[CR]de rosas and what stuff is worth--with a nod to Medici..


From: "Charles Andrews" <chasds@mindspring.com>
To: <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
Date: Fri, 15 Jun 2007 08:56:58 -0700
Subject: [CR]de rosas and what stuff is worth--with a nod to Medici..

If I understand the story of the 5K De Rosa track bike correctly, the buyer has so much money that 5K for the bike he wants is pocket-change. At least, that is what the story implies. He wanted what he wanted, and had to pay that much to get the seller to sell to him.
>From where I sit, both buyer and seller are a little touched, the buyer for paying, and the seller for thinking the bike is worth that much. Apparently the seller didn't want to sell, and it took a huge offer to pry the bike loose. Maybe. It is true, we don't know precisely how things worked.

As may be, as some on this list know, I'm hardly immune to this sort of thing, although, in most instances, the market eventually catches up to me, thankfully.

If that De Rosa had been an early 70s bike, in perfect condition, with all the correct period parts, or actually a complete, original bike, 5K would have been appropriate I think..early 70s De Rosa track iron has to be a very rare thing.

This got me thinking though, about how interesting the market in high-end bikes is. Mostly value/cost and quality track pretty closely...then, sometimes they don't. The times when cost and quality diverge usually has to do with subjective perception of the product or brand, and not with the actual quality of the product.

Two examples came to mind this morning. One, a Bill Davidson touring frame I've had for a long time, built up into a very nice do-everything bike. I've ridden it a lot, and enjoyed every mile. A real magic-carped ride. I'm probably going to be selling it soon. It was built in the late 70s as a custom job for a Boeing engineer, I was told. Built expressly for 27" wheels, since that was the usual equipment for touring bikes at that time. This frame is as neat and tidy an example of a custom american frame as you could ask for. It is every bit as pretty and clean as any custom frame you've ever seen. Davidson supposedly built it with Cinelli lugs he put in his pockets and brought on the place back from Italy. It's a lovely bike now, and the only reason I'd sell it is to make some space, because I don't have much room these days. I'll be lucky to get something close to a grand for the whole bike, although you'd pay an awful lot more than that to get someone to build you a frame of this quality.

I've kept it all these years, because I like it, and because it really is a very nice American frame..and Davidson's lugged frames are actually not all that commonly seen, far as I can tell.

The other example is the Medici frame I just bought on ebay. A very pretty item in candy blue, yellow, and chrome. Original paint and graphics, and exactly my size. I'm building another Medici up right now, for Carmen, and I was very impressed at the build-quality: I'd never looked at one of these closely until recently, and they are really nice, from what I can tell. Very crisp, tidy lug-work, the inside of the bottom bracket shell was a neat as a pin, as beautifully finished off as you could ask for. This one had been faced properly, so no problems with cup-fit.

Medicis routinely sell for very reasonable prices...and if I had to choose between a 70s or 80s Medici that's been properly faced and reamed, and a De Rosa of the same period, I'd pick the Medici every time. To me, it's a prettier bike, and has more soul, somehow. Maybe the fact that it's a California bike has something to do with that..not the mention the fact that it's probably as close to a Confente as I'll ever get <g>

In short, for every garden-variety De Rosa out there that sells for too much money, there are things like the Davidson or the Medici that are incredible bargains..real sleeper quality. (think about those Raysports John Barron was selling awhile back..what a bargain! I shoulda bought one..wah)

It's kinda nice to know these great deals are still out there.

Charles Andrews
Los Angeles