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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 10:50 am 
Retro Guru

Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2011 10:55 am
Posts: 2920
Location: Dorset
I found Retrobike whilst casually searching for info on my 1980's Releigh Clubman 8)

My 2007 bike just lacks soul, its competant but makes me feel numb :(

But my early bikes are simple so even i can work on them :D


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 12:16 pm 
MacRetro rider
MacRetro rider

Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2007 4:16 pm
Posts: 8658
The number of retrobike collectors v the number of retrobikes is a small versus huge number. The number of desireable high end models might be few but many of the less desireable can be upgraded or changed in some positive way. There will always be something for everyone whose interested, it just requires patience and persistence.
Plus the vagries of life can lead to re release of stuff into the market such as the wife/girlfriend/partner putting a foot down, changes in financial circumstance, death (hopefully not) or just loss of interest.
There will always be kit to collect.
I'm sorted, blue collar stuffs cheap and unwanted except by me.
Generic alloy framed mtb of mid 90's taiwanese origin is my next project currently sitting under my desk winking at me, brilliant :D


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 1:47 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:30 pm
Posts: 478
Location: maidstone, kent
For me retro is not about how rare or how expensive it is but more about what you like and whether it makes you smile. I buy bikes that back in the day I could only look at in magazines and in shops but could never afford. The enjoyment is also picking up a bargain off of gumtree or e bay for £30 because nobody knows what it actually is. Refurbing a bike, painting a frame, adding new decals, polishing bits, tinkering with components etc are what this retro bike hobby is all about.

For example, tonight I am collecting a 91 dyna tech odyssey that I noticed on e bay late last night. Its not costing me a lot but it is still a good bike and a fun project for me. I plan to strip, clean, paint and re build over the next few months.

In terms of where things are going, as the years pass the bikes of today will become retro. In 20 years people will be on here talking of barn find Trek fuels and NOS Scott scales.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 2:32 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:26 am
Posts: 710
Location: Kuala Lumpur
Three disparate comments:

Old tech like rim brakes are old enough to be naff/passe but not old enough to be 'cool' to most people, hence the restomoded bikes with discs on old frames, but in ten years time people will be grinding off those disc tabs and trying to regain that 'original' oldskool look!

I think we are a lucky generation.. The MTBs which were so exciting and groundbreaking to us lot as kids back in the '80s are clearly outperformed by modern weapons which can now stop on a sixpence (er.. Euro), bomb over big roots and take massive dropoffs, but it doesn't matter 'cause we're all middle aged now so a nice old rigid steely is just the job for an uncompetitive fitness ride through the woods! We match our bikes perfectly!

Why do i love retro? Cause i still remember as clear as yesterday the day i found a row of new Konas at the LBS and was mesmerized by the quality compared to the kiddish clunkers i'd owned previously. Alloy flat bars! :shock: frames that go "ding" (not "clunk") when you flick them with your finger :P , more cogs and gears than a Ferrari! :lol: precise, powerful and cool looking brakes :D Funky stuff like hotdog bar ends and dogcollars :mrgreen: I literally couldn't sleep 'till i cobbled the money together to rush back and bring home my new MTB. It's just pure nostalgia. I ride the same bike now and i love it more with every ride. Had a modern full suss / alloy / hydraulic / aerorimmed wonder bike for a while recently but it just didn't 'do' it for me. Good bike yes, something to treasure no. Those are the future retro for the ipad generation...


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 3:41 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2009 11:13 pm
Posts: 9717
Location: Skipton
I've mentioned it before on here, the whole retro mtb thing is following the exact same path as the retro Tamiya R/C thing I was in to back in the early 2000's.



Step 1- Not too many people interested and huge bargains to be had as people sell their old toys for what ever they can get.

Step 2- Interest grows and a healthy online following develops. Still many bargains to be had. Those involved feel part of the community and as if they're part of a small but friendly hobby.

Step 3- The hobby starts to get big with any old period bike/buggy starting to make silly money. The top end gear has been established and the price of these start to reflect this. Stripping and flipping starts to increase as people realise there's money to be made but it's at quite a innocent level.

Step 4- People with no interest in the hobby twig on that the sorry looking bike/buggy they have not looked at for ages might be worth something so the market gets flooded with stuff of various quality. Still some bargains at the low to mid range but also many unrealistic prices. Vary rare for the real top end stuff to turn up badly listed and cheap.
Some of the early stripper/flippers and also some 'business people' turn certain aspects of collecting in to a proper business. They spend all their time searching for bargains and take over the market. Any decent kit is hoovered up and then posted back up for sale at inflated prices.
Some of the people that were heavily involved in the past start to drift off as 'it's not like it used to be'.
Some alpha males appear on the various forums and grow in confidence.
This step is probably the high point for 'non internet' involvement with meets happening with good numbers and most people buying in to the whole retro scene.

Step 5- The hobby has got just about as big as it's going to and those involved know what they like. Interest in searching for bargains drops, as does the price of the lower to middle range stuff unless it's in great condition. Far less 'diamonds in the rough' turn up as the general public have already got rid of what they had in step 4. Some people still think we're at step 3 so think people will pay daft money for something that no one really bothered about bitd. These people have missed the boat.
Clever companies realise there's a market for their old gear so start re-releasing stuff. Everyone gets very excited about this although it damages the value of the originals unless they're mint.
The feeling of it all being 'our little secret' has gone and the community doesn't seem as friendly as it used to be.
The alpha males are now well established and like to make their voice heard across the forums. Quite often two will come up against each other and everyone else runs for cover as they can't both be right but that doesn't stop them thinking they are.

Step 6- Interest starts to drop off and the hobby evolves for those still involved (Less buying, less restoring, more using and less shouting about it).

Step 7- Interest falls right back to the levels seen early in the hobby. The top stuff has pretty much all been found and/or restored and will cost you a fortune if you want to buy. Not a great deal of interest in the low end models and tidy ones can be picked up cheap once again. Mid range can still cost a bit but it has to be in good condition. No where near as much is up for sale and the market is much smaller.
The hardcore are still involved in forums such as this (or tamiyaclub.com in R/C terms) but many of the members have drifted off and found new hobbies to spend far too much time on.
The odd bargain starts to turn up again but there's not as much interest and the excitment of step 2 has gone.





I stumbled across both R/C and Retro Bikes at some point during step 2. I lost interest in the R/C around step 6 and found this place. All the buggies were then sold to pay for old bikes. Every now and then I get the urge to buy some more R/C and there's still a market but it's not like it used to be.

I think we're at the back end of step 5 with retro bikes atm and my interest is certainly following the same path as it did with R/C. I know it sounds like a moan but it's not really, it's just how I saw it with R/C and how I'm seeing it with retro mtb's. Doesn't make it bad, just different.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 5:35 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 1:17 am
Posts: 634
Location: New England
brocklanders023 wrote:
I've mentioned it before on here, the whole retro mtb thing is following the exact same path as the retro Tamiya R/C thing I was in to back in the early 2000's.

*snip*


I think we're at the back end of step 5 with retro bikes atm and my interest is certainly following the same path as it did with R/C. I know it sounds like a moan but it's not really, it's just how I saw it with R/C and how I'm seeing it with retro mtb's. Doesn't make it bad, just different.


Freaking great summary, I have been sensing something like this but was unable to articulate it. I think you pretty much have it, but there is a key difference-bicycles have many uses beyond entertainment. The rise and fall of the market for retro is similar and I think corporate involvement will follow a similar pattern, but in the end a really nice bicycle frame or bit of kit can be used in some practical manner for a very long time. Something like a Suntour Grease Guard BB will always have value because it's really well made and serves a critical purpose better (it could be argued) than modern designs. People develop somewhat personal relationships with transportation devices, at some level we know they increase the potential of our lives and we respect them (and the parts that make them work) for that. This principle changes the market a bit, compared to other hobbies.

I know from my own perspective I'm now more interested in enjoying my own bikes for what they are, than coming on the forums and being an active participant. I think that came with the realization that people have already decided, to some degree, what is supposed to be interesting/valuable and what is not, and the things I like are not really what people discuss at any length, and that's OK. I also have built enough bikes now for myself and GF to know what will work for us and what won't, so some of the things I used to search for and covet have been deemed impractical and off my radar. Boutique parts that fail, frames that are the wrong size, unanticipated incompatibilities....these things get old if you want to use the bikes you collect. The stuff that works....I'll be after that as long as I have bikes to ride.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:59 pm 
Old School Grand Master

Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2005 11:18 am
Posts: 15804
Location: near cwmcarn
I think thats an accurate summary.. & also feel we're at step 5.

I do think the very rarest of the rare will always command exceptional prices. some collectors might not appear very active, but occasionally such a rare item will appear, set off the sleeper search filters & the inevitable bidding war kicks off


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 12:38 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2007 3:34 pm
Posts: 1847
Location: Launceston, Australia
Wow what a great summary... similar to the whole sneaker thing...except when it went to step 6, the companies realised it was like a licence to print money and did 2 things, flooded the market with cheap garbage crap, and also release super limited crap that sent people that didn't even know what a sneaker was into a frenzy of mega spending and it just doesn't seem to stop, we all thought it would be over years ago, but it seems to be getting even bigger (and stupider).


As to retrobike-ing I do love the old bikes, but it is more that there are certain bikes that I dreamed of having back then (early to mid 90's), but honestly it is not exactly that exact bike. If GT would have sold me one of the new Xizangs last year, I would have bought one, I am very very happy with my Zaskar reissue, my ARC may not be the same one as the grey/turquoise one I saw in the mags back in '92, but the day I got it in 04 was a happy happy day.
Sure I would like the most "authentic" bike I can get out of the ones I dreamed of and usually that means an old bike due to the company disappearing or some major change (eg Klein->Trek), but if Chris Chance was still build bikes, I would happily be riding a Yo Eddy with Discs and a 4in fork and 2x10 (just so long as i could get it with 26 wheels)...because well I like that hopefully isn't going to explode into bits.

I loved my old DB axis TR, fit me perfectly and handled well, but after 16 years of use, i had changed all the parts to much more recent bits as the broke or I deemed them well used. But in the end the frame was just feeling tired, so I gave it to a friend who needed something for light duties.

I really do wish that some of the companies would re-issue some parts (more than flights and smokes) as I would really like to be able to put on say some brand new M900 bits or mag 21's or M4's, rather than some old bit that is possibly clapped out, but you don't know till you have bought it.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 12:43 am 
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Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 7:21 am
Posts: 794
Location: Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
I feel we're more at step 4. Look forward to step five and lots of repro gear :P

I don't think its the same as Old Skool BMX as the gulf between low-mid and high-end BMXs both technically and in rarity is enormous; the BMX equivalent of a workmanlike cro-moly DX/LX bike is really a cro-moly main tubes, short top tube kids bike that is not only unappealing but borderline useless to an adult, whereas the top end stuff really is pro freestyle or full-race spec. Of course high end and rare will command big bucks, its a given.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 8:58 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2012 7:34 am
Posts: 1042
Location: Hook, Hants
Agree, great summary by brocklanders above. Seen it all before in the Japanese car import scene, retro video game scene, others...

The aftermath will be similar, with only the hardcore enthusiasts and collectors/traders left, taking it all far too seriously and comparing the size of their... collections :wink: Every forum has its Alpha Males, ramming their opinions and interests down the throats of others :roll:

All forms of 80s/90s retro are peaking with people in their teens/20s during that era now in their 30s/40s with disposable income. Also, the majority of the kit is hitting eBay as Baby Boomers clear out their garages.

The record for activity on Retrobike was a year ago (Most users ever online was 999 on Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:03 pm) and I've pondered if this year would be higher or lower. My gut feeling is last year was the peak but we're still waiting for spring to start this year!


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