Friday, December 7, 2007

The Pain of Selling A Beloved Bike

Like anyone with an addiction, letting your guard down for a bit and not being steadfast in your resolve leads to a relapse.

I've got too many bikes again. I need to sell some stuff off.

I hate selling bikes. I hate selling bikes because I always want more than the market says they're worth. Most bikes simply do not deprecate in the seller's favor. And I get a silly emotional attachment to my bikes too. So that doesn't help.

Take the turd for example. I'm selling the turd. With the new snow bike, the turd lost its last opportunity to shine. I love this bike and I love riding it, but it's redundant.

Anyway, here's the list of stuff that is on the bike and the retail cost I paid for it:

  • Frameset: Garage sale score - $5

  • Albatross bars/dirt drop stem/cork grips: Riv - $89

  • Nitto front rack: Riv - $135

  • giant basket: free

  • Rear wheel: peter white built mavic 520, surley flip flop hub, 14/15 spokes: $210

  • Front wheel: cr-18 rim, shimano DH-3N70 hub, 14 gauge spokes: $135

  • Surly cog (20t, 3/32): $20

  • Tires: Maxxis Holy Rollers - huge crazy tires. Craigslist: $20

  • Little brass bell: Riv - $8+

  • Front light: DLumotec Oval N Plus - $80

  • Rear light: DT Top light: $70

  • Death pedals. I can't remember the manufacturer, but these have spikes on them and rip up everything they touch: your shins, your calves, the soles of your shoes. $40

  • Saddle, post, cranks, chain, cranks, chainring, rear rack, cages, front U-brake, brake levers, bottom bracket: from parts bin -- say, $40.

Total cost of the turd: $852. You'd never guess that looking at. So, remove the fancy expensive, non-essential stuff: the front rack ($135), the lights ($150) and the front wheel ($135); that takes off $420, for a total of $432.

So for selling, put another front wheel on of decent quality (say, deore hub with Mavic rim, 14/15 spokes -- an $80 wheel), and the cost of the bike goes back up to $512. That's retail cost of new stuff.

Now the hard part: how do you figure wear/tear/depreciation? In terms of durability, the bike is just getting warmed up. The rear wheel has lived the majority of it's life without a brake on it. It was built by PJW, and it's a bombproof wheel. The frame, bars, all else is functionally as good as new. It's got scratches etc, but it's ready to roll for a long long time. I don't think folks would pay half of $512. I would try to sell it for $350. But will probably have to let it go for $300. That kills me.

That's why I'm much happier with the Loaner for Life scenario. The problem there, is that I'm getting to many loaners out there.

Any takers?


jim g said...

just put some hammered Honjo fenders on it...I'm convinced that ANY bike wearing those will sell for $1k. :)

Ken Paulman said...

Holy crap. How are we going to get the beer to the demolition derby now?

I'd bite, but it looks a little small for me (he who already rides frames that are too small).

Ken Paulman said...

Plus, I still have a scar on the back of my leg from those pedals.

John Speare said...

Ken: with the front-racking and low-trail bikes stuff I've got into this year, we'll be fine hauling beer to the state line. In fact, I'm in the design phase of a cold plate + keg optimized for the trek 520. No more Kokanee for us. Not tht Kokanee is bad or anything.

Anonymous said...

Hi John,
I am a friend of Jon Snyder and have been reading your blog for the past month or so after seeing your column in OutThere. I was hoping to run into you and introduce myself at Jon and Heidi's party last night.

Anyway, I wanted to let you know I am enjoying your blog and that I may have interest in buying the "Turd". What size is the frame?

John Speare said...

Andy: It's a 20" (c-t) frame. If you're interested, send me an email at and we'll go from there.

Anonymous said...

Just for the record.

Kokanee is bad. Really.