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Demographic Factors Effecting C&V Availability and Collecting

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Demographic Factors Effecting C&V Availability and Collecting

Old 12-29-09, 05:51 PM
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Demographic Factors Effecting C&V Availability and Collecting

Since I started collecting C&V bikes and frequenting this forum, I have wondered about demographic factors that may effect the availability of C&V bikes in specific locations (as opposed to a national ebay market).

For example, given that C&V collecting focuses on a more or less bracketed period of time (i.e, up to 1985 - 1990), it might be that cities with greater modern growth might be less likely to disgorge C&V bikes. That is, people who moved to Phoenix in the 90's, might have ditched their old bikes before the move. Older cities with more stable populations might provide better pickings.

That's just one possible factor. What demographic factors do you think are significant?

Thanks

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Old 12-29-09, 05:54 PM
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That bracketed period of time will move. Notice that antique shops have been around for a long time.

As I often say, I'm really glad I wasn't born in Rumania, because I don't know a word of Rumanian!
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Old 12-29-09, 05:55 PM
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I think income and age have the most to do with what bikes are released into the "wild". I think it has less to do with where. I mean, any ol' schmuck could've bought a road bike 10 years ago, from someones cousins bestfriends boyfriend and it could have travelled half-way across the county. I mean, perhaps the "older" cities do have better pickings. But I don't think it's a big difference.
-Gene-
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Old 12-29-09, 05:57 PM
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My anecdotal evidence implies that you need areas that saw growth between about 1970 and 1990 to see any decent vintage bicycle pickings. Most of the good finds come from people who were young, active, reasonably successful professionals in that time period, or who had parents that fell in that category. Gotta have money to get a bike and you gotta have a decent chunk of money to get a good bike and have a place to keep it for 20+ years.
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Old 12-29-09, 06:00 PM
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As a recent New York Times article pointed out, there are areas where cycling is more than in other areas. In those areas where cycling is popular, used car values are low and used bike values are high. She pointed out that you could drive from Seattle to Phoenix, sell your car high, buy a bike low, and pedal back and get a good long bike tour out of it.
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Old 12-29-09, 06:08 PM
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I think there's another demographic trend afoot. I strongly suspect that the growth in demand is going to happen amongst the bicycles that were popular/desired when current 30-somethings - 60-somethings were young. Once they get older, and find they don't ride as much, some number of those bikes from the older edge of the curve will become available again, and the bikes at the youngest edge will go up in price. That would be my thesis if I were pursuing an advanced degree.
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Old 12-29-09, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by stausty
My anecdotal evidence implies that you need areas that saw growth between about 1970 and 1990 to see any decent vintage bicycle pickings. Most of the good finds come from people who were young, active, reasonably successful professionals in that time period, or who had parents that fell in that category. Gotta have money to get a bike and you gotta have a decent chunk of money to get a good bike and have a place to keep it for 20+ years.
Good point. I was riding in Denver from 1986-96 and lived in a YUPPIE area, Washington Park. There were always a lot of good bikes in the daily midlife crisis criterium around the Park.
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Old 12-29-09, 06:14 PM
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In the Boston area, I've wondered if the relative abundance of vintage Raleighs is because Raleigh USA was headquartered here for many decades. My 1950 Raleigh Clubman came from the original owner, who bought it in college when he worked at Raleigh USA and commuted into town from a suburb. Now that's likely relatively rare, but I would think there were lots of shops in the area carrying Raleighs throughout that time and lots of Raleighs sold. Then again, it could be sheer population density; it's crowded around here.

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Old 12-29-09, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider
As I often say, I'm really glad I wasn't born in Rumania, because I don't know a word of Rumanian!
This might help:

https://www.easyromanian.com/
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Old 12-29-09, 06:53 PM
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I am not sure that demographics play much of a role (people move around these days more than they used to), but manufacturing facility locales surely do. For example, in my area (about 10 miles from the old Ross Factory and about 150 miles from the Cannondale factory) vintage Ross (esp.) and Cannondale bikes are in abundance. Much easier to find a vintage Ross than a vintage Schwinn, even though the former were produced in much lower numbers.
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Old 12-29-09, 07:15 PM
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Don't forget cities with small rural towns near them. I don't think the propensity to become an enthusiast during a time period varies by whether the environment is urban or rural.

I got a treasure trove of goodness from a elder gentleman only 45 minutes from the city. He was a competitive cyclist/touring cyclist in the 70s and 80s. Now he's too old and can't do it anymore.

I believe he was happy to share what was left of a time in his life with me, as he knew I would appreciate it. He doesn't have anyone else to give it too. I found it on craigslist, but he doesn't want to mess with it anymore for the rest of the odds and ends. We still exchange emails and have built somewhat of a relationship. And he indeed hooked me up and I am for ever grateful.

Just another perspective to offer. Because nice vintage bikes like have been cared for and purchased by someone that treasures them for a long period of time.
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Old 12-29-09, 07:33 PM
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I have found a lot of nice bikes in places that did not make sense, and found a lot of crap in places where you think you would find high end bikes. I have never been able to figure it out and have never been able to predict based on any obvious demographics: income, age, or whatever.
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Old 12-29-09, 07:53 PM
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Weather. Lots of really rusty bikes in humid, wet areas. Not so much in more arid places. We don't have to garage our vintage roadsters for the winter around here.
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Old 12-29-09, 09:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Amani576
I think income and age have the most to do with what bikes are released into the "wild". I think it has less to do with where. I mean, any ol' schmuck could've bought a road bike 10 years ago, from someones cousins bestfriends boyfriend and it could have travelled half-way across the county. I mean, perhaps the "older" cities do have better pickings. But I don't think it's a big difference.
-Gene-
10 years ago, which is really not "vintage," yes. But what about 40+ years ago? "10 speed racers" that were affordable to families pretty much maxed out a the Schwinn Varsity for around $80, until in the big cities like New York, Chicago, LA, and the like, brands like Peugeot, Raleigh, and Mercier were brought in to enable competition. These were largely brought in my LBS owners who did their own foreign buying trips; self-importing. I grew up in Chicago, and my cousins were all in a smaller Ilinois city. All they knew were Schwinn, Murray, and Huffy, and only Schwinn had the "racers." Needless to say the vintage lightweight market is not the same there as it is now in Chicago.
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Old 12-29-09, 10:06 PM
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There are always exceptions, but it seems to me the best preserved, better bikes were often purchased by wealthier, more educated people (or their parents), were ridden very little, and then hung on a wall for a generation.

Conversely, in less affluent areas, if the kid got a bike it was usually gas pipe, wintered in a leaky shed or garage, and ridden into the ground.
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Old 12-29-09, 10:24 PM
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Originally Posted by EjustE
I am not sure that demographics play much of a role (people move around these days more than they used to), but manufacturing facility locales surely do. For example, in my area (about 10 miles from the old Ross Factory and about 150 miles from the Cannondale factory) vintage Ross (esp.) and Cannondale bikes are in abundance. Much easier to find a vintage Ross than a vintage Schwinn, even though the former were produced in much lower numbers.
So, Southern California will be blessed, Masi, Confente, Wizard, Baylis , Medici are all from around here.

And it hardly ever rains.
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Old 12-29-09, 10:40 PM
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You never know. I went to a vintage bike swap in Boulder, CO expecting to see all kinds of great bikes as Boulder is practically a cycling Mecca and Denver is a short drive away. There were plenty of bikes but they were almost all 40s - 50s balloon tired monsters complete with faux gas tanks, lights and horns. There were a few Stingray type bikes, one Varsity, a rather beat old frame that appeared to be a lowend Peugeot, and this one really cool 1908 bike with suspension and shaft drive. It was very disapointing.
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Old 12-29-09, 10:55 PM
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Originally Posted by repechage
So, Southern California will be blessed, Masi, Confente, Wizard, Baylis , Medici are all from around here.

And it hardly ever rains.
I am telling you... last time I went over to the Joshua Tree National Park, it rained. And it was August and it probably was me ... But SoCal is such a Mecca of inexpensive vintage bikes (if you dig and haul your rear end to garage sales....)
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Old 12-30-09, 01:14 AM
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I have hunted bikes in Thunder Bay, Winnipeg, Regina, Calgary, and even in Jamaica. I can find them anywhere that I decide to look. You just have to know how. As for is this area better that that area? I do think that some factors will make one area better than another but I have no idea what those factors are. The city I live in has a population of 120,000 and the snow covers the ground(serious cover I might add) for five months of the year and wraps the cover with a couple of extra months of really cold weather. But there are still lots of bikes to be found here and in every city I have hunted. To that add the fact that vintage road bikes show up on Craigslist every day in every Craigslist (just about).

So, for me, there is little rhyme or reason to where the next great bike find will take place. The only question is when and what will I find?
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Old 12-30-09, 04:46 AM
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It's all over the map, for tons of reasons. Where there were lots of bikes before, there is likely lots of remaining bikes now.

The internet, which allows me to discuss it with people besides my neighbors, tends to spread the supply and the demand, away from the LBS as a hub.

Population migration will alter the residual supply and demand.
Generally, people move more than their bikes, so where the people go tends to have higher demand & prices.

Economic factors are important. Where economics make WalMart the #1 seller of bikes, people think of them as disposable, tending prices for most bikes down. For example, an $800 mint Pinarello Montello in rural eastern NC. That bike in Chicago? double, easy.

Bargain hunters find bargains because they work at it. They are not looking for the mainstream supply.
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Old 12-30-09, 08:11 AM
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I live in Chicago and check the Milwaukee CL frequently. My thinking has been that with a large German population, The West Allis Speed Skating facility, and a history of bike racing(Super Week, Otto Wenz, Kenosha track) that vintage bikes would come up more regularly. Whether they do or not, I dont know. But I have found some good deals on some out of the ordinary bikes in Beertown.
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Old 12-30-09, 08:31 AM
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It also has a lot to do with bikes were carried by local bike shops in a given area. Where I live (Raleigh, NC), apparently the LBSs back in the 1970s and 80s only carried Schwinns, Bianchis, Univegas and Fujis, because that's all you ever see for sale on Craiglist and other sources. You rarely ever see other brands such a Merckx, Pinarello, Colnagos, Miyatas, Panasonics.
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Old 12-30-09, 08:49 AM
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The oldest shop still open around here was a Schwinn dealer, of course, and carried Raleigh as well. It actually has been around a while, but the next (still open) oldest has only been open since '83. They started as, and still carry, Trek as their sales leader. I bought my Centurion Ironman from a more boutique shop that was going out of business in '86. Just not enough demand to stay alive. It has been uphill for Birmingham since then; but per capita AL is and has been one of the lowest participation cycling states, and older bikes of any value are few and far between.
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Old 12-30-09, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider
As a recent New York Times article pointed out, ... She pointed out that you could drive from Seattle to Phoenix, sell your car high, buy a bike low, and pedal back and get a good long bike tour out of it.
Hey, that sounds like a nice retirement plan, with "retirement" being defined as unemployable due to age as opposed to a decision to retire as a result of economic factors making me not-wealthy.

I've had several bikes pass thru my hands in the last couple of years with moving company stickers stuck to the top tubes, impling that some folks bring their bikes with them. Older more established cities might actually have less to offer due to residents being stuck, where boomtowns might have more to offer due to the influx of motivated movers and shakers spending newfound wealth along with the excitement of being in a new city.

Locally I find better stuff for better prices in middle income neighborhoods where the subdivisions are 15-40 years old. That 15-40 year old range also coorelates closely to the ages of bikes I come across which might imply a new home buyer buys a new bike with the new house, rides it until their lawnmower breaks down, then hangs the bike up in the garage and hires the neighborhood teenage entrepeneur to mow their lawn from then on.

I'll go back and read the rest of the thread now....
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Old 12-30-09, 11:59 AM
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I'm consider lying about my location when selling bikes. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but it appears that craigslist does a bit of magic with deciding where to place your ad. For instance, if I place an ad in northjersey, it might appear in centraljersey.

My plan is to claim I'm in Manhattan. This would possibly list it in northjersey, which would be fine, but Manhattan commands much higher prices. I brought a bike into Manhattan on the train to deliver it to a craigslist customer, and I'd be willing to do it again.

big chainring, have you travelled to Milwaukee to pick up bikes?
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