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Old 07-02-08, 06:43 PM   #1
Flying Merkel
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Racing bike for sale! Valuble collector's item....

Having scanned CL ads & the local Recycler, these ads define the word "ubiquitious" Seems like anything with drop bars or multispeeds is a racing bike. Saw the tag applied to a low-end Specialized mountain bike.

My limit was reached after seeing a pictre of a UO8 that had been stuffed in a corner of a storage shed described as a "valuble racing bike, complete with luggage rack" I tried to explain to the seller is was in no way shape or form a racing bike, but a low-end all rounder. Her comeback was, "It's definitely got racing tires on it" She admitted that she had no knowledge of bikes at all.

Heavy sigh. Caveat emptor.
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Old 07-02-08, 07:04 PM   #2
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I was thinking along similar lines when I saw this eBay ad for a "VINTAGE RALEIGH ROAD BIKE HANDLEBAR FIXED GEAR NR." There's nothing "fixed gear" whatsoever in the ad's description or in the handlebars themselves, of course. Doesn't eBay have a rule against such things?

Neal
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Old 07-02-08, 08:52 PM   #3
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What about this "one of a kind" cruiser? You don't see flat black spray paint jobs that often, do you?

http://miami.craigslist.org/mdc/bik/740972123.html

What is it with people trying to hype up sales in any which way they can, while overlooking all sane methods of making their bike more presentable to those looking?

-Kurt
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Old 07-02-08, 08:55 PM   #4
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What about this "one of a kind" cruiser? You don't see flat black spray paint jobs that often, do you?

http://miami.craigslist.org/mdc/bik/740972123.html

What is it with people trying to hype up sales in any which way they can, while overlooking all sane methods of making their bike more presentable to those looking?

-Kurt
The "retro" custom paint job did it for me
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Old 07-02-08, 09:03 PM   #5
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The "retro" custom paint job did it for me
Retro, as in a retroclination of the seller's mind.

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Old 07-02-08, 09:17 PM   #6
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The prices for used bikes are going crazy. So people are hyping beach cruisers, old roadies, whatever to try and get an uneducated public to buy their bikes for ridiculous prices. Unfortunately, it's working.
Part of the problem is the reputation that X-Mart bikes have earned, that is, they're junk that doesn't work shortly after purchase, so they're not worth their low price. I meet many people who have been fooled once by Big Box, but won't let it happen twice.
So the next low priced alternative is a used bike. If sold by a competent bike flipper who has cleaned, repaired and tuned the bike, the buyer might get a good deal. But there are people out there who think "I've got a bike just like the one in the picture. It must be worth $150 too". Now a $15 yard sale condition bike goes up on CL as a racing bike for $150. And some poor shlump buys it and gets taken. My concern is that soon the public will become wary of used bikes including those that have been properly repaired and turn away from this low priced alternative.
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Old 07-03-08, 12:25 AM   #7
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Montreal is not exempt of this trend.

http://montreal.en.craigslist.ca/bik/740311108.html "NEW TAPE" is the selling point?

I'm by no means a bike connoisseur, but it seems to me any old road bike is a rare find and instantly worth 100$, regardless of the condition its in. Cashing in on hipsters much?
Apparently Canadian Tire makes some genuine quality mountain bikes, none of which depreciate in value with time.

A vintage Peugeot that I arranged to pick up and buy for 30$ was bought by someone else (who likely offered more money and less time) and reposted two weeks later for 100$ on CL. Sort of a bummer. But trends like this fluctuate and eventually vintage bikes won't be overpriced due to nostalgia value (I'm looking at you, baby boomer craigslisters).
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Old 07-03-08, 06:10 AM   #8
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I came across some guy thinking his plain gauge early 80s road bike with nutted 27X1 1/4 steel rims was worth $175. I told him his bike was "pretty low end" and he started feeling a little insulted. I was pretty amazed, I couldn't decide to laugh or be a bearer of bad news and tell him I could buy a bunch of bikes like his for $5-10 if I wanted to.. but why would I? So I just left.
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Old 07-03-08, 07:09 AM   #9
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Are we starting another "Numbskull...." thread?
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Old 07-03-08, 11:03 AM   #10
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Alas I think I'm becoming a my grandfather. I always remember him looking at the price of some item or other and saying, "That's a damned shame, that thing used to be two bits." In my late teens - early 20's I was into old cars. I had a '64 Pontiac Grand Prix, a '67 Olds 442, a '67 Buick Riviera, and a '72 Buick GS Stage 1. I don't think I paid more then $900 for any of them, some a lot less. What do you think those would go for today? Fortunately I'm not really into old cars anymore. I've been looking for an old Bottecchia Special for a while now though. You would think they would be fairly common but surprisingly you don't see them that often. There is one on eBay right now though. Thank goodness it's not my size because it's up to $125 already. Now $125 would not be horribly bad if it actually went for that (though when you add shipping you're going to have a fairly expensive Special) but there are 14 bids on it and still time left on the auction. I bet it goes for $200 easy. While you can still find a great bargin at the thrift store or yard sale I think we are going to have to resign ourselves to the fact that the market has shifted and the prices have gone up.

A really clean original example of an entry level European boom bike - Raleigh Grand Prix, Peugeot UO8, Bottecchia Special, the ones you used to pay $50 for tops - now go for $200 on eBay and CL. Sure you can still find them for $20 at a yard sale but that is mainly going to work for the flipper who has time to look at all the yard sales and thrift stores. I certainly don't. I have a bot set up to email me when something I'm interested in pops up on eBay so for me $200 is the going price. I did luck out with the $30 Panasonic because I just happened to drive past the pawn shop at the right moment with cash in hand but I was actually on my way to the plumbing supply house for a part for my sprinkler system. No doubt if I had missed it some flipper would have got it and it would have been on CL the next day for $300.
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Old 07-03-08, 02:01 PM   #11
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OTOH, I spoke with this young 20ish woman on the 5 borough bike tour riding a beautiful old Masi that she bought on ebay or CL for very little. This one was the real thing. It was so nice that the bike caught my eye before she did. She had turned off into a big crowd in Manhattan before I could speak with her, but ran into her again on Staten Island at the end. When I first saw her I figured it had to be her father's bike, but as I said, she had bought it and had shop do some basic maintenance on it. I was going to offer to help her with some more repairs , but I didn't think that would sit well with my wife, and my daughter was with me.
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Old 07-03-08, 02:13 PM   #12
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You guys are young, once all multi-speed bikes were known as "Englsh racers". The general public sees anything with drop bars as a racing bike, no matter how cheaply its built. Anything not a racer is either a mountain bike or cruiser no matter the reality. As for the price asked for a bike, the tale is in what they get. The market will determine its value and, if some goofball gives the asking price, then that's what its worth, at least to that poor slob.

Recently, there was a Nishiki Cresta on Ebay. It was a year younger than mine. The guy called it a racing bike, said it was a 10 speed. When I sent him an FYI about it having three chain rings, 5 rear cogs on the free wheel and that it was a 15 speed touring, his response was, "well, it seems pretty fast to me."
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Old 07-03-08, 05:35 PM   #13
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You guys are young, once all multi-speed bikes were known as "Englsh racers". The general public sees anything with drop bars as a racing bike, no matter how cheaply its built.
I do remember that. I was starting to wonder if it was something local to where I grew up because as I got into vintage bikes I read that an "English Racer" was actually an upright, three speed bike with fenders and chain guards and such - the clasic Raleigh 3-speed. But I agree with you, to the general public, anything with dropped bars is a "racing" bike. That term has faded but most people I know today call any old dropped bar bike a "10-speed", regardless of how many gears it might have. Of course all bikes were "road" bikes in those days and I don't ever remember that term being used like it is today.

In fact if you think about it, a $350 - $500 full 531 or Columbus framed bike with NR gruppo back then was a professional level bike and equivalent in market position to a $6000 - $10,000 bike today so I would have to imagine there were a lot of guys competing in the local club scenes of the day on bikes that we might not today think of as a "racing" bike.
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Old 07-03-08, 05:57 PM   #14
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I think the problem is people calling their super slack geometry, rack-and-fender equipped, even mixte-framed bikes "racing" bikes.
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Old 07-03-08, 06:07 PM   #15
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The market really did go up abruptly this spring. Over the course of a just a few months, seemed like prices doubled for your avg. yard sale bike. On CL here in DC, if any bike is under $100, either it has serious problems or the owner is clueless (still a few of those).

Some guy here in DC started a fairly high volume flipping business around the beginning of the year - bulldog bike restoration. Pretty much yard sale bikes, once in a while he'll get something nice, but pretty much low to mid range stuff. In the beginning of the year, all his bikes were around $100. Now, his prices are getting close to averaging $200 and he seems to be selling the stuff as fast as he can get it up on the web.

I understand the interest in bikes with gas and all, but for it to affect the used market so quick is really a little surprising. OTOH, I don't think that the prices for higher end euro/campy stuff have inflated so much, so I suppose that is the good news.
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Old 07-04-08, 10:47 AM   #16
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When I looked on CL to buy a bike for my daughter, I really didn't expect to find anything. But just reading the ads sometimes disgusted me with some of the claims being made. I still can't believe people buy that crap. If they were truly vintage that MAY be OK, but most of them are just dept store type bikes that are falling apart. Most of the sellers are in hipster Williamsburg, so that explains a lot of it.

Maybe I should take a ride over on my vintage bike and see if I get any offers.

And $350-500 would have been a low price for an NR equipped 531 or Columbus bike, even back then. More like twice that, although I guess it depends on how far back.

And the bike my daughter eventually ended up with was a Specialized Dolce Vita equipped with 105 9sp off ebay that was so 'lightly used' that the original tags were still on it, in other words never ridden. I paid less than half the cost of a new one, and about 2/3 the cost of the lowest priced new Specialized road bike available with the crappy Sora components. Sometimes you can get a bargain.

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Old 07-04-08, 11:10 AM   #17
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And $350-500 would have been a low price for an NR equipped 531 or Columbus bike, even back then. More like twice that, although I guess it depends on how far back.
I was thinking late 60's - early 70's. Funny thing is, if you use the consumer price index calculator and put in $500 in 1972 you get something like $2500 today. Not that $2500 won't buy a decent bicycle today but it won't get you anything like a highend road bike.
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Old 07-05-08, 07:31 PM   #18
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I've been looking for an old Bottecchia Special for a while now though. You would think they would be fairly common but surprisingly you don't see them that often. There is one on eBay right now though. Thank goodness it's not my size because it's up to $125 already. Now $125 would not be horribly bad if it actually went for that (though when you add shipping you're going to have a fairly expensive Special) but there are 14 bids on it and still time left on the auction. I bet it goes for $200 easy.
Went for $330!!! Plus shipping. For a friggin' Special, hi-tensile steel, stamped dropouts and all.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Vintage-Bottecch...QQcmdZViewItem
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Old 07-05-08, 07:54 PM   #19
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Yeah, but it has chrome on the chainstays and chrome lugs. That is worth something, especially if you don't know much about Italian bikes.
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Old 07-05-08, 08:07 PM   #20
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Went for $330!!! Plus shipping. For a friggin' Special, hi-tensile steel, stamped dropouts and all.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Vintage-Bottecch...QQcmdZViewItem
It is in nice shape.... nice leather saddle, campagnolo hubs and drive train. As far as being rare... it is... not many around in this nice of shape. If I were to compare the vintage bike scene today... it's like the vintage car scene.

A few years ago vintage Alfa's, BMW's, Lancia's, Aston Martin's, etc. were all being bought up by collectors. The prices rose and the market moved on to the next thing. in this case it happens to be American muscle... now people are paying $130,000 for a 1967 Ford Mustang.

So the American muscle car is sort of like these stamped dropout bike boom era bikes and the Alfa's and Lancia's are like the gorgeous Italian and French 531 framed bikes from the same era....
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Old 07-05-08, 08:37 PM   #21
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You are all right. The flipping world has gone crazy recently.

But do try to see it from the flippers point of view: how to label a (for example) UO8? Some people call them ten speeds. Some people call them racing bikes. Some people call them road bikes. Some people call them those-old-bikes-with-ramhorn-handlebars. Some people call them those-old-bikes-with-crazy-narrow-tires.

Pretty much whatever I call it will be some degree of confusing to the buyer while still being some degree of inaccuate.

Naturally, I have no desire to mislable anything. I have no desire to waste anyone's time. Honestly, I do not want to sell a bike to a person that they do not really want.

I have a U08 right now. Actually, it is a UE8 Caravan. If I call it a touring bike (which it most certainly is; fenders, lights, racks), that will confuse 95% of the people reading the ad. I call it that anyway, but still I have to use some other language to get some kind of idea across.

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Old 07-05-08, 09:40 PM   #22
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Yeah, but it has chrome on the chainstays and chrome lugs. That is worth something, especially if you don't know much about Italian bikes.
I guess. Ignorance is bliss. Doesn't help me though.

Not that I'm really surprised. Actually what's more surprising is all the folks on this forum who are probably among the more knowledgeable about vintage bikes who still say those old entry level boom era Euro bikes are only worth $50 tops. Clearly there is a market for those valuable collector "racing" bikes....
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Old 07-05-08, 10:23 PM   #23
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A bike is worth what someone will pay for it. The lady with the UO8 sold it for $200.00. Instead of flaming her with a nasty email, I posted a link to info about UO8s. She did answer all my questions to the best of her ability. She just didn't have much ability.

My original post is just a fruitless plea for realistic descriptions. Prices have gone crazy- finally excepted it.
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Old 07-05-08, 10:24 PM   #24
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The prices for used bikes are going crazy. .... My concern is that soon the public will become wary of used bikes including those that have been properly repaired and turn away from this low priced alternative.
Maybe that means those of us who can tell the difference will get better deals? I dunno.
I have customers waiting for road bikes for $250-$300 that I can't find to even clean up and sell for no profit. I stick to what I think is true: if they can find a better bike for the money, fine with me.

I think if we continue to shoot straight, we'll be OK. In fact, the shysters are going to make our market for us. We just may have to deal with more folks who waste our time.

I do know that I paid $100-$135 last summer for bikes that are going for twice that now.
Plus, I'm getting teased more, people wanting to sell, then seeing a response, then raising the ante.
As a married man, I should be used to that.

I'm still coming across the ratty old Motobecane and Raleigh, hanging in a shed covered in bird turd, and having the owner want $300 each. That hasn't changed. I just consider those to be dumpster bikes on a time out.

The hype is annoying. America is about image, not substance, a result of a collective trend away from integrity.

Maybe we should find an eBay ad that shoots straight, and start featuring those?
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=320257297725

I hope that shoulder is doing better, and we can get together to ride some time soon.
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Old 07-06-08, 06:49 AM   #25
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Do an eBay search for the term "fixed gear." The horror! The horror!

Neal
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