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Old 11-05-10, 08:39 PM   #1
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Predict the next Bridgestone

I'm really impressed with the prices of Bridgestone bikes. Some models like the XO line, RB-1 and MB-1 command some serious buckage and are highly desirable.

Which bike brands/models that sell now would keep their values or even go up 10-20 years from now.

For me, I think if Surly were to somehow disappear now or in the near future, their bikes would experience the same sort of status. They have an unique brand image and their bikes are well thought out.
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Old 11-05-10, 10:13 PM   #2
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surly bikes have the advantage of perceived exclusivity(few shops refer to themselves as a "surly dealer) coupled with ready availability (any shop with a qbp account can get 'em). So, they seem boutique, but everyone seems to be aware of them. Non-cycling friends of mine (who tend to have other cycling friends, beyond yours-truly) have all heard of Surly, and generally feel that i've got something special in my lht. Strangers in suburban NJ tell me on the street and in cafes that my bike is "really nice". It also helps that surlies tend to be built from the frame-up, and that there are no "junior models" among the completes. RB1s, XO1s, and MBzips are worth a mint; the lesser models, not so much. The surly completes are not offered in tiers. Perhaps future collectors will discuss the decisions made by the original and subsequent owners in terms of the build. Ppl will be able to upgrade their turn-of-the-century surly bikes with whatever period-correct components they'd like, b/c there is/was no original equipment to worry about with, say, an instigator.

But, although i own and enjoy my surly, i kinda feel like the "marque" doesn't deserve any future classic status. The bridgestones that are collectible (ie, grant's bikes) are at once practical and (arguably) innovative for their time. Many surlies are practical, and some are innovative, but i can't think of a single surly model that is both, at once.

My guess as to which current bikes will be future collectibles? In the usa, i'd say Gunnars and Ventanas. The last of the domestically-produced bikes that are somewhat affordable, with a modicum of dealer support. Obviously, most truly expensive bikes will have potential for collectibility, so i'm concentrating on frames that can be had for <$1G. I'm not a big fan of either company, although i've considered a rockhound. And, neither is particularly innovative. Still, i think the potential is there.

-rob
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Old 11-06-10, 07:24 AM   #3
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Aside from production bicycles, I think many of the custom steel frames being built in the US right now will hold or increase their value in the future. we're definitely in an important age in US steel framebuilding.
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Old 11-06-10, 07:29 AM   #4
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speaking of which, perhaps the next bridgestone will be...the old bridgestone gang.

2. I'm in regular touch, like 3x a week, with an old friend who also used to work at Bstone, and nothing WITH Bstone is in the works, but some other things are, and they involve a lot of old shaker-movers in the J-bike industry, and what they're doing now, and what they're fed up with and what they're doing about it. It's pretty interesting stuff, and maybe something will come of it with us-and-you-all.


http://www.rivbike.com/blogs/news_post/305
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Old 11-06-10, 04:30 PM   #5
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speaking of which, perhaps the next bridgestone will be...the old bridgestone gang.

2. I'm in regular touch, like 3x a week, with an old friend who also used to work at Bstone, and nothing WITH Bstone is in the works, but some other things are, and they involve a lot of old shaker-movers in the J-bike industry, and what they're doing now, and what they're fed up with and what they're doing about it. It's pretty interesting stuff, and maybe something will come of it with us-and-you-all.


http://www.rivbike.com/blogs/news_post/305
i can only hope this is the case. I love japanese frames, but they're a bit too much $$ these days. For new ones, i mean. But, that ominous quote T.Travel included makes me wonder: will Rivs end up being collectible?

-rob
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Old 11-06-10, 05:15 PM   #6
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absolutely they will.
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Old 11-06-10, 05:17 PM   #7
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I doubt Surlies will ever be especially valuable for 2 reasons, they are produced and sold in great quantity, and readily available, and are not especially high quality. Don't get me wrong, they are nice, but if they closed down today, it would be a very long time before they were especially scarce, and the quality is not so great, nor designs so innovative that they couldn't be replaced by any of a number of currently made frames.

I think Panasonic is the next Bridgestone. I think they are already beginning to be recognized for their build quality, and of course they haven't been imported to the US for a while. The next one after that? Well the only way to guess that is if you could guess which company with a strong following was likely to close shop or stop importing. You'd need something with a strong niche following for that, but not strong enough. I'd say Gunnar would be a good bet if they closed shop, or IF maybe, but I don't have ay reason to believe either of those are brands going anywhere.
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Old 11-06-10, 06:26 PM   #8
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panasonic is, like, the current bridgestone. you can count on most made-in-japan frames with good tubing and forged dropouts to sell for too much money. i have a perv for steel miyatas, personally.

-rob
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Old 11-06-10, 07:07 PM   #9
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I see no reason why most of the Japanese bikes, including Bridgestone, will go up much. The demand is slowly shrinking. Newcomers look at a Shimano 600 RB-1 a little less fondly than a 9-sp Ultegra Specialized Allez, and for good reason, if they are the same price.

Current models that will hold value would have to be a good value to begin with. Some late 90's Cannondale and Kestrels come to mind.

As far as holding or even increasing in value, I doubt it. There are a few. A Cinelli Super Corsa, maybe, and some older Paramounts. As information becomes available on certain models, or the enthusiasm of the owners becomes more known, some values increase. Sometimes new information on certain models, especially if it's interesting and tends to promote scarcity, will increase the value of a bike.

Personally, I'd rather have a $3800 new steel SC with 11-sp Campy than a $2500 early 80's model.
But being a C&V guy, I'd rather build as good a bike, or better, for $1000.
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Old 11-06-10, 07:58 PM   #10
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My wild guess? USA made Cannondales from the 1990s or newer.

I think the higher end Japanese steel bikes from the 1980s have more room to run as well.

There are enough hipsters out there with drills, side grinders and rattlecans in hand, that the demand for pristine, ORIGINAL, vintage bikes will continue to be strong. I would anticipate a nice bump in values once/if this mediocre economy improves.

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Old 11-07-10, 03:32 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by 531phile View Post
I'm really impressed with the prices of Bridgestone bikes. Some models like the XO line, RB-1 and MB-1 command some serious buckage and are highly desirable.

Which bike brands/models that sell now would keep their values or even go up 10-20 years from now.

For me, I think if Surly were to somehow disappear now or in the near future, their bikes would experience the same sort of status. They have an unique brand image and their bikes are well thought out.
A really good question. I'm surprised there aren't more responses. So, I'll jump in with my 2 cents. I'll try to stick with major brands. Chicago built Paramounts have reached cult status and I see no drop in interest. Waterford built Paramounts are on the rise now because their Chicago brothers are almost unaffordable. Vintage Treks are going for what a custom 531 frame of the same era goes for. IMO, vintage Treks are overvalued. As mentioned earlier US Built Cannondales are sleepers. I'm sure they're headed higher. I'm just not sure when or how much.
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Old 11-07-10, 06:28 AM   #12
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I think Robbie has a good point. As bike manufacturers re-intorduce steel to their line-up, old steel will lose some demand. It all depends on what the new bikes sell for. If I were to look at the C&V as an investment, the bikes that will increase the most by percentage are the ones that have not yet taken off. Nishiki, Univega, Centurion LeMans, Schwinns and so on, will increase more as a percent of their current value.
But there's nothing like finding a $20 Bridgestone or Panasonic at a garage sale.
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Old 11-07-10, 10:09 AM   #13
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Aside from production bicycles, I think many of the custom steel frames being built in the US right now will hold or increase their value in the future. we're definitely in an important age in US steel framebuilding.
I was wondering if you could give us a couple examples of steel frame builders in the U.S. right now? I am interested in reading up on these but I am striking out
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Old 11-07-10, 12:13 PM   #14
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@ hamanu23

Here's a short list off the top of my head, both tig and lug builders. By no means does this cover everyone. Bicycling Magazine had a really nice list that spanned two pages earlier this year....too bad I can't find it now. IMHO, I think US built titanium frames are going to be very desirable in the future...perhaps even more so with the next generation of enthusiasts.

Bruce Gordon
Vanilla
Bilenky
Serotta
JP Weigle
Kirk
Independent Fabrications
Igleheart
Dean
Moots
Vicious
Waterford
Ellis
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Old 11-07-10, 07:59 PM   #15
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A lot of things go into making one great bike more collectable than another great bike that has nothing to do with the bikes.

For the Schwinn Paramounts it was the bike featured in Boy's Life or Bicycling! that every baby boomer kid lusted after knowing full well even a Varsity was going to take one year delivering papers to save up for. Fast forward to middle age and your dream (1972) Paramount is within reach.

For the Bridgestones it was those out of the ordinary advertisements and cool catalogues that gave us our first glimpse inside the mind of Grant Peterson.

JP Weigle - to turn the page of the magazine you snuck out of the back of your dad's closet and see those beautiful tubes and lugs while your brain is already drowned in chemicals from the foldout before the Party Jokes page - it was bike love at first sight.

I'm also curious what bikes have made a larger than life imprint on the impressionable minds of both my generation and the ones that have followed.

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Old 11-07-10, 08:27 PM   #16
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There are excellent frame builders out there, and at least four here in NC. Custom steel frames are nice.

If they are good values for the money now, and of excellent quality, they'll have staying power.
However, if they're priced at double what the competition is, they'll lose value to a lower plateau and stay there, like any other bike.
If only the well-heeled are able to buy them, I don't see them becoming the next RB-1. They'll be just another excellent expensive steel bike.

Some Bridgestones hold or increase in value, but it's not because they're better; it's because the people that want them are willing to pay more. There are many models of bikes that are as good as the RB-1, and cost half. People that want those are not willing to pay more, that's all.

The RB-1 has a market hook named Grant Petersen. That can often override other factors in the buying decision.

Whether there will be another good steel/aluminum/carbon/Ti bike with above-average components that has some kind of market hook, I sure don't know. I don't see anything like that out there, with some personality connection or perceived excellence regardless of the facts. The Livestrong Madones sold out here within a couple of weeks; and again, you have a market hook not associated wtih the bike's ability to compete against other models. I'm not saying it can't, the hook isn't just the bike, it's the other stuff, too.

I can buy a 2x10 Reynolds 853 bike with Ultegra for $1300, sell the frame and hang that stuff on a Team Miyata for less than $100 more. Not sure I'd fork out close to that for a 2x7 RB-1.

But, if I was looking for an RB-1, appreciated the history and was a Grant Peterson fan, sure I would.
(And I'm a Grant Petersen fan, just not enough to sell 3 Ironman bikes to get the 'stone.)
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Old 11-07-10, 08:43 PM   #17
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Those Vanillas are pretty, and they currently have a five year waiting list. That would seem to give them an inherent "cool" value, as the guy who runs the place will never really catch up. At some point he'll either have to lower the quality, or stop making bikes. They sure are nice. Veloria's Royal H is really pretty too. Stuff like that is already collectible, though, so it can't really get more collectible with time. They're already super expensive and exclusive.
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Old 11-07-10, 09:10 PM   #18
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kogswell p/r.
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Old 11-08-10, 05:40 AM   #19
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@ hamanu23

Here's a short list off the top of my head, both tig and lug builders. By no means does this cover everyone. Bicycling Magazine had a really nice list that spanned two pages earlier this year....too bad I can't find it now. IMHO, I think US built titanium frames are going to be very desirable in the future...perhaps even more so with the next generation of enthusiasts.

Bruce Gordon
Vanilla
Bilenky
Serotta
JP Weigle
Kirk
Independent Fabrications
Igleheart
Dean
Moots
Vicious
Waterford
Ellis
While I own 2 Waterfords and they're great bikes I'm not sure they're going to be an investment. OTH, you forgot to mention the only custom bike that's already an instant investment and classic, Richard Sachs. He should have been #1 on the list.
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Old 11-08-10, 06:03 AM   #20
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I think if you're looking for new bikes to hold value, or increase (especially when adjusting for inflation), you are most likely kidding yourself. While Bridgestones are insanely overpriced when compared to other comparable used bikes, they still don't exceed their initial value. This pretty much doesn't happen. One of the few cases I can think of where it did were the Schwinn Krates...which capitalized on nostalgia and unaffordability for most kids. Now that they're grown, they want their Rosebud. As those folks age further, values for them will likely drop...precipitously. As others have said, Surlys aren't much more than mid-range, heavy, mass produced bikes. They fill a niche nicely, but I strongly doubt they'll ever be highly collectible. Frankly the much beloved Cross Check and LHT are no better than bikes of the type made in the 80s at reasonable prices...many would argue less well made. The Surly Karate Monkey I had rode so well that I kept it for a month and sold it as quickly as possible. If you're looking for a post-CF steel bike that is more likely to be collectible, think Lemond.

If you're looking for what will increase in value you need to consider a few factors:

Marketing...you want something that people think highly of...think the BOBs for Bridgestone. Using this idea, I'd be looking at Sachs, Rivendell, Paramount and well regarded custom makers.

Scarcity...this is obvious...supply and demand. If there's a lot of something, it's worth less.

Something associated with great, triumphant championships. Think Trek Madones.

Stuff a 15 year old wanted and couldn't afford. Those high end MTBs will go up in value some day...namely when the kid who wanted a Fisher is having his mid-life crises and seeks rose bud.

I think some of the earlier ti stuff...like Merlins...are going to be worth something some day. Right now they are insanely under valued.

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Old 11-08-10, 06:04 AM   #21
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While I own 2 Waterfords and they're great bikes I'm not sure they're going to be an investment. OTH, you forgot to mention the only custom bike that's already an instant investment and classic, Richard Sachs. He should have been #1 on the list.
He also forgot Spectrum.

I'm very biased, but I obviously agree with you...Sachs are going to be the bikes made now with the highest value in 30 years.

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Old 11-08-10, 06:07 AM   #22
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Those Vanillas are pretty, and they currently have a five year waiting list. That would seem to give them an inherent "cool" value, as the guy who runs the place will never really catch up. At some point he'll either have to lower the quality, or stop making bikes. They sure are nice. Veloria's Royal H is really pretty too. Stuff like that is already collectible, though, so it can't really get more collectible with time. They're already super expensive and exclusive.
Vanillas are nice. I've seen a half dozen in person, and ridden two extensively.

I am a patient future Vanilla owner, as there are so many other fabulous brands out there, I can wait till it's my turn.

I am on the waiting list to get on the build list though, so it will be a while.

I have a very clear image of what I want, although that could change any number of times until we start the build process.

As for Sacha White lowering the quality of the frames, I couldn't imagine that happening. Ever.

As for retiring, everyone gets to eventually I should hope. More time for family and other pursuits.
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Old 11-08-10, 06:33 AM   #23
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He also forgot Spectrum.

I'm very biased, but I obviously agree with you...Sachs are going to be the bikes made now with the highest value in 30 years.
There are so many high-quality builders in our Metro area alone, I could have a fabulous custom bike built just for me every year for the next ten years, and not run out of options.

I happen to think these customs are quite affordable as well.

We all have choices with our income.

Some choose to have a huge house or a very expensive car.

Those are choices that we don't buy into at this time.

My wife and I have some very nice bikes though, as we like the biking lifestyle.

It adds value to our lives on a weekly basis.

I would look to an artisan then for a new "Bridgestone" opportunity, but certainly not a Surly.

Grant had and still has a vision, as do the custom builders I have met and chatted with on occasion.
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Old 11-08-10, 06:54 AM   #24
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kogswell p/r.
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Old 11-08-10, 08:40 AM   #25
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I was wondering if you could give us a couple examples of steel frame builders in the U.S. right now? I am interested in reading up on these but I am striking out
if possible, I recommend checking out the various handmade bicycle shows

http://oregonhandmadebicycleshow.com/exhibitors/

http://www.sandiegocustombicycleshow.com/

here's a good list of who's who lately: http://www.2011.handmadebicycleshow....xhibitor-list/

and +1 to Richard Sachs.

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