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  1. #1
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    $2500+ Frames and $1000+ Forks, WTF

    When I started mountain biking, which wasn't that long ago - 2006, there were some boutique frame builders that offered $2500+ frames. Most were titanium. Other High end frames were around $1800 to $2k and they were considered expensive. You could also pick up top of the line forks for about $6-700.

    It seems that now frames well north of $2500 are becoming the norm and forks are creeping well over a grand. On top of that, it seems that entry to mid-level bikes are being specd lower and lower as the prices go up.

    How long can this price inflation be sustained? Where does it end? Will we be seeing frames at $3500 being the norm in another 5 years and non-DH forks selling for $1500+.

    I would think that these kinda of prices will eventually start to squeeze out average-income people. I'm not complaining or whining, just looking to discuss an observation.

  2. #2
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    I here things have gone up, my first "real" bike a Giant Trance3 with LX parts cost $1500 in '05, now if you want similar spec it's going to cost you $2400+. Curious, when you started riding what was the price of a gallon of gas, KW of electricity, gallon of milk etc? All things have gone up and worse it seems since the economic crisis we're in, but salaries haven't kept up. I guess the companies are hiking up the prices partly because they have to and partly because they do and people pay it.
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  3. #3
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    Re: $2500+ Frames and $1000+ Forks, WTF

    I know what youre saying but there are lots of nice complete bikes at the $2500 price point. Not full XTR carbo-tanium bling builds but solid spec'd capable bikes.

    Of course the latest & greatest stuff is gonna be top dollar, but this time next year whats left of those 2500 dollar frames will be on closeout for 1400 (check out the sale page in the Santa Cruz store) and the 1000 dollar forks will be on Chainlove @ 40% off.
    No moss...

  4. #4
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    Lynx, I hear you on the inflation perspective. However, I think that the prices in our sport are increasing well above inflation rates. Gas prices are not relevant as its a finite natural resource. But, I don't think a gallon of milk has increased 50% in these past 6 years.

    In any case, I'm not complaining about high costs because its keeping me from getting the gear I want. I have two really nice rides and don't see any upgrades needed unless something craps out on me.

    What I was referring to is the law of diminishing returns across our industry. In general, manufacturers either make their profits on volume or margins. If prices keep going up at this pace will it deter new riders from entering the sport? Which would force all of the manufacturers to jack up prices as their customer base dwindles.

    Again, just some thoughts.

  5. #5
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    Yeah its expensive but at least your spending your money on something that's making you engage in a healthy, fun and social activity. Many people spend that kind of money on drugs, alcohol, big screen TVs or videos games that just make them fat and unhealthy. I think of my bike expenses like an (expensive) gym membership.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffw-13 View Post
    Of course the latest & greatest stuff is gonna be top dollar, but this time next year whats left of those 2500 dollar frames will be on closeout for 1400 (check out the sale page in the Santa Cruz store) and the 1000 dollar forks will be on Chainlove @ 40% off.

    This is what I did, bought a "closeout" bike in the same year as the model year, and it was discounted 35% off. I think bike tech is at the place where the latest and greatest isn't necessary, 2 or 3 year old designs are still very good.

    And I agree with the OP, the prices are a bit crazy

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mnigro View Post



    What I was referring to is the law of diminishing returns across our industry. In general, manufacturers either make their profits on volume or margins.
    It seems the law of DR has left the building on many things we buy. As long as we consume it, they will continue to jack it up.

    The used market is very robust bike & parts wise. Same for closeouts. With a bit of patience the world is yours.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by VTSession View Post
    Yeah its expensive but at least your spending your money on something that's making you engage in a healthy, fun and social activity. Many people spend that kind of money on drugs, alcohol, big screen TVs or videos games that just make them fat and unhealthy. I think of my bike expenses like an (expensive) gym membership.
    Evasive had a great line I used for a sig for quite a while...
    "...ONE trip to a cardiologist will be WAY more expensive than however much you spend on bikes"...or something like that
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  9. #9
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    What do you really need?

    Versus what do you want. Do you need a mountain bike that costs in the upwards of $10K to enjoy yourself? Only you can answer that. Do you need the lightest most high tech frame and component set to have great ride? Again, your call.

    I have no problem with what mountain bikes cost these days. It is a leisure/luxury item and such things can get expensive. "Can" being the operative word. If I really wanted a $10K bike I could get one, but saving a few lbs is not that big a deal to me. My bike weighs 32 lbs and there is nothing that I could replace on it that would increase my fun that is worth $100's per ounce.

    The old saying that retail is for schmucks and Christmas shoppers is still very true. If you know what you are looking for you can save a lot of money. In addition, if you do not need the latest greatest you can save a ton as well. The classifieds here, eBay and local bike forums are all good resources. Get to know your local bike shop guys and treat them well. You don't have to buy everything from them, but not being a dick goes a long way.

    There are tons of possibilities. Again, only each rider can decide what is going to make them happy. However, I would venture that it can be accomplished for far less than what the top tier bikes are selling for.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pau11y View Post
    Evasive had a great line I used for a sig for quite a while...
    "...ONE trip to a cardiologist will be WAY more expensive than however much you spend on bikes"...or something like that
    That is so true.

  11. #11
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    I will agree that at some point a bike will become a luxury item and not just a 2 wheeled self propelled to'n'fro. Part of the associated cost is also the advertising and sponsoring dollars and new research to develop the next and greatest technologies. All these things do not have immediate returns to the company's coffers. That said I think these higher priced spec'd rides are appealing to those in the know, those that are already bitten and smitten, and of course those with the cash flow. I don't think the price of the higher echelon is inhibiting to entry level riders, perhaps their parents though. Anyway, bikes are hot right now and the prices reflect that. Do I personally think some of these rides are too expensive? Yes. That's partly why I ride a rigid singlespeed most of the time. They sure are cool to look at though.
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  12. #12
    I Tried Them ALL... Moderator
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    My 2012 Trek Superfly 100 Pro had an MSRP of $7500. There was NO WAY I was gonna pay that much. Instead - I built up a new frame and used Reba XX fork for $1500 and the rest came out to $3200...much better.

    And, you know I'm riding it every chance I get; at 24 pounds, it FLIES up and down hill.
    "The mind will quit....well before the body does"

  13. #13
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    I'll beg to differ on the gas price thing (meant fuel in general, i.e diesel, gas, aviation fuel) as these are required to run generators which make electricity which you use to manufacture stuff, then you have to ship the stuff on either plane, boat, train or truck and all use some form of petroleum fuel, so if the cost of fuels rise, then that's one part of the cost that will go up. Considering that my electricity bill is about double what it was when I started MTBing nearly 10 years ago, yet actual wattage usage is almost identical, I think Fuel prices play a big enough part.

    As others said, yes there are brands with frames in the $2500+ range, they're generally smaller brands or carbon fibre or Ti or whatever exotic, you can still grab excellent deals like the Trek RF Elite for around $2700 with full SLX, or a Giant AnthemX/TranceX with similar build for around the same. Technology has improved DRASTICALLY in the 8 years since I got my Trance3 with LX parts, frames are stronger, lighter, have more travel, more features, forks and shocks are better and have more features and you pay for all those new features. Also as others have said, just give it a year or so and you'll find great prices on "past years" parts and models - just built up a SC Tallboy Alu for a friend with full SLX/BB7s, Trace fork, HiLo SL dropper post and Pro2/Flow wheels for just under $3k US, which is pretty decent IMHO.
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  14. #14
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    One point to play devils advocate on the inflation argument is tech. The gas of gallon you bought ten years ago is the same as a gallon today. Bikes are different in this regard so we have inflation but are also paying more for better products. I would be willing to bet that the costs to produce these bikes has gone up too.

    If you don't have a ton of money there are still many options, and the used market is probably better than ever nowadays

    Edit: lynx didn't read your post when I posted but yeah similar idea

  15. #15
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    I do get it & see all sides of the equation. I was just bringing up for discussion how ridiculously high some of the pricing has become over the past few years. And for comparison, top line dirtbikes/Enduros are about $10k today, just north of where they were 5 years ago.

  16. #16
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    Part of the issue is that bikes just aren't getting any simpler. The drive for better performance pushes manufacturers to create new and more complex products that use special materials to meet weight needs. I think this applies to basically every part on a bike, be it: frame/suspension (new manufacturing techniques are great for durability but hydroforming is a lot more time consuming than using preformed tubing and now there are more shock linkages than you can shake a stick at), forks and shocks (now have multiple rebound/compression adjustments and multiple circuits in a cartridge + lockout and smart lockout), Hubs and wheels are now computer designed to be strong and light, but machining these parts takes time, handlebars and cranks also have more complex designs with special butting and bends to maximize the strength of a thickness of tubing, derailleurs now have clutches, tires are now computer designed, the list goes on.

    I haven't been biking that long, but I wonder if the lowest line products from shimano/sram are on par with the latest and greatest of 10 years ago.

  17. #17
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    Money, specifically the us peso has lost quite a lot of its value when people started understanding you could print as much of it as you like with only air backing it up. If things are only twice as expensive now compared to 2006 you have a really good deal I'd say, then things are really cheap.

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    00+ Frames and 00+ Forks, WTF-gold_price_in_usd.png
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  18. #18
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    realize that Racing dirt motorcycles usually have the latest and greatest tech. A 2005 KTM 450 exc had an MSRP of $7300 US the 2013 KTM 450 XCW has an MSRP of $9500 US. There is way more involved in producing a motorcycle. More raw materials, very complex systems, lighting, fuel delivery, engine, exhaust, 12 inches of travel suspension etc, etc. They haven't gone up nearly as much, they aren't made in a third world country, and they are very high tech.

  19. #19
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    Many many things have been subsidized in one way or another for ages depending on where you live and what stuff we are talking. (for many different reasons too, like political ones)

    The most common way of subsidizing is moving production to a third world country, then the workers that gets payed nothing is doing the subsidizing. UNTIL they realize they want more money.

    Also there is always the thing with selling stuff as expensive as people are willing to pay. Maybe the KTM customers are only willing to pay that amount? Maybe the competition is pushing down prices in that sector. While in the bike sector maybe they emply price fixing to raise prices as much as possible, all companies together. i mean 99% of everyhting is now made in taiwan and you don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that there is no competition between brands if the taiwanese don't want it to be that way. They have a monopoly on making bikes. Brands?? Yeah you can have any brand you want painted on the frame.

    It could be that way too. I don't know.

    Most likely there is some type of agreement. And they see what the customers are willing to pay and charge accordingly. And our paper money is worth nothing these days.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    Specialized sucks ass.

  20. #20
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    look around... this is $550

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  21. #21
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    Yes it is. But, it's not a top o the line frame with updated technology. Look at Titus pricing. Killer bikes at killer prices. What we are talking about is the other end of the spectrum.

    The poster above whose referencing the KTM dirt bikes is spot on.

  22. #22
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    Interesting with the motorcycle comparison. I just sold my motorcycle and bought a new mountain bike. People are shocked at my $4k "bicycle", until I ask them what they paid for their new bass boat, golf clubs, or riding lawn mower. It's priorities. My bike makes me happy, and I don't have to pay insurance every 6 months. Expensive yes, but the ride is so much more enjoyable.

  23. #23
    I Tried Them ALL... Moderator
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    Guys, be patient - KTM has an entire line of affordable, Austrian-made MTBs coming SOON.
    "The mind will quit....well before the body does"

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx View Post
    I here things have gone up, my first "real" bike a Giant Trance3 with LX parts cost $1500 in '05, now if you want similar spec it's going to cost you $2400+.
    The LX parts on the Trance you bought 8 years ago is not comparable to SLX parts nowadays. Those LX parts are more comparable to Alivio or perhaps even lower. Spend $1500 on a Santa Cruz Superlight and you'll get a lighter and better spec'ed bike than your old Trance.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by ironbrewer View Post
    realize that Racing dirt motorcycles usually have the latest and greatest tech. A 2005 KTM 450 exc had an MSRP of $7300 US the 2013 KTM 450 XCW has an MSRP of $9500 US. There is way more involved in producing a motorcycle. More raw materials, very complex systems, lighting, fuel delivery, engine, exhaust, 12 inches of travel suspension etc, etc. They haven't gone up nearly as much, they aren't made in a third world country, and they are very high tech.
    Motorcycles don't need to spare every gram possible and maintain the exact tolerances of today's frame designs and suspension systems. The tolerances a DW-link builder has to maintain is ridiculous. There is nothing incredibly complicated to make on a motorcycle, unless you're talking custom builds. Look at how much money some people will pay to save 20 grams on their mountain bike. You think a motorcyclist is going to sweat 20 grams on their handlebar or wheel?

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