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Classic and Vintage Bicycles: What's it Worth? Appraisals and Inquiries Use this subforum for all requests as to "How much is this vintage bike worth?"Do NOT try to sell it in here, use the Marketplaces.

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Old 12-21-08, 04:29 AM   #1
golfer007
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What brands hold value the best?

I was wondering what brand/make/model I should be looking for in vintage bicycles to buy, and potentially flip for a good re sale value. Apparently my vintage Nishiki wont go for a whole lot according to the guys in SS/FG area. I have a lot of money into and it is a truely beautiful machine. Fully revived with all new parts and powder coat. Schwins hold their value pretty well, eh? If anyone could post some helpful advice, it would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 12-21-08, 07:09 AM   #2
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Why do you wish to sell it?

Schwinn Varsitys hold their value remarkably well.

You're asking a lot in your post; I suggest digging through the old threads, and doing a lot of lurking to learn what you seek.

Some people could flip Nishikis all day long; you have to know your market.
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Old 12-21-08, 07:12 AM   #3
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Best advice: don't put a lot of money into a bike you intend to flip - you'll almost never get it back out. (Unless the bike was free or super cheap to begin with.) Older bicycles really don't have a lot of value relative to other collectibles, even the very best ones.
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Old 12-21-08, 07:23 AM   #4
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If you plan to butcher a frame by taking all the braze-ons off and powder coating it then no frame will hold it's value.

I've found that in North America brands such as Colnago, De Rossa, Merckx tend to hold their value pretty well.
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Old 12-21-08, 08:16 AM   #5
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Two best brands for holding/adding value: "Thrift Store" and "Garage Sale".

Best bet is find a bike really cheap. The old thrift store/garage sale find. Those bikes have instant appreciation, as long as it is not some XMart junk. A decent brand with a cromoly frame is what you are looking for. Just be prepared to do some work on it yourself.

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Old 12-21-08, 08:23 AM   #6
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Actually, one of the brands I'd recommend for holding value is Nishiki. Another is Univega (assuming you're in the US). The reason is, these brand names are no longer marketed in the US. I've found folks find these names desirable because A) they have good reputations and B) you can't buy the brands new.
If you're looking for maximum dollars when flipping, don't convert to fixie, don't powder coat, do lube any of the main bearing surfaces showing any sign of binding, do replace worn or dry rotted tires with inexpensive new tires and make sure the chain is in wear specification and well lubed.
You'll never get your money back when you powder-coat a frame. Depending on how good you are at obtaining parts for fixie, you may or may not be able to recover your costs plus gain a little.
You can disregard this post if you're in Europe.
I know some guys here can convert bikes to fixies and make big bucks, but that's only in some markets or you can get the parts cheap.
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Old 12-21-08, 10:14 AM   #7
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+1 to everything previously said.

Incidentally, it might help to see that Nishiki:



Looks like a lower-end frameset, but it looks as if considerable thought was put into hanging some good components on it - particularly the long-reach Tektro brake (got the rear, by any chance?). $200 in most markets, $250-300 in S.F.

If you wish to squeeze the living daylights out of it, part it out.

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Old 12-21-08, 10:45 AM   #8
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+1 to all of the above.

Higher end models regardless of brand have more likelihood of holding value. You just have to know what you are looking at.

The first decision for a decent candidate for a flip (or a keeper) is usually if the frame material has some quality to it. Read this for a little primer on tubing info.

And remember that in it's original form, a older multi-geared ride has a wider potential buying audience than a SS/FG one. Unless you know what you are doing re conversions for fun and profit, let someone else carve them up and paint them.

Last edited by BlankCrows; 12-21-08 at 11:16 AM.
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Old 12-21-08, 02:56 PM   #9
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Wow, thanks a lot for all the great advice gents...it is well appreciated. Yeah thinking about it now, I think I will just keep her for a good period of time and find another bike to freshen up and maybe flip... I really enjoy riding the bike and I dont think its worth making 50 bucks on getting rid of. Besides, the market is far better in the spring and summer!!
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Old 12-21-08, 10:17 PM   #10
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That is a sweet looking bike. It looks like you've spent too much on the wheels, crank, and powder to make any good money on a flip. In Vancouver, that bike would get you 400-450 dollars CDN in the spring/summer.

If I were you I would change the seat post to improve the looks of the bike. One where the clamp and post are connected.
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Old 12-22-08, 12:17 AM   #11
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The thing about powder coating or even repainting is that once the frame has been re-finished you are simply left with a generic frameset - whether it was once a Masi or just a Huffy gas pipe bike. If you put expensive components on the bike a buyer might notice that and consider the final value accordingly... but, I wouldn't count on it.

About profiting from fixie conversions...

I think the peak of that fad wave has now passed. Now that major manufacturers have caught up with the FIXIE trend, you can buy a complete brand new fixed gear / SS bike with real track ends and all new components for just a few hundred bucks. Check out this example on ebay - seller has more than 10 bikes of this model available for only $320 - that's for the COMPLETE and NEW bikes, with lifetime warranties, all components, and ready to ride.

So, unless you happen to have a crappy frameset, some excess components to unload onto it, and plan to let it go for cheap, I wouldn't count on making much off of even a very pretty fixie conversion unless you can PROVE that the frame and fork tubing is really something special.

Of course, if you wanted to rip off a buyer, there are plenty of morons out there who know nothing about bikes and one could make any sort of claims about a now completely disguised frameset... you may find someone who will believe whatever they are told. A lot of people would quickly notice the weight difference (from the lack of freewheel, derailleurs, cables, guides and brakes) and imagine that a cheap 8 pound frameset is a lightweight 6 pound steel frameset.
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Old 12-22-08, 02:19 AM   #12
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That ebay bike does seem like a good deal, but I guess for me the appeal of the OP's bike is how unique it is. It is a one of a kind and there is not another one in the world that is the same as it. It might not be made with the greatest materials, but a bike is a bike, and I'm sure that it rides well. A Motobecane that costs (and looks) like it was $300 is just not as cool because it looks so generic and mass produced IMHO. I don't think the lack of decals creates a generic aesthetic, but rather, keeping with fixed gear sensibilities, is simple and draws attention to the actual bike and not the manufacturer. I think that what people really appreciate about fixed gear bikes is that many of them tend to be custom in terms of styling and still functional as a bicycle (unlike say bmx or lowriders).

That said, there will for sure be more people this year trying to make a quick buck selling cheap conversions and that will undoubtedly push prices down.
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Old 12-22-08, 07:01 AM   #13
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Brands which hold value were the ones people wanted back in the day or the ones which sold the most.

If you peruse these pages certain makes always come up more frequently...Schwinn, Peugeot and Miyata tend to be the 3 most popular mass produced bikes. What people want is whats collectible and will hold value.

Of course, anything with high end name brand tubing will hold value and anything made in Italy.
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Old 12-31-08, 09:06 AM   #14
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I think the OP is asking the wrong questions.

Rather than ask about holding value, you need to ask what is the difference is between preparing a bike for yourself to ride and getting a bike ready for flipping. Secondly, how do you identify a good flipper?

First off, as mentioned upthread, building a bike for yourself to ride and getting a bike ready for flipping are two totally different and separate processes, never to be confused. What makes a good flipper isn't necessarily about holding value. A bike that was orginally entry level can make a nice flipper if you get it cheap, clean it, lube it, put on some hockey tape and a coat or two of shellac. Sand off the brake pads, maybe put in some cheap $2 cables if they are shot. If the seat is torn to shreds, find the least crappy $1 saddle from the used saddle bin at the LBS. Or better yet, grab several for your next project. It helps if you pick up some free bikes or get them for less than $5 because they have some good parts on them that you can use for other bikes.

For my own keepers, I'd never do a bike like that. But if you throw several hundred dollars into a nice condition bike that was originally mid-level, there's no way you'd get out of it what you put into it. The problem with trying to sell the Nishiki isn't that it didn't hold value. The problem was you tried to merge these two separate processes into one and the same.
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Old 12-31-08, 09:20 AM   #15
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Only one way to make money on an object: sell it for more than you bought it for.

In my non-scientific study of what produces the most reliably large return the best way to make profit is to flip lower-end bikes. As you creep up the quality scale, more and more people will have the knowledge and patience to find/repair/upgrade a bike to their needs. Not to say I would take advantage of a unknowlegable or impatient buyer, but those in the lower end are more likely to be pleased for someone else to do the finding/repairing/upgrading for them.

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Old 12-31-08, 10:30 AM   #16
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I would add that condition also has a lot to do with it. A lower end bike, like a Schwinn Varsity, what has great paint and decals, shiny chrome etc could be a quicker fix and larger profit than a better bike with cosmetic issues.
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Old 12-31-08, 07:15 PM   #17
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What brands hold their value? It's no secret what brand I'd pick....

But a good mid to late 80's Jap bike, mid-level or higher, will be a good investment.
Also, some Raleigh's earlier than that, and Peugeot I like are early 80's.

After you've looked a few over, you'll understand the quality of the frames, paint, etc. Then a good look at the components, and you'll be able to figure out what will stick and what won't.
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Old 01-01-09, 07:58 PM   #18
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Thanks everyone. Lol when I posted this, I really had no idea. But literally in the last couple of weeks, I have learned a lot more about the value and the difference of a bike to keep and a bike to sell. Keeping a bike original in also a good bet to make a bike hold its value regardless of flipping or selling in 4 years. I have decided to keep my Nishiki as I have several hundred dollars invested, it has extreme sentimental value, and I got a bunch of new parts for Christmas.
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