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Demographics, History, and Trends of Buyers/Enthusiasts of C & V?

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Demographics, History, and Trends of Buyers/Enthusiasts of C & V?

Old 10-09-14, 02:48 PM
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armstrong101
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Demographics, History, and Trends of Buyers/Enthusiasts of C & V?

Hi folks

This thread is to learn a bit more about the current C&V collectible culture via its enthusiasts, history and trends.

1. So how old are you? Is it fair to say that currently, individuals found in ALL age ranges have an interest in vintage steel? In the intro of tenspeeds.com, it describes vintage steel enthusiasts as being largely those who grew up in the 60s and 70s and want bikes that harken to that era. I was born in the late 70s and grew up in the 80s. My first road bike was a Bianchi Strada that I got in 1991. I currently have a definite zeal for vintage steel (sold off my "modern" roadies these last few months), so I can assure you that C&V afficionados aren't restricted to those older than me. (With that being said, and this is an important point, I tend to have more of an interest in 80s bikes, than 60s and 70s bikes.) It's also easy to observe that given that lots of those born in the 1990s are the primary drivers of the fixie culture, that they too are on the prowl for nice frames to convert, and are therefore potential or real C&V enthusiasts. So is this fact, that many current teenagers also have an interest and desire to own a 25 year old steel frame?

2. When did the "ebb" of vintage steel bike values occur? Price for old stuff will always go down, before being rediscovered as vintage and going back up. If we describe the vintage steel era as ending somewhere in the early 1990s (work with me for a moment), and given that there is a huge interest in steel bikes, at what point were these bikes the most worthless? Any anecdotes of "great deals" that were gotten during that time (I'd love to hear). Why didn't anyone tell me at that time to get some cool bikes!!

3. When did vintage bike values really begin to take off? Are they likely to further go up or is the market matured? Based on current demographics and riding trends, Are we likely to see MORE people interested in vintage steel going forward or is the market already levelled off? I hope prices don't go any higher because there's still so much more I want to buy!!

Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-09-14, 03:04 PM
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Hipster Aged

depreciation starts at the doorstep - bikes lose value like a house on fire, have done so for ages.

since 2008 or so things got fashionable, at least here in Euroland.
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Old 10-09-14, 03:41 PM
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Who says any boomers born pre 1964 are grown up yet? What a broad generalization of us older than 49, Sheesh!
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Old 10-09-14, 03:50 PM
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Sounds like you're writing a term paper.

Or a blog.
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Old 10-09-14, 04:32 PM
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1. Yes
2. No
3. Maybe
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Old 10-09-14, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by rootboy View Post
Sounds like you're writing a term paper.

Or a blog.
Neither. Just curious.
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Old 10-09-14, 05:27 PM
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1. Mid 40's
2. Mid 90's (carbon and ti pushed the initial downfall in value)
3. Mixed response, some of the Italian, custom, and top end Japanese stuff never really fell off in terms of realizable resale value. There's enough of the rest that those who wait and move fast can get great deals. As the hipster fixie thing continues to cool off, I suspect the mid-high, to high end non Italian, custom, or true top end stuff will go down further in value.
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Old 10-09-14, 05:39 PM
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No.
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Old 10-09-14, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by armstrong101 View Post
Hi folks


3. When did vintage bike values really begin to take off? .
I think prices for most vintage bikes are steady, not taking off at all.

As far as predicting the future, if I had that ability, I would be heavy into the stock or commodity markets where predictions can mean serious $$.
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Old 10-09-14, 06:37 PM
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I love being a C&Ver, despite the ever rising costs that had hit us in the last three/four years, especially with C&V components.
It's taking me so much longer these days to finish a project bike that I want (as always) done 100% "correct" to me. but in the end, I don't really mind taking my time on the projects (two at this time. One at only 60% done and the other at around 85 percent done), as I had waited so long to acquire most of these personal grail bikes, a few more months here and there or even maybe a year more, will not kill me.... .
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Old 10-09-14, 07:44 PM
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I'm in my mid 40s. I mean, I've been 24 a long time....

I wasn't into bikes when I was a kid- other than to have a bike to play with friends. I wasn't into cycling, didn't know what a tour of France is, and had no idea who Captain Nolo is. I got a bike when I got out of the Army- ostensibly to ride to class while in college. It stayed in my parents' garage.

Fast forward 20 years or so, I wanted to quit smoking and wanted some sort of activity so I wouldn't gain so much weight and I'd have something to do, I pulled that bike out of my parents' garage and started riding.

I settled on the stuff I liked vaguely based on what I liked off of my bike- I'd been in to old guitars/amps, so I guess I was OK with using the old stuff vs. the new stuff. When I started this- I didn't have a lot of income- so the old stuff was kind of what I was stuck with. I developed a taste for the minutiae of old touring bikes and their components.

I still don't follow cycling as a sport, have no idea who won any bicycle races. I know I dig old touring bikes.
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Old 10-10-14, 03:55 AM
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Any anecdotes of "great deals" that were gotten during that time (I'd love to hear)
MY "TEN SPEEDS" has hundreds of how found stories and all are true. That said, none of the stories have paid values included, but be assured, most were acquired for ten dollars or less.

This Gary Fisher was free...



Motobecane Grand Jubilee - free...



1973 Raleigh International - free...



The list goes on and on and is still being added to, even though I hunt no more. Got a Peugeot and a Cambio Rino, for free, last weekend.
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Old 10-10-14, 04:33 AM
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Originally Posted by armstrong101 View Post
Hi folks

This thread is to learn a bit more about the current C&V collectible culture via its enthusiasts, history and trends.

1. So how old are you?... So is this fact, that many current teenagers also have an interest and desire to own a 25 year old steel frame?
Old enough to have plenty of disposable cash but mature enough to only spend it wisely because retirement is not far off, i.e. will be 57 on the next birthday.

I spend time with a group of teens at my church on a weekly basis, and the small percentage (1-5%) that are interested in bikes, only look at BMXs or MTBs. But I live in a large village/rural area, so this could easily skew your final conclusion in quantifying the data in this highly subjective survey.

Originally Posted by armstrong101 View Post
2. When did the "ebb" of vintage steel bike values occur?** Price for old stuff will always go down, before being rediscovered as vintage and going back up. If we describe the vintage steel era as ending somewhere in the early 1990s (work with me for a moment), and given that there is a huge interest in steel bikes, at what point were these bikes the most worthless?** Any anecdotes of "great deals" that were gotten during that time (I'd love to hear). Why didn't anyone tell me at that time to get some cool bikes!!++
**Impossible to ever determine in an international survey. The value in one place can be severely depressed while over inflated in another.

++Because you had other interests and if someone had told you to "...get some cool bikes!!" you would have probably responded, "What's cool about bikes? Have you seen the latest Super VHS technology or Windows 3.1?"
Originally Posted by armstrong101 View Post
3. When did vintage bike values really begin to take off? Are they likely to further go up or is the market matured? Based on current demographics and riding trends, Are we likely to see MORE people interested in vintage steel going forward or is the market already levelled off? I hope prices don't go any higher because there's still so much more I want to buy!!

Thanks in advance.
NO, based on the race I rode in several weeks ago, the Mount Kearsarge Hill Climb(link is to their FaceBook page where you can see the pictures of each of 84 riders), only two of us raced on vintage steel, me and @BluesDaddy. My '71 Schwinn Paramount received several compliments, but mostly received a significant number of gawks (as in, "I can't believe that jerk is riding that antique"). So based on this anecdotal evidence, the interest in vintage steel is on the decline.
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Old 10-10-14, 04:47 AM
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[


[/QUOTE]

I was born in 1963. Tail end of the boomers.
I worked in a bike shop in the early '80's to work my way through college.
I like C&V bikes from the late '70's and all the '80's. Those were the bikes I could not afford while working at the shop.
I like the ride of steel bikes. I got away from cycling for 25 years. When I came back, I chose to ride what I like.
I own several C&V bikes, two more modern steel bikes, zero aluminum, and zero carbon,

(The Raleigh International looks to be my size. If you ever want to sell it, please keep my name in mind)
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Old 10-10-14, 05:49 AM
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Demographics, History, and Trends of Buyers/Enthusiasts of C & V?

Double nickels here. My older brother was a bike freak. I followed suit. Grew up reading "Sporting Cyclist", an English bike magazine. Then got into bike racing in the '70's. Traveled to races, lived like a vagabond. Just wanted to ride and race.

After riding high end French , Italian, English, and Japanese bikes, I've found no name straight gauge (gaspipe) steel to ride just fine. And its easy on the budget. I really enjoy riding a Raleigh Grand Prix or a UO-8.

As far as trends. I really dislike the vintage bikes that get "upgraded" with modern parts. Give me a cottered crank, plastic derailleurs, and 27" wheels, and I'm happy.
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Old 10-10-14, 06:08 AM
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I think there is a couple factors missing.
The Internet I think is a big one, reference information is more available than ever before.
eBay and to an extent Craigslist or one of the other more local online marketplaces.
Those sites made the market much more perfect. Collectively we don't love the increase of prices but
The availability of stuff vastly increased. Going forward the market will tighten as there will be less NOS stuff out there.
As to the values and trends going forward... I rarely guess that well
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Old 10-10-14, 06:28 AM
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"Going forward the market will tighten as there will be less NOS stuff out there."

I sometimes wonder if much of the NOS Campy stuff, for example, just circulates around and around.
From one appreciator to another.
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Old 10-10-14, 06:35 AM
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I was born in '51, so yes, I grew up in the '60s/70s and appreciated bikes from that era. However, I like a good bicycle from any era (and even some bad ones...).
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Old 10-10-14, 06:40 AM
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I was born in 1961. I think most of us here are middle age and older. I'm surprised at how many young people are here. I'm pleased that they like old bikes but don't fully understand why.
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Old 10-10-14, 07:12 AM
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I'm 34 years old. I moved from Hawaii with my wife 3 years ago (we've had two sons since) to Colorado so I could go to school to be get a degree in Mechanical Engineering.
I've been a semi avid mountain biker most of my life but was more into surfing before I moved from Colorado.

My passion for vintage bicycles that i've acquired since i've been in school has largely stemmed from a few reasons. Namely, the following:

-One of the way's I can afford to go to school is by not having a car (though my wife does), so I bike to school everyday ~20 miles RT. This has given me a love for cycling, and contributes to my fascination with bicycles. Riding lots of different bikes also helps me from getting bored with my commute. I've also become an avid recreational road rider.

-All of my adult life I have worked with my hands. I worked in the construction trades for ~12 years, and built furniture as a hobby. This is something I miss, but the bikes have become an inexpensive way of keeping my hands busy.

-Its a hobby I can afford. I can buy bikes, work on them, ride them a bunch and then resell them at a break even price or better. Essentially free.

I do wonder if my passion for old bikes will still be here 10 years from now when I am making good money. I suspect yes to a degree; however, I will likely also be tempted by more modern technology as well.
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Old 10-10-14, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
I think there is a couple factors missing.
The Internet I think is a big one, reference information is more available than ever before.
eBay and to an extent Craigslist or one of the other more local online marketplaces.
Those sites made the market much more perfect. Collectively we don't love the increase of prices but
The availability of stuff vastly increased. Going forward the market will tighten as there will be less NOS stuff out there.
As to the values and trends going forward... I rarely guess that well
These are important observations which I agree with. I see from just a few comments that opinions on when the market got crazy is all over the place. In vancouver BC when I first started getting into C&V around 2005/06 campagnolo was already expensive (actually ebay prices for record rear derailleurs was higher on average back then than it is now). Road bikes were selling for at least $250 no matter how crappy. Fixies were all the rage and there was a fever in the air with youngsters snapping up road bikes as quick as possible. No drop bar lasted more than 24 hours on craiglist. Now the market is flooded with fixed gears and conversions are not in demand, and might even be downright uncool. I don't know, I am 33 and live in Canada's far north now. What I can tell you is the fever for vintage road bikes in vancouver has subsided and reasonably priced high end vintage road bikes will stick around on the for sale pages. Yes certain components have gone up in value and others have gone down. The market has stabilized to some degree.

I was mostly into 1970s and early 1980s bike because I thought they were cool and they were/are obtainable. I got interested when I scored an early japanese binachi limited from the scrap metal place in 2004, then I started commuting to school on a 1984 (updated components) Nishiki international. That got me interested in road biking and I wanted a new bike, and was attracted to steel because aluminum race bikes I was told had a finite operation life (I was told this by the local pro shop). I started to look at vintage because I couldn't afford new and I ended up with a nice Nishiki comp II. I soon developed an insatiable desire for all things italian however and I am sure spent more building a super record bike than I would have one a new bike with mid range campy. BUt I also bought a 2005 centaur group and hung it on a 1991 Marinoni (lugged steel)...

Fast forward. I ride everything today. when I want performance I grab my 2002 Marin (tig steel, carbon fork) with sram red. When I commute or train I ride an old logged steel with 10 speed campy. I'd ride fixed if I lived in the city still but I don't and always did so on a conversion with fenders. I also have a fat bike and ride a modern mountain bike.

What I find more interesting is that Mountain Bikes (especially in the UK) seem to be experiencing what road bikes went through about 10 years ago. High end vintage MTB stuff from the 1980s and early 1990s is currently astronomically priced. These parts are rarer, more beat up, broken and faded and there number are very small. Grafton, syncros, tech-lite, kooka, caramba, Paul, precision billet, machine-tech, cook brothers, and so many more I can't think off. These early component manufactures are in super high demand and prices are off the charts. People want $250 in Vancouver for even the most beat up of MTBS (where as 10 years ago they were going to $50-100, you couldn't get rid of them). Now people are waking up the value of retro mountain bikes and those, like me, who were in their teens during the early days of MTB, now have decent jobs and money and want a new project. Last year I bought three rocky mountains from the early 1990s. The demand is so high for brands like fat chance than Chris Chance has resurrected the brand and will be bringing new frames to market!
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Old 10-10-14, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
I was born in 1961. I think most of us here are middle age and older. I'm surprised at how many young people are here. I'm pleased that they like old bikes but don't fully understand why.
Friendly prices and friendly older guys replete with good cheer and sound advice
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Old 10-10-14, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by randyjawa View Post
MY "TEN SPEEDS" has hundreds of how found stories and all are true. That said, none of the stories have paid values included, but be assured, most were acquired for ten dollars or less.

This Gary Fisher was free...



Motobecane Grand Jubilee - free...



1973 Raleigh International - free...



The list goes on and on and is still being added to, even though I hunt no more. Got a Peugeot and a Cambio Rino, for free, last weekend.
Those beautiful bikes may have been free, but how much did it cost (to help them look like new)?
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Old 10-10-14, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by rootboy View Post
Sounds like you're writing a term paper.

Or a blog.
Hipster. Looking for his next fix(ie)
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Old 10-10-14, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
Those beautiful bikes may have been free, but how much did it cost (to help them look like new)?
Well, let's see...

The Gary Fisher cross bike needed a front rim liner, costing two dollars - that's is, except for the new bar tape, another two dollars.

The Motobecane cost very little simply because I happened to have a great wheel set to install. In truth, I have spent very little because I had just about everything needed to build it the way I wanted. You should see it today - black anodized first generation Dura-Ace high flange hubs, black anodized Suntour Cyclone transmission and other changes that will appear on my website. Total investment might be fifty dollars but only because I had what I needed.

The Raleigh International, as pictured, cost me zero to build up. I never did build it, just cleaned it up, stripped it down and sold the frame set to a fellow's girlfriend in Hawaii.
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