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Value of 1985 Trek 720

Old 03-12-10, 12:36 AM
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robatsu
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Value of 1985 Trek 720

I'm going to be moving to Japan and I'm deciding whether to sell this or ship it over. Getting an idea of what I could get for this is going to make the difference. I'm in the Washington DC area:

1985 Trek 720. 21" Reynolds 531 chrome moly lugged frame and fork , no dents or big scratches, decals ok. Excellent condition. Componentry includes:

Suntour Cyclone GT 1st generation Front/Rear derailleurs. Installed as NOS 300 miles ago
Nitto Randonneur Bars/ITM Stem/CLB brake levers. Installed new 300 Miles ago
Campagnolo Croce D'Aune hubs laced to Campagnolo Omega rims, 700c. Got some miles on them, but plenty more left.
Continental Grands Prix 700 x 23 tires. Installed NOS 300 miles ago
Nitto S-83 Two Bolt Seatpost - Installed new 300 Miles ago
Brooks Countess saddle in almost new condition
Stronglight Delta Headset
Nitto XD2 Triple Crank - installed new 300 miles ago
MKS Touring Pedals - installed new 300 miles ago
Croce D'Aune downtube friction shifters.
Honjo Fluted Fenders. Installed new 300 miles ago. Setup to accommodate as large as 27" x 1 1/4" tires.
Cheapo Shimano 7 speed freewheel (gets the job done...). Installed new 300 miles ago
Tektro/Velo Orange Frogleg cantilever brakes


Last edited by robatsu; 03-12-10 at 01:49 AM.
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Old 03-12-10, 06:13 AM
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You sure know to put together a nice bike! I'm no touring expert, by any means, but I'll give it a shot.

Your Trek should be at the very top of what a vintage/used touring bikes will bring. That being said, the market varies, and is fickle. Do you plan on CL, or the 'bay? I'd expect that you'd get between $700 and $1000? It could take a while on CL to find the right buyer, but a well photographed and listed ebay ad should surely bring that much? Be sure to emphasize all the care in selecting the parts and the "ready to ride" condition (new grease and cables, etc)., and make it a 10 day auction. If you go with CL, you might have to settle for closer to $700, and list it several times.

I'm not sure how much you have in it, or if that's worth it to you. Stunning bike, nonetheless, and I'd be loathe to part with it.

Best of luck in Japan! I see some cool acquisitions in your future.
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Old 03-12-10, 06:21 AM
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Local Craigs List around here: $550. Our Craigs List kind of tops out when you get in that territory. You are probably in a better market than I am.

On ebay, with great photos and marketed well, $750 plus.
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Old 03-12-10, 07:05 AM
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Trek 720s are going through the roof in this area.

It is one thing to ask for a higher initial price. It is often not close to a final number.

Not so with 720s here, as I've seen three go for over $800 since December.

Here is current example of the pricing in our market. https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/hn...633418958.html We'll see where they end up.

I saw a beautiful 720 at our bike swap recently for $1,300! Again, that's way high in my mind. When I talked to the owner he asked me what I would rather ride, a Surly LHT or a 720?

I ended up buying a 720 frameset at the swap, but that idea fell apart when we discovered some hairline cracks near the bottom bracket. I ended up with a Trek TX700 and am building that as we speak as a "very" light tourer.

I decided to build a legit tourer for my long distance ride this summer to Lake Winnipeg and back, but that's another post for another day.

Good luck, as yours looks like a real beauty!
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Old 03-12-10, 08:02 AM
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regardless, keep the bike
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Old 03-12-10, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
regardless, keep the bike
+10 If it fits, it is a keeper. Steel Treks continue to go up around here, about 20% a year. I wish my mutual funds did that well. I would gladly buy back every steel Trek I have sold in the last year, as each one would sell easily for quite a bit more now. Unfortunately, I sold my last steel Trek about two weeks ago.
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Old 03-12-10, 09:28 AM
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You guys are going to talk me into keeping this... Maybe I should be asking less about the value of this bike and more about shipping costs to Japan.
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Old 03-12-10, 09:47 AM
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we are bike lovers what do you expect. but do share with us what it would cost extra to ship the bike.
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Old 03-12-10, 10:27 AM
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I bet shipping cost to japan might not be that bad... As a matter of fact, the best bet might be to not ship it, but check it as luggage on the plane in a bike box. They will charge you extra (and call the airline to find out how much) but less than a shipping company likely.

With this saddle you have on, you better raise your handlebars. Has to be at least equal level with the saddle
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Old 03-12-10, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by EjustE View Post
I bet shipping cost to japan might not be that bad... As a matter of fact, the best bet might be to not ship it, but check it as luggage on the plane in a bike box. They will charge you extra (and call the airline to find out how much) but less than a shipping company likely.

With this saddle you have on, you better raise your handlebars. Has to be at least equal level with the saddle
Good point on the airplane checked luggage hint. I'll be going back and forth to Japan for a while, plenty of opportunity for that.

As for the saddle, the Brooks Countess was designed as the female analog (this is wifey's bike) to the Brooks Conquest (I rode one of these for years), a sprung Brooks Pro. Both are discontinued, but when they were selling them, they were recommended for riders that had the bars level with or lower than the saddle.
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Old 03-12-10, 01:19 PM
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Wow, that's a lot of money. And this is good for me to hear. I recently picked up a 720. It's newer. It's TIG welded with True Temper tubing. It's a cosmetic wreck, though. If my labor is worth little or nothing, I suppose I'd do best if I repaint the frame and polish the components. Any other suggestions?
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Old 03-12-10, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Wow, that's a lot of money. And this is good for me to hear. I recently picked up a 720. It's newer. It's TIG welded with True Temper tubing. It's a cosmetic wreck, though. If my labor is worth little or nothing, I suppose I'd do best if I repaint the frame and polish the components. Any other suggestions?
What kind of True Temper tubing does it have? I think that your 720 is a hybrid, since that model name was stopped in mid 80s then was resurrected as a hybrid in 90 until 99. Is there a Multitrack designation on the TT?
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Old 03-12-10, 02:01 PM
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I just realized I have pictures, so please take a look.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/2673402...7623482673151/

Yes, it appears to say Multitrack on the top tube. I didn't know this was designed as a hybrid, but it's equipped as a full-out touring bike. It rides like one, too.

I'll see if I can read the True Temper decal. It's pretty well destroyed.
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Old 03-12-10, 02:19 PM
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That's a hybrid, but hybrids make great touring bikes This bike originally had straight bars and probably Suntour XTC components and an accushift 13-30 freewheel. The mid to late 90s 105 is a nice upgrade. Check the rear spacing. Should be 7sp MTB spacing. Yours is an early one (pre 1992, because in 92 they went with Tange tubing). So, it is indeed an 1990 or 1991 hybrid, but still a great touring bike. My touring bike begun life a hybrid also and I do appreciate hybrids as touring bikes. The main difference is weight, but you can pretty much build it as a (bargain priced) full touring bike.

Upon further review (of the vintage trek site) based on the black color, your bike is a 1991. Specs here, bottom of page 5

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Old 03-12-10, 02:37 PM
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Wow, thanks for that. The previous owner built it from the ground up, with a hodgepodge of components he had on hand. He worked at a bike coöp in New Brunswick, NJ, called the Bicycle Library. He chose well, except that the stem is an eyesore.

What's the difference between a hybrid and a touring bike, besides handlebars? You mention weight. It does feel heavy. Does it have a very heavy frame? If so, why? Is that just to reduce cost? I don't get the very notion of a hybrid bike.
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Old 03-12-10, 02:52 PM
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Well, a hybrid in the late 80s early 90s was 2 things: Either a jack of all trades or a "comfort" bike. Later, the comfort bike notion won. Casual riders wanted straight seating position, straight bars etc. The early mid-high hybrids were actually (and still are) pretty capable machines. Unless you had a DB frame, with big tires and MTB components, these bikes were in the upper 20s as far as weight went, and with a DB or TB frame closer to mid 20s. With hybrids you can do fairly rough trails (they can usually take up to 40-42mm tires - I got 38's on mine) which you cannot really do with a touring bike with drop bars. With my hybrid, I have done overnight tours, centuries, raced triathlons, commuted to work, grocery shopping, training rides on roads, and lots of trail riding (all in different configurations). Great bikes if you can afford just one bike (and when I got it as a poor grad student, that was the case) or great touring bikes if you do not mind the extra 3-4 lbs (which are kind of meaningless, if you are carrying 20-30 lbs in your packs.) The other difference is gearing. Hybrids had MTB components with a 48 big ring max while touring bikes had 52s and 53s. Easily remediated with an 11 or 12 small in the back. The other advantage over similar age touring bikes: they have 7sp MTB rear spacing (130mm), so they can accommodate modern road groups, if you want to go that way. So practically, they are close to an 130mm spaced 29er frame also

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Old 03-12-10, 02:59 PM
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There are too many types of bikes, and the distinctions are blurry. I have a Surly Cross Check, and it's classified as cyclocross. It has clearance for tremendously wide and tall tires, probably bigger than the 720. But it's not a hybrid, unless I put straight bars on it, right? How silly. I'm not castigating you, it's the industry.

OK, thanks for the info. Despite the intent when they made this, I'll bill it as a touring bike. And I'll tell prospective customers that I'm willing to put straight bars on it, because a lot of people like straight bars. Hey, I like them, too.
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Old 03-12-10, 06:10 PM
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I think things were a lot simpler, less categories, in the 80's. Broadly, you had road and MTB. MTB's were new, there weren't a lot of subdivisions. Road had a little more, but the big split was racing/touring, with some subdivisions there. This was the environment in which "hybrids" emerged. MTBs were the big craze, were thought of as cool and new, but it was like rumbling around on a tank on knobbies on pavement. However, that had a more comfortable (to many people, esp. non-roadies) more upright posture available and with flat/riser bars, sort of like the bikes (huffy, etc) lots of folks grew up on.

So the "hybrids" were an attempt to get the best features of road (somewhat fast) with the flat bars of MTBs, and usually somewhat wider tires. So a bike that could do somewhat ok double duty as both road and mtb.

At least, that is how it seemed to start at the time, IIRC, and was how it was marketed. Of course, serious roadies/MTBers reviled these as the worst sort of abominations at the time, but in retrospect they were the first green shoots of the industry attempting "do it all" type bikes as a counterweight to the increasing specialization/segmentation of cycling products in the 80's and into the 90's.

But then it just became another segment, as noted above, of "comfort bikes". But for a while there, you'd go into a bike shop, and they would have 3 areas - road (meaning mostly race oriented bikes), MTB, and then hybrids, meaning sort of a cross between the other two segments.
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Old 03-13-10, 01:03 AM
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Sold one for $550 last week, asked for $600. It was 19" in excellent condition. Most components are original. Surprised how little interest there was. Too bad it wasn't my size.
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Old 03-13-10, 10:22 AM
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I am encouraged. Thank you.
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