Friday, May 31, 2024

Proof that the bicycle market is DEPRESSED.

Prices on used bikes and accessories have been in freefall since the latter half of the pandemic.

A used bicycle that I rescued, overhauled and accessorized, could sell for over $200 in 2019-2020.

Today I can’t get fifty bucks for the same bike.

Below: this bike, with an Xtracycle attachment installed is currently for sale in Gresham, Oregon.

I used to sell the attachment kits ALONE, new, for over $500, some fifteen years ago.

Kiddie handlebar, running boards and other add-ons could bring the price up by another $100-125.

This attachment kit is installed on a Specialized Hard Rock, a mountain bike from the 1990s that has become somewhat desirable, and which can fetch upwards of $300 in good condition on the used market here. (The flagship Rock Hopper can fetch double that, depending on product year and condition.)

Today, this seller is asking $250 for the whole thing, bike and Xtracycle installed.

If I still rode a cargo bike, this would be a steal. But, like many bicyclists here and across the country, I find long tail cargo bikes too hard to balance as I get older (and wobblier, a residual effect of Long Covid), and I no longer haul heavy cargo by bicycle. 

It’s a new listing, so don’t be surprised if he drops the price after a few weeks. 

An aging demographic, the rise in popularity of e-bikes across age groups (that’s another post for another time, but don’t get me started), and the abandonment of bicycle-friendly infrastructure projects have all combined to make ordinary bicycle riding less popular than it used to be before Covid. The pandemic alone wiped out over a third of bike commuting from pre-lockdown, and it hasn’t really come back. 

This would be a bad time for me to sell either of my remaining two bicycles. (I’m not ready to let them go, but it’s definitely a buyer’s market these days.) I couldn’t sell the larger share of my bicycle tools, and ultimately gave them away. I’m mostly okay with it at this point, and hope they’ll be put to good use.

I’m still riding, a few times a week at most, for short distances. I take my transit pass with me so if I get dizzy I can hop on transit to get home. I know that the day will come when I no longer ride at all, and when it does, I’ll sell off what’s left.

In the meantime, I can still ride a little.

Pedalpalooza, Portland’s summertime celebration of all things bicycle, begins tomorrow with a friendly group ride that starts downtown. If you’re in Portland and you have a bicycle, check it out. There will be rides and bike-adjacent events all summer long:

Happy riding!

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