Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Why Can't I Hold All These Bikes?!

I don't recall writing about this one before, but I've been trying to sell a '74 Ross Europa single speed.

My friend who bought the red Univega from me had actually referred me to her friends.  Last year, I helped her get a red '87 Sheffield Te3 (department store 3-speed) with a Sturmey-Archer AW hub.  All of her friends loved it and asked where she got it, so she told the truth and they all came asking when I had nothing to sell yet.  Due to another friend's mishap, the Sheffield ended up disappearing over the summer so she bought the Univega from me afterwards.  Anyway, a friend of that friend, who I do happen to know personally, was going to buy this Ross from me after I replaced the dry-rotted tires.  That deal fell through, but another friend of those two, the one who lost the Sheffield, who I'm also friends with personally (it's a small world, isn't it) jumped at the deal.

Tonight, my roommate and I went to deliver the yellow bike to Central Campus and we used the chance to bring two other bikes that I'd been meaning to pick up back to North Campus.

A couple posts ago with the Varsity, I mentioned how I didn't have much of an interest in classics Schwinns for some unknown reason.  Why they are suddenly coming in, I have no idea.  The blue one we brought back today is a 1980 Schwinn Collegiate 3-speed, while the pink one is a 1974 Collegiate 5-speed.

The blue 3-speed has the venerable Sturmey-Archer AW hub, while the 5-speed is derailleur-geared and improperly done up to look like a road bike.  It's not by a long stretch, but I suppose it looks good.

The AW hub on the 3-speed works like new, of course.  The rear tire is shredded beyond belief, probably a result of the other person riding on a flat.  Both valve stems are bent at obscene angles.  The kickstand is also bent inward just enough that it doesn't do its job.  Nice ...

The detail on the chain guard is cool.  I think these Schwinn chain guards are made out of thicker metal than my Raleigh's chain guard.  Either that or the right angle bends just make them stiffer.  I'm not sure what the yellow sticker means.  It says it was serviced by one of the bike shops I know downtown, which happens to have a lot of these old Schwinns, but it also says it was registered there.  Was it a rental from years ago that somebody never returned? The '68 Raleigh Superbe I had last summer also had this sticker.

The pink 5-speed shifts fine, but the derailleur is tired so it will need to be replaced.  I find it interesting that the derailleur arm has a guard over it that doesn't move.  I've never seen this before.  Also, the tires have an interesting pattern and don't look like they're very worn at all.  It's a pity they'll have to be replaced because they're so dry rotted.

Oh, would you look at that! This bike has a sticker from the very same bike shop I mentioned above, except it doesn't say it's registered there.  I'm not sure who put drop bars on this bike and I'm not sure why.  The bike's frame is small and the seat and stem were very low, so it must have been for a small person.  I don't think the drop bars made this bike easier to ride; the upright position would have been much nicer.  Could it have been purely for the sake of appearance? I'm wondering if I should make it proper before it goes to a new owner or if I should just leave it like this, because it does function after all.  I guess it depends on what the customer wants.

The cost of getting these bikes roadworthy - new tires and cables - will likely be more than they're actually worth, but considering how durable and well-made these things are, whoever buys them off me will definitely get more out of them than the average $150 department store bike.  

On a related note, is there anyone out there interested in buying a dependable daily commuter/beater Schwinn Collegiate for $65?