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Locally-Sold Higher-End Steel Bikes Fewer and More Expensive?

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Locally-Sold Higher-End Steel Bikes Fewer and More Expensive?

Old 11-19-16, 06:44 AM
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Locally-Sold Higher-End Steel Bikes Fewer and More Expensive?

Hi folks

Just curious as to your observations on this? I'm not comparing to the market say 10 years ago, but I'm saying more so in the last couple years - I *think* I'm seeing a bit of a change? Seems like bikes that are listed, are "more" expensive than what used to be easily available. People aren't letting them go for as cheap anymore? Perhaps there aren't as many original-owner-getting-out bikes available - and most stuff is now in the hands of 2nd and 3rd owners who have a more aggressive sense of value? I could be wrong but it's just my sense recently. Just throwing this out there.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 11-19-16, 06:54 AM
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Originally Posted by armstrong101
Hi folks

Just curious as to your observations on this? I'm not comparing to the market say 10 years ago, but I'm saying more so in the last couple years - I *think* I'm seeing a bit of a change? Seems like bikes that are listed, are "more" expensive than what used to be easily available. People aren't letting them go for as cheap anymore? Perhaps there aren't as many original-owner-getting-out bikes available - and most stuff is now in the hands of 2nd and 3rd owners who have a more aggressive sense of value? I could be wrong but it's just my sense recently. Just throwing this out there.

Thanks in advance.
Speaking more broadly, my observation is that the asking prices of vintage MTB's have skyrocketed, both locally on Craigslist and nationally on E-Bay. I often read forum posts talking about all the nice, vintage MTB's out there that you can get for a song. I think only if you get lucky. The only reliable places I've found to get reasonable prices are local pawn shops but most of what they get is junk and the occasional decent bike that pops up is always entry level.
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Old 11-19-16, 07:05 AM
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The market means everything. Here there's very little in the way of older steel bikes that aren't complete ****: I've seen bikes that look like they've been pulled out of a river or ditch, had some crap from the parts bin slapped on them, listed as "vintage" and priced at €150 (and I'm sure some hipster is riding it around the city right now).

But generally I'd agree with you, people are appreciating what they have a bit more, old steel frames don't go bad, and you can check what the market prices are a lot more easily now. Also, look at the price of a new Bianchi L'Eroica... getting a decent old steel bike, for a bit less, isn't a bad thing.
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Old 11-19-16, 07:12 AM
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High end stuff in our area is almost non-existent on CL. I picked up a few good deals on vintage MTBs but were nice entry level stuff that I will keep. Road bikes are going for more than they are worth but hey, that's CL where anything old or uncommon is a "collector item".
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Old 11-19-16, 07:15 AM
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I haven't seen a lot of changes. There has always been a lot of overpriced vintage bikes that don't move. The cost of ads is free and sellers can always dream.

I have been able to find good quality bikes for very reasonable prices locally. In the last year, I bought a 1982 Trek 720, a 1979 Trek 510 and a 1993 Trek 950. I paid respectively $50, $150, and $125 for the three bikes.
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Old 11-19-16, 07:33 AM
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Haven't paid extensive attention to the market but have followed it sparingly in the last few years.

I think if you're willing to pay a fair price for higher end bike meant to be a keeper, it's a good market for you. With some time and research, you'll find what you're looking for. Looking to steal something, it's luck and the ability to act fast.
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Old 11-19-16, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by corwin1968
Speaking more broadly, my observation is that the asking prices of vintage MTB's have skyrocketed, both locally on Craigslist and nationally on E-Bay. I often read forum posts talking about all the nice, vintage MTB's out there that you can get for a song. I think only if you get lucky. The only reliable places I've found to get reasonable prices are local pawn shops but most of what they get is junk and the occasional decent bike that pops up is always entry level.
Yeah, that's been my observation. I sure wasn't finding any nice vintage 80s MTBs for a song when I was looking recently. There's low to middle end stuff, but even that is not always cheap. That said I'm not a collector and only a casual observer. 90s mid level MTBs seem to be pretty cheap still. Anyhow, buying an 30 year old MTB is a bit riskier than a road bike, as they literally were ridden hard and put away wet.
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Old 11-19-16, 09:05 AM
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In my experience, nice old high end bikes offered for a song on Craigslist are like big fish stories. They may happen in places where other people live (@fender1 comes to mind) but they never come up anywhere near me. As for the more expensive ones, they are pretty common. There's an overpriced Raleigh on my local CL that's been there for months and will remain there as long as it's overpriced.
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Old 11-19-16, 09:46 AM
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Responding to your question as an economist, "The market always speaks". So, depending on where you are, how bike-friendly the area is, whether there's a university or college there, how prosperous the region is, and a bunch of other data points all impact both supply and price. Generally speaking, I agre with RHM- cheap bikes in amazing condition just don't come around very often.

In the DC area, prices have always been high and people have generally been pretty well educated regarding the worth of their used bike for that market. So we have our share of overpriced, under-maintained, crusty examples interspersed with flippers who dump the same 10-20 bikes at a time onto the CL page, this driving nice, well maintained and (for this market) fairly priced bikes down onto the second or third page in a matter of hours. And I think that most neophyte CL shoppers never get to page 3, let alone beyond it.

The bikes I sell are relatively expensive (e.g. the famous half dozen $550 Ironman bikes of several seasons ago) but they are also completely redone, name brand, quality builds. So I may put one up on CL, renew it every couple of days, but actually sell another bike to a responder who says 'hey, gorgeous bike, but too small/big for me. got anything else?' Plus, I can be patient, as I don't have to sell anything except to make room. So, eventually, someone looking for a really top quality build will come to me, ready to buy. The market always speaks.
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Old 11-19-16, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by bikemig
I haven't seen a lot of changes. There has always been a lot of overpriced vintage bikes that don't move. The cost of ads is free and sellers can always dream.

I have been able to find good quality bikes for very reasonable prices locally. In the last year, I bought a 1982 Trek 720, a 1979 Trek 510 and a 1993 Trek 950. I paid respectively $50, $150, and $125 for the three bikes.
In Portland, those same bikes would go for $200 to $300.

There are a dozen places that one could just set up a picnic chair and take pictures of the classic steel bicycles passing by.

Local market conditions...
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Old 11-19-16, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by gugie
In Portland, those same bikes would go for $200 to $300.

There are a dozen places that one could just set up a picnic chair and take pictures of the classic steel bicycles passing by.

Local market conditions...
I agree. The 720 I think is worth north of $300. If there was any money to be made in this, we could do some arbitrage between Des Moines and Portland!
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Old 11-19-16, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by bikemig
I agree. The 720 I think is worth north of $300. If there was any money to be made in this, we could do some arbitrage between Des Moines and Portland!
Hmmmmmmm.....
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Old 11-19-16, 11:25 AM
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The last 3 craigslist bikes I procured were a Cannondale with tri color for $125 and one of the bonded carbon Treks, also with tri color, but newer 8 speed STI- for $225, and an Ironman Master for $125

-- All came from McMansion type neighborhoods and the owners clearly just wanted them out of the garage

I haven't seen anything in true high end steel worth following up on in a few months though --- I think most people with a fairly serious machine head straight to ebay now -- at least in my area
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Old 11-19-16, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by bikemig
I agree. The 720 I think is worth north of $300. If there was any money to be made in this, we could do some arbitrage between Des Moines and Portland!
Agree on the Portland prices, they are high compared to a lot of places, even Seattle. A lot of times, if I am looking for something specific, Seatlle CL posts will come up if there are few matches in Portland. Same item will be 20 per cent less in Seatlle.
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Old 11-19-16, 12:42 PM
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LOL, well I think they are still pretty available in my area but you have to be ready to act quick.

A good example is the 1987 built Schwinn Prologue I recently scored with a full Dura Ace setup. A total grubby mess and not perfect paint but it rides like a dream and was super cheap, like really!



(How it looked the night I brought it home)


Then the Opus III was bought close to mint and having been fully torn down, serviced and built back up. The price was about what it would have cost my favorite LBS to do the service work for me and I gained a sweet bike.



The Trek 560 Pro Series was another really cheap one. Dura Ace and 105 parts and a sweet frame with just a reasonable amount of marks in the paint for next to nothing.



(This actually has a matching wheelset, I just borrowed the rear to troubleshot an issue on my Basso)

A mint early 80s Fuji S12-S that I paid less than $100 for too and is now being converted to 650b for cush local touring.



Heck right now theres another sweet Schwinn Prologue size 58cm with Superbe Pro components for sale about an hour away, listed for $250. He's had it up for awhile with no bites. Crazy, if it fit I'd be making an offer for sure!
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Old 11-19-16, 01:18 PM
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...I'm in the SF Bay area, which I've always considered like the mythical elephant graveyard for really high end steel bikes. There are fewer of them appearing now and over the last couple of years on the local CL. I check it out every now and then, and the high priced stuff that shows up tends to remain up much longer (because it really is overpriced in many cases).

I attribute it to the length of time that has passed since people were making and selling them new. IMO, the supply is gradually decreasing as they die or get lost in the downward spiral of use and abuse. They're still around, just in fewer numbers.

In a strange twist, the prices that people seem to be willing to pay for them seems either stagnant or dropping. I attribute this to a general shrinking of the user and owner demographic, as the money in the "serious" cycling community all goes to plastic. I could be wrong.
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Old 11-19-16, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by rhm
In my experience, nice old high end bikes offered for a song on Craigslist are like big fish stories. They may happen in places where other people live (@fender1 comes to mind) but they never come up anywhere near me. As for the more expensive ones, they are pretty common. There's an overpriced Raleigh on my local CL that's been there for months and will remain there as long as it's overpriced.
In Australia it's the same though we pay a premium for bikes over you guys as the population is less and therefore less choices. There's two overpriced Raleighs in particular on Gumtree and Ebay for over a year now.
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Old 11-19-16, 02:42 PM
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Little to nothing of value on my local CL, but that is the norm. This is a relatively low wealth area and we seldom see "good" bikes on CL. A quick check shows a Bianchi Pista for $700 and a Ross Eurotour for $200. Everything else is pretty much overpriced WM mountain bikes listed for $95% of retail.

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Old 11-19-16, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by wahoonc
Little to nothing of value on my local CL, --- A quick check shows a Bianchi Pista for $700

Aaron

Ouch - if its one of the later model tig welded bikes - that's retail almost
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Old 11-19-16, 03:29 PM
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I have only collected C&V for about 3 years now but patience and timing is what I see are required. I've also resigned to the fact that the days of $50 steals and dumpster finds are long gone. I scan through hundreds of junkers, decent mid-range bikes that are overpriced and top end bikes that are ridiculously priced.

Just when I think I'll never see a decent deal again, I get a 1986 Schwinn Super Sport in VGC and an awesome 1985 Raleigh Prestige, each <$200 and both within 60 days of each other. Fast forward a couple of months and I happen upon a Schwinn Circuit on CL that's an even better deal. If I was actively looking to buy, I would have gotten really frustrated long ago. But when these deals just sort of pop up, the thrill of the hunt stays fun for me.
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Old 11-19-16, 03:40 PM
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The asking prices are a bit higher, but there's no data they're selling for more.
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Old 11-19-16, 05:17 PM
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Always cool to see your posts.

We are better when you hit the "submit reply" button.

Fire when ready.


Originally Posted by wrk101
Out of lurk mode.

This year I continue to find plenty of high end bikes at attractive prices. There seems to be a ceiling where vintage bikes don't sell. So I tend to be a buyer, perhaps the only buyer in my area. I am agnostic on size, a deal is a deal, and profits on bikes that don't fit allow me to pay full price for keepers (but over half the list below were actually my size).

It took me a long, long time to learn to aim higher, (Miami Jim lesson #2) and stop wasting my time on the low end stuff. Some of my lingering low end stuff has gone to the co-op. More will go!

Sure, sellers can ask any price they want, including crazy high prices. But I still find nice stuff at attractive pricing.

Nicer bikes I bought in 2016 at half of FMV or less:

1974 Schwinn Paramount

1973 World Voyageur

1985+/- Colnago

1981 PX10

2014 Bianchi Volpe NOS (OK, this one was modern)

1988 Schwinn Prologue

1988 Schwinn Cimarron LE

199x Lemonds Titanium racing bike

1988 Centurion Ironman

1988 Schwinn Tempo

1985 Miyata 1000

Note, half of FMV or less not based on some guesstimate, rather, its based on proceeds from sales of these bikes.

It certainly helps to be able to quickly assess a bike from sketchy information and launch. Even so, some of the deals lasted much longer than I would have expected. Bikes that are not complete really go cheap. Often, bikes with extras are really good deals as proceeds from the extras can pay for the entire bike.

My advice to those that can't find deals: 1. look harder and beyond your local market; and 2) consider bikes that are the wrong size.
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Old 11-19-16, 05:36 PM
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X2 on top end. Out of market, and sometimes size.

I will buy a quality worn bike dirt cheap and clean up for fun as I know my money will at least come back and I love the final look. But really like clean high end if I can get at a good or fair price if its on my list. They are fewer are far between.

At least the third time I have mentioned this, but wait till Discovery or someone picks up a show for restoring vintage bikes. They do it for everything from repurposing cheap old furniture to houses and cars. The time will come for old steel.


Not saying anyone will get rich, more reference to scarcity.

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Old 11-20-16, 04:40 AM
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Originally Posted by DMC707
Ouch - if its one of the later model tig welded bikes - that's retail almost
Yup... that is the way it works around here. Someone has something and they figure it is worth 95% of brand new...

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Old 11-20-16, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by RobbieTunes
The asking prices are a bit higher, but there's no data they're selling for more.
If you're not checking craigslist every other hour, you don't get to see the very best deals. A below fmv bike rarely stays listed very long. What you witness are some DKO flippers with stars in their eyes, thinking someone will pay ready-to-ride prices for an overhaul candidate or $700 for an RB-1 with crash damage. Of course, there are exceptions; I picked up a clean Trek 560 for about $80, where the ad was left for two weeks. On the other hand, when a pristine Jamis Durango mtb price was lowered by $40, the ad was deleted within 20 minutes of my contacting the seller.

I think given bike sharing programs and the plethora of well priced new bikes, vintage demand is pretty soft.




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