Selling my bike - how and how much?
June 8, 2015 7:03 AM   Subscribe

I'm entering the era of modern bicycles and want to sell my "vintage" road bike. I'm unsure how to price it, and where to try selling it.

The bike is a 1995 aluminum frame/carbon fork racing bike made by a well-known American company, with a good mid-level Japanese component set. It originally cost $1500 about 20 years ago. I hung it up 15 years ago, then started riding again last year, only to realize my mid-40's body can't ride a bike I bought in my mid-20's.

Since putting it back in service, I've replaced the cassette and chain, replaced a broken shifter, had all new cables put on, put a new set of tires on it, replaced the stem for a shorter one, and had it professionally tuned. It's a little worn, with maybe 2000 miles on it, but in otherwise good shape.

I'm not sure the best place to try selling it -- eBay? Craigslist? somewhere else? -- what's the best place, or what other options are there? And how much should I ask for it? I realize the original price, or the money I've since put into, it won't necessarily reflect the selling price. I've researched what's currently on Craigslist and eBay, but there isn't a whole lot to compare it to. I'd prefer to sell it locally, but wouldn't have too much of an issue shipping it if I needed to. However, I've never sold anything on eBay or Craigslist before.
posted by slogger to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (7 answers total)
Best answer: craigslist is where I'd try to sell it - and it's where I and many other people tend to look for stuff. There are some websites specifically for reselling bike stuff, such as reqwip

For valuing bikes I usualy start someplace like bicycle blue book. I wouldn't say it's an iron clad guarantee it'll price your bike right, but I think it should be close.

The older a bike is, the harder it is to get an accurate price/worth for it, unless it's highly sought after or well known. For newish bikes I often troll through completed listings on ebay to see what stuff actually goes for. But you might not find anything really that close to your bike.

I think any road bike in good condition that has recently had a tuneup/parts replacement like yours ought to be worth at least a few hundred bucks.
posted by RustyBrooks at 7:29 AM on June 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Okay, so, here's a bunch of bad news:

Both aluminum and carbon are subject to fatigue, so a lot of people are going to be wary of a bike that's that old and isn't steel or titanium. And technology has come a long way in the last twenty years, so there also aren't going to be a lot of people who want to buy your bike for serious training/racing. Your bike (I'm guessing it's a Cannondale or Trek or Specialized or similar, with something like Shimano 105 or Ultegra) is old, but not really old enough to be vintage, and, most likely, not really rare enough, or nice enough, to be of interest to serious collectors. When you count all those people off the list, you don't have a lot of potential market left.

tl;dr: this bike probably isn't worth as much as you think it is.

Besides the options you mention (of those two, I'd probably go eBay (this is only true if you have an extensive high-feedback history as a buyer)--clean the bike thoroughly, take a bunch of great photos, then take it to a shop and ask them to box it), the other option is to find a local shop that does consignment and ask them to sell it. If you go that route, ask them for advice about pricing.

As others have said, you can probably get a few hundred bucks.
posted by box at 7:36 AM on June 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

Monitor your local craigslist for a while for a while to see prices and the time similar postings remain. Get nice photos (maybe with a bowl of fruit :-) and list in detail the details of all the components. Add a "bio" of the original builder if possible. Then price at the high end and have patience.
posted by sammyo at 7:39 AM on June 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

Depending on the company, groupset, and condition, I'd say about $300. Honestly, the most important thing here is the condition. If it has good tires, fresh cables and brake pads, and has been well-cleaned and lubricated, that's the most important thing. You've put some good work into it, it sounds like.

The right buyer might nip at $400 or even a bit more - but $300 is where I'd expect it to linger.

I'd choose craigslist over ebay for a bike like this.

Many cities also have active facebook groups for buying and selling bikes and parts. Do some searching to give that a shot.
posted by entropone at 8:26 AM on June 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks for the answers. $300 - $400 is what I'm hoping for, so this is in line with my expectations. And yes, Box, it is a Cannondale with Shimano 105 components.

I live in a smaller city where Craigslist doesn't seem quite as active. I'll put it out there and see if I get any nibbles.
posted by slogger at 10:30 AM on June 8, 2015

90s CAAD frames are stiff and tight by today's standards, but unless the frame has been damaged it's still very rideable. 90s 105, however, isn't much of an asset unfortunately*. See if you can get 300 for it but be prepared to accept a bit less, especially if your wheelset is tubular and/or the frame only clears a 23mm tire like many bikes of that era.

*compared to 90s Dura-Ace, or today's 105/Ultegra— there was a lot of trickling-down that happened in the last ten years to the 105 level.
posted by a halcyon day at 12:49 PM on June 8, 2015

People really like 90s Cannondales. They don't go for all that much(unless it's the coveted super cool track model or something else unusual), but people want them and it will sell quickly. Especially if it's a cool color, which was basically every color they made back then.(the blue and the white and red are especially awesome)

$300-400 is probably about right, i would just post it for $400 OBO.

I also think craigslist is the place to go. Shipping bikes is really irritating and expensive and entirely not worth it for a cheap-ish bike(i only did it once, and only because i was getting >$1000... and it cost like $130).
posted by emptythought at 1:33 PM on June 8, 2015

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