American Pickers: Mike Geeks Out on a High Wheel Bike (Season 18, Episode 7) | History

Let’s show ’em in the
carriage house here. There’s a few good
items in there. Yes, definitely. Whoa! Whoa. – You have a high-wheel bicycle?
– Yes. MIKE WOLFE: Usually you
see them at an estate sale or an auction or an
antique bicycle meet. I mean, this is one
that’s just hanging on the wall in an old shed. It’s probably a 52-inch. How often do you see
something like that? Can I take this off the wall? Yes, you can take it off. MIKE WOLFE: There’s some
parts and pieces missing, but overall it’s incredible. WOMAN: We didn’t know much
about high-wheel bicycle. MIKE WOLFE: When I first
started collecting this stuff, the only thing that
you could learn would be from books or
talking to other collectors. There was no internet back then.
– Back then. – Correct.
– Yeah. Correct. WOMAN: David found
it, brought at home. I tried to get up, but I
couldn’t reach the pedals, so I held it for him
while he climbed up. He got on it and he
started to go down. MIKE WOLFE: Oh he did? WOMAN: And he says, uh oh. And all of a sudden,
the whole front went just like slow
motion right over and landed right
out in the grass and just crashed
into the ground. And I go, oh my gosh. MIKE WOLFE: It looks
like Colombia to me. Colombia was made by
a company called Pope. At one time, Pope was
the largest bicycle manufacturer in the world. They also made motorcycles
and they made electric cars. 90% of the time, if you
find a high-wheel bike, it’s made by Pope. That doesn’t take away the
excitement of finding one hanging on the wall in a shed. So you can see that the
rim here has been repaired. It was broken. See the rivets here, and they
added this section to it. Anything this old is
going to have issues. All of this seat hardware,
this is all wrong. Someone has drilled
a hole in here to put a modern seat on it. There’s been an amateur
restoration done to this bike. This would have had more
of a coil spring on it. The seat hardware
is not correct. The handlebars are not correct,
they’re just pieces of pipe. There’s no grips
on the end of ’em. It’s missing the pedals. The rear wheel,
the axle is gone. It’s missing the brake hardware. It would of had what
they call a spoon brake. There would’ve
been a lever here, and then there would
of been a spoon that went down and hit that tire. It doesn’t actually
stop you, and you never really wanted to grab it
fast anyway cause then you would of went like this.
– Bye bye. MIKE WOLFE: There’s a lot
of stuff that’s missing. You’ve got the bone,
you’ve got the fork, a front wheel and a rear wheel. The most important
pieces are there. Depending on the
restoration, the bike could bring as much as $5,000. That restoration would probably
cost you $3,500 to $4,000. Here’s what I’d do to it. I got a guy that
works on high-wheels. I would just have him put it
together so you can ride it. Once it’s rideable, then
it’s worth more money. There’s a group
called the Wheel Men. Their sole purpose is to
promote antique bikes, and to get them
back on the road. The Wheel Men are
an organization that’s devoted to the
preservation and restoration of these bicycle. Do you want me to make
you an offer on it? Sure. $1,800. $2,200. MIKE WOLFE: If you could ride
this bicycle in the condition that it’s in, meaning the
handlebars are replaced, the pedals are put
on it, the seat hardware is addressed, the
tires, all of that stuff, it’d be worth $2,800. If someone’s going to buy it
to ride it, that’s one thing. That’s the kind of person
I would want to sell it to. If someone’s going to buy
it to hang it on a wall, I wouldn’t sell
it to that person, because they make
they reproduce them and they can hang a
reproduction on the wall. OK. $1,900. I’m taking into consideration
the cost of repairs, finding those rare
parts, and just getting the bike up and running
again so you can ride it. That is the true value. Sounds good. – We’re doing $1,900?
– Yeah. Am I double-shaking? Thank you for saving it. Thank you for saving it. – It’s a good piece.
– Awesome! We don’t come across
these every day either. WOMAN: No. MIKE WOLFE: Something
this old, unusual, unique, and different, to
have it hanging on the wall for that many years, how often
do you see something like that? To have that experience gives
you hope that this stuff is still out there. This one was still there. Maybe there’s another
one somewhere else.

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