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Old 03-13-14, 06:57 AM   #1
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Price Trends

As everyone here knows, prices are on the rise. Initially it was great to be able to buy a vintage bike for a fraction of what a new one cost. Now prices of vintage bikes are fast approaching what new bikes are. When does it make sense to buy new over vintage/used bikes?
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Old 03-13-14, 07:10 AM   #2
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You are at N +7 and need another?

There are multiple considerations:

1. Do you do your own wrenching and enjoy it?
2. Do you want lugs, chrome, and shiny bits of aluminum or bold NASCAR graphics and space age materials?
3. Do you want aluminum frames or steel?
4. Are you a weight weenie?
5. How do you intend to use the bike; neighborhood, bikempath, touring, mountain, racing?

The vintage deals are out there, just fewer and farther between each score. And a lot more competition for them.
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Old 03-13-14, 07:32 AM   #3
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I disagree on two counts, I guess.

1. Prices for vintage stuff generally seems sort of flat. It did rise considerably in the last 7-8 years, but in the several years it has slowed down.
2. And in any case, those prices are no where near what the equivalent new bikes would cost.

Yeah, I do miss the days when I seemed to be the only person in my area looking for old bikes.

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Old 03-13-14, 07:43 AM   #4
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... When does it make sense to buy new over vintage/used bikes?
When it's cheap enough to strip for the tires you need for your C&V bike?
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Old 03-13-14, 07:52 AM   #5
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...

The vintage deals are out there, just fewer and farther between each score. And a lot more competition for them.
This may be a bit understated. It's been EONS since I've seen a good, mid level, Reynolds-framed C&V bike in decent shape for $20-40. These used to be almost commonplace.
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Old 03-13-14, 07:58 AM   #6
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I disagree on two counts, I guess.

1. Prices for vintage stuff generally seems sort of flat. It did rise considerably in the last 7-8 years, but in the several years it has slowed down.
2. And in any case, those prices are no where near what the equivalent new bikes would cost.

Yeah, I do miss the days when I seemed to be the only person in my area looking for old bikes.

jim
Agreed, except I'd argue at the top end, prices have dropped slightly in the last couple of years, if anything.

At the lower end, prices have gone up-- Murrays and Huffys are regularly on our CL for 100$, and disappear quickly at that price. But I'm not looking for those unless they were built by Serotta.

Mid-range, bikes seemed to have topped out. Cheap parts bikes have basically disappeared.

The high end was never easy to find. It's also not easy to sell.
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Old 03-13-14, 08:19 AM   #7
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What kind of new bikes are you looking at?

The value right now is mid 2000's bikes with Dura Ace.

I just bought a '09 Madone 6.9 Pro with Dura Ace Di2 for what I think is a great price. These retailed for over. $10k

Good condition vintage w/ Record is easily attainable for under 1k. My last 2 averaged me about $450 each.
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Old 03-13-14, 08:27 AM   #8
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when it's cheap enough to strip for the tires you need for your c&v bike?
lol
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Old 03-13-14, 08:36 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by oddjob2 View Post
You are at N +7 and need another?
Actually, I'm at N + 27

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Originally Posted by oddjob2 View Post
There are multiple considerations:
There always are

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Originally Posted by oddjob2 View Post
1. Do you do your own wrenching and enjoy it?
Yes and yes.
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Originally Posted by oddjob2 View Post
2. Do you want lugs, chrome, and shiny bits of aluminum or bold NASCAR graphics and space age materials?
Just say no to anything with NASCAR in it.
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Originally Posted by oddjob2 View Post
3. Do you want aluminum frames or steel?
Almost 30 bikes and counting with no AL. Why start now.
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Originally Posted by oddjob2 View Post
4. Are you a weight weenie?
The wife calls me manerxic, but that's because she's jealous. I'm down with a 30 lb bike.
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5. How do you intend to use the bike; neighborhood, bikempath, touring, mountain, racing?
All of the above.
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Old 03-13-14, 08:45 AM   #10
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You can still get lucky at garage sales and some thrift stores, with a lot of patience, but CL and pawn shop prices seem to be hopelessly optimistic. (The less said about eBay prices, the better.) It used to be low-end old bikes were priced "oh, it's old and a little beat up, nobody wants it, $20 OBO". Now it's like "Rusty gold for the discerning hipster, $150." I looked in a pawn shop last week, and the least-expensive bike they had was a small ladies' frame Varsity with rotted tires, tape, and cables, and completely rusted rims, spokes, and chain. They wanted $100 for it, which kind of looked like a bargain compared to what they were asking for rusty Magna mountain bikes...
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Old 03-13-14, 10:31 AM   #11
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You can still get lucky at garage sales and some thrift stores, with a lot of patience, but CL and pawn shop prices seem to be hopelessly optimistic. (The less said about eBay prices, the better.) It used to be low-end old bikes were priced "oh, it's old and a little beat up, nobody wants it, $20 OBO". Now it's like "Rusty gold for the discerning hipster, $150." I looked in a pawn shop last week, and the least-expensive bike they had was a small ladies' frame Varsity with rotted tires, tape, and cables, and completely rusted rims, spokes, and chain. They wanted $100 for it, which kind of looked like a bargain compared to what they were asking for rusty Magna mountain bikes...
Capitalism has taken over. The days of cheap bikes seems to be goine IMO.
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Old 03-13-14, 10:42 AM   #12
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Capitalism has taken over. The days of cheap bikes seems to be goine IMO.
Define 'cheap'
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Old 03-13-14, 11:38 AM   #13
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I lay most of this "old bike=moolah" at the feet of the show American Pickers and Craigslist as the vehicle.
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Old 03-13-14, 11:38 AM   #14
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The market here is somewhat strange and perplexing.Listed a mid level 52cm garage queen on CL for 190 for two weeks and got plenty of spam and no takers. Took it down to the shop,sold in three days at nearly double the original asking price.
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Old 03-13-14, 12:00 PM   #15
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When does it make sense to buy new over vintage/used bikes?
Can you afford to buy all those new tools to go with your new bike?
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Old 03-13-14, 12:03 PM   #16
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Price Trends

I've bought two bikes on ebay this winter. I thought I paid well below their value. Same with parts I've gotten lately. I think prices are way down. At least on stuff I'm interested in.

Economy is terrible. Who has any money?
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Old 03-13-14, 12:05 PM   #17
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As mentioned already, the prices for C&V bikes have gone a bit flat. I suspect that the bad economy that continues and some saturation of big C&V collector markets like Asia had caused the blunting or sometimes, slight reversal of the rise in pricing for C&V bikes.
I noticed that a lot of French spec parts had recently not been selling as well at eBay as they used to. The Japanese and other Asian based collectors used to just snap them up, now lots of the stuff just sit a eBay, even after they are severely discouted by their sellers.
It also seemsthat the interest perked up with high line Italian steel bikes from the 80's and early 90's had faded a bit. It's just after seeing so many of the typical SLX/753/C-Record/Delta/Cobalto/Chorus "masterpieces" being built up by collectors again and again, pretty much following the same basic format, gets much less interesting after a while. That's why maybe there's actually a slight surge in popularity of "2nd tier" components with collectors (which unfortunately raised their prices), and more people are looking for "esoteric" builds using such. But still, in general, I think we are well past the peak in pricing on C&V bikes and components (despite "hyperpricers" still continuing to ask for way too much for their stuff at eBay.....which never sells) that seemed to have occurred about two/three years ago. We will most likely have to wait for the next economic boom to see prices go up again substantially. At the rate we are going, who the heck knows when that will ever be, as presently, everyone seems to just be barely treading water....
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Old 03-13-14, 01:15 PM   #18
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As everyone here knows, prices are on the rise. Initially it was great to be able to buy a vintage bike for a fraction of what a new one cost. Now prices of vintage bikes are fast approaching what new bikes are. When does it make sense to buy new over vintage/used bikes?
Not true here. You can buy a top of the line vintage bike for about what a new entry level road bike costs at the LBS. Its even MORE compelling on the reproduction niche bike. You can buy a new reproduction mixte for about 5X what the original can be bought for.

For the price of a new LBS bike, aluminum frame set and Shimano 2300 components, you can find a 1980s Waterford Paramount, Columbus SLX frame, with Dura Ace components…….


I used to be into antique furniture. At one time, you could buy a solid wood antique original for about 10% of what the new reproductions were selling for (often made out of particle board). This eventually changed. So I pretty much stopped buying antique furniture.

I think the economics on vintage bikes, if you are a resourceful buyer, remain compelling.

My limit on any one single keeper bike is to not spend more than what the LBS charges for a new entry bike. So far, it hasn't been close, and this is for some nice bikes.

+1 To Jim's comments. Define "cheap". I've bought a lot of bikes over the years, even a lot recently. I consider them still cheap. Were they cheaper five years ago? Sure. Are they still cheap? You bet!


When the economics change, that's when I move on.

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Old 03-13-14, 01:36 PM   #19
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Can you afford to buy all those new tools to go with your new bike?
A set of allen wrenches?
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Old 03-13-14, 03:35 PM   #20
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There is still a huge price gap between used and new. A 30 year old Trek 520 in very good condition can command $250-$400 pretty easily, without resorting to ebay. A factory fresh 520 from the LBS Trek franchisee will set you back $1500.

I'd say the vintage market is fine, but agree there is more competition, especially because everyone has a smart phone.

The last 11 bikes I've purchased going back to December 2013, not counting the PX10 I got last weekend, have cost and average of $70 each. It includes a Miyata 618GT, Miyata 610, Trek 1200, two Schwinn Voyageurs (Panasonic built), two Stumpjumpers, a Super Le Tour, and several Motobecane mixtes. I will completely strip the frames, clean, refurbish, and replace most consumables, including tires if they look the slightest bit aged. But I expect to be able to remarket the refurbished bikes for about $250 each. It's not easy money, but the therapy is free. And when one or two pay for my grail PX10, I am a happy camper, or should I say bike rider.

But many noob buyers think all used bikes should be 1/2 ORIGINAL retail. A guy offered $150 for a non vintage, minty, basically unridden 2005 Trek 7200 FX that I have for sale at $299; his thinking 1/2 original retail was fair. The current replacement model is a Trek 7.2 FX and goes for close to $600 with tax. When he asked me why I am asking only $50 less than original retail, I tell him I sold a 2006 model 7.2 FX in September for $299 that was refurbished by me, but had badly scuffed paint and had been ridden hard. Also, I encourage him to seek out other listings as most of the CL bikes are indeed expensive because they need so much work. Finally, I share with him that there are more than a handful of vintage bikes that sell for more than original MSRP. It's alright, despite 9" of fresh snow in the last 24 hours, this bike should be sold before the weekend is over!
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Old 03-13-14, 04:16 PM   #21
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Actually, I'm at N + 27
I'm at n + 27 where N = -20.

To the OP's point, no I don't know that prices are rising so you can't say everybody knows it, unless I don't count (a point I would not argue).

Justy sayin'.
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Old 03-13-14, 05:16 PM   #22
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I have recently been looking through a lot of completed ebay auctions and I am actually surprised by how cheap some of the stuff is selling for, or not even getting one bid despite a reasonable starting price. If its NOS you're looking for then you'll be paying a lot, but if you're okay with slightly used, good deals are easy to find. This is mostly been components, I'm not sure about whole bikes or frames.
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Old 03-13-14, 06:42 PM   #23
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This is the kind of bike that gets my interest. And at $620 someone got a great bike. The bar and stem are probably worth 1/2 the selling price. This is an example of why i think prices are down.
1954 Merlin British Made Track Bike Single Speed Vintage RARE Vary Cool | eBay
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Old 03-26-14, 07:07 AM   #24
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I'm at n + 27 where N = -20.

To the OP's point, no I don't know that prices are rising so you can't say everybody knows it, unless I don't count (a point I would not argue).

Justy sayin'.
jimmuller:

you count, not much but you do count. LOL

Seriously, in the Cleveland OH area it seems the flippers have just about grabbed anything of value and increased it's price. In some areas that may not be the case.
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Old 03-26-14, 07:22 AM   #25
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The market is very, very slow right now. Back in my shop days it would pick up the first sunny, warm weekend of spring but sales didn't become steady until the first weekend after Easter. It's still early into the season which is why prices are low.

It's still a buyers market but not for much longer......
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