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1953 Rene Herse Complete Vintage Bike

Old 06-16-11, 12:02 PM
  #1  
eskate488
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1953 Rene Herse Complete Vintage Bike

Hi!
I recently have been given a 1953 Rene Herse bike that I believe to be completely original save for maybe a change or two made within a few years of original purchase. I have been doing a little research and have gathered how valuable these bikes can be. Any idea on what this one may be worth?

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Old 06-16-11, 12:19 PM
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A lotta $$
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Old 06-16-11, 12:20 PM
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Holy smokes! That is a rare, collectible bike and is the original un-molested condition that collectors want. Be careful with it and don't change anything or remove any parts. I'm just guessing here but if you put it up on ebay it could bring in excess of $5000. A lot of the potential buyers will be in Japan so you will want to think about shipping there. Also, if you have 0 ebay feedback that might be a concern but I think in this case the bike will speak for itself.
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Old 06-16-11, 12:34 PM
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That is a rare and highly desirable bicycle. I'd suggest you contact Jan Heine, editor of Bicycle Quarterly about its potential value. Jan is very knowledgeable about Alex Singer and Rene Herse bikes. His e-mail address is heine94@earthlink.net.

P.S. Welcome to Bike Forums. That's a heckuva first post.
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Old 06-16-11, 12:41 PM
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Thanks for all the responses and the welcome. I acquired this bike from cleaning out my uncle's father-in-law's house. They were going to throw it away and at the time I had no clue of its value but thought it looked cool so I picked it up. I am considering the eBay route but I want to get as much information on it as possible before I take the plunge. Any idea how one would ship a bike? Any concerns with how a company would handle of bike of such value? Thanks
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Old 06-16-11, 12:41 PM
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I wouldn't rush into selling. Figure out what you are doing first.
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Old 06-16-11, 12:46 PM
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You really need to contact Jan Heine.
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Old 06-16-11, 12:51 PM
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I have just sent him an email and am awaiting his reply. Thanks for the contact info!
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Old 06-16-11, 01:04 PM
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There are extensive descriptions of how to pack a bike on the internet. I suggest you read them before doing anything to the bike, and unless you're quite comfortable with what you read, don't do anything to the bike even after reading. That bike is too valuable to muck around with if you're not quite confident of what you're doing. I would not trust my local bike shop to do it right, either.
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Old 06-16-11, 01:45 PM
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This is such a beautiful bicycle. It's one of the Rolls Royces of the bicycle world. You're very fortunate to have gotten it so easily.
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Old 06-16-11, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by norskagent View Post
You really need to contact Jan Heine.
Why would you need to do this? If Jan follows his standard MO he will find some friend to buy it at less than full market price and then get his 15% commission. You are better off just selling it on ebay at full market price as you will then be able to reach a larger cross-section of potential buyers.

If you live in the Philadelphia area, feel free to stop by my place and I would be more than happy to help you prepare an ebay description and teach you how to box and ship the bike. I have sold and shipped over 100 high end bikes over the years and would be more than happy to help.
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Old 06-16-11, 02:05 PM
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I meant to learn about the bike; not what to do with it. I would assume the OP would know to weigh his options and not just sell quickly.
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Old 06-16-11, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by norskagent View Post
I meant to learn about the bike; not what to do with it. I would assume the OP would know to weigh his options and not just sell quickly.
That was my intention in recommending the OP contact Jan Heine also.
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Old 06-16-11, 06:24 PM
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Eskate, you have a treasure in your hands. Don't rely on what any one person will tell you, ask around, take your time, don't be hasty in wanting to sell the bike.
I assume you've been here: https://www.classicrendezvous.com/Fra...cles/Herse.htm
and followed the links therein, and also here: https://www.sheldonbrown.com/vrbn-g-n.html#herse
By the way, the Sheldon Brown link contains prices that may not reflect current market conditions.
Occasionally these bikes show up on ebay, search there for selling price under 'completed listings'.
Do your research. Perhaps you'll want to keep the bike rather than sell it? Depending on location you may find an established bike shop with knowledgeable folks who can pack the bike for you.
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Old 06-16-11, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Citoyen du Monde View Post
Why would you need to do this? If Jan follows his standard MO he will find some friend to buy it at less than full market price and then get his 15% commission. You are better off just selling it on ebay at full market price as you will then be able to reach a larger cross-section of potential buyers.

If you live in the Philadelphia area, feel free to stop by my place and I would be more than happy to help you prepare an ebay description and teach you how to box and ship the bike. I have sold and shipped over 100 high end bikes over the years and would be more than happy to help.
I would agree with the above. You did not advise where you are located, a geographical region may yield a reputable shop if you are not near CdM. I have a strong feeling the wheels are not original. Nevertheless, there are enough key parts that are there and the overall expression of the frame being quite good, it should bring some handsome offers. If it is stateside, that helps the value as the freight from Europe is not a factor for a domestic buyer. It might even be a size that would get me interested in bidding on it, if it came on the open market.
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Old 06-16-11, 07:17 PM
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Are you going to tell your uncle?
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Old 06-16-11, 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by norskagent View Post
You really need to contact Jan Heine.
Hmmm, don't know Jan Heine from Adam. You need to meet my friend Benjamin!

100_2743.jpg
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Old 06-16-11, 08:31 PM
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Stunning bike, thanks for the photos. How did you determine it to be a 1953? I'd love to see more photos.

Cheers!
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Old 06-16-11, 10:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Citoyen du Monde View Post
If Jan follows his standard MO he will find some friend to buy it at less than full market price and then get his 15% commission.

Hiding behind a pen-name, you make unsubstantiated accusations. I don't think I've ever brokered a deal on an old bike and received a commission.

Maybe there is a mix-up here? I used to help U.S. customers order NEW Alex Singer bikes, and did receive a commission - paid by the buyer, not by Alex Singer - for the work involved in spec'ing the bike, translating, handling money transfers, etc. I haven't offered this service for years now, because Olivier Csuka, who now runs the shop, speaks English and can handle the orders directly.

The original poster contacted me privately about his bike, and I gave him an estimate of the value, and recommended e-bay as a marketplace for selling it. It's a beautiful bike. Being sold originally to the U.S., it doesn't have a few features like the Herse BB, but it's unmolested, which counts for a lot. Regarding the wheels (see another poster), the front one appears original, whereas I cannot see the rear one enough to tell.

Jan Heine
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Bicycle Quarterly
https://www.bikequarterly.com

Follow our blog at https://janheine.wordpress.com/

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Old 06-16-11, 10:39 PM
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Old 06-17-11, 06:04 AM
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Another person to contact for a 2nd (or 3rd, 4th 5th etc.) opinion is Mike Kone at
https://www.renehersebicycles.com/

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Old 06-17-11, 06:30 AM
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An unmolested Herse find and a post from Jan Heine. This is the best thread in years..... BTW, welcome to the forum Jan.
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Old 06-17-11, 08:22 AM
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I have a feeling this one will be sold before it has chance to get to Ebay.
It would cut down on fees!
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Old 06-17-11, 10:18 AM
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If this would be my bike, I simply would keep it. And ride it with pride on lovely Sunday mornings;-)
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Old 06-17-11, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by eskate488 View Post
Hi!
I recently have been given a 1953 Rene Herse bike that I believe to be completely original save for maybe a change or two made within a few years of original purchase. I have been doing a little research and have gathered how valuable these bikes can be. Any idea on what this one may be worth?

What a fantastic find! I'd advise thinking VERY carefully about whether you want to continue (our) obsession with Classic & Vintage bicycles? If so, you're very unlikely EVER to have the chance to own such an iconic bicycle again. They really are that hard to find, expensive and cherished - so keep it and be proud of it. If not, then by all means pass it on to someone else who will appreciate and treasure it - hopefully one of the C&V or Classic Rendezvous members, so we can all see it again. Either way, thank you for posting photos to make me drool - any chance of more photos, especially close-ups?
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