Rarest of the rare?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    Midwest crank turner
    Reputation: Steve-O's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003

    Rarest of the rare?

    Hey Guys,

    Most of you probably know that there is a pretty big collector community out there for classic road bikes and parts (If not then spend a little time on <a href=http://www.classicrendezvous.com/>Classic Rendezous</a>). I am sometimes amazed at the cost that classic Campy and Huret parts go for on eBay.

    I figured I would ask the experts here about what brands or models of classic mountain bikes would be considered the most collectible. Does anyone foresee certain bikes or brands becoming like a <a href=http://www.sheldonbrown.org/hetchins/>Hetchins</a> or a <a href=http://www.classicrendezvous.com/France/Herse.htm>Rene Herse</a>?

    I'm not a collector (no room in an urban condo) but I remember lusting after the old Mountain Goats, Kleins, and original Merlins in the '80s. Francis and Gregg did a good thing by adding this forum to MTBr (although like all things retro I preferred the old forum software better ;-).

    "Cycling is like a church - many attend, but few understand." -- Jim Burlant

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Bigwheel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004

    No expert,

    but I do have an opinion on this Steve.

    Mtn. Bikes are like anything else that is potentially collectible, if there is someone that wants it bad enough, they will pay probably a little bit more than they feel they should but only if they can afford to.

    The only Mtn. Bikes that I see having any potential value over and above their original retail cost are the early nickle plated Breezers, original hand made Ritcheys and Fishers and those of the same ilk. Certainly Cunninghams bikes are worthy and a number of years ago the one in the MBHOF was insured for $10k. Low issue and one of a kind bikes always stand to stay valuable if they had any significance such as design or innovation that went through to the industry, such as early suspension bikes. Very early, low serial number production bikes like the Stumpjumper would be a part of any collection also.

    The price of the parts and pieces to make the bikes ridable will go along with the demand for the frames as it develops. That is why the cost of the road parts on eBay is so high. Plus the fact that eBay even exists making for a place that items can be shown to a wide audience of people that even care is significant. I believe eBay was started by some folks that wanted to trade Pez dispensers?

    So will there be a Jay Leno of Mtn. Bikes? Hard to tell, although it would not be a bad thing and certainly in regards to what some people collect, a lot less costly.
    A bike by any other name is still a bike.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: laffeaux's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by Bigwheel
    So will there be a Jay Leno of Mtn. Bikes? Hard to tell, although it would not be a bad thing and certainly in regards to what some people collect, a lot less costly.
    I think that Jeff from First Flight bikes is already the "Jay Leno" of mountain bikes (at least in the US).

    Right now it appears that Cunninghams seem to be the hot ticket item. Other WTB related bikes and parts, including Potts bikes, seem to be bring the most money on eBay. They seem to be about the only vintage bikes that can consistently bring in much over $1K.

    Early Ritcheys, Breezers, Goats, Chances, Yetis, Bridgestones, and other frames from smaller well-known hand-made companies seem to sell for a modest amount as well - although still a good deal less than a collectable road bikes would go for. If you are willing to spend a couple of hundred dollars you can pick up nice condition bikes that were integral to the development of MTBs. The same road bike would cost 2 to 4 times as much.

    Mountain bikes are less than 30-years old, so it's hard to say what's going to have value 30 years from now. I think most will agree that early '80s high end bikes will have some value, but for '90s and later bikes, what will hold value is next to impossible to guess. Suspension, hardtail, rigid, SS? who knows...

    I like Ritcheys, Yetis, Bontragers, and I'll mix in a Bridgestone every now and again. Masis are where it's at for road bikes.

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