Classic bikes as investments, was Re: [CR]50th anniversary gruppi

Example: Books:Ron Kitching

Date: Mon, 16 Jan 2006 11:16:36 -0500
From: Harvey M Sachs <>
Subject: Classic bikes as investments, was Re: [CR]50th anniversary gruppi

I'm sure that some CR members make some money with Classic bikes. I'm sure that some will lose money on classic bikes and parts as investments. I suspect that both groups spend a lot of time thinking about the financial risks and benefits of their purchases.

With the forebearance of my wife (and since our only child is doing fine on his own), I've been able to buy a few bikes and parts that I really want. And I was fortunate that a good friend gave me some neat stuff decades ago. There are now about 10 vintage bikes in the collection, and I don't expect it grow significantly. I've had three of them for more than 30 years. None are wall-hangers, and most have extensive reminders of long service ("Patina" and scratches). I expect that all will develop even more evidence that they are not NOS as friends and I ride them, with both joy and respect.

I have these bikes and parts because they meant something to me when I bought them, and even because others find them interesting. I have occasionally made some money selling a bike I had bought, but I can't remember buying something with the goal of "flipping" it, much less the goal of selling after the value had appreciated. I bought them because I loved them (e.g, '65 Paramount), because I had lusted after them when I couldn't afford them ('73 Cinelli SC with Super-Patina), or because they interested me (Austro-Daimler Vent Noir with early DA black gruppo).

Conversely, I don't expect to ever own a Colnago (no personal attraction, and generally too garish and faddish for me), or an Alan (I love innovation, but this one did not respect the properties and values of aluminum). Just personal reasons: I collect things I respect -- or trivial things that are laughably bad, like the Campgranola Sport and Gran Trashmo derailleurs.

Someday, I hope that our son will inherit the question of proper distribution of this collection. I can't imagine thinking of my bikes as part of an investment portfolio instead of a hobby I love, but this is rather personal: your values may differ, and you may find the challenge of managing bikes as an investment very fulfilling - or frustrating.

As Sarah Gibson would say, "Peace."

harvey sachs mcLean va +++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Don Wilson said:

In paraphrase, Robert said buyers collect most and have most money to collect between ages 40-55. He also assumed they like to collect what they could only dream of buying around the age of 15. So as of 2005: subtract 40 and 55 from 2005, add 15 to both and you will know that bikes built between 1965 and 1980 will have the largest group of collectors at their peak buying power and so bring the most money in competitive bidding.

While my own personal experience of my collecting desires would move that consumer imprinting age of 15 to something more like 15-18, I do think you're collection model is on the nail head; that's why I bought my Raleigh International for me alone (I'm 52 and expect the peak run up is probably past) and that's why I bought my Vitus with the carbon fiber tubes glued to the 979 head tube/seat cluster to hold for a slightly younger fellow. It also explains why old school BMX bikes (late 70s early 80s) have started an accelerating up tick in value and why Schwinn Stingrays at least appear to have slowed in their escalation.

One could however argue variously where within the collectible vintage age range price peaks ought most likely to be expected.

So exactly what year should we start picking up Jan Ulrich Pinarellos and Lance Armstrong Treks? :-) I'd like to hear more opining by you regarding the graph that depicts a new bike reaching its eventual nadir in value before starting its upward bounce. And of course you'll have to figure in the carrying cost. :-)

Don Wilson Los Olivos, CA

Don Wilson
Los Olivos, CA

--- "R.S. Broderick" wrote:

>> Steven,
>> Ok, just for fun I am going to approach yours as a
>> somewhat rhetorical
>> question and attempt to address it from an abstract
>> macro viewpoint
>> which is
>> not necessarily specific to the Campy 50th
>> Anniversary group that you
>> mentioned in particular, but rather, offers an
>> explanation which I
>> believe
>> has application far beyond that specific example.
>> <snip>