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  1. #1
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    What Changes Reduce Collectability

    I have a couple of older, semi-vintage Treks that currently have all their original parts (even brake pads) except for the saddle and tires. For those collectors that are looking for older, original condition bikes, what changes is one "allowed" that will not detract from the bikes collectability? For example, if the original rims are no longer on the bike, have you just reduced its collectability by a ton?

  2. #2
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    Changes that are more than 5 minutes to undo will hurt its value. Rims would hurt, wheels won't as long as the originals are around. Unless you respace the rear triangle...

    Now that is all for a collector, a User will appreciate modifications for use but won't want to pay for them.

    Hot rodding with period parts is another matter.

  3. #3
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    You have a spectrum of buyers, from "every nut and bolt" purists to no-rules modifiers. Many of us who actually ride and use our vintage bikes prefer a pragmatic middle position, which tolerates replacement of brake pads, cable housings, handlebar tape, brake hoods, tires, and the more fragile aluminum components, such as rims, stems, and cranks. We try to maintain the original look and feel, but bow to modern realities. As for collectibility, there is, of course, nothing like an all-original bike in nearly-new condition, but few of us will ever be lucky enough to find and to afford one.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
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  4. #4
    The Recycled Cycler markwebb's Avatar
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    A repaint hurts. A vintage bike with good original paint original decals even with scratches and fading and a litle worn decals is more valuable than a repaint.

    A dent hurts. Ex: A very nice Masi 3V last year sold for less than $600. It was a mint original paint job, decals were perfect, all Campy SR - but it had a dent about 1/2" in top tube from handlebar impact.

    Lower-end equipment hurts. Campy NR or SR on a vintage road bike is desired. If it has other equipment it's less collectible. The higher-end only works, though, if it's period correct. And - if the bikes were sold as complete bikes then the equipment must be correct per the catalog. In such cases lower end equipment will help the value if that's what it was originally equipped with. If you see Campy NR brakes on a Raleigh that came originally with Universals, then you would want to replace the Campys with Universals.

    Columbus SL or SLX tubing or Reynolds 531 tubing is the high-end steel you want to look for.

    Lugged steel vintage bikes are more desirable than welded steel vintage bikes, although I'm not sure how many vintage welded frames there are.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC] Check Out My Gal - Folk Singer Molly McCormack : http://www.mollymccormack.com

  5. #5
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    [QUOTE=John E] We try to maintain the original look and feel, but bow to modern realities.QUOTE]

    Agreed, I feel that if you are riding it it should look as nice as possible to represent the bike in the best possible fashion as if it were new.

    If your going to ride it it a lot is foolish not to upgrade for safety.

    I spent last night taping over a Schwinn Girls Varsity Bicentenial Decals and preping the frame for a recoat of White. cleaning, sanding and feathering the paint scratches.
    I would love to keep the original Steel rims but ones dented and my kid will ride it so the Braking is an issue so Aluminum wheels or rims it is with cool stops.
    Blending Bikes

  6. #6
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    Do whatever you want with it other than painting it. Just put the original parts on the side. No offence to Treks, but very, very few go for more than $300 on Ebay-pretty much high end walmart prices-.I would,and do, just what I want with relatively inexpensive bikes. There just isn't enough collector interest(or more importantly $$) to inhibit changing it to your liking.
    Besides, some changes will increase its value. There probably isn't a Trek in the world that wouldn't increase in value if Campagnolo NR parts were substituted for the OEM parts(granted, it wouldn't be cost effective, but they would be prettier).
    Do what you want,and put the old parts on the side.
    Luck,
    Charlie
    PS The same doesn't hold for vintage Brit,Italian, and even French bikes, or the pricy Schwinns.However, the NR probably holds for many of them that came with Japanese components.

  7. #7
    Senior Member RK1963's Avatar
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    I've seen many treks go for more than $300 on ebay and I've seen many with campy nr.

    Quote Originally Posted by phoebeisis
    Do whatever you want with it other than painting it. Just put the original parts on the side. No offence to Treks, but very, very few go for more than $300 on Ebay-pretty much high end walmart prices-.I would,and do, just what I want with relatively inexpensive bikes. There just isn't enough collector interest(or more importantly $$) to inhibit changing it to your liking.
    Besides, some changes will increase its value. There probably isn't a Trek in the world that wouldn't increase in value if Campagnolo NR parts were substituted for the OEM parts(granted, it wouldn't be cost effective, but they would be prettier).
    Do what you want,and put the old parts on the side.
    Luck,
    Charlie
    PS The same doesn't hold for vintage Brit,Italian, and even French bikes, or the pricy Schwinns.However, the NR probably holds for many of them that came with Japanese components.

  8. #8
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markwebb
    A repaint hurts. A vintage bike with good original paint original decals even with scratches and fading and a litle worn decals is more valuable than a repaint. ...
    Concur. Capo #1 had already been repainted dull red when I bought it, so I went for a sharp-looking professional paint job with a historically accurate contrasting color for the head tube, to show off the great lugwork. Capo #2 still has what's left of the original paint and decals; I am stripping and repainting just the red headtube, whose severely flaking enamel paint is in far worse condition than the rest of the frame, which I am simply cleaning and preserving. The real challenge in repainting the head tube will be to match the original red paint on the seat tube, surrounding "Ratshausmann."
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    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
    Capo [dschaw'-poe]: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger, S/N 42624
    Peugeot: 1970 UO-8, S/N 0010468
    Bianchi: 1981 Campione d'Italia, S/N 1.M9914
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  9. #9
    59'er Mariner Fan's Avatar
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    Sometimes, you get paralyzed with keeping a bike original. I’ve been there myself. Are you collecting the bikes for re-sale or want to ride them? Treks are great bikes but they aren’t hard to come by so if you want to make changes, do so. I saved all the original pieces on mine just in case but I really like the newer components that I put on this bike.

  10. #10
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    What model Treks do you own? in 80's steel, the top level built with Columbus or 753, I think model numbered 170, 970 & probably some other #s, would probably be the most collectible and worth the most unchanged. My '84 760 (531c+Superbe) is unrestored and original except for the wheelset (NR+Mavic), but I'm not sure that has affected its value. I just haven't seen any sell for what it would take for me to part with it. Ride them, keep them in good shape, keep your original parts, maybe someday the market will come around.

  11. #11
    Forum Admin lotek's Avatar
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    1)No repaints. I have a Pogliaghi track bike worth probably 1/8 th what I could get for it if
    it were original paint.
    2) keep any original parts that you remove, that way if you do decide to sell it you can
    easily "restore" it back to the way it came.
    3) And this is big: DO NOT REMOVE braze ons, derailleur hangers, etc. to make a fixie out of it.
    and conversely don't have braze on's put on a frame that didn't come with them.

    Now, as for the "No offence to Treks, but very, very few go for more than $300 on Ebay-pretty much high end walmart prices" I say B.S. Vintage steel treks are an amazing value, and some of them go for
    quite a bit (i.e. the $900+ Trek 170 recently seen on ebay). high end walmart prices? Go look at what decent steel bikes sell for on craigslist in some markets. Find a vintage 520 or 720 on ebay and tell me they don't sell or are comprable in price with xmart bikes.

    Next question I have is what model trek? and what year?

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  12. #12
    Vello Kombi, baby Poguemahone's Avatar
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    Now, now. Most used Treks aren't worth more than a hundred bucks, because most Treks are mass produced stuff. But (and this is a very big but) the vintage steel lugged road bikes by Trek certainly are or should be. I'm with Lotek on this one fer sure. I'll maintain that the the 410/412 model, which usually goes for about 100-150$ on ebuy, is one of the great steals still to be had. I've got one which I have upgraded, and boy is it nice to ride. It's even pretty darn minty in the paint and decal department. However, the cost was sub 100$. The Treks pre-1984 are all pretty darn nice, be they Ishiwata, 531, or Columbus, but the first is completely undervalued.

    Equipment on the early Treks could vary greatly, as they were available just as a frame. Mine has Shimano 600 Arabesque and a Campy/Rigida wheelset. Period, but not stock. Value? I dunno, but if I had to shave down to, oh, five or six bikes, I'd probably keep the 410. Four, maybe not.

    A 720 is another matter; it's one of the great steel tourers and costs accordingly (theres a later 720 which is a so-so MTB, I think). In other words, be prepared to shell out the cost of several magnas or roadmasters for a 720 (and, in aesthetic terms, the 720 is worth an infinite number of those two fine brands).
    "It's always darkest right before it goes completely black"

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  13. #13
    *****es love tarck kemmer's Avatar
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    The cheapest vintage Trek I've come across was $300 and it was a lower end model. High end x-mart bikes are $200. I would expect to pay at least $500 for a nice Trek.

  14. #14
    Seņor Member USAZorro's Avatar
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    Hey Poguemahone - welcome back stranger!

    Originality enhances collectability and in some instances your enjoyment of the bike. There is a school of thought that for many bikes (especially those that would have been sold as frames), fitting the bike out with nice, appropriate-era components is as good as being anal about getting the gruppo exactly "right".

    I like the idea of keeping original parts for show, and an alternate set for riding.
    The search for inner peace continues...

  15. #15
    Vello Kombi, baby Poguemahone's Avatar
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    "Hey Poguemahone - welcome back stranger!"

    Believe me, my computer has blown up and then I got offered a publishing gig, so I've been drawing nonstop the last few months and haven't bothered to fix the computer-- I often scan the board when I'm at a computer (not often), but don't post much, just blowing off some time now.

    This board is about the only thing I miss, not having a computer. Mine may be back this week, can't say I cares, but if it is, I'll be about moreish.
    "It's always darkest right before it goes completely black"

    Waste your money! Buy my comic book!

  16. #16
    Senior Member sykerocker's Avatar
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    Pogue - ditto on the return. Next thing I know you'll be drawing so much you won't be riding. Ashland coffee this Sunday?

    As to modifying bikes: My personal taste is to either do the bike as per the dealer's showroom floor, or, advance about three or four years of ownership and do what would be 'usual' upgrades over multi year ownership. My Magneet is probably a prime example of how I like them done: Stock frame, crank, seatpost and stem, changed the (missing when I got it) Campy Valentinos to SunTour Compe-V/V-GT, upgraded the brakes to Weinmann centerpulls/sidepull (rear), changed the steel wheels to 27" alloys with quick releases, added mudguards and front and rear carriers, bags.

    About what I'd have done had I bought the bike new in 1969, liked it as much then as I do now, and slowly let my love of long haul touring evolve.

    Modifications are to each one's own taste. However the safest idea is to always stay period correct and keep the original parts.
    Syke

    "No wonder we keep testing positive in their bicycle races. Everyone looks like they're full of testosterone when they're surrounded by Frenchmen." ---Argus Hamilton

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poguemahone
    Now, now. Most used Treks aren't worth more than a hundred bucks, because most Treks are mass produced stuff. But (and this is a very big but) the vintage steel lugged road bikes by Trek certainly are or should be. I'm with Lotek on this one fer sure. I'll maintain that the the 410/412 model, which usually goes for about 100-150$ on ebuy, is one of the great steals still to be had. I've got one which I have upgraded, and boy is it nice to ride. It's even pretty darn minty in the paint and decal department. However, the cost was sub 100$. The Treks pre-1984 are all pretty darn nice, be they Ishiwata, 531, or Columbus, but the first is completely undervalued.
    Fwiw, I used my first paycheck from a Silicon Valley computer parts manufacturer to pay $350 for a Trek 412 in 1983 from Palo Alto Bike Shop. It was a nice ride, but I collided with another cyclist on the Stanford campus, and bent the top and down tubes. The fork didn't budge (which isn't the way it's supposed to work). Eventually, it got stolen when I locked it up at a CalTrain station (or maybe I didn't lock it up?), but it sure was a twitchy ride after that collision.

    Neal

  18. #18
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    Splash cork bar-tape should take about half the value off any vintage lightweight.

    Seriously anything you change that cannot be changed back with a wrench, screwdriver, or black tape will hurt the value of a collectable bike. But taking off original tires, wheels, brake pads, brake hoods, freewheels, etc. so you do not burn them up by riding the bike is actually a good idea. As long as the original parts are stored correctly and re-installed when you go to sell the bike.

    And, hi-end 70's and early 80's Treks are bringing real money now. Whoever sez no is not paying attention.

  19. #19
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    We still don't know what you own?

  20. #20
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    FIXATION kills

    worst part is that the hip crowd is buying all the nice lugged frames and doing horrible un-undo-able crimes to them. just read the fixed gear and single speed thread and you will be convinced.
    If you are not having any fun, it's all your fault

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by poopncow
    FIXATION kills

    worst part is that the hip crowd is buying all the nice lugged frames and doing horrible un-undo-able crimes to them. just read the fixed gear and single speed thread and you will be convinced.
    Think about how bikes are dated-- most often, the advice is to check the components for date codes. So what happens when somebody buys a vintage bike, and strips it down to the frame for conversion to fixed gear? The date codes for that bike are lost forever. Then add in all the conversions that remove all trace of the bike's origin, and you have an unknown bike of unknown vintage. Nobody will ever be able to sort these bikes out. When the fixed gear crowd moves on to some other hobby, the vast majority of those bikes will be abandoned as worthless scrap.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Order
    Think about how bikes are dated-- most often, the advice is to check the components for date codes. So what happens when somebody buys a vintage bike, and strips it down to the frame for conversion to fixed gear? The date codes for that bike are lost forever. Then add in all the conversions that remove all trace of the bike's origin, and you have an unknown bike of unknown vintage. Nobody will ever be able to sort these bikes out. When the fixed gear crowd moves on to some other hobby, the vast majority of those bikes will be abandoned as worthless scrap.
    That is the funniest post I've ever read.

  23. #23
    iab
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    Senior Member iab's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Order
    Think about how bikes are dated-- most often, the advice is to check the components for date codes. So what happens when somebody buys a vintage bike, and strips it down to the frame for conversion to fixed gear? The date codes for that bike are lost forever. Then add in all the conversions that remove all trace of the bike's origin, and you have an unknown bike of unknown vintage. Nobody will ever be able to sort these bikes out. When the fixed gear crowd moves on to some other hobby, the vast majority of those bikes will be abandoned as worthless scrap.
    Don't forget parting out a bike to get the maximum money will have the same effect. The frames I bought are from parted out bikes. I tried to get as many of the original parts as I could but I didn't have the means to get them all.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by iab
    Don't forget parting out a bike to get the maximum money will have the same effect. The frames I bought are from parted out bikes. I tried to get as many of the original parts as I could but I didn't have the means to get them all.
    I agree. The people who love vintage bikes the most are destroying the history. I myself will upgrade bikes, but I'm very careful about saving the original parts, just in case it will mean something to posterity.

    Still, I'm considering some changes that would not be easy to undo-- painting, for example. With paint changes, and component upgrades, I might still know the vintage, and I might still have the parts in a box, but will anybody else be able to identify the bike, beyond the make?
    Last edited by Blue Order; 03-07-07 at 10:33 PM.

  25. #25
    Freewheel Medic pastorbobnlnh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Order
    When the fixed gear crowd moves on to some other hobby, the vast majority of those bikes will be abandoned as worthless scrap.
    Any predictions? I'd like to buy stock!
    Bob
    Dreaming of Summertime in NH!

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