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Classic and Vintage Bicycles: Whats 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 07-18-11, 03:49 PM   #1
Myosmith
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Repaint vs. value (not really vintage, but close)

I've got a 1990 (give or take a couple years) Trek 800 frame and plenty of entry level components left over from other projects. My plan is to put together somewhat of a Frankenbike that will be the equivalent of a good used entry level bike and to sell it. I'm not looking to make more than some pocket money, it's more to clean out the shop. The frame and fork are completely stripped of components right now and the paint and decals are in tough shape.

My question is: It would take me just a few hours of work (plus several days drying time) and $15 to put a decent coat of paint on the frame and fork. Knowing what this bike is, would you rather buy it for $75 in good working order and rough looking original finish, or would you consider $100 for the same bike in good working order with a decent basic paint job but no decals?

I'm kind of interested in painting it just for practice, but I want to know if I can expect to add at least my cost to the value of the finished bike, or if I will actually devalue it by eliminating the original graphics and logo.
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Old 07-18-11, 04:58 PM   #2
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For a paint job worth doing assuming you have no materials, $15. won't get you home.

If you have automotive primer, a selection of wet dry sandpapers, a pre-cleaning agent to get all the old wax, grease, oil off the original paint surface in hand, along with protective gear, then $15. might get you color and clear.

Time? more than a couple hours. Try a few hours over a number of days.

If you don't clean it well and get fisheyes in the paint, or bubbles, or wrinkling due to not compatible undercoats with the top coats, your time horizon could be a real nightmare.

For a limited price unit anyway, is the current paint so bad that it is not marketable as is?
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Old 07-18-11, 06:57 PM   #3
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Sell with the current frame, or use it as a donor.
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Old 07-18-11, 08:09 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies.

Repechage: I grew up in a bodyshop specializing in classic vehicle restoration and worked in prep and detailing for a large bodyshop while going to school. I still have my respirator (needs new cartridges), a spot sandblasting setup and a detail/touchup gun as well as primer, etc. For the finish coat I have access to a friend's paint booth and can get the amount of enamel I'd need for $15 easily. I rebuild bikes as a hobby so I've got degreasers, acetone, etc. around the shop.

wrk101: Have tried to sell the parts and frame but these are already the leftovers from several donor bikes. All are entry level components like a Biopace crankset and Altus derailler, no-name aluminum handlebar, etc. Not much market here for low end parts and older banged up frames, but I've had decent luck selling working order Trek and Giant MTBs in the $100-$200 range.

What I am interested in is, when buying a used entry level bike, would you be willing to pay an extra $25 for a better looking paint job, or do looks just not matter on the low end? I may still paint this frame just for the practice, but I'm wondering what the consensus is on if it raises the value of the bike. Normally I wouldn't consider painting a bike unless it was a full restoration of a valuable ride or a personal project.

Last edited by Myosmith; 07-18-11 at 08:11 PM. Reason: error
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Old 07-18-11, 08:39 PM   #5
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It will raise the value if it is really bad. Rather than paint something at this price point, I always use them as a donor instead. I have the luxury of having several decent MTB frame sets, so I will pull one out of the stash when I run out of better projects to work on.

It would not raise the value much around here, depending on how good you do with the rattle can.

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Old 07-18-11, 08:42 PM   #6
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If the paint job is decent, I'd be willing to pay an extra $25 for a repainted bike. With that said, I'm probably not a typical C&V'er in that I am not a collector, but want machines I can actually ride on a regular basis. I'm sure there are some who will dismiss me as a wingnut but that's OK, I've got thick skin.
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Old 07-18-11, 09:31 PM   #7
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Your background experience tilts the scale a bit, but I think when you are considering the time required and possible extras needed to make the parts look in concert with the fresh paint for a minor return on investment...

I guess I consider my time worth more.
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Old 07-19-11, 06:03 AM   #8
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I agree with you, repechage. If I wasn't considering doing this for practice, I would never consider it just for the minor boost in value. But if I gain some skill and get my $$$ back win/win.
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