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What to do with $700?(9 posts)

What to do with $700?The Don
Jun 25, 2003 8:45 AM
If you had a budget of about $700, and you wanted an Italian steel road bike as a second bike, what would you buy/build?

Context: I mostly ride my mountain bike, but thought an older Italian steed would be fun. Looks are less important than structural integrity. Is $700 a reasonable budget?
I would think so ...Humma Hah
Jun 25, 2003 9:17 AM
I can't say for Italian bikes ... you might get an idea by lurking on e-bay for a while.

My Paramount: 70s-vintage frame $450 on e-bay, and it was only that high because it's collectable. Front wheel $25, and it's got a Campagnolo hub. Rear wheel, Suntour fixed-gear flip-flop hub, $50 (including a spare front wheel with a Mavic rim). Campy Pista cranks: $35. Scrounged some brakes for $10 bur really need some Campy brakes, maybe $50 to $100. A vintage Cinelli handlebar and stem should be around $50 or even a little less. Maybe put on a new Brooks B17 saddle (design unchanged for about 100 years) and budget $100 for saddle and post.

I would think you could probably put together a very nice old Italian classic with all vintage Campagnolo running gear and Cinelli bars for $700, with enough left over to go shopping for a vintage jersey and keep it in chains and tires for the rest of its life. And I'd expect it would be every bit as satisfying to own and ride as a brand new bike.
Another vote for yesWalter
Jun 26, 2003 6:24 AM
eBay is full of older bikes, some of them very nice Italian makes for your $ and less. I've seen some of the "big" names such as Masi or Colnago go for under $700. Seems to depend on how the stars are lined up.

Like HH I built my own vintage ride.

Basso frame (Italian, Columbus SL) $70 or 75.
Complete S Record group and built wheels with Campy Moskva rims. I think $250 for the whole deal off the classifieds at

Maybe another $200 for the rest of the stuff and since a friend has pro quality paint equipment I tracked down or had made decals and resprayed.

I think that adds up to a bit less than $600 and is truly customized to me. The picture washes out the blue which is really much darker/glossier.
Pic didn't load. Maybe this timeWalter
Jun 26, 2003 6:34 AM
Chuckle ...Humma Hah
Jun 26, 2003 7:01 AM
Walter? Changing the name to Wendy? Bike looks a little tall for you, but the teddy bear in the water bottle cage is cute?

Nice looking bike, and cute kid! I hope you have time for both!
Lots of time for the kidWalter
Jun 26, 2003 7:01 PM
Just had neuro-surgery last week and am off the bike until a time tba. Both the Basso and my somewhat modern Colnago Master are neglected.

Thanks for the complements!
That sounds scary!Humma Hah
Jun 27, 2003 8:35 AM
Neuro-surgery, that is, not the having time for the kid. I hope your recovery goes well, and enhances your whole life.

She seems proud to be holding that bike. Maybe you two can spend some quality time together detailing the bikes, and everyone will feel appreciated.
Painful and inconvenientWalter
Jun 28, 2003 10:12 AM
Still dealing with the fact that my last motorcycle ride (in 1993) ended about 10 miles before it should have with me laying along side a guardrail on I95 in Ft. Lauderdale, Fl.

The picture of that Basso may or may not show modifications I've done to shifting/braking to compensate for a severe tear of a nerve group called the brachial plexus and resulting paralysis in left arm/hand. Anyways I control the bike from the right side of the bars. I've done something similar to all my bikes except a single-speed I'm finishing that won't need all of that stuff.

Well the surgeons at Baylor U. and Methodist Hospital in TX think they can improve my condition so I took the first step last week. Surgery was fairly minor but very delicate and I spend most of the day in a very complex brace to keep my arm from moving and tearing all of those new grafts. About 8 more weeks of it.

Probably more than you want to know but there it is.....

I built a BMX style bike for the daughter around Christmas time. It was a little big but kids grow fast and she's riding it now. I found wheels with blue hubs and mounted blue tires so we sort of match. She named it after her Barbie Dolls....oh well. She did give the Basso a reasonable name, "Miss Blue."

Btw if you know or run across someone in any kind of similar condition and they want to cycle point them my way. With 9 years of experimentation I've got some ideas that work pretty well and am always willing to share.
My last motorcycle ride ...Humma Hah
Jun 30, 2003 5:47 AM
... ended a little too soon, too. Applied the brakes entering a turn when I knew I shouldn't have, the bike straightened up, and I punched out the embankment with my right hand. The joint soreness never did go away (over a decade later, arthritis). No paralysis and not severe, just a reminder every morning to release the brakes before the apex.

Never did work up the desire to fix the GS450 ... I bought the parts but finally sold it and dusted off the Schwinn.

Sounds like you have some innovative ways of dealing with an injury some folks would say would prevent riding at all. Might be worth posting on the fitness forum, in case anyone is searching for such a solution.