Where's the best place to find a reasonably priced, rideable TOC bike?

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JoeBass

Look Ma, No Hands!
Haven't seen anything pop up in the classifieds here recently, or on eBay. Where would you look if you were trying to find a reasonably priced, not-restored but rideable, TOC bike?
 

locomotion

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Haven't seen anything pop up in the classifieds here recently, or on eBay. Where would you look if you were trying to find a reasonably priced, not-restored but rideable, TOC bike?
what is "reasonably priced" to you?

expect a bike that is 121 years old, unrestored and in rideable condition to have a certain value!
 

fordmike65

Riding a '37 Colson Imperial
Honestly, it'll have to be "restored" to some point if you want it rideable. Either a very good original wheelset that has been serviced/repaired & most likely equipped with Deans tires, which run roughly $150+ each. Nice period-looking clincher wheelsets sell here for $400-500. I'm thinking about $1k to get a TOC bike up & running(depending on model, rarity & how complete it is), unless you come across a great deal, or don't mind using a 700c coaster brake wheelset off a modern bike. The 28" wheels are what kills getting a TOC-early 30's bike on the road for a reasonable price.
 
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Superman1984

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Honestly, it'll have to be "restored" to some point if you want it rideable. Either a very good original wheelset that has been serviced/repaired & most likely equipped with Deans tires, which run roughly $150+ each. Nice period-looking clincher wheelsets sell here for $400-500. I'm thinking about $1k to get a TOC bike up & running(depending on model, rarity & how complete it is), unless you come across a great deal, or don't mind using a 700c coaster brake wheelset off a modern bike. The 28" wheels are what kills getting a TOC-early 30's bike on the road for a reasonable price.
A member here just told me $300+ for 28" tires 🤔 If that is true then yeah those 700c wheels would be very tempting jus' to have a rider
 

dnc1

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
I’d be expecting to pay around 1k. Camille over at Cycles 1900 has some nice looking bikes in that price range that he says are rideable but everything is a little too big for me.
Camille does have fantastic machines, he finds amazing stuff.
But the prices are at the top end of retail pricing.

French Ebay has TOC stuff for sale every week at far more reasonable prices, but you'll find that the cost of shipping and import duties are the killers when it comes to bringing these into the USA.
It's the same when I enquire about shipping costs from the USA to the UK, crazy prices!

The only way you can do it cheaply is if you know someone who is travelling from where the bike is situated, to your homeland. They can box a bike and take it on a plane at a far cheaper cost than shipping it. You will still officially need to pay import duties though!
 

dnc1

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Also, and in relation to your tyre related thread, another thing to consider with TOC French bicycles is also tyre sizing and availability.

Many early French bicycles have tyres that are described as 28" which are 700A size. These are not easy to get hold of even in France; only one retailer that I know of and their stock is not always available.
This size is a larger diameter than English 28" (700B), which is larger itself than the modern 28" (700C) size.
 
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Freqman1

Riding a '37 Dayton Super Streamline
The two things usually against most TOC bikes in my opinion is the aforementioned cost of a decent wheelset but secondly as you allude to is frame size. I still don't understand why so many of these frames are 24" or beyond given the average height of a man (U.S.) at the time was only about 5'7 1/2" (source USDA). I think realistically you will be in for a couple grand for something decent and ridable that is (or looks) period correct. A lot of these are pure, simple diamond frame bikes as soon as you start looking at suspensions, unusual frames, fancy lugs or other gadgetry the prices escalate pretty rapidly. V/r Shawn
 
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