Have questions or want to discuss cycling? Join Now or Sign In to participate in the BikeRide community.

New: Take part in the April Giveaway for an Electric Bicycle Roadster V2 from Ride1UP


1983 Trek 720
#1
I’ve got a 1983 Trek 720 that I’ve had for 15 years or so. It’s nearly original and in decent condition. I just don’t ride it anymore—I’ve got three other bikes for my own in regular rotation and would like to sell the Trek to upgrade my wife’s bike.

Any thoughts on pricing for a bike like that and best way to sell? I wouldn’t mind selling locally if possible (NC), but know that limits my buyer pool. Also, I’m not sure how much work I should do to it before selling. Tune up? Replace bar tape? Replace chain?

Any recommendations?
  Reply
#2
Probably need to post some photos. I think the 720 (531 tubing) was a touring frame with longer chainstays. I cannot remember if Campy or Sun Tour groupset. You are probably in the $200-$300 area, just depends on the market. Craigslist bikes sell fairly well; if you want to get a premium price then I would recommend a general service if you feel it needs it. Definitely clean up whatever you can, and polishing doesn't hurt either. Best to have tires in very good condition without signs of undue wear or age (sidewall cracking, cuts in tread, etc.), and of course good tubes. Best if you can do the tune-up yourself since adding new tires and tubes can easily run $50-$100, not including a $50-$75 tune-up (not including parts). Expect to not get a full return on the money you put into it. Example: a good $250 bike as is will not necessarily fetch another $100 if spent to make it more sellable; figure more like 50-75% return on money spent. I would only replace anything that is obviously worn out; if bar tape looks tatty then replace it (generally black, white, or frame color; stay away from "splash"/multicolored wrap, it is hated by many!). In general you cannot add much value by spending more money; make sure bike looks as good as it can and has no functional issues. As far as chain is concerned I would ensure it is clean and lubed (do not over lube), if you know it has a lot of miles I would check it for wear with a chain gauge (quick and inexpensive check at a shop). If you do have work done and any parts replaced be sure to mention it in your ad.

Just got a bike a week ago on Craigslist: one photo, out of focus, dimly lit, and of the non-drive side. Owner lost many possible buyers by not listing it by its brand or model, simply "Women's Italian racing bike". I only saw it because I was doing a search for Italian parts otherwise I would have missed out on a classic very good condition Colnago Super. Also, seller had someone else (bike shop) selling it for them which complicated things; I never met the seller, and the foolish bike shop told the seller that the asking price was too high (it was reasonable in an eBay sort of way) and had it reduced by 50% making it lower than what I might have paid as an offer to the original asking price. Choose an asking price that is reasonable, but with expectations that you will not get it sold at that price. Be firm on your minimum selling price unless you are looking for a quick sale (I would not put very much $ into it, let the buyer who got a good deal "fix it up"). If you check pricing for comparison on eBay, realize that those are asking prices ("buy it now"); auctions are harder to gauge for values unless you check price near the end of an auction to see what it sold for. In general I find eBay pricing to be about 25% higher than actual value. Part of that is due to eBay taking their cut which a seller needs to make up for so price is increased to cover that fee. Also, if shipping is included a seller will have that cost added to their price. I have seen, on CL and ebay, $100 bikes being listed for over $1000; sellers often go by a name, Trek for instance, and assume that their sport tourer is worth the same as the model with lightweight tubing and high end components or upgrades. This is common on Craigslist where someone will reference an eBay price for a completely different bike but by the same brand; it is quite laughable.
Ride Fast, Be Safe!
Howard
  Reply
#3
Great feedback. It’s got a Suntour groupset (Cyclone) and tires and everything else are in good shape. It’s also got a Blackburn rack old enough that it’s branded “Jim Blackburn”, so it’s likely as old as the bike. The bottle cage is the same. I’ve attached a pic and will figure out how to embed more.


Attached Files Image(s)
   
  Reply
#4
(01-03-2021, 07:05 PM)RollOn Wrote:  ...It’s got a Suntour groupset (Cyclone) and tires and everything else are in good shape. It’s also got a Blackburn rack old enough that it’s branded “Jim Blackburn”, so it’s likely as old as the bike...The bottle cage is the same....

Decent condition bike for its age; are you the second owner? I like those style "TREK" decals. Is there a Reynolds decal? I assumed this to be a 531 (CS or ST) frame. The "Cyclone" groupset (yours is a late version) is far better than average for parts of similar vintage. I would use those derailleurs on pretty much anything depending on cage length; long cage is a great wide range mech (I think up to 36T) and front should handle a wide range double or normal range triple crankset so that bike is adaptable for a range of personal preferences, aside from performance upgrades. Fairly lightweight group for its price tag. The "Symmetric" shifters made me curious enough to buy some new ones fairly cheap a couple years ago, but not used yet. I like the "aero" mounting style and the "self-trimming" of the front mech.
You might get up $500 on a lucky day if someone tall (frame looks 58-60cm) is looking for that particular bike brand and model. Without detailed pics it looks in the $300-$350 range. Frame size limits the market a little when dealing with smaller and larger frame sizes. I would not be surprised to see an asking price of $600-$800 on ebay for the same bike model in the same condition. I know if it was my bike $250 would be my absolute minimum sell price because if sold below that price I could easily part it out and make $300 if there is fairly limited wear and no damage. Frameset worth $150-$200 plus, parts/accessories $150-$200 plus.

Got to love a classic ride with old parts.
Ride Fast, Be Safe!
Howard
  Reply
#5
Thanks! I’m not sure how many people have owned the bike before me. I bought it in Chicago about 14 years ago. Technically I bought it twice—I went to a Cubs game and chained it to a bike rack instead of using the bike valet. It got nabbed, but turned up at a bike shop a couple of days later. The owner posted it on Craigslist, saying he suspected it stolen and that anyone who could describe it in detail (or otherwise prove ownership) could have it back for what he paid for it. $40 later, I was the proud re-owner of the bike. (It may have been a scam, but at that price, not a very good one.)

The frame is 531, but I’m not sure of anything beyond that. The decal, as seen below, is scratched up so I can’t read it all.

According to the serial lookup, it’s a 22 inch frame—so about 55-56cm. I’m 5’11” and it worked well for me. Maybe a tad undersized, if anything.

The frame does have some chipped paint, but no cracks or dents or anything. I’d consider it to be in good shape overall, and I’d keep it if I didn’t think someone else out there would actually ride it. It was a perfect bike for me at the time, but my riding preferences have changed.


Attached Files Image(s)
   
  Reply
#6
@RollOn, I would still be looking at about $300-$350 asking. Frame looks bigger than 55-56cm. I would still do a seat tube measurement (center of crank axle to intersection of seat and top tube centerlines, and/or to the top of the seat tube; specify in your listing the method[s] used), top tube (centerline - centerline intersections), and standover height (ground to top tube, tires properly inflated). Those measurements (listed in your ad) will keep folks from guessing (like myself) as to what size it appears to be. Serial number information is not always accurate. It is best to physically check dimensions and avoid any possible confusion when dealing with a potential buyer.
Ride Fast, Be Safe!
Howard
  Reply
#7
Good call on not trusting the serial, but in this case, it turns out to be accurate. 22” from center of crank axle to top tube/seat tube intersection. Top tube is also 22” (head tube to seat tube centerline) and stand over is just shy of 33”.
  Reply
#8
(01-05-2021, 04:03 PM)RollOn Wrote:  Good call on not trusting the serial, but in this case, it turns out to be accurate. 22” from center of crank axle to top tube/seat tube intersection. Top tube is also 22” (head tube to seat tube centerline) and stand over is just shy of 33”.

Cool, I am used to looking at race frames and my sizing is calibrated to that type of frame geometry. It should make someone a happy owner if they appreciate quality classic bikes. I would be proud to own it as it sits except maybe the bar tape. It is difficult to make out its condition; I cannot tell what material it is. Leather? I might change that item it really looks worn out or unappealing, whether from age, dirt, etc. A fairly cheap item to help improve its comfort, looks; and its sales appeal. No splash tape, let the new owner decide on crazy color schemes; like selling a house. I tend to avoid white due to soil factor; a matching light blue to the head tube or decal might be appealing. You might try to find that bike in a catalog and see if it is shown with the paint you have and thus the original tape color. I am sure Trek had multiple colors so it may be hit or miss on that specific model.

Good luck!
Ride Fast, Be Safe!
Howard
  Reply
#9
Good advice. It is actually a cork effect brown and in pretty good condition—it looks better in person than in the photo—but you’re totally right that people are going to create first impressions based on the photo alone, so 20 bucks for some brand new tape is a reasonable investment.

I found the 1983 Trek catalog online and not only did that help with picking a tape color (the catalog shows it with black tape to match the saddle and racks, though I think it would also look good with blue tape that matched the Trek decal), I also found out that the 720 shipped with Blackburn racks and bottle cage, so those are likely original to the bike. Always a cool find.
  Reply
#10
(01-05-2021, 07:03 PM)RollOn Wrote:  Good advice. It is actually a cork effect brown and in pretty good condition—it looks better in person than in the photo—but you’re totally right that people are going to create first impressions based on the photo alone, so 20 bucks for some brand new tape is a reasonable investment.

I found the 1983 Trek catalog online and not only did that help with picking a tape color (the catalog shows it with black tape to match the saddle and racks, though I think it would also look good with blue tape that matched the Trek decal), I also found out that the 720 shipped with Blackburn racks and bottle cage, so those are likely original to the bike. Always a cool find.

Original racks/cages are a plus! You did great research; I will say that Trek bikes are fairly well documented for a bike brand, unlike Colnago whose catalogs are either non-existent, or if available are oft times inaccurate. If the tape looked rough in your photo, but seems okay in reality (not saying you should not replace it) than you also need to make sure your photos are clear, in focus, and well lit; even new stuff can look poorly given bad photos. My test with any phone or "cheaper" camera pics I should I take is to view them at max zoom and see if the small details are discernable; take a couple shots of each view and compare to choose the ones with the best quality. I have done professional photography and phone cameras tend to "muddy" up the works because of some automatic features designed into making it easier to use, but often affecting focus (auto focus sucks!), exposure, etc. You can take a quality photo with many phone cameras, but always verify their quality and usefulness to those viewing the bike.
Ride Fast, Be Safe!
Howard
  Reply
#11
All good advice. Thanks again!
  Reply
#12
(01-20-2021, 12:23 AM)RollOn Wrote:  All good advice. Thanks again!

Any luck with your sale? A tough time of year to sell, even down south. In a month when temps climb up is when folks tend to jump on a bike only to realize theirs is shot. Good luck, be safe.

Howard
Ride Fast, Be Safe!
Howard
  Reply
#13
(02-19-2021, 10:50 AM)Criminal Wrote:  
(01-20-2021, 12:23 AM)RollOn Wrote:  All good advice. Thanks again!

Any luck with your sale? A tough time of year to sell, even down south. In a month when temps climb up is when folks tend to jump on a bike only to realize theirs is shot. Good luck, be safe.

Howard

Just got around to listing it a few days ago. No bites yet. The timing wasn’t ideal because it was right before an ice storm rolled through and it’s been cold since, so I just don’t know if people have spring rides in mind. If I don’t get any in the next couple days I may consider pulling it down and trying again in a few weeks.
  Reply


Possibly Related Threads...
Thread
Author
Replies
Views
Last Post
 
12,599
11-20-2011, 02:47 PM
Last Post: Gil

Forum Jump:

[-]
10 Latest Posts
Can you help me identifying this Gitane?
Today 01:24 AM
Brake wire
Yesterday 10:05 PM
Are electric bikes the future?
Yesterday 10:00 PM
NordicTrack U300 Knocking
04-15-2021 10:03 PM
introduce yourself and your ride :)
04-15-2021 07:28 PM
1962 Varsity - Move Stem Shifters Ok?
04-15-2021 07:22 AM
Advice For Choosing A Vintage Road Bike?
04-15-2021 07:06 AM
How many people ride everyday?
04-14-2021 05:50 PM
Horrendous noises when pedalling
04-14-2021 12:39 PM
GRX Derailleur Hanger
04-14-2021 07:35 AM

[-]
Top 5 Posters This Month
no avatar 1. Jesper
15 posts
no avatar 2. Kgirl
6 posts
no avatar 3. Mark Zucker
5 posts
no avatar 4. J_R_Schultz
5 posts
no avatar 5. Criminal
5 posts