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Weird huh?
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I'm starting this thread after just reading another questioning the 'value' of a titanium stem bolt.
1st, I'll admit that I stumbled on this forum only about a year ago. I'd been on MBTR, but didn't know of the forums.
Does anyone else think that the attention given to the almighty $$ , in respect to parts is getting a bit .....silly? I do. I'll explain.
'Retro' is an accurate term. Mt. biking has changed a lot in only 10 years, with respect to equipment. When I came to this site, this particular section, it really opened my eyes. There in front of me were folks who appreciated 'old skool' and 'retro' stuff, just like me. What concerns me is when folks start putting silly prices on things, that in reality are only 10-15 years old. The vast majority of things in this section aren't rare or valuable, it's just that the group of people looking for it (us) is so small. It's out there, and it aint' rare. Just nobody knows someone else wants it. It's dated. I know. I have boxes of stuff I've never thrown away. I don't have a ton of frames laying around, but I've got quite a bit of shiny bits. Those of us that paid for the newest in 91-95 know well that the 'high' prices being offered for relic parts, are in many cases far cheaper than the original cost. As newer and better technology came along, those high priced shiny bits became so much useless junk. Not because they didn't work, (though, in some cases they really didn't) but because in the race to be the newest .......the manufacturers changed designs often within a model year. What you had simply wouldn't fit what was now available in stores. It forced you to buy new.
Imagine my delight on finding this forum and realizing that my daily ride was a highly coveted, multi,multi,multi thousand dollar ride, which, if short of rent, I could evidentially 'part out' on e-bay and purchase a new home in Santa Cruz!
It just seems a bit ridiculous, that's all. I absolutely love old high-end parts, and was really thrilled to find others that did to. I'm just a bit concerned that with the current national 'e-bay' mentality, we could be priced out by people who know the cost of everything and the value of nothing.
I started this rant in response to another thread asking the value of a bolt for a stem. After a quick look, I realized that I had a couple of those integrated bars, and a couple of the bolts. I also know where I got em. Neither rare, nor valuable. ('less you've got a matching Klein and dont have the bars I guess)
Just saying to keep it real. Those who wish to build accurate (by year) bikes shouldn't have to sell a kidney.
BTY I did build a new bike this summer. All the latest high end bits and everything.
 

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Living Life Behind Bars..
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I am going to add my $0.02 here. i have been on mtbr form the beginning mostly lurking and then posting up questins and build etc.

I think what my attraction to 10 - 15 year vintage is the bikes have SOUL ! End of story for me, I own a road bike, a Dean full squish and a hardtail, that's it. If you asked me now which one I would keep if i had to loose them all it would be the 97 hardtail.

Reason is simplicity, elegance, design, function and did I say SOUL !

Back when I got into mtb'ing we had choices, hand built frames, mucho fork options, countless brake options, cranks, etc. etc.

Now we have ShimaNO and Sram, Rock Shox & Fox as the main players. The cottage industry that spawned the sport and innovation is gone, no more Nuke Proof, no more, Grafton, no more GT, no more Fat Cycles, no more Marinovative, Machine Tech, Onza, Paul's ( at least some models ) Scotts, Halston, Lawill Leaders, Girvins, Mantis, Bridgestones, Ritchey P series, Ibis ti's, Catamount, Salsa Jelly beans Dekerf's, Sling shots, disc wheels, Topline, Cook Bros etc. etc. etc.

Now there are new technology driving the market and we are switching from xc, to free ride, north shore, trail hucking or whatever you want to call it this year, magazines are ad's no more articles witht he exception ( in my opinion ) of Dirt Rag.

Handmade really means hand assembled. The machine / person welding your bike has never even ridden it.

This is really a viewpoint not a slag of the industry as it sits today but I love Vintage, retro, old school, or whatever we are calling it today.

Good topic, Cheers.
 

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g-t- said:
I am going to add my $0.02 here. i have been on mtbr form the beginning mostly lurking and then posting up questins and build etc.

I think what my attraction to 10 - 15 year vintage is the bikes have SOUL ! End of story for me, I own a road bike, a Dean full squish and a hardtail, that's it. If you asked me now which one I would keep if i had to loose them all it would be the 97 hardtail.

Reason is simplicity, elegance, design, function and did I say SOUL !

Back when I got into mtb'ing we had choices, hand built frames, mucho fork options, countless brake options, cranks, etc. etc.

Now we have ShimaNO and Sram, Rock Shox & Fox as the main players. The cottage industry that spawned the sport and innovation is gone, no more Nuke Proof, no more, Grafton, no more GT, no more Fat Cycles, no more Marinovative, Machine Tech, Onza, Paul's ( at least some models ) Scotts, Halston, Lawill Leaders, Girvins, Mantis, Bridgestones, Ritchey P series, Ibis ti's, Catamount, Salsa Jelly beans Dekerf's, Sling shots, disc wheels, Topline, Cook Bros etc. etc. etc.

Now there are new technology driving the market and we are switching from xc, to free ride, north shore, trail hucking or whatever you want to call it this year, magazines are ad's no more articles witht he exception ( in my opinion ) of Dirt Rag.

Handmade really means hand assembled. The machine / person welding your bike has never even ridden it.

This is really a viewpoint not a slag of the industry as it sits today but I love Vintage, retro, old school, or whatever we are calling it today.

Good topic, Cheers.
I'm gonna disagree a bit.

There are plenty of small guys still out there. There are the corporate giants, but the small guys are still there, but the players have changed. Nuke Proof isn't around any more, but we do have Ventana, Phil Wood, Paul, and Slingshots.

There may be a swing in the magazines to more free ride, but that's happened before too, and it swung back. I remember looking back in '98 for a good XC dually and it was hard, but not impossible to find. A year or two later... the XC dually was back.

Our first 'Golden' Age has passed, but I woulnddn't be surprised if we see another one. Why... all it takes is one or two big players to get it wrong. The 'it' being styling, target market, etc, etc. Shimano's innattention helped bring about the aftermakret... and I daresay if they introduce a 10 speed cluster as the mountain bike 'standard' that I'll be looking for an alternative.

And simply put... the price is dictacted by who those who are willing to pay.

JmZ
 

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cmdrpiffle said:
I'm starting this thread after just reading another questioning the 'value' of a titanium stem bolt.
1st, I'll admit that I stumbled on this forum only about a year ago. I'd been on MBTR, but didn't know of the forums.
Does anyone else think that the attention given to the almighty $$ , in respect to parts is getting a bit .....silly? I do. I'll explain.
'Retro' is an accurate term. Mt. biking has changed a lot in only 10 years, with respect to equipment. When I came to this site, this particular section, it really opened my eyes. There in front of me were folks who appreciated 'old skool' and 'retro' stuff, just like me. What concerns me is when folks start putting silly prices on things, that in reality are only 10-15 years old. The vast majority of things in this section aren't rare or valuable, it's just that the group of people looking for it (us) is so small. It's out there, and it aint' rare. Just nobody knows someone else wants it. It's dated. I know. I have boxes of stuff I've never thrown away. I don't have a ton of frames laying around, but I've got quite a bit of shiny bits. Those of us that paid for the newest in 91-95 know well that the 'high' prices being offered for relic parts, are in many cases far cheaper than the original cost. As newer and better technology came along, those high priced shiny bits became so much useless junk. Not because they didn't work, (though, in some cases they really didn't) but because in the race to be the newest .......the manufacturers changed designs often within a model year. What you had simply wouldn't fit what was now available in stores. It forced you to buy new.
Imagine my delight on finding this forum and realizing that my daily ride was a highly coveted, multi,multi,multi thousand dollar ride, which, if short of rent, I could evidentially 'part out' on e-bay and purchase a new home in Santa Cruz!
It just seems a bit ridiculous, that's all. I absolutely love old high-end parts, and was really thrilled to find others that did to. I'm just a bit concerned that with the current national 'e-bay' mentality, we could be priced out by people who know the cost of everything and the value of nothing.
I started this rant in response to another thread asking the value of a bolt for a stem. After a quick look, I realized that I had a couple of those integrated bars, and a couple of the bolts. I also know where I got em. Neither rare, nor valuable. ('less you've got a matching Klein and dont have the bars I guess)
Just saying to keep it real. Those who wish to build accurate (by year) bikes shouldn't have to sell a kidney.
BTY I did build a new bike this summer. All the latest high end bits and everything.
I think that's one of the best posts I've read in this forum in a while with regards to the state of VRC.
For the most part, I agree with you.

The only time I like the inflated prices is when I'm the seller. I hardly ever buy from eBay anymore.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
 

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Golden Age!

Whats this about a golden age 10-15 years ago. Hey I'm enjoying my riding more than I've ever done and my bike(s) far more desirable than what I riding 10+ years ago. For me the golden age is still happening! :D

Fluff
 

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Illuminati
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fluff, u didnt have the funds to have truly nice bikes 10yrs ago. we were all on the poverty line in uni days, just that some of us choose titanium hardtails over food ;D.. hahaha ;)
 

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Its a combination of nostalgia & $$

I don't know how typical I am, but I'm a 40 something who started mountian biking ~15 years ago in the Bay area who absolutely couldn't afford any of the most desirable bikes of the era, so I rode a perfectly lovely 27# MB-3 (and it was a sacrifice to buy that). I still remember ogling Don Myrah's Ritchey in the window of the Wheelsmith in Palo Alto. Fast forward to the present, I can now afford to buy those bikes I lusted after back then, or even better, recreate them one part at a time (the treasure hunt aspect of VRC). I might pay $10 for a bolt if I really wanted it. $10 is no longer a big deal to me, although some of the prices people are paying for certain highly desirable older bits are personally prohibitive. I suspect it is more about an era. This phenomena is not unique to VRC MT bikes. Look at the present desirability of 60's era muscle cars. Many are slower than a new Odyssey minivan yet they have dramatically appreciated because of people's nostalgia for them and their ability to pay. I think if additional interest in older bike stuff causes people to go find NOS for me to buy that is great, Just my 2¢.
 

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manzell said:
I don't know how typical I am, but I'm a 40 something who started mountian biking ~15 years ago in the Bay area who absolutely couldn't afford any of the most desirable bikes of the era, so I rode a perfectly lovely 27# MB-3 (and it was a sacrifice to buy that). I still remember ogling Don Myrah's Ritchey in the window of the Wheelsmith in Palo Alto. Fast forward to the present, I can now afford to buy those bikes I lusted after back then, or even better, recreate them one part at a time (the treasure hunt aspect of VRC). I might pay $10 for a bolt if I really wanted it. $10 is no longer a big deal to me, although some of the prices people are paying for certain highly desirable older bits are personally prohibitive. I suspect it is more about an era. This phenomena is not unique to VRC MT bikes. Look at the present desirability of 60's era muscle cars. Many are slower than a new Odyssey minivan yet they have dramatically appreciated because of people's nostalgia for them and their ability to pay. I think if additional interest in older bike stuff causes people to go find NOS for me to buy that is great, Just my 2¢.
Yup.

And looking at the BMX/Road trend...I hope we don't go down that road!

Personally, I don't want things to get any bigger than they are right now.
 

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Two more cents......

It's amazing to me how many people go through life looking for the pot o' gold at the end of the rainbow, or searching through the pile of horse manure looking for the pony, or hoping to find that rare part that they can sell on eBay for a fortune. It seems to be a national epidemic, or at least a major pastime.

I have a friend that constantly searches through second hand stores for items that he can then sell on eBay. Most of the time he makes a buck or two. At the rate he's going, it's only a hobby, nothing more.

Not that I don't sell stuff on eBay, because I do. For the most part, I'm just trying to get rid of stuff that I've accumulated over the last thirty years.

I guess the point I'm trying to make is that while finding something "rare" (whatever that may mean) and selling it for big bucks is fun, it's usually a very rare occurrance. If you happen to find a particular trinket, rather than waste time asking the world what it's worth, just throw it on eBay and let the market determine its value. Sometimes it's like winning the lotto, mostly it's NOT. Can be fun though.....
 

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I disagree, too. There are plenty of current bikes/frames and components with "soul." We still have plenty of options. They are just different than they were 10-15 years ago and those were different than the cool stuff 10-15 years before that.

There was also plenty of mass produced [email protected] back then.
 

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You are definately right there are plenty of current bikes/frames with soul. To me, a custom steel or Ti hardtail built especially for you fits that bill.

There are plenty of current bikes/frames and components with "soul."
There was also plenty of mass produced [email protected] back then.[/QUOTE]
 

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bigdrunk said:
You are definately right there are plenty of current bikes/frames with soul. To me, a custom steel or Ti hardtail built especially for you fits that bill.

There are plenty of current bikes/frames and components with "soul."
There was also plenty of mass produced [email protected] back then.
[/QUOTE]

That was what the etc. etc. meant. I agree that we have lots of choices for frames that are very swank ( seven, dean, serrotta, if bikes, jeff jones, 285 us, scyjp, vanilla cycles - my fave. and so on etc )

I don't think I have that much choice component wise as in the past. it's either shimano, sram or single speed. There where countless options in the past, suntour, mavic, campy, shimano, grip shift, proshift.

I love technology and I said in my reply this is not a slag on the current industry but more so how I see it.

I think that one persons idea of what is rare or valuable will differ all across the board though.......I guess it does boil down to supply and demand.
 

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The vast majority of things in this section aren't rare or valuable ... It just seems a bit ridiculous, that's all...we could be priced out by people who know the cost of everything and the value of nothing.
I agree with this, but also disgaree.

The Klein bolt thread was a fair question, but I can see how it would prompt a snicker. There are many small parts like that one might disregard when they in fact do have quite a bit of value and are very difficult to find (Syncros Revolution chainring bolts, Bontrager brake posts, Suntour pedal caps, etc.) Better to be an informative seller than one that sold the farm, so to speak.

Inevitably most old things gain value, the Antique Roadshow effect.

People seek out NOS/New VRC parts, frames and such. There is a very small supply and even smaller number of people willing to sell. High demand, low supply and a large marketplace (ebay) equals high prices. This is great for sellers and those that have collections of this stuff.

Also, there are lots of people like me perhaps that didn't have the money in the 90's to buy (now) VRC items. Now older, wiser, employed ... its worth paying a bit for all those things we wanted back then (many prior replies describe this too). It bums me out when I get priced out of VRC stuff, but oh well. I'll keep on looking.

If you do have lots of VRC stuff, you should be very grateful ... one day you'll likely ask a question like the Klein bolt guy.

***************************************************************

(As a side, I can't stand parts threads that start off as an innocent inquiry when in fact they just want to sell it on ebay).
 

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As the erstwhile progenitor of this rambling post....

I feel I must chime in.
I posted the now famous 'klien bolt' thread in order to determine a fair price for someone who is looking for one, and I happen to have one. I was seeking advice in equal measure to be sure that I did not quote a rediculous price EITHER too low OR too high...hence, the desire to seek what would be considered a FAIR price.
Absolutely nothing more complicated than that.
I would be more than happy to have just left this little Titanium bit in my tool pile forever...who knows when I may have found a completely different perfect use for it myself...I came very close once with a particularly long shock mount retrofit.
FWIW, I have worked in shops for 25 (or so) years, and owned one for 7...I know all too well the nuance of which has been spoken here in regards to fetishising and/or profiteering. Furthermore, I have buckets of stuff that I kept because I thought the stuff was cool, and suspected would never be manufactured again. I have occasionally given away bits for postage...(a set of Ti Gravity research brake springs comes to mind) and I have never sold any on e-bay.
These small, hard to obtain parts DO have special value. Those values will continue to accrue, and attempting to determine 'today's' fair market value for them does no disservice to any interested party, buyer or seller. To rail against the accuracy of such values being disclosed publicly reeks of romantic elitism, and is basically clinging to a dream of a fantasy past.
If there were ever a perfect forum in which to get answers to these burning questions, well, guess what...this forum is IT.
THAT is a freakin' reality check, brotha'...peace.
 

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manzell said:
$10 is no longer a big deal to me, although some of the prices people are paying for certain highly desirable older bits are personally prohibitive..
I talked at length to Roger Durham at Bullseye a few months ago. He isn't nearly as big as he once was, but is doing well enough to keep going. He said that he had a lot of people buying his stuff saying, "When I was a kid in the late 80's, I so wanted your components, but had no money. Now I'm adult and can afford it. I'll get Bullseye because I finally can."

I just paid a fair amount of money for nearly new Syncros Cranks and an old school NOS Klein. Why, because I can. I should have bought years ago when I had plenty of spare cash, then for a few years I didn't and wanted them. Now I have spare cash and figure why not get things while the getting is good. Who knows what tomorrow will bring.

That Klein bolt? My bike is useless without that bolt. For want of a nail, the kingdom fell... Some might say, "Get standard parts and and replacements will be easier." I don't want standard parts, I want a Klein and am willing to pay what it takes to buy and maintain it.

There is no inherent value in anything. An object is worth what a person will pay for it. If you are buying something that is used to produce another object, say a milling machine, there might be some inherent value from the perspective of, "Can this machine meet my needs for what I can get for the bikes it produces?" But when it comes to the end product, it is worth whatever someone is willing to pay for the bike. To me, houses are overpriced, I want to live in a yurt. Cars are overpriced, why do I need air conditioning and automatic tranny? A Van Gogh painting is now worth $50 million, why? 'cause someone will pay that for it.

I don't claim that the old stuff is neccesarily better, but I'm not always convinced the new products are better either. Yes, this may be nice or that may be nice, but does it change my experience? No, it doesn't. I'm an XC person and have no interest in DH or free ride which is the industry focus right now.

I ride a 1996 Klein Attitude. I've just installed Englund air cartridges which work well. I choose a hardtail and there is no bike out there that rides better than my current bike, so why switch?

Moosey
 

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holden said:
(As a side, I can't stand parts threads that start off as an innocent inquiry when in fact they just want to sell it on ebay).
Oh, I couldn't agree more. I think that's really the biggest issue we have in this forum...so I'd say we're pretty lucky otherwise. :)
 

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rideit said:
I feel I must chime in.
I posted the now famous 'klien bolt' thread in order to determine a fair price for someone who is looking for one, and I happen to have one. I was seeking advice in equal measure to be sure that I did not quote a rediculous price EITHER too low OR too high...hence, the desire to seek what would be considered a FAIR price.
Absolutely nothing more complicated than that.
I think part of the reason you're catching some flack for your post(s)...is that we tend to get a lot of WIW (Whats It Worth) questions in this forum. Rather than looking for general knowledge....its really more of a platform to spark interest and sell the item in question. I think it puts some of us out a bit.

If you would have said:
"Hey, I've got this Ti quill stem bolt for an old Klein, are those worth anything?"
I think your post would have looked like an honest question.

But instead, your post (to me) seems more along the lines of:
"Hey I've got this super rare, very, very valuable, really expensive, hard to find, special titanium bolt for top shelf high end Kleins. I doubt you'll ever see one of these again.....so, uh, what's this gem worth? Anyone? Anyone?"...

You've seen the inflated auctions, you know you might have something..you're fishin'.

I could be way off, I'm just callin' it like I see it.
 

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My $0.02 - but probably worth less (hopefully not worthless).

(a) There's plenty of cool framemakers still around today. If you can't find one you're not looking hard enough. But I do agree that component selection is down from what it was when the first aerospace engineers were laid off in the early '90s. Maybe the next Pres. will cut defense spending back to some reasonable level, and once again we'll be blessed with many cool components.

(b) In my mind, there are two types of "retro" riders. The first rides old bikes because they work just as well as new ones, and they're cheaper. The second is trying to relive the past and built the perfect bike they they'd have bought back in the day if they'd not been dirt poor. I probably fit somewhat into both categories (depending on the bike and my mood). Both are fine. The first type of person likely thinks that the second type of person is nuts (I guess that's part of the internal struggle continually being fault in my psyche).

(3) There's definitely a "get rich" quick mentality with a lot people. What's a bolt, fork, brake, etc. worth? Well, if it'd been sitting in my parts bin for 3 years unused, and is likely not going to be used by me any time soon, and someone else needs it? I'll sell it for enough to cover my original cost. Why price gouge a fellow biker? ...which leads to the next point.

(d) Bike crap is expensive. I'm always happy when I can buy a bike for $200, take off several components that I need, and sell the remainder on eBay for $200. Free bike parts are nice. Also, on eBay prices are determined by the buyers, not the seller, so it's hard to blame the seller for high prices. I've been guilty of driving up prices on things that I really really want, but much more often I'm outbid because I'm not willing to pay a lot for an old part when it's likely that another one will be for sale next week.

(e) Antique Road Show is one of my favorite shows. I like the people who find out that they're grandma's dresser is worth three bazillian dollars, and say that they'd never sell it for any price. Who really cares what something is worth? Value should be the joy that you get out of it. All your money is going to go toward heating oil and other crap that you'll not remember in 20 years, but that cool dresser (or bike) will be there until you die (or until it gets stolen).

(f) Bikes are cool. I'm glad that everyone on this forum agrees.

(7) Back to the egg nog!!

Happy Holidays to all....
 
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