DRF aka Thrifty Bill
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: The NC Mountains
Bikes: 86 Katakura Silk, 87 Prologue, 87 Cimarron, 14 frame school custom, 73 Paramount
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The market decides. And the market has decided (around here anyway) that older MTBs have very little value. The only people buying them are folks looking for cheap, recreational level bikes. So the competition there is the Walmart bike. As long as you can buy some crappastic Walmart bike for $79, its tough to get over about $125for a MTB here.
In comparison, there are a variety of people interested in vintage road bikes. First you have the people that just like them, the styling, the chrome, or whatever. Then you have the people that want a good road bike, but get shocked by the prices at the LBS ($800 for entry level), so they look for alternatives. Over half of the vintage bikes I sell go to triathletes, that want a racing bike at a reasonable price. They have zero interest in MTBs. Sold two bikes yesterday to a couple planning to do a triathlon. To them, its a nice bike, at a reasonable price. The third group are people looking for a touring bike. The touring bikes from the 1980s are still plenty good, and a lot cheaper than the new stuff.
The serious MTB riders here want the latest and greatest: disc braking of course, modern suspension, etc.
I continually recommend older, good, rigid frame MTBs to anyone looking for a recreational level ride. I think they are an awesome deal!