Should I Sell My Bikes?
Dear Uncle Dave
My background is aviation, and we have stopped using the term cockpit many years ago, we tried changing it to ‘box office’ but that wasn’t liked either, so now, in the interest of political correctness and equality we call it the ‘flight deck’!
But a tiger moth has more controls and instruments than a bike, why do we call the handlebars and brake levers a ‘cockpit’?
I am not a pilot
Nobody likes it when a group steals something and then claims that it only belongs to them (e.g. Net Neutrality, North American Indigenous populations).
It’s amazing that this phrase made it as far as it did. We should probably stop using it with bikes.
Dear Uncle Dave,
I recently purchased a new bike, but I’m struggling to come to terms with selling my old bike. I don’t have the means / space to obey N+1, but the thought of losing my old bike, a beautiful Titus handmade in USA, causes some sort of moisture to form at my eyeballs. Help me deal!
I hear you. I have a tremendously hard time parting with my old bikes. Usually, I do one of two things:
- Strip the parts and throw the frames in storage. There are some remarkable things back there now.
- Sell them to friends or relatives. That way you still get to see them occasionally. The bikes. Not the friends or relatives.
It sounds like this bike you speak of is a candidate for storage. Go to your local shop, get a bike box, crate it up and forget about it for a few years. Get indignant every time your loved one insists you “deal with all that clutter”. Explain to them just how rare an in-good-condition, hand built, Rocky Mountain Altitude TO is and how they just don’t make them like that any longer. Roll your eyes and stammer uncontrollably when they ask questions that suggest that they just don’t get it. This seems to work for me.
Dear Uncle Dave,
Last season I was living the dream: I found plenty of time to ride a downhill bike in the Whistler Bike Park and an all-mountain bike on various singletrack. I ended up buying 2 new bikes: a 650b enduro bike, and a carbon downhill bike. Both made sense at the time because I previously didn’t own a full-suspension bike that I could pedal, and because my original downhill bike frame cracked at the head tube mid-season.
Unexpectedly, I am now unable to use either bike for the next 16 months. Should I try to sell them before new standards make them outdated and they still have value?
Scared of Depreciation
As you can see above, I’m not one that can easily let go of my bicycles. However, your situation sounds like one that is ideal for cutting ties. Newish bicycles to which you haven’t formed a strong attachment? A guaranteed 16 months before you’ll need a bike? Sell baby, sell. The sooner the better.
For others who might not be in the exact same situation, I’ve laid out a handy depreciation curve to help them wrap their heads around a potential fair market value for their bikes and potential bicycle equity killers.
MSRP – Our starting point.
Actual Retail Price – Because nobody pays MSRP.
Bro-Deal Discount Factor – Dude! I’m in here all the time! Because nobody pays retail.
Ridden on the dirt once – Ya. It was worth $6,000 last week. Not any more.
New Wheel Size Introduced – This is a real killer. A new wheel size will slurp away value.
Hub/BB Standard – There’s enough of these already. A new one doesn’t do too much damage.
New Model Year Colours Introduced – For some reason, a newly introduced colour tremendously affects the performance of last years product.
Wear Indicative of Actual Riding – Because nobody wants to buy something that somebody actually used.
Off Season Discount Factor – Who buys a bike in the winter?
Craigslist Yokel Bargain Factor – Because you’re sick of dealing with these people and you just want to be done with it.
May as well just box it up and stick it in storage.
This week’s prize is another sweet one. And it seems to me it should go to the guy who’s contemplating selling his bikes. Sod, you win a Chromag quilted hoodie.