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  1. #1
    bipolar-roller
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    20mm longer fork weakens frame, voids warranty?

    I read in the August issue of MBA in the 'ask MBA' section that increasing a fork from 3.9inches to 4.7 inches would "shorten the life of the frame" and "void the frames warranty".

    I could see how going form 100mm to 150mm of travel could weaken a frame, but I do not see how increasing just 20mm could have any effect on frame strength.

    The article says the frame is designed to handle 3.9 inches of travel, but the bike does not ride with 3.9", it should ride with 2.6 to 3.6" of travel with the sag set up properly. I always thought that frames were designed to handle a range of fork travel, not an exact number, since many riders ride at different sag%. I figured they have at least about a 1" to 1.25" range for fork travel and that it probably exceedes the travel of the stock fork by a little just to be safe.

    I am curious about this because I just replaced my old 100mm fork with a 120mm fork. I really do not see how this could weaken the frame if it was designed to handle up to at least 100mm of travel. If I ride with +20% sag, then that means my fork travel when riding wil be under 96mm, so how could that weaken my frame?

    As far as the voiding of my warranty, I would only send back the frame, not the components, so how would the manufacturer know how much travel my fork had? Even if I needed to include the fork for some crazy reason, I would just put the original fork back on.

    Is MBA talking out their ass on this one or is my frame now weaker and and my warranty voided?
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  2. #2
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    Specialized only recommends a 10% increase in travel.

    100mm can be increased to 110mm but not 120mm
    120mm = voided warranty

    80mm can be increased to 90mm but not 100mm
    100mm = voided warranty
    * They'll give you an extra 2mm on a bike with a 80mm fork, you can increase to 90mm instead of 88mm

    How many fork manufacturers make a 90mm or 110mm forks ?

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    MBA are talking out their arse on the "weakening the frame" front but the manufacturer may fail to honour the warranty if they see a longer travel fork on there.

    Going from a 100mm fork to a 120mm fork only increases the A-C height by from say 470mm to 490mm. ie. an increase in leverage at full extension of 4%. This is a negligible increase in frame stress compared to other factors like how heavy you are and how aggressively you ride.

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    It may be a nominal amount but it comes down to testing, if they haven't tested it then you wouldn't expect them to offer a warranty (even if the theory says it's 'probably' O.K) and if they have tested it then there may have been an issue. For that reason they're totally within their rights to say "run whatever fork you like but if you crack the frame it's your fault".

  5. #5
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    20mm longer fork weakens frame, voids warranty?

    It really depends on the frame. Some are intended to handle a range of travel but some are not. Especially if you are looking at older bikes when 80mm was considered long travel.

    It also seems like frames sold as complete bikes are oftentimes sold with one travel option in mind, and because of testing as mentioned before, mfr warranties may not cover longer travel.

  6. #6
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    Re: 20mm longer fork weakens frame, voids warranty?

    I'm not necessarily agreeing with MBA, but when mfcrs give forth travel specs for the frame, they are definitely taking sag into account already, so, you can't say 'well my new fork sags down to the max travel spec'd for the frame'.

    Each mm of additional travel raises the front, slackens the head angle, and increases the leverage that the fork puts on the frame. When mfctrs spec a max travel, its not like there is some cutoff or breaking point where one more mm of travel and the frame will just break. When they set the max limit, its just a cost vs revenue equation: knowing that each mm increases the chance of failure by some small percent, increasing their warranty cost, but smaller travel limits simultaneously decrease the desirability of the bike, decreasing sales.

    Obviously the actual peak stress that you put on the frame will be a combination of your weight, riding style, whether you do jumps & drops, etc.

    So, in short, if you're close or just over the travel limit, but you're light, and/or you ride light and don't do a lot of jumps and drops, don't worry about it. If you're worried about voiding the warranty, keep the old fork and put it back on before you take it in for warranty claim.

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by singletrackmack View Post
    Is MBA talking out their ass on this one or is my frame now weaker and and my warranty voided?

    Can't speak to the specific warranty you have, but your frame is fine, and Mountain Bike Action is pretty commonly referred to as Mountain Bike Fiction.

  8. #8
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    I don't read MBA but can speak from experience, had a frame that was designed for a 100mm fork, installed a 120mm fork and in withing months the head tube cracked at the lower end (close to the headset cup). The manufacturer never asked how much travel the fork had and got a replacement frame, maybe just lucky or they new about something that I didn't knew.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ddprocter View Post
    I'm not necessarily agreeing with MBA, but when mfcrs give forth travel specs for the frame, they are definitely taking sag into account already, so, you can't say 'well my new fork sags down to the max travel spec'd for the frame'.
    I thought about the mfcrs taking sag into account, but how much sag? I know ideally you should have 20% to 30% sag, but I also know there are more than a few who like to ride with very little sag. I would think the mfcrs would need to consider all possible sag set ups as well as lockout when determining how much travel the frame can handle. If they didn't, and the max frame travel was based off of travel with sag, then they would be taking a bigger risk with possibly having to honor more warranties for riders who set up their bikes with little to no sag.

    If this is true, then I feel like I can say my new fork sags below the max travel spec for the frame so increasing just 20mm shouldn't weaken the frame as long as I run enough sag. I like to ride with a lot of sag, +30% so my fork travel with sag is about 84mm, well below the 100mm stock fork.

    I am pretty sure this is not an issue for my bike frame since there were 6 versions of this model all with the same 5" rear travel, but with fork travels ranging between 100mm, 120mm, 125mm and 130mm depending on the version. Plus, it was built in the good old USA. But even on bikes with one specific fork travel set for the frame and built in china or wherever most bikes are built these days, I would think that as long as the sag is set up below the recommended shock travel length, the frame shouldn't be weakened. Although, I did read the post regarding the first hand experience with longer travel and cracking the frame, but that can also happen without adding travel to the fork, so.....
    Last edited by singletrackmack; 07-30-2013 at 01:16 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by singletrackmack View Post
    I thought about the mfcrs taking sag into account, but how much sag? I know ideally you should have 20% to 30% sag, but I also know there are more than a few who like to ride with very little sag. I would think the mfcrs would need to consider all possible sag set ups as well as lockout when determining how much travel the frame can handle. If they didn't, and the max frame travel was based off of travel with sag, then they would be taking a bigger risk with possibly having to honor more warranties for riders who set up their bikes with little to no sag.

    If this is true, then I feel like I can say my new fork sags below the max travel spec for the frame so increasing just 20mm shouldn't weaken the frame as long as I run enough sag. I like to ride with a lot of sag, +30% so my fork travel with sag is about 84mm, well below the 100mm stock fork.

    I am pretty sure this is not an issue for my bike frame since there were 6 versions of this model all with the same 5" rear travel, but with fork travels ranging between 100mm, 120mm, 125mm and 130mm depending on the version. Plus, it was built in the good old USA. But even on bikes with one specific fork travel set for the frame and built in china or wherever most bikes are built these days, I would think that as long as the sag is set up below the recommended shock travel length, the frame shouldn't be weakened. Although, I did read the post regarding the first hand experience with longer travel and cracking the frame, but that can also happen without adding travel to the fork, so.....
    So why ask if you already knew the answer you wanted to hear?
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    So why ask if you already knew the answer you wanted to hear?
    Because I wanted to know if the answer I wanted to hear was right. MBA wrote something that didn't make any sense to me so I wanted to see what others who know about this stuff thought. I have to say the prospect of weakening my frame and at the same time voiding my warrenty worried me.

    I don't know how mfcrs determine the max fork travel for a frame and wanted to know if they took sag into account and if so, how much sag or what range of sag.

    I didnt mean to imply that I know what I am talking about, and that thats why I say 'I think' a lot.

    I also am not sure how diligent mfcrs are when checking to see what caused a frame to crack when trying to warranty and wanted to see what others thought about just putting the original fork back on if the frame were to crack due to a longer travel fork.
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  12. #12
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    20mm longer fork weakens frame, voids warranty?

    Quote Originally Posted by singletrackmack View Post
    Because I wanted to know if the answer I wanted to hear was right. MBA wrote something that didn't make any sense to me so I wanted to see what others who know about this stuff thought. I have to say the prospect of weakening my frame and at the same time voiding my warrenty worried me.

    I don't know how mfcrs determine the max fork travel for a frame and wanted to know if they took sag into account and if so, how much sag or what range of sag.

    I didnt mean to imply that I know what I am talking about, and that thats why I say 'I think' a lot.

    I also am not sure how diligent mfcrs are when checking to see what caused a frame to crack when trying to warranty and wanted to see what others thought about just putting the original fork back on if the frame were to crack due to a longer travel fork.
    MBA prints a lot of things that do not make sense or are flat out wrong.

    A longer than intended fork does not "weaken" the frame. The frame strength is the same no matter what you use.
    It does increase the amount of stress on the frame and can lead to failure.

    The European CEN testing, that is required for a bike frame to be sold, is done with a specific fork length (no sag IIRC).

    Removing the longer fork before seeking warranty replacement is a scumbag move.
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  13. #13
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    Re: 20mm longer fork weakens frame, voids warranty?

    I agree you're probably not adding a ton of risk with a 120 mm fork, but there is definitely some additional stress here, no matter what your sag is:

    Quote Originally Posted by singletrackmack View Post
    I would think the mfcrs would need to consider all possible sag set ups as well as lockout ...

    Again its not really a binary outcome where 120mm fork weakens the frame, 119mm doesn't (or 29% sag does, 30% doesn't). Each additional mm in axle to crown distance puts more leverage on the head tube junction, which over time, tends to increase the risk frame failure, especially if you have an AL frame where fatigue strength is a factor (didn't see whether it was al or carbon).

    I like to ride with a lot of sag, +30% so my fork travel with sag is about 84mm, well below the 100mm stock fork.
    Using that logic, a 100mm fork with typical 25% sag will sit at roughly 75mm extension, right? So, you've still added probably 10mm of axle to crown when the fork is in a resting position with no dynamic forces. But, the stresses on the fork & frame obviously peak when the bike is doing rough terrain, from rocks and ruts up to small drops up to full on jumps. During these periods, the fork will be taking a lot of hits in the fully extended position or at least in the first 25% of travel. So, during the highest dynamic stresses, the fork also tends to be in various stages of extension, which, in turn puts more leverage on the head tube junction, witch over time increases risk of failure.

    I would think that as long as the sag is set up below the recommended shock travel length, the frame shouldn't be weakened
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    Umm, not to interrupt, but coming from another manuf. discipline, the builder might want to see the bike in it's entirety, not just the frame, to 'evaluate' the damage on the fork and verify a legitimate damage claim. I know I would.
    The original fork had better look like it was part of the accidental frame damage or I'm guessing your warranty is void... Definitely Not Ok'ing the practice of stiffing the builder, just saying...

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    20mm longer fork weakens frame, voids warranty?

    Quote Originally Posted by StumpyH View Post
    Umm, not to interrupt, but coming from another manuf. discipline, the builder might want to see the bike in it's entirety, not just the frame, to 'evaluate' the damage on the fork and verify a legitimate damage claim. I know I would.
    The original fork had better look like it was part of the accidental frame damage or I'm guessing your warranty is void... Definitely Not Ok'ing the practice of stiffing the builder, just saying...
    Accident/crash damage is not covered by warranties.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy View Post
    Removing the longer fork before seeking warranty replacement is a scumbag move.
    So is charging more for a bicycle than a motocross bike. No love for manufactures because they are ripping all of us off. I have absolutely no problem being a scumbag towards the manufacture who is gouging as many people as possible. As far as I am concerned it is those who ride for fun vs. corporate greed and those who profit from their greed.

    Don't agree? Then please explain why a bicycle should cost more than a motocross bike.
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    Quote Originally Posted by singletrackmack View Post
    Don't agree? Then please explain why a bicycle should cost more than a motocross bike.
    It's known as 'Economy of scale'.

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    How dare those greedy bike companies make a profit off my recreational activity by selling me products that I freely choose to buy in an open market. I bet they rake in enough money to pay their employees a fair wage, contribute to the global economy, and sponsor bike-related causes like trail building and bike advocacy. Those bastards. Clearly that justifies me being dishonest in my warrantee claim to "stick it to the Man". If everybody did that, hopefully those greedy bike companies will lose profits, lay off workers, and stop donating to IMBA.
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    Quote Originally Posted by singletrackmack View Post
    So is charging more for a bicycle than a motocross bike. No love for manufactures because they are ripping all of us off. I have absolutely no problem being a scumbag towards the manufacture who is gouging as many people as possible. As far as I am concerned it is those who ride for fun vs. corporate greed and those who profit from their greed.

    Don't agree? Then please explain why a bicycle should cost more than a motocross bike.
    See this is a perfect example of the sheep mentality. Right now the cool buzz phrase is 'corporate greed' and is thrown around by people that don't have a clue.

    As pointed out above, 'Economy of scale' Here's a good start Economies of scale - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia do some reading before making yourself look ignorant again.
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    Anybody who has ever been involved in fatigue testing (lightweight aluminium components especially) will know that a small change in geometry and corresponding small increase in max load and its orientation at the pivot can substantially change the stress range seen in say the head tube from standard activities such as braking and drastically reduce the number of load cycles till the thing would have a reasonable failure probability - it is far from a linear relationship - (google S-N curves for 6061 Al - curve being the key word).
    I would imagine that 100mm to 120mm should be OK on most frames - but I wouldn't guarantee it without an FEA analysis and an accelerated fatigue test to prove it. I don't blame manufacturers for saying this has been designed and independently reviewed and destructively tested in accordance with EN14766 for configuration X - if you want to use it in configuration Y or Z for which it hasn't been designed and specifically tested then - no warranty and at your own risk.
    Not only is there economy of scale to consider with cycles - design, materials and construction has to account for the very limited power output of the human, this involves additional time and processes in manufacturing - you can't just forget 1Kg here and there to simplify it; far more important to a cyclist than motoX rider - super light motorbikes or cars also tend to be hugely expensive.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    It's known as 'Economy of scale'.
    Yes, thanks for bringing that up. I was only comparing the cost of motocross components to mtb components to show how much we are all being ripped off. The theory of Economy of Scale also demonstrates just how much corporate greed there is.

    Economy of scale means the more you produce the cheaper the cost. If economy of scale was taking place like it should be, then mountain bikes would be getting less expensive, not more. But these greed will not let that happen.

    Back in the early to mid 2000's a top of the line mtb went for around 3k to 4k, much less than a mid to top of the line motocross bike back then. Mtb technology has not changed much since then and there are a lot more mountain bikes being produced today than back then. Also, back then there were plenty of bikes you could buy that were manufactured in the good old USA and made by professionals. Now they are just about all made in China or Indonesia or wherever by children which further reduces costs.

    So economy of scale is just something else that shows how much price gouging is going on and therefore I have absolutely no shame in sticking it to a manufacturer. They are ripping us off, so I will do the same to them.

    Like I said, it's those who ride for fun and recreation vs corporate greed and those who profit from their greed.
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    $3 to $4K will still buy a pretty damn good MTB that 99% of riders will be fine with and what most 1/2 serious amateurs ride. I don't go in for this ridiculously over priced carbon bling bling wheelsets that cost the GDP of a small country - but if people are willing to pay $10+ for a bike it's entirely up to them - not the fault of the manufacturers for providing stuff that people want to buy - I don't feel ripped off in the slightest

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    Quote Originally Posted by singletrackmack View Post
    Don't agree? Then please explain why a bicycle should cost more than a motocross bike.
    You can buy a Devinci Wilson Carbon SL for $7500 MSRP. Pretty close to being the same bike that just won the DH world cup. Doesn't look like you can buy a motocross race replica, but when the Ducati Desmosedici RR came out it was $72,500. Sure, a bottom of the barrel motocross bike will cost less than a top of the line DH bike, but that's an apples to oranges comparison.

  24. #24
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    I think I need to cancel my subscription to MBA. Just about every bike they review runs from 5k up to 10k and it stresses me out. I still cannot fathom how a mtb could possibly cost more than a motocross bike and I know I am not the only one who can't wrap their head around this.

    It's like a canoe that cost more than a ski boat. Sure manufactures are always trying to improve every aspect of their canoe like weight, strength and efficiency, but to end up with a final cost that is more than a ski boat would be very hard to believe. But shit, if someone thinks it's worth the price, then party on I guess.
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    Apart from the engine, a motocross bike has all the same parts a mountain bike does. Sure, they might be bigger, but it's not the volume of material that makes this stuff expensive, it's all the machining, etc.
    Plus, most high end bike frames are hand welded and components CNC milled. I'm willing to bet that moto bike stuff mostly isn't. As others have said, economies of scale.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cerebroside View Post
    You can buy a Devinci Wilson Carbon SL for $7500 MSRP. Pretty close to being the same bike that just won the DH world cup. Doesn't look like you can buy a motocross race replica, but when the Ducati Desmosedici RR came out it was $72,500. Sure, a bottom of the barrel motocross bike will cost less than a top of the line DH bike, but that's an apples to oranges comparison.
    Don't know about that Ducati, but the top of the line Yamaha or Honda motocross bike runs under 9k. How is it a mtb could even cost that much let alone more is baffling.

    Also, I'm pretty sure a motocross bike is way more advanced than any mountain bike, and that the actual costs of the components to make a moto cross bike is way more expensive than the actual cost of the components that make a mtb.
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    I don't have time to argue about this, but I suggest that you look at the materials and components used in a $9k mountain bike and compare to a $9k motocross bike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cerebroside View Post
    As others have said, economies of scale.
    If economy of scale was taking place, them mountain bikes should cost less than they did back in the mid 2000. More mountain bikes are being made then ever and therefore costs are going down not up. That's how economy of scale works. (I read the wiki link that someone else posted on this thread)

    Bikes were made the same back then as they are now. Well, more bikes were made by professionals here in the US back then and now more are made with the cheapest possible labor from 3rd worldish countries, so I guess they weren't really made the same back then.
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    The level of technology in newer bikes is so far beyond anything that was around 12-15 years ago, it's ridiculous. Engineering, testing and tooling up cost a lot of money. And fwiw, I have 8 high end, handmade-in-the-USA bikes in my stable, and not all of them are 'better' than mass-produced bikes. I remember the days when there were lots of little US companies welding up hardtails and CNCing components. There were a lot of broken parts and cracked frames and spotty customer service. QC has come a long way.
    I'd also suggest doing a little research on the handful of big bike foundries that produce most of the bikes out there today before you go thinking they're some sort of dirty low-tech sweatshops.

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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    The level of technology in newer bikes is so far beyond anything that was around 12-15 years ago, it's ridiculous. Engineering, testing and tooling up cost a lot of money. And fwiw, I have 8 high end, handmade-in-the-USA bikes in my stable, and not all of them are 'better' than mass-produced bikes. I remember the days when there were lots of little US companies welding up hardtails and CNCing components. There were a lot of broken parts and cracked frames and spotty customer service. QC has come a long way.
    I'd also suggest doing a little research on the handful of big bike foundries that produce most of the bikes out there today before you go thinking they're some sort of dirty low-tech sweatshops.
    What about bikes from say 2005, 8 years ago? Back then they cost half what they do now. Is the new tech that much more advanced? From the surface, bikes don't look that much different. Maybe the thru axles, but that can't account for a doubling in price. 12 to 15 years ago, ya bikes were no where near as advanced, they were still using URT suspension designs, but that was long gone by 2005.

    Also, shouldn't these big bike foundries greatly reduce the cost of bikes? Were these around back in the mid 2000's?
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    Firstly comparing an off the shelf factory made stock KX 450 or CRF 450 @ $8000 with pro MTB's with handbuilt Enve wheels top end forks / XO XTR brakes and drivetrain etc is not apples with apples - to make these competitive and pro you need to add in the $10K for Showa A kit suspension / linkages / clamps etc, $5 to $6k+ for pro circuit high compression race pistons / cams / valves / engine building & tuning etc then brakes hoses other stuff I would say you are looking at a minimum of $25~30K to have something competitive . (my nephew races AMA and my brother in law is constantly *****ing about the cost). I am quite happy racing on my $2K 29er hardtail or $4K Epic full sus, spending $10K+ on a bike won't make me any faster. You can get a perfectly decent stock MTB that would be comparable with your stock factory made cross bike for $1.5K to $3K and any of these bikes are significantly better than 4 or 5Ktopend bikes of 10 / 15 years ago.

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    Quote Originally Posted by singletrackmack View Post
    Yes, thanks for bringing that up. I was only comparing the cost of motocross components to mtb components to show how much we are all being ripped off. The theory of Economy of Scale also demonstrates just how much corporate greed there is.

    Economy of scale means the more you produce the cheaper the cost. If economy of scale was taking place like it should be, then mountain bikes would be getting less expensive, not more. But these greed will not let that happen.

    Back in the early to mid 2000's a top of the line mtb went for around 3k to 4k, much less than a mid to top of the line motocross bike back then. Mtb technology has not changed much since then and there are a lot more mountain bikes being produced today than back then. Also, back then there were plenty of bikes you could buy that were manufactured in the good old USA and made by professionals. Now they are just about all made in China or Indonesia or wherever by children which further reduces costs.

    So economy of scale is just something else that shows how much price gouging is going on and therefore I have absolutely no shame in sticking it to a manufacturer. They are ripping us off, so I will do the same to them.

    Like I said, it's those who ride for fun and recreation vs corporate greed and those who profit from their greed.
    LOL keep making yourself look completely ignorant. You don't take into account inflation. My Top of the Line 2000 SWorks FSR was $3600, My TBc was $4500, if you take inflation into account my carbon bike cost less than my aluminum one did.
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  33. #33
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    Re: 20mm longer fork weakens frame, voids warranty?

    Quote Originally Posted by SimpleJon View Post
    Firstly comparing an off the shelf factory made stock KX 450 or CRF 450 @ $8000 with pro MTB's with handbuilt Enve wheels top end forks / XO XTR brakes and drivetrain etc is not apples with apples - to make these competitive and pro you need to add in the $10K for Showa A kit suspension / linkages / clamps etc, $5 to $6k+ for pro circuit high compression race pistons / cams / valves / engine building & tuning etc then brakes hoses other stuff I would say you are looking at a minimum of $25~30K to have something competitive . (my nephew races AMA and my brother in law is constantly *****ing about the cost). I am quite happy racing on my $2K 29er hardtail or $4K Epic full sus, spending $10K+ on a bike won't make me any faster. You can get a perfectly decent stock MTB that would be comparable with your stock factory made cross bike for $1.5K to $3K and any of these bikes are significantly better than 4 or 5Ktopend bikes of 10 / 15 years ago.
    Exactly!!!

    A brand new MX bike is not "top of the line" the way a $10k mountain bike is. How many pro's (or even amateurs) are riding stock MX bikes?? Even the semi serious weekend warriors that I know have several thousand dollars into their machines to make them more competitive.

    An off the showroom floor MX bike would be more comparable buying a mountain bike with a nice carbon fs frame but mid level components

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    Quote Originally Posted by SimpleJon View Post
    You can get a perfectly decent stock MTB....for $1.5K to $3K and any of these bikes are significantly better than 4 or 5K topend bikes of 10 / 15 years ago.
    This. For what I paid for a simple, non-US built hardtail with a fork that blew up in a couple weeks and brakes that barely slowed the bike down back in the 90s, there are so many amazing choices in bikes out there now, it's ridiculous.
    Also, as noted, the huge dollar bikes come pre-upgraded. You can't get better parts to put on them, because they already come equipped with them the absolute cutting edge components. Personally, I think they're an incredible waste of money, but hey, it ain't my money. If somebody wants a $2500 wheelset, so be it. But you can't expect a bike that comes with a $2500 wheelset to sell for $4000.

    Personally, I think paying anywhere close to retail for high end bikes is silly. One of the other handy quirks of the mtb market is your typical high-end bling machine loses about half it's value in it's first season. That's when I swoop in...

  35. #35
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    Who cares.

    If you do indeed care that a bicycle costs more then a motocross bike then sell your fricken bicycle, purchase the cheaper motocross bike, and go troll a motocross forum.

  36. #36
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    Just put your old fork in your hydration pack as well as all your tools. that way when you crash and crack your frame you can do the ol' switch-a-roo on the sly

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    I say u should always look at Axle to Crown when u change forks/travel up. I went from 100mm to 120mm by changing forks and only increased A 2 C by 10mm \o/. I suppose you could consider how much sag was used on each fork as well to get more of an idea.

  38. #38
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    Please see the "bike pricing has increased 95% Inflation has increased 96% thread in the General discussion thread to see why I have absolutely no love for today manufactures.

    Here is the link and below that what I posted there regarding why I feel they are ripping us all off.

    Bike pricing has increased 96%, inflation has increased 27%


    "Help me with my thinking here. I do realize the following analogy is not perfect so please correct the flaws in my thought process.

    I started mountain biking in the early 90's. I remember around '95 a top of the line mtb went for $3500 to 5k and many bikes were made in the USA back then. The last new bike I bought was in '05. A top of the line bike in '05 went for $3500 to 5k and many bikes were made in the USA back then.

    There was a hell of a lot of advancements in mtb technology between '95 and 2005, yet pricing pretty much stayed the same.

    Now, a top of the line mtb goes for 10k and many bikes are made with cheap labor over seas now. Sure the technology has improved since '05, but no where near like between '95 and '05. And actually, I have been looking at buying a new bike and really don't see a dramatic difference in technology between '05 and now, but between '95 and '05 there was a galaxy of difference.

    I took a quick look at the historical inflation rate by year and as far as I can tell it shows the inflation rate between '95 and '05 is higher than between '05 and now. However, that was a quick look on the web and may not be right, so if I am wrong please let us know what the inflation rate was between these two periods.

    I love mountain biking with a passion, but these numbers leave a very bad taste in my mouth and makes me think that (yes, I'll say it and I know it won't make me popular, but it's what I feel in my gut, so sorry if it pisses you off) corporate greed is the reason. And that's not just a trendy thing to say now a days, if you've been around you know that shits been talked about since the 80's. It just never had a place in mountain biking before now.

    Oh and I see someone brought up economy of scale. There are a hell of a lot more people mountain biking today than in '95 and back then there was a lot more more manufactures, so with that theory prices should be really going down, but....

    What has happened to the mountain bike industry?"

    And

    "Originally Posted by J_R_A
    singletrackmack has some great points.... An 05' RLC and a 14' CDT compared to a 95' Indy C and a 04' Reba RL is huge or URT to Horst again huge.
    ~JRA

    You bringing up rear suspension improvements reminds me that many of the rear suspension patents are up, like the Horst Link four bar. These companies no longer need to pay for the license to use these designs which should again, bring pricing down" but greed will not let that happen.
    Get out of the gutter and onto the mountain top.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    LOL keep making yourself look completely ignorant. You don't take into account inflation. My Top of the Line 2000 SWorks FSR was $3600, My TBc was $4500, if you take inflation into account my carbon bike cost less than my aluminum one did.
    Please see the above post regarding inflation and technology advancements.

    Not looking at the entire history if mountain bikes is what makes you look ignorant.

    FYI, mountain biking didn't start in 2000.
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    Quote Originally Posted by singletrackmack View Post
    Please see the above post regarding inflation and technology advancements.

    Not looking at the entire history if mountain bikes is what makes you look ignorant.

    FYI, mountain biking didn't start in 2000.
    Where does my post imply that it did start in 2000? My point is still relevant and you still even after the post above don't get it.
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  41. #41
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    I know you know mountain biking didn't start back in 2000. I just said that because you called me ignorant, and the oldest bike you referenced was a 2000. I see you own a '98 stumpy comp, nice bike. You got your money's worth back then.

    And no, myself and a lot other people who agree with me on the thread I referenced above don't get why mtb's have gotten so outrageously expensive since '05 given there has been no real major advancements in mountain bike technology since then. If there is one that I am not thinking of, please state it.

    Actually, there is one I can think of, and that would be the advancements in marketing. Maybe that's were all the money is going, R&D in market research.

    Anyways, if you think it's inflation, then please explain why mtb prices didn't go up from '95 to '05 during the era of the biggest advancements in mtb technology to date while inflation was greater at that time then from '05 to now.
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    20mm longer fork weakens frame, voids warranty?

    The new thread has as much nonsense as this one.

    Bikes incorporate a lot of metal. They're also mostly made in Asia and have to be transported to major markets. Metals prices and fuel prices have increased dramatically since 2005. I haven't seen anyone mention that in the other thread.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by evasive View Post
    The new thread has as much nonsense as this one.

    Bikes incorporate a lot of metal. They're also mostly made in Asia and have to be transported to major markets. Metals prices and fuel prices have increased dramatically since 2005. I haven't seen anyone mention that in the other thread.
    Finally, a reason that sorta makes sense, except for the whole Asia thing. I believe the reason they make bikes over seas is because including shipping, it's much cheaper than making bikes in the US, which they used to do before the price went thru the roof.

    Now as far as the price of materials, did they not rise as dramatically from '95 to '05 during a time when inflation was higher then from '05 to now? I am not trying to be smart ass here, I really don't know the answer.
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    Actually, sorry price of fuel part doesn't make any sense. You all realize these reasons your stating can be verified using the internet right?

    The average price of gas in '95 was $1.05 to $1.11.
    It doubled and then some by 2005 to 2.10 to $2.47
    Fuel prices in 2013 averaged between $3.11 to $3.65 an increase of about only 33% over 2005.

    So I guess we've moved onto the price of metal as the reason now. Be nice to see some actual statistics on that, because so far everything else has been a bunch of assumptions and guesses. Thank god for the internet, otherwise we would be taking the words of those who haven't checked their facts.
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  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by singletrackmack View Post
    Actually, sorry price of fuel part doesn't make any sense. You all realize these reasons your stating can be verified using the internet right?

    The average price of gas in '95 was $1.05 to $1.11.
    It doubled and then some by 2005 to 2.10 to $2.47
    Fuel prices in 2013 averaged between $3.11 to $3.65 an increase of about only 33% over 2005.

    So I guess we've moved onto the price of metal as the reason now. Be nice to see some actual statistics on that, because so far everything else has been a bunch of assumptions and guesses. Thank god for the internet, otherwise we would be taking the words of those who haven't checked their facts.
    Well, if you come up with some freighters that run on gasoline, I suppose that's relevant. You're also talking about US prices versus the global cost of oil. Either way, I don't really have any interest in researching a position. I'm not presenting one. My issue is with your argument that the only justifiable increase is cost over that time is inflation, and everything beyond that is greed. It's far from that simple.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by singletrackmack
    And no, myself and a lot other people who agree with me on the thread I referenced above don't get why mtb's have gotten so outrageously expensive since '05 given there has been no real major advancements in mountain bike technology since then. If there is one that I am not thinking of, please state it.
    "Gouging" is a term usually reserved for scenarios where a necessary commodity is being sold for an unreasonable or excessive price. Fortunately for you mountain bikes are not a necessity, rather a luxury. You're basically saying: "I want a new bike but I think manufacturers are making too much money on them. Therefore it's appropriate to scam them."

    If you think manufacturers are charging too much: then don't buy their products. It's as simple as that. Don't try and exact some type of vigilante retribution.

    On a similar note, if you think that technology hasn't markedly improved since 2005 then you're glossing over some major advancements.
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  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by evasive View Post
    Well, if you come up with some freighters that run on gasoline, I suppose that's relevant. You're also talking about US prices versus the global cost of oil. Either way, I don't really have any interest in researching a position. I'm not presenting one. My issue is with your argument that the only justifiable increase is cost over that time is inflation, and everything beyond that is greed. It's far from that simple.
    Well I have to say I am learning some good stuff here. Checked out global bunker fuel prices on the old World Wide Web and here you go:

    Global bunker fuel cost in 1995 - was about $30 a barrel
    Global bunker fuel cost in 2005 - was about $70 a barrel
    Global bunker fuel cost in 2012 - was about $115 a barrel.

    This pretty much follows the US gas pricing increase between '95 and now so that is not a valid reason for the increase in mtb retails, but without looking at the facts it sure seemed logical.

    I think your miss understanding my argument. I am NOT agreeing that large increase in the pricing of MTB's is due to inflation, that's why I am pointing out that mtb prices pretty much stayed the same between '95 and '05 and dramatically have increased from 05 to now, while inflation from '95 to '05 was greater than from '05 to now. At the same time, major technological advancements in mtb's were made from '95 to '05, while from '05 to now, while there were advancements however I can't think of any major ones that would warrant such a huge increase in price.

    After reading the arguments and then researching the facts I have now started to come to the conclusion that the increase in price has to do with 2 factors. One, as you state is greed and the other is a need to spend more and more on marketing.

    I have been looking to get a new ride, and my major concern is what am I getting for the money. It seems that with the mtb industry today we are getting a lot less for the same money, and if you want something high-end, it's going to cost double what it used to, but without the major advancement that one would expect, like from '95 to '05.

    I don't mind paying if the price is fair, but I won't stand for getting ripped off, and that's why I am still looking into this. I am trying my best to justify buying a new mid to high-end bike, but I just don't see any value with the direction the mtb industry has gone.

    There is a lot more noise, but there's a saying for that, big hat, no cattle.
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  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by singletrackmack View Post
    I think your miss understanding my argument. I am NOT agreeing that large increase in the pricing of MTB's is due to inflation, that's why I am pointing out that mtb prices pretty much stayed the same between '95 and '05 and dramatically have increased from 05 to now, while inflation from '95 to '05 was greater than from '05 to now. At the same time, major technological advancements in mtb's were made from '95 to '05, while from '05 to now, while there were advancements however I can't think of any major ones that would warrant such a huge increase in price.
    Not at all. Re-read what I wrote.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berkley View Post
    On a similar note, if you think that technology hasn't markedly improved since 2005 then you're glossing over some major advancements.
    I have been trying to see what those major advancements are that warrant such an increase in price, but I don't just don't see. Maybe I have just been dealing with really crappy sales men at bike shops, but none of them have pointed anything out to me that would cost so much more than in '05. I know there have been advancement, but from what I can tell there more like tweaks, than technological breakthroughs.

    Please list the major advancements that warrant the increase in price so I can add some items to the "why I should buy a new bike" part of my list.

    Thanks.
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  50. #50
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    - Carbon components, especially frames.
    - Tapered head tubes
    - Thru axles
    - Disc brakes
    - Tubeless tires
    - Wider, stiffer rims
    - Wide handlebars
    - Suspension (forks and shocks)
    - Dropper seatposts
    - Frame geometry

    I could go on, but all of these things have improved significantly. Are there luddites who fail to see the benefits? Sure, and no one is forcing them to buy anything.
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  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by singletrackmack View Post
    I have been trying to see what those major advancements are that warrant such an increase in price, but I don't just don't see. Maybe I have just been dealing with really crappy sales men at bike shops, but none of them have pointed anything out to me that would cost so much more than in '05. I know there have been advancement, but from what I can tell there more like tweaks, than technological breakthroughs.

    Please list the major advancements that warrant the increase in price so I can add some items to the "why I should buy a new bike" part of my list.

    Thanks.
    Don't buy a new bike, then. Find a 2005 bike used, or maybe go nuts and get a 2006. You'll be able to get it for even cheaper than you would have then!

  52. #52
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    So let's make it very simple for you. $3600 bike in 2000 would be worth $4700 today just based on inflation alone.
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    Re: 20mm longer fork weakens frame, voids warranty?

    My god. It's the thread that was about that thing that then turned into that other thing and now it won't die.
    Singletrackmack, have you been stewing over this since Nov? Its your thread, take it where you want, but jeez, let it go man! Take a bonghit dude.

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by ddprocter View Post
    My god. It's the thread that was about that thing that then turned into that other thing and now it won't die.
    Singletrackmack, have you been stewing over this since Nov? Its your thread, take it where you want, but jeez, let it go man! Take a bonghit dude.
    Ya, think that's about as far as we can get. The thread did take a turn that's for sure. I had pretty much all but let it go, but then I saw the thread Bike pricing has increased 96%, inflation has increased 27% and it got me all fired up again.

    Still a bunch if questions that are not answered, like what major advancements there have been since '05, but I think at this point no one can really come up with any otherwise they would have been brought up.

    Went back a re-read the thread from the beginning, which I wish I had done a while ago. I now realize I got quite offensive when I used words like scumbags, gouging and so on especially to those who work in the mtb industry and I would like to apologize for that. That really wasn't cool and I think I had a little too much to drink during those post. Once again, I apologize for offending anyone, you had every right to get offended.

    I do have a lot of love for this sport and have since 1991 and that is probably why I got so fired up. I still own my old bikes and the last bike I bought was a 5x5 fish cake in '05. I don't think words can describe the difference in performance between that bike and the FS bikes I road in the 90's (just image yellow elastomers). I guess I was expecting to get blown away again when I started test riding new bikes, especially considering the increase in price, but nothing like that has happened yet. I have pretty much upgraded most major parts on my cake, like front and rear shocks, brakes, wheels and so on which might account for there not being much of a marked improvement.

    As far as scamming the bike manufacture by switching out forks, that was really just talk, I couldn't do that to the legendary man Gary Fisher. But I don't think I will have any issues with my frame so the point is mute.

    I do have a lot of love for the sport, just not much love for manufactures at this moment. I am going to chalk up the major increase in price to three main factors: corporations trying to maximize profits (which sounds better than the "G" word), expenses in marketing departments skyrocketing and demand from consumers who are willing to pay just about anything to have something "new".

    Thanks for sticking it out, and trying to help me through it and I'll just say I agree to disagree and move on. If I have a few too many and get fired up again I can vent on that other thread I mentioned before, but I hope I let it go.
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    I'm not an industry analyst or anything, but I can think of a ton of innovations and trends since 2005 that would impact on the cost of high-end bikes.

    - Rise of the 29er. In 2005, 29ers were a fringe idea pretty much limited to Gary Fisher and a handful of Karate Monkey early adopters. In 2014, 29ers are the standard for XC and very popular in other market niches. You can’t even hardly buy a 26er anymore. Much digital ink has been spilled chronicling the evolution of 29er from sluggish and awkward monsters to the slick machines they are now, so I won’t repeat it here. Suffice to say, all that R&D to reengineer every aspect of the bicycle to accommodate the big wheels - frames, suspension, tires, wheels, you name it – wasn’t free.

    - Carbon Fiber. I’d be very surprised if the ubiquity of CF in the last couple of years hasn’t pushed prices up. Frames, wheels, handlebars – everything is CF these days on high-end bikes. And what isn’t CF, is Ti, which ain’t cheap either (although I think Ti is less common on stock bikes).

    - Suspension. Suspension has become much more sophisticated since 2005, with all the various “brains” and “platforms” and “whatchamacallits”. And of course, the usual yearly evolutions to get lighter, stronger, stiffer, plusher, more travel. And then do it all again for 29er. And again for 27.5”. I’ll lump in dropper seatposts here too, which may have existed in 2005, but are far more common on high-end bikes now.

    - Tubeless. Another thing that existed in 2005, but is far more common now and has seen a lot of industry R&D in the last ten years.

    - Blingy parts. I may be on shakier ground here, because I’m sure mountain bike enthusiasts have always been snobby about their parts spec. But, it just seems to me that these days there is more of an obsession with having just the right parts – the Chris King headset, the White Industries hubs, etc – and OEMs respond to that demand by speccing the blingy stuff on their high-end bikes instead of the proprietary parts on their low-end bikes.

    - Cost of raw materials. Raw materials are commodities traded on an open market with everybody else that uses those materials; those costs don’t necessarily track with inflation. If the price of aluminum goes up (and I’m pretty sure it has), that cost gets passed on to the end consumer. Ditto rubber for tires; resins in carbon fiber; everything on the bike. And don’t forget oil prices. When it costs more to ship your bike from its factory in Asia to the warehouse in California and out your LBS, you’re gonna pay more for that too.

    - Weak dollar. Historically speaking, the dollar is weaker relative to other currencies now than it was in 2005, which drives up the price of imports on top of normal inflation.

    - Rising labor costs in Asia. China is transitioning to a service economy and labor costs there are rising accordingly. I don’t know how exactly that is impacting the bicycle industry, but that is the general trend. Taiwan is already a first world economy and, while labor costs there are less than in the US, workers are unionized and receive decent wages. These imported bikes aren’t being made in slave camps.

    - Income disparity at home. Why it’s happening and what should be done about it is too political to get into here. But it is undisputed by everyone of all political persuasions that since 2005, the rich have gotten richer, poor have gotten poorer, and the middle class is getting smaller. So while the economy writ large has been stagnant, there is still an affluent market for high-end bikes. In fact, bicycling is increasingly becoming a sport for the rich, who, since they’ve been getting richer, are willing to pay higher prices for the latest bells and whistles and branding.

    All of these factors combine with normal market supply and demand to set the prices for bikes. I have to assume that since the bicycle market is relatively unregulated, thus not unduly distorted by government interference, that prices are about right where they should be. Otherwise, they wouldn’t sell. In fact, when a particular bike isn’t selling, the retailer reduces its cost (puts it on sale) to level where it will sell. That’s how the market corrects the price if the OEM sets it too high.

    Another trend I’ve noticed in the last ten years is that while costs of high-end bikes have gone up and up, there’s been a backlash of sorts as more riders have embraced older and simpler technologies. 29ers made hardtails popular again. Single speeding is as widespread as it’s ever been. Rigid “all rounders” like cyclocross, gravel, and “adventure” touring bikes are hot. Fatbikes! There’s more choices now in the market all price levels then there were in 2005, and I think that’s all for the good.
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    Back at the ranch...

    Without getting into the science of fork length there is probably some merit to weight and force on the fork.

    A 250lb rider taking 3 foot drops will most likely have a greater impact than a 175 lb rider taking 1 foot drops. When a manufacturer sells a bike they probably use the max weight the frame was designed for and the max impact. So if you are at the max then I can understand the warranty issue with a longer fork.

    As for the corporate greed... it has all been said before on nearly every forum from guitars to surfboards. The real truth is that if it is so stinking easy to make great products and stay in business, none of the founders of these industries would have closed their doors.

    John

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    70sSanO thanks. But like I said earlier, I don't think my frame will have an issue, since it seems to be designed to take 100mm forks and up to 130mm forks. Different packages had different fork lengths, but the main frame is the same.

    Mostly all of the smaller manufactures were gone by '05.
    Last edited by singletrackmack; 03-04-2014 at 06:03 PM.
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    High pricing for new bikes is directly correlated to the number of people out there for whom shopping and gear geeking is as important (or even MORE important) than actually riding.

    I actually think "fat bikes" are a prime example of this - most people aren't buying these because they want a simpler, cheaper bike. People are buying them because they don't get the same purchasing thrill from just picking up a set of 2.8's and throwing them on any old bike. The vast majority of 'fatbiking' is done in no more challenging conditions than what people have been riding regular bikes in for decades. Silliest fad I've seen since I got into the sport.

    Personally, I don't think there is a bike in the world worth more than ~$2000, and I don't give a damn what the advertising guys or their victims say. I've bought a number of 2 or 3 year old bikes that MSRPed in the $6000+ range for well under that price.
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    ^^^^
    Well that's an awfully cynical response.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bolandjd View Post
    ^^^^
    Well that's an awfully cynical response.
    I dunno, I just call it like I see it. Take a good long look around this website and tell me how much gear and shopping content vs actual riding content you find and let me know if you honestly don't think I have a point. What the ratio of bike porn pics to riding pics you think? 20 to1 or so? MTBers are largely a bunch of magpies. Add (or subtract) a gear to a cogset or an inch to a wheel or 25% to tire widtch, tell them it's 'The Greatest Thing Ever", and watch them fall all over themselves to spend millions. Rinse and repeat.
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  61. #61
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    I just deleted my last post, I need to let this go, thanks.
    Last edited by singletrackmack; 03-04-2014 at 06:35 PM. Reason: Need to let it go
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    FWIW, I've built up a pretty damn big pile of mid to high-end bikes and parts myself over the years. And it's no business of mine whatsover what anybody else decides they want to spend their money on - hell, my dad is 70, not a ripper by any means, and rides a carbon Mojo SL that costs more than my last 3 DH bikes combined. It's all good.

    I'm definitely a bit of a cynical bastard though, particularly when it comes to being separated from my $$. I really think that diminishing returns are a strong consideration when you start spending more than a couple grand on a bike. I'm pretty damn sure that I'll get 90% of the performance of a 10k bike out of a 4k bike, just like I can get 90% of the performance of a 'fatbike' by throwing my old Nokians and Doublewides on some random rigid bike. Particularly in the beginner's forum, I think it's a good idea to dispel the notion that you actually NEED any wildly overpriced, newest, and bestest crap to get great performance and have an incredible amount of fun.
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    You might be right slaphead, but you still sound pretty jaded to me. I get where you're coming from, though. I ride a steel hardtail 26er with V-brakes that I built it up for around $300. I go for "tried and true" over "new and improved" any day, and I am certainly not impressed by marketing hype. I've never owned a particularly "high-end" bike, nor do I really aspire to. As an aside, I must have touched a nerve by mentioning fatbikes (and that's all it was - a passing mention). Okay, you can call it a fad. But I think there's a valid use for such bikes in place where the ground is covered in snow half the year (or sand), so I won't be surprised if fatbikes settle into a nice little market niche after the fuss wears off. Or they'll go the way of Softride bikes.

    I was just trying to answer the question on the table about why bike prices have risen so much in the last decade. Based on what I know about the bike industry, economic trends, and world affair, I think there are valid market reasons for that increase. That doesn't necessarily discount your argument that there are a lot of rubes out there with more dollars than sense, particularly amoungst the mtbr.com readership. But its more complicated than that. I just think free markets work - that's all. If prices are too high, they will self correct. If people want something, even for banal reasons, it will command a higher price. That's true for everything, not just bikes. Have you priced Apple computers lately? Singletrackmack is letting it go, so I am too.

    P.S. My excuse for posting here is I'm stuck at work and need "mini-breaks" between pushing papers and TPS reports. Believe me - I'd MUCH rather be out riding! (or canoeing - my other great passion)
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    Yeah, you're right about 'fatbikes' - the trend annoys me for some stupid reason. I'm not sure, but I think it's got something to do with people using the word as a verb.

    I agree that for deep snow and sand where you need a lot of float, running extra wide tires is a great idea. People (myself included) have been throwing together some sort of version of 'fatbikes' for ages for use in those sort of conditions. Lately it seems there are a ton of people swiping a credit card on them and rarely (if ever) using them for anything beyond what can be ridden on any other bike, then getting all evangelical about it. Yes you can put wide tires on a bike. No, it doesn't constitute a 'lifestyle' or even usually any unique riding, so could you please stop saying 'fatbiking' every 2 minutes? It's just XC riding on somewhat wider tires. I don't say I'm going 'longstemming' or '26ering' fer Gawd's sake.

    Now pardon me while I take my beam bike for a ride in the snow.
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  65. #65
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    Your bike doesn't cost more because it's better

    Your mtb doesn't cost more because it's better, it costs more because you believe it's better.

    First off, yes this is a double post. It's also posted in the general discussion forum on the Bike prices have increased 96% thread.

    I posted it here as well to give singletrackmack some cali love. I have to say I can see why you guys wanted him to let it go. Every bullshit reason you guys spit his way to justify stupid high prices he was able to poke holes in using facts and logic and you guys took a crap on his rep (which is red right now by the way) because of it. Not cool.


    Luckily for me I could give a tiny red shit about what you think of me. I am from Oakland and keeping it real is the priority. So, here we go.

    How about we look at some facts?

    -Prices:
    High end mtbs in the early/mid 2000 cost the same as high end mtbs from the mid 90’s.
    High end mtbs today cost twice as much or more than mtbs made in the early/mid 2000.

    -Technology:
    Mtb technology advancements from the mid 90’s to early/mid 2000 was extreme.
    Mtb technology advancements from the early/mid 2000 to today has been minimal.
    Proof:
    Mtbs from the mid 90’s were no were near as capable as mtbs from the early/mid 2000s.
    Mtbs from the early/mid 2000s are just about as capable as mtbs made today.
    Just check out Red Bull Rampage 2002 Video - Pinkbike Red Bull Rampage 2002 Video - Pinkbike to see early 2000 mtb capabilities. These guys are doing the same shit as riders today are just as easily. Would love to see someone attempt this on a mtb made in the mid 90’s. Seriously that would be f-larious.

    -Inflation:
    Inflation rate from ’95 to ’05 was 28%
    Inflation rate from ’05 to today is 20%

    -Theory of economy of scale:
    More people are mountain biking today than in the 90’s.
    There are considerably less manufactures making bikes today than in ’95.
    Economy of scale states that the more of a product a manufacturer can make the cheaper. Not only are they making more bikes because more people ride now, but since there are less manufactures, each is making a considerable more amount of bikes than in the 90’s.

    -Global cost of materials:
    Aluminum:
    1995 about .95 cents a lb
    2005 about .80 cents a lb
    2014 about .80 cents a lb
    Steel raw materials:
    With the exception of tin and titanium, different steel raw materials have either stayed the same or have gone down a little or up a little since ’05.
    Tin has gone up by 50%, but I don’t ride tin bikes.
    Titanium has gone from over $20 a kg in ’05 to just above $6 a kg in ’13.

    -Labor:
    Many bikes in the 90’s and early/mid 2000 were made in the good ole USA by professionals.
    Mostly all bikes today are made in Asian countries probably by children and meth heads. (Yes, I said meth heads. I just watched the National Geographic’s documentary called ‘the world’s most dangerous drug’ where they shed light on the fact that in Asian countries like Taiwan, China, Korea and Thailand where yaba is part of the culture and it is common practice for factory bosses to hand out yaba to workers to increase production. Yaba is meth pills laced with caffeine. Ever wonder why labor is so cheap in Asia? This is one reason.)

    -Fuel: (taken from the “20mm longer fork weakens frame, voids warranty?” thread in the beginners forum. Thanks again singletrackmack)
    Gasoline:
    1995 gallon of gas cost $1.05 to $1.11
    2005 gallon of gas cost $2.10 to $2.47. An increase of about 50%
    2013 gallon of gas cost $3.11 to $3.65. An increase of about 33% over ’05.
    “Oh, uh, but freighters don’t run on gasoline and since bikes are now mainly made in Asia the cost to transport them has gone up.”
    Ok
    Global bunker fuel:
    Bunker fuel cost in ’95 – about $30 a barrel
    Bunker fuel cost in ’05 - about $70 a barrel
    Bunker fuel cost in 2013 – about $115 a barrel. Pretty steady increases there.

    So, would anyone else who works for the MTB industry trying to justify ridiculous prices like to through some more shit on the wall to see if it sticks?

    Truth is, mountain bikes don’t cost more because they are ‘that’ much better. (Although the marketing sure does a good job of brain washing people into thinking they are so much better). MTBs cost more because manufactures have way bigger marketing expenses than ever, and they will keep pumping money into marketing because people are buying into it and paying ridiculous amounts of money for bikes that are marginally better each year. And finally, the last reason they cost so much is because mtb manufactures figured out they can take total advantage of us, so they do.

    No, I don’t have to buy a new mtb, but that doesn’t make what they are doing right.
    Last edited by shortbutfunky; 03-07-2014 at 02:14 AM. Reason: incorrect link to redbull rampage 2002 vid
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    Quote Originally Posted by shortbutfunky View Post
    Your mtb doesn't cost more because it's better, it costs more because you believe it's better.

    First off, yes this is a double post. It's also posted in the general discussion forum on the Bike prices have increased 96% thread.

    I posted it here as well to give singletrackmack some cali love. I have to say I can see why you guys wanted him to let it go. Every bullshit reason you guys spit his way to justify stupid high prices he was able to poke holes in using facts and logic and you guys took a crap on his rep (which is red right now by the way) because of it. Not cool.


    Luckily for me I could give a tiny red shit about what you think of me. I am from Oakland and keeping it real is the priority. So, here we go.

    How about we look at some facts?

    -Prices:
    High end mtbs in the early/mid 2000 cost the same as high end mtbs from the mid 90’s.
    High end mtbs today cost twice as much or more than mtbs made in the early/mid 2000.

    -Technology:
    Mtb technology advancements from the mid 90’s to early/mid 2000 was extreme.
    Mtb technology advancements from the early/mid 2000 to today has been minimal.
    Proof:
    Mtbs from the mid 90’s were no were near as capable as mtbs from the early/mid 2000s.
    Mtbs from the early/mid 2000s are just about as capable as mtbs made today.
    Just check out Red Bull Rampage 2002 Video - Pinkbike Red Bull Rampage 2002 Video - Pinkbike to see early 2000 mtb capabilities. These guys are doing the same shit as riders today are just as easily. Would love to see someone attempt this on a mtb made in the mid 90’s. Seriously that would be f-larious.

    -Inflation:
    Inflation rate from ’95 to ’05 was 28%
    Inflation rate from ’05 to today is 20%

    -Theory of economy of scale:
    More people are mountain biking today than in the 90’s.
    There are considerably less manufactures making bikes today than in ’95.
    Economy of scale states that the more of a product a manufacturer can make the cheaper. Not only are they making more bikes because more people ride now, but since there are less manufactures, each is making a considerable more amount of bikes than in the 90’s.

    -Global cost of materials:
    Aluminum:
    1995 about .95 cents a lb
    2005 about .80 cents a lb
    2014 about .80 cents a lb
    Steel raw materials:
    With the exception of tin and titanium, different steel raw materials have either stayed the same or have gone down a little or up a little since ’05.
    Tin has gone up by 50%, but I don’t ride tin bikes.
    Titanium has gone from over $20 a kg in ’05 to just above $6 a kg in ’13.

    -Labor:
    Many bikes in the 90’s and early/mid 2000 were made in the good ole USA by professionals.
    Mostly all bikes today are made in Asian countries probably by children and meth heads. (Yes, I said meth heads. I just watched the National Geographic’s documentary called ‘the world’s most dangerous drug’ where they shed light on the fact that in Asian countries like Taiwan, China, Korea and Thailand where yaba is part of the culture and it is common practice for factory bosses to hand out yaba to workers to increase production. Yaba is meth pills laced with caffeine. Ever wonder why labor is so cheap in Asia? This is one reason.)

    -Fuel: (taken from the “20mm longer fork weakens frame, voids warranty?” thread in the beginners forum. Thanks again singletrackmack)
    Gasoline:
    1995 gallon of gas cost $1.05 to $1.11
    2005 gallon of gas cost $2.10 to $2.47. An increase of about 50%
    2013 gallon of gas cost $3.11 to $3.65. An increase of about 33% over ’05.
    “Oh, uh, but freighters don’t run on gasoline and since bikes are now mainly made in Asia the cost to transport them has gone up.”
    Ok
    Global bunker fuel:
    Bunker fuel cost in ’95 – about $30 a barrel
    Bunker fuel cost in ’05 - about $70 a barrel
    Bunker fuel cost in 2013 – about $115 a barrel. Pretty steady increases there.

    So, would anyone else who works for the MTB industry trying to justify ridiculous prices like to through some more shit on the wall to see if it sticks?

    Truth is, mountain bikes don’t cost more because they are ‘that’ much better. (Although the marketing sure does a good job of brain washing people into thinking they are so much better). MTBs cost more because manufactures have way bigger marketing expenses than ever, and they will keep pumping money into marketing because people are buying into it and paying ridiculous amounts of money for bikes that are marginally better each year. And finally, the last reason they cost so much is because mtb manufactures figured out they can take total advantage of us, so they do.

    No, I don’t have to buy a new mtb, but that doesn’t make what they are doing right.
    So you're a moron also and haven't gotten a clue. At least he found like minded people on the forum.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    So you're a moron also and haven't gotten a clue. At least he found like minded people on the forum.
    You got anything to back up your claim that we're 'morons' for pointing out that the pricing will rise to whatever level the market will bear? That's called making money, and it's the entire reason companies are in business as I understand things. If nobody was willing to shell out 7-8-9-10 large for a bicycle (a bicycle!) that performs only marginally better than one costing a fraction as much, then you wouldn't see the market full of them.
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  68. #68
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    The part about being bad for the frame really depends a lot on the frame in question.

    My thought on the warranty issue (and the effect on the frame) is that it is based on the assumption that running a longer fork is indicative of being more likely to ride the bike harder, beyond what the frame was intended for.

    In some cases, it is not a warranty issue, but the company feels going outside a certain travel range will screw up the handling, so they have a recommended range. Of course, it is really the fork length (combined with the sag) that determines the effect on the geometry, but that is too complicated for the average Joe to want to figure out. I am pretty sure I am the only one of my riding buddies that knows the axle-to-crown length of their fork.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    So you're a moron also and haven't gotten a clue. At least he found like minded people on the forum.
    So your calling me a moron?

    Taken from "out of the fog"
    "Name-calling is one of the most common tactics people use to hurt others or disparage them. It often occurs when someone has an emotional argument to make with little or no supporting logical argument."

    Your letting your emotions get in the way of logic. Thanks for pointing this out to everyone here and showing why we shouldn't be listening to your reasoning.
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    Also, I just joined MTBR and I thought name calling was in direct violation to forum rules.

    You say I don't have a clue? Well it's plainly obvious you are arguing using clueless emotions not logic. I think at this point the only thing that would help you get a clue is to get yourself a good proctologist and detective.
    Last edited by shortbutfunky; 03-07-2014 at 09:47 AM. Reason: Forgot no no smile face. Thats better.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bolandjd View Post
    I'm not an industry analyst or anything, but I can think of a ton of innovations and trends since 2005 that would impact on the cost of high-end bikes.

    - Rise of the 29er. In 2005, 29ers were a fringe idea pretty much limited to Gary Fisher and a handful of Karate Monkey early adopters. In 2014, 29ers are the standard for XC and very popular in other market niches. You can’t even hardly buy a 26er anymore. Much digital ink has been spilled chronicling the evolution of 29er from sluggish and awkward monsters to the slick machines they are now, so I won’t repeat it here. Suffice to say, all that R&D to reengineer every aspect of the bicycle to accommodate the big wheels - frames, suspension, tires, wheels, you name it – wasn’t free.

    - Carbon Fiber. I’d be very surprised if the ubiquity of CF in the last couple of years hasn’t pushed prices up. Frames, wheels, handlebars – everything is CF these days on high-end bikes. And what isn’t CF, is Ti, which ain’t cheap either (although I think Ti is less common on stock bikes).

    - Suspension. Suspension has become much more sophisticated since 2005, with all the various “brains” and “platforms” and “whatchamacallits”. And of course, the usual yearly evolutions to get lighter, stronger, stiffer, plusher, more travel. And then do it all again for 29er. And again for 27.5”. I’ll lump in dropper seatposts here too, which may have existed in 2005, but are far more common on high-end bikes now.

    - Tubeless. Another thing that existed in 2005, but is far more common now and has seen a lot of industry R&D in the last ten years.

    - Blingy parts. I may be on shakier ground here, because I’m sure mountain bike enthusiasts have always been snobby about their parts spec. But, it just seems to me that these days there is more of an obsession with having just the right parts – the Chris King headset, the White Industries hubs, etc – and OEMs respond to that demand by speccing the blingy stuff on their high-end bikes instead of the proprietary parts on their low-end bikes.

    - Cost of raw materials. Raw materials are commodities traded on an open market with everybody else that uses those materials; those costs don’t necessarily track with inflation. If the price of aluminum goes up (and I’m pretty sure it has), that cost gets passed on to the end consumer. Ditto rubber for tires; resins in carbon fiber; everything on the bike. And don’t forget oil prices. When it costs more to ship your bike from its factory in Asia to the warehouse in California and out your LBS, you’re gonna pay more for that too.

    - Weak dollar. Historically speaking, the dollar is weaker relative to other currencies now than it was in 2005, which drives up the price of imports on top of normal inflation.

    - Rising labor costs in Asia. China is transitioning to a service economy and labor costs there are rising accordingly. I don’t know how exactly that is impacting the bicycle industry, but that is the general trend. Taiwan is already a first world economy and, while labor costs there are less than in the US, workers are unionized and receive decent wages. These imported bikes aren’t being made in slave camps.

    - Income disparity at home. Why it’s happening and what should be done about it is too political to get into here. But it is undisputed by everyone of all political persuasions that since 2005, the rich have gotten richer, poor have gotten poorer, and the middle class is getting smaller. So while the economy writ large has been stagnant, there is still an affluent market for high-end bikes. In fact, bicycling is increasingly becoming a sport for the rich, who, since they’ve been getting richer, are willing to pay higher prices for the latest bells and whistles and branding.

    All of these factors combine with normal market supply and demand to set the prices for bikes. I have to assume that since the bicycle market is relatively unregulated, thus not unduly distorted by government interference, that prices are about right where they should be. Otherwise, they wouldn’t sell. In fact, when a particular bike isn’t selling, the retailer reduces its cost (puts it on sale) to level where it will sell. That’s how the market corrects the price if the OEM sets it too high.

    Another trend I’ve noticed in the last ten years is that while costs of high-end bikes have gone up and up, there’s been a backlash of sorts as more riders have embraced older and simpler technologies. 29ers made hardtails popular again. Single speeding is as widespread as it’s ever been. Rigid “all rounders” like cyclocross, gravel, and “adventure” touring bikes are hot. Fatbikes! There’s more choices now in the market all price levels then there were in 2005, and I think that’s all for the good.
    None of this explains why a high end BICYCLE rivals a 600cc Super Sport motorcycle in purchase price.

    If you look at motorcycle on the show room floor, you are going to have to hunt to ferrous metals, everything is now ubatonium alloys that only existed on open class super bikes 20 years ago.

    Take my Daytona, three circuit suspension, high/low compression circuits, plus rebound and preload (front and back), stock, you can get Olhins TTX fork pair for around $1600....this has the control to handle a 650 pound vehicle+rider at triple digit speeds, and about $1400 for the shock that has the added bonus of trying to control a 3 and a half foot long swing arm, under power with a 9 pound wheel on the back. $1000 for a Fox fork on a bike? Nope


    Mono-block caliper (these are awesome but expensive due because they are basically cut from a single chunk of aluminum. You can get a set for around $450 used, between $1400-1900 new IF you must have Brembo and you must have the top end nickle coated jobs.

    Someone was trying to sell me a $500 brake kit.....didn't include rotors.
    While we are there, motorcycle rotors are about $350 a pop....bottom end that goes WAY up.

    Chassis aluminum engine cases are usually magnesium or aluminum, aluminum heads, valves etc. But wait it has a motor, odds are it has a in fact mine puts 114hp to the rear wheel and that is box stock


    Sprockets are steel, aluminum is there but I don't recommend it outside of track only use, and even these are handling thousands of foot pounds of torque, sprocket sets run $250(ish) plus $100 for a chain. $1400 for that SRAM X11 YOU ARE OUT YOUR HEAD I can get a chain sprockets, clutch AND a every damn gear in the transmission for that.

    While I slightly ranting tubeless? Its been a thing on motorcycles for 40 years, about 20 if you exclude non-spoked wheels.

    So why are bikes so expensive. Simple, people PAY it, no more no less. Would I pay more for a Mountain Bike than most of the motorcycles I've owned in the 27 (**** I'm getting old) years I've been riding them....hell no.

    What you get is the confluence of hundreds of thousands of gear nerds + disposable income + plus low production runs. The Trek Marlin I'm riding around isn't that much better than the 950 I had in high school, it has disk brakes and bigger wheels....but damn a bike is a bike.

  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tripped1 View Post
    None of this explains why a high end BICYCLE rivals a 600cc Super Sport motorcycle in purchase price.

    If you look at motorcycle on the show room floor, you are going to have to hunt to ferrous metals, everything is now ubatonium alloys that only existed on open class super bikes 20 years ago.

    Take my Daytona, three circuit suspension, high/low compression circuits, plus rebound and preload (front and back), stock, you can get Olhins TTX fork pair for around $1600....this has the control to handle a 650 pound vehicle+rider at triple digit speeds, and about $1400 for the shock that has the added bonus of trying to control a 3 and a half foot long swing arm, under power with a 9 pound wheel on the back. $1000 for a Fox fork on a bike? Nope


    Mono-block caliper (these are awesome but expensive due because they are basically cut from a single chunk of aluminum. You can get a set for around $450 used, between $1400-1900 new IF you must have Brembo and you must have the top end nickle coated jobs.

    Someone was trying to sell me a $500 brake kit.....didn't include rotors.
    While we are there, motorcycle rotors are about $350 a pop....bottom end that goes WAY up.

    Chassis aluminum engine cases are usually magnesium or aluminum, aluminum heads, valves etc. But wait it has a motor, odds are it has a in fact mine puts 114hp to the rear wheel and that is box stock


    Sprockets are steel, aluminum is there but I don't recommend it outside of track only use, and even these are handling thousands of foot pounds of torque, sprocket sets run $250(ish) plus $100 for a chain. $1400 for that SRAM X11 YOU ARE OUT YOUR HEAD I can get a chain sprockets, clutch AND a every damn gear in the transmission for that.

    While I slightly ranting tubeless? Its been a thing on motorcycles for 40 years, about 20 if you exclude non-spoked wheels.

    So why are bikes so expensive. Simple, people PAY it, no more no less. Would I pay more for a Mountain Bike than most of the motorcycles I've owned in the 27 (**** I'm getting old) years I've been riding them....hell no.

    What you get is the confluence of hundreds of thousands of gear nerds + disposable income + plus low production runs. The Trek Marlin I'm riding around isn't that much better than the 950 I had in high school, it has disk brakes and bigger wheels....but damn a bike is a bike.

    All of that has already been covered if you read the thread.
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  73. #73
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    Wow, in trying to answer the posted topic I missed the whole "bikes cost too much these days" part.

    This has been discussed a gazzilion times, starting from the time this forum started in the late 90's.

    It breaks down to two different questions
    1- Are we getting more or less for our money these days
    2- What "should" the bikes cost

    First question is pretty easy: With the exception of low end entry bikes you get more/better stuff for your money (adjusted for inflation) today than 10 or 15 years ago. Just look at what $2K gets you now from a variety of companies, and compare that to $1600 on 2004. Or $1,425 in 1999. It's pretty clear to me I am getting a better bike.

    Compared to 1999, at almost every pricepoint (above the big-box level)....

    Shocks and Forks (especially air shocks and forks) at any given price-point are better performing, stiffer, more reliable, more tunable.
    Brakes are f#ck ton better.
    FS frames are far better, both in terms of suspension design and stiffness
    Tubeless tires of several varieties
    Lighter for the same stiffness and price
    Components across the board seem more reliable to me.

    The one area I do see going up in cost with little benefit are drive-trains.


    The second question (what "should" a bike cost) is one that seems easier to answer the less you know about a given industry. I'll just ask you this: How many people do you see getting very rich in the bicycle industry? If someone is charging way more than something cost to make/deliver, then someone should be raking in huge amounts of profits. Who are these people? Nobody goes into the biking industry to get rich.

    I think it is a big enough industry with enough players that a monopoly is pretty much out of the question. Also, there is really no "Apple" of the biking industry right now. There are just a couple huge frame manufacturers, but that manufacturing cost is not a big part of the cost of the bike.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

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    TwoTone, first of all it's already been covered that we shouldn't be listening to anything you have to say.



    Originally Posted by TwoTone
    So you're a moron also and haven't gotten a clue. At least he found like minded people on the forum.
    Quote Originally Posted by shortbutfunky View Post
    So your calling me a moron?

    Taken from "out of the fog"
    "Name-calling is one of the most common tactics people use to hurt others or disparage them. It often occurs when someone has an emotional argument to make with little or no supporting logical argument."

    Your letting your emotions get in the way of logic. Thanks for pointing this out to everyone here and showing why we shouldn't be listening to your reasoning.
    You say I don't have a clue? Well it's plainly obvious you are arguing using clueless emotions not logic. I think at this point the only thing that would help you get a clue is to get yourself a good proctologist and detective.
    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    All of that has already been covered if you read the thread.
    Second, it's been talked about, but like just about everything else in this thread trying to justify high prices, there are no facts to back it up. Tripped1 has some solid logic and facts to back it up. What do you have? You gonna call us names again because you can't come up with a legit argument.

    By the way, calling people names is not taken lightly where I am from and so I don't take it lightly. Looks like forum administrators don't care so I will just keep putting you in your place since they won't.

    Finally , I like how the only response to facts and logic that is laid out perfectly clear is either name calling, reference to arguments made earlier that were discredited, or just completely ignored.

    And as far as the advancements made since the early 2000, just about everything that was mentioned was developed in the 90's or was at least around by 2005.

    - Carbon components, especially frames - Trek and others have been developing carbon frames and parts since the early 90's when the technology was borrowed from tennis racquets. No bike manufacture had to spend money to invent carbon fiber. There have been full carbon bikes since the early 2000.
    - Thru axles - Been around since before '05.
    - Disc brakes - Been around since the early 2000
    - Tubeless tires - as tripped1 pointed out, it's been around in moto cross for years and was borrowed form that industry without have to pay to invent it.
    -Suspension (forks and shocks) Capable ones have been around since the early 2000, just watch the redbull rampage vid from 2002. They were just as capable as today. Why, because the tech was taken from moto cross, not invented by bike manufactures.
    -29ers - All the leg work was done by Fisher in the early 2000.
    -Fat bike - those have been raced on since the 90's in Alaska. Two regular wheels put together with a special hub, but the ground work for frame design was already laid out in the 90's.

    The rest is just marginal improvements and don't justify extreme prices.
    -Frame geometry
    -Tapered head tubes
    - Wider, stiffer rims
    - Wide handlebar - Really, your gonna say wider handlebars a legit reason for higher prices?
    -Dropper seatposts
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    Finally , I like how the only response to facts and logic that is laid out perfectly clear is either name calling, reference to arguments made earlier that were discredited, or just completely ignored.
    All have seen so far is irrelevant comparisons and conjecture.

    And as far as the advancements made since the early 2000, just about everything that was mentioned was developed in the 90's or was at least around by 2005.
    "Been around since" is not the same as "available at the same price point" or "worked as well as".

    - Carbon components, especially frames - Trek and others have been developing carbon frames and parts since the early 90's when the technology was borrowed from tennis racquets. No bike manufacture had to spend money to invent carbon fiber. There have been full carbon bikes since the early 2000.
    Comparable CF frames are cheaper now then in the early 90's, and there were very few even available. Also (and more importantly) CF for MTBs is more reliable than it was then.
    - Thru axles - Been around since before '05.
    Not my example
    - Disc brakes - Been around since the early 2000
    They are a heck of a lot cheaper now to get ones that work reliably. Early hydros were notoriously unreliable. You could not pay me enough money to swap a set of 2014 Deore brakes for ANYTHING available in 2000 for any price
    - Tubeless tires - as tripped1 pointed out, it's been around in moto cross for years and was borrowed form that industry without have to pay to invent it.
    Still has to make it work, and early screw-ups indicate it is not that straightforward
    -Suspension (forks and shocks) Capable ones have been around since the early 2000, just watch the redbull rampage vid from 2002. They were just as capable as today. Why, because the tech was taken from moto cross, not invented by bike manufactures.
    You have GOT to be kidding me!! What utter nonsense! I owned high end forks from '99, 2000, and 2003. MANY mid-level forks today that sell for less money blow them out of the water. Not even close!
    -29ers - All the leg work was done by Fisher in the early 2000.
    29er prices are coming down for entry and mid-level stuff as the numbers are going up
    -Fat bike - those have been raced on since the 90's in Alaska. Two regular wheels put together with a special hub, but the ground work for frame design was already laid out in the 90's.
    I could care less about these



    The rest is just marginal improvements and don't justify extreme prices.
    -Frame geometry
    -Tapered head tubes
    - Wider, stiffer rims
    - Wide handlebar - Really, your gonna say wider handlebars a legit reason for higher prices?
    -Dropper seatposts[/QUOTE]

    Again, WHAT extreme prices? You are paying less now to get more. You talking about the small handful of $8K bikes out there? Those are irrelevant. The vast majority of people are buying at price-points far lower than that, and getting more for that money now than in 2000. Way more. My God, I can't believe that is not painfully obvious.

    Your assertion about forks not being better now than in 2000 is enough for me to call borderline trolling
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

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    Wow!!! that's a fun read

    All of the above is true about why the bike cost more now than before and will cost less than later. Forget inflation, R&D, Sponsor, and tooling cost. External factors alone do more than fair share of the damage.

    Back in 2000, there are probably less than half of the regulations and smarta$$es riders than today. Every time some dumb morons over tighten the carbon bar or seatpost and were helicoptered out of the mountain and sue the bike companies, we all pay. Every time some feel good green movement pass a bill for some BS regulations that would add to the final cost of the products, we all pay. So much has changed and overhead climb to record high, I'm surprised why the bike still cost so little.

    If you can't afford it or don't like the value of the bike then don't buy it. OP, How much would a 50lbs MX bike cost?

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    Quote Originally Posted by shortbutfunky View Post
    TwoTone, first of all it's already been covered that we shouldn't be listening to anything you have to say.



    Originally Posted by TwoTone
    So you're a moron also and haven't gotten a clue. At least he found like minded people on the forum.



    Second, it's been talked about, but like just about everything else in this thread trying to justify high prices, there are no facts to back it up. Tripped1 has some solid logic and facts to back it up. What do you have? You gonna call us names again because you can't come up with a legit argument.

    By the way, calling people names is not taken lightly where I am from and so I don't take it lightly. Looks like forum administrators don't care so I will just keep putting you in your place since they won't.

    Finally , I like how the only response to facts and logic that is laid out perfectly clear is either name calling, reference to arguments made earlier that were discredited, or just completely ignored.

    And as far as the advancements made since the early 2000, just about everything that was mentioned was developed in the 90's or was at least around by 2005.

    - Carbon components, especially frames - Trek and others have been developing carbon frames and parts since the early 90's when the technology was borrowed from tennis racquets. No bike manufacture had to spend money to invent carbon fiber. There have been full carbon bikes since the early 2000.
    - Thru axles - Been around since before '05.
    - Disc brakes - Been around since the early 2000
    - Tubeless tires - as tripped1 pointed out, it's been around in moto cross for years and was borrowed form that industry without have to pay to invent it.
    -Suspension (forks and shocks) Capable ones have been around since the early 2000, just watch the redbull rampage vid from 2002. They were just as capable as today. Why, because the tech was taken from moto cross, not invented by bike manufactures.
    -29ers - All the leg work was done by Fisher in the early 2000.
    -Fat bike - those have been raced on since the 90's in Alaska. Two regular wheels put together with a special hub, but the ground work for frame design was already laid out in the 90's.

    The rest is just marginal improvements and don't justify extreme prices.
    -Frame geometry
    -Tapered head tubes
    - Wider, stiffer rims
    - Wide handlebar - Really, your gonna say wider handlebars a legit reason for higher prices?
    -Dropper seatposts
    It has been covered. If you sell 100k units of something, you can sell it for less margin and still make a good profit. If you sell 1k units, you have to have a larger margin to make money.

    It's also been covered by people on here that you're comparing the price of 'Race ready' mountain bikes to stock off the floor motorcycles, and that a race motorcycle is going to cost a hell of a lot more.

    You mention carbon's been around since the early 2000's but fail to acknowledge the simple fact that the manufacturing techniques have changed. Those old frame were pieces glues together, while some frame are still down that way, I lot of frames are now one piece, the process have improved.

    Look you think they cost too much, then buy a used bike from the 2000's after all not much has changed in your mind. Enjoy it, have fun.
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    It's easy to marginalize developments and write them off.

    - Yes carbon has been around for 20+ years. But carbon construction techniques have improved dramatically in the past ten years. We now have six inch travel frames that weigh less than old XC frames. Carbon is now used on a plethora of downhill bikes.

    - Suggesting that suspension forks have not progressed based on the forks used at Rampage is rather ludicrous. New forks are tremendously better and the damping/adjustability is much more advanced. Look at the Rockshox Pike, which is a 4lb 160mm fork. That would be unheard of in 2005. Also note the Cane Creek Double Barrel Air. A LOT of tech in that shock.

    - Yes, disc brakes have been around for a long time. As previously noted, early 2000s models were terribly unreliable and poor-performing.

    - New thru axles are much better than the early models. And now they're commonplace on frames too.

    - Tubeless tires for mountain bikes are different than moto bikes. So are the rims and it's not an equal comparison.

    - 29ers have become much more widespread and less expensive. The geometry has changed drastically - look at all the long travel models available.

    - Fat bikes are not new, but they have come down in price and are now available in carbon. Plus the availability of tires from many more manufacturers.

    - Wider handlebars: There's a surprising amount of technology that goes into these. It's not easy to lengthen a handlebar and keep the weight manageable while making them strong.

    - Modern geometry. Prototyping and R&D isn't cheap, especially when you're trying out a bunch of different configurations.

    - Those "marginal improvements" add up.

    Here's the kicker about all these developments: They're designed for a human power source, which amounts to probably 1/4 horsepower at best (maybe less). Parts must be relatively lightweight and that costs more money to develop. Companies could produce this technology at a much lower cost if they didn't focus on weight. But who wants to ride a 40-50lb trailbike? I sure don't.

    Look at a bike like the Santa Cruz Bronson, which has been REALLY popular on these forums. It's a 6" bike that can be built to less than 28lbs with real-world components. There was nothing even close to that in 2005. Not by a mile. Consequently, it costs quite a bit of money.

    If anyone thinks the high prices on bikes and parts are unsustainable, consider this: bike companies sell many more entry level bikes/parts than they do high end models. Ask almost any bike shop owner: the Hardrocks and hybrids and comfort bikes keep the lights on, not $10k rides (except in a select few markets). Rockshox? There are probably 100 XC 28 forks sold for every Pike that goes out the door. It's easy to forget that MTBR is a vocal minority in the bicycle buying populus.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berkley View Post
    It's easy to marginalize developments and write them off.

    Here's the kicker about all these developments: They're designed for a human power source, which amounts to probably 1/4 horsepower at best (maybe less). Parts must be relatively lightweight and that costs more money to develop. Companies could produce this technology at a much lower cost if they didn't focus on weight. But who wants to ride a 40-50lb trailbike? I sure don't.
    I agree!!

    There are plenty of technology and advancement but name of the game is consumer. Unfortunately, mountain-bikers is not as adaptive as some other sports so the improvement seems slow. It'd only take a few years to go several generations and making huge improvements. Like I said, if the consumer do not jump on board with the new tech, we'd all be stuck with the better and lighter version of the older ones.

    If the electronic shifting is well-received the price on the trickle down line would have been awesome for entry level trim line, weight would come down as well. It's all about making mistake and correcting them. Same can be said about internal gear hub, shaft drive systems. Disc brake, suspension, 29er, and lighting systems already enjoy the mass transformation so would the next big hit.

    I don't see the bike weight go a lot lighter than it is now, may be 15%-20% more but that should push the envelope to the max already unless they can find way to make a bike out of quad-butted Adamantium.

    I see that there would be some kind of acceptance of a power assist integrate into a drivetrain, which would take the race to the lightest out of play and head into the next step. 1/8 to 1/4 hp would be a good start

  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berkley View Post
    Companies could produce this technology at a much lower cost if they didn't focus on weight. But who wants to ride a 40-50lb trailbike?
    Not for nuthin, but I had a ~40lb, ~7" travel bike, with decently functioning suspension and hydraulic disc brakes almost 15 years ago. A good amount of that weight was because of the heavy duty part spec I went with. It could have easily been built lighter and not gone up all that much in price. I still have a few forks and shocks from that period around on secondary bikes that, though a bit heavier, continue to function better than a lot of the mid-level stuff out there today. Bike cost about $2k new back then.

    Quote Originally Posted by Berkley View Post
    It's a 6" bike that can be built to less than 28lbs with real-world components. There was nothing even close to that in 2005. Not by a mile.
    You could get close long before that actually, for pretty short dough. Just one of many examples:

    2002 Specialized Enduro FSR - BikePedia

    I still believe a lot of people buy high end bikes strictly for the bling and placebo factor, and the more they pay, the happier they are. IMO, if you ride at a level that you can actually take real advantage of the difference between a 4k and a 10k bike, then your sponsors are going to be giving them to you for free anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    Not for nuthin, but I had a ~40lb, ~7" travel bike, with decently functioning suspension and hydraulic disc brakes almost 15 years ago. A good amount of that weight was because of the heavy duty part spec I went with. It could have easily been built lighter and not gone up all that much in price. I still have a few forks and shocks from that period around on secondary bikes that, though a bit heavier, continue to function better than a lot of the mid-level stuff out there today. Bike cost about $2k new back then.



    You could get close long before that actually, for pretty short dough. Just one of many examples:

    2002 Specialized Enduro FSR - BikePedia


    That 2002 Enduro is really not in the same league as what he is talking about. Guess it depends on your definition of "close".
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    You could get close long before that actually, for pretty short dough. Just one of many examples:

    2002 Specialized Enduro FSR - BikePedia

    I still believe a lot of people buy high end bikes strictly for the bling and placebo factor, and the more they pay, the happier they are. IMO, if you ride at a level that you can actually take real advantage of the difference between a 4k and a 10k bike, then your sponsors are going to be giving them to you for free anyway.

    Per Specialized, the 2002 Enduro came with a 100mm fork, so it's not even in the same class as the Bronson.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Berkley View Post
    Look at a bike like the Santa Cruz Bronson, which has been REALLY popular on these forums. It's a 6" bike that can be built to less than 28lbs with real-world components. There was nothing even close to that in 2005. Not by a mile. Consequently, it costs quite a bit of money.
    Is a 26lb 5" front a rear travel bike within a mile? OP says he has a Gary Fisher cake. Not sure what model he has, but that's a 26'lb 5x5 that first came out in 2004. No need to put extra money in to build a lighter bike like you say the Bronson needs to get it less than 28lbs. The top end model sold for about 3K. That's about 3.7K in todays money.

    Here is a lame propaganda video from youtube that shows the bikes weight. You gotta watch Gary puck up some cake before the weight is shown.
    Planet Propaganda: Gary Fisher Cake - YouTube
    Last edited by shortbutfunky; 03-09-2014 at 11:15 AM. Reason: Bad link, fixed
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post
    That 2002 Enduro is really not in the same league as what he is talking about. Guess it depends on your definition of "close".
    Quantify the differences and show me better than a 500% performance improvement to match the pricing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berkley View Post
    Per Specialized, the 2002 Enduro came with a 100mm fork, so it's not even in the same class as the Bronson.

    Specialized Bicycle Components
    Right. Cuz you couldn't throw a longer travel fork and longer stroke shock on it to get it pretty damn close, the way I did regularly.

    Over a couple grand, your ROI dwindles so fast it's ridiuclous. Over $5k, and you're buying pretty much nothing but extra hype. Unless you've got some empirical evidence that you're holding out on us?
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    I think one of the reason many of us are having a hard time believing your reasons to justify the high prices is because people here are posting bullsh%t facts like it's the truth.

    How are we supposed to believe anything you say when half of it is totally false?

    I know there are some good points as to why prices have gone up, but separating out that from the BS is hard to do.

    Please, for the sake of both sides arguments, if your going to post something that you think is a fact, look into it first. Otherwise your just adding fuel to the fire.

    I have already refuted many of the so called reasons for higher prices in my first post here. It wasn't hard to do, just look the sh%t up on the web before posting.

    Really, no bike within even a mile of the weight of that Santa Cruz? The OP even posted what kind of bike he had and you didn't even think of looking into the specs on his bike? Also, what are the chances that the bike the OP has is so light with so much travel. Makes me think that there are plenty of bikes with similar specs from around 2004.

    Pull your sh%t together. It took me like 3 min to figure out that his bike weighed 26lbs, with over 5" front a rear travel and came out in 2004. (130mm travel to be exact). Now how are supposed to believe anything else you posted or will post?
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    Quote Originally Posted by shortbutfunky View Post
    Is a 26lb 5" front a rear travel bike within a mile? OP says he has a Gary Fisher cake. Not sure what model he has, but that's a 26'lb 5x5 that first came out in 2004. No need to put extra money in to build a lighter bike like you say the Bronson needs to get it less than 28lbs. The top end model sold for about 3K. That's about 3.7K in todays money.
    There's no 26lbs cake DLX with of the shelf parts in 2004 for 3k. Around that period my brother an I went thru about dozen bikes a year. I've ridden plenty of Cakes both 4" and 5" We did a side by side comparison with 32lbs giant reign 1st gen with the 30lbs Cake 1 DLX and my $1000 reign beat cake in every aspect from climbing to descending. Couple of years later GF offer a fat possom it sucked too.

    Cake is a heavy pedaler regardless of the weight, it has this weird feed back that bug the crap out of you. Noisy descender and good luck using all of the travel. We are talking about the era when a couple years earlier, Klein adept K-link 2.75" were consider do it all mountain bike as they were advertised.

    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    Quantify the differences and show me better than a 500% performance improvement to match the pricing.
    This is tough one I give you that In that era MBA published a AM treatment on an Epic, though they disclaimed that it would void warranty but no mention was made about potential frame failure.

    Riding both of them side by side on the same trail in their tip top condition and appropriate era components would be the difference between surviving the descend and attacking the descend. Bronson requires no pro pedal to climb and descend well. Not to mention the unpleasant experience many of us have with the TALAS shock. Nowadays the modern stock fox shock feels better than back in the days fox shock with Push Factory treatment.

    All Mountain then and now is different mainly due to climbing ability. Very few companies can produce a 4"+ rear travel that can climb efficiently. Maverick is definitely on the top of my list as their 6.5" ML8 climb as well as their 4" ML7 at minimum weight increase as long as you can deal with the slacken geometry.

    I'd gladly paid $20,000 for a 2014 Bronson back in 2002, and would find $500 to be a fair deal for a 2002 enduro far in 2014. It's not 500% however in 02 fsr was $1700(unadjusted) and bronson alloy is $3400(msrp). If compare between the two. It's justifiable to get the bronson every time.


    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    Right. Cuz you couldn't throw a longer travel fork and longer stroke shock on it to get it pretty damn close, the way I did regularly.

    Over a couple grand, your ROI dwindles so fast it's ridiuclous. Over $5k, and you're buying pretty much nothing but extra hype. Unless you've got some empirical evidence that you're holding out on us?
    It's not. The closest thing on top of my head at the time would be Santa Cruz bullit, titus switch blade or quasi moto to compare with bronson in 2002, and they are a mile a part. Bronson also a 650b.

    There's no argument about the ROI because mountain bike is consider an extreme sport and could potentially put serious amount of wear and tear to the frame and components.

    Quote Originally Posted by shortbutfunky View Post


    Really, no bike within even a mile of the weight of that Santa Cruz? The OP even posted what kind of bike he had and you didn't even think of looking into the specs on his bike? Also, what are the chances that the bike the OP has is so light with so much travel. Makes me think that there are plenty of bikes with similar specs from around 2004.

    Pull your sh%t together. It took me like 3 min to figure out that his bike weighed 26lbs, with over 5" front a rear travel and came out in 2004. (130mm travel to be exact). Now how are supposed to believe anything else you posted or will post?
    Again not 26lbs. Just because it's on the internet it's not necessaliry true. Who should I believe you or my lying eye The only Fisher FS worth talking about is the Roscoe, and may be Superfly (then again superbly ride quality is just a dime a dozen even with G2 geometry) the rest is meh.

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    No, a 2004 Gary Fisher Cake is not in the same ballpark as a bike like the Bronson. Weight aside, the components more resemble an XC bike. You can build a Bronson much lighter than 28lbs if you use lightweight, 'racier' components.

    By that same measure, I'm talking about off the shelf bikes. Sure you can stick a big fork on a 2002 Enduro and call it a 6" bike, in the same way that you can stick a dual crown on a Bronson and call it a downhill bike.

    It's no secret that as you spend more money the improvements become more incremental. That's true in any industry. Not every rider can ascertain the difference between a $2k bike and a $5k bike and an $8k bike. But to say it's strictly hype isn't accurate. There are distinguishable differences and to some buyers those incremental improvements are worth the hefty price tag.
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    Quantify the differences and show me better than a 500% performance improvement to match the pricing.
    This is beside the point. There is no point in trying to monetarily quantify two totally different things, it is all subjective.

    Not sure where the 500% figure comes from, though. That bike you linked to is $1680 which adjusted for inflation is $2185 today. 500% of that is close to $11,000. What bike are we talking about here?

    You said that you could get close to a modern 6" 28lb AM rig in 2002 for cheap, and as an example show something that was 4" in the front, and 4-5.25" in the rear. By today's definition that is an XC bike, and that particular one would not be considered very good. That fork spce'd on that bike was marginal even then, and is an f'ing joke by today's standards in terms of function and stiffness. The frame is also not meant for what most 6" bikes today are designed to take, either (sticking a longer fork on it does not change that).

    It was not a bad bike, I buddy of mine has the 2003 version of it. It rides fine, but is NOTHING like many of the recent 5.5"-6" offerings out there now.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post
    ...it is all subjective.

    Not sure where the 500% figure comes from, though. That bike you linked to is $1680 which adjusted for inflation is $2185 today. 500% of that is close to $11,000. What bike are we talking about here?
    My point is actually along the lines that actual performance gains are NOT subjective for the most part. How good a bike feels to an individual is obviously going to play into things at some point, but there are quantifiable measures of things like traction and suspension response, damping effectiveness, braking power, strength to weight, etc, etc. Obviously, no one will jump on some old mid level FSR and think it rides exactly like a nice newer AM bike (I've actually got both in my garage, as well as a bunch of other bikes FWIW). And I really just pulled that bike out of my ass - I'm not going to argue any of the points made regarding it in particular, as they're all valid. I'm sure if I spent some time, I could find some more fitting examples, but my point has little to do with an off-the-shelf, part-by-part, gear-weenie measure-off. More that even that long ago, you could have spec-ed out a bike for a pretty reasonable price that provided most of the performance of today's highest end offerings. The differences just aren't as big as people tend to make them out to be.

    I didn't adjust for inflation, but there are bikes out there selling for upwards of $10k now. My point is that for a fifth of that, well over 10 years ago, you could've put together a bike that would provide, say, 75-80% of the performance (give or take) and weigh within a couple pounds. That's more like yards than miles in my book.

    I actually don't think there's anything wrong at all with companies making or selling these bikes (or god forbid, even making a few bucks on them). There's a market for them, they'd be dumb not to. I just think over a certain price point, things are driven more by gear worship than quantifiable performance gains. At least that's been my experience.
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  91. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by mimi1885 View Post
    There's no argument about the ROI because mountain bike is consider an extreme sport and could potentially put serious amount of wear and tear to the frame and components.
    I'm talking about ROI of MSRP versus actual performance gains, rather than resale value. I see that graph just about leveling out by $4k or so.
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  92. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    M

    I didn't adjust for inflation, but there are bikes out there selling for upwards of $10k now. My point is that for a fifth of that, well over 10 years ago, you could've put together a bike that would provide, say, 75-80% of the performance (give or take) and weigh within a couple pounds. That's more like yards than miles in my book.

    I actually don't think there's anything wrong at all with companies making or selling these bikes (or god forbid, even making a few bucks on them). There's a market for them, they'd be dumb not to. I just think over a certain price point, things are driven more by gear worship than quantifiable performance gains. At least that's been my experience.
    I'm totally with you on ultra-expensive bikes. I don't know exactly where the point of diminishing returns is, but a bike costing $10K is clearly long past it, and not doing anything most people could even tell over a $5K bike. A relative of mine has a S-Works something-or-other that cost something like $9K. I rode it for a few hours. I really could not tell why on earth anyone would spend that much on it. Don't get me wrong, it was a killer bike and worked great, but not better than bikes costing 1/2 as much.

    That said, I think the super high dollar bikes are a distraction to the real picture of where bike prices are. Most people are shopping down in the sub-$3000 range, and i think that at any of those pricepoints (adjusted for inflation), if you put a bike from today back to back with a bike from 10 years ago it is going to beat it on nearly every measure, even if the component "level" is lower (e.g., 2004 XT vs 2014 SLX).

    I actually try to avoid using weight as a measure of value. Granted, if one relies heavily on weight (no pun intended) as a measure of value, newer AM bikes seem like less of a good deal. But that is partly due to priories changing over the past 20 years. My FS back in 2000 was a good 5 lbs lighter than what I ride now, and did cost less, even adjusting for inflation. But what i ride now is stronger, stiffer, plusher, more capable on the rough, and still climbs better. Back in the late 90's, when someone got a new bike that was really nice, the first thing I did was lift it to see how light it was. I never even think to do that anymore.
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  93. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by shortbutfunky View Post
    I think one of the reason many of us are having a hard time believing your reasons to justify the high prices is because people here are posting bullsh%t facts like it's the truth.

    How are we supposed to believe anything you say when half of it is totally false?

    I know there are some good points as to why prices have gone up, but separating out that from the BS is hard to do.

    Please, for the sake of both sides arguments, if your going to post something that you think is a fact, look into it first. Otherwise your just adding fuel to the fire.

    I have already refuted many of the so called reasons for higher prices in my first post here. It wasn't hard to do, just look the sh%t up on the web before posting.

    Really, no bike within even a mile of the weight of that Santa Cruz? The OP even posted what kind of bike he had and you didn't even think of looking into the specs on his bike? Also, what are the chances that the bike the OP has is so light with so much travel. Makes me think that there are plenty of bikes with similar specs from around 2004.

    Pull your sh%t together. It took me like 3 min to figure out that his bike weighed 26lbs, with over 5" front a rear travel and came out in 2004. (130mm travel to be exact). Now how are supposed to believe anything else you posted or will post?
    Funny how 'your' facts are somehow the right ones.
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  94. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post
    ..snip....
    I agree with everything in your post, and my bike-of-choice path also seems to much mirror yours. I particularly agree on the weight angle, though I'm pretty sure we're in the minority there, as least as far as this website goes. Cheers.
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    From what I've noticed, the prices of components have skyrocketed in the last several years. Even from pricepoint, the majority of Fox forks run $900-$1000. 2-3 years ago a midrange Fox fork ran about $600. The same is true with wheelsets, brakes, drive trains, and nearly everything else. On a high end bike, the MSRP is pretty similar to what you could build it for paying full price for every component. Motorcycles on the other hand would run you around 3-4X more if you built it piece by piece. For whatever reason, manufacturers don't seem to get much of a discount based on their volume buying, possibly because there is such a variety of components out there.

    In response to the original question that everyone has forgotten about, bikes are designed with a certain weight rider and purpose in mind. Going outside that adds additional stresses on the frame. I would trust a burly frame rated for a 100mm fork with a 120 or even 140mm fork and a 150 lb rider to hold up much better than a stock fork with a 300 lb rider.

  96. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by gatorgrizz27 View Post
    From what I've noticed, the prices of components have skyrocketed in the last several years.

    In response to the original question that everyone has forgotten about, bikes are designed with a certain weight rider and purpose in mind. Going outside that adds additional stresses on the frame. I would trust a burly frame rated for a 100mm fork with a 120 or even 140mm fork and a 150 lb rider to hold up much better than a stock fork with a 300 lb rider.
    I know that Shimano Components from Asia sold at roughly half the price we are selling here give and take a few.

    Talking about putting longer fork than what it designed for is not only change the ride characteristic but to some it's a big no no I once had a very interesting conversation with John Castellano about putting 5" fork on my Ibis Szabo, clearly he was not happy.

  97. #97
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    OP here. Just wanted to say again I have let the price issue go so no comments regarding that, but I get emails every time there is post so I have to admit I have been reading along.

    Just thought I would share that my fisher cake is the non-DLX model which had carbon fiber seat stays while the DLX model did not. Mine is the cake 3 and came in a about 29lbs. The cake 1 & 2 were better equipt and lighter. I remember the DLX 1 was 28lbs.

    As far as the performance, the manitou swinger spv rear shock was very hard to dial in, but once it was, there was almost no pedal bob what so ever, especially if the damper was turned to slow when climbing. However, if one of the two chambers did not have the correct air pressure for your weight, then there definitely was noticeable issues. I have since replaced the SPV with a fox rp23 and no issues in set up or performance there.

    I have made many upgrades over the years as I could find parts I wanted on sale, wheels, cassette, headset, stem, bars and so on. I have had the bike down to just over 27lb, but now ride it at about 28lbs with 2.5" front/back and heavy tubes (I hate flats). (I know go tubless, mabey this summer)

    As far as using all the travel, being 6'4" at 240lbs running 25% to 30% sag, which I do, I can tell you I use every bit of rear travel. My rubber ring sag measuring thing makes that clear after a ride. For the noise, a few links out of the chain and a chainstay protector has done the trick.

    Thanks.
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    ...off detour, I always liked to throw a longer travel fork on pretty much any XCish geometry bike. I like what it does for the handling (in general). I've cracked a good handful of those frames, but none in the vicinity of the headtube . Not saying it's never happened, but unless we're talking a particularly fragile frame, I wouldn't even bat an eye adding and inch or so up front.
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  99. #99
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    Oh, by the way, thanks for the pos rep comments. Since my original post regarding the amount of love I had for today's manufactures, I've had some messaging with NateHawk and have been just thinking about how much I love this sport. I now realized that mountain biking is a passion of mine and it makes me happy. Regardless of the price, that's what matters, and manufactures are the ones who make this happiness possible.

    So I would just like to say thanks for making mountain bikes and allowing me to enjoy the sport I love. I don't need a very expensive bike for that, but I do need them to keep making bikes. So please, don't ever stop.
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    Not that I want to stir this up again.. But it simply comes down to: People will pay only what they think it is worth.. I know first hand my pay certainly hasn't maintained the same rate as inflation..

    As for longer suspension and warranty.. I came from a motorcycle riding background and with shorter suspensions you would see more frame cracking for a given activity.. MX, enduro etc, etc.. As suspension length increased so did the longevity of frames until people realized the longer travel allowed for them to hit obstacles harder, bigger jumps.. ETC, etc.. Then the failures started to return but usually took longer..

    I myself put on longer travel fork and shock for a plusher ride.. and it certainly paid off since now I can ride longer and be less tired over the same terrain..

    If you are constantly bottoming out the suspension on the fork or shock this energy gets directly input to it's connection point.. So from that stand point having a longer travel can if setup correctly lessen the tension/impact being placed on the high stress areas at hand.. So as long as it doesn't move the head angle to slack you might actually be helping to save the frame from a failure..

    At least this is what I have seen in the motorcycle end of things.. These nutty bicycles..

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