Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Touring
Reload this Page >

Help with bike value?

Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

Help with bike value?

Old 02-03-18, 11:20 PM
  #1  
anhizer
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 33
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Help with bike value?

A friend of my father-in-law is looking to sell his Merlin Ti touring frame (26" wheels). I'm more of a steel road bike guy and don't have a great idea of the value of their bike. I offered to help them sell it and was curious what you all thought of the value. Here are some photos:
merlin by Neil Sasaki, on Flickr
case by Neil Sasaki, on Flickr
More photos here
Frame size 17,5";
Shimano XTR;

24 Speed;

Index shifting;

3 water bosses (custom made);

Jones touring bars;

Mud guards;

Front & rear touring racks / front & rear panniers (JANDD)

The fame has S&S couplers installed (not sure if original) and i guess it was modified with a 3rd water bottle boss. The drivetrain components are some well used XTR, most of the parts look well maintained though. It comes with a hard travel case as well. The frame looks older (based on the wheels and components) but it seems to be in good shape.

I think the bike will also come with an extra set of Deore wheels (brand new). I didn't get a look at the rim as they were all wrapped up.

They were thinking its worth 3,500 which seems high to me, but titanium collapsible touring bikes are not my forte


Thanks,
Neil

Oh, its located in San Jose CA if that changes anything.

Last edited by anhizer; 02-03-18 at 11:20 PM. Reason: photos didn't link
anhizer is offline  
Old 02-04-18, 12:01 AM
  #2  
alan s 
Senior Member
 
alan s's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 6,632
Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1303 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 27 Times in 21 Posts
$3,000 for everything sounds like a fair price. The bike looks a bit odd with the huge amount of seatpost and spacers showing.
alan s is offline  
Old 02-04-18, 12:17 AM
  #3  
DropBarFan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 2,797

Bikes: 2013 Surly Disc Trucker, 2004 Novara Randonee , old fixie , etc

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 509 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 6 Times in 5 Posts
The bike has some nice features but long seat post & steer tube look odd. OTOH that probably helps with the travel packing. $3,500 is a big ask esp w/o disc brake mount. Might help to also offer it as frame/case only.
DropBarFan is offline  
Old 02-04-18, 12:52 AM
  #4  
anhizer
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 33
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks for the replies. Totally agree with the assessment about the setup; it looks like the bike has been reconfigured a few times and it seems like it was highly customized for the owner. We had mentioned parting it but I don’t think that is an option. I’m thinking 2500 to 3000 would be a more reasonable sell price. Any thoughts?
anhizer is offline  
Old 02-04-18, 04:08 AM
  #5  
ricrunner
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Australia
Posts: 93

Bikes: Malvern Star Oppy S1 Gravel

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 31 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
What is it's actually size large, medium , small, 20 inch, 21 inch, 22 inch, that will help with sale.
ricrunner is offline  
Old 02-04-18, 07:39 AM
  #6  
Tourist in MSN
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 5,769

Bikes: 1961 Ideor, 1994 Bridgestone MB-6, 2006 Airnimal Joey, 2009 Thorn Sherpa, 2013 Thorn Nomad, 2015 VO Pass Hunter, 2017 Lynskey Backroad, 2017 Raleigh Gran Prix, Perfekt 3 Speed -age unknown, 1980s Bianchi Mixte on a trainer. Others are now gone.

Mentioned: 28 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1227 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 9 Times in 8 Posts
It is hard to say. Most Titanium bikes are built for light weight and speed. The high cost of Titanium means that it is often not a cost effective choice for a touring bike. I built up my Lynskey Backroad this past spring, that is the loaded touring model in the Lynskey range, so I know what i am talking about. My point is that cutting the weight of the frame by a few pounds by using Titanium instead of steel might be worth it on a skinny tire road bike, but on a touring bike where you add tens of pounds of camping gear it becomes less cost effective. That means that the buyer is less likely to offer a lot.

The S&S couplers and case add value. (I assume that the case is 10 inches thick to meet the airline criteria of 62 inches, but some S&S cases are 12 inches thick and are 64 inches.) But that value is only added if the buyer thinks they might travel with it. So, you want a buyer that will see that as worth paying for.

Lots of higher cost components on it too, I do not think I have ever seen an XTR seatpost before. If those are XTR canti brakes, someone told me that they were only made for a very short period of time and are worth a lot to a collector.

I am guessing at 1990s for age. Eight speed also could limit the value somewhat. I am a bit eccentric, four of my bikes are eight speed and I have no bikes with more than that. But I think you would find most buyers would want nine speed or more. That could hurt value.

I am wondering if the frame originally was a cyclocross frame that was later converted to touring? I say that because the rear brake cable is above instead of below the top tube.

From the photo it looks like the top tube is much longer than the seattube. That could be why the high seatpost and high steerer tube.

Is the fork chromed steel? That does not add much value, but the expensive headset does add some.

I think that is the first Titanium bike I have ever seen without drop bars on it.

Frame size is tiny. That will clearly cut your potential market for buyers. But a small person that wants a nice bike might be very happy to find it.

I think you will be very lucky to get $3000 for it, but it does not hurt to try. Price can be dropped after a few months.

I would not push it primarily as a touring bike, but instead as a Titanium travel bike that is ideal for the smaller person that also could be used for touring. I suspect that the buyer would convert it to drop bars, 9 or 10 speeds in back with a compact double and brifters.

I think you are right, selling it as a frame and fork with the S&S case may be best, but if the seller does not want to take the time to sell off the wheels and other components separately, I would understand that reluctance.

Alan S who commented above thought that $3000 is a fair price for everything as a package, he tours and travels with his Titanium bike and I think his bike has S&S couplers too. So his opinion is probably pretty accurate, so i would start with what he suggested.
Tourist in MSN is offline  
Old 02-04-18, 08:34 AM
  #7  
mstateglfr 
Sunshine
 
mstateglfr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Des Moines, IA
Posts: 8,175

Bikes: '87 Schwinn Prelude, Black Mountain Cycles Monstercross V4, '89 Novara/Centurion Ironman, '18 Diamondback Syncr, '18 handmade steel roadbike

Mentioned: 75 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2894 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 112 Times in 78 Posts
Certainly is unique.

All i can suggest is whats been mentioned already but perhaps not outright said- advertise its true frame size and not the current setup.
If its made for someone 5'4 and is set up for soneone 5'10, i cant inagine there are a lot of other 5'10 roders who want this style setup.
Better to instead set the bike up for the originally intwnded rider height.
mstateglfr is offline  
Old 02-05-18, 12:35 PM
  #8  
fantom1 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Middle of the desert
Posts: 544
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 136 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Cool bike, but I doubt if anyone will pay more than around 2,000-2,300 for it.

Now, you asked for fair price, which is different than a realistic price:

Fair would be around 3,000, but in my experience, once you cross the 2000-2500 threshold, people would rather just get a new and modern bike. This is especially true for a bike with outdated and / or strange components. It really has to be a great deal for someone to pull the trigger on it. Also, almost nothing is more annoying than an old timer who still thinks that just because they paid X amount, it must therefore currently be worth Y amount.
fantom1 is offline  
Old 02-05-18, 12:50 PM
  #9  
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 41,589

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 183 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6748 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 162 Times in 138 Posts
Probably sell for more pieced out, than built up. you can look up eBay auction prices for each part.
fietsbob is offline  
Old 02-05-18, 11:31 PM
  #10  
DropBarFan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 2,797

Bikes: 2013 Surly Disc Trucker, 2004 Novara Randonee , old fixie , etc

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 509 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 6 Times in 5 Posts
Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Certainly is unique.

All i can suggest is whats been mentioned already but perhaps not outright said- advertise its true frame size and not the current setup.
If its made for someone 5'4 and is set up for soneone 5'10, i cant inagine there are a lot of other 5'10 roders who want this style setup.
Better to instead set the bike up for the originally intwnded rider height.
To me the top-tube looked long so I thought perhaps it was custom built for ~5'10" rider but with short seat & head tubes for S&S but now I realize the frame probably pre-dated S&S. Anyway it would also help for ad to include top-tube, chainstay etc measurements since those might be hard to find otherwise.

Originally Posted by fantom1 View Post
Cool bike, but I doubt if anyone will pay more than around 2,000-2,300 for it.

Now, you asked for fair price, which is different than a realistic price:

Fair would be around 3,000, but in my experience, once you cross the 2000-2500 threshold, people would rather just get a new and modern bike. This is especially true for a bike with outdated and / or strange components. It really has to be a great deal for someone to pull the trigger on it. Also, almost nothing is more annoying than an old timer who still thinks that just because they paid X amount, it must therefore currently be worth Y amount.
I sold a REI Novarra Randonée that was in good condition, had assumed it was a well-known brand, but only got about 1/2 the price of similar Trek/Surly used bikes. The Merlin reminds me of auto hot-rodders who put umpteen hours & $$ into their cars but rarely get the investment back when they need to sell.
DropBarFan is offline  
Old 02-06-18, 01:41 AM
  #11  
anhizer
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 33
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks for all the replies. I'll probably post it up on craigslist for them and see what happens; i agree that parting it out would probably be the best option but after talking with them I doubt they will be interested in going that route. though, they might surprise me.

Thanks for all the comments!
anhizer is offline  
Old 02-06-18, 06:05 PM
  #12  
skimaxpower
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: WA
Posts: 343
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 52 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Shipping should be easy because it comes with its own box. EBAY is the answer. Auction prices will net what the market will bear.

Due to some special features like Ti frame and couplers, I'd guess this bike would sell for approx $1300-1,800.
skimaxpower is offline  
Old 02-07-18, 08:32 AM
  #13  
Philly Tandem
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: SE Penna., USA
Posts: 1,094

Bikes: Santana Cabrio triplet, Santana Fusion S&S tandem, Co-Motion Pangea S&S, Co-Motion Nor'wester S&S, Santa Cruz Tallboy, Ellsworth Enlightenment Carbon, Niner EMD9, old-school C'dale F2000

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 65 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I think $2000 would be the likely top value for this bike, with $1200-1500 more realistic. 8-speed outdated components, steel chrome fork, obvious wear, smaller frame size, etc. Last year I sold a very nice Co-Motion Pangea S&S (steel) complete bike (27 speed) with premium components. It was an XS frame size, which limited the market a bit. It took much longer to sell it than I anticipated, and went for around $1750.

Agree that the long seatpost and steerer tube just make it look weird. Personally, I'd cut down the steerer tube a good bit to make it look more balanced.

If you want to get maximum $$ out of the setup, I'd sell the racks and panniers separately. Also, the S&S hard case is probably worth $125-150 on it's own.

List it on Crazy Guy on a Bike and some of the other touring forums, where people know what they are looking at.
Philly Tandem is offline  
Old 02-07-18, 07:11 PM
  #14  
NoControl 
Look Ma! No Hands!
 
NoControl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 1,415

Bikes: Surlys: ECR, Troll, Instigator Others: '53 Dunelt, Raleigh Twenty, Aegis Aro Svelte

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 715 Post(s)
Liked 6 Times in 6 Posts
I buy and sell a lot of bikes. I agree with the previous posters that $2000 would be the very top end of what you could get for this bike, although in me heart I think that due to age and size issues, its more around the $1000-$1200 range. Better bikes have come and gone for way less, and unless you get someone who is desperate - totally goo-goo-gaa-gaa over it, you'll probably never sell it to someone who is a seasoned cyclist. Craigslist and eBay are difficult venues to crack, but if you present it right, you can get top dollar. My advice is clean clean clean and clean some more. Buyers want pretty, and clean IS pretty. Buyers are like fish - dangled something shiny in front of them, and you'll get a strike. Don't forget to add in all the "deal sweeteners."
__________________
"I have never been lost, but I will admit to being confused for several weeks" -Daniel Boone

"You can't go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending" -C.S. Lewis

"Sobriety sucks." -Me
NoControl is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
zigmin
Classic & Vintage
9
06-25-12 10:50 PM
shibbie
Bicycle Mechanics
6
04-21-12 12:44 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


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.