Thursday, January 17, 2013

Restored bike vs. Beater bike

Bikes you Keep, Bikes you sell.

Two Peugeot UO8 Bicycles, one restored, the other fixed up


When finding an old bicycle worthy of restoration, it's easy to go over one's head trying to fix every detail on the bike. I have a simple rule of thumb that will make the decision process a lot easier. Is this bike for oneself, or is this bike to sell? If this bike is not for sale, or you do not have the intention to sell it in the future, and you have money to spare, then by all means customize it to your very tastes. If this bike is for resale, as a lot of vintage bicycle enthusiasts often end up doing as a result of a garage full of bikes and one unhappy spouse, then fix what is necessary to sell the bike. You'll be surprised at how well most bicycles clean up. The scratches and blemishes will sometimes add character to the bike. The key to any item for sale is to sell it at more than what you bought it for plus your investment to fix it up. I'm fortunate to have had amassed a collection of period correct parts for vintage bicycles over the period of time I have been tinkering with them. Having a stockpile of parts and accessories makes this process a lot more affordable. Take for example, the white Peugeot at the top of the page. I was able to get it to riding condition with several parts I already had in my garage, including wheels, tires, cables, derailleurs, and even a saddle. On the other hand, take the green Peugeot featured as well. I bought this bicycle with the intent of making it like new with period correct parts. I had the frame repainted and bought decals for the frame. I bought new shifters from eBay as well as a leather saddle and saddlebag. After it was all said and done, I spent about $250 restoring the green Peugeot. I'll probably take it on a tweed ride or start my own randonneur club locally, who knows! Anyway, for me it was an investment well spent.

The lesson to be learned here is to do what best suits you according to your needs as a cyclist or as a collector and seller. If I commuted by bicycle more, I would probably keep the white Peugeot because I could use it as a beater bike for riding around muddy roads and won't take a big hit if it gets stolen. I also realize there is a market for beater bikes in college campuses and more urban areas. When a bicycle goes for sale, these are the markets that I try to target. There is no right or wrong way to restore a bicycle, there is only the perceived value that it may have in the buyer's or one's own eyes.

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