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Old 05-31-04, 07:38 PM   #1
ions
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Bikes as collector items?

Does it happen? Or does someone fancy have to ride it first? I could understand the Bonnie & Clyde bikes being worth more... I'm guessing bikes really just lose their value as their technology ages but I thought I'd ask. My Dad has a Bottecchia Champion Del Mondo from 1968 (or something like that) that is fun to look at, I wonder if it's worth anything?
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Old 06-01-04, 08:18 AM   #2
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Bikes do not have to be owned or ridden by someone of note to become
collectors items. Point in case are Confente frames, there were not many made
(135?) prior to Mario's untimely death. He was well renowned while he was building
at Masi so his own bikes were highly thought of. Currently a Confente would sell upwards
of $6000 if they come up for sale at all. Another example is late 60's Cinelli's they can
be quite pricey.
Vintage Bikes aren't really affected by changes in technology, most collectors are
looking for a period "frozen" bike. Alot of times people are looking for bikes that
were significant in their past, such as that Colnago Super (1976) that I always wanted
or something they rode in their youth.
As to price, there is a good price guide at www.harriscycles.com and another good
way to guage market value is keep an eye on what similiar bikes sell for on e-bay, check
for completed items. Another good resource is Classic Rendezvous.
hope this helps,
Marty
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Old 06-01-04, 09:26 AM   #3
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Yeah, there are some very valued bicycles out there. But like most collectibles, the value placed on them is ephemeral, and if the ephermera wears off, the prices plummet.

In my "real" job (such as it is) I draw and teach the fine art of cartooning, and I constantly have kids and parents asking me what their comic book is "worth". Since I don't really know, I always tell them the value is the enjoyment they get out of it, nothing more. The dealers I know tell me prices fluctuate wildly according to percieved and real demand, which in the area of ephemera can change quickly. I don't collect 'em, so I don't know.

However, the best made bikes tend not to lose much, if any, of their value (I think the ephemera around them is simply to strong). One has to keep in mind the better older bikes were handmade, low temp brazed, with excellent craftsmanship which would cost quite a bit new nowadays. I saw a 70's Alex Singer last Friday worth way more now than it was new, and my PXs have lost some value since new (adjusting for inflation) but not that much.

Most old bikes, however, like most new bikes, are crap; Sturgeon's Law always comes into play in these discussions. A mid-to-low end bike boom bike is worth very little in real terms. But, if you get enjoyment from it, heck, you've found a fortune. Just not in cash.
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Old 06-01-04, 07:12 PM   #4
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I look at beautiful vintage bikes as works of art "suitable for framing". very impressive to find a bike on display or hanging in a loft, fully restored and looking striking. Simple lines, geometry, exposed mechanics, etc.. Look at Richard Sachs' web site at his frame sets and imagine that, 20 years old and in pristine condition, hanging up for all to appreciate. Buddy of mine also has an older Bottecchia on display in his home...I can't keep my eyes off it!
But then again, arent bikes supposed to be ridden?
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Old 06-01-04, 07:46 PM   #5
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A few Japanese collectors have been bidding the prices of certain European classics, such as early 1960s PX-10s, to lofty levels. Condition is extremely important, as is historical significance. Thus, a 1960 Schwinn Continental with intact decals is apparently worth close to $1K on the open market, whereas one can often pick up an average-condition 1973 Continental for pocket change.
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Old 06-01-04, 10:04 PM   #6
ions
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Originally Posted by imapls
I look at beautiful vintage bikes as works of art "suitable for framing". very impressive to find a bike on display or hanging in a loft, fully restored and looking striking. Simple lines, geometry, exposed mechanics, etc.. Look at Richard Sachs' web site at his frame sets and imagine that, 20 years old and in pristine condition, hanging up for all to appreciate. Buddy of mine also has an older Bottecchia on display in his home...I can't keep my eyes off it!
But then again, arent bikes supposed to be ridden?
That's exactly what I want to do with my Dad's old Bottecchia! It's too large for me to ride so I don't even have to feel guilty about not riding it!
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Old 06-02-04, 11:36 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by ions
That's exactly what I want to do with my Dad's old Bottecchia! It's too large for me to ride so I don't even have to feel guilty about not riding it!
I have the opposite problem: I'm too tall for 99% of frames out there (my bike is the 1976 Melton Touring Bike shown on this same vintage forum), so any good, custom frames I can find to rebuild as "contemporary art" are too small to ride. Like you, no guilt...but I anticipate my grandson getting into me to let him ride 'em when the time comes...
Send pictures of the Bottecchia
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Old 06-02-04, 09:00 PM   #8
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I do not believe a person should collect bikes on the hopes it will increase in value, just as I don't believe coins or stamps are a good investment either. You could take that money and play the stock market and get a better rate of return! or put it in a bank CD with their current low interest rates and you would still come out ahead! Or pay off all your credit cards and save having to pay the interest-that would be a great return on your dollar.

However if your collecting bikes because you like to do that and have no expectations of making money on it then thats cool. A lot of people collect various things that have no real value or future value, but they do it because something about that particular thing they enjoy looking at, or working on, or whatever reason.
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Old 06-03-04, 06:46 AM   #9
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Collect only what you like. Chances are, if you like it, someone else will.

There are a lot of collectors of all kinds of cycles: musclebikes, ballooners, high wheelers, lightweights. There are even people who make a living buying, selling and supplying parts for these old bikes....... 8^)

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Old 06-03-04, 08:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imapls
Send pictures of the Bottecchia
Unfortunately the poor thing is buried under junk in the basement. It's not being damaged or anything but it's still not right.
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