MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

 

 

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MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

EBAY PURCHASE - INTRO

EBUY:  FRAME QUALITY

EBUY:  FRAME DAMAGE

EBUY:  FRAME RUST

EBUY:  FRAME PAINT & ART

EBUY:  LEGAL CONCERNS

EBUY:  FRAME TUBING TYPE

EBUY:  FRAME DROP-OUTS

EBUY:  MADE BY & WHERE

EBUY:  BIKE HISTORY

EBUY: PARTS HISTORY

EBUY:  CREDIBTILITY

EBUY:  SHIPPING CONCERNS

EBAY BUY - CONCLUSIONS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A COMPONENT'S UNWRITTEN HISTORY

QUESTION:  "Are the components on the bicycle original?"

There are many things to consider when determining the value of the component grouppo.  Needless to say, who made it is a very important consideration, with virtually all Campy components leading the list.  Shimano, Suntour, Dia-Compe, Simplex, Gipiemme, Modolo, Mavic and assorted others all offered worthy grouppos.  Most manufacturers also offered a wide range of entry lever items that do not qualify for the quality consideration.  How does one tell the difference?

Often times I cannot tell the difference between a true quality component when compared to some entry level offerings.  Though Campagnolo transmissions are reputed to be the best, I have found no fault with some Simplex and Suntour transmissions.  Both of these lesser sought after brands offered wonderfully precise and smooth shifts.  Are Campy brakes the best? Not in my humble opinion.  The best vintage brake set I have ever used was the first generation Shimano Dura-Ace set-up that came with my 1972 Motobecane Grand Record.  The point is, I cannot tell you what will feel and work best for you.  I will, however, commit to suggesting that a full early seventies Campagnolo Nouvo Record grouppo will sell for a great deal more than its Shimano Dura-Ace counterpart.  However, things are changing.  The Shimano 600 Arabesque series components are now selling for nearly as much and sometimes even more than their Campy counterparts.

When viewing a higher end bicycle, consider the entire component grouppo.  Is is a matched set?  Is the grouppo full Campagnolo Nouvo Record or a mixture of Nouvo Grand Sport, Nouvo Record and/or Super Record?  Matched grouppos are more valuable that mismatched ones.  This early eighties Gardin TNT sported a full and matched Campy grouppo - transmission, brakes, wheel hubs, crank/ring set, seat post - everything and the matched set proved to be a selling feature.

If the bicycle happens to have a fully matched grouppo that has been bicycle specific pantographed, so much the better.  The price of the bicycle specific pantographed grouppo will be worth considerably more than a non-pantographed set.  My early eighties Cambio Rino 2000 sported a fully matched and pantographed grouppo.  That fact alone adds considerable value to the bicycle, from both a monetary and aesthetics points of view.

When considering a component grouppo do your best to determine if the parts are period correct.  Were the components mounted on the bicycle available when the bicycle was first manufactured.  A Campagnolo "Super Record grouppo on a 1971 Carlton Professional would be out of place since there were no Campy SR components available at that time.  Similarly, if that same bicycle is shod with a set of 700c clincher style rims, these too will not be period correct.  The 700 clincher rims did not emerge until the mid-seventies.

It takes a while to develop an understanding of what is and what is not period correct.  The best way to determine this is to ask what components have been changed since the bicycle was purchased.  And even that can be a bit misleading.  Early seventies Campagnolo components will frequently be found mounted to mid seventies bicycles as is the case with both my 1975 CCM Tour du Canada and my 1976 Super Mondia Special.

Of course, many vintage road bicycles were sold as frame sets only and the new owner decided what component grouppo was in order.  With this in mind, it might well be impossible to determine exactly what was original issue, however, the period correct thing will still stand in almost all other instances, save the Campy one mentioned above.

There are a host of other questions that need to be answered, whether buying on-line or in person.  What tooth count are the rings?  How many rings - two or three?  What tooth count are the cogs?  How many cogs - five or six?  Is the shifting friction or indexed?  How long are the crank arms?  What is the crank ring bolt center diameter?  What is the bottom bracket size?  What is the head set size?  What is the seat post diameter?  Is the seat post indexed?  What kind of saddle is mounted?  What size are the wheel rims?  Are the rims alloy?  Do the rims have eyelets? This list of question can become incredibly extensive.

I am not suggesting that you create a long email, demanding answers to each and every one of the questions listed.  As often as not, many of these questions will be answered for you by a good picture or set of pictures.  And that brings up another very important point...

Most Ebay sellers are not professional photographers.  Though most people will do their best to supply a decent set of pictures for you to view, some simply cannot be bothered and this, quite frankly, stuns me.  It drives me crazy when I see an Ebay listing with the promise to include pictures later.  Why?  Doesn't the seller understand the notion of first impressions?  Or how about the person who wastes time and money by including a tiny, blurry and poorly lit snap shot?  Photographic documentation is a marvellous sales tool and I immediately pass on a listing that does not offer a good set of pictures (unless the bicycle in question is truly unusual).  But pictures can be horribly misleading!

If there are no pictures included in an Ebay listing ask the seller to provide some.  If he or she cannot provide good clear pictures, forget the deal.  Anyone who cannot be bothered to put in effort to sell might not put much effort into getting the item purchased to you in a safe and timely manner.  Expect a seller to make the effort to meet your needs at every stage of the transaction or go elsewhere.

Be forewarned about pictures, no matter how good they are.  A picture included in the listing but taken from a distance will improve the cosmetic appearance of a bicycle - A LOT!  Close up pictures will reduce the cosmetic appearance - A LOT!

By asking all of those questions or variation of them, you will end up with a pretty good idea of quality and condition without even seeing the bicycle in person.  The answers to your questions can be used to help settle disputes, if and/or when they arise.  Your questioning will also help you learn a thing or two about the parson selling the item.

NEXT- SELLER CREDIBILITY

 

 

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