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Old 02-16-12, 11:40 AM   #1
b dub 
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So how old does a bike need to be to no longer loose its value?

No pictures but I've been wondering:

Mostly every bike (or object for that matter) goes through a devaluation cycle throughout its life span whether its a Schwinn Varsity or a Colnago.

So what is the magic year where a bikes value plateaus and no longer goes down in value and when does it go back up (if it does)?
Naturally there are many factors that make the answer less apples to apples like:
- condition of the bike (visual and structural damage, new old stock / never used, new in box)
- replaced, removed or upgraded components
- inflation - of course a 20 year old bike that on average sells for $150 and still does (hypothetically) when its 30 years old actually did go down further in value

But for the sake of keeping it simple lets say the bike is in good used condition (no structural damage, minor scuffs & scratches) with the original setup and newer disposable items like tires / tubes, bar tape.

As a C&V bike lover Im always playing this out in my mind when I see something interesting on CL or Ebay and Im sure Im not the only one. So what do you think? 15 years, 25

P.s. forgive me if this question has already been discussed
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Old 02-16-12, 11:42 AM   #2
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Some bikes never devalueate.
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Old 02-16-12, 11:46 AM   #3
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I don't think there will ever be a hard-and-fast single answer for this. There are so many other variables besides age that factor in that my guess is that there will be as many answers as there are bikes, or at least as many answers as there are models of bikes.
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Old 02-16-12, 11:59 AM   #4
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It depends on

- age
- condition
- rarity
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Old 02-16-12, 12:00 PM   #5
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like they say "you're never too old".
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Old 02-16-12, 12:05 PM   #6
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this is very subjective. the affordable "every man's" bikes of the bike boom, like the schwinn varsity, are still worth $30-150 today, depending on condition and market. however the bikes currently being sold at walmart, target, etc 5 years ago are already worthless. at our co-op we just break them down for scrap. they aren't made to be able to rebuild or replace. disposable society...
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Old 02-16-12, 01:24 PM   #7
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In most collectibles there is the rule of 25 years (one generation), which corresponds to the time which is required for youthful desire (generally created in the late teen years) to be able to become economically viable (generally in one's 40's and 50's). When you are young, you build up most of your strongest attractions and also have most unfulfilled desires. The reason for the desires being unfulfilled is usually tied to the fact that you do not have the financial means to fulfill them. As you age, most people see their financial possibilities increase, so that what was once completely out of range, now becomes fulfillable. This situation of financial availability reaches most people in their 40's and 50's (i.e. 20-30 years after the creation of the strong attraction). However there is also corollary to this, namely that after a certain period of time, things can become "too" old because people can no longer relate to them.

I take the example of the Ford model T. Back in the 60's and very early 70's, when my parents drove a 1958 Chevrolet Belair, I knew of a few people who were very keen collectors of Ford model T's. The Ford's were worth large sums of money, quite the contrary to my parent's Chevrolet. In 1971, my parent's ended up selling the car for a handful of dollars($50 if I recall correctly) to a fellow who planned to make the car into a drag car. 10 years later, the guy who bought the car still hadn't found the time to realize his drag car dream and therefore hadn't touched the car. He sold the car for very good money (about double what a model T in similar shape sold for at that time) to somebody who instead wanted to "restore" the car as cruise night car. After that, I heard that the car was sold once more after the restoration for a multiple of the early 80s' price. The Model T's value has however lost ground when compared to inflation ever since the 70's. Today, you can find a drivable model T for $10-20K, whereas a Belair goes for $25K on up.

In bicycles, about 10 years ago, any bike fitted with a Campagnolo cambio corsa was worth at least $1500, if not $3000 and more in North America. Not a single bike that featured this derailleur sold for less than $1500. Over time, these bikes have dropped in value, they no longer sell for the same premiums as earlier. For example there is a very nice one on ebay right now, that is seemingly period correct in everything, that has not yet received a single bid http://www.ebay.com/itm/110821652778...84.m1423.l2649 Is this because the collectible has passed its "best by" date, or do bikes past a certain age drop in value just like the Model T? Bikes from teh mid-80's have definitely gone up in value over teh last 10 years whereas most bikes (that is to say all but the very nicest bikes) from the period prior to 1950 have remained constant or dropped in value.
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Old 02-16-12, 01:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Citoyen du Monde View Post
In most collectibles there is the rule of 25 years (one generation), which corresponds to the time which is required for youthful desire (generally created in the late teen years) to be able to become economically viable (generally in one's 40's and 50's). When you are young, you build up most of your strongest attractions and also have most unfulfilled desires. The reason for the desires being unfulfilled is usually tied to the fact that you do not have the financial means to fulfill them. As you age, most people see their financial possibilities increase, so that what was once completely out of range, now becomes fulfillable. This situation of financial availability reaches most people in their 40's and 50's (i.e. 20-30 years after the creation of the strong attraction). However there is also corollary to this, namely that after a certain period of time, things can become "too" old because people can no longer relate to them.

I take the example of the Ford model T. Back in the 60's and very early 70's, when my parents drove a 1958 Chevrolet Belair, I knew of a few people who were very keen collectors of Ford model T's. The Ford's were worth large sums of money, quite the contrary to my parent's Chevrolet. In 1971, my parent's ended up selling the car for a handful of dollars($50 if I recall correctly) to a fellow who planned to make the car into a drag car. 10 years later, the guy who bought the car still hadn't found the time to realize his drag car dream and therefore hadn't touched the car. He sold the car for very good money (about double what a model T in similar shape sold for at that time) to somebody who instead wanted to "restore" the car as cruise night car. After that, I heard that the car was sold once more after the restoration for a multiple of the early 80s' price. The Model T's value has however lost ground when compared to inflation ever since the 70's. Today, you can find a drivable model T for $10-20K, whereas a Belair goes for $25K on up.

In bicycles, about 10 years ago, any bike fitted with a Campagnolo cambio corsa was worth at least $1500, if not $3000 and more in North America. Not a single bike that featured this derailleur sold for less than $1500. Over time, these bikes have dropped in value, they no longer sell for the same premiums as earlier. For example there is a very nice one on ebay right now, that is seemingly period correct in everything, that has not yet received a single bid http://www.ebay.com/itm/110821652778...84.m1423.l2649 Is this because the collectible has passed its "best by" date, or do bikes past a certain age drop in value just like the Model T? Bikes from teh mid-80's have definitely gone up in value over teh last 10 years whereas most bikes (that is to say all but the very nicest bikes) from the period prior to 1950 have remained constant or dropped in value.
Hence C-record is at its height. Sell!
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Old 02-16-12, 01:57 PM   #9
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+487 It depends. First, what kind of bike? What model? What condition?

Properly maintained and stored, I think my 2000 Colnago has already bottomed out. Meanwhile, my 1992 MTB continues to drop in value.

EF Schwinns are enojing a mini-boom. I think this nostalgia boom will pass, and the bikes will resume depreciation (like the Model T example).

Vintage steel touring bikes are enjoying a boom, that I think will continue, ditto any of the US built steel Treks.
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Old 02-16-12, 02:23 PM   #10
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"Lose". Sorry. I'm sure eventually "loose" will win out, as language does evolve. For now, it's "lose". I give it 25 years at best.
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Old 02-16-12, 02:34 PM   #11
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For my Pinarello somewhere in the 16-18 year range. Luckily I bought it for $400 @ 16 years old.

For my Mongoose, it's been holding steady @ around $100 value for some time now, but I'd still consider it to be depreciating because of inflation. Unfortunately I bought it new for $600, MSRP $759. But it's been a great bike so totally worth it.

I probably shouldn't have sold my 1991 MB-2 for $200 around the turn of the century. It was in very nice condition and could possibly bring close to $400 on Portland CL today if I was patient enough to find the right buyer.

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Old 02-16-12, 02:45 PM   #12
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As a C&V bike lover I’m always playing this out in my mind when I see something interesting on CL or Ebay and I’m sure I’m not the only one.
It's OK b dub, your among friends....how much did you spend this time?
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Old 02-16-12, 02:45 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Citoyen du Monde View Post
In most collectibles there is the rule of 25 years (one generation), which corresponds to the time which is required for youthful desire (generally created in the late teen years) to be able to become economically viable (generally in one's 40's and 50's). ...
In bicycles, about 10 years ago, any bike fitted with a Campagnolo cambio corsa was worth at least $1500... Over time, these bikes have dropped in value, they no longer sell for the same premiums as earlier. For example there is a very nice one on ebay right now, that is seemingly period correct in everything, that has not yet received a single bid http://www.ebay.com/itm/110821652778...84.m1423.l2649 Is this because the collectible has passed its "best by" date, or do bikes past a certain age drop in value just like the Model T? Bikes from teh mid-80's have definitely gone up in value over teh last 10 years whereas most bikes (that is to say all but the very nicest bikes) from the period prior to 1950 have remained constant or dropped in value.
That cambio equipped bike is being sold by a seller with feedback of (1). That might be part of the issue. Beyond that I do tend to agree that youthful interest form high school, college or just beyond does leave an impression. Good for stuff from the 80's. In the future early Shimano SIS should do well, the "modern" of index with a friction bailout that worked well, and was top tier initiated.

Investing on a prediction is of course with significant risk. There are a few high dollar bikes I have considered, but don't need. Are they at the top of their value now as both are from the mid-ish 70's? I wonder. Maybe I will just get a vehicle with a V-12 instead and make it my daily driver.
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Old 02-16-12, 03:24 PM   #14
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Some bikes start out as junk off the showroom floor and end up as junk 30, 50, 100 years later....
Some bikes start out as great new ideas and end up as death bikes some years later......
Some bikes start out as wall hanger trophies and end up as dried out wall hanger trophies forever....
Some bikes start out as great bargain riders, but (happily) end up as rust buckets.....
Some bikes start out as quirky French bikes and end up as old, quirky French bikes....
I heard that lots of nice old bikes and components are now ending up in Japan, Taiwan and Thailand?? Maybe those guys can give you an idea about when bikes stop losing their values...

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Old 02-16-12, 04:40 PM   #15
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All collectables are a little like fine art: The first generations blur value with price, or fashion, or sentimentality - but for the truly fine collectable, the really good, timeless stuff - there is an undercurrent of ever-appreciating value which never diminishes.
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Old 02-16-12, 04:52 PM   #16
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IMO decent quality steel bikes will hold their value better, perhaps depreciate less is a better way to say it. The Surly frames, for example, hold value pretty well. I have a '99 CrossCheck that I believe is worth now, what it was in '99. As I recall, they were budget frames when they first came out.
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