It's tough out there folks....


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razinhellcustomz

Wore out three sets of tires already!
May 28, 2018
625
296
59
kiel wisconsin
#21
maybe they thought that was all it was worth. are they a bike seller?
Probably not. That's the reason for the cheap price. On the other hand, I have been trying for THREE MONTHS to buy a copper tone 1967 Schwinn typhoon from a guy in Colorado who wants $199.00 for a incomplete bike . PLUS he won't budge on the price or shipping at all. Must think it's worth it's weight in gold. He's not a bike guy at all. Just a junk dealer in my thought. His loss. Razin.
 
Likes: Balloonoob

razinhellcustomz

Wore out three sets of tires already!
May 28, 2018
625
296
59
kiel wisconsin
#23
the only thing that sells here are bikes under $40 or hybrids
Bikes under 40 aren't even selling these days. Iv'e had a nice Roadmaster mountain bike for 35 on Craigs for three weeks now, Not even a single call. Go figure!! Razin.
 

razinhellcustomz

Wore out three sets of tires already!
May 28, 2018
625
296
59
kiel wisconsin
#24
As the title to this thread states, "it's getting tough out there". The pool of collectors who remember Schwinn and other U.S. bike manufacturers as builders of quality bicycles is growing smaller by the day. Where I used to sell exclusively on Ebay I now utilize every venue available to me, including Facebook groups, Forums, etc. I draw the line at Craigslist though, I'm not willing to open myself up to all of the negatives of that avenue of buying or selling.

As an aside, I am extremely appreciative of the "Veteran" comment which appears at the end of Freqman1's posts, and I have never heard a more eloquent explanation of the word "Veteran". I never considered myself to be "writing a blank check to the United States of America", I was simply too afraid to burn my draft card or flee out of country. With time I have come to be proud of my service in the Army and in Vietnam instead of ashamed, and I honor all of the brave men & women who have served in the Armed Forces of this great country. God Bless America!
Right on Brother!! I was a desert storm veteran with 21+ years of service and was on active army during the panama invasion. God bless all our veterans and their families for giving so much and making the ultimate sacrifice so we all can live free in the home of the BRAVE!! Razin.
 

razinhellcustomz

Wore out three sets of tires already!
May 28, 2018
625
296
59
kiel wisconsin
#25
I have to agree with what Blackbomber said - I would never list a bike with a low starting bid, no reserve and pick-up only. Years ago I was the only bidder on a beautiful, like new 66 Coppertone Starlet that I won for $20. It was only 45 minutes away, and I ended up giving the lady $50. because that is what I had bid in the last 3 seconds of the auction.
That's cool. I was working in marshall minnesota a number of years ago on 3rd shift, and wanted to buy a cheap bike to cruise around town on. Went to the local bike store and was ready to buy a couple old bikes and the cheapest he had was 50 for an old monark that i offered him 40 for. He wouldn't take it. So i went to a christian thrift store and they had one three speed Murray girls bike with a basket in the store. I asked what the price was and they said to just "take it along". So i gave them a 20 for a donation. God bless these awesome people. Razin.
 

Balloonoob

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Jan 24, 2019
536
865
35
Longmont Colorado
#26
Hey, this is not too complicated to figure out. As the old guard dies off we are not being replenished with a new younger interested generation. Young people today only care about their telephones and computer games....... not old bicycles. Many areas of collecting are noting declines in values not just bicycles. Its only going to get worse as time marches on. My cousin bought a 1928 Rolls Royce Picadilly Roadster paid $150,000.00 for it many years back. In his mind he thought it would bring him some notice in this old world. It didn't. Fact was people were aggravated at having to pass around an old car going too slow on a 2 lane highway. In order to spark interest today you have to have the newest and greatest electronic gizmo.
Does 35 count as the younger generation? I'm guessing not. When I was a kid you couldn't get me off my bike. Not even the nes or super Nintendo did much in the way of keeping me from riding the neighborhood for hours. Today's kids have the very electronic gizmo I'm typing on now the smartphone - which probably prevents them from outside play even more so than the Playstation 4 or Xbox whatever. But I still see lots of kids in the hood on bikes. Eventually they too will realize that Walmart bikes are garbage and want something more. Many will turn to a 1500 dollar road bike but surely a few will join our counter culture and find appreciation in the beauty style and joy an old bicycle brings. I'll use the term counter culture because of the crazy looks and response i get from people young and old when they see my 1930s bicycles. Even more so when they hear '' i like the rusty patina look '' as clean and shiny seems to appeal to the masses. The old bikes in my area are not typically priced cheap and good deals have to be sought out. Perhaps this is because Colorado promotes the bike culture keeping it alive and passing it along to the younger generation. Or maybe the old guys are buying em. :)
 

John G04

I live for the CABE
Oct 17, 2016
1,201
2,940
56
Bethlehem, PA, United States
#27
i don’t think the bike hobby will die anytime soon but I think bmx’s will gradually take over more than the prewar ballon tire bikes. Theres already a lot of high end bmx’s from the 80’s that are clearing 1k sometimes 2k and are pretty cool looking. One of my friends has a se 26 inch bmx bike and its pretty cool and rides nice and 3 days after riding it he threw out his walmart mongoose cause he just couldn’t stand it anymore since it was so cheap and always breaking. We play xbox for 2 hours then go outside and ride where ever we want. An old prewar bike with fenders isn’t ideal for curb jumping and riding down a hill so I usually take my mountain bike, since it has shocks and is just easier to go up hills on and grass. If i’m riding on a flatish trail though I’d never take my mountain bike over one of my prewars. Walmart bikes will never be worth anything I bet cause everyone knows there junk and most people would rather have something a little pricey if rides good, looks good, and is made well. Quality will always be worth something
 

barnyguey

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
Apr 7, 2012
5,258
3,966
Rathdrum, Idaho
#28
I pulled nearly everything I had for sale down. I figured everyone is out enjoying the summer and will be back in the buying mood when the weather gets bad again.
 
Likes: John G04

partsguy

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
Aug 13, 2008
10,602
4,201
The Land of Oz
#29
I was out riding one of my Radiobikes, and I had Little Richard’s “Tutti Frutti” playing...

....a man and his boy were following me, then pulled up....

“I love the RETRO LOOK!”

Retro? RETRO?! That implies the item you see isn’t authentic. It’s sad that Walmart and Target, along with other retailers, have flooded the market with so much mass produced garbage from manufacturers producing knock off cruisers in communist China, that average folks can’t recognize a REAL classic when they see it.

Retro. That really got under my skin and chapped my arse.

C731EE24-3B16-4BD4-B1B3-61AF16D51012.jpeg
 

partsguy

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
Aug 13, 2008
10,602
4,201
The Land of Oz
#30
I for one can say that the classic bicycle hobby is GROWING! Most folks my age (25) like the middleweights, balloon tires, BMX, and road bikes. In that order. We usually like age, and do not necessarily go for fully restored or mint bicycles. We do not hoard bicycles. We buy, rebuild, ride, and usually sell and rotate our collection. There are MANY vintage bicycle enthusiasts and collectors in my area, many under 40.

We are trying to grow this hobby beyond buying and stock piling. We want to bring these bikes out for some exercise, put their tires to pavement. Here, there’s cruise-in’s and car shows with bicycle categories. Matter of fact, a big one is coming up next month.

The hobby is alive and well, just shifting.
 

crazyhawk

Finally riding a big boys bike
Oct 17, 2009
102
333
Clyde, United States
#31
I have to chime in on this real quick. I remember on feepay in June 2008, I sold a Schwinn and I noticed there were 180 Schwinns listed in the "collectible complete bicycle" category. This morning, 763 as I write this. What that means, I'm not sure. But it seems to me there are a lot of people selling bikes to put food on their tables.
 

CURTIS L LINDGREN

Finally riding a big boys bike
Dec 19, 2017
463
837
60
Pacific Northwest , United States
#32
Retro. That really got under my skin and chapped my arse.
Retro Ain't what it used to be :( True , Many people can't tell what's old , over what's new. It can be confusing . I rode a 1968 Triumph Bonneville for 21 Years . Rode on MANY all British rides , and saw a HUGE amount of British Iron. Yesterday I saw a Triumph and was HAPPY to see an OLD Timer on the road.........................just to get up close , and find out it was a NEW one all dressed up like an old one. That one ALMOST Fooled me ! :oops:

IMG_20170128_133041108.jpg
 

jchicago

Finally riding a big boys bike
Jul 28, 2017
139
259
Lake Zurich, IL, United States
#33
Just for kicks I'm putting this out there. I'm still fairly new to the hobby ~2 years. My collection is relatively small. What occasionally dampens my enthusiasm with the hobby is the stockpiling and hoarding of quality bikes and parts I've seen. Typically when the supply of something is low, demand increases. This is also because there is awareness and excitement about the product. In the case of bikes I think the low supply actually decreases awareness and excitement and thus drives demand down. I've seen pics of these big collections of really nice tanks that have been removed from bikes. Instead we have lots of bikes out there that should have tanks but don't. Yay. Sure, it then increases demand for tanks and bikes with tanks, which then get squirreled away in an underground cave somewhere. Yes, there are bikes for sale, but it feels like the low end, tankless stuff, girls bikes, very overabundant bikes people want to get rid of, or just garbage to free up space. Wow, you found that in the bottom of a lake? Great. In my opinion it's rare to see really cool stuff trading hands. It happens, but not often in my opinion. I became a fan of the Elgin Robin when I got here. I really wanted one. I never see those listed. They're all locked away in people's garages, sheds, basements, and lockers like an IRA. I personally gave up on them and moved on. I did recently buy a really nice Elgin in Ann Arbor. I was really excited about my "new" bike. Now I've been out there looking for Klaxons, lamps, battery tubes, rider wheels, etc. I think if there was a greater supply of nice bikes available, it would create energy, awareness, make the hobby accessible to outsiders and help them get started. Would the greater availability of cooler bikes drive prices up or down? I don't know. It could be the existing collectors out there who would buy them and keep the prices afloat. What slowly kills it for me is sellers asking ridiculous prices like this Elgin Special that no one is willing to pay. $3500? Really? I'm going back to comic books. https://www.ebay.com/itm/ELGIN-SPEC...629533?hash=item215991841d:g:8QkAAOSwSf9cyx0N A lot of these older guys are retired and have stored their bikes for years. We all want to make what we think the value is for our bikes,or what we put into it, but despite whatever we put into a bike to fix it up, a bike (or anything) is "only worth what someone is willing to pay for it." I don' t think that Elgin is worth $3500. ( I know it's listed elsewhere for $1600 or so, but it serves to illustrate my point) I'm deep in the hole on several of the bikes in my small collection already too. But I serviced and finished them and got them rolling again, and I felt amazing about it. I know I'll never get my money back on them. That's a downer for sure. But the market price is only what interested, knowledgable people are willing to pay. And those people are dying off and I don't really see any millennials coming to swaps. For me the reality of this hobby is more about passion, appreciation and the love of the bikes than ROI. If that were to change, great. Putting more nice stuff out there to stimulate interest in the market is just an idea. But with limited stuff out there to stir up excitement, interest, and conversation, I don't see anything changing except further declining interest.
 
Likes: mickeyc

CURTIS L LINDGREN

Finally riding a big boys bike
Dec 19, 2017
463
837
60
Pacific Northwest , United States
#34
I've been out there looking for Klaxons, lamps, battery tubes, rider wheels, etc.
For whatever reason , those darn Klaxons and Battery Tube prices are .................well .................Way up there. Maybe most of the younger folks can't pay those prices. When you pay the same price for a few accessories as you did for the whole bike things get out of whack . I don't see those prices dropping any time soon. Supply and demand do still come into play. and , I believe the hobby IS still Healthy. Just my Two Cents . ;)
 
Likes: Balloonoob

Freqman1

Riding a '37 Dayton Super Streamline
Jul 14, 2009
16,934
19,214
Evans, GA
#35
Just for kicks I'm putting this out there. I'm still fairly new to the hobby ~2 years. My collection is relatively small. What occasionally dampens my enthusiasm with the hobby is the stockpiling and hoarding of quality bikes and parts I've seen. Typically when the supply of something is low, demand increases. This is also because there is awareness and excitement about the product. In the case of bikes I think the low supply actually decreases awareness and excitement and thus drives demand down. I've seen pics of these big collections of really nice tanks that have been removed from bikes. Instead we have lots of bikes out there that should have tanks but don't. Yay. Sure, it then increases demand for tanks and bikes with tanks, which then get squirreled away in an underground cave somewhere. Yes, there are bikes for sale, but it feels like the low end, tankless stuff, girls bikes, very overabundant bikes people want to get rid of, or just garbage to free up space. Wow, you found that in the bottom of a lake? Great. In my opinion it's rare to see really cool stuff trading hands. It happens, but not often in my opinion. I became a fan of the Elgin Robin when I got here. I really wanted one. I never see those listed. They're all locked away in people's garages, sheds, basements, and lockers like an IRA. I personally gave up on them and moved on. I did recently buy a really nice Elgin in Ann Arbor. I was really excited about my "new" bike. Now I've been out there looking for Klaxons, lamps, battery tubes, rider wheels, etc. I think if there was a greater supply of nice bikes available, it would create energy, awareness, make the hobby accessible to outsiders and help them get started. Would the greater availability of cooler bikes drive prices up or down? I don't know. It could be the existing collectors out there who would buy them and keep the prices afloat. What slowly kills it for me is sellers asking ridiculous prices like this Elgin Special that no one is willing to pay. $3500? Really? I'm going back to comic books. https://www.ebay.com/itm/ELGIN-SPEC...629533?hash=item215991841d:g:8QkAAOSwSf9cyx0N A lot of these older guys are retired and have stored their bikes for years. We all want to make what we think the value is for our bikes,or what we put into it, but despite whatever we put into a bike to fix it up, a bike (or anything) is "only worth what someone is willing to pay for it." I don' t think that Elgin is worth $3500. ( I know it's listed elsewhere for $1600 or so, but it serves to illustrate my point) I'm deep in the hole on several of the bikes in my small collection already too. But I serviced and finished them and got them rolling again, and I felt amazing about it. I know I'll never get my money back on them. That's a downer for sure. But the market price is only what interested, knowledgable people are willing to pay. And those people are dying off and I don't really see any millennials coming to swaps. For me the reality of this hobby is more about passion, appreciation and the love of the bikes than ROI. If that were to change, great. Putting more nice stuff out there to stimulate interest in the market is just an idea. But with limited stuff out there to stir up excitement, interest, and conversation, I don't see anything changing except further declining interest.
I've said this before but I don't think bicycle collecting is on the decline and see young guys and some gals starting to collect. Unlike cars or some other hobbies it is not generational. I might be old but I did not grow up in the prewar era but that is where my main interest lies. Regarding you rcomments about the Elgin Robin and bike parts. So you've been to MLC how many contacts did you make. Do you reach out to other collectors regulalry or are you just waiting for something to pop up here or on Ebay?

Nice bikes and parts change hands regularly just not out in the open. A lot of guys don't want to post a Robin just to have a lot of tire kickers and low ballers sending them PMs. Another thing I've come to find out and am getting that way myself is I would rather trade than sell. Why? I can always get more cash but I can't just run out and buy more rare parts so I would rather trade for another rare part. So I really don't think this thread has anything to do with the health of the hobby necessarliy but rather the state of the economy and maybe the nervousness people feel about spending money right now? Jus my 2c. V/r Shawn
 

jchicago

Finally riding a big boys bike
Jul 28, 2017
139
259
Lake Zurich, IL, United States
#36
"Do you reach out to other collectors regulalry or are you just waiting for something to pop up here or on Ebay?" The latter. I haven't developed those networks yet.

"Nice bikes and parts change hands regularly just not out in the open." This is what I'm blind to.

"but rather the state of the economy and maybe the nervousness people feel about spending money right now?" Except the economy is actually really strong right now. I'm not sure what people would be nervous about unless things are too good. Unemployment is down. The S&P just hit a new high. Nasdaq is close to doing the same. Interest rates are stable. The Fed suggested rates could be cut in July. From Barron's: "At the same time, tensions between the U.S. and China appear to be ebbing, and prospects for some sort of trade deal—or at least no new tariffs—look better than they have since early May. Not even a flare-up in tensions between the U.S. and Iran could dampen the fun all that much...The market appears optimistic that everything will work out just fine."
 
Likes: barnyguey

Balloonoob

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Jan 24, 2019
536
865
35
Longmont Colorado
#37
Retro Ain't what it used to be :( True , Many people can't tell what's old , over what's new. It can be confusing . I rode a 1968 Triumph Bonneville for 21 Years . Rode on MANY all British rides , and saw a HUGE amount of British Iron. Yesterday I saw a Triumph and was HAPPY to see an OLD Timer on the road.........................just to get up close , and find out it was a NEW one all dressed up like an old one. That one ALMOST Fooled me ! :oops:

View attachment 1019252
You didn't even need the hat. Your hair looked tough! I think it's cool that a lot of the new British bikes look vintage. I debated a Bonnie for my first motorcycle. Not sure how anyone could see that radio bike and think it was just made to have a retro '' look''.

gettyimages-158746414-1024x1024.jpg


f41d8db0-238e-11e8-b079-e65f92ed111a_1320x770_230854.jpg
 

jchicago

Finally riding a big boys bike
Jul 28, 2017
139
259
Lake Zurich, IL, United States
#38
For whatever reason , those darn Klaxons and Battery Tube prices are .................well .................Way up there. Maybe most of the younger folks can't pay those prices. When you pay the same price for a few accessories as you did for the whole bike things get out of whack . I don't see those prices dropping any time soon. Supply and demand do still come into play. and , I believe the hobby IS still Healthy. Just my Two Cents . ;)
YES, (how did you know?;) those costs are getting closer!
 
Likes: Balloonoob

Balloonoob

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Jan 24, 2019
536
865
35
Longmont Colorado
#39
Just for kicks I'm putting this out there. I'm still fairly new to the hobby ~2 years. My collection is relatively small. What occasionally dampens my enthusiasm with the hobby is the stockpiling and hoarding of quality bikes and parts I've seen. Typically when the supply of something is low, demand increases. This is also because there is awareness and excitement about the product. In the case of bikes I think the low supply actually decreases awareness and excitement and thus drives demand down. I've seen pics of these big collections of really nice tanks that have been removed from bikes. Instead we have lots of bikes out there that should have tanks but don't. Yay. Sure, it then increases demand for tanks and bikes with tanks, which then get squirreled away in an underground cave somewhere. Yes, there are bikes for sale, but it feels like the low end, tankless stuff, girls bikes, very overabundant bikes people want to get rid of, or just garbage to free up space. Wow, you found that in the bottom of a lake? Great. In my opinion it's rare to see really cool stuff trading hands. It happens, but not often in my opinion. I became a fan of the Elgin Robin when I got here. I really wanted one. I never see those listed. They're all locked away in people's garages, sheds, basements, and lockers like an IRA. I personally gave up on them and moved on. I did recently buy a really nice Elgin in Ann Arbor. I was really excited about my "new" bike. Now I've been out there looking for Klaxons, lamps, battery tubes, rider wheels, etc. I think if there was a greater supply of nice bikes available, it would create energy, awareness, make the hobby accessible to outsiders and help them get started. Would the greater availability of cooler bikes drive prices up or down? I don't know. It could be the existing collectors out there who would buy them and keep the prices afloat. What slowly kills it for me is sellers asking ridiculous prices like this Elgin Special that no one is willing to pay. $3500? Really? I'm going back to comic books. https://www.ebay.com/itm/ELGIN-SPEC...629533?hash=item215991841d:g:8QkAAOSwSf9cyx0N A lot of these older guys are retired and have stored their bikes for years. We all want to make what we think the value is for our bikes,or what we put into it, but despite whatever we put into a bike to fix it up, a bike (or anything) is "only worth what someone is willing to pay for it." I don' t think that Elgin is worth $3500. ( I know it's listed elsewhere for $1600 or so, but it serves to illustrate my point) I'm deep in the hole on several of the bikes in my small collection already too. But I serviced and finished them and got them rolling again, and I felt amazing about it. I know I'll never get my money back on them. That's a downer for sure. But the market price is only what interested, knowledgable people are willing to pay. And those people are dying off and I don't really see any millennials coming to swaps. For me the reality of this hobby is more about passion, appreciation and the love of the bikes than ROI. If that were to change, great. Putting more nice stuff out there to stimulate interest in the market is just an idea. But with limited stuff out there to stir up excitement, interest, and conversation, I don't see anything changing except further declining interest.
So that's why banana tanks are 4 or 5 hundred dollars. Don't build your bikes for the next guy. Just what you can justify for your own approval.
 

SirMike1983

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Jun 27, 2008
3,038
2,660
United States
#40
My experience is that it's still very much location-dependent, and I tend to see things through a local prism. The last bike I sold was an excellent 1970s Raleigh Twenty folder - even original redline tires on it still. Zero interest locally in rural western New England - people want more modern bikes here with lots of gears (hybrid, road, and mountain - we have lots of hills here). When I caved and decided to put the time and effort into shipping, someone paid full price for it to be shipped to Boston. It should serve well there. Here where I live now, people interested in bicycles at all remain the exception rather than the rule. It's sort of a shame too because the local area is very scenic.

I've never really studied bikes sold on a national level in any scientific way. I deal mostly with old utility bikes of various stripes, and maybe a little bit in the field of old 10-speed road bikes. My own sense of that market is that prices went up a fair bit between 2000 and 2015 (they even seemed to creep up during the recession in the wealthy urban areas), but then leveled off and have been flat for a few years now. That's probably a very general, national look. But as I said, in some areas like where I am now, it's as dead as ever.
 

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