Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 50 of 67
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    2,926

    $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
    MTB B'dos
    Reputation: LyNx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    20,906
    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.
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??
    MTB Barbados
    My Phantom pics

  3. #3
    The White Jeff W
    Reputation: jeffw-13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    5,350

    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
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    2,926
    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
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    1,933
    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.
    2016 Santa Cruz Hightower 29er
    2016 Chromag Surface 27.5+
    2013 Transition TransAM 29er

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    384
    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
    RIP Friendgirl
    Reputation: Bordershy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    429
    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.
    SPD pedals are an absolute menace to the well-being of the world, and ought be banned immediately.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Pau11y's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    6,938
    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
    Naysayers never apologize. Critics go to their grave thinking everyone else is wrong.
    ╭∩╮( º.º )╭∩╮

  9. #9
    I fix choppers
    Reputation: HELLBELLY's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    872

    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.
    "Everything popular is wrong." -Oscar Wilde

  10. #10
    I ride bikes
    Reputation: moefosho's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    2,375
    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
    mtbr member
    Reputation: dbhammercycle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    2,592
    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.
    I don't know why,... it's just MUSS easier to pedal than the other ones.

  12. #12
    I Tried Them ALL... SuperModerator
    Reputation: Cayenne_Pepa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    6,080
    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.
    "Just because I drive a Porsche... doesn't make me Pete Fagerlin"

  13. #13
    MTB B'dos
    Reputation: LyNx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    20,906
    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.
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??
    MTB Barbados
    My Phantom pics

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation: ride the biscuit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    942
    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
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    2,926
    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
    mtbr member
    Reputation: honns's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    552
    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
    ~ B A D A S S ~
    Reputation: car bone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    3,169
    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.

    Gold as an investment - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    File:Gold Spot Price per Gram from Jan 1971 to Jan 2012.svg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    File:Gold-nominal-constant-usd.svg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    00+ Frames and 00+ Forks, WTF-gold_price_in_usd.png
    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.

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation: ironbrewer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    320
    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
    ~ B A D A S S ~
    Reputation: car bone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    3,169
    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
    mtbr member
    Reputation: nauc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    2,544
    look around... this is $550


  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    2,926
    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
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Bigb2000's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    336
    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... SuperModerator
    Reputation: Cayenne_Pepa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    6,080
    Guys, be patient - KTM has an entire line of affordable, Austrian-made MTBs coming SOON.
    "Just because I drive a Porsche... doesn't make me Pete Fagerlin"

  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    2,511
    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
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    2,511
    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?

  26. #26
    ~ B A D A S S ~
    Reputation: car bone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    3,169
    I do however see the funny in that a mtb costs just as much as fairly good motorbike. 10 grand buys you a motor bike OR a mtb, its silly really. it should be 1/4 or similar IMO for the mtb. However if you get the best parts for that motor bike like the best you can buy forks/dampers/brakes/hubs/rims/exhaust/engine parts etc etc that ktm will cost like 40 grand instead and then it makes sense.

    When the US moved all production to taiwan prices didn't change 1 cent, even though the biggest cost, labour, dropped like 90%.
    So the cost of bikes has like 0% correlation to real manufacturing costs and more to do with what they CAN charge. Just like everything else.

    I still think prices are suspiciously low when looking at gold prices, since gold is the constant and the currencies are floating for all practical purposes. maybe the system is lagging behind a few years?
    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.

  27. #27
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    2,511
    Quote Originally Posted by mnigro View Post
    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.
    Top of the line today is astronomically better than top of the line even 5 years ago. If you want the best, you'll pay for it. If you want good enough, there are plenty of options that compare to yesteryear's top of the line bikes.

  28. #28
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    2,926
    Well, bottom line is that the manufacturers are charging what they charge. It's us as consumers who are willing to pay these prices that are keeping them at these out of control levels. I just cannot believe that there are many of us who'll drop $7 - $10k on bike(s).

  29. #29
    MTB B'dos
    Reputation: LyNx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    20,906
    While I totally agree that todays Deore is probably equal to even XT of 8 years ago, and that tech has come a long way, that is not how you look at it though, you have to look at it as a tier level and then compare. You're definitely getting more tech these days so that SLX or even Deore of today is as good as XT of only 5 years ago or better.

    Quote Originally Posted by mountainbiker24 View Post
    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.
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??
    MTB Barbados
    My Phantom pics

  30. #30
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    2,169
    Quote Originally Posted by mountainbiker24 View Post
    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?
    You obviously don't know squat about a high tech 4 stroke MX bike (or a street bike for that matter). Ever had a good look inside a new KTM motor or the FI or suspensions systems these off road bikes are running now. Now tell me how a DW Link bike has closer tolerances than building a motor. As an FYI these dirt bike manufacturers struggle to save weight (yes even grams) every which way they can while maintaining a bike that doesn't break or go boom which doesn't always happen. A mtn. bike is ridiculously simple compared to a motorcycle. It's just the multitude of ever changing so called standards in the bicycle world that become a major PIA. Especially for a newbie. Also you can buy a 2013 KTM 450SXF MX bike for $7,500 right now

    KTM SX 2014 digital folder

    KTM SX 2014 - 360° detail video - Engine - YouTube

  31. #31
    Big Gulps, Alright!
    Reputation: Berkley's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    3,223
    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx View Post
    While I totally agree that todays Deore is probably equal to even XT of 8 years ago, and that tech has come a long way, that is not how you look at it though, you have to look at it as a tier level and then compare. You're definitely getting more tech these days so that SLX or even Deore of today is as good as XT of only 5 years ago or better.
    Bingo. Sometimes folks forget the trickle down. Current Deore is much better than old XT was. In that regard, prices haven't increased that much.
    Axle Standards Explained

    Founder at North Atlantic Dirt, riding & writing about trails in the northeast.

  32. #32
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    70
    when this type of $$$ questions are asked I suppose you can just ask ur female colleage whom is shocked at your mere "bicycle" price in comparision with her Marc By Jacobs heels and Louis Vuitton bag really our bike cost really cheap. You guys haven even been in the watches / Rolex forums to use the word "expensive"

  33. #33
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Joules's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    2,898
    yeah, it has been a few seconds since we've had one of these. Yeah bikes are getting more expensive, but you know what? so is everything else. Price out your groceries compared to whenever you started riding. It's up more than the price of bikes.

    If you need a top of the line bike to enjoy riding, it's going to cost you. Same way if you needed the fastest car in the world to enjoy driving; You aren't going to get that for the price of a middle of the road sedan 10 years ago.

    And for everyone that's comparing bikes to motorcycles I have an easy solution: ride motorcycles, then go on motorcycle forums and ***** about how little you get for your money compared to something else.
    how freaking hard was that?

  34. #34
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Vespasianus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    4,522
    Quote Originally Posted by mnigro View Post
    Well, bottom line is that the manufacturers are charging what they charge. It's us as consumers who are willing to pay these prices that are keeping them at these out of control levels. I just cannot believe that there are many of us who'll drop $7 - $10k on bike(s).
    Again, simple capitalism. About 6 years ago, someone actually complained to the government about the price of Miley Cyrus tickets. Surprisingly, the fed chairman responded by saying it was a classic case of supply and demand and poor pricing. The concert tickets prices soon went up 10 fold and were snapped up just as fast. Supply and demand. Your price should be what the market will pay. Simple as that.
    On MTBR, the reputation is infamous.

  35. #35
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Fuglio's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    2,636
    Quote Originally Posted by skidad View Post
    You obviously don't know squat about a high tech 4 stroke MX bike (or a street bike for that matter). Ever had a good look inside a new KTM motor or the FI or suspensions systems these off road bikes are running now. Now tell me how a DW Link bike has closer tolerances than building a motor. As an FYI these dirt bike manufacturers struggle to save weight (yes even grams) every which way they can while maintaining a bike that doesn't break or go boom which doesn't always happen. A mtn. bike is ridiculously simple compared to a motorcycle. It's just the multitude of ever changing so called standards in the bicycle world that become a major PIA. Especially for a newbie. Also you can buy a 2013 KTM 450SXF MX bike for $7,500 right now

    KTM SX 2014 digital folder

    KTM SX 2014 - 360° detail video - Engine - YouTube
    So are dirt bike a rip off cause i can buy a car for 7 grand?

    Maybe its a false comparison.

    Everytime somone mentions the price of a bike some ass hat chimes in with the price of dirt bikes pr motorcycles, as if its relivent.

    Two diffent industries. Apples and oranges.

  36. #36
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    2,511
    Quote Originally Posted by skidad View Post
    You obviously don't know squat about a high tech 4 stroke MX bike (or a street bike for that matter). Ever had a good look inside a new KTM motor or the FI or suspensions systems these off road bikes are running now. Now tell me how a DW Link bike has closer tolerances than building a motor. As an FYI these dirt bike manufacturers struggle to save weight (yes even grams) every which way they can while maintaining a bike that doesn't break or go boom which doesn't always happen. A mtn. bike is ridiculously simple compared to a motorcycle. It's just the multitude of ever changing so called standards in the bicycle world that become a major PIA. Especially for a newbie. Also you can buy a 2013 KTM 450SXF MX bike for $7,500 right now

    KTM SX 2014 digital folder

    KTM SX 2014 - 360° detail video - Engine - YouTube
    Changing standards are a part of it, but motors are mass produced and relatively easy to manufacture compared to 5 different sizes of carbon fiber layups where every gram is meticulously eliminated. Do motorcycles use carbon fiber rims, handlebars, frames, stems, and crank arms? There is no way you can say that a motorcycle company spends as much time eliminating grams as a mountain bike company. Human power vs. gas power is obviously substantial. The frames on motorcycles are extremely basic, and the suspension is quite similar on high end mountain bikes. You're basically comparing a mass produced, metal engine to often specialized and constantly changing carbon fiber frame layouts, precisions drivetrains, and carbon cranks. Guess which is more time consuming, costly, and has a smaller number of customers?

    Here's the bottom line. You likely don't need to spend more than around $3500 to get everything you could really need on a mountain bike. If you need to spend another $4000 to save a pound or two, you're probably already sponsored. Show me a competitive motorcycle that costs $3500 brand new.

  37. #37
    Bicyclochondriac.
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    13,407
    Quote Originally Posted by mnigro View Post
    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.
    Just because someone makes a $2500 frame or $1000 fork does not mean you need to buy it. Neither of those are my any stretch of the imagination "the norm".

    Someone spending $1500 in 2013 will get a better bike than they would have in 2006. Even more so if you adjust for inflation.

    What you are describing is not inflation of bike prices, it is more being offered at the top end. The only people getting squeezed out are the ones that have to have the latest, greatest, and most expensive.

    Think about it: Does it really matter to the average car buyer if the most expensive car out there is $2,000,000 or $5,000,000? No, because they have loads of good choices between $20K and $30K. Same concept is true with bikes.

    Complaints about bike prices rising have been common for years, and the truth of the matter remains the same: You get more for your money now than 5, 10, 15, 20, or 25 years ago.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  38. #38
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    2,169
    Quote Originally Posted by mountainbiker24 View Post
    Changing standards are a part of it, but motors are mass produced and relatively easy to manufacture compared to 5 different sizes of carbon fiber layups where every gram is meticulously eliminated. Do motorcycles use carbon fiber rims, handlebars, frames, stems, and crank arms? There is no way you can say that a motorcycle company spends as much time eliminating grams as a mountain bike company. Human power vs. gas power is obviously substantial. The frames on motorcycles are extremely basic, and the suspension is quite similar on high end mountain bikes. You're basically comparing a mass produced, metal engine to often specialized and constantly changing carbon fiber frame layouts, precisions drivetrains, and carbon cranks. Guess which is more time consuming, costly, and has a smaller number of customers?

    Here's the bottom line. You likely don't need to spend more than around $3500 to get everything you could really need on a mountain bike. If you need to spend another $4000 to save a pound or two, you're probably already sponsored. Show me a competitive motorcycle that costs $3500 brand new.
    Carbon fiber is not a big deal with today's technology so don't go there. It's the fact that with bicycles it's produced in a low volume and they want to change it every other year and sometimes every year. There goes the price. Almost all bike stuff is also mass produced FWIW. To me a bicycle frame is very basic compared to a motorcycle frame even some spiffy tri bike. Have a look at a road race bike if you want to go there which would include many carbon parts like you state. A dirt bike can't use those in a structural way because of the beating they take and carbon is not a good choice for that application. You argument to show you a $3500 dollar motorcycle is silly as the amount of parts required to build a motorcycle is much greater, the facilities to manufacture it are more complex, and to ship it is way more expensive. But that wasn't the point it's the fact you seem to think a bicycle is more a more complex and precision instrument than a motorcycle and it's not. The fact that you can take my example of a 2013 KTM 450 SXF for $7500 and with some rider adjustments race it at a Pro level is still pretty amazing when you have guys running around on $10,000 dolllar S -Works bikes (and I know of one dude who has a 10K Pivot Mach 5.7). Bicycle stuff IS way over priced IMO for what you get.

  39. #39
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Fix the Spade's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    2,685
    Quote Originally Posted by car bone View Post
    When the US moved all production to taiwan prices didn't change 1 cent, even though the biggest cost, labour, dropped like 90%.
    The far east is the major driver for price hikes on cycling kit. Western currencies have gone down the last four years, eastern currencies are up, wages and prices have also gone up, especially from Taiwan.

    They have a monopoly, Giant, Merida and co have spent three decades investing in all the new technology, the biggest factories and removing the competition. They can pretty much dictate the price of bikes between themselves, what are you going to do, move to a western factory?

  40. #40
    Flying in High in the Sky
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    272
    The MTB industry is ridiculous. $1000 forks, $2500 frames is just stupid expensive. Heck I use to autocross a few years back and a set of good aftermarket shocks ie. full Koni shock set with quality springs (a set of 4) goes for $1000+-. How in the world does a simple MTB fork cost as much as a full set of aftermarket shocks is well beyond me.

  41. #41
    I Tried Them ALL... SuperModerator
    Reputation: Cayenne_Pepa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    6,080
    My personal philosophy is simple - NEVER scrimp on the three most important things in your life:

    1) Your Family
    2) Your Health
    3) Your Passions/Hobbies

    Otherwise, I'm cheaper than a one-legged hooker....
    "Just because I drive a Porsche... doesn't make me Pete Fagerlin"

  42. #42
    Flying in High in the Sky
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    272
    Quote Originally Posted by Zachariah View Post
    My personal philosophy is simple - NEVER scrimp on the three most important things in your life:

    1) Your Family
    2) Your Health
    3) Your Passions/Hobbies

    Otherwise, I'm cheaper than a one-legged hooker....

  43. #43
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Fix the Spade's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    2,685
    Quote Originally Posted by James_spec View Post
    How in the world does a simple MTB fork cost as much as a full set of aftermarket shocks is well beyond me.
    Look on the bright side, as prices have gone up to match and surpass moto hardware, so has the popularity of cycling as a whole. Some very big fish from the world of moto suspension are starting look at mtbs as a viable line of business.

  44. #44
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    2,926
    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post
    Just because someone makes a $2500 frame or $1000 fork does not mean you need to buy it. Neither of those are my any stretch of the imagination "the norm".

    Someone spending $1500 in 2013 will get a better bike than they would have in 2006. Even more so if you adjust for inflation.


    Think about it: Does it really matter to the average car buyer if the most expensive car out there is $2,000,000 or $5,000,000? No, because they have loads of good choices between $20K and $30K. Same concept is true with bikes.

    Complaints about bike prices rising have been common for years, and the truth of the matter remains the same: You get more for your money now than 5, 10, 15, 20, or 25 years ago.
    Again, I wasn't complaining - just making an observation and opening it up to discussion. You're right, I don't have to buy them. I have an El Guapo and a Yeti ASR5 I bought on close out.

    Also, most people here are making claims that these high prices are reserved only for the very top of the line bikes/frames/forks. I think that is mostly incorrect. with the exception of the big brands (giant, trek, specialized, etc) very high frame prices are the norm and not the exception. For example, the majority of frame makers fall into this category...Santa Cruz, Pivot, Yeti, Turner, Intense, Ibis, Niner, Knolly, Norco... The list goes on. There are fewer and fewer mid-priced frames on the market leaving a reduced number of choices for those consumers who want something more than what the big 3 offer but less than a $7k bike.

    This was My original point of the post.

  45. #45
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    2,511
    Quote Originally Posted by skidad View Post
    Carbon fiber is not a big deal with today's technology so don't go there. It's the fact that with bicycles it's produced in a low volume and they want to change it every other year and sometimes every year. There goes the price. Almost all bike stuff is also mass produced FWIW. To me a bicycle frame is very basic compared to a motorcycle frame even some spiffy tri bike. Have a look at a road race bike if you want to go there which would include many carbon parts like you state. A dirt bike can't use those in a structural way because of the beating they take and carbon is not a good choice for that application. You argument to show you a $3500 dollar motorcycle is silly as the amount of parts required to build a motorcycle is much greater, the facilities to manufacture it are more complex, and to ship it is way more expensive. But that wasn't the point it's the fact you seem to think a bicycle is more a more complex and precision instrument than a motorcycle and it's not. The fact that you can take my example of a 2013 KTM 450 SXF for $7500 and with some rider adjustments race it at a Pro level is still pretty amazing when you have guys running around on $10,000 dolllar S -Works bikes (and I know of one dude who has a 10K Pivot Mach 5.7). Bicycle stuff IS way over priced IMO for what you get.
    Carbon fiber is a big deal. It's expensive to produce and set up. Much more so than aluminum and steel. Carbon can definitely take a beating, so why not use it more in motorcycles? Because it would raise the prices too much. I doubt you know much about the facilities to manufacture either motorcycles or bicycles. Bicycles have different requirements than motorcycles, many of which can be costly. You can spend way more than $7500 on a motorcycle, just like you can spend $10,000 on a bike. Where's the limit on a motorcycle?

  46. #46
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    2,169
    To make a carbon frame for a dirt bike that is structurally strong enough to withstand the beating would end up weighing close to that of an aluminum or chrome moly frame most likely AND the motorcycle frame is allot more complicated to make so yeah, super expensive in that case you're right. I don't follow the motorcycle road race world but I have to think some of those bikes are using a ton of carbon fiber including frame material. Also, carbon is really stiff and that causes other problems. When the Japs came out with aluminum framed dirt bike it took them quite a few years to dial in the ride characteristics because it was to stiff and unforgiving. The tubing also has to be massive to get the same strength as chrome moly steel which makes the bikes more difficult to work on. Carbon would be the same and would be a stupid choice for a dirt bike....which you obviously have no experience with. The price of a motorcycle can go off the charts if you want or you can buy a dam good used one for $1500-2,000 and be totally happy with it. Again you missed the point.

  47. #47
    MTB B'dos
    Reputation: LyNx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    20,906
    Then make an honest and fair comparison to what you're saying costs $1000 for an MTB and that would be WRC suspension. My bro rallied for a good while, he got up there in terms of spec and his suspension was somewhat expensive, think in the line of $2500 US per strut, but that's nothing compared to what WRC type suspension costs, which is the only fair comparison to a Fox F34 RLC with Kashima or the new PIKE.

    To all who compare to motorcycles, come on they as said have bigger production runs and the parts are way bigger and weight is much less an issue, so for bikes you pay to have so small and light, simple really - Laptops/Notebooks are more expensive that desktops because everything is smaller.

    Quote Originally Posted by James_spec View Post
    The MTB industry is ridiculous. $1000 forks, $2500 frames is just stupid expensive. Heck I use to autocross a few years back and a set of good aftermarket shocks ie. full Koni shock set with quality springs (a set of 4) goes for $1000+-. How in the world does a simple MTB fork cost as much as a full set of aftermarket shocks is well beyond me.
    Last edited by LyNx; 07-19-2013 at 01:58 PM. Reason: to fix typo
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??
    MTB Barbados
    My Phantom pics

  48. #48
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Fuglio's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    2,636
    Its happening to MX too!

    Ohlins FG 38 RR Superbike Forks 125cc Race Bikes - Indysuperbikes

    Why do things cost money, its so greedy why cant everything be free!!!!

  49. #49
    Bicyclochondriac.
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    13,407
    Quote Originally Posted by mnigro View Post
    Also, most people here are making claims that these high prices are reserved only for the very top of the line bikes/frames/forks. I think that is mostly incorrect.
    How is that incorrect? Name one $2500 frame or $1000 Fork that is not considered very high end, or at least marketed as such?

    with the exception of the big brands (giant, trek, specialized, etc) very high frame prices are the norm and not the exception. For example, the majority of frame makers fall into this category...Santa Cruz, Pivot, Yeti, Turner, Intense, Ibis, Niner, Knolly, Norco... The list goes on. There are fewer and fewer mid-priced frames on the market leaving a reduced number of choices for those consumers who want something more than what the big 3 offer but less than a $7k bike.
    First of all, many of those companies also make frames for much less than $2500 (Santa Cruz, Yeti, Niner...) yes, their most expensive frames are in the neighborhood of $2500, but they also sell cheaper ones. My buddy just bought a new SC Superlight with a Fox fork COMPLETE for $2500.

    High end ( $2500) frames the norm? No way!! Yes, there may be a lot of small companies making high end bike frames, but the number manufactured and sold are pretty small comparatively. And there are no fewer mid-priced frame option now than there were 10 years ago. There are just more high end frames added to the list of options.

    I think that reading bike mags and hanging out on MTBR has given you a very warped sense of what "the norm" is. Next time you are out on the trail , take a look at what everyone is actually buying and riding (not just your buddies, but everyone). It's not going to look like the bikes on MTBR or in the bike mags. I can tell you that frames costing $2500 are pretty rare around here, maybe 1 in 20.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  50. #50
    Bicyclochondriac.
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    13,407
    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx View Post
    Then make an honest and fair comparison to what you're saying costs $1000 for an MTB and that would be WRC suspension. My bro rallied for a good while, he got up there in terms of spec and his suspension was somewhat expensive, think in the line of $2500 US per strut, but that's nothing compared to what WRC type suspension costs, which is the only fair comparison to a Fox F34 RLC with Kashima or the new PIKE.
    This^^^^

    People are trying to compare good-enough-to-race auto components with best-money-can-buy mtb parts.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 9
    Last Post: 11-18-2012, 05:43 AM
  2. Geometry & dimensions, frames & forks
    By Velobike in forum Fat bikes
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 03-18-2012, 02:22 PM
  3. Rigid forks and aluminum frames
    By IBBW in forum Frame Building
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 07-28-2011, 11:31 PM
  4. Replies: 3
    Last Post: 02-20-2011, 06:33 AM
  5. modern forks for vintage bike frames
    By momosgarage in forum Vintage, Retro, Classic
    Replies: 57
    Last Post: 02-01-2011, 04:05 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •