Every once in awhile I’ll build a bike that sub quality components. What I mean by that is steel. Steel components are heavy, restricting, and dumb. Cottered/one piece cranks, heavy steel handlebars, and of course steel wheels that each weigh a ton. They just are efficient components and there are more than obvious reasons why they were left in the shadows 30 years ago. But like said, I use them on occasion because there is an abundance of them and if they are reconditioned, they can be used for a budget bike. Thats what I did here:
Had this project called for alloy components I would have charged much more but since its equipped with steel, its considered a budget bike for a budget buyer. I dont want to be known as someone who is too prideful to work on shitty bikes or attempt to build a decent bike within a tight budget and I think most people who buy these budget bikes appreciate that. Not everyone values, appreciates, or can afford $250+ bikes so helping those individuals out is something I enjoy doing, which is why I made this steel clunker as efficient and pretty as I could.
Unfortunately the buyer of this bike didnt appreciate the extent of work/resources that went into this bike. I received a call on a Saturday prior to heading out with friends regarding this bike. It was a young man calling on behalf of his father who thought the bike looked great and was priced accordingly. I set something up with them the following day and everything was in order. Next day came and I called the young man an before I left to confirm that we were still on for the afternoon. He confirmed and then confirmed the price that he claims we agreed on. Thing is, we didnt talk about a price at all, I assumed they were paying my asking price. I was somewhat flexible but I didnt want to bend that much because the bikes was already priced for someone on a budget. We agreed to $10 less than my asking price which was fine.
They lived on a very narrow one way street outside of Chicago and I met them in the street since there was no parking in front of their flat. Young man and his father came out and scanned the bike without compliments. Instead, the father quickly made a fuss about paint chips, the very few that were on the frame. I tried explaining that paint chips are extremely common on frames that are 20-30 years old, even younger, but he wouldnt budge. He claimed “he had to get the thing repainted”. I told him that if the frame didnt have those chips I would have charged more and that they are common and meaningless. The bike is in great shape and full functional but it didnt matter. Him and his were trying to drop the price on me even more and I frankly got upset. I knew I was being taken advantage of and I felt really disrespected. While this was happening a car pulled up behind me and sat there. I basically had to make a decision. Take the father’s bullshit offer or drive off with the bike. I took his offer to justify my 30 mile trip to their home but respectfully shook the mans hand and told him to have a nice evening.
Everyonce in awhile you run into jerks like that but in any line of service you will. Hope he enjoys the bike.