Retro MTB hierarchy

timseren

Dirt Disciple
Ok guys,

Help needed :) After years of riding vintage road bikes, got into MTB's and now my head hurts! Like the pricing of these bikes are all over the place and it's hard for a beginner to understand really what's what. I mean, you can get a seriously good MTB bike from like GT or Marin for like 600-800 $ almost in mint condition and then there's like YETI or something like YO Yeddie Dope fancy shmancy that cost 4000 and everybody's like - that's a good price! Can you help understand the pricing and what to look for a beginner? Maybe there is some holy MTB hierarchy or some information somewhere to read, to fully understand what's what? Thanks!
 

velomaniac

MacRetro Rider
Re:

Small producers of small production volumes of very well made high end kit always have more cache new or used. It the difference like Ferrari to Ford I car terms.
 

My_Teenage_Self

Gold Trader
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Good luck with that. It doesn't really make sense.

Mass produced in taiwan = lower value.
Lower numbers produced = higher value
Hand made/boutique company = higher value
iconic model/year = higher value
brand with a crap image = lower value


in your example, (practically) all GT and Marin were built and assembled in Asia (with earlier ones being made in the US and commanding a higher price, but all models were ubiquitous). early Yeti and Fats were propelry hand built, almost all were 'high end' and produced in lower numbers.

IN car terms, a bog standard Mk1 ford escort is worth loads now because of nostalgia, while a Jag E type was rare and exclusive. You can barely give away a superb rootes car of similar age as it has the 'value' of neither the Jag or ford.

something is only worth what someone is willing to pay.

TBH, if you weren't around the 'scene' when these were new, it won't make a lot of sense without doing a lot of reading! the late 80s & early 90s were the developing days of MTB, and some of us (myself included) have spent a lot of money on *certain* bikes that can only really be described as 'Crap'.
 

timseren

Dirt Disciple
My_Teenage_Self":2u3rzs0t said:
Good luck with that. It doesn't really make sense.

Mass produced in taiwan = lower value.
Lower numbers produced = higher value
Hand made/boutique company = higher value
iconic model/year = higher value
brand with a crap image = lower value


in your example, (practically) all GT and Marin were built and assembled in Asia (with earlier ones being made in the US and commanding a higher price, but all models were ubiquitous). early Yeti and Fats were propelry hand built, almost all were 'high end' and produced in lower numbers.

IN car terms, a bog standard Mk1 ford escort is worth loads now because of nostalgia, while a Jag E type was rare and exclusive. You can barely give away a superb rootes car of similar age as it has the 'value' of neither the Jag or ford.

something is only worth what someone is willing to pay.

TBH, if you weren't around the 'scene' when these were new, it won't make a lot of sense without doing a lot of reading! the late 80s & early 90s were the developing days of MTB, and some of us (myself included) have spent a lot of money on *certain* bikes that can only really be described as 'Crap'.

Lol. Cheers mate, that's a good answer!
 

Prodigal Son

Retro Guru
Get a steel specialized stumpjumper from late 80s early 90s: it comes w/ low price, iconic status, high end steel and good all around geometry. Later on look for a made in the usa by cyclists frameset, if you become obssessed w/ vintage.
Whatever you get, buy it w/ a rigid fork or susp fork in working order.
 

Prodigal Son

Retro Guru
My_Teenage_Self":3c4wyouz said:
Good luck with that. It doesn't really make sense.

Mass produced in taiwan = lower value.
Lower numbers produced = higher value
Hand made/boutique company = higher value
iconic model/year = higher value
brand with a crap image = lower value


in your example, (practically) all GT and Marin were built and assembled in Asia (with earlier ones being made in the US and commanding a higher price, but all models were ubiquitous). early Yeti and Fats were propelry hand built, almost all were 'high end' and produced in lower numbers.

IN car terms, a bog standard Mk1 ford escort is worth loads now because of nostalgia, while a Jag E type was rare and exclusive. You can barely give away a superb rootes car of similar age as it has the 'value' of neither the Jag or ford.

something is only worth what someone is willing to pay.

TBH, if you weren't around the 'scene' when these were new, it won't make a lot of sense without doing a lot of reading! the late 80s & early 90s were the developing days of MTB, and some of us (myself included) have spent a lot of money on *certain* bikes that can only really be described as 'Crap'.

I would not describe a Fat Chance built w/ basic shimano LX or even XT as "boutique". Boutique is a luxury, status symbol. I see a Fat Chance as a tool that can do what other tools can´t. It comes w/ handling traits other bikes don´t have.
 

timseren

Dirt Disciple
Prodigal Son":xsugnvv2 said:
Get a steel specialized stumpjumper from late 80s early 90s: it comes w/ low price, iconic status, high end steel and good all around geometry. Later on look for a made in the usa by cyclists frameset, if you become obssessed w/ vintage.
Whatever you get, buy it w/ a rigid fork or susp fork in working order.

Thanks man, will look into it!
 

BlackCat

Retro Guru
Re:

As a generalisation, expect Klein, Yeti and Fat to trade at a chunky premium. However, as always, there are a lot of shades of grey here. Condition is key. Specific models within these brands can either be cripplingly expensive and hard to get hold of (say.. a Yeti C-26), or fairly attainable (say a Fat Buckshaver - at around £350 frame only). As for Klein - a mint early Adroit fuselage in a zingy original paint job (espec one of more exotic ones) will hurt big time to source and buy, whereas an Adroit from Klein post-Trek takeover will get you tarred and feathered around these parts!

There really is a lot to learn - and things only get more complicated when you start talking complete bikes rather than just frames.. is your Yo Eddy running full shimano XT... or is it sporting a ton of exotic US CNC’d parts (Cooks, Ringle, Grafton et al). That could double its value.

My advice.. get an Orange Clockwork. It’s British (though Taiwanese), iconic (espec in orange/white fade), rides well.. and should only cost a couple of hundred quid. For a lot of us, it has been the gateway drug into this hobby.

Be warned though. Once you get hooked, it is a well trodden, expensive, unavoidable path from Clockwork to Klein!
 

rwm1962

Orange 🍊 Fan
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Re: Re:

BlackCat":1f35joor said:
My advice.. get an Orange Clockwork. It’s British (though Taiwanese), iconic (espec in orange/white fade), rides well.. and should only cost a couple of hundred quid. For a lot of us, it has been the gateway drug into this hobby.

Be warned though. Once you get hooked, it is a well trodden, expensive, unavoidable path from Clockwork to Klein!

Nah - I've seen plenty on these pages & not tempted, nice though they are. Orange all the way! ;) I just know if I had a Klein I'd ding it within a week & be gutted.
 

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