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  1. #101
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    I am sure it is already said in here somewhere but I'm not going to read all of the debate. Volume-shmolume...

    ECONOMICS and CAPITALISM

    The industry will supply what the consumer demands. Price is set on what the industry is able to extract from the consumer. It has nothing to do with quantity or quality. Funny thing about a market, but you should know it is not controlled by the consumer.

    Non related item that is way overpriced

    Diamonds (you know they are not rare, right?) How long have we been told an engagement ring needs to be 3 months salary? Wanna bet that was the industry that drives the price?

    Solar Panels Prices have not come down as much as you would hope. Recently they have gone up by nearly the exact amount that the government rebate offers, about 1/3 the cost. So now what used to be a $20K system runs you about $27k. Fortunately the industry works it out for you by running 2 separate loans. One for your cost and the other for the $7K (projected rebate) at zero interest for one year. That way when you get the rebate, you just sign it over to the solar company and you are good, right? Oh, wait...(if you can't see it, talk to someone who knows finance)

    There are lots of ways the market is looking to get more money from you. How is that new and improved cell plan the big V offered you?

    Ever looked at the decreasing sizes in food portions? Prices remain relatively flat but the per serving cost has gone up. There are uncountable examples of this.

    It is all about getting the $$$$ in your wallet into their pockets.

    Complaining (sorry, discussing) here does nothing. If you want a nice bike, there are plenty of alternatives. If you bought the bill of goods that state you HAVE to buy X bike, you are exactly the type consumer the market will eat up and spit out much poorer. They do not exist for your benefit. It is quite the other way around. Just start shopping smarter and love what you ride rather than trying to keep up with the Jones.

    Biking is to the industry what golf was just a few years ago. There are lots of dollars out there ready to be spent. Of course, everything new will make you better. Since it is on the internet, it must be true.
    Apathy will get you exactly what you deserve

  2. #102
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    Yup, totally well said. Basically why I have said the companies are trying to convince you what they have in the new year is "so much better" than what you have now. And because of that, there's a big rush to recoup the cost of what they've built today and sell it all (almost all) so that they can make the most profits from that crop of stuff and then get us on the "new stuff".

  3. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiretracks View Post
    Wow I suspected a db, this may have confirmed it.
    What this confirms about you is that you're more likely to throw out an anonymous insult than respond with an intelligent post with some insightful ideas, pro or con. Anonymous insults require virtually no smarts. You very well might be a super intelligent and insightful person, but a post like this sure doesn't show it. Why not add a good idea to the debate instead of an insult?
    Are you really sure about that?

  4. #104
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    This chart belongs here. Discuss.....

    Name:  898994d1401993052t-no-love-26-img_6867.jpg
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  5. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by moefosho View Post
    DiamondBacks are not the best bikes...
    I don't think "db" means Diamond Back...lol. At least not in that post.

  6. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shakester View Post
    I don't think "db" means Diamond Back...lol. At least not in that post.
    Haha I know.

  7. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by moefosho View Post
    Haha I know.
    I had a feeling you did. LOL..

  8. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSLKauai View Post
    What's NOT SO OBVIOUS is how did the biking industry generate this pricing premium when obviously their products involve far less engineering, R&D and manufacturing costs than far more complex products.

    I suppose with all of your credentials you should have no problem explaining $3,000 fly rods to me. Or $1,200 lamps. $1,400 Cocker Spaniels? Everyone I know who golfs has a $500 driver in their bag, and that's just a hunk of aluminum glued to a graphite stick!

    Why single out mountain biking?

  9. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    I suppose with all of your credentials you should have no problem explaining $3,000 fly rods to me. Or $1,200 lamps. $1,400 Cocker Spaniels? Everyone I know who golfs has a $500 driver in their bag, and that's just a hunk of aluminum glued to a graphite stick!

    Why single out mountain biking?
    JB, just like my bike. I see no improvement in the new drivers vs. what I am hitting now (close to 10 years I think). At this point, my clubs are as good as I need an it's the nut behind the wheel that determines the success or lack of the shot. And no, I didn't pay anywhere close to $500 for it. And....it's titanium, not aluminum. But I'm must being a punk. It does have carbon fiber though..................hehe.

    OK, yes, true point there for sure. Our capitalism basically caught on to mountain biking and people want to cash in on it and get their "cut".

  10. #110
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    What kind of drivers are you guys using? I have a top of the line Nike Covert driver that I paid $300 for brand new.

  11. #111
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    I bought my Ben Hogan Eye-O-Matic persimmon driver for one dollar in a bin at a thrift store and like it just fine.

  12. #112
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    Why are nice bikes so frigging expensive?

    As others have posted earlier..we pay what the market will bear. Unless you're some professional rider and get bikes and swag gratis, we are stuck..capitalism at its best.

    It's the same discussion as why people wear a Rolex, drive Ferraris' and can afford kick ass go-fast cigar boats..because that is what people will pay.

    I agree though..paying $2-3k for a bicycle is crazy..but if you can afford it..why not. I just got my first MB last week for $250 off of CL (2010 Trek 3900 Disc) and am more than stoked..it is the nicest bike I ever owned.

    If I could afford it I would buy some crazy DH bomber..they look so frigging cool with the big suspension..but I can't.

    Funny, about the golf equipment perspective..seems I'm following a similar path..as I also play golf..but the same argument. Would I pay $500 for a brand new Titleist 913..no..but a lot of people do/can..







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  13. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by taprackbang View Post

    I agree though..paying $2-3k for a bicycle is crazy..but if you can afford it..why not. I just got my first MB last week for $250 off of CL (2010 Trek 3900 Disc) and am more than stoked..it is the nicest bike I ever owned.

    If I could afford it I would buy some crazy DH bomber..they look so frigging cool with the big suspension..but I can't.

    Funny, about the golf equipment perspective..seems I'm following a similar path..as I also play golf..but the same argument. Would I pay $500 for a brand new Titleist 913..no..but a lot of people do/can..

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I guess that's the point. Mountain biking for most of us is our hobby (our porn) and some of us can and are willing to pay higher rates for the stuff. I for one don't get new stuff every year and take care of the stuff and don't mind paying for the stuff when I do get it. But I agree, the prices are up quite a bit now compared to before. Example being XT stuff used to be under $100, XTR stuff was a couple hundred tops. Not so anymore.

    And golf, yes, I'm still hitting my circa 2005 Macgregor driver. I'm a good 20 years older then a lot of "kids" I play with and still out drive them while they're using they're latest greatest 5-6-700 dollar drivers. More importantly, I'm still playing with my old school Macgregor (70's era) irons and loving them and out scoring them. Like I said up top, it's the nut behind the wheel and my sticks are not the limiting factor at this point.

    But yes, well said, I've seen it with golf and now see it with mountain biking. People will pay. As much as there are complaints out there about the prices, the stuff we have to choose from is TONS better than what I had to engineer together for my desires back in the 80's. AND, there are so many great choices.

  14. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    I suppose with all of your credentials you should have no problem explaining $3,000 fly rods to me. Or $1,200 lamps. $1,400 Cocker Spaniels? Everyone I know who golfs has a $500 driver in their bag, and that's just a hunk of aluminum glued to a graphite stick!

    Why single out mountain biking?
    I would never spend 3000 on a fly rod...

    unless...

  15. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by J-Bone View Post
    I would never spend 3000 on a fly rod...

    unless...
    And my friends think I'm nuts to have a $1000 casting reel/rod combo for bass fishing. I actually have a few set ups like that.

  16. #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shakester View Post
    And my friends think I'm nuts to have a $1000 casting reel/rod combo for bass fishing. I actually have a few set ups like that.
    Needs more servo motors, and some electronic control feature called Syncro Release.

  17. #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by Circlip View Post
    Needs more servo motors, and some electronic control feature called Syncro Release.
    Whoa! Slow down. This might turn into a discussion on whether electronics have any part in the sport (of fishing), and whether people should be allowed to fish in lakes that don't allow motor (vehicles) with those rods.

  18. #118
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    Because the finer things in life are expensive, as they should be.

  19. #119
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    Back to subject though…a bike is just like most consumer items out there so complaining about it is pretty useless. Not everyone can afford a Ferrari or Lamborghini which are what these $6000+ bikes are in the bike world. You can spend $2000 and get yourself a pretty kick ass bike. Just don't expect to buy a Honda and expect it to have the engine or performance of a Ferrari.

  20. #120
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    Because they are worth it!

    Because they are worth it!

  21. #121
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    OK, so here's a bit of humor my friend put together from our previous trip to New Zealand.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgSb0adV1pI

  22. #122
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shakester View Post
    Just don't expect to buy a Honda and expect it to have the engine or performance of a Ferrari.
    ..but I bet Jeff Gordon can drive circles around me in that Honda and me behind the wheel of the Ferrari.

    I would bet that if John Tomac got on my $250 Craigslist MB, he would be a match for anyone here.

    Performance is so subjective..I have a couple of Scotty Cameron putters..both obscenely expensive for a putter..seriously..it's a putter..but oh..it is sooooo nice. Does it guarantee me birdies and pars on every green..yea..right. In the hands of Adam Scott, probably.

    I have a full frame camera, do my photos appear on National Geoographic..nope..but it is sooooo nice (but there is a noticeable difference in IQ with full frame sensors) and made so well.

    I have a nice set of forged Mizuno irons. Do they make me play better, no, I could probably play the same with a new or older set..but it is soooo nice.

    I have a few guns, does one shoot more accurately then the other..nope..but each one is soooo nice in it's own way.

    So in conclusion, to me, performance/value is in the eye of the beholder..but I would still love to have a FS DH bike..they are soooooo cool. (..and I would have to get $500 Troy Design helmet..)

  23. #123
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wherewolf View Post
    Because they are worth it!
    ..yeah, I know what you mean. I'm a cheap a$$ and will look for the cheapest beer available..this Korean beer called "Hite" is so frigging good..I paid $3.99/6 pack at the local asian supermarket..then I'll go to Costco and drop $60 on a couple bottles of wine.

  24. #124
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    Quote Originally Posted by taprackbang View Post
    ..yeah, I know what you mean. I'm a cheap a$$ and will look for the cheapest beer available..this Korean beer called "Hite" is so frigging good..I paid $3.99/6 pack at the local asian supermarket..then I'll go to Costco and drop $60 on a couple bottles of wine.
    Is that Korean beer so good because its so cheap? =P

  25. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by taprackbang View Post
    ..yeah, I know what you mean. I'm a cheap a$$ and will look for the cheapest beer available..this Korean beer called "Hite" is so frigging good..I paid $3.99/6 pack at the local asian supermarket..then I'll go to Costco and drop $60 on a couple bottles of wine.
    Life is WAAAAAYYY too short to drink cheap crummy beer!
    Are you really sure about that?

  26. #126
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    no, it's quite refreshing..like a Miller Lite..

    but..there is absolutely nothing on this planet that is tastier than a Miller Lite, in a can, that has been saturating inside cooler of ice for hours..it is crack..don't ever try it this way..you have been warned..drink of the gods.

  27. #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSLKauai View Post
    cheap crummy beer!
    AKA: Poison

  28. #128
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    The high-end builds for bikes are more expensive than ever, approaching 10K. I could never afford that. But I still ride an awesome bike all the time.....

    Modern aggressive trail/AM bikes are like spaceships compared to bikes of the past. They pedal well, even the aluminum frames are light, and they descend as good or better than many 10 year old downhill bikes. My 2012 Stumpjumper evo feels like a mini downhill bike that pedals. It allows me to ascend with efficiency and descend really technical stuff.

    Newsflash:

    NEW BIKES ARE EXPENSIVE

    CARBON BIKES ARE EXPENSIVE

    BIKES WITH FANCY **** STRAPPED TO THEM ARE EXPENSIVE

    Solution?

    Buy a used lower end aluminum build of a modern bike. The new aluminum frames are lighter than before. Rear suspensions both pedal and descend better. If you need fancier components and don't want to throw down the big bucks then wait for deals on ebay, jenson, CL, or elsewhere.

    I bought my 2012 FSR Stumpjumper Evo Comp for $1600 on ebay + $150 in upgrades.

    My friend just built up a Carbon hardtail 29er on a used frame for less than $1500.

    Other friend got a 2013 Carbon FSR Stumpy Evo Expert for $2400 off ebay + $250 in upgrades.

    Other friend is selling his good condition couple year old Giant Glory for $1800.

    Sure, the lower end bikes were cheaper in the past, but these new ones are better. Sometimes I ride my buddies hardtail loaner bike that he built up for $500 and spare parts in his garage. It's a sweet little bike, but I have no problem paying the $1000-1500 more necessary to get a newer full suspension bike. It's worth it to me. $10k not worth it, $2000 is worth it.

    The bike industry is not "unsustainable." The bike industry is doing awesome. If you want the worlds greatest mountain bike of all time then spend $10k. If you want a pretty damn sweet bike then buy a used one for $1500 - $3000. If you want things to be like 1993 then buy an old frame and put cheap **** on it, like my buddy did for well under $1000.

  29. #129
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    Whats been getting me is how expensive tires can be! I'm seeing some for almost $100 now. My off road car tire was only a bit more than that. My road car tire was maybe twice that, but lasts for multiple thousands of miles.

  30. #130
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    It's all relative and, like many have posted, simply supply and demand.

    I choose to ride >$1500 MTB bikes because that's what appeals to me. Could I buy some low-ball bike from BD? Sure but why? I prefer to support the LBS's and buy locally.

    As for costs, I've spent over $15k in camera gear since getting back into photography in 2005, and I don't even have high-end gear anymore - technology being what it is these days. Like bikes, photography has gear available from bargin-basement to top-flight.

    I'm commercially rated by the FAA to fly helicopters and airplanes, and a flight instructor in helicopters. I've spent over $35k in training costs and flying is EXPENSIVE just about everywhere you want to train.

    So, yes, bikes can be expensive but only if you want them to be. Buy what you can afford and don't worry about anything (or anyone) else.

  31. #131
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    Quote Originally Posted by root View Post
    Whats been getting me is how expensive tires can be! I'm seeing some for almost $100 now. My off road car tire was only a bit more than that. My road car tire was maybe twice that, but lasts for multiple thousands of miles.
    You can't compare the two. Automobile tires are made in extremely large volumes, while MTB tires are not.

  32. #132
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    Quote Originally Posted by KR65 View Post
    I'm commercially rated by the FAA to fly helicopters and airplanes, and a flight instructor in helicopters.
    That is about as cool as it gets!!

  33. #133
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    OP, I can see what you are trying to get at in comparing the price of mountain bikes to other items that are more complex and less expensive. But if you are going to call out high-end bikes for being too expensive for what they are, you are forgetting a lot of even more ridiculously-priced goods.

    A big example would be clothes and fashion accessories like bags and shoes. Several hundred dollars for a pair of jeans? $1000+ for shoes and bags that are essentially hunks of leather? The list can go on and on.

    In the end though, you can get a perfectly serviceable bike for less than $1000. Mountain biking is certainly not the cheapest hobby you can get into, but the market gives you enough choice that you can choose how expensive a hobby it will be for you.

  34. #134
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    Quote Originally Posted by nugzboltz View Post
    OP, I can see what you are trying to get at in comparing the price of mountain bikes to other items that are more complex and less expensive. But if you are going to call out high-end bikes for being too expensive for what they are, you are forgetting a lot of even more ridiculously-priced goods.
    No. This is a MTB forum, not a forum for other items that may also have ridiculously priced counterparts.
    Quote Originally Posted by ridelikeafatkid
    "MOMMY, I WANT TO RIDE LIKE THAT FAT KID!" true story.

  35. #135
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Cycle Shawn View Post
    You can't compare the two. Automobile tires are made in extremely large volumes, while MTB tires are not.
    You're hilarious. You can buy a crappy MTB tire for pretty much the same price as a crappy car tire is. You can buy a silly expensive MTB tire for less than a silly expensive car tire--but there's much less rubber as well.

  36. #136
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zowie View Post
    You're hilarious. You can buy a crappy MTB tire for pretty much the same price as a crappy car tire is. You can buy a silly expensive MTB tire for less than a silly expensive car tire--but there's much less rubber as well.
    Generally MTB tires are more expensive then car tires if you factor in the materials used and production time involved. I could also spend more for a new mountain bike then a new KTM 500. It's all supply and demand and economies of scale.

  37. #137
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    Why are nice bikes so frigging expensive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Cycle Shawn View Post
    Generally MTB tires are more expensive then car tires if you factor in the materials used and production time involved. I could also spend more for a new mountain bike then a new KTM 500. It's all supply and demand and economies of scale.
    Don't forget that economies of scale affect R&D as well. "Materials used" is probably one of the smallest factors on price of a bike tire, on par with shipping, if not below.
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  38. #138
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    Quote Originally Posted by rpet View Post
    Don't forget that economies of scale affect R&D as well. "Materials used" is probably one of the smallest factors on price of a bike tire, on par with shipping, if not below.
    The same could be said for all expenses.

  39. #139
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    Quote Originally Posted by trboxman View Post
    No. This is a MTB forum, not a forum for other items that may also have ridiculously priced counterparts.
    I suppose you missed all of the other non-mtb items that the OP made a comparison to?

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    Nice bikes are expensive but the definition of nice changes so features that were once found only on nice, high-end bikes are now standard on the more reasonably priced bikes.

    There is a limit to what I will spend on a bike but generally, and I've said this before, in a world where most of my money goes towards things I don't really want to pay for, about the only place I enjoy spending money is at the bike store.

    Mountain biking is a hobby. I saw a Mongoose Fatbike at Meier's today for $249. It's heavy and single speed but it looked perfectly serviceable and that is the entry barrier to going for a ride on the trails. I know money is tight and times are tough for a lot of people but if they are that tough maybe you need to eschew the hobbies for a while in the interest of working more.

    Am I right? The entry barrier for a "real" mountain bike seems to be around $400. This is not outrageous. Heck, eBay is full of older but once-top-of-the-line bikes for not much more than that.

    Am I the only one who thinks modern, quality mountain bikes are a good value? I had a 2011 Specialized Enduro that I rode for almost two years putting almost 4000 miles on it and except for wear items all it needed was a fork service after a few thousand miles. Oh. And I broke a couple of spokes.

    Then I put a Hammerschmidt on it and eventually decided 29ers were the way to go and sold it for about half of what I payed.

    My 1992 Bridgestone MB4 needed regular maintenance and would have disintegrated on some of the trails I ride when I'm feeling like an easy ride.

  41. #141
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSLKauai View Post
    After a great ride yesterday afternoon, about a dozen of us were talking in the parking lot, mostly about bikes and how expensive they are for a relatively simple product. And we started listing all the things you can buy for what a high end mountain bike can cost - let's say $7,000. For instance:

    1. A very capable dirt bike
    2. A high end refrigerator
    3. A high end computer + high end phone + printer + iPad + a full year of phone and internet service
    4. 3 nice large flat screen TV's.
    5. Replace the engine on your car
    6. At least 7 very nice firearms
    7. An entry level small travel trailer
    8. 2 sets of nice skis/boots/poles + very nice ski clothes and accessories
    9. Kayak + Tent + all necessary camping gear + fishing pole
    10. Snowmobile
    11. Waverunner

    And many other things. It just doesn't seem, when you stand a bicycle next to these other things, that it should cost anywhere near this. Granted, you can get a pretty nice bike for let's say $3,500 but still, it seems like a great bike should be possible for <$1,000 given how little raw materials go into it. Seriously, is a full suspension frame really THAT complicated compared to these other products? And it's not like bikes are even that durable. Forks and shocks need servicing every couple of months if you ride regularly!
    I have the same struggle with understanding the current cost of mountain bikes. I can buy a brand new KTM 350 EXC dirt bike for less money than the latest, top-shelf carbon framed, Chinese-made, Santa Cruz Bronson (for example). Basic economics aside, it makes no sense from an engineering standpoint that a bicycle costs more than an Austrian made dirt bike with a better more robust suspension, a water-cooled engine and all the engineering that goes into that system working together rather flawlessly.

    It makes no sense from a manufacturing perspective: A bicycle is a relatively simple machine of relatively few parts and can be built in minutes by kids in a sweat-shop. Compare that to the complexity, time and amount of parts that goes into manufacturing a KTM 350 EXC.

    Compared to other luxury items high-end mountain bikes are NOT hand-made in Switzerland. They don't take days to build or hours of painstaking hand-fitting performed by experts. They are a liability, they will not increase in value. They are not rare. They are not exclusive.

    I've come to the conclusion that there is no justifiable excuse to pay for a product that simply is not worth $5000+ dollars which is why I will never pay full retail for a bicycle.

    Of course on the flip side, my wife thinks that paying $2500 for a used carbon SB-66 is outrageous.

  42. #142
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jutt77 View Post
    I have the same struggle with understanding the current cost of mountain bikes. I can buy a brand new KTM 350 EXC dirt bike for less money than the latest, top-shelf carbon framed, Chinese-made, Santa Cruz Bronson (for example). Basic economics aside, it makes no sense from an engineering standpoint that a bicycle costs more than an Austrian made dirt bike with a better more robust suspension, a water-cooled engine and all the engineering that goes into that system working together rather flawlessly.

    It makes no sense from a manufacturing perspective: A bicycle is a relatively simple machine of relatively few parts and can be built in minutes by kids in a sweat-shop. Compare that to the complexity, time and amount of parts that goes into manufacturing a KTM 350 EXC.

    Compared to other luxury items high-end mountain bikes are NOT hand-made in Switzerland. They don't take days to build or hours of painstaking hand-fitting performed by experts. They are a liability, they will not increase in value. They are not rare. They are not exclusive.

    I've come to the conclusion that there is no justifiable excuse to pay for a product that simply is not worth $5000+ dollars which is why I will never pay full retail for a bicycle.

    Of course on the flip side, my wife thinks that paying $2500 for a used carbon SB-66 is outrageous.

    Economies of Scale, Supply and Demand, what people are willing to pay and other things are all factors in setting the price of a particular product. Both KTM and Santa Cruz are not having any problem selling their products. If anything, owning a KTM 530, I would say that they are a bargain, while the high end SC Bronson is fairly priced.

  43. #143
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Cycle Shawn View Post
    The same could be said for all expenses.
    Like eating?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zowie View Post
    Like eating?
    Stick with the context of the posting. I was referring to expenses involved in bringing a product to market. Eating is something we all have to do.

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    Ooops, you're right, that isn't a good example of your blanket statement. Sorry.

    I guess the same couldn't be said for all expenses?

  46. #146
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zowie View Post
    Ooops, you're right, that isn't a good example of your blanket statement. Sorry.

    I guess the same couldn't be said for all expenses?
    Well, I guess you're kinda right. Food is a product and it's price is affected by a companies expenses bringing it to market. Sorry for the previous post.

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    halo models of anything are going to be expensive, just that the top end mountain bikes, and road bikes for that matter, are something that is sort of within reach for most people's finance if they so chose, and this means people consider them as part of the same market. Yet you wouldn't consider the price of a top end car when shopping for your daily drive.
    You do get a very good bike these days for $2-3K. Not top of the line by any means but still very good. As with anything, you get diminishing returns to try and eke out the last bits of performance

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    Had an interesting experience related to the expense of mountain bikes today as it relates to the cost of maintenance. First off, I have built up several bikes and do a lot of my own maintenance. I keep my bikes really clean, ride a lot of miles, but don't beat them up, have never broken a frame or even a derailer hanger. Ride mostly XC style and have many thousands of miles both on the road and trails. Anyway, I bought a new bike about 9 months ago, something I rarely do and as the bike shop offers several free "tune-ups" I decided to bring it in as the shifting on the bike had gotten clunky and, why not? The bike has about 700 miles on it or so ... so, during the free tune up, it was determined the bike needs fork and shock need a basic servicing, new brake pads and brake bleeding and truing up of the front wheel. Estimate??? $180. Just by comparison, that's more than I spent in maintenance on my car in its first year. To be clear, I'm not saying it's WRONG, just that it is what it is. I find the relationship between the cost of things to be interesting, that's all. In fact, when I took my BMW motorcycle in for a pretty major servicing, the total for it was $220. That involved electronic engine diagnostics and far more "adjustments" than was suggested for my mountain bike.

    It's just interesting, that's all. I'm not complaining and not saying it's wrong.
    Are you really sure about that?

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    On the other hand, they could make a bike that lasted as long as a car with as little maintenance as they get, but the bike would weight as much as a car.
    If you want to talk about ridiculous, look at the prices of women's clothing!

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    If you really want an interesting price/performance comparison, check out BMX racing frames. Not many on here are jumping doubles or beating their frames to the point those riders are... and yet they are surprisingly inexpensive.

    As far as 'a durable bike being as heavy as a car' notion, beach cruiser or amsterdam style bikes weigh ten or twenty pounds more than a light mountain bike, and will often do tens of thousands of miles on the road before they need significant maintenance--at a one to three hundred dollar price point.

    I have to think anyone who knows old Schwinn (or even earlier stuff) just has to laugh at the idea that a bike that's durable is 'too heavy to ride' and one that is fun is 'too much maintenance'.

  51. #151
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zowie View Post
    I have to think anyone who knows old Schwinn (or even earlier stuff) just has to laugh at the idea that a bike that's durable is 'too heavy to ride' and one that is fun is 'too much maintenance'.

    I am very familiar with old Schwinns and they are not even close to being as durable as a good modern mountain bike, or road bike for that matter. If used as intended (easy Sunday crusing) then sure, an old Schwinn Typhoon will last 100 years or more but if you try to ride it like a regular mountain bike you'll start bending and breaking things in a hurry.

    Just because something's heavy doesn't necessarily mean it's strong.

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    If you are fortunate enough to speak from experience after building a 'klunker', hats off to you. FWIW, I was thinking more about their nicer filet brazed, and/or lugged frames, and in comparison to cars and their maintenance, not as better than mountain bikes in applications that weren't even considered when they were designed.

    Also, if you think Schwinns can't hold up to milage, perhaps it's a good time to look up "Freddie Hoffman"--he put 900,000 miles on a Schwinn before cracking the head tube. (And IIRC, he isn't a 'light' guy)

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    I agree with all of that^^^ I love the old Schwinns.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Cycle Shawn View Post
    Economies of Scale, Supply and Demand, what people are willing to pay and other things are all factors in setting the price of a particular product. Both KTM and Santa Cruz are not having any problem selling their products. If anything, owning a KTM 530, I would say that they are a bargain, while the high end SC Bronson is fairly priced.
    Let me reiterate, basic economics aside: from an engineering and manufacturing standpoint there's no logical reason that a carbon Bronson should cost more that a KTM 350, 530, etc. I think that's the OP's point and I agree.

    Also, I would presume that KTM is making a profit vs breaking even so IMO a brand new KTM is priced fairly whereas a SC Bronson is overpriced.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jutt77 View Post
    Let me reiterate, basic economics aside: from an engineering and manufacturing standpoint there's no logical reason that a carbon Bronson should cost more that a KTM 350, 530, etc. I think that's the OP's point and I agree.

    Also, I would presume that KTM is making a profit vs breaking even so IMO a brand new KTM is priced fairly whereas a SC Bronson is overpriced.
    Exactly the point as I understood it. I also agree that on the surface the cost models seem out of balance. It makes me wonder if the number of people saying that the costs are justified is just like audiophiles justifying the high cost of extra special speaker wire...
    Quote Originally Posted by ridelikeafatkid
    "MOMMY, I WANT TO RIDE LIKE THAT FAT KID!" true story.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zowie View Post
    If you really want an interesting price/performance comparison, check out BMX racing frames. Not many on here are jumping doubles or beating their frames to the point those riders are... and yet they are surprisingly inexpensive.

    As far as 'a durable bike being as heavy as a car' notion, beach cruiser or amsterdam style bikes weigh ten or twenty pounds more than a light mountain bike, and will often do tens of thousands of miles on the road before they need significant maintenance--at a one to three hundred dollar price point.

    I have to think anyone who knows old Schwinn (or even earlier stuff) just has to laugh at the idea that a bike that's durable is 'too heavy to ride' and one that is fun is 'too much maintenance'.

    Haha, good point. Yes. those "city bikes" everywhere in many countries certainly last and last. I ride my 54 lb commuter (cargo bike) bike every day to and from work. It's not fast but it is cool and gives me a good work out so that on the weekends I can have so much fun. And I've hauled all kinds of stuff home on that tank. My friends (co-workers) call it the SUV of bikes...........

  57. #157
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Cycle Shawn View Post
    Economies of Scale, Supply and Demand, what people are willing to pay and other things are all factors in setting the price of a particular product. Both KTM and Santa Cruz are not having any problem selling their products. If anything, owning a KTM 530, I would say that they are a bargain, while the high end SC Bronson is fairly priced.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jutt77 View Post
    Let me reiterate, basic economics aside: from an engineering and manufacturing standpoint there's no logical reason that a carbon Bronson should cost more that a KTM 350, 530, etc. I think that's the OP's point and I agree.

    Also, I would presume that KTM is making a profit vs breaking even so IMO a brand new KTM is priced fairly whereas a SC Bronson is overpriced.
    Well, that would be great if the only thing a company had to base the price of their products on were, "engineering and manufacturing". But, that's not the way business works. Again, you have to consider, among other things, economies of scale and supply and demand. Sticking with the example, KTM is easily a company that is 100 times larger than Santa Cruz. KTM can make many times less of a profit per unit than Santa Cruz can. Also, successful companies, like KTM and Santa Cruz do studies in order to properly price their product. The goal here is to hit the pricing sweet spot. To high a price, product is going to be left unsold. To low a price and you can't supply enough units and make enough profit. The pricing sweet spot for SC's high end bikes and KTM's motorcycles seem to be about the same. This is a perfect example of how supply and demand pricing can be very independent of the other factors involved in setting the price of a product. Some companies price their product purely on supply and demand.

  58. #158
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    Why are nice bikes so frigging expensive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jutt77 View Post
    Let me reiterate, basic economics aside: from an engineering and manufacturing standpoint there's no logical reason that a carbon Bronson should cost more that a KTM 350, 530, etc.
    What logic are you using to value these products? I would propose that the value is targeted by the manufacturer and validated by the market in the capitalist world we live in.

    If a product costs X and people pay that price... That is its value. Value is not the same as what you think it would cost to build it in your garage nor is it how much you calculate the price of raw aluminum and carbon is worth on a commodities market.

    Also, just so we bring facts back into the discussion, I see Bronson C builds at $4300-$8300 MSRP.

    KTM 530s aren't made anymore. 500EXCs are $10K-ish MSRP, with many reports of riders paying $1k over list price, and a lot of guys unable to purchase them at all due to lack of supply.
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  59. #159
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    Quote Originally Posted by rpet View Post
    What logic are you using to value these products? I would propose that the value is targeted by the manufacturer and validated by the market in the capitalist world we live in.

    If a product costs X and people pay that price... That is its value. Value is not the same as what you think it would cost to build it your garage nor is it how much a you calculate the price of raw aluminum and carbon is worth on a commodities market.

    Also, just so we bring facts back into the discussion, I see Bronson C builds at $4300-$8300 MSRP.

    KTM 530s aren't made anymore. 500EXCs are $10K-ish MSRP, with many reports of riders paying $1k over list price, and a lot of guys unable to purchase them at all due to lack of supply.
    Bingo! It seems you have some understanding about how business is done.

  60. #160
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSLKauai View Post
    My feelings aren't hurt, certainly not on an anonymous internet forum. Just stating an observation that it seems odd that a person would click into a topic they're not interested in, read it, click in and post a comment that it's a waste of time. That seems odd to me.

    And, comparing the cost of a bicycle with a motorized dirt bike is not apples to chickens. Just saying. The bottom line is there must be a tremendous amount of inefficiency in the chain of design to production to generate the kind of prices we see in bike shops today. Consider the fact that in a typical Tour De France stage, you've got 200+ riders, all on $10,000+ bikes that are all worked on EVERY DAY by the best mechanics in the industry and in any given 110 mile stage 10-20% of them will have some kind of mechanical problem. We're talking about road bikes on smooth paved roads here -- 120 miles just after an A-1 mechanic has set it up with the highest end, most expensive parts in the world. Think about that. Something's kinda screwy about that. It's almost as though the industry itself is pushing a product that is fragile, needs constant adjustment and replacement and has a very low durability component.
    Not all those roads are perfectly smooth. There are roads with sections of poor pavement. The vast majority of mechanicals of flats and that's because they're going with the lightest possible tire/wheel combination - they know a change of wheel is usually less than a minute away. Like any top end, high performance machine where light weight or extreme durability is involved, you're talking about very expensive materials exotic with parts often hand built. High end craftsmanship doesn't come cheap. It's also just how the market works. Those highest end bikes cost so much partially becaue people will pay for the,

    You can save a lot of money with only a slight amount of lose of performance by going a step below the very top end, but with any high performance, specialty machine, the last 3-4% increase in performance will cost a lot more than 3-4% over the next lower step.

  61. #161
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    Quote Originally Posted by rpet View Post
    What logic are you using to value these products? I would propose that the value is targeted by the manufacturer and validated by the market in the capitalist world we live in.

    If a product costs X and people pay that price... That is its value. Value is not the same as what you think it would cost to build it in your garage nor is it how much you calculate the price of raw aluminum and carbon is worth on a commodities market.

    Also, just so we bring facts back into the discussion, I see Bronson C builds at $4300-$8300 MSRP.

    KTM 530s aren't made anymore. 500EXCs are $10K-ish MSRP, with many reports of riders paying $1k over list price, and a lot of guys unable to purchase them at all due to lack of supply.
    On the left side, we have a 2014 KTM 350 EXC. Retail price: $9800. 2 wheeled machine designed to go really fast in the dirt. Austrian made. Complex machine complete with 4 stroke water cooled engine, robust suspension with 11/13 inches of travel F/R respectively and all the other parts, engineering and development that makes the system work. One of the lightest dirt bikes in its class. KTM is extremely profitable thus I doubt they are losing money or even just breaking even (financial statements found online).

    On the right side, we have a 2014 SC Bronson C, XTR build with ENVE wheel package. Retail price: $10009. 2 wheeled machine designed to go really fast in the dirt. Chinese made. No engine, no ignition, no water-cooled systems and none of the complexity it requires to make all of these systems work together. A relatively simple machine and when compared to a 2014 KTM 350 EXC, it has less parts and requires less engineering and development. I'm not discounting the time and effort it takes to design and build a 2014 SC Bronson Carbon with ENVE wheels, I am stating it takes much less of those resources when compared to one of the best, most complex, most advanced dirt bikes available.

    Economics, consumer and market variables aside, IMO and due to the reasons stated above there is no logic to why the Bronson would cost more than the KTM. Thus if I were in the market for a $10,000, 2 wheeled machine designed to go really fast in the dirt, the KTM would be a no-brainer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jutt77 View Post
    Economics, consumer and market variables aside, IMO and due to the reasons stated above there is no logic to why the Bronson would cost more than the KTM. Thus if I were in the market for a $10,000, 2 wheeled machine designed to go really fast in the dirt, the KTM would be a no-brainer.

    I think that when you're talking about $10,000 toys words like logic and value fly out the window, you go with whatever most floats your boat. If I had that kind of disposable income I might not get the Bronson, but whatever I did buy wouldn't have a motor and would have plenty of carbon fiber.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jutt77 View Post
    On the left side, we have a 2014 KTM 350 EXC. Retail price: $9800. 2 wheeled machine designed to go really fast in the dirt. Austrian made. Complex machine complete with 4 stroke water cooled engine, robust suspension with 11/13 inches of travel F/R respectively and all the other parts, engineering and development that makes the system work. One of the lightest dirt bikes in its class. KTM is extremely profitable thus I doubt they are losing money or even just breaking even (financial statements found online).

    On the right side, we have a 2014 SC Bronson C, XTR build with ENVE wheel package. Retail price: $10009. 2 wheeled machine designed to go really fast in the dirt. Chinese made. No engine, no ignition, no water-cooled systems and none of the complexity it requires to make all of these systems work together. A relatively simple machine and when compared to a 2014 KTM 350 EXC, it has less parts and requires less engineering and development. I'm not discounting the time and effort it takes to design and build a 2014 SC Bronson Carbon with ENVE wheels, I am stating it takes much less of those resources when compared to one of the best, most complex, most advanced dirt bikes available.
    This was my original point. Bicycles and bicycle parts for that matter are ridiculously simple compared to far more expensive things out there. I can easily find handlebars that cost more than a small TV or a piece of luggage or a go for broke night at a killer steakhouse. Or a stem that costs more than very nice car GPS system or a vacuum cleaner or a gas powered lawnmower. Seriously, a stem that costs more than a lawnmower. It really is crazy!

    How about a seatpost that costs more than a 2 week car rental in Florida?

    I could easily find a stem+seatpost+handlebars that cost more than a decent hardtail mountain bike or a round trip ticket from LA to Paris or a very capable pair of audio speakers ... think about that ... a stem, seatpost and handlebars, not even any moving parts here, pretty much just aluminum/carbon tubes costing more than a decent set of audio speakers or a clothes dryer, or very nice bar-b-que.
    Are you really sure about that?

  64. #164
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    A decent set of speakers like this?

    <A HREF>http://soundapproach.com/jas-audio-odin-2-5-way-tower-floor-standing-pair-speakers.html" </a>

    Ribbon tweeter, and a ceramic cone woofer. About on par with carbon.
    Of course, that's not all you're buying, you'll need a nice amp to go with that... otherwise they're inanimate objects.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zowie View Post
    A decent set of speakers like this?

    <A HREF>http://soundapproach.com/jas-audio-odin-2-5-way-tower-floor-standing-pair-speakers.html" </a>

    Ribbon tweeter, and a ceramic cone woofer. About on par with carbon.
    Of course, that's not all you're buying, you'll need a nice amp to go with that... otherwise they're inanimate objects.
    How about a 6 piece home theater speaker system from Bose for $1,000 shipped. Powered sub woofer, left, right, center, rear left, rear right ... We're talking 6 speakers from a credible company that has done a lot of R&D and engineering with a 5 year warranty for the cost of a stem+seatpost+handlebars. Parts that are slightly more engineered than a toilet pipe.

    Obviously there's a market for this stuff, but it's really amazing to me.
    Are you really sure about that?

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    $2000 and not a single moving part.
    Supply Side Jesusnomisist

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    Quote Originally Posted by juan_speeder View Post



    $2000 and not a single moving part.
    Or, of course, I could get a complete set of very high quality irons 3-PW, you pick the brand ... titlest, callaway, ping, taylor made, adams, Cleveland ... and we're not talking about entry level clubs here we're talking about 8 high end clubs. Engineered, tested, investment cast, high quality shafts, grips ... the whole enchilada for $1,000 or less.

    For the cost of a handlebars, stem and seatpost. That's just crazy.
    Are you really sure about that?

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    Bose has done a lot of R&D and engineering I'd agree. That doesn't mean they are offering value.
    One line from Wikipedia: "When tested by independent reviewers, Bose systems often produce inferior results compared to similarly priced products from other manufacturers."

    Perhaps Bose fits more in with what you're arguing against? Sorry we're getting so far off topic, but suffice it to say I agree with you on a fundamental level--I'm just pointing out that pretty much every other sport or hobby has items you can pay way too much for if you choose to.

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    Every sport/game has it expensive and inexpensive products. ****, you can even spend a crap load on darts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jutt77 View Post
    Economics, consumer and market variables aside, IMO and due to the reasons stated above there is no logic to why the Bronson would cost more than the KTM
    But, that's not how free market capitalism works. Would you rather have a different economic system?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Cycle Shawn View Post
    But, that's not how free market capitalism works. Would you rather have a different economic system?
    So, "free market capitalism" is what you call the economic system we have now? I'd call it predatory corporatism, but that's just me.
    Are you really sure about that?

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    $61,000-




    -which is nuts because you can buy a perfectly sufficient one for $3000!

    That Bronson is beginning to look like a bargain.

  73. #173
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSLKauai View Post
    So, "free market capitalism" is what you call the economic system we have now? I'd call it predatory corporatism, but that's just me.
    No one is forcing you or anyone else to buy anything expensive. What economic system would you like? My guess is you're also in favor of wealth redistribution. Basically, what it comes down to is people here are pissed off because they can't afford what others can.

  74. #174
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Cycle Shawn View Post
    No one is forcing you or anyone else to buy anything expensive. What economic system would you like? My guess is you're also in favor of wealth redistribution.
    There's always some form of wealth redistribution going on, it's just a matter of who's making the rules and who's getting the breaks and who gets to exploit who. You might be surprised to find out how sophisticated the macro system is in "convincing" us all to buy increasingly inflated products with ever more innovative debt inflated currency, but that's a topic for another website.

    Hey, I'm all for people spending whatever they want on whatever it is they want to buy. It's not "wrong" for bike companies to price their stuff the way they do, it's just an interesting exercise to compare a relatively simple machine like a bicycle that (road bikes in particular) that really haven't changed much in the last 40 years in terms of what they cost to other products that have underwent significantly more innovation, R&D and engineering challenges. You can buy an entire car for what it costs to buy a high end road bike and a high end mountain bike. Think about all the parts, engineering, safety testing, electronics that go into a $17,000 car. Then look at a high end mountain bike and a high end road bike. Does that make any sense at all?
    Are you really sure about that?

  75. #175
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSLKauai View Post
    There's always some form of wealth redistribution going on, it's just a matter of who's making the rules and who's getting the breaks and who gets to exploit who. You might be surprised to find out how sophisticated the macro system is in "convincing" us all to buy increasingly inflated products with ever more innovative debt inflated currency, but that's a topic for another website.

    Hey, I'm all for people spending whatever they want on whatever it is they want to buy. It's not "wrong" for bike companies to price their stuff the way they do, it's just an interesting exercise to compare a relatively simple machine like a bicycle that (road bikes in particular) that really haven't changed much in the last 40 years in terms of what they cost to other products that have underwent significantly more innovation, R&D and engineering challenges. You can buy an entire car for what it costs to buy a high end road bike and a high end mountain bike. Think about all the parts, engineering, safety testing, electronics that go into a $17,000 car. Then look at a high end mountain bike and a high end road bike. Does that make any sense at all?
    No, it makes no sence at all. I think this is the third time I have brought this up. Economies of scale, economies of scale, economies of scale!!! When a car company makes a car, they make a million of them. They don't have to make as much profit per unit as a bike company does that only makes a few thousand units. And, lately the car companies aren't making that much of a profit. Some aren't making a profit. Maybe they should raise their prices. And, when you say that bikes haven't changed that much in 40 years. Go find a 40 year old bike and ride it in the mountains for 25 miles. Then, go ride a $10,000 Santa Cruz Bronson and get back to me. I think you'll find that bikes have come a long way in 40 years. All that R&D by a lot of companies doesn't come free.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Cycle Shawn View Post
    No, it makes no sence at all. I think this is the third time I have brought this up. Economies of scale, economies of scale, economies of scale!!! When a car company makes a car, they make a million of them. They don't have to make as much profit per unit as a bike company does that only makes a few thousand units. And, lately the car companies aren't making that much of a profit. Some aren't making a profit. Maybe they should raise their prices. And, when you say that bikes haven't changed that much in 40 years. Go find a 40 year old bike and ride it in the mountains for 25 miles. Then, go ride a $10,000 Santa Cruz Bronson and get back to me. I think you'll find that bikes have come a long way in 40 years. All that R&D by a lot of companies doesn't come free.
    I don't want to be a jerk, but you're just dead wrong about his. Of the top 20 selling cars in the US, only one (Ford F-Series) is on track to sell 1 million units and there are many different models of that pickup. As of the end of May, Toyota Prius (#13) had sold 88,000 year to date. Ford Fusion, #9 on the list has sold 138,000 year to date. Some of the lowest cost models didn't even make the top 20 list so volume had nothing to do with how they kept the costs affordable as they may not even sell 200,000 units in 2013. I would imagine the labor costs of building a car to be quite a big higher than the labor costs of building bikes in low cost labor zones in Asia. A single low paid bike mechanic can assemble a bike from a box of parts in several hours. This bike mechanic probably gets minimal benefits, if any, might be a part time worker and there certainly aren't pension or retirement legacy costs involved.

    Take into account all the extra taxes, shipping and delivery fees, fuel regulations, government lobbying, factories, many of which are HERE IN AMERICA and union labor issues not to mention sales and marketing expense of a car vs a bicycle. It isn't a volume thing at all. When you get down to #20 on the list, a Hyundai Sonata, they're on track to sell maybe 200,000 of them by the end of the year. Trek last year sold 1.5 million bikes with 1,100 employees. By comparison, Hyundae employs about 75,000 people around the world sells into 193 countries through some 6,000 dealerships and in 2010 sold 1.7 million vehicles worldwide. Many more employees, far more complexity and logistics, much higher fuel and shipping costs and they have vehicles, guaranteed for up to 10 years that sell for LESS than what it would cost to buy a high end road and mountain bike. That's crazy if you ask me.

    And I said ROAD bikes haven't changed much in 40 years. Mountain bikes most certainly have in terms of the frame, fork/shocks and brakes.
    Are you really sure about that?

  77. #177
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    Take all the cars that the average car company makes per year. It's over a million. Ford, in 2008 made 5.5 million vehicles. Hyundai, which is the proper spelling, sold 4.4 million cars in 2012. Compare that to a few thousand bikes that Santa Cruz sold and economies of scale make a huge difference. That's why there is a a specific name (economies of scale) and a whole meaning behind it. I think you'll notice that the average price of an S, G or T company bike is less then the average Santa Cruz bike. Why? Economies of scale. Now multiply that many times over for a car company and you'll start to understand how it works and why it's so important. There are whole books written on the subject. For example: A company that makes 5 million units may have to add like $50/unit to cover the costs that you mentioned. A company that makes only a few thousand units may have to add like $1000/unit to cover comparable costs. Don't quote me on the exact amounts, it's just an example.
    Economies of scale - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  78. #178
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    And again, I disagree when it comes to road bikes. Again, find a 40 year old road bike, weigh it and ride it for 25 miles. Then weigh and ride a brand new road bike and get back to me. I think you'll appreciate for far they have come in the last 40. And again, all that R&D isn't free.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Cycle Shawn View Post
    Take all the cars that the average car company makes per year. It's over a million. Ford, in 2008 made 5.5 million vehicles. Hyundai, which is the proper spelling, sold 4.4 million cars in 2012. Compare that to a few thousand bikes that Santa Cruz sold and economies of scale make a huge difference. That's why there is a a specific name (economies of scale) and a whole meaning behind it. I think you'll notice that the average price of an S, G or T company bike is less then the average Santa Cruz bike. Why? Economies of scale. Now multiply that many times over for a car company and you'll start understand how it works and why it's so important. There are whole books written on the subject.
    Economies of scale - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    I get economies of scale ... owned 2 businesses, had employees, suppliers, quantity discounts ... the whole enchilada. It's not hard to understand. So, let's look at some other issues. Even a small economy car is going to weigh at least 2,000 pounds and probably more. That's 2,000 pounds of metal, alloys, fabric, paint, electronics, rubber, plastic, lubricants, fluids, etc. that has to be bought and engineered and put together. That's a lot of raw materials. A car manufacturer may have a dozen different models and in those models a number of options so its not like every car coming off the assembly line is the same. This reduces the economies of scale dramatically. Then, this 2,000+ pound vehicle has to be shipped and delivered to where a customer will buy it. This vehicle has to be engineered to deliver about 100,000 miles of relatively trouble free performance, literally billions of RPMs from the engine. A bike has no electronics, 25-30 pounds of raw materials, relatively simple parts that are replaced much more frequently than the parts on an automobile. Requires MUCH more frequent maintenance and adjustment. Is assembled using far fewer labor hours and enables the manufacturing of most of the parts in the cheapest labor markets on the planet. And two bikes can cost more than one car.
    Are you really sure about that?

  80. #180
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSLKauai View Post
    I get economies of scale ... owned 2 businesses, had employees, suppliers, quantity discounts ... the whole enchilada. It's not hard to understand. So, let's look at some other issues. Even a small economy car is going to weigh at least 2,000 pounds and probably more. That's 2,000 pounds of metal, alloys, fabric, paint, electronics, rubber, plastic, lubricants, fluids, etc. that has to be bought and engineered and put together. That's a lot of raw materials. A car manufacturer may have a dozen different models and in those models a number of options so its not like every car coming off the assembly line is the same. This reduces the economies of scale dramatically. Then, this 2,000+ pound vehicle has to be shipped and delivered to where a customer will buy it. This vehicle has to be engineered to deliver about 100,000 miles of relatively trouble free performance, literally billions of RPMs from the engine. A bike has no electronics, 25-30 pounds of raw materials, relatively simple parts that are replaced much more frequently than the parts on an automobile. Requires MUCH more frequent maintenance and adjustment. Is assembled using far fewer labor hours and enables the manufacturing of most of the parts in the cheapest labor markets on the planet. And two bikes can cost more than one car.
    Man, you just don't get it. In the first place, the cheapest car is a lot more expensive then a high end Santa Cruz. And really? "Billions of RPMs"? You don't seen to be able to get a grasp on how a company can spread costs over 5 million units like Ford can. 5,000,000 is a really huge number to be able to spread costs over. It's really mind boggling!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Cycle Shawn View Post
    And again, I disagree when it comes to road bikes. Again, find a 40 year old road bike, weigh it and ride it for 25 miles. Then weigh and ride a brand new road bike and get back to me. I think you'll appreciate for far they have come in the last 40. And again, all that R&D isn't free.
    I have a Basso GAP steel frame Italian road bike made in 1985. Campy wheels. Bike rides like a dream. Total weight 21lbs with an old Shimano 600 gruppo. I've got a Carbon Kona road bike too. Stiffer, rides great but not as smooth as the Basso. Minimally faster, slightly smoother shifting, brakes about the same. If I put the super skinny tires at high PSI, on it, the Basso is a damn fast bike. I'm telling you, road bikes haven't changed nearly as much as the marketing people in these bike companies want you to believe.
    Are you really sure about that?

  82. #182
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSLKauai View Post
    I have a Basso GAP steel frame Italian road bike made in 1985. Campy wheels. Bike rides like a dream. Total weight 21lbs with an old Shimano 600 gruppo. I've got a Carbon Kona road bike too. Stiffer, rides great but not as smooth as the Basso. Minimally faster, slightly smoother shifting, brakes about the same. If I put the super skinny tires at high PSI, on it, the Basso is a damn fast bike. I'm telling you, road bikes haven't changed nearly as much as the marketing people in these bike companies want you to believe.
    I guess your math skills are also lacking. Per your example, that's not 40 years old.

  83. #183
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Cycle Shawn View Post
    Man, you just don't get it. In the first place, the cheapest car is a lot more expensive then a high end Santa Cruz. And really? "Billions of RPMs"? You don't seen to be able to get a grasp on how a company can spread costs over 5 million units like Ford can. 5,000,000 is a really huge number to be able to spread costs over. It's really mind boggling!
    I do get it and all I'm asking you to consider is other factors like 2,000 pounds of more stuff to be engineered, fabricated, tested, put together ... parts that MUST last a lot longer ... a 10 year warranty ... higher shipping costs ... higher labor costs ... higher benefits costs ... higher dealer network costs ... far more government regulations to deal with ... electronics ... much higher liability risks ...

    That stuff offsets a lot of your economies of scale argument.

    I think what does drive the cost of bikes so high is three things. 1) There are so many brands and models that it does hurt the volume of any one company and 2) Many of the companies really only design and "manufacture" (really outsource the manufacturing) the frame and have to buy every other part from another supplier. 3) There are a lot of marketing costs embedded in the industry that does nothing to add value but just piles on expense.
    Are you really sure about that?

  84. #184
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    Re: Why are nice bikes so frigging expensive?

    Well I don't drive my car on technical singletrack. If I did, it would need thousands of dollars of maintenance after each drive and I would probably have to replace it every month.

    If I only rode my mountain bike on the road and parked it in the garage it would need maintenance pretty much never.

    Factor in the cumulative cost of the systems that depend on the automobile and bicycle industries and you will find the true cost of a any single automobile is far greater than any single bicycle available today.
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    Okay, you guys, this is not about cars but about bikes.

    In 1991 my Fisher Aquila cost $675; LX, 7-speed, canti brakes, rigid fork. In 2014 dollars that is $1175. For that same amount this year you get a Rockhopper, 29, with 80 mm travel fork, hydraulic disc brakes, 2x10 drivetrain.

    In 1995 my Bontrager Race Lite, cutting edge steel frame, went for $2400; XT, 3 x 8, V-brakes, 60 mm front shock at about 25.5 pounds. That is $3733 in $2014. That just about gets you a giant XTC Advance 27.5 2, carbon frame with a 100 mm travel float fork, XT and XTR mix drivetrain, and some pretty nice wheels which comes in at about 22.5 – 23 pounds.

    In 1993 a Moots YBB, XTR, Mag 21 was 4 Grand. In 2014 dollars that is $6563...In 2014 a YBB 29er is about $7000 with superior shock and hydraulic brakes.

    These are cold dry facts. In real dollars I think you are getting more for your money, economies of scale notwithstanding. Crunch the numbers for yourself. There is little room for argument.
    Last edited by Berkeley Mike; 06-11-2014 at 11:37 PM.
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    There is no collusion among bike companies and yet they pretty much charge the same for the same type and level of bike. They probably all have the same fixed costs for materials, shipping, and labor and would love to undercut their competitors but it doesn't really happen.

    Sure, the $10,000 bikes might be fantasy priced but the midrange bikes in the 3 to 5k range are probably priced as low as the company can and still make a profit.

    I don't think too many bike companies are rolling in dough like they would if they had a monopoly and could charge whatever they wanted.

    If the raw materials, parts, and labor were as cheap as many of you suppose I have no doubt you would have many companies turning out exact replicas of the high-priced bikes rapidly driving the big names out of business.

    But that doesn't happen either. Some guys like Fezzari and Bikes Direct make a go at it but their prices, while lower, are not an order of magnitude lower.

    If someone gets an edge, like cheap Chinese carbon frames, they will exploit it until everybody else does the same.

  87. #187
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSLKauai View Post
    I don't want to be a jerk, but you're just dead wrong about his. Of the top 20 selling cars in the US, only one (Ford F-Series) is on track to sell 1 million units and there are many different models of that pickup. As of the end of May, Toyota Prius (#13) had sold 88,000 year to date. Ford Fusion, #9 on the list has sold 138,000 year to date. Some of the lowest cost models didn't even make the top 20 list so volume had nothing to do with how they kept the costs affordable as they may not even sell 200,000 units in 2013. I would imagine the labor costs of building a car to be quite a big higher than the labor costs of building bikes in low cost labor zones in Asia. A single low paid bike mechanic can assemble a bike from a box of parts in several hours. This bike mechanic probably gets minimal benefits, if any, might be a part time worker and there certainly aren't pension or retirement legacy costs involved.

    Take into account all the extra taxes, shipping and delivery fees, fuel regulations, government lobbying, factories, many of which are HERE IN AMERICA and union labor issues not to mention sales and marketing expense of a car vs a bicycle. It isn't a volume thing at all. When you get down to #20 on the list, a Hyundai Sonata, they're on track to sell maybe 200,000 of them by the end of the year. Trek last year sold 1.5 million bikes with 1,100 employees. By comparison, Hyundae employs about 75,000 people around the world sells into 193 countries through some 6,000 dealerships and in 2010 sold 1.7 million vehicles worldwide. Many more employees, far more complexity and logistics, much higher fuel and shipping costs and they have vehicles, guaranteed for up to 10 years that sell for LESS than what it would cost to buy a high end road and mountain bike. That's crazy if you ask me.

    And I said ROAD bikes haven't changed much in 40 years. Mountain bikes most certainly have in terms of the frame, fork/shocks and brakes.
    Sorry, but you really come off as someone who has nearly zero experience in manufacturing or engineering to make these types of statement, which are clearly incorrect.

  88. #188
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ailuropoda View Post
    There is no collusion among bike companies and yet they pretty much charge the same for the same type and level of bike. They probably all have the same fixed costs for materials, shipping, and labor and would love to undercut their competitors but it doesn't really happen.

    Sure, the $10,000 bikes might be fantasy priced but the midrange bikes in the 3 to 5k range are probably priced as low as the company can and still make a profit.

    I don't think too many bike companies are rolling in dough like they would if they had a monopoly and could charge whatever they wanted.

    If the raw materials, parts, and labor were as cheap as many of you suppose I have no doubt you would have many companies turning out exact replicas of the high-priced bikes rapidly driving the big names out of business.

    But that doesn't happen either. Some guys like Fezzari and Bikes Direct make a go at it but their prices, while lower, are not an order of magnitude lower.

    If someone gets an edge, like cheap Chinese carbon frames, they will exploit it until everybody else does the same.
    I think there are some great values in the $1,000-$2,500 price range. I bought a new 2013 Spearfish 2 last year for $1,800 and got a chance to to ride it against a top of the line full carbon race ready Hei Hei Supreme with a CID XX fork, carbon wheels. Weight difference was maybe 4 lbs total - probably a $8,000+ bike. I liked the Spearfish better and found it as fast and had better traction climbing. Liked the way it cornered. The Hei Hei was a nice, very light XC bike but so was the Spearfish at 1/4 the price.
    Are you really sure about that?

  89. #189
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSLKauai View Post
    I get economies of scale ... owned 2 businesses, had employees, suppliers, quantity discounts ... the whole enchilada. It's not hard to understand. So, let's look at some other issues. Even a small economy car is going to weigh at least 2,000 pounds and probably more. That's 2,000 pounds of metal, alloys, fabric, paint, electronics, rubber, plastic, lubricants, fluids, etc. that has to be bought and engineered and put together. That's a lot of raw materials. A car manufacturer may have a dozen different models and in those models a number of options so its not like every car coming off the assembly line is the same. This reduces the economies of scale dramatically. Then, this 2,000+ pound vehicle has to be shipped and delivered to where a customer will buy it. This vehicle has to be engineered to deliver about 100,000 miles of relatively trouble free performance, literally billions of RPMs from the engine. A bike has no electronics, 25-30 pounds of raw materials, relatively simple parts that are replaced much more frequently than the parts on an automobile. Requires MUCH more frequent maintenance and adjustment. Is assembled using far fewer labor hours and enables the manufacturing of most of the parts in the cheapest labor markets on the planet. And two bikes can cost more than one car.
    You really don't know anything about cars, do you?

  90. #190
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    Quote Originally Posted by turbodog View Post
    Sorry, but you really come off as someone who has nearly zero experience in manufacturing or engineering to make these types of statement, which are clearly incorrect.
    Perhaps, rather than tossing out a generality, you could point out what was factually incorrect about the statement I made that you criticized. Are you disputing any of the facts I listed? All the data was pulled off the manufacturers own websites. That statement speaks to the "economies of scale" argument that was being made that cars are cheaper to engineer and manufacture on a relative basis than high end bicycles, which is utterly ridiculous. The engineering, testing, labor, assembly, raw materials, shipping and distribution costs of manufacturing a $17,000 car are higher in every aspect than the costs to manufacture a high end road bike and a high end mountain bike (the two combined) that will cost you about the same or possibly more.

    And, you "come off" as someone that is quick on the trigger with an insult but lacking when it comes to a substantive, insightful post with ideas, information and content to move the discussion forward.
    Are you really sure about that?

  91. #191
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    Quote Originally Posted by turbodog View Post
    You really don't know anything about cars, do you?
    Well, I've bought and sold about 20 of them (from Corollas to BMWS) in my life, driven at least a million miles and taken them in many times for servicing and repair ... so yes, I'd say I know a little bit about what it takes to buy, sell and operate a car. I've never worked on an assembly line or been a senior exec at a car manufacturing company, have you?
    Are you really sure about that?

  92. #192
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berkeley Mike View Post
    Okay, you guys, this is not about cars but about bikes.

    In 1991 my Fisher Aquila cost $675; LX, 7-speed, canti brakes, rigid fork. In 2014 dollars that is $1175. For that same amount this year you get a Rockhopper, 29, with 80 mm travel fork, hydraulic disc brakes, 2x10 drivetrain.

    In 1995 my Bontrager Race Lite, cutting edge steel frame, went for $2400; XT, 3 x 8, V-brakes, 60 mm front shock at about 25.5 pounds. That is $3733 in $2014. That just about gets you a giant XTC Advance 27.5 2, carbon frame with a 100 mm travel float fork, XT and XTR mix drivetrain, and some pretty nice wheels which comes in at about 22.5 – 23 pounds.

    In 1993 a Moots YBB, XTR, Mag 21 was 4 Grand. In 2014 dollars that is $6563...In 2014 a YBB 29er is about $7000 with superior shock and hydraulic brakes.

    These are cold dry facts. In real dollars I think you are getting more for your money, economies of scale notwithstanding. Crunch the numbers for yourself. There is little room for argument.
    Excellent analysis. However, it should be noted that bikes went through massive changes in the late 90's to early 2000's. So going back 20 years there may be a major difference, but if you only go back 10 years, it might not be as dramatic.

  93. #193
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSLKauai View Post
    Well, I've bought and sold about 20 of them (from Corollas to BMWS) in my life, driven at least a million miles and taken them in many times for servicing and repair ... so yes, I'd say I know a little bit about what it takes to buy, sell and operate a car. I've never worked on an assembly line or been a senior exec at a car manufacturing company, have you?
    I see. So you really don't know anything about them. Thanks.

  94. #194
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    Quote Originally Posted by turbodog View Post
    I see. So you really don't know anything about them. Thanks.
    FWIW, the weakest style or technique of argument is simply to attack the credibility of the person you disagree with. To imply that you have a near telepathic insight into their ignorance while completely ignoring the task of presenting an insightful and useful idea or information that contrasts what you disagree with. In general, it indicates an intellectual laziness and/or inability to back opinions up with any real substance.

    I'll ask you again what exactly it is that you have a superior understanding of that would suggest that "economies of scale" can overcome a 2,000 lb manufacturing impact. A $17,000 car has more cost on every level than 2 high end bikes. It has an engine, electronics, lightweight parts, is far more durable, is warrantied much better and has infinitely more high cost engineering and assembly cost. How about a substantive post instead of an insult.
    Are you really sure about that?

  95. #195
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSLKauai View Post
    FWIW, the weakest style or technique of argument is simply to attack the credibility of the person you disagree with. To imply that you have a near telepathic insight into their ignorance while completely ignoring the task of presenting an insightful and useful idea or information that contrasts what you disagree with. In general, it indicates an intellectual laziness and/or inability to back opinions up with any real substance.

    I'll ask you again what exactly it is that you have a superior understanding of that would suggest that "economies of scale" can overcome a 2,000 lb manufacturing impact. A $17,000 car has more cost on every level than 2 high end bikes. It has an engine, electronics, lightweight parts, is far more durable, is warrantied much better and has infinitely more high cost engineering and assembly cost. How about a substantive post instead of an insult.
    I'm sorry, but I just don't have time for this today. But the fact that you use a "2000 lb car" as an example tells me you know absolutely nothing of importance about them.

  96. #196
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    Quote Originally Posted by turbodog View Post
    I'm sorry, but I just don't have time for this today. But the fact that you use a "2000 lb car" as an example tells me you know absolutely nothing of importance about them.
    Completely disassemble a $17,000 car and lay out all the parts next to the parts of 2 high end bicycles then get back to me on it. You lack a substantive response so you fall back into trying to suggest you have superior knowledge, which you may have, but it certainly isn't visible via y our posts. Bicycle and cars have a lot in common. Gears, wheels, brakes, tires, steering mechanisms, frames, shocks. It is a miracle, from my perspective that a car company can manufacture a complete automobile and sell it for the same cost as 2 high end bicycles that perform marginally better than bicycles 1/4 their cost. The performance characteristics and features of a $68,000 car compared to a 17,000 car is DRAMATIC. The performance characteristics of a $2,000 road bike vs an $8,000 road bike are minimal ... fractional actually. Same thing with a $2,000 XC mountain bike vs. an $8,000 XC racing mountain bike.

    Hey if you have time to toss casual insults but lack the time to make a clear and substantive point, that's OK. Seems that's the preferred style of interaction by many in our current era.
    Are you really sure about that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by turbodog View Post
    I see. So you really don't know anything about them. Thanks.
    In all fairness, you haven't established your bona fides with respect to automobiles or manufacturing either.

    I suspect that you'll point out minor factual errors without effectively addressing the actual thesis.
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    Quote Originally Posted by trboxman View Post
    In all fairness, you haven't established your bona fides with respect to automobiles or manufacturing either.

    I suspect that you'll point out minor factual errors without effectively addressing the actual thesis.
    The hypothesis presented by the OP is absurd, and the efforts to prove it even more so.

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    You have not presented facts in evidence to prove your assertion to be correct.

    Here, for example, I'll provide you with a rebuttal that is just as authoritative as yours; You're wrong. I don't have the time or need to prove you wrong, but you are...because I say so.

    Now that's absurd
    Quote Originally Posted by ridelikeafatkid
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    Quote Originally Posted by turbodog View Post
    The hypothesis presented by the OP is absurd, and the efforts to prove it even more so.
    You do realize, don't you, that all you've got in terms of contribution is insults, which is the most intellectually lazy way to approach a debate or disagreement.

    Add to that the utter absurdity of even reading, let alone responding, to a thread you feel is absurd. What is the logic or reasoning behind that? A person like yourself, far too busy to present a substantive point, does find the time to toss out cliche insults.

    Quote Originally Posted by turbodog View Post
    I'm sorry, but I just don't have time for this today. But the fact that you use a "2000 lb car" as an example tells me you know absolutely nothing of importance about them.
    2,000 lbs is VERY relevant because those 2,000 pounds, when broken down turn into thousands of highly engineered parts, gears, electronics, fabrics, paint, tires, brakes, strong and light frames, safety systems, hydraulics, cooling systems, entertainment systems, temperature regulations systems, glass, lighting, etc. There are a lot of parts, engineering and raw materials compared to a 23 lb bicycle. Add to that a far more substantial warranty and much more government regulation to deal with ... How is that not relevant?
    Are you really sure about that?

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