The Best Guide to the Bicycle Blue Book

Bicycle Blue Book Home Page

What Is the Bicycle Blue Book?

The Bicycle Blue Book is one of the top pricing and valuation guides for bike buyers. If you’re shopping for a bike and want to compare options, the Bicycle Blue Book offers comparisons between models, years, and styles. and sell price for your bicycle. But how does the Bicycle Blue Book stack-up against other similar guides and how can you use it to find the right bike at your ideal budget? In this post, we’ll present our guide to the Bicycle Blue Book.

Table of Contents

The Kelly Blue Book for Bikes

People who own cars know about Kelly Blue Book, KBB for short, the legendary portal to find how much a car costs to buy in specific condition levels. The Kelly Blue Book is the go-to resource for pricing used cars mostly, although new car prices can also be found. I have found KBB to provide immense value to research used and new cars. For bikers hunting for value in the used bike market, the Bicycle Blue Book has been slowly gaining popularity. There are options to appraise your bike, buy bikes and sell bikes. It’s the quintessential guidebook for those entering the bike market. 

Tips for Using Bicycle Blue Book

I own a few bikes – a 2004 Trek 4300 hard tail mountain bike, a 2011 Specialized StumpJumper FSR mountain bike, a 2014 Cannondale Evo 6 road bike, and a 2022 Poseidon X gravel bike. I have been wondering how much I would get in the unlikely event I sell any of them. The oldest bike in my collection is close to 20 years, and the newest is about a year old. This guide presents my experience trying to get appraisal values for my bikes on the Bicycle Blue Book, or BBB.

How I Found The Market value for my Bikes

Trek 4300

I went to bicyclebluebook.com on a desktop. I was presented with the screen you see above. On the top right, I went to VALUE GUIDE. I didn’t enter the search box, but rather tried to find my bike in their database.

It gave me a page with all the years available, but some were missing. So I picked the year closest to mine: 2002, as mine did not come with disc brakes and so the 2002 model was similar to mine.

For bike condition I went with the default GOOD condition. when i clicked on CONFIRM I was presented with Trade-in value, Private party price range and how much it was sold for at MSRP.

I remember buying my Trek 4300 in new condition from a store for about $400 in 2004. I expected a significant price drop given I bought the bike almost 20 years ago, with a ballpark value of somewhere in the low 2 digits. Imagine my surprise when I saw it valued for private party sale range of $118-$122. 

Bike Size and Product in Bicycle Blue Book Menu
The two different 2002 Trek 4300 options in the Bicycle Blue Book
The condition questions asked in the Bicycle Blue Book
The Trek 4300 in the Bicycle Blue Book

Now I wanted to see if any Trek 4300s were listed and for their Blue Book price.

I went back to the home screen and entered my bike in the search box. My search gave me 1 result for a a 18″ Trek 4300. It was the exact color I have, which was a surprise. It was listed for $140. Maybe the condition is very good. But still within the range indicated when I tried to value the bike.

If you own a 2004 Trek 4300, you can technically expect to get about $140, though it’s debatable another rider would want to pay that much for a 20 year old bike. Would you be willing to pay $140 to get a Trek 4300? 

Poseidon X

Next I tried to find the value for my Poseidon X in the database. But nothing came up. 
I searched to see if anyone sold any Poseidon X models. I entered Poseidon X in the home page search box. The search result I was given listed an 2022 electric bike called Bike Company X, a company with which I was no familiar. I had all the options set to ALL and did not enable any criteria to narrow my search. Maybe it will get on their database eventually. I will check back in a few months.
bbb - poseidonX 1

Cannondale Evo 6

I was curious how much my carbon Cannondale road bike would be worth.
I again went to the VALUE GUIDE database, and found my bike. Since Cannondale is one of the bigger bike manufacturers there were more bikes in the database, than say Poseidon, a relatively newer and smaller manufacturer.

Once I chose my model, I was presented again with the bike condition. I choose the default GOOD. I was give the Private party sale price range between %569 to $587. So a mid-tier price of $578 might be a good starting point. I bought the bike for around $2200. The bike retained about 25% of its value.

I wanted to see what Blue Book value VERY GOOD and EXCELLENT conditions would give me. VERY GOOD gave me a Private range of $625-$644, and EXCELLENT gave me $656-$675.

BBB Cannondale 5 2014 in the Bicycle Blue Book
Choose the Brand Then Family in the Bicycle Blue Book
The Cannondale Options in the Bicycle Blue Book

So who is selling the Cannondale in the $500-$600 range?

I entered Cannondale SuperSix Evo into the search in the home page, and 24 used bikes showed up, with model years ranging from 2014-2022. I narrowed down to 2014 and this gave me 5 used bikes. But none matched mine exactly. Mine came with SRAM Rival brakes which none of the bikes in the search results had. Maybe riders with my specific bike did not upload theirs to the BBB marketplace yet?
 
The closest was one listed for $1.050. So about $400 more than the suggested Private party range, even for the EXCELLENT condition one. But will I get this price? I don’t think so. Let me explain my appraisal value thoughts.


A Rise in Bike Demand

During the pandemic, in 2021, there was high demand for bicycles. Local Bike Shops (LBS) were having a hard time keeping up with demand for new bikes. So used bike demand went up. Online marketplaces were teeming with activity for used bikes. So when I tried to see how much I would get, I listed the Cannondale for around $1000 on FB Marketplace.

I was balked at for such a high price for a then less than 10 year old bike. I was offered as low as $300, citing the life of carbon frames, the mileage, etc. So even if your bike is good as new, the real world pricing would make re-think the potential appraisal values suggested by the Bicycle Blue Book.

BBB Cannondale 5 2014 in the Bicycle Blue Book

 Save Money With the Bicycle Blue Book

There are many ways riders can save money using the Bicycle Blue Book (BBB).

  1. First, decide a budget for your bike purchase. 
  2. Then use the BBB database to find the value and the condition of the bike you would like to buy or sell.
  3. Once you know the price range for the bike model you have in mind you have a few options: you can either stay on BBB and look for bikes to buy, or go to another site or shop at your local bike shop to make your purchase.

Buying with the Bicycle Blue Book

If you are buying on BBB, there are 3 options – BBB Direct, Online Store, and Private Seller. For BBB Direct and Private Seller you can send a message to the seller. This can start your negotiation on the bike price, shipping, warranty, guarantee, etc. For the Online Store, it is like a regular ecommerce store where you buy the bike at the listed price. You are not able to message the person (or retailer) for negotiation.

For offline buying options  and websites offering local used and new bikes for sale, check out Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, OfferUp, or even your local bike shops or community centers.

The same methods apply to selling your bike, either on BBB after you create an account, on another site or through a local vendor.

Ultimately it comes down to how much you want to either spend, or receive, for the bike. Set realistic expectations, determine your budget, and then go through the Bicycle Blue Book to finetune your research process.

Wrapping Up My Experience with the Bicycle Blue Book

I had three different experiences when trying to assess my bikes’ value with Blue Book.

  1. The value for my Trek was higher than I expected.
  2. The Cannondale gave me a more realistic value.
  3. I could not find a value for the Poseidon X perhaps due to the company’s relatively small size and market.

You can expect this type of experience when you use the Bicycle Blue Book for yourself. For the popular makes and models, you may be able to pinpoint price and potential sale value given the bike’s condition.

I found the Bicycle Blue Book a very good resource for bike enthusiasts to buy and sell their bikes. The site is intuitive and provides clear details regarding the market for both used and new bikes.  As the Blue Book gains popularity, I am sure even small bike manufacturers like Poseidon will get in the database, and give more options for hardcore riders users like us.

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