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  1. #1
    Senior Member mike's Avatar
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    Bicycles from the 1970's ARE indeed collectible

    It is interesting to note that some collectors are still seeing bicycles from the 1970's as "too new".

    A bicycle from 1970 is 38 years old. Ya, that's right; 1970 was 38 years ago! It doesn't seem that long ago, but bikes from the 19-- anything are from the last millennium.

    To put it in perspective, when I started collecting bicycles in the 1980's, a bike 38 years old would have been from the 1950's. THOSE were considered very collectible bikes in the 1980's.

    About ten years ago, I suggested that people start collecting the bikes from the 1970's as they were going to the landfills literally by the truckloads. Today, I feel a little better knowing that bicycles are going to recycling rather than landfills, but the good bikes are getting to be rare.

    As pointed out in some of the other posts, we are seeing fewer nice bikes from the '70's on the market and those that are available are bringing in values well over $100+.

    Now may be the last opportunity to grab the remaining beautiful bicycles made in the USA, England, France, Italy, and even Japan.
    Last edited by mike; 05-06-08 at 08:40 AM.
    Mike

  2. #2
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike View Post
    ... Now may be the last opportunity to grab the remaining beautiful bicycles made in the USA, England, France, Italy, and even Japan.
    ... or Austria
    "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
    Schwinn: 1988 Project KOM-10, S/N F804069

  3. #3
    Pedal pusher... alicestrong's Avatar
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    Loves me my 77 Ladies Schwinn Sportabout, made in Chicago.

    Found in the trash, she looks better every day!!
    May you live long, live strong, and live happy!

  4. #4
    Bottecchia fan
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike View Post
    It is interesting to note that some collectors are still seeing bicycles from the 1970's as "too new".

    A bicycle from 1970 is 30 years old. Ya, that's right; 1978 was 38 years ago! It doesn't seem that long ago, but bikes from the 19-- anything are from the last millennium.

    To put it in perspective, when I started collecting bicycles in the 1980's, a bike 38 years old would have been from the 1950's. THOSE were considered very collectible bikes in the 1980's.

    About ten years ago, I suggested that people start collecting the bikes from the 1970's as they were going to the landfills literally by the truckloads. Today, I feel a little better knowing that bicycles are going to recycling rather than landfills, but the good bikes are getting to be rare.

    As pointed out in some of the other posts, we are seeing fewer nice bikes from the '70's on the market and those that are available are bringing in values well over $100+.

    Now may be the last opportunity to grab the remaining beautiful bicycles made in the USA, England, France, Italy, and even Japan.

    Well I certainly agree with you. Who said they weren't? I'm pretty sure the bikes are out there but there is something I see happening that might make it seem like they are getting hard to find. It's a sort looking back at the past through rose colored glasses. The bikes that so many on this forum seem to remember as "nice" or "good" bikes were actually ultra high-end custom made to order bikes owned by only a rare few. Masi's, Colnago's, Cinelli's and the like were not the kind of thing you walked into Joe's Bicycle and Lawnmower back in the day and saw sitting in the showroom. There doesn't seem to be any shortage of Peugeot's, Raleigh's, or Schwinn's out there which makes sense as that's what millions of folks were riding back then. That said, prices have gone up somewhat in the last couple of years and you won't get much for $100 on eBay given that even an old UO8 can sometimes be parted out for twice that.
    1959 Bottecchia Professional (frame), 1966 Bottecchia Professional, 1971 Bottecchia Professional (frame),
    1973 Bottecchia Gran Turismo, 1974 Bottecchia Special, 1977 Bottecchia Special (frame),
    1974 Peugeot UO-8, 1988 Panasonic PT-3500, 2002 Bianchi Veloce, 2004 Bianchi Pista

  5. #5
    If I own it, I ride it CV-6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike View Post
    It is interesting to note that some collectors are still seeing bicycles from the 1970's as "too new".

    A bicycle from 1970 is 30 years old. Ya, that's right; 1978 was 38 years ago! It doesn't seem that long ago, but bikes from the 19-- anything are from the last millennium.

    To put it in perspective, when I started collecting bicycles in the 1980's, a bike 38 years old would have been from the 1950's. THOSE were considered very collectible bikes in the 1980's.

    About ten years ago, I suggested that people start collecting the bikes from the 1970's as they were going to the landfills literally by the truckloads. Today, I feel a little better knowing that bicycles are going to recycling rather than landfills, but the good bikes are getting to be rare.

    As pointed out in some of the other posts, we are seeing fewer nice bikes from the '70's on the market and those that are available are bringing in values well over $100+.

    Now may be the last opportunity to grab the remaining beautiful bicycles made in the USA, England, France, Italy, and even Japan.

    Your premise is good, but you need to work on your math skills.
    Lynn Travers

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    ISO: Lejeune Champion du Monde Ultra Leger Reynolds 753, 53-55cm

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    you seem to know about the 70s

    I rode a Raleigh Grand Prix in the early 70s. Wish I still had it, cause it went everywhere, even though it was clunky. Now I am gifted with a Raleigh Competition, only with a small frame...I want to get an idea what it might be valued at so I don't get fleeced in the open market. It is in really great shape in the Portland Or area, and equipped with original parts. Do you have any ideas on how to value it?

  7. #7
    Disraeli Gears Charles Wahl's Avatar
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    Next time you see a Raleigh Competition on eBay, watch it. There might be some still in the "completed listings" pipeline. My recollection is that, depending on condition, those seem to go for roughly $300 - $400, with original equipment (more desirable than being "customized."

  8. #8
    www.theheadbadge.com cudak888's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Wahl View Post
    My recollection is that, depending on condition, those seem to go for roughly $300 - $400, with original equipment
    With lesser examples fetching significantly lower prices, of course.

    -Kurt

  9. #9
    Velocommuter Commando Sirrus Rider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike View Post
    It is interesting to note that some collectors are still seeing bicycles from the 1970's as "too new".

    A bicycle from 1970 is 30 years old. Ya, that's right; 1978 was 38 years ago! It doesn't seem that long ago, but bikes from the 19-- anything are from the last millennium.

    To put it in perspective, when I started collecting bicycles in the 1980's, a bike 38 years old would have been from the 1950's. THOSE were considered very collectible bikes in the 1980's.

    About ten years ago, I suggested that people start collecting the bikes from the 1970's as they were going to the landfills literally by the truckloads. Today, I feel a little better knowing that bicycles are going to recycling rather than landfills, but the good bikes are getting to be rare.

    As pointed out in some of the other posts, we are seeing fewer nice bikes from the '70's on the market and those that are available are bringing in values well over $100+.

    Now may be the last opportunity to grab the remaining beautiful bicycles made in the USA, England, France, Italy, and even Japan.
    After dealing with my modern Schwinn, an '07 Town & Country Trike I'm having something akin to buyers remorse. This past Saturday I managed to snap its rear drive axle. Ever since I bought it I keep comparing it to all the Schwinns I handled growing up in the late 70s early 80s and I can't help recognizing how inferior it is to the good old electro-forged versions. I'm beginning to regret not finding a 60s to 80s Town & Country instead of buying brand-new. I'm willing to bet that I would've been greatly challenged to snap the axle on an Electroforged Town and Country.

  10. #10
    soonerbills soonerbills's Avatar
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    All that being said, what conclusions can be made about the next generations (80's) mid to high end bikes.
    will the current appetite for those quality steel frames for SS and FG conversions have a impact on factory stock condition bikes sometime in the future?

  11. #11
    Senior Member cyclotoine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soonerbills View Post
    All that being said, what conclusions can be made about the next generations (80's) mid to high end bikes.
    will the current appetite for those quality steel frames for SS and FG conversions have a impact on factory stock condition bikes sometime in the future?
    Maybe a little, there are definitely a lot of frames being stripped and fixed and the parts get scattered but they will return to the cycle I am sure. It will be hard to find complete unscathed bikes as the popularity of cycling is high right now and even 70s and 80s bike are very good utility bikes. I know a fellow who is currently riding a 1979 Marinoni with campagnolo into the ground. But he knows what it is and appreciates it, it's just his main transportation.

    The 1970s high end bike are already hard to come by. I only have one and that is a unknown name so it isn't so valuable but I will tell you as soon as you go pre 1974 there is a huge jump in the price of campagnolo parts and when you go pre 1971 another jump and then pre 1968 again on and on... 70s stuff is pretty valuable especially with the CR crowd who mostly covet pre 1983... C-record is already insane and other stuff like superbe pro and old dura-ace is on the rise... so if you are young snatch up the late to mid 80s stuff now and take care of it... it will be worth something one day.
    1 Super Record bike, 1 Nuovo Record bike, 1 Pista, 1 Road, 1 Cyclocross/Allrounder, 1 MTB, 1 Touring, 1 Fixed gear

  12. #12
    soonerbills soonerbills's Avatar
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    Thats kinda what I think too. My '72 UO-8 brought big(relatively speaking) money parted out. The '81 Miyata 1000 I got for a song sold for over $650 even though it did not have the correct factory gruppe so it's evident that people even now are willing to put up good money for vintage steel.
    Even the entry level '88 Fuji Absolute I had recently sold for over $180. Now, I have only recently been in the hobby as a purveyor and after many years building hot rods, I know quality steel when I see it. Fit and finish is evident when you know what to look for. Over the last few months, studying bikes and the various production methods as well as watching sales and auctions I see the market is generally in a upswing price wise. As the availability of the '70 steel dwindles the newer bikes will only catch more fire.
    I recently was lucky to acquire another pristine mid 80's Fuji. and though I enjoy the market end of this hobby I have decided that I will not let this one go. The fact that it fits me to a tee is a real factor in the decision to keep it, I also believe that financially the small windfall I could recoup now will be far out weighed by the future value IMHO

  13. #13
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    IIRC there was a major downturn in the number of bike sales in the 80's...so there will be fewer vintage machines to pick from, by the time you get to the 90's the market was being flooded by the super cheap WM bikes. Many bottom level 60's and 70's bikes were of a reasonable quality and have survived, by the mid 80's those were starting to be made offshore and the quality dropped drastically. I rebuilt a couple of Huffy Baypoints, one from the early 80's made in the USA and a late 80's made in Mexico there was a world of difference in the frame quality. I have a brand new Huffy cruiser that is basically a bicycle shaped piece of metal. I see no way that it could make it 20-30 years...even if it was never ridden!

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
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    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
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  14. #14
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    Of course everyone decides what he thinks is worthy of collectioning.I myself am sufficiently crazy to have 20 Peugeots and 3 Mosers and 3 Merckxs.
    But the big difference with 1950's bikes is that after the war sports bikes were a luxury few people could afford andso remaining good examples are rare and thus expensive.Bike boom racing bikes have lots of charm and qualities but are not rare.I suppose that here in Flanders alone there must remain a 100 thousand UO8 and better bikes,in use as student or local transportation or in the back of the garage.So enjoy old steel but don't count on collectors prices.

  15. #15
    Senior Member
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    Yeah, I've been collecting 70s and earlier bikes since the 70s!

  16. #16
    Senior Member mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CV-6 View Post
    Your premise is good, but you need to work on your math skills.
    Oh, Oops. Thanks. I transposed the whole paragraph.
    Mike

  17. #17
    Senior Member mike's Avatar
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    I think when you are in a situation where you can buy a '70's or '80's vintage road bike at a garage sale for $20 and flip it on ebay or Craigslist for $100 to $200 within week is evidence that we are now in that narrow window of golden opportunity. It won't be too long before we will be kicking ourselves for not snatching up as many of these bikes as we could get our hands on.

    I am seeing fewer and fewer of even the mid-range factory bikes from the '70's. A tremendous amount of them have been sent to recycling and land-fill, thus making the remaining machines even more rare.

    My money says there is better investment in the mid-range bikes right now than in the really high-end collectible bikes.
    Mike

  18. #18
    Glutton for Punishment
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike View Post
    My money says there is better investment in the mid-range bikes right now than in the really high-end collectible bikes.
    +1.

  19. #19
    surly old man jgedwa's Avatar
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    I think we are seeing a small but real upswing in the value of used bikes across the board, so in that sense I agree that 70's bikes are becoming more collectible (at least in the sense that that they fetch more money than they did a few years ago).

    But collectibility nearly always is a function of rarity. If something was mass-produced (say, like a good quality Nishiki or the such), then it likely will never see a real spike in value in our lifetimes. Market spikes are caused by market runs. If buyers get the sense that they are about the miss the boat, then prices suddenly inflate. But, I suspect that there will always be another dusty old Nishiki hiding in the next garage.

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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgedwa View Post
    But collectibility nearly always is a function of rarity.
    jim
    A bit of chicken and egg here. To some extent it's true. But collectibility also involves desirability. It's when desirability and rarity collide that the prices go through the roof. There are a lot of very rare bikes that aren't all that well known that go for relatively little money compared to their quality. On the other hand, prices for nice Schwinn Paramounts remain strong because a lot of folks would like to own one (and coveted them years ago). Yet Paramounts are dime-a-dozen compared to many other makes. Take marques like Galmozzi or Gillott, for example, that are relatively rare, yet didn't fetch good money until people caught on within the recent past. In addition to rarity and desirability, there's also the issue of opportunity. For example, it's well known that there are a relatively very small number of Confentes in existance. Yet in the short time I've been following and collecting vintage bikes (since maybe 2004), I've seen maybe a half dozen available for sale. In other words, if I wanted one and had the money, I could have obtained one by now - they circulate. Eisentraut A frames, OTOH, don't, despite the fact that many more were produced than Confentes. So Confentes are certainly very "rare" in one sense; not so "rare" in the sense of "I'd better buy this one or there may not be another one along in my lifetime." But the perception is that they are both very rare and very desirable, and prices certainly remain very strong.

  21. #21
    car dodger norskagent's Avatar
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    ^"I'd better buy this one or there may not be another one along in my lifetime."

    This is why I jumped on a Mclean/Silk Hope when it became available to me (plus it was my size). The only thing really preventing me from getting a Sachs, Colnago, and the like is $$$, not availablity. I lucked out w/ the Silk Hope, getting the chance to buy it + a reasonable price.
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    "I've consulted my sources and I'm pretty sure your derailleur does not exist"

  22. #22
    Senior Member mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgedwa View Post
    I think we are seeing a small but real upswing in the value of used bikes across the board, so in that sense I agree that 70's bikes are becoming more collectible (at least in the sense that that they fetch more money than they did a few years ago).

    But collectibility nearly always is a function of rarity. If something was mass-produced (say, like a good quality Nishiki or the such), then it likely will never see a real spike in value in our lifetimes. Market spikes are caused by market runs. If buyers get the sense that they are about the miss the boat, then prices suddenly inflate. But, I suspect that there will always be another dusty old Nishiki hiding in the next garage.

    jim
    Whoa, Dude. Did you ever see the prices of Schwinn Phantoms or Stingrays (especially Krates)? Those were production bicycles too, now with prices that can easily be $1,000+
    Mike

  23. #23
    Senior Member due ruote's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike View Post
    I think when you are in a situation where you can buy a '70's or '80's vintage road bike at a garage sale for $20 and flip it on ebay or Craigslist for $100 to $200 within week is evidence that we are now in that narrow window of golden opportunity. It won't be too long before we will be kicking ourselves for not snatching up as many of these bikes as we could get our hands on.
    It's been my observation that most of the readers of this forum would in fact buy the $20 garage sale bike. No kicking required.

  24. #24
    . bbattle's Avatar
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    There are still 70's bikes sitting in garages, waiting their turn in the next garage sale. Most of them bike boom garbage but always a diamond here and there.

    Now if you really want to have bad dreams, think about buying vintage bikes thirty years from now. One steel frame on eBay, twenty aluminum ones and fifty carbon ones. And the steel one is a fixie conversion of a Bianchi Eros and it's got white Deep-V rims, pink chain, and NJS-certified cranks and stem.

    I hope people keep wanting to buy those awful Stingrays; it'll mean fewer dollars chasing my favorite bikes. The people buying them have no intention of riding them, nor do their grandchildren so in a few more years I predict a beanie baby type drop in the Stingray market.

    The rising population of the world means there will always be price pressure of some sort on all kinds of things, even Varsitys and Motobecane Gran Tour de Luxes.

  25. #25
    Vello Kombi, baby Poguemahone's Avatar
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    You'd have to be blind to not notice the spike in prices, even in the last few months. I sometimes wonder what my little collection, patched together at low prices, might be worth. I'd agree that eighties/nineties stuff is probably the way to go right now, and I think that in all liklihood some of the track and randoneur stuff being produced now will eventually be collectible; it's jsut the nature of the beast.

    I'm kind of sad, though, to see the collector and dealers mentality seeping into out little hobby. I liked it more when the value was in riding the darn thing and worry that it may all become about condition and pedigree, and some enthusiasts will be priced right out the hobby by collectors and dealers. Another poster here refered to it as an Antiques Roadshow sort of mentality, which I think describes it pretty well.

    Syke and I met up for a ride on Sunday, and we were talking about the surge in value lately. I mentioned I'd seen a Wall Street Journal article about a surge in old tractor prices, and he told me it's pretty true across the board with anything transportation related. Ugh.

    I work somethimes for a local comic book dealer, and I often go and assess collections with him. The guy is fair and honest, and gives a good price. Comic books have been through a number of speculative cycles, and people are often convinced-- to the point of being nasty-- that what they have is worth far, far more then it actually is. I went to assess one collection with him: it was worth somewhere between fifteen hundred dollars (my estimate) and sixteen (his). The people who wanted to sell it to us wanted sixty thousand dollars, because they had a price guide and knew the "real" value (alas, they had no clue how to grade for condition). These folks are not unique in that little corner of collecting. I worry we'll be dealing with that in the future, when people start to percieve that UO8 in the garage is worth a small fortune (of course, they'll id it as a PX10, and won't be dissuaded).

    Once we see a yearly price guide, the hobby is likely dead for the likes of us.
    "It's always darkest right before it goes completely black"

    Waste your money! Buy my comic book!

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