Readers may recall I was pondering the possible acquisition of an 80’s era Serotta Tandem in a posting back on November 21 and was waiting to hear back from the seller. I was also waiting to hear back from Serotta’s information ‘concierge’ with some additional information regarding the 80’s era tandems.
Well, never heard back from Serotta… a bit of a disappointment, as I would have expected at least a “sorry, can’t help you“. But, I did hear back from the seller who also sent along some higher-res photos. While the photos were encouraging, the seller didn’t sound like they were willing to entertain any ‘offers’, noting “they had more into the bike than they were asking“. That’s never a good sign, as I was still struggling with reconciling the bike’s residual value with the asking price, notwithstanding any information on these tandems from Serotta or first-hand riding impressions from anyone who’d owned one. No, not even the seller was able to offer any insight on handling since they’d never ridden the Serotta: it was too small.
However, the seller did offer a lead on what could have been some additional information on the Serotta in that his wife had bought the too-small-for-them-to-ride tandem from someone near Knoxville, TN. Ahah! Perhaps our good friend Tim P. who has been a part of the Knoxville-area tandem cycling scene for many, many years would recognize the Serotta! Well, Tim recalled having seen the green Serotta tandem in the past, but the person whom he recalled as owning the bike had moved out West… meaning yet another dead-end.
I ultimately decided to pass on the Serotta, as I just couldn’t come up with enough information to reconcile the seller’s asking price, noting that I could easily imagine dropping another $1,200 into the bike if I did buy it, i.e., a restoration paint job by Bilenky, some Hondo mudguards, leather saddles and bar tape, probably some new-old-stock rims as one of the rims was dinged, and so-on. Well shoot, that makes me start thinking about a built-to-order Bilenky 650B or perhaps a one-off 650B Bamboo Calfee! Oh, those slippery slopes…. they can be a good thing since they make you revisit your entire decision process. The best decision ultimately became a non-decision.