In early 1982, my wife and I bought matching 1981 Stumpjumpers from Cupertino Bike Shop, then located in Santa Clara, California. My wife’s bike was the earlier of the two, and had actually been the bike given to Cupertino BS by Specialized to be “prepped” for all the publicity photos for magazine ads, etc. The guys at Cupertino cut all the nubbies off the tires, and ensured the bike looked as good as it possibly could. Once all the photos had been taken, the bike was returned to Cupertino to sell.
After we moved to Colorado in 1985, we eventually sold both bikes to friends of ours and bought new bikes. This was in 1987 or 1988. One of the friends moved away, but the other is still local and remains a good friend. Anyway, last weekend, he and I got together for lunch, and I asked him if he still had the Stumpjumper. He said: “Yeah, its in the shed, do ya want it back?” Naturally, I said sure, and brought it home.
About the bike. Serial # T1J0291, built in October of 1981 I believe. All original except for the following: Rims, spokes & tires (due to a bent rim from a crash); shifters (one of the originals bit the dust in the same crash); grips (we replaced the originals in ’82 or ’83 with Tuan grips) and the pedals. All other components are absolutely original, including the saddle. It has the socket-type fork crown, not the biplane type. Still the original blue paint with white stickers, although 24+ years of riding has taken its toll, with some scratches and rock chips, but not too bad. No rust or corrosion due to the dry climate here in Colorado. It also has a Blackburn rack and bottle cage that were added when we bought the bike new. It’s still rideable, and looks pretty good now that I removed most of the dirt and grunge.
So here’s my question: As there seems to be some seriuous collector interest in these early Stumpjumpers, should I try to keep it as original as possible, or would it hurt its value to upgrade some of the components? I took it home with the intent of upgrading it and using it as a city bike or dirt road bike, but then discovered via the web that some folks collect these, and I would hate to “mess it up” if there really is value to keeping it original. I noticed that a 1985 Stumpjumper recently sold for about $850 on eBay, which seriously got my attention. I might even be open to selling it (and splitting the proceeds with my friend) if I received a reasonable offer.
What would you do??????