Friday, August 5, 2016

Post 100 - how did that happen? and an analysis of a missed opportunity

This is my 100th post since starting this blog at the end of 2012, how did that happen? In honor of this milestone I have posted a shot above of the Shimano Arabesque shifters that came on the Miyata 912 I found for $25 at a garage sale.  The coolest component on any bike I have worked on. Its been fun and I hope I have another 100 posts in me.  Its kind of odd many of the blogs that inspired me have gone dark or at least dormant; Ecovelo, Hugh's bike blog, , Old 10 speed gallery , My Ten Speeds  and some have scaled back Trailer Park Cyclist but I am still plugging away -not smart enough to know when to move on lol.

Montreal express

I also thought I would take you through an opportunity that got away from me.  As you know I have been a bit obsessive about Craigslist lately and one morning as I am checking for new listings -a Peugeot for $15.00 pops up.  Now the 2 pictures were pretty crappy and neither took in the whole bike but I was intrigued by a couple of things:

  • $15 a good place to start, old Mt bikes aren't as popular (yet) as road bikes but unless its total trash I could make a profit starting there
  • Although the photos were crappy I could see what appeared to be a "garage queen" -barely ridden, paint and graphics looked good an ideal rebuild candidate
  • I have been interested in finding a lugged steel MT bike to work on and I think they would make an excellent bullet proof commuter.
  • Based on the catalog description on the internets the Montreal express although near the bottom of the line still had some solid components so it would probably be worth $15 just for the Sugino cranks, Shimano thumb-shifters etc.
So I dropped them an email that morning, no response, I texted, no response.  I wasn't too surprised based on the price my assumption was it went fast but a week later the ad is still there on CL! Again I assume that they are just to lazy to take it down but I email anyway, nada.
$155 on CL
Then I see this ad today on CL, and while I can't say for sure its the same bike based on the fact its in the same neighborhood as the first sale and its the same model and color I am 97.2% sure its the same bike.  The new CL ad has the following description:
  • Peugeot Montreal Express
  • Would make a great commuter or city bike (Yeah!)
  • Nice easy rolling street tires (New tires - nice job)
  • 18 speed gearing (3x6) with new cables and thumb shifters (replacing not just wiping down -nice)
  • Big comfortable seat and a rear rack (the original had a rack)

So they did exactly what I would have done and if they sell it at this price, not unreasonable, that is an easy $50-75 profit after the new parts (not the labor of course) and a clean up. 

I suspect that the seller replaced the original thumb-shifters with the inexpensive SunRace ones pictured, I have used them and they work great, so they could keep or sell the nicer 80's thumb-shifters that came with the bike, and comfort saddles are a dime a dozen.  The new tires are a nice and probably necessary touch, I might have gone with some nicer cruiser pedals rather than the resin ones but that's just nit-picking.

I am guessing the seller got the bike because A) they were checking, B) were in the same neighborhood and C) unlike me could probably go right away rather than after work.  A & B are why I got the Nishiki in the previous post.  It would have been a sweet get but that's the way it goes, chapeau to my fellow old bike refurbisher.

are you mocking me?

Until next time...Ride.Smile.Repeat


  1. Congratulations on reaching the century post. Keep 'em coming. =)

    1. Thanks John, I'll do my best to keep them coming.

  2. A Century! Good for you! You've been so busy lately that you got in a few posts that I missed. I'm all caught up now.

    That Nishiki...uh, boy those sure were good bikes. And that one you just acquired should give you many, many hours of pleasant frustration. No, really. In fact, Nishiki was the first brand other than Schwinn (and Raleigh) that I was aware of during the boom. One day I paid an unexpected visit to my girlfriend and there was this guy in her yard on a deep blue ten speed.

    It was, in fact, 1974. "Nice bicycle," I said.

    "It's a Nishiki", he said. I figured he was there to see my girl's big sister. He was an older guy. Twenty-five, maybe.

    "Nice," I said. I reached to knock on the door but it swung open before I made contact. There was my girlfriend. She was maneuvering a shiny new ten speed out the door. Her eyes got big.

    "You're supposed to be in class," she said. I turned and looked at the guy. He seemed pretty interested in a bird that was flying by. I looked at Debbie. I looked at her bike. Nishiki. A brand new Nishiki. I looked out at my car at the curb. Camaro. '68 Camaro.

    I was leaving for the Air Force in a couple weeks. So a double homicide might not matter much. But even then, I was a sucker for ten speeds. Nishiki, I thought, I need a Nishiki. I got in my car and drove off.

    Now I need a double rum and I'm out.

    Bicycle Times just put out an Old Mountain Bike issue, as I am sure you know. Old MTB's are awesome, and there is a HUGE pile of aftermarket parts available. I really think there might be a larger market for rehabbed 26ers than drop bar bikes.

    Sorry. I tend to ramble. I quit my job a couple (OK, three) weeks ago and slept the first week, drank the second week and now I'm trying to ride a little. Your prolific output recently has me thinking that perhaps you, also, are currently a gentleman of leisure?


    1. Thanks Tim Joe, great Nishiki story btw, and I agree that there might be something to rehabbing old mt bikes- saw an old Bianchi mtb on CL today but held off. I am actually still working for the man but just one man so it seems like I have more time. I hope you ride, and blog, a bunch during your Hiatus from work velo brother!