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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 04-21-12, 03:56 PM   #1
LS6
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Trek 950 value

Hi, just joined the forum and wondered about the value of my Trek 950.

I am the original owner, and it's been in storage since the early 90's. I couldn't remember what year I bought it, but according to vintage-trek.com the colors and the serial number make it a 1989. Original MSRP was $529.

Everything works just fine and there's no rust and nothing needs adjusting. The sealed bearings have held up well and all moving parts are silky smooth. Amazingly, even the original 23 year old tires seem fine with no cracking of the rubber.

Except for the seat (I had the dealer swap to the one on there now when I bought it) and the handle bar, everything is original from the factory. I have the original handle bar as a spare, as well as 2 water bottle brackets.

No local dealers buy used bikes, and only one gave me a ball park figure of $200, maybe $250 to the right person. Does that sound like a reasonable starting point on price, or is that too high in today's market (I'm in the Phoenix area)?

Does the lack of suspension, which all modern bikes seem to have, affect the desirability?

Also, I'm not completely sure of the size, but think it's a 20".

Some photos, taken today:











and the specs:
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Old 04-21-12, 04:17 PM   #2
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I was just talking to an old timer about Mountain LX the other day. He couldn't remember it.

That bike is in amazing condition. Unfortunately for you, vintage rigid mountain bikes are very undervalued right now. For buyers, this is great, but on the selling end, I'd be surprised if you could get $225 out of that bike. If you're not dying to sell it, I'd hold out another couple years (after 23, what's a few more?) and see if the market has picked up the way vintage road bikes have.
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Old 04-21-12, 04:46 PM   #3
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That bike is in amazing condition. Unfortunately for you, vintage rigid mountain bikes are very undervalued right now. For buyers, this is great, but on the selling end, I'd be surprised if you could get $225 out of that bike. If you're not dying to sell it, I'd hold out another couple years (after 23, what's a few more?) and see if the market has picked up the way vintage road bikes have.
+1

Old MTBs get no respect. Technology has changed so rapidly, and everyone wants the latest and greatest. I would say it should still bring $200 being in such great shape. Deore LX is a big plus. Fully rigid is probably a plus because most of the earliest suspension forks were not great and probably dead by now anyway. This would make a great commuter or maybe even touring bike for someone.

If you're ready to let it go for $200 then sell it, otherwise like Dan said it's really a buyer's market on these. If you have any desire to keep it you might as well do that.
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Old 04-21-12, 05:33 PM   #4
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$250 would be high in my market. Vintage MTBs get no respect, which make them a great deal for buyers, and a lousy deal for sellers. I have two 950s in the family fleet myself. Now I tend to get deals on bikes, so I paid under market, $25 for one, $50 for the other. I have seen them regularly in the $125 price range. Yours appears to be in great shape, I would aim higher. $200 may be very possible.

Condition on yours is fantastic, other than old tires. If I bought it, I would assume I would need to service the bike (bearings, grease and cables), so I would discount it some. But a lot of buyers overlook that.

I can see the standard checkerboarding of the sidewalls, a typical signal to me of an old tire. Myself, I am not too keen on relying on 23 year old tires, whether it is on my motorcycle, my pickup truck, or one of my bicycles. And while bearings may feel silky smooth, I have rehabbed enough vintage bikes to know that feel is not enough. Invariably, when I open them up, the grease will be toast. While the bearings are called sealed, they are not what people usually think of as sealed bearings. Bike manufacturers use that term loosely, it usually just means there is a rubber boot or similar on the hubs. Bearings are usually loose, in grease and not really sealed.

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Old 04-21-12, 06:32 PM   #5
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You are probably sensing the trend by now, but yea - $200 tops and that would have to be somebody looking for that particular bike. I sold that same model bike in similar condition last year for $190. There is no market for vintage MTBs unless it's rare or has the name Ritchey or Bridgestone on the downtube.
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Old 04-21-12, 07:26 PM   #6
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To the op.

If you lived here in Minnesota, you would maybe get $175 or so.

The good news is I love buying these older mtbs and bringing them up to the cabin for guests.

Yours is likely a fine rider and you've kept her in tip top shape.
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Old 04-21-12, 08:55 PM   #7
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Thanks for the replies. If they go up in value, is it correct that it wouldn't be because of anything special or rare about this bike but more about the whole market going up? If so, it probably won't go up much.

I guess the uninterested market for used MTB's is also part of the reason there is no online pricing guide like there is for other vintage stuff like audio gear, sports cards, etc. No point going to all the effort to set up and track prices if few would use it.

So, what can a person get today for $200, as far as new bikes? Would it be comparable in component quality or would a comparable bike to the 950 still be over $500 today?
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Old 04-21-12, 11:36 PM   #8
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Thanks for the replies. If they go up in value, is it correct that it wouldn't be because of anything special or rare about this bike but more about the whole market going up? If so, it probably won't go up much.
Would go up due to the market, nothing rare or special (although this was a very nice MTB) about this particular model. No idea what the future holds for MTB value, but I don't expect it to sky-rocket anytime soon.

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I guess the uninterested market for used MTB's is also part of the reason there is no online pricing guide like there is for other vintage stuff like audio gear, sports cards, etc. No point going to all the effort to set up and track prices if few would use it.
Maybe that is part of it, but there are so many different bicycles out there from tons of manufacturers. Condition and the parts on the bike matters so much, I doubt any guide could ever be comprehensive or accurate on every bicycle. There is a rough (and now dated) guide on Sheldon Brown's page for the values of vintage road bicycles: http://sheldonbrown.com/vrbn-a-f.html

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So, what can a person get today for $200, as far as new bikes? Would it be comparable in component quality or would a comparable bike to the 950 still be over $500 today?
"Comparable" is difficult because very few companies make anything like what you have (rigid steel MTB.) But as far as components and quality, a decent mid-level MTB goes for about $1000 new.

Not sure $200 can buy any quality MTB today, even some of the x-mart junk is in that range now.
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Old 04-22-12, 12:12 AM   #9
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This is a great bike in very good condition leave it as is and take your time selling this one $150 right now $200 listed well with a lot of time maybe month's
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Old 04-22-12, 05:16 AM   #10
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So, what can a person get today for $200, as far as new bikes? Would it be comparable in component quality or would a comparable bike to the 950 still be over $500 today?
Not valid. Technology has changed dramatically on MTBs, from disc brakes, to full suspensions, to geometry, to etc. Its kind of like comparing a television you bought for $800 to one from today.

Serious MTB riders want nothing to do with older MTBs, and older might mean five years old. So the only buyers left are recreational riders. There the competition is Walmart, where they can get a shiny new POS bike for $79. So that group looks at a vintage MTB as paying a premium. Some are willing to pay a small premium understanding that a LBS brand is better than Walmart. But even that group can grab a brand new hybrid or bottom end MTB at the LBS for $300. This puts a real squeeze on vintage MTB pricing.

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Old 04-22-12, 07:58 AM   #11
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More good info; many thanks.
(what is LBS? going by the context it is used my guess is "local bike store" but wanted to be sure...)

Those of you who buy and sell frequently, what is the cheapest you've had a bike boxed and shipped more than a few states away?

I'm guessing it would be $40 minimum (plus probably $20 in boxing charges), maybe much higher with today's fuel surcharges, which is pretty steep on a $150-200 item. I just wanted to get a rough idea how much I'd have to discount the bike if I went with continental US advertising where shipping would likely be necessary, but odds of selling go up due to wider audience.
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Old 04-22-12, 08:13 AM   #12
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More good info; many thanks.
(what is LBS? going by the context it is used my guess is "local bike store" but wanted to be sure...)

Those of you who buy and sell frequently, what is the cheapest you've had a bike boxed and shipped more than a few states away?
Step 1: Those that frequently buy and sell, do not pay someone to box their bike. The cost of packing a bike, and the risk of it being done wrong, both make outsourcing this process risky and costly.

Step 2: Packing a bike for $20? Last bike I packed took almost four hours to pack.... If I could find someone reliable to do it for $20, I would be very happy to pay them. Realize on ebay, if you pay someone to pack it, and they do a poor job, the consequences are on you: you get the negative feedback, you get the claim, you get the headaches. Myself, I pack everything I sell on ebay. Not all bike shops are skilled at packing bikes either. With over 1000 transactions on ebay, and not one single negative feedback, I cannot risk it.

Step 3: Shipping a complete bike? $75 in the US +/-.

In my experience, shipping a bike for sale only makes sense if it is something high end, or just a frameset (cheaper shipping). Who is going to pay $100 plus for the shipping and handling, when they can just buy a MTB locally for $100 to $150. Local sale on lower value bikes.

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Old 04-22-12, 08:25 AM   #13
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I will take it

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Old 04-22-12, 09:16 AM   #14
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Thanks wrk101. Don't know if you have them in your area, but I've used "Craters and Freighters" for much larger/heavier things and was pleased with their packaging and handling and overall costs. They build custom boxes and crates to your specifications, then ship via freight companies who bid on your package. Just thought I'd throw that out there.

John: apparently I can't send PM's until I have 50 posts. What would be a good time to call (pacific time)?
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Old 04-22-12, 09:38 AM   #15
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I am in CA.
I lived in Phoenix for 363 days. My friends said it was not that bad(heat)

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Old 04-22-12, 09:59 AM   #16
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I'd just like to add that actually, vintage rigid fork mountain bikes are at an all time high in value. A couple of years ago, the average offer for one in ready to ride condition would be $100. A pristine bike might bring $150 completely refurbished. So I'd say, these bikes have increased substantially in value. But for the reasons wrk101 listed, I doubt that they will increase much more in the near future.
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Old 04-22-12, 01:26 PM   #17
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wrk101 would be correct a couple of years ago, but his perceptions are wrong today. The vintage MTB market spiked big time over the past couple of years. However, only the higher end stuff has any real value. Serious MTB riders are quite interested in older rigid bikes.

Trek speced it's MTBs pretty low (e.g. the 950 was one of their higher models, but Mountain LX is nothing special), but yours does a really nice frame and is in fantastic shape. I'd say it would go for just south of $200 to the right local buyer.
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Old 04-25-12, 02:20 PM   #18
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You cannot replace that bike for $1,000, your bike was made in the USA. A USA made bike today would be a lot more than that. Agreed
it is not state of the art but will give someone a great ride and last forever. I bought a new Trek 930 in the early '90's and $600 was the
cheapest USA made Trek mtn bike available. Today for that money it will be made in China.
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Old 04-25-12, 02:26 PM   #19
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wrk101 would be correct a couple of years ago, but his perceptions are wrong today. The vintage MTB market spiked big time over the past couple of years. However, only the higher end stuff has any real value. Serious MTB riders are quite interested in older rigid bikes.

Trek speced it's MTBs pretty low (e.g. the 950 was one of their higher models, but Mountain LX is nothing special), but yours does a really nice frame and is in fantastic shape. I'd say it would go for just south of $200 to the right local buyer.
FWIW: I have a couple of nice MTBs that I have been trying to sell for months, including a nice Pansonic, with an attractive lugged steel frame, and Tange Infinity (pretty good) tubing.

My market just hasn't yet caught the vintage MTB bug, yet. I hope they do, as I have several left from when I used to pick up MTBs.

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Old 04-25-12, 07:28 PM   #20
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It turned out that Johnonaschwinn thought this was the same bike he once had (a Trek 990), and since it's a 950 instead he's no longer interested. So the bike is not sold.

Also, I found the original 42 page owners manual and the 1-page service instructions for the front deraileur (see pic below).


PS can I receive PM's with under 50 posts, I just can't send them?

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