Is this 51'Columbia w/rust worth $520 as is?


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Lucid Bikes

Look Ma, No Hands!
Dec 6, 2017
30
17
26
Downtown, Los Angeles, CA, United States
#1
I have the opportunity of buying this awesome 51' Columbia that is all original with only one owner. I'm not sure what the value of this bike is in great condition. From the condition found in the pictures, would you say this bike is worth paying $520 for? I'm honestly worried about the rust on the bike and how expensive it would be to clean this bike up? Is it worth cleaning this bike up or would you leave it in the condition that is pictured. Any immediate help would be great appreciated!

Ultimately should I pass on this bike or should I buy it and put money into cleaning it up? Thanks for all of the help!

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jacob9795

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Sep 21, 2014
724
1,392
Central Valley, CA, United States
#2
After it’s cleaned, I don’t think the frame and fork will match the paint on the other stuff very well IMO. Blue is a nice color but there is heavy chrome loss and rust on this bike. $520 would be the ceiling on this bike for me and I certainly would discuss how difficult it’s going to be to turn this bike into a rider with the seller. However, I paid $550 last year for my rust bucket if it makes you feel any better :eek:

I’d be very cautious about exposing the decals to OA.

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Last edited:

Freqman1

Riding a '37 Dayton Super Streamline
Jul 14, 2009
15,082
14,796
Evans, GA
#3
The fork has been replaced but at least it does have all the parts to make it complete. These bikes are solid riders. If it something you like then I say there a lot worse ways to spend $520. Parts are worth that. You could always patina match the fork and decals are around. V/r Shawn
 
Likes: bikemonkey

spoker

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
Mar 3, 2011
4,437
1,528
Minneapolis, United States
#4
like shawn said,there is that much there in parts,if you wanna know what i.d. do,i would restore it either totally correct or show condition,i think cadillac level of bikes dont make good ogs after a certain condition point,but thats just how i roll and i do a big part of the work myself,o thats what i.d. do if it were mine,ya know bikes under $3000 arent investment grade bikes so one can do whatever you want and not worry to much about affecting the value
 
Likes: bikemonkey

Roadkill

Finally riding a big boys bike
May 7, 2016
187
225
47
Peoria, AZ
#5
I' m with Shawn and spoker, if you like it, buy it. I have a few of these and they are great riders. One of them I bought from Shawn. One of mine is crusty, and it was $500. It was my first vintage bike a couple years ago. Repop headlight tho.
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Likes: WetDogGraphix

Lucid Bikes

Look Ma, No Hands!
Dec 6, 2017
30
17
26
Downtown, Los Angeles, CA, United States
#6
@jacob9795 @Freqman1 @spoker @Roadkill Hey everybody! Thank you so much for responding so quickly to this post. It really helped me give the seller a quick answer! I decided to pass on the bike. It is a beautiful bike but at the end of the day, it would have lost much of its original character after some tlc and restoration. The seller also was stuck to a $450 price mark which still didn't give me much room for cost of restoration. It was a hard bike to pass on, but decided too after reading your very helpful comments! Thank you all very much!
 
Likes: Shawn Michael

Freqman1

Riding a '37 Dayton Super Streamline
Jul 14, 2009
15,082
14,796
Evans, GA
#8
Very few bikes are ever worthy of a true restoration. With a good cleaning/detail/service and a patina restore on the fork you would have still been money ahead on this one provided you have the skills to do the work yourself. At the end of the day though if the bike just ain't ringing that bell then you need to pass. V/r Shawn
 

Lucid Bikes

Look Ma, No Hands!
Dec 6, 2017
30
17
26
Downtown, Los Angeles, CA, United States
#9
Very few bikes are ever worthy of a true restoration. With a good cleaning/detail/service and a patina restore on the fork you would have still been money ahead on this one provided you have the skills to do the work yourself. At the end of the day though if the bike just ain't ringing that bell then you need to pass. V/r Shawn
A short term future goal of mine is to begin to learn how to do basic bicycle maintenance and eventually restoration. I love these old machines so much much! It was a very hard decision to pass. The biggest factor was that even with the $450 I would have still had to ship it from the east coast to the west coast and then pay someone to help clean up the fork. What was even cooler about the bike is that the owner had the original receipt from the dealership he bought the bike from and he also had pictures of him and the bike when he first bought it too. Everything was really cool about it, but I just had to realize that the bike was going to loose a lot of its original character and I didn't think I would have liked that personally.

Also, any tips on how I can begin learning basic bike maintenance/restoration on bikes as old as these? I know there are books out there for newer bikes.

Thanks!

@Freqman1
 
Likes: WetDogGraphix

gkeep

Finally riding a big boys bike
Jun 11, 2014
354
563
Alameda, CA
#11
Hi,
This is the best place to learn. Find yourself a basic 50s or 60s bike from a garage sale or thrift store that needs cleaning and lube and go at it. It's not that hard, really. When I was growing up in the 60s the guys on my block would find abandoned bikes in orchards and vacant lots around Cupertino. Bring them home and tear them apart, grease, oil, replace bearings then jump curbs and ride them in the hills on trails. we'd cut fork blades and bolt them on to extend forks and make choppers. We were just 10 year olds with a few wrenches, screwdrivers and a hacksaw. And of course the scars from all our failures and crashes.;) Those quick and dirty home made chopper forks never lasted more than a few days.

Gary
 

Roadkill

Finally riding a big boys bike
May 7, 2016
187
225
47
Peoria, AZ
#12
Hi,
This is the best place to learn. Find yourself a basic 50s or 60s bike from a garage sale or thrift store that needs cleaning and lube and go at it. It's not that hard, really. When I was growing up in the 60s the guys on my block would find abandoned bikes in orchards and vacant lots around Cupertino. Bring them home and tear them apart, grease, oil, replace bearings then jump curbs and ride them in the hills on trails. we'd cut fork blades and bolt them on to extend forks and make choppers. We were just 10 year olds with a few wrenches, screwdrivers and a hacksaw. And of course the scars from all our failures and crashes.;) Those quick and dirty home made chopper forks never lasted more than a few days.

Gary
Ya, these things aren't that hard to work on. When I was 9 or 10, I converted my banana seat bike into a bmx with my lawn mowing money. I also found a Schwinn stingray in my grandparents old garage when I was 10, stripped it down to nothing, repainted it, and built it back to its original glory. Kinda. I grew up in the 70's and 80's, and bikes were our freedom man.
Ride on
Sean
 

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