A random collection of thoughts associated with the sport of cycling, as relayed by one hopelessly devoid of too many competing interests. It's a one track blog I'm afraid. But hey, if you like bikes you might enjoy it. So keep reading and the worst that'll happen is it might rot your brain..

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Trek Carbon Bikes.. Our Local MTB "Pistadex"?

If you are a regular reader of Bike Snob NYC then, well, you know where I'm going with this one, and you know what the Pistadex is.. For those who don't peruse the daily diatribe linked above I'll summarize; BSNYC tracks the (often outrageous) prices people try to fetch for their Bianchi Pistas. He does this because it represents to him, at least, the health of the fixed gear fad in so much that it exists as a fad. The Pista is an obvious representation of said trend, in that it's as ubiquitous in it's scene as a T-Top Camaro (or, possibly a Fiero) is in Foster Glocester. If prices are high then the movement is still alive, if they get ludicrously low (or, even just reasonable), the scene may be in it's death throes. This is cause for alarm, or celebration, dependent on your point of view.

As an unabashed bike nerd I, like many of you, scan the local cesspool known as the bicycle classifieds on Craigslist. I brave the harsh conditions of this corner of the internets like a horrible cat 4 'cross racer attempting an actual bike race (something I know a little about). Stumbling about shell shocked, and confused, I suffer the piss poor spelling, grammar, lies and all around chicanery that is CL. Attempting to digest the scribble is akin to crunching one's nuts on the nose of the saddle during a horrid blurry eyed re-mount attempt (something else I may be familiar with).

Over the last few weeks I've noticed a trend in over priced, and outdated, URT bikes. The asking prices for these rolling echo chambers indicate a few interesting things I never considered; URT bikes must be making a comeback, 26" Spinergy Rev X Rocks are a hot commodity, and "Carpet Fibre" bikes are a really big deal. Also, anything fabricated by Trek from carbon fiber (or aluminum) apparently does not lose much value after 10+ years of sitting in a dusty basement, shed or garage. In this market wobbly Judy forks, notoriously fragile frames and dry rotted tires are like the accrued interest in your Money Market account, they can only add value! What else loses only 1/2 to 2/3 of it's value over a decade?

The Trek carbon bike market is, locally at least, quite volatile. In the cases presented below local = Quincy, MA. Check out the disparity on display in the ads below. Both bikes are being sold by the same local market maker. Perhaps he's amassed a small inventory of these fine steeds in the hope of one day reaping the rewards? What does this say about the health of the market?

http://boston.craigslist.org/sob/bik/845252880.html

http://boston.craigslist.org/sob/bik/845243556.html

Another, this time it's one of the hard tails known for it's built in ejector seat that will jettison you immediately upon frame failure. Market's looking up!

http://boston.craigslist.org/gbs/bik/844668209.html

And yet another bike that apparently doesn't depreciate much over 10 plus years. It is related to Trek though, and the Fisher guy did invent MTB after all, so I guess I should know better. Still, nothing but another strong indicator of a bull market for old MTBs - even those made from lesser materials.

http://providence.craigslist.org/bik/832262555.html

And one more, being sold by Keith Bontrager's nephew. That must be why it's worth the $500 (1/2 retail from 5+ years ago). Oh, and lest we forget, the "garage aging" process adds to it's value. Never mind that the wheels aren't even present for the photo shoot, they're undergoing attic dry rot/oxidation conditioning. You better snap it up now before this treatment bumps the price! Speculators should really take note of this gem.

http://providence.craigslist.org/bik/829368875.html

The message I received after wading through all the CL detritus is this; no matter how much new bike one could get for $500 to $1000 these days, that money would be better spent on unsupported '90s technology. Screw the warranty and the performance enhancements, and forget the shifts in MTB geometry ( c'mon, what do the present day designers and builders know anyway?). Go for that old school cool full steam! Don't utilize the best parts of the old school, just buy the whole kit and caboodle.

As Mr. BSNYC himself states, he's not sure what new trend/market folks will support next. It may well be motorcycles, as he's hinted in the past, but that would require an awful lot of mom and dad's money, and it just doesn't scream downtrodden, dirty art student the way the simple bicycle can. It's hard to sneer at people from underneath a full face helmet - despite what Shaun Palmer might have told you. And, big time downer, the leathers cover up those tats too. Of course, it might be that pedal start mopeds are the next big thing on two wheels. This would allow folks to hold on to some of the last wave of style, while appropriating some of the coolness inherent in throttle twisting. And, muffler burns are always an option, so that's a plus! Nothing is cooler than burn scars and blue tinted smoky exhaust.

As for me, well, I'm betting the new wave will be ridden in on old plastic bikes decked out with 8 speed, Brahma Bars, Onza stems and purple anodized handle bars. And don't forget the Power Grips, Bassworms and Rockrings! If anyone needs these crucial accessories, I think I can help you out with some leads on where to find them.

If you're not convinced that the local fixed thing is dying, and that carbon bikes are going to be all the rage, I leave you with the Rickey. Why else is this beautiful frame, so full of fixie conversion potential, up for grabs for only 10 clams??? Why, I ask you, WHY?

http://boston.craigslist.org/gbs/bik/844462954.html

I'll leave you with a wonderful illustration of how NOT to remount your bicycle. Do not try this at home...

3 Comments:

Blogger Brendan said...

I have a two week old nasty cut/bruise on my thigh from landing on the rear wheel. I love the way it looks.

8:29 PM

 
Blogger Brendan said...

Ouch! I'm passing on Wrentham CX this evening to go for a 2 hour tour de Foxboro before it rains for like 3 days...

7:35 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Best log yet. Go bassworm militia!

9:13 PM

 

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