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Value guesses on these old Rene Herse and Alex Moulton?

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Value guesses on these old Rene Herse and Alex Moulton?

Old 04-30-21, 02:48 PM
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valkenar
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Value guesses on these old Rene Herse and Alex Moulton?

Hi everyone. I have these two bikes passed down to me about 15 years ago when my stepfather passed. I know very little about them except that he was tall and valued them highly himself and used one or the other for regular commuting to work. I have no documentation or anything on them to suggest any details of model, year etc, so any information folks have would be useful. I am looking to understand what sort of dollar value they might have. I live in Massachusetts, if it is relevant (my stepfather was.a friend of Sheldon Brown, as it happens).

Here's a bunch of pictures but I'd be happy to take more of any specific part or angle if it would be helpful

Thanks!

---

So uh, I was going to post pictures, but I have to have 10 posts before I'm allowed to do that? So that makes this post kinda useless, but maybe I'l just ask if anyone has an idea how to find someone in the greater Boston area who might be a reliable person to take a look and give an estimate?

Am I allowed to link to this photo album?

photos.app.goo.gl/M2KQQLAzeMJqrQo87

Last edited by valkenar; 04-30-21 at 02:51 PM.
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Old 04-30-21, 02:55 PM
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Old 04-30-21, 03:59 PM
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Do you have any leftover parts from the Herse?
That is a fairly valuable bike and doing anything to it that might alter it is a bad idea.
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Old 04-30-21, 06:57 PM
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Thanks for the photo help! No I don't have any leftover parts, I never made any modifications. What my stepfather may have done I don't know, obviously he added that wood piece that used to have a ham radio antenna.
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Old 05-01-21, 08:34 AM
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The Herse is a basis of a restoration.
racks probably original
need replating
a Majority of the parts are later replacements.
in an auction setting- $2,000-3,000 would be my guess. Really depends on the risk tolerance of the bidders.

the Moulton is of the desired later “space frame” - again, a basis of a restoration.
the market on these is thin, there is a Moulton enthusiast group or two- that avenue might obtain good value and a happy owner
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Old 05-01-21, 08:40 AM
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The Moulton spaceframes do indeed have a following. I've ridden one, and the ride quality is unique, possibly addictive if it works for you like it does for some.

But if it were me, I'd immediately replace the Salsa stem to make it more attractive for sale. Nothing against Salsa, they make good stuff, but wow, it looks horribly out of place on the spaceframe. I'm guessing the rider was quite tall and trying to make this bike fit.
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Old 05-02-21, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by valkenar View Post
obviously he added that wood piece that used to have a ham radio antenna.
That is cool
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Old 05-02-21, 03:41 PM
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I would pay someone who knows what they are doing to clean them up and restore them, then sell them. You probably already know that both of these framebuilders have a rabid fan base. However, I have no idea what they would sell for!
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Old 05-02-21, 07:01 PM
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Others can address this better than me, but for bikes like these there is a HUGE gulf between "clean them up" and "restore them." You could spend $3-$4k easily on "restoring" a Herse. $1k+ for the paint, hundred$ for each little piece somebody would have to source. Could also easily take 6mos+ to get paint and all the parts lined up. Pick the wrong "restorer," who gets even a couple little details wrong, and the "restored" bike is worth a lot less.

These brands do have a very enthusiastic fan base, and many of the fans are very knowledgeable, and most of those don't pay the huge buck$ unless it's for an unmolested all-original, or a concours-level restoration.

I'm thinking the issue is more significant for Herse than Moulton, simply because Herse bikes had so many more individual parts/features that could be changed out over the years.

There's a lot to be said for simply cleaning the bikes yourself, gently, and then selling them as is.

As far as knowing what they'll sell for, nobody knows for sure. You've already gotten a guess from someone well-versed in Herse, and pointers to where to look for Moulton.

Originally Posted by bfrasersmith View Post
I would pay someone who knows what they are doing to clean them up and restore them, then sell them. You probably already know that both of these framebuilders have a rabid fan base. However, I have no idea what they would sell for!
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Old 05-02-21, 07:59 PM
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Agree with PCB. "There's a lot to be said for simply cleaning the bikes yourself, gently, and then selling them as is. As far as knowing what they'll sell for, nobody knows for sure. You've already gotten a guess from someone well-versed in Herse, and pointers to where to look for Moulton. "

IMO they are both somewhat fudged up. A sympathetic cleaning only, and let the buyers correct the composition. It will be very expensive to get that Herse properly renovated. Looks like it's really just a frame and racks that are of value. I would wild guess at $1500 max selling price. How you find that particular buyer is another challenge. Best of luck.
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Old 05-03-21, 01:44 PM
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In current shape without actually touching the tubing, assessing the tubing condition, integrity and alignment, i.e. a blind sale, I'm thinking you could net $1,500-3,000 USD depending on how and where you list them, plus how quickly you expect them to sell. Market and audience are everything when re-selling something in this condition that's as niche-valuable as these.

If you found a professional capable of restoring them properly with the respect needed, I'd ballpark $3-5k on the Moulton and $10k-15k on the Herse, with the wild price range being solely dependent on the quality of the restoration. Expect to pay upwards of $5-10k on full, high-quality restoration, minimum, upwards of $15k all-total. If you attempted to restore these yourself, given the clear lack of knowledge you've shared, or you gave these to a modern bike shop to overhaul or swap parts, chances are you'll reduce the value rather than increase.

I somewhat agree with the notion above about replacing the stem and potentially the seat post on the Moulton. But I wouldn't let anyone but a well-versed vintage fanatic with a solid spare parts bin do it.

Finally, I wouldn't try separating these two for sale. The reality is, you're going to get one of two buyers here: A Herse fanboy/girl or a Spaceframe fanboy/girl. I think the likelihood of you getting stuck with one increases exponentially if you split them up.

Whatever you do, don't send them off for scrap if you find they're not selling, or not reaching the dollar amount you'd prefer. You've got good pieces of history on your hands.
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Old 05-04-21, 06:50 PM
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I’m definitley interested in the Herse if it’s 60cm or larger. How tall was your stepfather?
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Old 05-04-21, 07:47 PM
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Not sure if f it helps but based on pics the bike i is about 60cm top line 58-60 center .
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Old 05-04-21, 07:52 PM
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Love that he was a ham. My dad was one and would've done that if he rode a bike.

If you are cleaning it up yourself a trick I learned this year is to use the shiny side of crumpled aluminum foil to clean rust off chrome. I would try it on the racks. Works wonders.

Also looks like the chain is way too short or way too kinked. Be careful shifting that you don't mess up the derailleur.
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