Few bicycles honestly merit worrying about preservation in their original state of equipment. I'd reckon 99% of the bikes discussed on this list have very few components that are more than pretty generic, Campagnolo, Cinelli, Simplex, Brooks, Ideale etc., all manufactured in huge quantities and relatively easy to replace almost any piece with virtually identical pieces. If someone wants to part out a non-historically significant generic Campagnolo equipped bike or a '70s PX-10 or the like then... pfffffft that's nothing- no issues there at all. The original tires would probably be about the only thing that couldn't be pretty readily found on Ebay.
That Herse on the other hand... whole different deal. That bike, once parted out, is probably destined never to be anything near correct again. Someone will buy the frame/fork (maybe) and the buyer will surely realize at some point that it will be uneconomic or impossible to properly refit it as it was. Will the buyer at that point abandon the project entirely or simply complete it with the wrong pieces? Those look to me like the only realistic alternatives. That Herse in its original conception and iteration is probably irretrievably gone forever either way once the boxes are sent out.
Does that matter, really? I suppose it depends entirely on one's perspective, there's no definitive answer. It *feels* to me like what is happening here is the exact opposite of the preservation of a unique and special piece of bicycle history, but to another person that bike may be nothing more than a widget, a mere commodity to flip and maximize profit on. In any case, once one has bought a bike one is of course free to do whatever they please with it, no one questions that. Just as we are all free to hold and express an opinion.
Kurt Sperry Bellingham WA USA
On 7/15/07, Larry Myers <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> Greetings all...
> I have been following with interest the thread about whether it is "right"
> to part out a certain rare & valuable bike or not....1) The bike is the
> property of the seller; they can do with it as they please....our approval
> is not necessary or solicited. 2) The classic bike market is a rough way to
> make a living....I buy & sell complete bikes, off of e-Bay, Craigslist, and
> other venues- I have often found that the only way not to lose money on
> these transactions is to sell the parts separately from the frames. I do not
> 'make a living' off of these sales; I have a 'real' job at a local
> non-profit bike shop; the sales & trades I make basically pay for my own
> bike Jones. 3) Parting out a bike often serves the needs of a greater number
> of people, rather than selling the bike 'intact'. How many of us are in need
> of only a period piece or two, to complete a long-running resto project- but
> we see those pieces only available attached to a $2,000+ bike sale. Offering
> the parts
> separately enables a larger number of people to complete their projects
> more economically- what's wrong with that? For instance- I recently sold the
> wheels, crankset, and brakes from a pre-Raleigh 'Carlton Flyer' to list
> members. All the buyers were very happy with their purchase, as it allowed
> them to finish various projects; I was happy as their purchases allowed me
> to be able to afford to complete some of my own projects....and, finally -
> why the all the resentment & thinly-veiled racism directed towards our
> fellow enthusiasts from Japan? An inquiring mind wants to know...
> Larry Myers
> Portland, OR,USA
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