[CR]Repost: One more thing to look for when buying a used bike

(Example: Bike Shops:R.E.W. Reynolds)

From: "Jose S. Villaluz" <jose@villaluz.net>
To: <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
Date: Fri, 17 Jan 2003 01:20:58 -0500
Subject: [CR]Repost: One more thing to look for when buying a used bike

I’m reposting this because the original link died from too much activity, with apologies in advance I’ll post this yet one more time (without the typos in the pictures) tomorrow for the benefit of all on my own server when I have it running again.


-----Original Message----- From: Jose S. Villaluz [mailto:jose@villaluz.net] Sent: Wednesday, January 16, 2002 5:35 PM To: 'classicrendezvous@bikelist.org' Subject: One more thing to look for when buying a used bike.

As I know that many of you will be buying and selling used frames I wanted to share a new lesson that may or may not have been discussed on this board already ad nauseum. Last week I was visited by serendipity. After over a year of searching, I found what I thought was the perfect Raleigh International. The first thing I want to know when buying a used frame is whether there are any signs of front end damage and I always look on the underside of the downtube where it meets the head tube. I asked the bike owner if he could spot the tell tale downtube wrinkle and he said there was nothing. This was confirmed when I received the bicycle as well. I went straight for the downtube/headtube joint and found nothing but gleaming clearcoat. The bike arrived pretty much as described over the phone and I happily unpacked it and started dissembling it to be cleaned, polished and repacked. I had not seen a Raleigh International in this outstanding state of cosmetic condition in the year and a half that I had been looking, I also paid top dollar. I’d still be down in my workshop now had I not discovered yet another way to look for front end damage.

After removing the fork I noticed that there was a bulge in the headtube just above the lower lug at the downtube joint. I tried numerous ways to convince myself that it was just a build up of brazing material, putty or some such innocuous flaw. In all fairness to the bike owner, this flaw would have been difficult to see in a fully built up bike – particularly one as pretty as this one. It’s far more pleasant to focus on gleaming paint, intact decals, and the other signs of very light usage. The most obvious sign of damage was the bent head tube now shaped in an arc lengthwise that was made easier to see when the bike was fully dissembled. I also looked into the headtube to determine that the bulge was caused by a wrinkle in the metal and not just some excess finishing materials. Check out the link below to see what I discovered today and perhaps it will be useful to you or someone you know out there who is looking at another project. And if anyone has an undamaged Raleigh International in a 22 ½ drop me a line.


Jose Villaluz It’s cold in Wesptort CT, this thing didn’t help any.