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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 11-23-10, 03:40 PM   #1
abhi22
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Trek 400

Hi everyone,

I've got this Trek 400 down to $300, need to know if its worth going to take a test ride, about 45 min away.

http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sfc/bik/2072842939.html
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Old 11-23-10, 07:09 PM   #2
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Only in a market like San Fran would that bike be worth $300. It would be work to get $200 for it here.

The early 400s like this one (1983) were not nearly as nice as later models. The 1983 had high ten steel fork and stays, low end components, 27 inch wheels, low end crankset. This model is a 25 1/2, you will need to be pretty tall for it. In 1983, the 400 was the bottom model in the Trek road bike line.

By 1987, the Trek 400 had a Reynolds 531 main frame, Trek cromoly fork and stays, much better components, 700c wheelset, was quite a bit lighter in weight, etc. A later model 400 might be worth this price in a hot market. An older model is not.

In addition, although extra large frames are harder to find, they are a lot harder to sell, and sell at a discount to the 21 to 24 inch frame sizes.

Last edited by wrk101; 11-23-10 at 08:22 PM.
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Old 11-23-10, 07:52 PM   #3
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It appears to be a really good shape early 80's Trek bike that are difficult to find even in rough condition. The bike is not really that light, it's about 24 to 26 pounds. It was one of their lower offerings. But it was a well built bike. If your a large guy, which you must be since the bike is for a person around 6'4", (not for a 6' person though, I'm 6' tall and I ride a 55 or a 56 depending on brand, and that bike is a 64!), but if you weigh 190 pounds plus that bike would be very sturdy for a larger person.

Is it worth $300? I would say yes even in a poor market. I live in Indiana and seen Schwinn Varsity's go for $150 to $175 in only fair shape! That Trek is way better then most Schwinns. If the bike has no rust and everything works then take it for a test ride and offer the guy $250 and see what happens, if he says no, then offer him $275. The bike sold new for about the price he's selling it for, but that's the way things are today. Also check with the seller to see if he has spare parts for it, if so you could make a deal at 250 without the parts and 275 with them. If he refuses to budge on the price then give him the $300 if he throws in all spare parts, extra tires and tubes, water bottle cages, literature, whatever else you can think of.
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Old 11-23-10, 07:59 PM   #4
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I have a Reynolds frame Trek 400 Elance. First, that bike is for someone 6' 4" or taller. I'm 6' 0" and ride one frame size smaller, and it's slightly too big for me.

I would test ride it with at least 4 inches of seatpost showing and the reach to the pedal should be easy with a slightly bent knee.

If your a big guy, consider it. The 400 is a nice bike. But if less than 6' 4", don't waste your time.

Last edited by Barrettscv; 11-24-10 at 09:11 AM.
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Old 11-23-10, 08:38 PM   #5
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All the Waterloo Treks from this vintage are pretty nice, and I really think it's worth $300. - although I'll concede that current market conditions in my market and many others are making it very difficult to sell ANY thing at ANY price. Maybe you too can make that work for you as a buyer as rekmeyata suggests. Even if not, you could still feel OK about the price.

So - if it's in as good a shape as it appears, and it fits you, I would not be a bad bike at all.

By the way - You need to ride it to judge the fit for yourself, because everyone is different.
(E.g., I am much shorter than rekmeyata, and yet I am most comfortable on my 60/62 bikes.)

YMMV, but just make sure that you are comfortable in the drops when you are riding the bike.
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Old 11-23-10, 08:50 PM   #6
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That bike is a size 25.5 inch with a 64.7cm seat tube. That is one big bike.
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Old 11-23-10, 09:09 PM   #7
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abhi22 -

Make SURE that the seat post is not stuck. Bring an Allen wrench with you.

(I hate it when people cram seat posts down in the tube like that - they often don't grease them beforehand, and it ends up getting stuck)
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Old 11-23-10, 10:57 PM   #8
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Well, I guess I must live in an alternate universe. Have any of you guys sold an older (early 1980s) steel frame Trek road bike lately (last month, maybe two)? I've sold a couple, and it took a while. And I did not get this type of pricing.

I am pretty patient, but I can't really wait til Spring and not sell a single bike, as I am out of space. So I usually keep a bike or two out in the marketplace, year round. Sold a steel frame 1984 Trek 560 last week. More sellable size (22.5), better frame (Reynolds 501 main tubes, Tange Mangalloy stays and fork), better components, 700c wheels, lighter weight.

Maybe its just the "Hooterville" factor.
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Old 11-24-10, 08:20 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
Well, I guess I must live in an alternate universe. Have any of you guys sold an older (early 1980s) steel frame Trek road bike lately (last month, maybe two)? I've sold a couple, and it took a while. And I did not get this type of pricing.

I am pretty patient, but I can't really wait til Spring and not sell a single bike, as I am out of space. So I usually keep a bike or two out in the marketplace, year round. Sold a steel frame 1984 Trek 560 last week. More sellable size (22.5), better frame (Reynolds 501 main tubes, Tange Mangalloy stays and fork), better components, 700c wheels, lighter weight.

Maybe its just the "Hooterville" factor.
Hi Bill -
No - it's not just Hootervile.
- As I said, "current market conditions in my market and many others are making it very difficult to sell ANY thing at ANY price. " - but I do not presume that it will stay that way. The last 400 I sold went for $225, and sold within an hour after posting.
At that time, I realized I could have sold it for $300. At about the same time, I sold a 560 for $360. I have another hanging in my garage awaiting the spring selling season (and new tires).

Even this spring, there is no guarantee that I'll get what it is worth, or what it might bring in S Cal., (things are VERY depressed here) but I have faith that it will come back.
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Old 11-24-10, 08:29 AM   #10
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I don't think the bike is worth much, but not due to the market or economy.

First, that's a Tange tube set, not Reynolds. The bike is a later model, not one with a frameset made in Wisconsin.

But guys, the number of people who can actually fit that bike is very limited.

My almost minty 400 w/ Reynolds 531 was purchased for $170. I'm a tall guy who can take a 63mm frame size, and most potentual buyers need something smaller. The market for the bike the OP is considering is very limited.

Last edited by Barrettscv; 11-24-10 at 08:55 AM.
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Old 11-24-10, 09:16 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
.... The bike is a later model, not one with a frameset made in Wisconsin.

...
I was mistaken in thinking they were all made in Waterloo, but according to the Trek site, only a few 400's were made there.

"Three different serial number forms have been submitted for 1983 Trek Model 400 frames. One, marked "made in Japan", begin with JS followed by six numerals. The SN was located on the bottom of the bottom bracket. A second serial number is 81765. According to the Trek-provided SN list, this corresponds to a 22" (22.5") Model 400 frame made in 1983. This SN form is for frames/bikes made in the U.S. The number was marked on the bottom of the bottom bracket. The third number is 403300950, which indicates foreign built, but the nation of origin sticker was missing. This number was marked at the bottom of the down tube. It is likely this 400 was made by the same manufacturer as the 1984 bikes described in the paragraph below. For the 1983 Model 400, it appears Trek used three sources for their frames or complete bikes."
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Old 12-05-10, 08:42 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
First, that bike is for someone 6' 4" or taller. I'm 6' 0" and ride one frame size smaller, and it's slightly too big for me.
[...]But if less than 6' 4", don't waste your time.
That's not unconditionally true. I'm just shy of 6'1", and I have 5.5" and 6.5" of post to clamp showing on my 1992 and 1989 24" Trek 400s (I haven't put many miles on the 1992, and I might have moved the 1989's post when I readied it for sale). And they have relatively short top tubes, with a 59.1cm TT on at least the 1989 25.5" Trek 400, which is only about half a cm longer than a 25" Fuji Espree I was comfy on.
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Old 12-18-10, 10:39 AM   #13
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Well, we'll see how this Trek 400 series (its actually a 412) with a 62 cm frame goes. Good looking bike, typical nice Trek paint. All original, except consumables and brake levers (upgraded to aerolevers).

I've got two more steel Treks in the project queue. Depending how this goes, I might move them ahead of other bikes.


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Old 12-18-10, 08:16 PM   #14
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All I can say is around here if it's steel and it's Trek, put $200 on it refurbed and watch it fly out the door. I've watched some flippers here try for over $300 on 300 series Treks. No, really!
The last one I listed, I put on for around $175 and watched my email fill up with responses.
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Old 12-18-10, 10:49 PM   #15
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Good god man, where I live I've seen Schwinn Varsity's in so so shape go out for $175, a mint one on E-bay sold for $410 recently. A Varsity? I wouldn't even buy one for $20 not alone over $100!! I would buy a Trek 400 series bike for $175, it way superior to a Varsity or a Collegiate, or a Suburban.
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