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Nobilette frame/fork - what's it worth?

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Nobilette frame/fork - what's it worth?

Old 11-16-18, 02:45 PM
  #1  
bargainguy
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Nobilette frame/fork - what's it worth?


I'm a big fan of Mark Nobilette's work. At NAHBS Austin, I spoke with him for 1/2 hr. before the crowds rolled in. It was a rare treat to shoot pretty much any question at a master framebuilder and see what comes back, forged by years of experience. For example, when asked his favorite tubing to work with, he said Reynolds 853 without hesitation. So it was without a second thought that I picked up this Nobilette frame & fork at the Michiana bike swap last spring. Fitting - he's originally from Ann Arbor, now in Colorado.

It turned out to be a back burner project for me -- seatpost was quite stuck after sitting for 30+ years. Just got around to it now, seatpost is freed and it's time to figure out what I've got. I haven't contacted Mark yet - just wondering what the consensus is as far as desirability.

There are remnants of Columbus decals on the seat tube and fork. Seatpost size is 26.8. Cinelli BB shell. Campy dropouts. SN appears to be N6048.

There is surface rust and scratching, but no dents or dings as far as I can see. Love the circular cutouts inside the fork blades.

What would something like this be worth?

Thanks in advance!








Last edited by bargainguy; 11-16-18 at 02:49 PM.
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Old 11-16-18, 04:02 PM
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It's a bit rough, but a thing of beauty. Desirability in my mind, is high.

Price, though, is another matter. I think likely around 150-200$, maybe even a bit lower due to condition. There may be some local variances at work: may be worth more in his local area, for example. Colorado, if memory serves.

I get that this seems low for an American custom, but their market is limited and the market as a whole is flat right now.

Build it up and ride the damn thing. You're likely to find it rides well. As a group, I think American customs are the best built bikes in the world. Don't worry about the value too much.
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Old 11-16-18, 04:19 PM
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If it were my size, I'd build it up and ride it just to gauge ride quality, but I take a 47cm road frame. This one's way too big, so it'll make a nice frame for someone else.
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Old 11-16-18, 06:09 PM
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If you're selling, go high (250$?) but expect to move down. The last two custom frame/forks I bought were both 220, both in better shape, and both had substantial extras.

But price on the higher end of reasonable IMO with the understanding you may get less.

My advice would be a bit different for buying. The trick is to find the middle.

It can be a bit hard for customs, as there is not a mass of recent info.
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Old 11-16-18, 06:18 PM
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Mark currently builds for René Herse, $10,000 US and up.
Columbus SL frameset.
I think I stole the Nobilette/Dura Ace below for under $1,000.

Based on above, I’d test the waters at $500. Get a quote for a repaint from Mark.



Last edited by oddjob2; 11-16-18 at 08:46 PM.
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Old 11-16-18, 07:05 PM
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Oddjob2, that's a sweet bike! Bet it rides as good as it looks.
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Old 11-17-18, 05:37 AM
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Originally Posted by bargainguy View Post
If it were my size, I'd build it up and ride it just to gauge ride quality, but I take a 47cm road frame. This one's way too big, so it'll make a nice frame for someone else.
Shame you weren't around when I found this one, it's a 49cm. They're wonderful bikes, I rode it for quite a while even though it was ridiculously small for me. Ended up selling it for $800, full Campy SR group, paint, graphics, and components nearly flawless. I'd agree with the $150-200 value for the frame in somewhat poor condition. Heck, I don't want another bike, and I'd go $150 in a minute.

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Old 11-17-18, 07:42 AM
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Originally Posted by oddjob2 View Post
Mark currently builds for René Herse, $10,000 US and up.
Columbus SL frameset.
I think I stole the Nobilette/Dura Ace below for under $1,000.

Based on above, I’d test the waters at $500. Get a quote for a repaint from Mark.



*
You can try at 500, but that price will get you nothing but tire kickers, if that. The market's just too flat, and the value in his Rene Herse builds is in the branding (not his construction, fine as it may be). Bike will likely sit. You have a basic decision: do you try to milk as much as you can out of the bike, or sell it in a reasonable amount of time at current market values? It won't hurt to offer it at 500, but be prepared to come down fast and considerable. At 500 you need the perfect buyer who is searching for just that thing.

Short of an Eisentraut Model A, I can't think of many American customs I'd go that high for on a frame/fork. And that would have to be in really nice shape.

A respray will not be cost effective if you are selling. Condition matters.

I buy American customs regularly. In the last year, I have bought two frame/forks and a complete bike. At 500$ I would walk on by, especially given condition. Most people do even at the lower prices. At Westminster last year, towards the show's end, I bought an Eisentraut (complete bike) and a Terry Osell (frame/fork, with headset and silica pump) for well under asking prices. They had sat all day, as had a very nice complete Redcay. American customs are wonderful bikes, and in my opinion one of the great bargains currently available.

To be clear, this is for the OP's frame/fork, not Oddjob's bike. That I would value higher, but I don't think it would clip four figures FMV. Under 1000 sounds about right.
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Old 11-17-18, 07:23 PM
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Looks like Henry James lugs to me.
The 26.8 seat post diameter is curious.
That is an item I would inquire to Mark about.
I think this is a solidly built "early" bit of work, before big personality might get infused, the seat stay caps are the biggest styling statement on the frame.
Needs paint.
$300. and be ready to spend the same amount or more on a respray.
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Old 11-17-18, 09:09 PM
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The rust UNDER the paint would worry me more than the surface rust as far as value goes.
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Old 11-18-18, 03:21 PM
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Thank you all for your input. I'll report back if I get any further info from Mark.
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