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Classic bicycle street prices when new?

Old 01-19-22, 08:49 AM
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Cratecruncher
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Classic bicycle street prices when new?

I was recently told my 1971 bike retailed around what I paid for it in 2021.(without inflation adjustment). That got me thinking. Given the recent run up in prices for bikes how does that compare with other eras? Does anyone have some historical new street prices. Perhaps we could create an historical price curve if we have enough data. Perhaps someone has already done this? How much have we lost or gained on our "investments"?
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Old 01-19-22, 09:46 AM
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I seem to recall that I bought my 1968 Raleigh Record new for $79. As I recall, the Raleigh Grand Prix was about $95 at the time and the Super Course was about an eye-watering $110.
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Old 01-19-22, 10:07 AM
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If you hold an investment for 50 years and have a return of zero before adjusting for inflation, that’s a pretty poor investment.
This is why the value in bikes comes from riding them. Anyone buying them to hold for retirement income should really rethink their strategy.

For example, if you bought a bike in 1971 for $300, you would have to sell now for over $2000 for an inflation-adjusted break-even.
The same $300 invested in 1971 in the S&P would now be over $64K.

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Old 01-19-22, 10:21 AM
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I bought a 1982 Holdsworth Avanti new in April 1983 for £159.95
I bought a 1982 Holdsworth Avanti used in August 2021 for £160

I've no idea what to conclude from that.
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Old 01-19-22, 10:27 AM
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You can generally find prices when a bike was new somewhere on the interwebz. I don’t think there is much correlation between current market value and original sale price. I bought my quite nice early 2000s Allez Elite for $500 last year (no idea if that is a good or bad price) and it originally sold for ~$1600. Was that money well spent? No idea.

OTOH - if I had held onto my ~1980 Mongoose BMX bike I would be many $$ ahead. I have several friends with nifty old cars they have had for a long time and they are many $$ ahead of what they paid.

Personally, I HATE turning hobbies into commodities. It destroys the enjoyment.
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Old 01-19-22, 10:28 AM
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I didn't pay anywhere near the original prices for any of my bikes. They had originally sold for between $300 to nearly $1000. My Miyata 310, which cost just over $300 when I purchased it in 1984, would probably be the closest. It is still in very good, mostly original condition, so it might be worth $200-300 to the right buyer in the right location.
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Old 01-19-22, 10:45 AM
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Old 01-19-22, 11:00 AM
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seems like the used bike market varies widely month to month, year to year so really impossible to see trends in any meaningful way

I bought my (departed due to crack) Miyata 1400 for $900 in 1989, it is pretty rare...last one I saw for sale with $400 asking

I bought a Nishki olympic 12 new for $300 in 1982 in my area I see ads for similar from $100 to $400

so no really correlation other than 80's mid level Japanese bikes by and large have not lost a huge amount value (non adjusted dollars)

As noted, by and large unless there is a combination of rarity, provenance, and previous owners (might be part of provenance) bikes are not an investment and like art what is worth bucks today maybe worth way less tomorrow
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Old 01-19-22, 11:18 AM
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As far as personal experience... in 1976, the price of a Raleigh International was $520.





In the year 2000 (I think..), I bought a 1974 Raleigh International that was very close to New In Box. Came with the original pump, tags and labels, tires, etc. Wonderful and beautiful! I paid the asking price of $1000. The bike had been sitting in the basement of a bike shop for most of that time, which was probably one reason why they went out of business (per the fellow who sold me the bike. He bought a handful of bikes from them, still in the box).



With the right bike, one that was really noteworthy, there is a slim chance that it might be a decent investment. As a general rule, however, I suspect that you'd do better putting the money into a stock market index fund.

Steve in Peoria
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Old 01-19-22, 11:56 AM
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Maybe O/T, but the art reference inspired me to look at the max price paid at auction for a bike.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butterfly_Trek_Madone
A Trek ridden by Armstrong in the TDF and then reimagined by an established artist sold for 500k. A lofty price for a bike, but not even noteworthy by art standards, and I think we can agree the sale price had everything to do with provenance and the artwork, rather than the bike itself.
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Old 01-19-22, 12:08 PM
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Typical Los Angeles / Santa Monica CA prices:

1960 Capo Modell Campagnolo: $160
1971 American Eagle / Nishiki Semi-Pro / Competition: $150
1973 updated/upgraded version: $170
1971 Peugeot UO-8: $120
1971 Peugeot PX-10: $250
1988 Schwinn Project KOM-10: $900
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Old 01-19-22, 12:39 PM
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1973 Peugeot UO8: $139
1973 Gitane Tour de France:
new in 1974 $239
used in 2021 $150
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Old 01-19-22, 12:42 PM
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Old 01-19-22, 12:48 PM
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I think the true value of old bikes and parts is what they can still provide at what they cost you, either then or now.

I have built up a few touring bikes for personal use that probably cost me ~€500 each. Nice frames, nice parts, most of them used. Bikes that I enjoyed building, are unique, and fit me like a glove.

If I look at what my favorite LBS is currently offering in terms of touring bikes, I could get a Merida Speeder for three times that. I am sure it is a good bike, but after adding fenders, a rack, nicer tires and some other odds and ends, I' probably wouldn't get much change from €2,000. (That's not counting the suit one apparently needs as well )

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Old 01-19-22, 01:58 PM
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Wow! There is a lot of information to process here. i'm just getting started in vintage bikes and scanning the usual "for sale" ads. Of course I was kidding about bikes being "investments". We love them for intangible reasons. Yet these historic street/list prices do seem to have relevance today because they give newbs like me a huge insight into how the different models varied in specification and position in the hierarchy. Those complete Raleigh lists are really interesting.

Thanks to everyone who has contributed. And PLEASE share your prices and make/models (oh, and date of price is important too).

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Old 01-19-22, 02:05 PM
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This is always the coolest part of these discussions. What things cost via receipt, irrespective of inflation. Especially bike parts when they cost nearly the same amount then as now for something similar.

What is the word before tire in the extra charges?


Originally Posted by obrentharris View Post


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Old 01-19-22, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by jdawginsc View Post

What is the word before tire in the extra charges?
"Elvezia'" Clement's least expensive tubular tire at the time.
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Old 01-19-22, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by obrentharris View Post
"Elvezia'" Clement's least expensive tubular tire at the time.
Brent
aaahhh...thanks. Interesting. Cheap!
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Old 01-19-22, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by steelbikeguy View Post
As far as personal experience... in 1976, the price of a Raleigh International was $520.





In the year 2000 (I think..), I bought a 1974 Raleigh International that was very close to New In Box. Came with the original pump, tags and labels, tires, etc. Wonderful and beautiful! I paid the asking price of $1000. The bike had been sitting in the basement of a bike shop for most of that time, which was probably one reason why they went out of business (per the fellow who sold me the bike. He bought a handful of bikes from them, still in the box).



With the right bike, one that was really noteworthy, there is a slim chance that it might be a decent investment. As a general rule, however, I suspect that you'd do better putting the money into a stock market index fund.

Steve in Peoria

Interesting. Per this calculator, the $900 top tier Team Pro adjusted for inflation would be $4,409.87. That would get you a quality road bike today, but not the top tier. A high end bike today can easily cost you $10k. Rich people getting richer?
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Old 01-19-22, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by tricky View Post
Interesting. Per this calculator, the $900 top tier Team Pro adjusted for inflation would be $4,409.87. That would get you a quality road bike today, but not the top tier. A high end bike today can easily cost you $10k. Rich people getting richer?
That might be a question for an economist. It would be interesting to compare that to items like motorcycles and cars. It gets tough to compare, because the features and technology of all of these items have just gotten so large and advanced. Is it fair to compare a bike that evolves from steel and aluminum to carbon fiber and electronic shifting to the field of cars, which used to be relatively crude carburated engines, 3 speed transmissions, frames & bodies that would rust out quickly, and would last maybe 100k miles, and evolved to machines with fuel injection, 6 or 8 or more speed transmissions, electronics in every subsystem, and probably good for 200k miles..? (yeah, that was a long sentence. sorry)
By comparison, basic TV's got lots cheaper and much better.

I will admit that growing up thinking that a $500 bike was a huge expense makes me boggle at the thought of $10k bikes! I have paid $4.5k for a bike, but I had to turn off that part of the brain in order to do so.

Steve in Peoria
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Old 01-20-22, 09:28 PM
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Old 01-20-22, 09:44 PM
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Originally Posted by dedhed View Post
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Old 01-20-22, 10:10 PM
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I bought my 1983 Specialized Expedition new in summer 1984 from a local bike shop in Lawrence KS. It retailed for $600 or $650 I think, but Rick sold it to me for around $500-525 if I recall correctly (have the receipt somewhere in a file cabinet).

I could sell it for a bit more than that today I imagine.

If I’d bought the S&P 500 in July 1984, kept it and let dividends reinvest, I’d have returned about 7100%.

I wouldn’t trade any of my bike purchases for such an investment - riding them has been a lot more fun than riding the stock market.

We’ll actually given a re-do I’d swap my 2006 mountain bike purchase for Apple stock, or really anything I purchased in, say, 2009-2013 for bitcoin though.
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Old 01-20-22, 10:35 PM
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When stationed in Vicenza Italy, 1970s, I got a Liotto Road Bike with Columbus Tubeing. It was 280 USD along with a few other items in trade (I can admit it now but never until now.).

It was a great deal in that it was custom made my Giovanni Jr himself. It was not fully Campy but the derailluers and crank were. Even then and in the same town that Campy is made the Campy components were expensive...

They still make a version of that same bicycle but don't even list the price... Ha

https://www.liotto.com/bici/super-80

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Old 01-21-22, 01:46 AM
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Pinarello price list from 1985 - in Lira.



'Street' prices makes it sound so illicit.

Originally Posted by squirtdad View Post
(departed due to crack)
Oooooh...

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