Thursday, July 5, 2012

What Does it Take to Make a Bicycle Collectible?

2007 Trek Madone SL 5.9 

I recently added a 2007 Trek Madone SL 5.9 to my stable. Don't worry, my fondness for vintage steel remains as strong as ever; but I've been increasingly curious about owning a modern, carbon fiber bicycle with all the bells and whistles. While there's many to choose from, and some of the more obscure ones are quite beautiful, I gravitated toward this popular, iconic (sorry, last time you'll see that word here), Trek model. 

Photo courtesy of Ray Dobbins - Eddie Merckx

I have to wonder if bikes like the Trek Madone, the Colnago C40, Kestrel Talon, and others that have made significant presence along the modern road bike timeline will someday be as collectible as the Peugeot PX-10, Masi Gran Criterium, Eddie Merckx, Legnano, and the like. 

This brings up the question of "what makes a bicycle collectible?" I'll be honest; I'm nowhere nearly as knowledgeable on this subject as my mentors on the CL List, so all I can do is surmise and then solicit your input to help answer this question. 

Here's what I think are some criteria for collectibility:

1) The bike made an impact when it was first introduced (first of its kind, brought into battle during a war, significantly ahead of its time for material or design, etc)
2) The bike has something physically/design/mechanically significant about it
3) The bike has something tied to it that gives it emotional significance to a large number of people (famous racers used this bike, etc)
4) There are relatively few remaining that are stock and in decent, ridable condition
5) Owning the bike puts one in an enviable position amongst one's peers

So, what else? Chime in in the comments section below so we can keep this conversation going. Thanks!

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