|This Fuji Special Tourer, and the orange one above|
were on eBay recently from the same seller --
asking $300 for the pair. Both bikes looked to be
|This Schwinn LeTour looks like it was never ridden. Spotted|
on eBay for $175 (a little more than what it probably sold
for when new). Made in Japan, these came decently equipped
with Shimano derailleurs and a cotterless aluminum crank.
|An image from an early-70s Raleigh catalog. The International|
and Professional were good examples of the higher-end Bike
Boom cycles. Reynolds 531 throughout, and Campy components.
These higher-end bikes are definitely worth keeping and riding, and very few changes would be needed for a lot of them. Because these bikes are usually worth more, and some of them might even have collector value, it might be worthwhile to keep them "period correct." If one wants to update components to make the bike more friendly to their current riding style (such as wanting clinchers instead of tubulars, or a change in gearing, for example), I might suggest keeping the original parts set aside so the bike could be returned to its original state should one decide to resell it someday. With the lower- and mid-range bikes, I wouldn't hesitate to re-paint or even powder coat a frame with battered paint -- but with these higher-end models, or any bike with some collector value, I might be reluctant to do anything that would lower the value, or which couldn't be undone later. Having said that, I should also make clear that the bikes I'm describing here were still mass-produced in huge numbers in big factories, so don't feel too paranoid about making changes to them if it makes the riding experience more enjoyable. They were meant to be ridden, after all.
If someone wants more info on some of the classic bikes and models from the 70s, I'd suggest looking into the Classic Rendezvous site. For more useful info on updating Bike Boom era bikes, the late Sheldon Brown's website has a lot of tips.
Overall, the bikes from the Bike Boom era have a lot of classic style, and it's a shame so many of them sit languishing. If someone finds one of these bikes and gets a decent deal on the price -- again, garage sales are where the bargains are -- there are some worthwhile upgrades that can make them sweet-riding bikes. Vintage bikes like these are satisfying to get back on the road, and will very likely turn heads wherever you ride.