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As a seasoned Craigslister I’ve seen this inflation first hand. Prices have just gone through the roof. I can’t believe the number of “vintage Japanese steel” touring bikes that people for $300+. I’m old enough to remember seeing those things first hand in the stores. Many were $250 or less new.
Maybe this means I should finally sell some of my old crap?
you can find an old 3 speed for $100, but i doubt you could find a safe one that wouldn’t require another 200-300 worth of work to make safe. Rust, tire rot, and stretched cables makes for a dangerous ride to work.
All of these numbers are way too low–especially if you need a mechanic to help with the fixes
I think you are right on, Robin. Most of these will need tuneups and the care of a good wrench. Considering that many of them (vintage steel or no) weren’t that great to begin with (mild, gauge, seamed, non-butted tubing was pretty common), it probably doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to pay the CL averages and _then_ dump in another $2-300 in parts and labor.
So are we telling lies? Well, the $100, working bike is harder to find. And instead of being ready to roll, the deal probably also involves pulling from a friends parts stash and bribing them into some wrenching w/ pizza and beer.
Sure deals are out there, but it takes some time (and knowing whatyou are looking for. One thing is certain: A bargain “transport” bike doesn’t start w/a $300 “vintage CL find. If that’s the only entry point, then new riders are probably better off finding a solid new bike with warranty.
I’ve noticed that the prices of bikes from the 70s on Boston’s Craigslist have gone up in the course of this year. There was a time you could buy a vintage French roadbike for next to nothing, but not anymore.
I’m guessing not? I live in Harrisburg PA and I rarely see a good bike in the $100 price range. So I broke down and bought a $400 folding bike online with my tax refund. Still haven’t really used it because the gears are wacky and I cringe at the idea of taking it to my local bike shop and paying $50.00 to have the gears tuned. I did get a beat up Schwinn bike at Salvation Army for $30, it needs new tires, wheels, etc.
You start getting non-crap around $200 here in Honolulu. You really wanna spend $300 tho, unless you’re knowledgeable.
It really is worth $50 to have a bike nicely tuned.
I live near Sacramento and regularly surf Sacto CL. Some of the prices I’ve seen for crappy bikes just blows me away. $150 for a beat up Varsity? Anything old and steel is termed “vintage” and priced almost as much as it cost 20 or 30 years ago. Newbies beware.
Try garage sales – more leg work for you, but you are more likely to find the bargain that someone else just wants to get rid of.