Wild Guesses of value
for Selected Vintage LightweightsAtala
[This document, by Michael Kone, originally appeared in the Vintage Racing Bicycle Newsletter issues #14 & 15, in 1997. Sheldon Brown did some editing, converted to HTML, and made a number of additions, which appear in brown text.
Note that specific prices will have changed since 1997, but much of the other information remains useful.]
Note, this article was originally written in 1997, and the pricing info has not been updated, so don't take the price info as being up to date.
If there is one notable feature to the vintage lightweight racing bicycle market it is the variability of prices. Often, that is the result of a lack of market information. If somebody were to call a few people who deal in vintage lightweights, or perhaps ask a VRBN subscriber, then they would have a reasonable amount of market knowledge. Instead, many buyers and sellers enter the market only once - i.e., to sell an older bike they have had for years and are now getting around to selling. In such a circumstance, the price it is advertised at may be far below current market levels. Sometimes, though, they make the opposite mistake. If an older bike is well abused but the seller thinks it is a much better bike than it really is, then the price may be way too high. Such a mistake is common with production bikes that were originally expensive but in reality were rather mediocre
Prices also vary considerably even when buyers and sellers are well versed in the field. That is because the market is so thin. With relatively few buyers and sellers, a market transaction depends upon the perfect alignment of a perhaps reluctant seller and a cautious buyer. This is more pronounced when the item is more scarce.
In the vintage lightweight market, there are many individuals willing and able to pay perhaps $350 - $750 for a bike. When the dollars increase beyond that, the field of buyers decreases. Interestingly, though, at a certain point - perhaps in the $1,500 and above market price becomes less of an issue. That is because in the mega-buck price zone the market is driven by individuals with relatively large incomes. Among those who are quite wealthy, bicycle collecting is relatively inexpensive compared to collecting automobiles or expensive artwork.
To the wealthy buyer, it is not a question of is it $2,000 or $3,000, but often is it the right color and size! As a consequence, it may be possible to sell a brown bike to a collector seeking that specific color for $3,000 while a comparable blue example will be of no interest. It may be that the blue bike will only sell to a person who can pay $1,500 for it out of financial necessity. In the lower price ranges, since so many more can afford to consider the item, price variability will be much less. As a rule, the more interested buyers and sellers, the more stable prices will be if everyone has equal information.
Another important point to remember is that there are two ways to look at a bike. The first is to look at it in its entirety and consider its overall appeal. The second way is to look at it as the sum of its parts. Imagine a 1969 Bottechia with Universal brakes and a smattering of Campy. In good condition it may be worth $300 - $400 dollars. Now suppose that on that bike is an early 60's Brooks B17 Swallow saddle in virtually N.O.S. condition. Such a saddle alone is worth at least $300. That almost doubles the value of the bike! Similarly, a mid 60's production bike with little following might be hard to sell as a bike for more than $400. If it has a Campy group in near new condition, original tires, original old label Mavic rims and its original silk tires, the parts group alone might be worth $1,000!
The above examples illustrate the need to look at the value of a bicycle as the greater of either it's "whole" value, or as a sum of its parts. Those who really care about preservation, though, might argue that is not right to take a complete but nice bike and part it out - and I agree. At Bicycle Classics we have sold many bikes below their part-out value because we like to preserve the gems. That is our choice. That is why we often screen buyers to insure that they will not capitalize on our sentimentality by parting out a complete bike we sell. Conversely, we do part out some bikes that others would spend years trying to restore to perfection. This diversity in the market is what makes this hobby so much fun!
Because people can always lower their price, it is apparent that many people often advertise a bike at a high level to "hunt" for a motivated buyer. This tends to distort price levels because others see such high prices and think that they accurately reflect the market. Also, if one well-heeled buyer purchases the bike of their dreams for a high price that reflects the perfect match between buyer and seller, then others may think that they can sell theirs for a similar price. This may not be the case at all! Both price hunting and past records of "high price sales" may yield false information in the marketplace as to what items are really selling for.
With all the chaos, we have made a few biased judgments of what we think some selected bicycles are worth. Don't place too much weight in these "guesses" and please don't plan to send your kids to college based on mortgaging your bicycle collection when the time comes. Your banker will probably laugh to death should you even try to collateralize your bikes. Just remember, however, this tidbit. As your banker laughs, think how much the value of that old Cinelli and your stashed N.R. group has increased in the last 3 years. Then look at the interest rate on savings accounts that the bank pays. Yep - that's right - you can laugh. But not as hard as the person who had all their money in a Standard and Poor's indexed Mutual Fund. Hindsight is always 20/20 as they say. We hope you enjoy this price guide. Happy hunting and happy collecting!
The following prices, unless otherwise specified, are for bicycles in very clean original condition. Figure perhaps a bicycle with about 4,000 miles in well cared for condition. In general, for older bikes, more liberties with respect to condition can be expected for the given price. This is only a guide. Your experience may vary. Heck, in some cases our information may be really wrong. If you find errors, let us know and we will publish your comments.
Quality generally ranges from reasonable to downright scary. Importantly, these were among the few bikes to enter the U.S. before the early 70's bike boom that were of any quality. look for examples with nice chrome.
Atala had some nice track bikes - all chrome with nice painted panels which had an attractive translucent quality. Because these bikes were both mid-level and very common, their value is based mostly on their parts. N.R. bikes except Universal brakes valued about $550. With N.R. brakes about $600.
Atala track bikes, as described above, are attractive. That doesn't make them particularly valuable. Nice examples about $550.
As a small word of caution, don't be terribly excited buy seemingly ornate lugs with cut outs on some Atala models. Such frames are very common and not terribly unique or desirable. In Italy, they are everywhere - even on the typical commuter bike.
[Atala had the only bicycle in the $150 price range in the early 1970s, with Fiamme rims and Campagnolo Nuovo Tipo hubs. No, it wasn't anything fancy, but it would stop in the wet! -- John Allen]
Bikeology sold a lot of these! Many others sold them as well. We just came upon one from the pre-war era with Reynolds tubing and neat derailers that is quite nice.
In the early 70's they had a few different models - some pretty crude, some rather pleasant. The fancy models had an interesting smoke paint finish that was a Swiss version of a really nice fade - decades before they became the rage.
While some models are nice, there is not a lot of demand for them so value is again parts based. For very clean smoke examples value may be a bit higher. For regular N.R. examples figure $600. If an attractive smoke finish bike perhaps $750.
An early attempt at aluminum
. Reliability should be considered. The bike still lives on today in its cyclocross version as either Alan or Guerciotti
aluminum. The Alan frames were very attractive and very light. They featured some interesting engraving on the lugs. Unlike today's modern aluminum, these have a soft ride. Many enjoy riding these, especially lightweight or particularly smooth riders. It was common to deck out an Alan with special lightweight trick components. For a nice N.R.
Alan road model figure perhaps $650. S.R.
is probably more appropriate, perhaps worth
$750. With some correct early lightweight goodies perhaps maybe more.
The name "ALAN" is actually an acronym for the Italian equivalent of "ALuminum ANodized."
An attempt by a large diversified European company to create a prestige marque in the bicycle world. They did a pretty darn good job of it too! There were some glitches, such as a full size range of bikes all sporting the same length top tube. That, apparently, was eventually taken care of.
The top end bike was the Ultima. A dark purple or lavender color. Early models had full Campy Titanium Super Record including Ti pedals and bottom bracket. Use of Fiamme Ergal rims and Unicanitor saddles made these bikes stand- outs in the world of production bike mayhem. Such early examples with the goodies in place are worth about $1,100. Since the early S.R. is what makes these so special, later models are worth much less, perhaps $ 800.
The next model down was the Superleicht - These were typically a cream color. Red examples were framesets sold separately . These N.R. bikes which were slightly less finished than the Ultima are worth about $650. There were many other Austro-Daimler models - many featured Reynolds tubing and assorted European components. These non-Campy models are much less valuable, perhaps only a few hundred dollars to the right buyer. They often make great riders and are wonderful for the economy enthusiast.
When reading about the Austro-Daimler bikes, I thought you might be interested in some additional information.
Back in the late 1970's, I sold my interest in my moped shop and went to work for Steyr-Daimler-Puch of America. At that time, they were only importing mopeds from their factory in Graz, Austria.
As the moped market tapered off, they brought in their Puch bicycles. They were low to medium models, many with European components and some with Asian components. Sales were very slow, due to heavy competition in these low to medium markets.
Puch also made top of the line bikes, but were unsure if they would sell, due to the poor showing of their other bikes. They decided to dust off one of their old names - Austro-Daimler - and introduce their best bikes in America under that name.
The top frameset was known as the "Team" frameset. It was imported in red paint, gold decaling, and with Campy's very best headset. The "Team" frame was Reynolds 531, investment cast lugs and silver soldered. The same frame was painted a dark purple, equipped with full Campy SR, and sold as the Ultima. And the same frame was painted cream color (known as champagne), equipped with Campy's NR, and sold as the Superleicht. My memory may be gone, but I believe the frameset (with the Campy bearings) was 4.1 pounds
To get the word out, Steyr-Daimler-Puch of America created two bicycle teams. The men's team rode the A-D Ultima, while the women's team had their Ultimas repainted in Puch green, with Puch decaling (in Europe, all factory riders rode the Team bike in Puch green, with Puch decaling. The name Austro-Daimler was only used in the American market). The teams won a number of races, with the highlight being Connie Carpenter winning the women's road race gold medal at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.
The company also introduced the Vent Noir. A step below the Team frameset, it had a very unique feature. The frame went through a "secret process" which made it impervious to scratches. It was not painted. From what we could tell, it was hard-chromed (the type of chrome you use on engine crankshaft journals, not the kind for hubcaps), and then some sort of anodizing on top. You could take a knife or a file, and you couldn't scratch it. The factory never did tell us what they did. But it worked!
I left Steyr-Daimler-Puch of America in 1980, as the moped market was on the decline. I left the industry at that time.
Although unconfirmed, it is my understanding that the bicycle and moped division of Steyr-Daimler-Puch went out of business in 1987. The bicycle inventory, and the name Puch bicycles, was purchased by Bianchi of Italy. Steyr-Daimler retained the Austro-Daimler name, although it is not active at this time (and probably never will be again).
I believe the Steyr-Daimler organization still makes Steyr (Mannlicher) rifles, bearings, and automotive parts, particularly parts for 4-wheel drive components for Mercedes Benz, Porsche, Volkswagen and BMW.
Thanks for letting me run on. It was fun to think about some of the nice times in my past.
... Pat O'Reilly
The lesser known of the Bates' E.G Bates was still in business as late as 2002. I own a lovely example, and have a Web page about it.
One of the major British builders. A wild reverse-rake ["Diadrant"]
fork and oversize (in the middle) Reynolds "Cantiflex" tubing. These are in a class with the British greats such as Hetchins, Ephgraves, and the Flying Gates. value
is hard to pinpoint - they seem to have resale difficulties in this country simply because they are unknown.
Ron Cooper is the builder of a current remake of the Bates. The new ones have very ornate hand cut lugs. The old ones, though, are very special. Since the original company ceased production in the mid 60's, there shouldn't - I believe, be any true N.R. examples out there. values will depend on what goodies a particular example has. Figure for a nice example a price around $1,000 should be very reasonable.
One could write a book about Bianchi. This company defines the notion of racing heritage. There are lots of Bianchi models, many are dazzling, many are dogs. Remember that Bianchi makes bicycles for both racers and those cycling for basic transportation. Early top-end Bianchi bikes using the satanic but nonetheless fabled Campy Cambio Corsa shifter (move the lever, slide the wheel, shift, etc) system should be worth
close to $3000. Somewhat later top-end models such as the one recently shown in Bicycling Magazine similar to the bike Coppi rode are also worth
close to $3000. Details are everything, so a bike lacking the right bits and not original might only be worth
a small fraction of this amount. The bike with original paint, correct saddle and rims, and in a saleable size will fetch the top dollars. Similar bikes without the right stuff might be hard to sell for $1000. Top-end Bianchi models from the early 60's through early 70's should be worth
close to $2000.
With Bianchi bikes, I sense that originality is more important than with other bikes - that might only be a guess. Size is also important. Early Bianchi bikes are so well known that foreign buyers should have interest in them. That means that smaller sizes could tend to be worth more. This is more true when dealing with very early examples. Late 70's Specialissima models no longer featured the integral headset. Such bikes seem less distinctive - Super Record models by then perhaps worth $1,200. Early 80's models seemed to become more generic. Figure $850 for Super Record and $700 for N.R.. There was a Competizione model in the mid 60' `s that featured 27" wheels and was a tourer. Such models, which also have the integral headset, are worth about $600. Note that there were many lesser models of Bianchi bikes that look the part but are really pretenders. The notable feature is they have seamed tubing which implies a less then noble purpose. Such bikes are fun to play with but are only worth a few hundred at most. Bianchi produced a Centenario bike in the early 80's using early C-Record components. They even had (at least some did) large flange C-Record hubs. These bikes should become collectors pieces soon if not already. To pay $1,500 -$2000 for one would probably be reasonable.
In 1987 an Argentin 'commemorative' bike was available on a limited basis.
It was the top of the line Bianchi for 1987-88. It is also sometimes called a Specialissima X-4 and was equipped with early Campy C-record and Campy Cobalto brakes. Columbus SLX tubing. Lots of custom engraving included the head tube emblem, fork crown, seat stays, lugs had a "B" cutout; the rear brake-bridge was engraved with an "X-4". Black chromed (or painted) head tube, fork, rear stays - Celeste everywhere else. They were not found in any US Bianchi Catalogues, and they retailed at about $2075. Since few people know of these frames, bargains can be had!
An Italian company that moved to Mexico. Some of the Italian examples are exquisite. Such an N.R.
bike should be worth
perhaps $800. To pay a thousand or a bit more for a truly outstanding example with original paint would be fairly rational. Later Mexican production yielded nice but not terribly special bikes. For N.R.
examples figure $600.
[In the late '80s, Benotto handlebar tape was the thing to have on a racing bike. It was a thin translucent plastic tape, and came with the world's worst handlebar plugs.]
Pretty much the same quality level and pricing issues as Atala
. One exception is some pretty interesting early-to-mid 80's Super Record
bikes that were based on
European team bikes. These are pretty neat. Figure such an S.R. equipped model at about $800. There are many relatively early Bottechia bikes in the U.S. One model in particular has Universal brakes, Nervar crank, and Record derailers Such a bike is worth perhaps $375.
One of the giants of the British cycling industry. Don't have visions of a small one-man-shop. Claud Butler was a large concern. In addition to frame production, there was a large catalog business as well. Bikes of all varieties were produced. There were both lugged and fillet brazed, as well as tandems and track
bikes. Many were relatively mass-produced while others may be quite exceptional.
The company was probably most prolific before the Campy N.R. period. For top-end interesting bike from the 40's through the 60's, probably worth about $750. value will depend most on the parts. Note that the Claud Butler name seems to have re-emerged in the late 80's. They are not in the same spirit as the old.
Here's Norman Kilgariff's Claud Butler page
Not related to Claude
at all. Bikes from this Butler were common during the N.R.
period. Very nicely done, they were probably above average. Estimated value
$850. Our understanding is that Geoffrey Butler as a company still exists.
Serial number code: first two digits are the size, next 6 are date of manufacture, remainder are unit number. For instance: SN#54021787121 indicates a 54 cm frame, built on February 17, 1987, #121.
An Italian name relatively new to the U.S. Some examples are extraordinarily nice. There is a fair number of S.R.
examples floating around. Figure those are worth
about $1,100. Oilier S.R.
examples probably about $ 850. Not all Casati bikes are of the same quality apparently. Rumor has it that the examples coming in from the big mail-order company in Brooklyn New York are actually the best examples!
A house brand of Marcel Celborn, these are probably either Colnagos or built by a builder that builds some of the Colnago models. The examples we have seen are very tidy - certainly at least as good as a typical Colnago
. For a guideline condition
road bike figure about$700.
A few of these were OK, but nothing terribly special. Such bikes in guideline condition
about $ 600.
Felice Gimondi won the 1965 Tour de France on a Chiorda.
In the mid 70's the Chiorda name was put on some spectacularly junky bikes, with Valentino derailers, Balilla brakes, steel rims and cottered cranks.
I'm embarrassed to admit that I actually sold some of these horrible bikes in the mid '70s.
The bad ones can be identified by the use of a "Pletscher Plate" as a seatstay bridge, instead of a proper tubular bridge.
Less obvious is the faux-lugged head tube construction. The head tube and both head "lugs" are actually a single stamping. These bikes only came in one frame size, 22". They were an attempt by Chiorda, previously a highly regarded name, to cash in on the U.S. Bike Boom of the mid '70s, when you could sell anything as long as it was a "ten-speed."
Among the most sought-after of all vintage lightweights. A few heretics claim they are over rated. I say take a closer look and get a clue - or buy a Cannondale. Many Cinelli frames show exquisite mitering, smooth and even brazing, and lots of lug thinning. This is even true for many examples from the early 50's! Sure they have deep ugly file marks too - but that is only the surface! Add to the equation that many ride pretty close to perfection - at least as some would define it. Cinelli frames are also a visual feast with Italian style that just won't quit. In Japan, appreciation for Cinelli products is near cult-like. Over the past several years domestic prices have soared for prime examples. A Cinelli is an icon of cycling tradition. Sure, a few Cinelli frames have some lapses here and there - but don't miss the point. Cinelli frames defined the paradigm of a quality racing bike for decades.
Late 40's to mid 50's models with Cinelli crest decal on fork blades are very rare! Road models under 58cm are perhaps worth about $4000. Track bikes, lower end tourers, or large bikes are worth perhaps $2,500. Mid 50's to late 60's top road models under 58cm should be worth $2,500.
Models with rare parts, such as early Record cranks with the raised lip around the pedal threads should be worth perhaps $3,500. Size will matter.
N.R. equipped bikes from 1968-1997 are prone to wide value fluctuations. For a brief period, such bikes in smaller sizes were very valuable in Japan. Prices have since fallen quite a bit due to Dollar/Yen changes and general economic conditions. Domestic prices now similar to those currently being paid by Japanese buyers. Figure bikes in guideline condition sized from 53cm to 59cm are worth about $2,400. Larger bikes seem to be worth somewhat less, while very large bikes (above 62cm) are probably worth only about $1,200. Smaller sizes in silver may be worth a bit more to buyers in Japan. It seems that Japanese buyers love Cinelli bikes in Silver!
Cinelli track bikes are worth about $1,500. Chrome models are worth perhaps a bit more as is always the case.
Model B Cinelli bikes are very nice but generally not worth more than $1,200. 4
Around 1978 Cinelli was sold to the Columbo family. There are bikes with either the new or old logo's from this period. Until about 1980, while the graphics could go either way, the brake bridges and bottom bracket shells had new Cinelli logs making these bikes recognizable. Headbadge examples are worth more, perhaps $1,600, although modern logo bikes from the same period are just as good. From around 1980 until perhaps 1981 or 1982, Cinelli bikes with the new logo using a 26.2 seatpost and the lugs with 3 holes in each were very nice. Many do not consider these to be "real" Cinelli bikes, but they are at least as good as many of the earlier ones. Apparently either some very good builders from the previous period continued on, or work was contracted to outside builders of considerable talent. These bikes from this period deserve to be classics in their own right. Their geometry is upright, yet the ride is comfortable. These are bikes designed for the fast short distance riding so common in the United States. They, nonetheless, will handle mountain descents with ease as well! These bikes are worth perhaps $1,500 and are worth every penny and then some.
Sometime around 1983 it all ended. The 26.2 sleeved seat lug was replaced wit a different cast model that used a 27.2 post. The familiar 3 hole lugs were gone as well. Quality during the following years took a pretty heavy hit as well. Many examples didn't even have chrome lugs. These examples in S.R. are worth about $800. By the late 80's quality improved and chrome lugs returned. It just, however, isn't the same.
A bike with lots of quality variations. Not sure of all the details, but apparently Ciöcc is a name conjured up by a respected builder - his bikes were quite nice but the name got placed on a bunch of other bikes that were not of the same caliber. The San Cristobal was the most famous model and features funky chromed narrow lugs and fun cut-outs. There were real ones, then real copies, and today's modern day copy. Figure that for something late 70's in the San Cristobal a value of perhaps $1,200. For less exciting examples figure maybe $ 900 or $950. These are all generally great riders of classic Italian design.
There are probably as many variations of these as Imelda Marcos has shoes. I remember going into Branford Bike in the late 70's or early 80's and seeing the bikes with the different types of Crimped (pre- Gilco) tubing. They all looked different. Maybe they were the same, but boy was I confused!
Not sure when Colnago started, but in 1970 or 1971 Colnago had a different decal set. The headtube, seat ube, and downtube panels had a giant white square with the famous clover.[club?] Early models also have a fork crown with two holes on both outer sides of the crown. The lugs each had the clover cut-out that is either hand done or produced by the worlds most uncoordinated machine. These bikes are pre-bike boom models and are very uncommon. Prices in the low $ 2,000 should be considered reasonable. Size does matter here, so models under 52 cm and over 59cm will be potentially worth a good bit less.
By 1972 or 1973 the decals became more modern. Gone was the Comic-book graphics, although the style was quite similar. A Clover with "Colnago" written below on both the head tube and seat tube became the norm. The downtube, I believe, just said "Colnago". There was a special Eddy Merckx version during this period with fun pantographing and an awesome drilled chainring. For details see the current book on the Tour which contains a photo of Merckx next to a bike which is clearly a Colnago. The regular version of the bike should be worth close to $1,800, while the Merckx model maybe $2,200.
By the early 70's the bike boom was under way and Colnago pumped out bikes as though the future of humankind was at stake. These mid 70's bikes should be worth about $1,000. Note that interest in these bikes is deep. It is well known that Colnago frames were built like - well, let's not go there. More importantly, Colnago frames almost always ride like a dream. That is more important. For that reason it is easy to sell an older Colnago.
By the late 70's Colnago had even more frame varieties. We never could figure out the difference between a Mexico and a Super. In fact, everyone who tried to explain it to us has been contradicted by other "experts". Mexico models, I believe, should have different chainstays. Then again, the gold plated Mexico I once saw seemed absolutely identical to a Super. I hope someone can help out with this! Regardless, late 70's Colnagos should be worth about $900 or so, same for early 80's examples. There were some nice looking examples in the early 80's with crimped top and downtubes. They ride wonderfully, although some had paint that peels if you look at it.
There were some late 70's and early 80's examples that are built with the soul of an Italian Huffy. These sad examples are probably worth $ 675. The notable characteristic of these is a hideous seatstay attachment.
In the early 80's the Master model was evolving. The 1983 World Championship bike ridden by Saronni was gorgeous. With Candy Red (Wine Color), white panels and black lettering, these bikes are future collector gems. They often have crimping on the top and downtube, An example of this in guideline condition should be worth perhaps $ 1,500. A very sought after example is the Arabesque. Very ornate lugs, sometimes chrome, these are for many the most sought after Colnago. Produced until quite recently, a guideline condition bike with S.R./N.R. part mix should be worth about $2,000. To pay a bit more is not unreasonable.
VRBN readers know about the master of masters. Lead builder for Faliero Masi
, left Masi in the mid 70's to build under his own name. His frames are the juxtaposition of the Italian frame building paradigm and the American penchant for superb attention to detail. The low to mid $3,000 range seems to be the new price level for these. Be careful of forgeries. They do exist. If you own a real Confente don't sell it. If you do, sell it to me. I sold one this year and I regret it. Don't make the same mistake. Most of us will never own a rare Ferarri or an artwork by De Vinci. A Confente is the equivalent in the bicycle world. There are only 135 out there, and they are a remarkable bargain. And no, a Masi Gran Criterium from the early 70's with MC in the bottom bracket is not the same thing. Sorry.
Big British builder. Many are quite nice although there are probably different levels. There were some very ornate examples. Figure $ 700 for typical ones and perhaps $1,300 for the most ornate.
We like his bikes. Extraordinarily crisp workmanship. Well known in Britain although his bikes have made an appearance again in the U.S. Not sure if he is still building. A guideline condition
bike from the 70's should be worth
A Swedish bike not to be confused with the American marque of the same name from the turn of the century. The classic model is Orange with funky checkerboard graphics. Workmanship, if you could call it that, was lousy, and the bikes had memorable toe-clip overlap. We don't mind some overlap, but this was more like foot-in-the-spokes overlap. Made for an interesting ride. They were actually a fairly competent race bike, and I knew some people who devastated a number of fields on these orange beasts. Most surviving examples were probably repainted and then met untimely deaths from commuter hell accidents, so examples with nice original paint are rare. Even rarer are those who would pay serious money for one. Figure $675 for one in guideline condition
The senior Cuevas, Franciscas, was very well known. Quality on his bikes was known to vary, some are supposedly extraordinary, while I've examples with huge brazing gaps. The gentleman has since passed away, and his son continues the family tradition in New York. For 70's examples figure perhaps $ 900
Production bikes ranging from just OK to quite interesting. There is an interesting drawing of a Dawes in the Data Book [a book compiling examples of bicycling inventions, many of which are generally thought to be new but are actually very old]
from the 50's. The majority of Daweses in the 70's did not have full Campy N.R.
- the Galaxy was one such model. Very common and impressive with its 531
tubes but not spectacular otherwise. Figure for such a bike $ 300 or so. For top-end full N.R.
bikes maybe $575. There were some interesting bright pink team issue frames
from the 70's that were pretty nifty. Such bikes full N.R.
should probably be worth
$750 ish. Need a buyer who can deal with pink. Early 50's bikes such as the one in the Data Book with fun parts are probably worth
in the thousand range - maybe. On old bikes the parts details are everything!
One of the major vintage lightweight race bikes. Many consider the top three to be Masi
, and DeRosa. Ugo DeRosa represents the next generation of master builders. His bikes from the late 60's and early 70's are very rare. Bikes from the late 50's to early 60's are so rare that a price estimate isn't even possible. Bikes from around 1970 feature prominent cut-outs in all the lugs, unlike the modern examples with few cutouts. Early models were true hand-worked masterpieces, while the present day bikes have lost much of that flavor. All DeRosa bikes, new or old, do ride wonderfully. The geometry works, and the bikes are very well balanced. By late 70's or early 80's some unexpected flaws became somewhat more regular - gaps in brazing, for instance, are more common tan one would anticipate. It really doesn't matter - the bikes still ride great and look pretty awesome too!
For early examples (cut-out lug examples) in prime sizes (less than 59 cm) figure a value around $2,500. These bikes also hold considerable in the Japanese market too! Japanese buyers favor Cinelli and DeRosa bikes when it comes to Italian race iron. Mid 70's through mid 80's bikes without all the neat cut-outs are worth perhaps $1,200. In general, the earlier the better.
There is an Anniversary DeRosa model from around 1987 that features pantographed C-Record components - very nice! Figure such a piece should be worth around $1,700. Because bikes of this era are not yet hot collectibles as N.R./S.R. bikes are, these represent excellent investments. Early C-Record is gorgeous and should take off in price!
One of the major British builders. More rare and by many accounts at least on par with Hetchins. If there are 30 of these in the U.S. I would be surprised. I have no idea on value
. Since it is relatively unknown in this country any example is probably a great value
when found. value
would also depend on how ornate the workmanship is. Figure a price for a bike of at least one to two thousand dollars would certainly be fair. Readers with info on Ephgraves are encouraged to share it with the VRBN.
Not a terribly great frame but there is one thing going for these - Fausto Coppi rode some Fiorelli bikes. Look in the World of Daniel Rebour and take note of the Coppi bike with the fancy round fork crown. [similar to the "dimpled" fork used on Raleigh three-speeds.]
Fiorelli built the Coppi frames, although who knows who really built Coppi's actual bike. Aside from the funky factor, these frames are not terribly sought after. Figure price to be based mostly on parts value. In the early to mid 80's Fiorelli bikes in the U.S had nifty cut-outs, fun bright paint, and descent workmanship. For these bikes in full N.R. figure perhaps $600.
[Fiorelli was an important builder of tandems in the '60s.]
In the late 60's Frejus and Legnano
bikes were very popular. They had a "Cinelliesque" seatstay attachment, fun paint with great contrasting panels, and lots of Italian character. Actually, Frejus bikes from the 50's are somewhat common in this country. The famous shop in New York run by the recently deceased Thomas Avenia was the focal point for both Frejus and Legnano bikes in this country.
Most Frejus bikes feature rather mediocre workmanship, but there are moments of precision. It doesn't matter. These were the bikes that scores or U.S racers rode during the dark days of U.S bicycle racing when a small but highly dedicated group of enthusiasts upheld the cycling faith. Besides, a clean or restored Frejus IS a beautiful bike. These bikes are collectible for all these reasons and more.
The value of an older Frejus will depend on its specific parts. An early 60's model with "raised pedal lip cranks", an original leather saddle, and other goodies, could be worth close to $2000. Earlier bikes with more interesting but not as rare parts perhaps $1000 - $1200. Bikes from the 60's with Record equipment are probably worth around $1400. Late 60's models with oilers in both the headtube and bottom bracket are worth about $1300. Early 70's models with perhaps one oiler and full N.R. are worth perhaps $ 1,200.
In the early 70's, Frejus became more intertwined with Legnano (one bought the other) and certain changes were made. A head decal replaced the headbadge, and eventually the classic seat cluster. was discontinued. As the bikes become more generic, their value falls. The most bland models should be worth about $ 750.
Not a whole lot collectible here. The Newest and Finest models were fun and many people enjoyed them. Perhaps $300 for these models in great condition. Fuji actually did an anniversary model with full Super Record
equipment There is little demand for these, although they are quite nice. Figure $750 for a really nice example.
[The early '70s S-10-S was the first Japanese bike successfully designed for the U.S. market. In the late '70s, the S-10-S was the first mass-produced bike with a 6-speed freewheel See also my Article on Japanese Bicycles.]
Michael Kone is the former owner of of Bicycle Classics, Inc. He was also the editor of the late, lamented Vintage Racing Bicycle Newsletter, where this article originally appeared.
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Last Updated: by Harriet Fell