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Old 03-14-17, 01:37 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Bozeman
Posts: 4,094

Bikes: 199? Landshark Roadshark, 198? Mondonico Diamond, 1987 Panasonic DX-5000, 1987 Bianchi Limited, Univega... Chrome..., 1989 Schwinn Woodlands, Motobecane USA Record, Raleigh Tokul 2

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I like BBB because it tells me the original MSRP of the bike (most of the time.) From there I can use the condition of the bike to figure out how much it would likely sell for in my area today.

Thing is, it's hard. People who are looking for "a bike to ride" and aren't looking for a capable road or mountain bike aren't going to spend $400 on a bike. They'll spend $250, max. It doesn't matter if that hybrid cost $1000 initially. It's going to be a hard sell at $500 or $600. Mainly because the "well off" person who went shopping for a $1000 hybrid in the first place isn't going to be shopping at the used bike shop I work at, and anybody who DOES shop there is either looking for a cheap bike (less than $200) or looking to score a good deal on a more expensive purpose built (road or mountain) bike.

Modern mountain bikes I've found tend to "hold their value" better than most other bikes (at least here in bozeman). Mainly because when someone goes shopping for a decent mountain bike they're immediately faced with $1000+ price tags and at that point a year old bike for $500-600 looks good. However, older mountain bikes, regardless of quality, just really aren't worth... anything. Unless they're something special of course (super old Fat Chance bikes mainly.) Any mass produced mountain bike from the 90s is worth $250, max. Even that's pushing it. The technology has just changed so much that it's not worth buying an old mountain bike (if you want to actually mountain bike) when new mountain bikes are SO much better. (Mainly new forks.) There was someone on my local craigslist selling an old gary fisher (and not one of the cool old gary fishers.) For $1300. I sent him an e-mail, laughed in his face, told him he was a disgrace for flooding craigslist with that ridiculous ad. Admittedly the bike was in "like new" condition, but still, it wasn't a museum bike, it was a mass produced 90s gary fisher that people sell for $300 on ebay. Old mountain bikes are really only useful for commuters now, or gravel bikes, and I almost universally recommend staying away from old suspension forks. Exceptions to the rule of course, but for the normal person, yeah.

Road bikes, on the other hand, have not changed a hugely significant amount since the 90s (or earlier). Sure, we've gotten lighter, and we have more gears now, but a modern road bike still "looks" like an old road bike, albeit with slightly wonky tube cross sections. I can ride a top of the line 80s-90s road bike just as successfully as I can ride a new road bike today. I'd even argue that my top of the line early 90s landshark is a hell of a lot nicer than most bikes under $1500 today. (But I prefer good steel to aluminum.) Because of this (and because of hipsters buying old road bikes), old road bikes tend to hold their value better than old mountain bikes. Top of the line 90s road bikes can still be bought for $300-$500 (or more). Sought after steel framesets can still be purchased for hundreds of dollars alone. Road bikes at our shop range from ~$175 (old steel lower end schwinns) to $300-$500 dollars, depending on quality, condition, and age. Yes, that 175 seems high, but remember we're not craigslist. We have overhead and we get these bikes into 100% good working condition. Those 5 hours you spent with that $100 schwinn you bought off of craigslist adds up really quickly when you have to pay someone to do the work. We also replace the wear items. Brake pads, bar tape, etc.
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