I think there are lots of great young people entering the hobby, many have been in it for years ( some on the Cabe, some not). Like I have said in other threads, I think many of the bicycles right up into the 80's are collectible to all sorts of people. Once mass produced, the quality and art sorta falls off the scale. I have over 20 bicycles ( pre-war and 1950's) and my girlfriend likes to ride a Custom 1980's beach cruiser I own. So be it. At least she rides. Generally, the hobby is made up of older people, no shot on younger new collectors of any type of bicycle. It's just a demographic reality. An age thing. We lived on our bicycles growing up, now not as many youth do. They live on their cell phones. To my late deceased parents and grandparents, bicycles were a life line. The fact they were often hand made/assembled by proud craftspeople worldwide and had style and function is part of the value historically and worth owning or admiring. Especially by us old goats! Ha!!
I think you’re projecting quite a lot. Lord knows I spend a metric ton of time on my phone. The issue is that bicycle collecting takes money and interest. Old farts talking down to kids aren’t going to help generate general interest in it, and overall entry level jobs are paying less and less due to inflation and college+ extracurriculars are sucking up more young peoples time now that a college degree is equivalent to a GED 20 years ago. You don’t see nearly as many kids modifying cars as you would have 30 years ago either, and that has a much wider appeal.
Let me offer one viewpoint respectfully (as I feel it does offer something if anything)
Ive been doing this 80% of my life at this point and even though, in my 40's now, Im still considered young for this hobby, Ive been the young guy for much longer. I dont know that ive ever encountered an older person that was ever one inkling of rude to me or condescending. If anything the older folks always seemed extra excited to meet a young person with the passion I have/had for these bikes and always went out of their way to impart wisdom on me. Although I should add that I always approach, speak and carry myself with a high degree of respect, manners and willingness to understand that, while I know alot, I dont know it all and I allow myself to be a sponge. Nothing has ever and will never sway me from this hobby short of death and even if everyone else leaves the hobby behind, deems it a futile pursuit and the bikes become worthless.....I will just have even more of them. While I do understand that the decline of the hobby would mean advanced difficultly in finding parts (1980's all over again), it would offer me the dream chance at owning some bikes I can now only stare at thru the preverbal bullet-proof glass of high 5-figure prices and red tape.
What my long-winded thesis above really means is: I have never been wealthy, alot of times in my life it has been feast or famine financially, I didnt really have an old-bike friend before this site, other than my dad short of one older fella local who quit when he got divorced, Im in a city that has VERY few old bike collectors and Im thousands of miles away from the large swap meets everyone raves about. That being said, I have 5 phantoms I love very much among other bikes, have had 100's of bikes throughout my life and I will have 100's more before I die....so if market pricing, seller attitude, distance or circumstance is what you think is holding you back, you may not really have a passion for it you think you do.
Passion and perseverance makes things happen regardless of circumstance.
Respectfully speaking, I hope my message comes across constructive and not combative.
I live near 2 schools , students walk by my home , there is group of girls 12 to 15 , that pass by , they are all on there cell phones texting each other, it is stupid and ridiculous. People text my flip phone and that is funny , also when they send me photos of bikes is a big joke.
I too could be considered a whipper snapper in the hobby at the young age of 45.... New(er) to the cabe and collecting prewar bikes but I've been riding bikes for ever and collecting all manner of vintage things since my 20's (Instruments, Mid century furniture, watches, etc). All I can say is I wish I bought more and sold less over the years but you can't keep everything!
I find the debate of young vs. old and generalizations about generations tiring. Of course we often mock what we don't understand but I would say laziness doesn't start or end with the youth. There are plenty of lazy people of all ages... and just as many adults nose deep in their phones.
I must say I've found almost every person I've bought, sold or reached out to on the CABE to be genuine, supportive and willing to share... there are a few bitter souls out there but so what.
I will put this out there to all the "old timers" who say they have never done or will never do social media.... The CABE IS SOCIAL MEDIA!! There are a number of people communicating, sharing ideas, SOCIALIZING and there is TONS of MEDIA to be devoured.... Just an observation from a kid who is one of the last of the analog generation and doesn't have a FB, Insta or Twitter acct.
As for Bikes being a bad investment....
I'd like to see a few spot checks from this 1985 Bicycle Trader posted by @Giraffe Rider and tell me you wouldn't buy everything you could at those prices!!
When I started 1998 the prices seemed high. Haven't changed.. just the quality is getting less. high prices for rusted out missing oober rare parts..bikes that I used to pass on at swaps sell well.
again the ratio of older to younger people at swaps and shows are astounding.. they buy 1980s and 90s stuff and pass on high quality pieces.. no taste no money for stuff just going on wilderness adventures and are minimalists.. ..rare stuff sells always but that's it. Rest depreciates..
I keep my bluebird my living room as art..now....