Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Classic & Vintage
Reload this Page >

Is It Just Me? Or Where Have All the Early to Mid 1980s MTBs Gone?

Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

Is It Just Me? Or Where Have All the Early to Mid 1980s MTBs Gone?

Old 05-02-19, 01:49 PM
  #1  
wrk101
Thrifty Bill
Thread Starter
 
wrk101's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Mountains of Western NC
Posts: 22,010

Bikes: 86 Katakura Silk, 87 Prologue X2, 88 Cimarron LE, 1975 Sekai 4000 Professional, 73 Paramount, plus more

Mentioned: 67 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 648 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 37 Times in 32 Posts
Is It Just Me? Or Where Have All the Early to Mid 1980s MTBs Gone?

I've enjoyed finding early MTBs over the years, with friction thumb shifting, cromoly frame, nice wheels and parts. Seemed like I could throw a rock in any direction and I would find one. I am not talking the really rare stuff, I am talking higher end Specialized, Trek and other similar brands.

It has really changed for me. The last one I found was over a year ago, a sweet 1983 Univega Alpina Ultima (always thought the Alpina Pro was the top, but it wasn't). Found that one in Orlando. But anymore, I just don't see them in the marketplace. And when I do, they often have high (to me) asking prices. Anyway, the supply of early MTBs has dried up.

I added Fat Franks to the Ultima, otherwise, it's as found.


1983 Univega Alpina Ultima by wrk101, on Flickr
__________________
See my vintage steel bike tribute page on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BillsVintageSteelBikes

Last edited by wrk101; 05-02-19 at 04:10 PM.
wrk101 is offline  
Old 05-02-19, 01:57 PM
  #2  
BikeWonder
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Calgary
Posts: 143
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 64 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 11 Times in 9 Posts
Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
I've enjoyed finding early MTBs over the years, with friction thumb shifting, lugged frame, nice wheels and parts. Seemed like I could throw a rock in any direction and I would find one. I am not talking the really rare stuff, I am talking higher end Specialized, Trek and other similar brands.

It has really changed for me. The last one I found was over a year ago, a sweet 1983 Univega Alpina Ultima (always thought the Alpina Pro was the top, but it wasn't). Found that one in Orlando. But anymore, I just don't see them in the marketplace. And when I do, they often have high (to me) asking prices. Anyway, the supply of early MTBs has dried up.

I added Fat Franks to the Ultima, otherwise, it's as found.


1983 Univega Alpina Ultima by wrk101, on Flickr
From what I know, a lot are being converted to drop bar tourers or commuters.

They just do the job well.
BikeWonder is offline  
Old 05-02-19, 02:04 PM
  #3  
merziac
Senior Member
 
merziac's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: PDX
Posts: 4,006

Bikes: Merz x 5 + Specialized Merz Allez x 2, Strawberry/Newlands, Gordon, Fuso/Moulton, Bornstein, Paisley, Paramounts, 3rensho, Moto TC, Raleigh Pro's, Marinoni, 1960 Cinelli SC, 1980 Bianchi SC and more

Mentioned: 92 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1103 Post(s)
Liked 48 Times in 37 Posts
Dang interwebs, forums and wingnuts promoting all those silly ideas.
merziac is offline  
Old 05-02-19, 02:05 PM
  #4  
noobinsf 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Oakland, CA
Posts: 1,172

Bikes: '04 Felt SR91, '82 Univega Competizione, '72 Motobecane Grand Record, '72 Puch Bergmeister

Mentioned: 30 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 312 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 11 Times in 10 Posts
I've also seen a few gliding around the Oakland hills trails, in their natural habitat. I guess the secret's out, like flying on Christmas Day. Not just for folks in the know anymore...
noobinsf is online now  
Old 05-02-19, 02:11 PM
  #5  
Lemond1985
Sophomore Member
 
Lemond1985's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 1,434
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 789 Post(s)
Liked 149 Times in 108 Posts
They've probably all been stolen at least once by now. My theory is that homeless people and bike hoarders ended up with most of them.

I actually had an idea to start buying up quality MTB's, stripping the components and repainting the frames, and reselling them with refurbished parts under my own brand name. Anyone want to go into business with me?
Lemond1985 is offline  
Old 05-02-19, 02:15 PM
  #6  
xroadcharlie
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Windsor Ontario, Canada
Posts: 93

Bikes: 2018 Giant Sedona

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 30 Post(s)
Liked 13 Times in 12 Posts
I put mine out at the street for free. It took days before anyone took it. It was so bad, My friend picked up an OLD RUSTY ladies bike out of the garbage for getting around at the marina. It was SO much more comfortable than my beloved 12 speed mountain bike with 26 x 2.125" tires mountain bike I was shocked.
xroadcharlie is offline  
Old 05-02-19, 02:18 PM
  #7  
gugie 
Crapmaster Emeritus
 
gugie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 7,351

Bikes: JP Weigle'd Raleigh Competition reconstruct, 73 Raleigh Competition 650b'ed, 96 Bike Friday NWT, 83 Lotus Classique, 78 Centurion ProTour, 73 Raleigh Grand Sports

Mentioned: 774 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2214 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 40 Times in 32 Posts
Originally Posted by Lemond1985 View Post
They've probably all been stolen at least once by now. My theory is that homeless people and bike hoarders ended up with most of them.

I actually had an idea to start buying up quality MTB's, stripping the components and repainting the frames, and reselling them with refurbished parts under my own brand name. Anyone want to go into business with me?



I thought that was already done.
__________________
If someone tells you that you have enough bicycles and you don't need any more, stop talking to them. You don't need that kind of negativity in your life.
gugie is offline  
Old 05-02-19, 03:36 PM
  #8  
canklecat
Me duelen las nalgas
 
canklecat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Texas
Posts: 9,055

Bikes: Centurion Ironman, Trek 5900, Univega Via Carisma, Globe Carmel

Mentioned: 157 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2762 Post(s)
Liked 136 Times in 110 Posts
There's a fellow in Dallas who specializes in fixing up and reselling classic mountain bikes. Prices seem reasonable if the bikes are as good as they look from his ads.

And I see a lot of beaters in the D/FW area. Folks drag those bikes out of storage neglect and usually sell 'em as-is. Most of those bikes look like they'd need upward of $100 in parts and work to get back to riding condition.
canklecat is online now  
Old 05-02-19, 03:39 PM
  #9  
Lemond1985
Sophomore Member
 
Lemond1985's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 1,434
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 789 Post(s)
Liked 149 Times in 108 Posts
Originally Posted by gugie View Post
Crap! Great (diseased) minds think alike!
Lemond1985 is offline  
Old 05-02-19, 04:40 PM
  #10  
gomango 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: STP
Posts: 14,887
Mentioned: 63 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 666 Post(s)
Liked 9 Times in 6 Posts
Still out there.
Picked up two gems last year for peanuts.
My ParkPre is a real gem and the Yeti XR3(?)was dumb luck.
One was a garage sale find and the other was a hand me down from an old riding buddy.
Not everyone wants a bunch of old bikes in their garage, especially when they retire.
__________________


Bikes and stuff

https://www.flickr.com/photos/36270004@N06/

Last edited by gomango; 05-02-19 at 04:49 PM.
gomango is offline  
Old 05-02-19, 05:39 PM
  #11  
RandolphCarter
Senior Member
 
RandolphCarter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Round Lake. NY
Posts: 231

Bikes: 1986 Trek 310 Elance, 1997 Schwinn HydraGlide, 1987 Trek Antelope 800, 2003 Haro F4, 198? Allsop Offroad Climber

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 43 Post(s)
Liked 4 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by gomango View Post
Not everyone wants a bunch of old bikes in their garage, especially when they retire.
I read this several times and am still not able to make sense of it.
RandolphCarter is offline  
Likes For RandolphCarter:
Old 05-02-19, 05:49 PM
  #12  
gomango 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: STP
Posts: 14,887
Mentioned: 63 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 666 Post(s)
Liked 9 Times in 6 Posts
Originally Posted by RandolphCarter View Post
I read this several times and am still not able to make sense of it.
**********??
__________________


Bikes and stuff

https://www.flickr.com/photos/36270004@N06/

Last edited by gomango; 05-02-19 at 06:02 PM.
gomango is offline  
Old 05-02-19, 05:49 PM
  #13  
merziac
Senior Member
 
merziac's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: PDX
Posts: 4,006

Bikes: Merz x 5 + Specialized Merz Allez x 2, Strawberry/Newlands, Gordon, Fuso/Moulton, Bornstein, Paisley, Paramounts, 3rensho, Moto TC, Raleigh Pro's, Marinoni, 1960 Cinelli SC, 1980 Bianchi SC and more

Mentioned: 92 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1103 Post(s)
Liked 48 Times in 37 Posts
Originally Posted by RandolphCarter View Post
I read this several times and am still not able to make sense of it.
@gomango may be the only one with enough resrtaint to pull this off.
merziac is offline  
Likes For merziac:
Old 05-02-19, 05:52 PM
  #14  
gomango 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: STP
Posts: 14,887
Mentioned: 63 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 666 Post(s)
Liked 9 Times in 6 Posts
Originally Posted by merziac View Post
@gomango may be the only one with enough resrtaint to pull this off.
Maybe...
__________________


Bikes and stuff

https://www.flickr.com/photos/36270004@N06/
gomango is offline  
Old 05-02-19, 05:52 PM
  #15  
Bikerider007 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: AZ
Posts: 2,377

Bikes: Yes

Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 432 Post(s)
Liked 6 Times in 6 Posts
Two words- Bullmoose & Biplane. They are unique to the early production MTB's. They get swooped up or parted out. Many had BMX parts that bring $.

Maybe should be three Bs. Bullmoose, biplane, Bmx!
__________________
Bikerider007 is offline  
Old 05-02-19, 06:02 PM
  #16  
RandolphCarter
Senior Member
 
RandolphCarter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Round Lake. NY
Posts: 231

Bikes: 1986 Trek 310 Elance, 1997 Schwinn HydraGlide, 1987 Trek Antelope 800, 2003 Haro F4, 198? Allsop Offroad Climber

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 43 Post(s)
Liked 4 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by gomango View Post
Here it is in English.

People clean their items out when they head towards retirement.

All sorts of items get sold off, sometimes at great prices.

How's that ?
My joke sounded funnier in my head.

How's that?
RandolphCarter is offline  
Old 05-02-19, 06:05 PM
  #17  
gomango 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: STP
Posts: 14,887
Mentioned: 63 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 666 Post(s)
Liked 9 Times in 6 Posts
Originally Posted by RandolphCarter View Post
My joke sounded funnier in my head.

How's that?
Stick to topics.
__________________


Bikes and stuff

https://www.flickr.com/photos/36270004@N06/
gomango is offline  
Old 05-02-19, 07:01 PM
  #18  
Dylansbob
2k miles from the midwest
 
Dylansbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Washington
Posts: 651

Bikes: Retrospec AMOK low budget low trail - Polygon Bend RV - Bombtrack Arise

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)
Liked 3 Times in 2 Posts
My last early mtb find, ~ 10 months ago. It's made me cry. Stripped puller threads on the drive side, stripped crank bolt on the non-drive. I'm just going to salvage the chainrings and send the rest to the co-op.
Dylansbob is offline  
Old 05-02-19, 07:10 PM
  #19  
Jason845
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 22
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Lemond1985 View Post
Crap! Great (diseased) minds think alike!
Unfortunately my search for a pristine early mountain bike is coming up empty, so I will be placing an order with Rivendell soon.
Jason845 is offline  
Old 05-02-19, 07:18 PM
  #20  
The Golden Boy 
Extraordinary Magnitude
 
The Golden Boy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Waukesha WI
Posts: 11,334

Bikes: 1977 Trek TX700; 1978/79 Trek 736; 1984 Specialized Stumpjumper Sport; 1984 Schwinn Voyageur SP; 1985 Trek 620; 1985 Trek 720; 1986 Trek 400 Elance; 1987 Schwinn High Sierra; 1990 Miyata 1000LT

Mentioned: 70 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1700 Post(s)
Liked 40 Times in 32 Posts
I guess it's like any hobby involving "vintage" stuff. The distinction between desirable "vintage" stuff and junk that is "old" gets blurred after the truly desirable stuff gets snapped up...

Sort of like how the 1950s and 1960s Les Pauls, SG, Telcasters, Stratocasters, Precision Basses, Jazz Basses and other prime model instruments were the desirable and collectible things- When the prices and availability of the premium items became untenable- then the lesser model guitars became desirable... and then the student model guitars from the big makers were desirable... Then it got to be anything that was "old" was desirably "vintage." And even stuff that just looked old became desirable... When you're looking for an SG, but you're triping over all these Melody Makers or Epiphone Crestwoods or Mustangs... they're everywhere- then one day- everyone wants them and there's none around.

Not that I've been there, done that, bought the commemorative snow globe and stuff...
__________________
*Recipient of the 2006 Time Magazine "Person Of The Year" Award*

Commence to jigglin’ huh?!?!

"But hey, always love to hear from opinionated amateurs." -says some guy to Mr. Marshall.
The Golden Boy is offline  
Old 05-02-19, 07:21 PM
  #21  
The Golden Boy 
Extraordinary Magnitude
 
The Golden Boy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Waukesha WI
Posts: 11,334

Bikes: 1977 Trek TX700; 1978/79 Trek 736; 1984 Specialized Stumpjumper Sport; 1984 Schwinn Voyageur SP; 1985 Trek 620; 1985 Trek 720; 1986 Trek 400 Elance; 1987 Schwinn High Sierra; 1990 Miyata 1000LT

Mentioned: 70 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1700 Post(s)
Liked 40 Times in 32 Posts
Originally Posted by RandolphCarter View Post
My joke sounded funnier in my head.

How's that?
It's plenty funny- especially in a forum consisting of junk collectors, hoarders and N+1-ers.
__________________
*Recipient of the 2006 Time Magazine "Person Of The Year" Award*

Commence to jigglin’ huh?!?!

"But hey, always love to hear from opinionated amateurs." -says some guy to Mr. Marshall.
The Golden Boy is offline  
Old 05-02-19, 08:03 PM
  #22  
bikemig 
Senior Member
 
bikemig's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Middle Earth (aka IA)
Posts: 15,115

Bikes: A bunch of old bikes and a few new ones

Mentioned: 107 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3607 Post(s)
Liked 62 Times in 55 Posts
I have weakness for vintage MTBs as well and the local supply is definitely down.
bikemig is online now  
Old 05-02-19, 09:08 PM
  #23  
wrk101
Thrifty Bill
Thread Starter
 
wrk101's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Mountains of Western NC
Posts: 22,010

Bikes: 86 Katakura Silk, 87 Prologue X2, 88 Cimarron LE, 1975 Sekai 4000 Professional, 73 Paramount, plus more

Mentioned: 67 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 648 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 37 Times in 32 Posts
Anymore, I only find them on road trips. I have a couple of fishing holes that usually yield some (and like any good fisherman, mums the word on the location). I'll be visiting one area the end of this month. We will have to see if I find anything this time.

Biplanar forks and bear trap pedals? Not finding them at all...

Last edited by wrk101; 05-03-19 at 07:16 AM.
wrk101 is offline  
Old 05-03-19, 08:51 AM
  #24  
dweenk 
Senior Member
 
dweenk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Maryland
Posts: 3,150

Bikes: 1971 Fuji Finest, Royale, S-10-S, 1976 Motobecane Mirage, 1989 Trek 330, 1100, 1970 Raleigh Sport, and more

Mentioned: 37 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 575 Post(s)
Liked 11 Times in 9 Posts
I have 3 mid-eighties mountain bikes in my garage - A Trek 820 Antelope, a Schwinn High Sierra, and a Schwinn Cimarron. Many more have passed through over the years - Diamond Back, Raleigh, Schwinn, Univega, Yeti, Yokota, were the best, and then I found a bunch of crap bikes that I donated right away.

I used to find them dirt cheap at yard sales, but not any longer. In the past couple of years I found the High Sierra and Cimarron, but that was just dumb luck.
__________________
"The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read." –Mark Twain
dweenk is online now  
Old 05-03-19, 08:59 AM
  #25  
88Tempo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 280
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 76 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 19 Times in 15 Posts
Originally Posted by dweenk View Post
I have 3 mid-eighties mountain bikes in my garage - A Trek 820 Antelope, a Schwinn High Sierra, and a Schwinn Cimarron. Many more have passed through over the years - Diamond Back, Raleigh, Schwinn, Univega, Yeti, Yokota, were the best, and then I found a bunch of crap bikes that I donated right away.

I used to find them dirt cheap at yard sales, but not any longer. In the past couple of years I found the High Sierra and Cimarron, but that was just dumb luck.
There was a guy a couple of days ago that posted an 80's Voyageur and two 80's High Sierra's on Facebook Marketplace in Parker Colorado. One of the High Sierras still had the dealer booklet tied to the handlebar. He had a really low price set for all three bikes too. I think he only wanted $250.
88Tempo is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.