back. I don't think it is anything special.|
| I vaguely recall Clubmans coming out around the early to mid-60's and they were made by Puch...although I may be confusing them with the Burgermeister. Nice bikes compared to Varsinentals but nothing real special. |
| Steyr Clubman = bottom of Steyr-Daimler-Puch line in the US, early 1970s. |
Puch Bergmeister = much fancier-looking next step up.
The Clubman is comparable to the Peugeot AO-8, but has a few irritating features, such as full length gear cable housings.
Fortunately, Steyr-Daimler-Puch bikes, at least the US export versions, tend to have ISO/English bottom bracket threading, a big advantage over Peugeots of the same era.
| Thanks, John E. |
The headbadge (I finally got the bike out of the shed) is a metal plate with "STEYR" in raised lettering inside a triangle. The redish-gold paint is thick enamel with white detailing all over the partial chrome forks and frame tubes. Rather massive bike with heavy cutout lugs. Simplex derailers (the rear is the metal reinforced type) and alloy bars with the ever present "AvA" stem with the outer fastener bolt (leading edge of stem). Unsafe to ride. The wheels are steel with giant metal wingnuts which adds considerable pizazz to the already flambouant paint. A large foil decal on set-tube has olympic rings and lettering; "precison steel" below a wild looking griffon. This bike definitely stands out visually, but the ride is like a Raleigh "sports", and probably equally as rugged. Stem shifters are metal Simplex, which would place it mid to late 70's. Brakes are Diacomp center-pulls and cottered Nervar cranks must be about the last of the species, as most were switcing to Japanese. I am thankful for the ISO/British BB threads, as I can easily refit with a Japanese cotterless Sugino or SR set.
| Hey JONathan, you'll be way ahead if you move the shifters to the downtube or replace them with barcons. Lose the full-length cable housing, unless Steyr stopped putting those on Clubmans (Clubmen?) by your model year. A good vintage set of wheels with QR and alloy rims, KoolStop brake pads, and a nice Japanese or French cotterless crankset will round out the upgrade. (Oh yeah --- don't forget to replace that handlebar stem.)|
| Yes, I could not agree more with the suggestions. The bike has redeeming qualities in my observations of its appearance. Quite unusual and it has definite character. The finish is still super-fine, with no major scrapes. Decals are sound and fresh looking. It is a perfect candidate for a remake with the swaps you recommended. Just my mere coincidence (must be Austria week) I got a Steyr model 3-sp. (1964) black with white paint trim with Steyr "3-gang" hub. I did not know they made their own hubs as well as frames.|
The shifter has; "speed switch" stenciled across the face of the shifter. Never seen one like this. The fenders are in great shape. It looks similar to the Sears "free spirit" that is about '66 or '67 that was my dad's bike.
Note: the "clubman seat is a very nice quality leather unit with "Cuoreur"...or something like that stamped on the sides.
| Looking for a 21.5 to 22.5 inch frame for 1977 to 1980 Raleigh Competition GS. I presently have a 24.5 frame which is a little big.|
| I thought it would be interesting to get some ideas on how to buy a bike from someone who thinks that they have the holy grail of olympic racing on two flats in the yard.|
I just got a mid eightys raliegh record for fifteen dollars chewed down from forty. how I did it was to show him the two records in the back of my van, pointing out what a unbent derailer, nice seats, clean chain, brake pads, tires, and bar tape look like, and how much I paid for those bikes. Also to his "thats and england bike there" comment I pointed out the made in tiawan sticker. Im glad that he took the fifteen instead of beating the crap out of me.
any tips? I know that kurt has some. by the way kurt, as soon as I figure out how to get from a tiff file to a jpg I can get those pics off.
now im off to see if those wheels will true up. jason
| My technique is to appear knowledgeable, but not too knowledgeable. I like to come off as a mechanical tinkerer who is just looking for an old bike to fix up and ride. If they think you're a collector, they think that you're trying to pull a fast one on them.|
Also, stress that you need a bike to ride. Come up with a story about needing to get in shape, or commute to work, or that your girlfriend needs a bike etc. Make sure they understand you need it as a rider, and that you are not just going to flip it on the bay.
Above all, be prepared to walk away. Come back later. If it was meant to be it will happen.
| I have sold a few of mine in Garage Sales. At the time, I didn't care so long as I just got my money back out of them....and I knew that I had to have them priced low to even consider selling them in a garage sale. |
So far as buying: heck, it's been so long since I saw a bike at a garage sale.....and I've only seen just a very few over the past 5 years. One was some kind Schwinn.....at the time - I didn't know all that much about them - but now thinking back - for all I know, it could have been an 80's Super Sport. I got them to come down to $25, from $50.....but I just wouldn't do it at the time. And then there was a Jeunet Mixte - rusted good - that I bought for $5 (which was the asking price)....and I only bought it for the bolt-on down tube shifters - which were good.
| I usually give what they ask, if I decide it's one I want. Usually there are one or two components that alone would be worth what they were asking. Garage sale pricing tends to be real low down cheap "get it outa here", but occasionally, there is someone who has a bloated opinion of what they think it is worth. I run (not walk) out of the place, as these are people to avoid. Something valid in the argument for destiny. I get my best finds when not even looking. Going back later is a good thing, too. The price will most likely be not worth the time to put it back in the garage. This is for the ones you don't have a hankering to get the first sweep. It is, to me, insulting to chisel a guy down when I know it is already a good deal. I have not seen much lately, except I picked up a showroom condition, all-original down to the tires, Miyata "grand tour" (612) for $60 a couple months ago. I paid up without a whimper his asking price. He knew it was a good deal. As a tip, I say something positive about the bike, then walk over to something else. As I leave they will often offer a closer of a price, knowing someone appreciates the bike. |
| I bought the Schwinn KOM-10 mountain bike and the Peugeot PKN-10 by appointment through advertied listings in published neighborhood circulars (ours is called the "Pennysaver"). This makes it a bit tougher to act completely casual and nonchalant, since you are making a (short) pilgrimage to examine the merchandise. I paid the full askisng price (a bit high, but after enjoying it for more than a decade, who cares?) for the Schwinn, but I got a significant reduction on the Peugeot by pointing out the rust spots and that only the gear levers, and not the derailleurs, were Campagnolo. I also pointed out the damaged Reynolds sticker and the fact that the first owner had chiseled off the Simplex shift lever bosses to install the clamp-on Campagnolo levers. |
I have bought numerous lower-end road, mountain, and juvenile bikes at garage sales, and have donated or scrapped most of them. My one big score was the 1959 Capo, which bore a dull plain red repaint job and a $25 asking price. I offered $20, which was quickly accepted, saying "That's an OLD Austrian bike," instead of, "I had one of those until the frame broke because of crash damage, and now I feel nostalgic enough to want to replace it."
| The owner would be proud to see it now; as you are of riding it. Some find, John E. My Miyata is the "six ten" model, not "612"; I got confused with another (FUJI) that I am fixing up. The Miyata is worth the price to me, as there was nothing to do except preventative maintenance. and I need a back-up tourer to take along with the Trek "cirrus". Getting off base, here, sorry.|
Well, I am going to try the GS circuit this weekend with a somewhat disinterested attitude as I want that vintage road racer to appear before me...for $25! It will be sad to see the glory days of VLW's gracing driveways with masking tape price-tags of $10-$20 end. Truth be known, as I see it, most people have little to miniscule knowledge of how great these bikes are when fixed up with lightweight running gear on on the road. That's why the pricing was so low.
| I tend to be up front about who I am and what I am doing, when it comes to buying vintage bikes at yard sales(or anywhere else, for tht matter). I always try to get a better deal and the price usually moves. I tell people straight out that I am a collector, that the bicycle in question might be worth more on the international market but its value is considerabl less at the local level. If a person assigns a ridiculolus value, I simply thank them for their time, wish them luck with their sale and walk away. You see this all the time on Ebay. Set too high of a price and no bids. And now for a GREAT yard sale tip...|
Even if you don't see a vintage bicycle for sale at a yard sale, always ask the seller(s) if they have an old ten speed that they would be interested in parting with. Often times these old bikes are left in the shed because many people feel that they have no value. I have purchased many vintage ten speeds with this technique. Also, do not be shy and use your inside voice when asking. Ofen times another yard sale customer will hear your request, interrupt and inform you that they have an old bike. Get their number, if possible, or give them you number(use a big piece og paper) and wait. Again, this has worked well fo me.
All that said, I do believe in honesty and frown on the notion of making up a story to buy a bike. We already have enough dishonest people contaminating the business world and buying at a yard sale is just a grass roots form of business. In my humble opinion...