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pepper

Old Bicycles

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One of my hobbies is old bicycles. Actually bicycle, since I've only restored one. I know it's a stretch but I'm casting all lines. Does anyone here know of somewhere I might find vintage bikes? I'm talking rusty pre-70's crap. Old bikes, unless it's something rare, are not worth the money to bring back, same as almost all old cars.  Last summer at the beach I noticed a rusty old Huffy 3 speed in a back yard and after a few days I knocked on the door and asked about it. The guy said take it, and theres a new hobby. My wife will tell you, thats a real threat.

I spent weeks restoring it, keeping the patina of the old paint, but reworking every mechanical part to better than new. The reality is that with maybe 20 hours and $100 +, this bike is worth about $75. Unless you really want a late 60's Huffy, then I have probably the best example...and really, is there a Target or Walmart bike for $100 dollars that will be usable in 50 years?

I know Baynesville Bikes in Towson, but their bikes, while priced correctly, are too clean. 

I'm looking for the rusty bikes for sale on the side of the road or anywhere.  

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On 9/8/2017 at 11:42 AM, Hoot said:

My son rebuilt this Dyno Nitro but he's having a hard time selling it for the money he put into it.  He'll think twice before rebuilding any other bikes. 

https://baltimore.craigslist.org/bik/d/1996-dyno-nitro-24-bmx/6265966243.html

He should think twice, if the goal is simply profit. Unless your bike dates to the 40's or earlier, or is something really special and in great condition, you will always lose money.

Your son's bike is a really hard sell. It's not old enough to be vintage, and it looks like a typical BMX bike to the Ebay shopper. That bike's value is only recognized by a select few potential buyers. There are likely much better places than Craigslist to sell a specific bike, sites more focused on high end BMX bikes.

My 63 Huffy is very obviously an old school classic beach bike, and after restoration I'd be surprised to see a better example. I got the bike for free, and put in a little over $100. For that I got three or four weekends and many weeknights on the deck, bringing an old bike back to life. This summer, I'm taking it to the beach, and back to the local guy who gave it to me, just to show him how it turned out. 

 

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It's obvious but the value of collectibles is what someone is willing to pay .....

Muscle cars from the 60s are worth more to baby boomers than older cars from the 30s and 40s......

It's not the age or even rarity, it the dreams and memories that drive the demand.....

I collected coins years ago ....

Pennies were more valuable than nickels or dimes because a lot more people had penny books than saved nickels ......

Supply AND demand ......

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On 9/16/2017 at 5:41 AM, Eastside Terp said:

It's obvious but the value of collectibles is what someone is willing to pay .....

Muscle cars from the 60s are worth more to baby boomers than older cars from the 30s and 40s......

It's not the age or even rarity, it the dreams and memories that drive the demand.....

I collected coins years ago ....

Pennies were more valuable than nickels or dimes because a lot more people had penny books than saved nickels ......

Supply AND demand ......

Thats a valid point, but I do think that age and rarity count for something, especially if you want to make a profit. Theres no shortage of people dealing in high end cars that don't care about the car as much as the investment. 

I'm not an investor, I just like old stuff, and I like cleaning up old stuff. I'm new to old bikes, with just two, the 63' Huffy which when new was considered a low end 3 speed, what we'd think of as a cheap Walmart or Target bike, except that it's built like a tank and works perfectly, and all components made in the USA. With two little cans of 3 in 1 oil, the 63' could easily go another 54 years with the right person(s), and my early 80's 21 speed mountain bike, which is not what I consider vintage, but I find myself looking at it as a project, just for fun.  

After the Huffy sees the boardwalk in it's natural patina and I try to thank the local that gave it to me, I'm going to completely disassemble it and give it a high gloss finish.  The old bike is very cool, but for actual riding at home or during beach week, I default to my modern bike, (cost equal to six of the Huffys' in 1963) just because it's so much lighter and easier. The tech on the new bike is great, but the insane amount of plastic in nearly every component tells me that it will not last 50+ years. 

All the sudden, I'm scanning the roads for bikes at yard sales or flea markets. Now that I'm interested, where are all the old bikes at the ends of the driveways? 

I can go on and on, sorry.

 

 

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I got another last week. A 1960 Triumph. Made in England (same car and motorcycle company) and every bit is original. I paid $125 for it, And I'm halfway through the restoration. No additional money on this bike, just the hours spent, which is what I'm really paying for. 

The quality of these old bikes is pretty impressive compared to what 125 will get you at Target or Walmart. It's true, they don't make them like they once did. 

I'm at 4 bikes now, and my wife is wondering where this is going.

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On 9/27/2017 at 7:39 PM, pepper said:

I got another last week. A 1960 Triumph. Made in England (same car and motorcycle company) and every bit is original. I paid $125 for it, And I'm halfway through the restoration. No additional money on this bike, just the hours spent, which is what I'm really paying for. 

The quality of these old bikes is pretty impressive compared to what 125 will get you at Target or Walmart. It's true, they don't make them like they once did. 

I'm at 4 bikes now, and my wife is wondering where this is going.

I'm with you on old bikes. Way back in the day a bike was my primary transportation and I lusted for a high-end, hand built, triple butted, lugged beauty but could only afford low end schwinns and raleighs. Times have changed and I did purchase a modern touring bike, but one very retro in material (steel) and design (relaxed angles, etc).

Since it's intended for touring I wanted to be able to fix anything on the bike and honed my skills working on a couple of older, high end road/touring bikes to the point that I can pretty much take one apart and reassemble it with only a couple of parts left over.

When I compare the components from an old bike with those found on a new bike the contemporary stuff wins hands down. Not only are the materials stronger but lighter and more durable as well. 

The old bikes had narrow, steel wheels, tinny shift levers in weird places, weak and small brakes, jokes for derailleurs....I could go on. The newer bike is far more robust.

Like you I now have several bikes too many-got skills tho.

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On 10/3/2017 at 0:34 AM, Dr Johnny Fever said:

I'm with you on old bikes. Way back in the day a bike was my primary transportation and I lusted for a high-end, hand built, triple butted, lugged beauty but could only afford low end schwinns and raleighs. Times have changed and I did purchase a modern touring bike, but one very retro in material (steel) and design (relaxed angles, etc).

Since it's intended for touring I wanted to be able to fix anything on the bike and honed my skills working on a couple of older, high end road/touring bikes to the point that I can pretty much take one apart and reassemble it with only a couple of parts left over.

When I compare the components from an old bike with those found on a new bike the contemporary stuff wins hands down. Not only are the materials stronger but lighter and more durable as well. 

The old bikes had narrow, steel wheels, tinny shift levers in weird places, weak and small brakes, jokes for derailleurs....I could go on. The newer bike is far more robust.

Like you I now have several bikes too many-got skills tho.

I did it again. Passing a yard sale on Rt 7 I noticed a rusty adult trike. A late 60's Worksman Cycles, a brand I never heard of. (that's a good flag right there, plus made in the US) Turns out Worksman is the oldest bike maker in the US, since 1888, and still making bikes today in NY. Mine is incredibly dirty and corroded, I had to cut off both chains with a wheel, but the paint is just right.

I agree, yet disagree on the quality of the current bikes Vs the old. I also use a new bike, a hybrid Diamondback that does everything flawlessly. Aluminum frame and rims make it very lightweight. Great if you're ok with spending $500 +. But no way it's still usable in 50 or 60 years. The plastic won't hold up, and whatever metal components used will fail.

I've not come across weak or small brakes, And the calipers on the old bikes I have are much heavier than on the new bikes. Granted, I'm very selective with the old bikes I buy. Just the same, a low end bike today is a piece of garbage compared to it's counterpart in 1973.

Just my thoughts, no disrespect. 

This makes for 6 bikes in the basement shop, and this interest just started last summer. My wife is cool, but at some point I have to sell something.

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