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Rare bike

Old 07-28-21, 09:58 AM
  #1  
BinkyTurtle
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Rare bike

I have a 1989 MS Racing Comp XT off-road bike. 19" Chromoly rigid blue frame, 18 speed Shimano Exage derailleurs, SIS index, Elliptical chainring. Always been kept tuned up and stored inside with tires inflated. Ridden mostly on rails to trails and road. Light mtn bike use but never crashed. My local bike shop advised me to ask about 1/2 of what I paid, which I believe was between $650 and $700. I have had it listed locally for $250 but don't even get calls about a bike this old. Since it was only made one year and is a great bike I am looking for advice on my pricing and how to get it in front of folks who might appreciate it and not opt for Wal-mart over this fine machine. Mostly original though I have put on a longer stem, replaced the shift levers, grips, seat and tires. I would post a pic but I keep getting this message:
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Old 07-28-21, 10:52 AM
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Now, hear me out… Does your advertisement include keywords like “gravel bike” or “great fixie/single speed conversion”?

With an old mountain bike the market is very limited. Unfortunately, given the bicycle was only produced for one year I’m sure that makes it even more of an obscure market. I would either bill it as a retro-modern gravel bike, or sell it as a potential fixie conversion.

And, if push comes to shove, buy a gold chain and throw it on that bad boy. Take some sweet pictures of that gold chain action and make sure to include those keywords!

A bit of a tease, but some sound advise.
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Old 07-28-21, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by BinkyTurtle View Post
I have a 1989 MS Racing Comp XT off-road bike. 19" Chromoly rigid blue frame, 18 speed Shimano Exage derailleurs, SIS index, Elliptical chainring. Always been kept tuned up and stored inside with tires inflated. Ridden mostly on rails to trails and road. Light mtn bike use but never crashed. My local bike shop advised me to ask about 1/2 of what I paid, which I believe was between $650 and $700. I have had it listed locally for $250 but don't even get calls about a bike this old. Since it was only made one year and is a great bike I am looking for advice on my pricing and how to get it in front of folks who might appreciate it and not opt for Wal-mart over this fine machine. Mostly original though I have put on a longer stem, replaced the shift levers, grips, seat and tires. I would post a pic but I keep getting this message:
You are only allowed to post URLs to other sites and photos after you have made 10 posts or more.

Odd that it has Exage since it was originally advertised as having Deore XT.

For those on here not familiar with this machine, It is a MAlcolm Smith Racing brand, which the next year was re-labelled as Alpinestars . The bicycles were designed by a former lead designer and engineer from Gary Fisher.

Both companies (MS Racing and Alpinestars ) very much in tune with the motocross and off road community. Malcolm Smith was a pioneer in American motocross, and mountain biking was looked at as a great way to cross train for the sport, as the cardiovascular demands in motocross are extremely high, but Malcolm Smith decided he did not want to keep up his involvement so the next year they shopped the brand around and Alpinestars took the lead

That is a nice piece of moto-centric marketing history. Would love to see photos -- they say you cant post until you have 10 posts up, so at the rate you post , we should look for the uploaded photos sometime in 2023? (Just kidding )

But seriously, you might expand the marketing to include some moto heads, as a MX or Off-Road guy might really like owning this curiosity from a Moto and Off-Road company
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Old 07-28-21, 04:02 PM
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A dozen years on this website, and still a newbie?

@BinkyTurtle's Album:
https://www.bikeforums.net/g/user/152259
https://www.bikeforums.net/g/album/22036844







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Old 07-28-21, 04:13 PM
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CliffordK
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Ok, here is the Craigslist Ad for comment:
https://roanoke.craigslist.org/bik/d...329260299.html
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Old 07-28-21, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by DMC707 View Post
Odd that it has Exage since it was originally advertised as having Deore XT.

For those on here not familiar with this machine, It is a MAlcolm Smith Racing brand, which the next year was re-labelled as Alpinestars . The bicycles were designed by a former lead designer and engineer from Gary Fisher.

Both companies (MS Racing and Alpinestars ) very much in tune with the motocross and off road community. Malcolm Smith was a pioneer in American motocross, and mountain biking was looked at as a great way to cross train for the sport, as the cardiovascular demands in motocross are extremely high, but Malcolm Smith decided he did not want to keep up his involvement so the next year they shopped the brand around and Alpinestars took the lead

That is a nice piece of moto-centric marketing history. Would love to see photos -- they say you cant post until you have 10 posts up, so at the rate you post , we should look for the uploaded photos sometime in 2023? (Just kidding )

But seriously, you might expand the marketing to include some moto heads, as a MX or Off-Road guy might really like owning this curiosity from a Moto and Off-Road company
Sadly it looks like a lot of it's original parts have been replaced.
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Old 07-28-21, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by DMC707 View Post
But seriously, you might expand the marketing to include some moto heads, as a MX or Off-Road guy might really like owning this curiosity from a Moto and Off-Road company
This. Maybe $100 on the general market and people won't care about a motorcycle guy's endorsement. On the other hand, a vintage MX guy might pay a good bit more for it as wall art.
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Old 07-28-21, 04:33 PM
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Interesting bike. And in good shape.

Vintage MTBs have an interesting niche. There is some demand for them, but there are a lot around. Yours appears to be better built than many.

Is there a tubing decal? What type? Oh... I see it lists "chro-moly". I'd take out the dash... "4130 chromoly"
"Made in Taiwan"?

I don't know how the upgraded seat, shifters, and grips would impact the vintage market.

Being in the middle of nowhere may impact your ability to sell the bike. How often do you travel to Richmond? Will you deliver?

I'd probably do two things:
1) Also list your ad in Richmond. And, if you are willing to deliver, list it.
2) I'd use a judicious set of key words. I hate people who throw in the kitchen sink for key words (and have flagged some of those ads).
However:
MTB (also put that in the title)
"This bike may be similar to: Ritchey, Marin, Rincon, Fisher, GT, Haro, Diamond Back, Schwinn, Deore"

You can keep it at $250 for now, but if you get no nibbles, consider dropping the price to $195.

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Old 07-28-21, 05:43 PM
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I am serious about the gold chain. An alpine star bicycle of similar year and quality sat on the local CL for a year at $100. Owner threw on a new gold chain, took a snazzy photo, and it sold for (I would assume listing price) at $200.

The most of people only care about the look of their two wheel beast, not the history and functionality…
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Old 07-28-21, 08:02 PM
  #10  
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I'd be surprised if this wasn't a 1988. 1989 bikes have mainly ditched the chainstay U-brake. Other photos of this model show that the Exage was OEM and it never had XT. So right away the model name Comp XT sets expectations high then crushes them. Awkward!


This is a mid-level bike with a high-end model name. To put things in context, three other examples of 1988 Exage-equipped bikes are the base model Specialized Rockhopper, the Schwinn Sierra, and the Trek 820. Fine bikes, but not exciting, and all have better brand recognition than MS Racing. Pre Covid price bump, those bikes in equal condition would be about $80 on CL. Now with a hotter market maybe they'd be $120? That's still half of what you set your price at. $250 might be a good price for this MS Racing bike:


Your ad copy makes it try to sound like it'd be appealing to collectors, but it's not. Sorry, it's not. This is a bike that sounds rare, but is firmly in a category of bikes that is very common: mid-range rigid mountain bikes. To a collector, all the upgrades you did are actually downgrades over OEM: the big kickstand, springy puffy saddle, ergo grips, semi-slick tires, new shifters, and gangly adjustable stem would all be on their way out. To get it where they'd want it to be, they'd have to spend more money replacing stuff. Smart collectors will ignore this and pick up something original with a lot of dust on it (for cheap).

With the bike set up how it is, this is a casual bike to get you around town and onto the local crushed limestone trail. This is basic transpiration. Those buyers won't care about Malcom Smith's name or that MS Racing eventually became Alpinestars. They care that it's in rideable condition. They like the kickstand and comfy seat and refer to the bottle cages as "drink holders." They are also baffled as to why they should buy something over 30 years old from a stranger on Craigslist for $250 when they could roll up to Target and buy a brand new Huffy Highlander with 21 speeds and a suspension fork for $139.99.

To woo them (and you have to woo them if you want to sell the bike) you have to lower your price. Your ad is two months old for heaven's sake. The market has spoken. Ill echo the suggestion of $100.
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Old 07-29-21, 05:50 AM
  #11  
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Looking at the CL pics, it seems the bike was kludged for someone the wrong size. I'd remove the scary/weird steerer extension, drop the saddle some for new pics. No need to advertise it looking like a clown bike. Does look very clean!
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Old 07-29-21, 06:20 AM
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Similar to how you titled this thread "Rare Bike", I would suggest putting the name of your bike in your ad title. "Rare Bike" "Collector's Mountain Bike" are overused terms that really add nothing.

Drop the height of your saddle and your handlebars. Straighten the front wheel. Take better pictures with an uncluttered background.
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Old 07-29-21, 09:52 AM
  #13  
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I think maybe the Deore XT was on the MS Racig ProComp XT, the next model up.
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Old 07-29-21, 10:06 AM
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Thanks for the good info. Apparently you were able to find it and the pics of Craig's list. My main concern was whether or not it would be of interest to those who appreciate bikes. The bike owes me nothing as I have many years of great rides and good memories. I bought it new in late '89 and everything I have read says they were only made one year. I don't know how to find another way to date it. I don't remember changing the derailleur, but then the mind does fade... That stupid seat was just to put something on it. I put my good seat on my Trek and the grey one was kicking around and available. That would be the FIRST thing I changed if I were buying it! I appreciate you input. If it really has no value it is likely worth more to me as a guest bike when I have company than to continue to try to sell it.
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Old 07-29-21, 10:18 AM
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Get rid of the plastic spoke protector, the kick stand, ditch the red reflector, and put a decent seat and derailleur on. You might get 250-300. As is, it looks like a cheap, department store bike.
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Old 07-29-21, 11:33 AM
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1988 17 inch frame.
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Old 07-29-21, 03:40 PM
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Don't forget to ditch those hideous plastic Shimano shifters. Those are crap and if you're targeting "those that appreciate bikes" , they're worth a minus.
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Old 08-06-21, 10:17 AM
  #18  
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The plastic spoke protector and the reflectors were part of the original equipment. As long as I am riding it, I need the kickstand. I think the original stem is around here somewhere. I did order a better seat, which I just want for my pleasure. This bike is not the Pro version, which did come without those things. This bike was always meant to be ridden like a modern hybrid.
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Old 08-06-21, 10:35 AM
  #19  
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Originally Posted by BinkyTurtle View Post
... it is likely worth more to me as a guest bike when I have company than to continue to try to sell it.
IMO, this ^^^ is your best option.

The odds of finding a buyer who has a special interest in the lower-end model of this relatively-unknown brand is pretty close to zero. Being rare doesn't necessarily equate to more valuable. In this case, it probably makes it harder to sell, especially at a price point that is above comparable bikes from well-known brands.
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Old 08-09-21, 07:19 AM
  #20  
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Yup, Eric! It rides smoothly and is safe for friends who have not ridden in awhile as opposed to putting them on one of my road bikes. I do have the room, was just thinking maybe I should thin the herd. I'm in it for the tacos, too!
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Old 08-09-21, 09:19 AM
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Looks like a solid bike and "Made in Taiwan" is a plus (for me) since by the mid-80's their craftsmanship was good IMO. Good idea to retain it as a guest bike since the value isn't great.
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Old 08-09-21, 09:35 AM
  #22  
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The adjustable stem, horrifyingly ugly spring saddle (the colour you'd expect on a mattress found in an abandoned mental hospital), and kickstand make my eyes water.

The 100% plastic shifters(replacement probably for the admittedly not great original 'push-push' Rapidfire levers) are also sickeningly out of place on what could be a decent retro ride. The rear under-BB U-brakes are about the worst design 'feature' on bike in my lifetime, and they preclude any serious off-roading due to poor mud clearance and maintenance complications, but the bike could still be great for a commuter or tourist.

Please note that I am not a vintage bike snob intent on making every bike period correct, but that thing is UGLY.
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Old 08-09-21, 09:39 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by BinkyTurtle View Post
Yup, Eric! It rides smoothly and is safe for friends who have not ridden in awhile as opposed to putting them on one of my road bikes. I do have the room, was just thinking maybe I should thin the herd. I'm in it for the tacos, too!
If you feel the need to thin the herd, that's fine, but the reality is that this bike isn't something special or desirable to enough people (if anyone) to get anything significant from it. My vote is to keep it, if you see a plausible need for it (like a guest bike, as you said), or donate it. Last year, I had 2 Trek kids' bikes and 2 Razor scooters that my daughters had used, but were just taking up space in my garage. I cleaned them up, and posted them as available on a local-area FB page for give-away items. Within 15 minutes a thankful, dad was picking them up for his 2 little ones. That was a lot more satisfying to me than whatever little bit of money I could have sold them for.
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Old 08-11-21, 07:28 PM
  #24  
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Nothing special. Ask that local bike shop for a CASH offer, rather than "hey what do you think this is worth?"

When asked to put their money on the line, watch them go from $325 to $50.

Most old mountain bikes from that era have minimal value. The ones with value will have top of the line parts, top of the line frame materials, and a desirable brand name. It may be rare, it may not be rare. Desirability does not follow rarity. Some bikes were rare as no one wanted them back in the day.

Consider vintage cars from the 1960s. Ford made over 1 million Mustangs in 1965 and 1966. Rambler made about 15,000 Marlins during that time frame (the Marlin was their competition to the Mustang). One is rare with little value, the one is not rare, with high value.

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Old 08-13-21, 08:59 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
Consider vintage cars from the 1960s. Ford made over 1 million Mustangs in 1965 and 1966. Rambler made about 15,000 Marlins during that time frame (the Marlin was their competition to the Mustang). One is rare with little value, the one is not rare, with high value.
had to google the Marlin -- i wouldve mistaken it for an early Barracuda at first glance if i saw one out in the wild
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