Dave Moulton 'Fuso' custom bicycle with Campagnolo components, $20.

The one thing you must know about bicycles is that the name Campagnolo will lead you to more money than you can imagine. So, if you're serious about making money in this job, you absolutely must take some time to research some of the Campagnolo bicycle components you're going to see.

There are a couple of hints that this bike may be worth some money. First of all, like the decal says, it's 'from the frame shop of Dave Moulton,' which tells me something important. Dave Moulton was a bicycle frame master who started out in England before moving to the U.S. He built frames in New Jersey for the Fraysse family's 'Paris Sport' brand before moving to southern California. In the early 1980s, Moulton introduced a more 'affordable' that he called 'Fuso'. He has since retired from frame building completely and is a successful author.

So, if you find a Dave Moulton Fuso bicycle, be sure to grab it. And if you find one without the Fuso name, you've very likely got a valuable and collectable piece that that many bicycle enthusiasts will pay you very, very well for! Now, let's take a look at the other part of the equation here - the components that were used to complete this valuable bicycle.

The second purpose of this entry is to point out a characteristic shared by many expensive bicycles. It's a bona-fide Auctionbandits sweet spot you can use to tell that a particular bicycle is very likely worth buying, even if you can't determine anything else about it. Of course, I can't guarantee that every bike exhibiting this characteristic will be worth hundreds of dollars, but keep in mind that this business is all about taking advantage of statistics whenever you can, and the more you can put statistics in your favor, the more money you'll make. 

One of the most telling characteristics of any bicycle is the choice of components its builder decided to use. By components, I'm referring to the brakes, seat posts, bearings, sprockets, pedal cranks, handlebars, shift levers and derailleurs (the things that move the chain around on the front and rear sprockets to change the gears.) Several companies make these bicycle components - SIS, Shimano, Suntour and of course Campagnolo. Since quite a few components are needed to build a multi-speed bicycle, it's not hard to see how a builder's choice can greatly affect the bicycle's final cost.

You're not likely to find expensive components on a cheapo frame, and you're not likely to find cheapo components on an expensive frame.

The Campagnolo company has been making high-end bicycle components since 1933. The Campagnolo name can be found all over some of the most expensive bicycles you can buy, and their components have carried almost 30 Tour de France winners to victory. For many years, Campagnolo has enjoyed nothing less than a cult-like following among bicyclists worldwide.

As you can imagine, those other bicucle component companies also have their high-end lines. The problem for people like me, who know relatively little about bicycles, is that we can't easily tell Suntour's top-of-the-line derailleur from their lowest-end model. The same goes for Shimano. But when I see Campagnolo components on a bicycle, I know that statistically, it's a bicycle that someone will pay me well for.

Another very important thing to know about Campagnolo is that unlike other brands of bicycle components, lots of the old Campagnolo stuff is worth as much, or even more, than the newer stuff! There are actually people on eBay who go crazy for vintage Campagnolo components! So, when I see that gnarly old beat-up racing bicycle at the garage sale with the old Campagnolo components on it, I know that in the worst case, I can strip off all the components and sell them for a healthy profit.

The next time you're at a yard sale and spot that weird old bicycle, or the box of bicycle parts on the floor in the garage, be sure to take a closer look because you just may be looking at more money than you think!

This Campy equipped bicycle sold on eBay for $325.

Photo of Dave Moulton Fuso bicycle with Campagnolo components