Bluebird - Market Value of Bikes

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Duchess

Wore out three sets of tires already!
The laziness is with the quick-buck investor parasites ruining every other hobby and those people are much more likely to be older in order to have the money and boredom to commit to speculative, glorified hoarding. I do think laziness partly factors in to the reason bikes aren't so mainstream, though. Baseball cards and such are just a matter of locating and paying—not much to restore, there—and storage is much easier. Cars are the closest analog to bicycles, I think, and the parasites can consult investment experts or websites to see what models/years/trims/bodies are most valuable within their price range or are considered to be undervalued, have a car inspected, bought, and sent off to a restorer to be picked up a few years later all remotely and the rising values of them as more and more parasites flood the bubble market hoping to cash in at the lower end before it pops makes ever less impressive and more common older cars more cost effective to restore (I used to see all manner of interesting old cars on nice days, but now it's fairly rare to even see a TR6, though lame new lower-end exotics aren't hard to find). At the very top of the market, the 7-8 figure concours cars get international coverage even in non-industry specialized magazines that reach a very wide range of people, which bikes don't get. One of the most disappointing things I ever attended was the Pebble Beach Concours (the other was KMFDM, who just phoned it in that night, dammit). It seemed the majority of owners were just barely interested, un-knowledgable check-cutters merely there to wallet dick swing and hoping to get an award to increase the value of their investment and a lot of the crowd was infested with D-list celebrities trying to get noticed by C-listers. I think half of the people there were in a single episode of Law and Order. Even the highest end bicycles don't leave much room for profit if someone is paying locators and restorers to do everything for them. Which I would like to add that the bike collector obsession with original parts and paint even when they're completely unusable and 99% rust and disdain for even good repros keeps them less accessible. Sure, originality is valued in automobiles, but plenty of valuable concours cars are built off little more than a VIN plate and a scrap of metal (I remember reading about a dispute over 2 Jaguar D-Types that shared a VIN—one had been built off a found engine and some other parts and the other had been built from a wrecked chassis or something along those lines). Bikes require the careful restoration and locating of parts like cars, ever more expensive chrome in some cases, and are ultimately seen largely as being for children or spandex dorks. They don't have the same cultural significance or embody the nostalgic vision of an era in the way cars do and aren't as often wrapped around the kind of memories one tends to have when coming of age with a license—almost nobody has memories of picking up a date and feeling them up for the first time on their Schwinn, but a lot could be done in a $500 Subaru wagon. I can see a Duesenberg and day dream about offering my hand to Hedy Lamarr as she steps off the running board in front of some fancy restaurant filled with gangsters and classic film stars or making out with Yvonne DeCarlo in a Facel Vega, but even Pee Wee Herman would have trouble shoehorning a bicycle into fantasies like that. Bikes are also largely a solo experience as, even riding with a group, you're still separated. Even with tandems, you're sitting in line, not beside. Bikes are just kind of stuck where they are in a realm of more limited appeal, but I don't think it should be anything to lament. Do we really want parasite investors infesting this hobby, too? Sure, the value of what you already hold would go up, but you're closing the door to new people getting into the hobby because they really like old bikes and, when that happens and who's left to sell your beloved bike to?—parasites who park it in a storage facility with a bunch of others like the warehouse and Raiders of the Lost Ark? I certainly wouldn't pass up a massive check for something I bought for a lot less (like the Alfa Romeo Montreal I almost bought for $25k just before they bounced to around 6-figures), but you might want to ask what you're in it for. Me, I'm not a collector—I only have the one Iver Johnson I bought because I like the style, old-school quality, local history, and idea of riding something so old while the rest of my bikes are low-value customs—so that's my kind of outsider perspective on it.
 

bicyclebuff

Finally riding a big boys bike
Shawn, We would love to see some of your fine collection when you decide to float them, I also thought about doing the same, maybe take some of mine to mecum, in 2019 a schwinn grey ghost did 12,980.00 ,Alot cheaper to haul bikes than cars
 

redline1968

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
Like it or not where there's money there's going to be somebody listening ..i deal in antiques and collectibles like everything else prices go up prices go down on stuff including bikes.. most millennials don't even give a crap about these things. They just sell it.. rich just care about worth and prestige... Makes me sick to see a real 69 ta firebird and the dude doesn't even know the option codes or how it's equipped..he just seems to float on its a ta he has it and it's value...alas if you don't have the dough to play what can you say...the way of the world these days..live with it..
 

Rusthound

Look Ma, No Hands!
You will not draw many investors in bicycle /parts as the rarer ones are already over priced (some badly). "quick-buck investor parasites" use a new to invest ratio. What that means is a bike that was 300 new now is 10/15K is a very poor investment. So they leave them for few in the hobby who can afford them and brag to their buddies how much it's worth.
 

Freqman1

Riding a '37 Dayton Super Streamline
You will not draw many investors in bicycle /parts as the rarer ones are already over priced (some badly). "quick-buck investor parasites" use a new to invest ratio. What that means is a bike that was 300 new now is 10/15K is a very poor investment. So they leave them for few in the hobby who can afford them and brag to their buddies how much it's worth.
I’m not sure what was meant by your post but none of the high end ballooners were ever close to $300 bicycles and I can’t think of any of the people I know that have these bikes that consider themselves investors. I also haven’t heard any of these people bragging about the value of their bikes. What I have seen is passion, pride of ownership, and joy to have these bikes. My 2c. V/r Shawn

1533952
 

Rusthound

Look Ma, No Hands!
My point was that bikes are a poor investment for "quick-buck investor parasites' So the hobby stays inside it's self. Which makes a poor investment for an "outsider". However the prices at some point will get a correction. ask the vintage tractor guys.
 

dasberger

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Bikes have a much wider appeal than tractors... Now thats not to say that in the coming years there may not be a flood of bikes into the market as some huge collections are liquidated but I think well documented original paint bikes will always be in demand
 

HEMI426

Wore out three sets of tires already!
If you collect tractors you better have a big truck and a big trailer, I have friends that collect hit n miss engines and tractors, nothing goes anywhere without a big dually.
 
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