28 Jan 2011

Secondhand road bikes, projects, parts

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Secondhand road bikes are hard things to come by, at least at sensible prices. We get emails from people frustrated at ebay and other markets as prohibitively expensive, people who. want parts, frames, wheels. Sometimes customers don’t want the finished article but want to build a bicycle themselves.

Have we got anything going cheap, even a part-built racing bike?  The short answer is yes, but you have to be hands-on and make an appointment to rummage in the garage. We are market traders after all, and want to deal with people, and want to keep our stock moving around.

It’s a sad thing to have to admit, but at this stage some of our bikes never really make it past the purchase stage. These are the bikes which lie at the back of the lock up looking a bit sorry for themselves, with us putting off a decision as to what to do with them. It doesn’t make economic sense for us to carry out a complete restoration, and we’re often slow to admit this.

There has been a large-framed Chesini road bike around for months. The wheels (not the originals) were rotten, so i threw them away. The early Shimano STIs are broken, and at this stage we don’t have the resources to restore it faithfully (or perhaps turn it into a single speed).As such it got stripped and the parts saved and so the frame is for sale. But if someone had wanted to take it one, it would have been cheap. £15o?  For Cinelli bars and stem, Shimano 600 parts and all those fixtures and fittings which make the building of a bike from scratch so expensive… That’s not a bad deal.

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Also we are not really fetishists. We have had some bikes which would make the lfgss crowd fall off their fixies, so much kudos a would Freddy Maertens or a Gios cyclocross bike bring. And we have sold these bikes reasonably to people we like. Not that a business needs to function on the principle There has been a beautifully built Schils frame, very lightweight and artfully put together. This has dropped in price to the point where I’ll sell it for £100. A friend of ours who works in Mosquito saw the frame, pointed out the cast lugs and engravings on various parts of the bike and just said, You’re too cheap. And maybe we are. Are people put off from buying this frame because they are used to the economies of ebay and Brick Lane Bikes?

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