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I want to hear some stories (true ones ;-) about nice gear you've discovered at a yard sale or in somebodies basement or even laying on the ground. Even an amazing deal at a swap meet or a trade where you came out on top. Or tell me about the one that got away.

lets hear it.
 

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Ti complete bike for $190

I'm pretty pleased about the deal I just finished. I came across a local guy selling a 1997 Lemond Buenos Aires in great shape for only $220. Sold the frame from it (too big for me) on eBay for $255 (more than it's worth, IMHO, but that's what the bidding went to). Then, I bought a titanium frame and carbon fork off these boards (thanks! I love it! you know who you are) for $225. Total cost for my new ride comes out to $190. The frame I believe is a Habanero, as it looks like their photos right down to the braze-ons. Parts are mostly 8-speed 105 -- not the latest, but solid. As soon as I kick this cold I'm headed out for the inaugural ride.
 

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A '97 VooDoo Wazoo I found in the Classifieds here...

...a guy back in NY state was advertising it for about $425; when I emailed him with some questions, he dropped the price to $395 and paid the shipping--without any prompting by me. I had to supply pedals, rear derailleur and brakes, but that all came out of my parts stash at no additional cost. I still find myself searching for some hideous flaw that would explain his eagerness to part with it at such a ridiculous price.

O.K., so it's not like stepping outside and finding a complete Record gruppo in a box on your doorstep, but I was (and am) pleased.
 

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A couple --

My stories --

I'm commuting on an old Campy Record hub that I found in a trash pile. There was a house in the neighborhood that was one of "those" houses -- home to a local eccentric who collected just mounds and mounds of stuff, mostly scrap metal. The house went up for sale (there was a small fire, and the fire department found military equipment and explosives in the house -- the owner was persuaded to move along...) and a mountain of crap appeared for the trash. Bike parts made up a good portion of the mountain. The guy's taste ran toward old Raleigh "English Racer" Three Speeds, but sticking out of the pile was a nice looking front wheel. I pulled it out, and noticed the "Campagnolo Record" logo. It even had the quick release. I spent the better part of an hour looking for its mate, but with no luck. It cleaned up nicely and, after being rebuilt, I run it as a spare.

I also seem to find a steady supply of red winkie LED taillights for commuting. I've found two perfectly good ones on the bike trail in the past two years.

The best story involves a friend of mine. He's a world class scrounger. Saturdays are spent riding from yard sale to yard sale, buying all kinds of stuff. His garage looks like Alladin's cave, that is if Alladin's treasure was old inexpensive bikes from the '60s and '70's. He has all kinds of stuff. One of his best yard sale deals was a wheelset built up with perfectly new 7 Speed Dura Ace that he bought at a yard sale. Total cost: $5. I offered him $7...
 

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Roadbikereview member
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Found Trek 360

Frith said:
I want to hear some stories (true ones ;-) about nice gear you've discovered at a yard sale or in somebodies basement or even laying on the ground. Even an amazing deal at a swap meet or a trade where you came out on top. Or tell me about the one that got away.

lets hear it.
I found a Trek 360 in my local park, it was leaning against a tree for 7 days unlock. On the 8th day I brought it home. The frame and fork are in good condition, paint all scratch
up. Going to strip the paint and get it repainted. Found out that the tubing is True Temper
RC1. Need to clean up the componets and replace out the worn one, I should have a pretty
good beater bike.
 

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My Raleigh Shopper (basically, a non-folding Twenty).

Found it on the curb a little over three years ago. A bit rusty here and there, and covered with silly stickers by some girl.

It's now a fixed-gear with priest bars and a big basket mounted behind the saddle, over the rear wheel.
 

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found a ruegger spezial with shimano DA and 600 arabesque components c.1981, lugged steel frame, chrome fork - $5 local recycling center. i had to (well sort of) replace the rims. that cost some but not too bad from ebay. getting the wheels rebuilt was the biggest cost. but saved some $ lacing one up myself. also spent some change on a couple of parts to get it all component consistant. total about $150.

found my vintage motobecane grand jubile for $5 from same recycling center, different day- missing most gear parts so made it a ss commuter. spent another $15 on vintage moto leather seat from ebay. on the road for less then $30. recently got fixed rear wheel built and using that.
 

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Ethical Nihilist
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My macalu

Frith said:
I want to hear some stories (true ones ;-) about nice gear you've discovered at a yard sale or in somebodies basement or even laying on the ground. Even an amazing deal at a swap meet or a trade where you came out on top. Or tell me about the one that got away.

lets hear it.
I'm cruising the used frames section of Ebay a couple of years ago and I see an Excel Sports aluminum Macalu frame with Time aluminum fork and headset. The opening bid is 90 bucks, no reserve. Last day--no bids. I bid 90 on a what-the-hell whim and take the auction. 17 bucks shipping and there it is in my utility room, nicely packed. A bit dinged up but very light with Easton taperwall tubing. I adjust the headset and build it up with a combination of stuff lieing around, off another bike, given by friends, etc. I figure it for a commuter/beater. Turns out lighter than my main bike. I've since put a couple hundred more into it but its now my number one all-around ride. Ebay is a crap shoot but it worked for me this time around.
 

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hi, I'm Larry
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Trek 400 for $35

at a garage sale in like new condition, I bought it from the original owner who never rode it. He wanted $50 but I got him down to $35 just because that's part of the game. A bought a like new Giant Prodogy Cross bike at a garage sale for $50. (tried to talk the guy down but he would not budge)

Those are my best bicycle bargins. I've bought many of old radios, old hifi and stereo gear, old electronics, old slot cars at garage sales for next to nothing. Cleaned them and/or repaired them and sold them on ebay for hundreds and even thoudsands of dollars. It much more than pays for my bike hobby and my old radio, tube amp collection.
 

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While in the process of playing "catch up" with a long lost friend on the subway I learned that he was currently employed at one of the local shops. He learned that I rode and presented me with an open invitation to stop by the shop to see if anything wetted my lips. Well sure enough that TCR1 frame sitting in the back wrapped up caught my eye. Seems they were going to try and send it back to Giant (not an easy task) due to one of the decals having been applied poorly and thus tearing (on the underside of the right chainstay) Feeling a bit gutsy I threw out an offer and low and behold I walked away with a brand new TCR1 frame for $750. Not bad. Add a 2004 DA 10 for $1000 (e-bay) and I think I made out like a well....bandit!
 

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Endorphin Junkie
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I found $40 on the ground at a rest stop....

on a metric century a bunch of years ago. Two nice crispy $20's. I told the organizers that if someone reported losing some money to contact me and gave then contact info, but I never heard from anyone.

There was a Veloswap in Hartford a few years ago. I picked up an old-school XTR (looks like Dura-Ace) front hub, NOS, for $10.

Kathy
 

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None of my stories involve ultra expensive road bikes found for really cheap prices. No I had an incredible resource. There was this dumpster in front of what was called "the Sibley Bike Depot" They took in bikes and re-built them and lent them to people. They threw out soooo much stuff. 105 pedals,awsome suntour stuff,origional cans of Schwinn Paint,wholes bikes,wheels, endless supplies of cool stuff. When I moved away, I lost it forevor. Not having a free resource for parts and bikes sucks.



Free stuff is great.
Trevo
 

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n00bsauce
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One that got away

Frith said:
I want to hear some stories (true ones ;-) about nice gear you've discovered at a yard sale or in somebodies basement or even laying on the ground. Even an amazing deal at a swap meet or a trade where you came out on top. Or tell me about the one that got away.

lets hear it.
A Bridgestone RB1 in rideable condition (needed new tires due to dry rot) for $175. My size, too. I figured it had been in the basement of the LBS for awhile and I would think about it! Went back the next week and it was gone. He who hesitates.........
 

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Roll Out Jeremy
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I picked up a set of Kreitler rollers for $80.00 from a guy that couldn't fit them in his moving van.Killer head wind and all.
 

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Cash and bike pumps. That's all I ever find. The cash is nice, but I have enough pumps already.
 

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Gran Jubilee was a great find.

Gran Jubilee was a NICE bike. I bought one for $95 about 1990, with full Campy and a Ideale leather saddle. Rode it for years until I crashed it and folded up the frame.
Best buy probably was a Trek Tioga touring bike (lugged Reynolds 531), scruffy and covered with dust, with a Brooks Pro saddle, Suntour barcon shifters and Shimano 600 components back when those were good. It was marked $20 at a garage sale, and I felt so guilty I told the guy the seat alone was worth more than that. He waved me off and took my money. The bike is still running as a singlespeed with fenders.
The one I wish I hadn't let get away was an old Dave Scott Centurion Ironman, hanging on the USED wall in a bike shop six or eight years ago. It was marked $100, and I went through the whole "I don't need another bike" dance while I ate lunch. When I went back to get it, it had sold for $75.
 

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Strained coccyx etc etc
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ultimate pro repair stand, $80

(this thing goes for $180 on sale, catalog/internet)

used once, for about an hour. pristine.

last thing i ever bought from that bike shop. got screwed on purchase of a new road bike there, plus bad service after, and figured their ultimate pro mistake was 100% instant karma.
 

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Strained coccyx etc etc
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disgusting!

glad i'm not the only one accustomed to strange looks as i dig in curbside trash piles. wifey won't let me drive on weekends anymore.
 

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"Trash Day" Rocks!

I LOVE Trash Day!

It's like a big, very cheap, neighborhood yard sale. Thanks to trash day, I've never had to buy a lawnmower (people get frustrated way too easily with those things...) and have picked up all kinds of cool bike parts. Most of the parts on my fixie were scrounged from the trash.
 

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Trek 330

A family friend was giving away a Trek 330 (Lugged TrueTemper, Exage components) since its intended rider (foster child) moved away. They had found it at a thrift store, so it's been a great deal twice now. They gave it to me, and now, a cleaning and lubing later (surprised the tires still hold air), it's a completely rideable bike if you're about a foot shorter than me. I ended up giving it to the kid downstairs, but he probably has no appreciation for the horror that is BioPace.
 
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