Saturday, November 12

Opinions Needed from my Loyal Reader

Actually, this involves TWO semi-related subjects. The first is the practical question of how much is a reasonable offer for a broken bicycle. The second is how to induce a "teachable moment" to people who've been hit by motorists recently, and on more than one occasion.

Right (Drive Side) Crank Arm Looks OK. Left Looks Like "Toast"
The bicycle in question is a Specialized Roubaix. It's got a carbon frame that's too big for me, that was involved in a collision with an automobile (more on that later in the second subject) when the whole bike had about 100 miles on it. The crash broke the carbon frame seat tube. It also bent the left crank arm and the wheels are out of true. The condition of the carbon fork is unknown. Those with long memories, will remember that I've noted here how to verify the condition of a suspect carbon fork.
Road Rash on Rear Derailleur. Otherwise, Pretty Much What You'd Expect from a New Bike After a Week of Me Riding It
So, why would I consider paying ANYTHING for this? Well, the first item is that Buddy uses SRAM and the remnants of the bike in question use SRAM. What's more, last winter, I bought a ten speed SRAM Force set of shifters, for a future road bike upgrade and this bike has a ten speed rear cassette, along with a SRAM rear derailleur. It's also got a nearly new SRAM ten speed chain. The bottom line is that with a SRAM rear derailleur of any model, I'll have all the parts needed to convert the road bike from an 8 speed Shimano to a 10 speed SRAM system. That would leave the fleet Shimano-free with the exception of Frankenbike which is an entirely different subject. With the cassette, I'd be able to also have a full backup mud/snow set of wheels for cyclocross and snow weather. And chains are a wear item that one will certainly use as the miles pile up.
Stuff I could use almost right away include the rear derailleur, and the chain (Buddy's got nearly 4k miles on its current chain).
Stuff I MIGHT be able to use include the wheels if I can get back into true (by no means certain) - for my knobby tires when it snows around here, and the carbon seat post as an upgrade for the aluminum seat post on my road bike. Not that I'm really LOOKING for a carbon seat post or even for an extra road bike saddle. Also the tires, which look nearly new and those of us that use such up will eventually use any such items that come our way.
Stuff I think might be saleable would include the SRAM Apex shifters, front derailleur (it's a braze-on type which none of my bikes can use), handlebars, possibly the front fork, and the Apex brakes. I do not think the brakes would work on any of my older bikes due to the evolution of brake reach through the years. Still, some person would probably find late model brakes attractive, even if "low end." Of course, I'm really not thrilled with the idea of getting into the parts selling business.
Before I looked at the bike, I said I'd pay $100 sight unseen. That mostly gave value to the rear derailleur, and little for the wheels or drivetrain. Upon seeing the bike, the wheels look like they might be salvageable as a labor of love (they wobble, but there is no VISUAL damage to spokes or the rim), and the drivetrain without even love being needed. I'm not sure the rest of the crank system is even worth a serious dismantle, since the left arm hits the left chainstay. Even a visually good BB is suspect in such a situation. Or so my thoughts go.
Looking at the bike, I add some value for the shifters (almost new SRAM Apex), the handlebars, which are standard, the brake calipers, which are also new standard Roubaix items, and the seatpost, which I think I'm inclined to sell.
SO, y'all, what's the right amount to offer? This guy thinks a NEW, full Apex system is worth $500, and looking at eBay, I'm not sure I'd argue seriously about that. Still, I've already GOT better shifters and wheels, and am not really looking to get into the parts business, so I think the proper value is somewhere between $100 and $300. Over $150 and I think I start to lose a lot of interest and start simply looking for a good, used SRAM rear derailleur. HOWEVER, if I pass, one of y'all might want to sign up for all this? I haven't asked if the person in question wants to ship if you are not local to the DFW area.
This bike comes available because the rider got hit in a "left cross situation." I didn't ask, but I suspect the rider was in the "zone of invisibility" at the far right edge of the lane as he was at the stop line. Simply moving left to be more visible might have converted a collision into a situation not even worthy of mention. Coincidentally, I had a pleasant "flat tire and quick release" experience this week. WHAT? You might ask. Well, it wasn't MY flat tire. A fellow bike commuter had a flat tire and I was fortunate enough to come along and help, without even getting cold and dirty. The RELEVANT aspect was that while he fixed his tire, he mentioned he's been hit TWICE by cars. I mentioned back I could help with that and was a bike league cycling instructor.

Joey Fixes His Tire. Buddy and Steve Offer Advice and a Tire Pump. A Tube was Ready if Needed
The question I put to my loyal reader is how do I turn these into "teachable moments?" Two people who ride bikes and three hits by cars is NOT something I can easily ignore, especially since my last real close call was back in the 70's. Motorists may not necessarily LIKE the way I ride, but they absolutely KNOW how to avoid an actual contact. HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


John Romeo Alpha said...

Not more than $125 offer for the parts. Let him try to sell them on ebay for some amount higher than that, then come back to you to ask politely if you remember that you offered $125 for it, and say that it was $100 as you remember it.

The teachable moments question is tougher. Let's see what suggestions come in.

limom said...

JRA still has post bike swap meet price euphoria.
At least a couple hunskies, maybe more depending on the wheels.
If you look at it the other way, all you need is some cranks and a frame and you got another bike.

Rat Trap Press said...

I with JRA on this one. I'd offer him $125.

Hugh said...

I think 125.00 sounds very fair. Especially considering the crank arm is bent and the wheels and fork are questionable at best.
About the teachable moment thing. I have an uncle who is a psychologist. I have noticed over the years that when he wants to advise anyone on something. It is always presented in the form of a suggestion. And it works for him.

Tracy W said...

Here's a suggestion in regard to the teachable moment. "Hmmm. That's interesting. I've ridden xx,xxx miles over the last xx years and not had a close call since the 70's. Maybe there is something to that bike league cycling education I spent my good hard-earned money and time getting. If you're interested, I can point you in that direction."

I tend to "play dumb" in those situations and see if they will bite.

Although, it doesn't take much effort on my part to play dumb.....

Justin said...

I think $125 is too low - that sounds like a good amount of parts that are worthwhile. I'd say $200 would be almost fair for him, and a good deal for you. I bet you can get an easy C note for the shifters alone, and probably another $10 - 15 for the front derailleur. Bars $10-15, Headset $10-15. If you can do that and keep the wheels and other stuff you want for $80, you are good to go.

I wouldn't bother with the fork, but you are the engineer and would know better. Ebay parts selling is pretty straightforward.

Chuck Davis said...

Caveat re the wheels

Crashed wheels can be trued up so they look o.k. in the stand but depending how "bad" they got in the crash, the resulting tension is likily to to be very uneven and they'll never be the same

Hubs alone may be worth it!

John Romeo Alpha said...

The question was how much to OFFER, which is different from how much you would end up PAYING. I still have swap bargaining euphoria! Since you know it was crashed and that some of the parts are trashed, I figured the ask-offer spread was going to be pretty large, and the bargaining intense. I would imagine the amount paid would land somewhere between $150-$300+ depending on the market and also his willingness to disassemble and patience with selling each part individually vs. altogether. Someone who was unaware of the "crashed" part would pay more. Knowledge=bargaining power in this case.

Steve A said...

I think most of JRA's rationale is sound, though a busted frame is likely to make most buyers cautious and out of true wheels would require either spending or expertise acuisition, and I'd be cautious about buying a cut carbon fork. Chuck's caveat is something I have often verified myself, but snow/mud days are rare enough around here that frequent retrues are not a biggie if the price is low. Relevant also is he has the insurance payout in hand and a bike carcass hanging around his apartment. And he is no more enthusiastic about parting it out than I am - my first offer was to simply purchase the rear derailleur.

cafiend said...

Most modern wheels are junk. OEM wheels are junky versions of junk, often with private-labeled hubs that are just some generic brand with a Specialized or Trek logo on it. Also note the post above about how a wheel can be straightened but still be unstable because of uneven tension. The lower the spoke count, the greater the liability from the loss of one spoke.

SRAM 10-speed chains do not close with a re-usable link. As far as I know, Connex chains are the only 10-speed chains that have a re-usable link. And at 100 miles that 10 speed chain is half worn out anyway :-D.

As for teaching people anything, it's a matter of being in the right place at the right time. Some people are always ready to learn. Some people are never ready to learn. That leaves a whole bunch on the bell curve in between. Try not to be an annoying know-it-all like me. That will help a lot.

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