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  1. #1
    Senior Member bikemanbob's Avatar
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    I Had to Move Quick!: Vitus 979

    The craigslist posting read: "Aluminum Vitus Racing Bike". I didn't know what the bike was worth, but I knew I had to move quick. Within seconds, I had sent an email. The owner called me within a minute. I got directions and jumped into the car. By the time I had arrived, he had already received four more emails. He questioned as to the the bike's worth. I said I didn't know while reaching quickly into my pocket. I knew I had to pay the money to make the transaction complete. After paying the money, we talked about the bike. He said that it was a special order from a shop in Colorado. The frame had be built to his specifications. I thanked him and returned home.

    I know that aluminum is less desireable than steel, but Vitus bicycles seem to have a good reputation. The frame is a Vitus 979. The components are Shimano 600. The stem and handlebar are Cinelli. The rims are Mavic Tubular. The frame size is a small (51 cm).

    I will be reconditioning it and selling it. In my preliminary research, the bike does not appear to have high value. However, I would like to know what you think. In a reconditioned state, what is the bike worth?

    Thanks in advance for your help!







    Last edited by bikemanbob; 10-16-11 at 03:29 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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    The bike just needs to be cleaned up, I didn't notice anything severe. I would start with a good cleaning, if there is some heavy oxidation then I would use Mothers Mag and Aluminum Polish and some elbow grease. But be careful because you don't want to remove the decals so avoid those areas. I never used Mothers on any aluminum project that had decals so I'm not sure if it would hurt those or not, but why risk it? I would probably mask over the decals just to make sure I don't accidentally rub a decal.

    That's a great fine by the way, they do have some collectible value. Most of the ones I've seen for sale they got the bike highly polished and looking good for resale but in the process of doing that all the decals were removed! Kind of a bad thing in my mind. But depending on condition I've seen those go for between $400 to $2400 depending if Campy equipped or not and what level of components. With the lower level Shimano 600 group you're probably around $400 to $800 again though depending on how well it cleans up. The values are not real high because of fear of the bonding between the tube and the lugs coming loose. There is a place that can rebond those bikes those, so it's not a big issue other then cost. But Sean Kelly raced those bikes and he never had one fail; but I had a friend that was 240 pounds of muscle destroyed two of those frames due to cracking the frame at where the tube went into the bottom bracket shell-not the bonding, in a 2 to 3 year period back in the 80's which Vitus replaced all of them, he still has the third one...which he never rode due to fear it too would break so it hangs in his garage in mint unridden condition. But I've read on forums of people riding those with over 50,000 miles on them with never a problem. So I wouldn't worry about it.

    If it fits you, I would keep it, they are unusual to see on the road anymore and thus would be a neat bike to add to a collection.
    Last edited by rekmeyata; 10-16-11 at 04:50 PM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member pinch1967's Avatar
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    here is a couple Vitus I just picked up !!Very Nice !!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #4
    Ride Fast and Ride Safe! gioscinelli's Avatar
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    Calculate the preparation time into the profit for per hour rate, may be better to work for McDonald's. On CL, $300 in Chicago, on Ebay $400 less fees = CL! Good Luck!
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by gioscinelli View Post
    Calculate the preparation time into the profit for per hour rate, may be better to work for McDonald's. On CL, $300 in Chicago, on Ebay $400 less fees = CL! Good Luck!
    If I figured my time into the builds I do I'd never be able to sell a bike.

    I love the look of the Vitus 979s, my son has one and loves it, practically rides the wheels off the thing.
    My name is Steve and I don't have a bent fork anymore :)

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  6. #6
    Seņor Member 4Rings6Stars's Avatar
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    I think $400 - 800 is high.

    Cleaned up I would think $250-300.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4Rings6Stars View Post
    I think $400 - 800 is high.

    Cleaned up I would think $250-300.
    You may be right, I'm not sure, I just went by E-Bay prices I've seen in the past and current when this post came up. The cheapest one I found was $400.

  8. #8
    Senior Member bikemanbob's Avatar
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    Thanks Rekmeyata! Great information. Thanks for your assessment. Sadly, the bike is too small for me. If it wasn't, I would be tempted to keep it.

    Thanks for the pictures Pinch! Good looking bikes.

    Thanks Gioscinelli! I agree with your advice. Thankfully, I've done well flipping bikes this season. I've flipped 20-30 reconditioned bikes this season. Flipping bikes has allowed me to expand my collection and supplement my income. Tubular tires will be my greatest expense--I still believe I can keep my cost down. Although the Detroit market is not as strong as the Chicago, I should do well based on BF member's assessments (I bought the bike at a great price). It just may take me longer to sell it in the Detroit area.

    Thanks Fordsvtparts! Like yourself, I always calculate time into my rebuilds. Generally, I do well.

  9. #9
    Senior Member bikemanbob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4Rings6Stars View Post
    I think $400 - 800 is high.

    Cleaned up I would think $250-300.
    I tend to agree with you for the Detroit area, but $200 may even be high for here. If I could get $250-300 for the bike, I would be very happy. Thanks.

  10. #10
    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikemanbob View Post
    I tend to agree with you for the Detroit area, but $200 may even be high for here. If I could get $250-300 for the bike, I would be very happy. Thanks.
    Too bad it's too small for me too because I would buy from you for that price. Cheaper then e-bay and no shipping fees...of course I would have to drive from Fort Wayne to get it, but I have a brother there so not too much of a big deal.

  11. #11
    Fat Guy on a Little Bike KonAaron Snake's Avatar
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    There is one in Philadelphia that has sat for months...first price was $400...he's now down to $150 and it hasn't sold. His advertising leaves a lot to be desired, and I think I could get $200 for it...but I don't think there's much interest in them to be honest. I don't consider $150 a flip price.

  12. #12
    Senior Member bikemanbob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake View Post
    There is one in Philadelphia that has sat for months...first price was $400...he's now down to $150 and it hasn't sold. His advertising leaves a lot to be desired, and I think I could get $200 for it...but I don't think there's much interest in them to be honest. I don't consider $150 a flip price.
    Thanks for your help. I did look for the Vitus in Philadelphia CL and I couldn't find it (I wanted to see his advertising). I agree on the flip price--$150 would not work for me.

  13. #13
    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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  14. #14
    Senior Member bikemanbob's Avatar
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    A few pictures after the initial clean-up. It was too sunny to get optimal pictures, but the bike does look better.



  15. #15
    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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    Looks great, you did a good job with it.

  16. #16
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    I would lower the saddle, replace the bar tape, and sell, sell, sell!

    Personally, if I couldn't get at least $250 for that bike, I would consider parting it out. Small size should be a plus.

  17. #17
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    I think2-300 would be a good price to sell or buy it for. They are very common, issues with breaking, flexy ride. Still.......Sean Kelly rode one for years......speaks for itself. i would keep it and slap on some KAS decals. and ride like Sean!!!

  18. #18
    Fat Guy on a Little Bike KonAaron Snake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
    I would lower the saddle, replace the bar tape, and sell, sell, sell!

    Personally, if I couldn't get at least $250 for that bike, I would consider parting it out. Small size should be a plus.
    +1, those photos pop and you did a good job - I'd bring my estimate to 250-300. That Turbo is actually worth a few bucks on its own.

  19. #19
    Senior Member bikemanbob's Avatar
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    Thanks Thrifty Bill, Joe, and KonAaron!

    Your help is appreciated!

    I haven't done anything to the bike mechanically. Although the Detroit market is not good, I should be able to get 200-300 for the bike. However, small sizes have not been easy sells here. Also, the tubular wheels may be a deterent for some people.

    Thanks again.

  20. #20
    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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    If you replace the bar tape, which you should, use white tape (which appears to be the color on it now) to match the seat and help brighten up the bike. Kind a small thing, but I would try to get the cable housings to match too, right now they look like black on the brakes and a dull gold on the rear derailleur, you should be able to find all white housings for cheap, just reuse the cable...OR to save a little money leave the black on and just replace the rear derailleur housing with black so it all matches.

    Personally I would venture into a higher price realm then you think. I checked the Craigslist up in Detroit and there is some crazy pricing going on there. Take a look at this: http://detroit.craigslist.org/okl/bik/2633929285.html $600 for a $50 dollar max value bike!! Of course he won't get it but some dope may buy it. Take a look at your CR list up there, there are bikes nowhere near yours going for the same or just a little less then yours. Personally I would put it in for $395 and see what happens. Read some of the E-bay postings for this bike and word yours the same, one guy in particular is a professional at doing those sales and words will sell a bike for more then some yak about a great bike for sale. Point out the quality of the seat and components and the frame etc, that Sean Kelly race those bikes and won the TDF on them...like I said, read how the pros word their bikes for sale. Use E-bay as an example of going prices. You put it in for $395 and someone will negotiate the price lower, so you knock off $50 and the buyer thinks they got a great deal.

    Also make sure the tires have air. If you can find a set of used clincher wheels cheap you could offer those as a second set of wheels, but then I would put the bike at $455 (depending on how much the wheels cost).

    Start you price high, you can always go lower, but if you start low you can't go higher, and by starting low if you don't negotiate the buyer will leave because he thinks he can get it even cheaper. Don't give them that. Start high and work your way down by negotiating. If after sitting for a few weeks at that high price and you don't even get a bite, then wait a few weeks without posting it then repost again knocking off $50. Personally I think you'll sell it if your patient.

  21. #21
    Senior Member bikemanbob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
    If you replace the bar tape, which you should, use white tape (which appears to be the color on it now) to match the seat and help brighten up the bike. Kind a small thing, but I would try to get the cable housings to match too, right now they look like black on the brakes and a dull gold on the rear derailleur, you should be able to find all white housings for cheap, just reuse the cable...OR to save a little money leave the black on and just replace the rear derailleur housing with black so it all matches.

    Personally I would venture into a higher price realm then you think. I checked the Craigslist up in Detroit and there is some crazy pricing going on there. Take a look at this: http://detroit.craigslist.org/okl/bik/2633929285.html $600 for a $50 dollar max value bike!! Of course he won't get it but some dope may buy it. Take a look at your CR list up there, there are bikes nowhere near yours going for the same or just a little less then yours. Personally I would put it in for $395 and see what happens. Read some of the E-bay postings for this bike and word yours the same, one guy in particular is a professional at doing those sales and words will sell a bike for more then some yak about a great bike for sale. Point out the quality of the seat and components and the frame etc, that Sean Kelly race those bikes and won the TDF on them...like I said, read how the pros word their bikes for sale. Use E-bay as an example of going prices. You put it in for $395 and someone will negotiate the price lower, so you knock off $50 and the buyer thinks they got a great deal.

    Also make sure the tires have air. If you can find a set of used clincher wheels cheap you could offer those as a second set of wheels, but then I would put the bike at $455 (depending on how much the wheels cost).

    Start you price high, you can always go lower, but if you start low you can't go higher, and by starting low if you don't negotiate the buyer will leave because he thinks he can get it even cheaper. Don't give them that. Start high and work your way down by negotiating. If after sitting for a few weeks at that high price and you don't even get a bite, then wait a few weeks without posting it then repost again knocking off $50. Personally I think you'll sell it if your patient.
    Thanks Rekemeyata! Some sound advice. As you have noted, the Detroit pricing is crazy. Many bikes have been listed for months if not years.

    I've sold 30-40 bikes over the past two years in the Detroit/Ann Arbor area. I found the best approach is to list the bike at a fair price and don't budge (or budge a little), and even then it may take several weeks to sell.

    I will likely use white handlebar tape, but I'm considering black. Black works well with metal finishes.

    Thanks again.

  22. #22
    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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    If you do the black thing, you may want to consider going with a black seat, the black cable housing back at the derailleur, and black toe straps to kind of get the bike to match so it will stand out. But that's just my opinion, but I'm not very artistic so maybe I'm wrong.

  23. #23
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    Other advantage of black is you can replace the saddle. +1 That white Turbo has value itself, and left on the bike, it will add nothing to the sales price. I rarely use black, but this bike is probably a good candidate for it (personally, I would use blue, to match the decals, I have plenty of blue housing and bar tape on hand).

  24. #24
    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
    Other advantage of black is you can replace the saddle. +1 That white Turbo has value itself, and left on the bike, it will add nothing to the sales price. I rarely use black, but this bike is probably a good candidate for it (personally, I would use blue, to match the decals, I have plenty of blue housing and bar tape on hand).
    That's an interesting idea, and maybe get a set of blue toe clip straps, there only $8, most LBS's worth their salt could get those but it may take a few days, or order these: http://www.amazon.com/Leather-Straps.../dp/B002MKBYC4

  25. #25
    Senior Member bikemanbob's Avatar
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    Thanks Thrifty Bill and Rekmeyata.

    I really liked how my Panasonic dx2000 turned out with a black saddle and handlebar tape. Although the Vitus is not chrome, it should look nice with black accents (I do want to keep the white saddle).


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