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  1. #1
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    a rant about the cost of mountain biking

    < RANT >
    This has been building up over time, so look out…

    Of all the money I spend on my cycling (bikes, clothes, shoes, gels, gloves, socks…), the money I mind spending the least and don’t begrudge at all is the $$$ that goes to event organizers and trails. I want those people who provide me with opportunities to race and enjoy well-marked trails to live comfortably, pay their bills, and reap some financial reward for their efforts. I also want the trails to have the money they need for upkeep and improvement.

    QUOTE From the forums: I guess they finally made enough to retire.

    was it $40 or $50 per head? about 1000 or more riders... I think $40,000 or $50,000 would cover the cost of some T-shirts and buy the volunteers some donuts.

    If I can ride a point-to-point race like to Lake to Lake with police escort, free food, draw prizes and 50 km of marked route for the price of a good pair of cycling gloves, I think that’s a good deal. The only reason I don’t want them to make enough to retire is…so they don’t retire (but I hope they make as much as any of us putting in those kind of hours would think reasonable)

    QUOTE From the forums: “I never really understood the concept of paying to ride XC trails. Hardwood is fine but there are MUCH better trails in the area. As for amenity's like bike washes and food service...who needs them. This sport is supposed to be about exploration and adventure...isn't it.”

    If I can go to Hardwood Hills and ride km after km of marked trail knowing that it’ll all be great riding, without ever having to stop and think “Is that the way to …?”, “I wonder if that trail is any good?”, “Where’s that trail everyone talks about?”, I don’t mind paying the same as a pair of socks. (the time and gas to get there is another story). Why is it that people will pay $50 to go downhill skiing, double that for golf, but $10-15 for the right to ride on great trails is somehow offensive? With all the worry and hand-wringing out there about how our right to use certain trails is constantly under threat, I would think that the fact that others who love our sport have secured a 30 year lease on these trails and want to keep providing us the chance to ride them would make us support them pretty much unconditionally.

    QUOTE From the forums: Who's doing "Crank the Shield"

    Looks good in principle, but $1500 for 3 days the transrockies is not much more for over double the amount of racing days!!! I hope this flies, but I hope they bring the price down to something us regular people can afford!!!


    These guys have been putting on mountain bike events in Ontario far before I ever started racing, and my bet is that for the first few years it was pretty much for the love of the sport, and that it has only been good business recently. Can you imagine how much time and effort this event will take, and the risks they are taking? OCUPs, 8 hour races, 24 hour races, Crank the Shield, 2 weekly series: this is clearly full-time work, providing countless hours of fun and competition to thousands of us here in Ontario. I think they should all get paid very well for this, and we should thank them on top of that. And I hope this event is an annual one, for when I can find a way to race it myself.

    NO QUOTE, but I’m on a roll now…

    If I can enter the BIKENXS weekly series for the price of a box of gels and a can of eload, and get 20 weeks of great racing on different courses with warm-up and cool-down laps AND probably win back my entry fees worth in draw prizes, I think that’s also a very good deal.

    If I can get access to a massive forest like the Ganaraska covering 100s of square km, with literally 100s of kms of trails, and pretty much have it myself, all the while being within 100 km of 3 million people for the price of a new tube, I’ll pay it and hope that it’s enough.

    If Jason Murray, and rest of the people at DMBA are willing to put in countless hours advocating for us and building trails, I’ll endeavour to get out and help when I can, and not blame them when the very things they try to prevent happen anyway. Oh, and I’ll pay for a DMBA membership this year. Jason, remind me if I forget to get around to it.

    < /RANT >

    My apologies to anyone who feels they were misrepresented or quoted out of context. Thanks for reading (if you got this far)

  2. #2
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    I agree with your rant 100%.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dover
    I agree with your rant 100%.
    I second that...Definitely cheaper than golf, snowboarding, or downhill skiiing on an annual basis...
    A bad day on the bike is better than a good day doing anything else...

    http://www.apexracephotography.com

  4. #4
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    All my expenses directly related to cycling last year cost me a little over $15/h of ride time. That is more money than I make per hour at any job I have had, but I get quite a bit of enjoyment out of it, as well as the health benefits.

    I'd like to take this opportunity to give the folks at Chico Racing a big as well as all of the other smaller groups that contribute the the MTB scene in Southern Ontario.

    Adding up all of the expenses of riding/racing can be pretty frightening, especially to somebody with limited income, but it is great to have so many opportunities available to us. If you don't want to pay the fees to race, that's fine. You have the option not to participate. If you don't want to pay $50+ to race the Paris to Ancaster, you don't have to. Feel free to do your own 60km down the Hamilton rail trail.
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.


    Shorthills Cycling Club

  5. #5
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    Agree with all that... but I'd like to add that the other cost I can't stomach is the high cost of parts in Canada. I understand that it's nice to support your LBS but on the other hand the stuff in my area is so outrageously overpriced that one can't even make a reasonable comparison of internet prices vs. the service received.

    It's a shame that I can get a decent wheelset shipped to me from California for $250 tax in, while the local store wants $500 to do the same. I wouldn't mind supporting them for an additional $100 or something, but double the price? Come on. Even regular bike stores across the border have much more reasonable prices.I guess it's likely an issue with the Canadian distribution network or something, but until the prices come down I think local stores are missing out on a large chunk of internet-savvy enthusiast mountain bike parts buyers.

    Your rant about the cost of actually accessing the trails is spot on - even as a perpetually broke student I don't mind paying - even if the prices went up I still wouldn't mind. As long as the money goes to maintain continued, relatively ecologically neutral access to trails I'm down.

    /rant

  6. #6
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    I don't mind paying the cost for a race myself, what's gets me riled up is the cost for my kids to race. $20-30 dollars when you add in the cost of having to get them a one day permit. And this is for kids ages 6 and up. Sheesh. More then a little outrageous considering I just paid 40 dollars for my son to play 12 weeks of floor hockey.
    High on Life

  7. #7
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    Ahmen......couldn't have said it better myself.

    I am going to Crank the Shield anyway, high price and all. I love and will pay for new adventures that refresh the sport of mountain biking around here in Ontario. How many more 24 hour races can one take!
    SUCCESS - To be able to spend life in your own way

  8. #8
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    I dont mind paying to ride a trail as long as it is maintained. Ever ride at Kelso? Its $7.00 to ride and the trails were in my opinion poorly maintained, tree's down in the middle of a fast single track section, flow killers. that bugs me. The Don is free to ride and has some of the best maintained trails around.

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    Too Funny

    I did not read this thread right away because I thought it was going to say my $40 tune up was a rip off, $12 to ride my $1000 bike on great trails is a rip off.

    Man was I wrong.

    Well thought out.

    Thanks for posting this HSCoach2.

  10. #10
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    The original post is spot on. I've always paid trail fee's as Its the right thing to do. But as far as races I've thought the price was a little high for someone like myself to just go out and ride and compete some what. but your bit about paying for skiing made me realize its really not that much. Thank you.



    Quote Originally Posted by rumin8

    It's a shame that I can get a decent wheelset shipped to me from California for $250 tax in, while the local store wants $500 to do the same. I wouldn't mind supporting them for an additional $100 or something, but double the price? Come on. Even regular bike stores across the border have much more reasonable prices.I guess it's likely an issue with the Canadian distribution network or something, but until the prices come down I think local stores are missing out on a large chunk of internet-savvy enthusiast mountain bike parts buyers.
    /rant
    Disclaimer: NOT A PERSONAL ATTACK

    Just a few points about this.
    -What is the minimum wage in the USA? What is it in Canada? Answer = higher prices in canada. You said you where a student. I'm sure when your done you want to make some good money. Well so do I, so inturn things cost more. your wage + part cost = higher price.
    -Fewer people in ontario or canada for that matter equals smaller market and again high prices.
    -People buying things from other countries and not there own drive up the price of goods because of supply and demand locally.

    Personal Rant

    By local and support your country and community. Keeps the jobs at home.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by rogue_monkey

    By local and support your country and community. Keeps the jobs at home.
    That sounds nice to type up and slap on the internet. But come on. When a product is twice as much at a LBS do you really expect people to make all of their purchases there?

    Many regular customers are given deals at shops. Often so much so, that their purchases barely support the shop anyways.

    I'm going to side with rumin8 on this one.

    I'm not saying you should never buy anything at a local shop, but people can only afford to spend so much extra to support their shops.
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.


    Shorthills Cycling Club

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by rkj__
    That sounds nice to type up and slap on the internet. But come on. When a product is twice as much at a LBS do you really expect people to make all of their purchases there?

    Many regular customers are given deals at shops. Often so much so, that their purchases barely support the shop anyways.

    I'm going to side with rumin8 on this one.

    I'm not saying you should never buy anything at a local shop, but people can only afford to spend so much extra to support their shops.

    No I agree with you both, There is a point and a line. I'll pay more but double is crazy. But the price jump has to start and come from some where. When you go buy produce at the grocery store do you look to see where it comes from. Like I said I agree but all the choices we make have repercushions ( sorry I can't spell)

    edit I think we are getting off topic here. If you'd like we can continue this in another thread. I'm not trying to make this personal or attack anyone or any country. what I have said is all personal believe and as with everything i believe I do not push my beliefs on others. I just point out that there is more then one side to things.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by rogue_monkey
    ( sorry I can't spell)
    I can't either, but Firefox has spell check.
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.


    Shorthills Cycling Club

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by rogue_monkey
    Just a few points about this.
    -What is the minimum wage in the USA? What is it in Canada? Answer = higher prices in canada. You said you where a student. I'm sure when your done you want to make some good money. Well so do I, so inturn things cost more. your wage + part cost = higher price.
    -Fewer people in ontario or canada for that matter equals smaller market and again high prices.
    -People buying things from other countries and not there own drive up the price of goods because of supply and demand locally.

    Personal Rant

    By local and support your country and community. Keeps the jobs at home.
    The biggest thing that affects pricing of what is available in shops is that there are only two distributors for bicycle components for the whole of Canada. Obviously they're dictating the pricing and it's getting passed onto us, the end users. With the strength of the Canadian dollar, you'd think they'd ease up on us but I haven't seen much difference even from 3 years ago.

    I feel bad for the bike shops in having some of the pricing they have to pass on from the distributor. I wish we, as the consumer, could voice our displeasure with the distributor to lower their prices. When we can buy directly from a store in the US for less then what a shop's wholesale price is, something's not right.

    I do shop as much as possibly locally but hold my breath for big ticket items (other then complete bikes) before I make a decision.

  15. #15
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    HSCoach2 you make some very good points with your post.
    I think I responded to some of those "quotes" you referred to in their original posting especially the Lake2Lake one.


    Here's a good example.
    Anyone who rides the trail systems in Niagara I think should support this race even if they don't actually race in it.
    The funds raised go towards maintaining the trails and trail access that are enjoyed by so many of us.


    Liberty! Bicycles 8x12 Off-Road Series
    Summer 2008
    Wednesday Evenings @ 6:30pm

    Before all else:
    Welcome. This Series is for you. Whether you are a novice or an expert, whether young or not-so-young, you can participate. And, we are certain you will have fun. You can ride one event or all; It's your choice. Regardless, come out and enjoy. By participating you will strengthen your fitness and improve your riding technique. You can use the Series as a training ground for other events, or as a way to just blow off stress. And, no matter who or how or why, by entering this Series you will be helping support local trail development so that cyclists like you can continue to have access to some of the best trails in Ontario. We hope you take part. Liberty! Bicycles is proud to be your host.

    Costs:
    Participants have the option of registering for the whole series, or for individual events.
    Full-Series Entry Fee (eight events) is $40 + GST. ($42.00) That's Five Dollars a night (plus tax).
    Single Day Entry Fee (one event) is $9.52 + GST. ($10.00) Doing four events? Sign-up for the whole series....

    Full-Series participants will each receive one, durable, season-long number plate for their bikes. Single-Day participants will get a one-time-use number plate for their specific event.
    Please note: The Liberty! Bicycles 8x12 Off-Road Series events take place weather permitting. Individual events will be cancelled if the conditions are not conducive to trail conservation. Regardless, entry fees are not refundable under any circumstances, cancellation or not. Proceeds are being generated to maintain and develop the trails within the 12-Mile Creek Valley.
    We appreciate your support.

    I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me.
    Hunter S. Thompson

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by racergurl
    ... I just paid 40 dollars for my son to play 12 weeks of floor hockey.
    damn I miss floor hockey!!!

    I try to buy local as much as I can, and the stores will definitely get my business when I am in a rush, but as mentioned for some things it is just frustrating at the difference in price.

    Good example: I was looking for a hubset, Hope Pro 2, with the singlespeed rear, called around Toronto, no one stocked them, most didn't know that Hope made other things aside from brakes, and when I finally got a shop that could give me some information on them, I was quoted $400 bucks for the rear hub alone. That would also require a 1-2 week time-frame to special order.

    I ended up going online, and getting both hubs for $270 canadian, and under $300 shipped, arrived within a week.

    What pisses me off though is when I have a problem, Hope wants me to deal directly with NRG for my warranty issues. NRG wants me to deal with the shop I bought them from, and since the shop is in the States, NRG doesn't give a damn (despite having an affiliation with Hope that they get a credit for, for anything that they warranty). Which is fine, I could care less to deal with those guys, they have screwed me over before, but when the guy guilt trips me for not buying local, it comes down to the fact that they obviously haven't tried to get their dealers to carry their products or put them in their own catalogues (because they are flipping through trying to find the darn hubs when I call and can't). Of course because they aren't in the catalogue, they also aren't in anyones display cases for potential customers to touch and feel.. and I guess this is partly the LBS's fault, since everyone wants to stock the bare minimum and do special orders for the rest of the stuff.

    So in a situation like this, there is really no advantage for me being able to buy the product local. I am going to have to wait just as long if I need service or small parts as I would buying from somewhere else, I am paying over double for the product, and I am waiting longer than I would have to wait if I just got the hubs online (which I can't touch and feel and witness in person before I buy anyways).

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by MajorMojo
    I don't mind paying to ride a trail as long as it is maintained. Ever ride at Kelso? Its $7.00 to ride and the trails were in my opinion poorly maintained, tree's down in the middle of a fast single track section, flow killers. that bugs me.
    Maybe $7.00 isn't enough then. Or perhaps it is, and they just have different ideas about what makes a good trail. Or maybe that tree was moved an hour after you rode there. Or maybe you're right.

    Quote Originally Posted by MajorMojo
    The Don is free to ride and has some of the best maintained trails around.
    Then the Don is not free to ride for those people who pay with their time and effort, and probably some of their own money too.

  18. #18
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    Regarding Canadian Pricing.

    It is getting better, but still not what it should be.

    The biggest one that I could think of was about 1.5 years ago. I priced out some MADE IN CANADA Race Face chain rings. The US retailer price for BOTH was CHEAPER than the quote I got just for the big ring at the Canadian shop.

    Damn that hurt....
    I decided to purchase by last build through my no so local LBS as opposed to Cross-border shopping. ( not the same shop as the chain-ring incident ) I didn't want any possible problems with warranty issues due to out of country purchases. I have dealt with this shop off and on ( when I live in the area ) for over about 25 years and wanted to keep some relatively local. In the end it cost me over a grand (+$1000.00) more to buy this bike though the LBS. ( parts only prices )

    Would I do it again....probably not. It ended up being more than I had budgeted, and I just can't afford to pay such a premium. For little or quick things ok, but for anyting worth real $$, I'm afraid I'm going where the dollar goes further. On the LBS behalf though...I really can't blame them, as their costs are quite often more than the US retail - how can you compete? Unfortunately for both of us, anything future will have to be very competivly priced - and I don't see that happening anytime soon.

    michael

  19. #19
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    Damn...the OP is 100% correct. Biking is a lot cheaper than the swingers club I go to downtown, but both are equally enjoyable!

  20. #20
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    Swingers club......now there is a term I haven't heard since the early '70s.
    SUCCESS - To be able to spend life in your own way

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by rogue_monkey
    The original post is spot on. I've always paid trail fee's as Its the right thing to do. But as far as races I've thought the price was a little high for someone like myself to just go out and ride and compete some what. but your bit about paying for skiing made me realize its really not that much. Thank you.





    Disclaimer: NOT A PERSONAL ATTACK

    Just a few points about this.
    -What is the minimum wage in the USA? What is it in Canada? Answer = higher prices in canada. You said you where a student. I'm sure when your done you want to make some good money. Well so do I, so inturn things cost more. your wage + part cost = higher price.
    -Fewer people in ontario or canada for that matter equals smaller market and again high prices.
    -People buying things from other countries and not there own drive up the price of goods because of supply and demand locally.

    Personal Rant

    By local and support your country and community. Keeps the jobs at home.
    I'm late on this thread and don't ride my MTB much, but I still ride and it's on the road. We deal with the same problems at the LBS...

    Here's the latest, Powerbars...

    My wife goes through them like water, last box she ordered they wanted to charge her $39.99...She's like what?? After some talking the owner pulls out the OGC catalogue and the MSRP is $44 in the book!!!

    Go to any grocery store and they are $24.99 or so....Do explain...I do believe OGC is gouging everyone!

    I'm sure the same holds true for many other products...
    "The meek shall inherit the earth"

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by rbart4506

    Do explain...I do believe OGC is gouging everyone!

    I'm sure the same holds true for many other products...
    Yup. The LBS has to pay a price for anything they sell. When the prices they pay are high, there is only one thing they can do to try and make some money, and that is charge the customer a high price.

    The prices from OGC, Cycles Lambert, and Norco are all pretty much the same.
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.


    Shorthills Cycling Club

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by rbart4506
    My wife goes through them like water, last box she ordered they wanted to charge her $39.99...She's like what?? After some talking the owner pulls out the OGC catalogue and the MSRP is $44 in the book!!!

    Go to any grocery store and they are $24.99 or so....Do explain...I do believe OGC is gouging everyone!

    I'm sure the same holds true for many other products...
    A few years ago, Nestle took over distribution of Powerbar products, and jacked up prices significantly. As a result, OGC who gets Powerbar from Nestle had to raise their prices. I'd actually go as far as to say that Powerbar is a prime example of high prices not being the bicycle distributors fault. There was a big kerfuffle when Nestle raised the prices, and I recall OGC considering to drop Powerbar altogether... but don't quote me on that.

    Also, something to note about grocery stores... yea their powerbars may be marked up less than whatever a bicycle shop does, but they make up that cost else where, maybe you're paying 200% markup on that steak you're eating. Not to mention, PB''s are probably considered high volume items relative to a bike shop.

    On an unrelated note, if anyone is pissed that timmy's raised the price of coffee, blame it on the folks who complained minimum wage was too low.

  24. #24
    rad to the power of sick
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    Oh and to put things back on track....

    yea.. Mountain Biking is superb for the money. Compared to skiing/golf/hockey etc., we've got it pretty good.

    Even compared to road cyclists we've got it good. Has anyone seen the Road Ocup prices this year? Mosport was cancelled this year b/c nobody signed up (due to cost no doubt). Also, the provincials last year cost 75$ just to race.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by pucked up
    Damn...the OP is 100% correct. Biking is a lot cheaper than the swingers club I go to downtown, but both are equally enjoyable!
    Ahhh Swings ..... Good Times ....
    All_tp_Products_tp_Eagle_Swing_Set_tp160.jpg
    Famous Last Words....."Hey, watch this!!"

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