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  1. #26
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    Re: Why are nice bikes so frigging expensive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Circlip View Post
    I'd rather have the bike. To compare also to the other items in your earlier post (list copied below), I'd also rather have the bike than any of those items. That's the value to me, and why I pay the market rate (with what I hope are intelligent shopping choices) the expenses related to my chosen recreational activity.

    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
    Exactly, it is about priorities.
    I own a $700 refrigerator, but my bikes are $6-7K. Each.

  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSLKauai View Post
    I ride my bikes almost every day and do most of the maintenance myself. I would say that pretty much every other week, something on one of my bikes needs attention.
    What kind of attention? Is it mostly just adjustments here or there? If that's the case, you're doing something wrong.

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by moefosho View Post

    You could say the same thing about Motocross bikes that are worth over 100k. Those have to be worked on after every race.
    Let's make it even easier ... How about a $5,500 Kawasaki KLR entry level dual sport. I could easily get on that bike and ride it from California to Florida and back, hit a bunch of off road stuff and I guarantee you the chances of having anything serious go wrong with the mechanicals is almost nil. Oil the chain, change the oil and keep on trucking. My mountain bike needs shock, suspension and fork servicing every 300 miles!!! 500 miles on real trails on a mountain bike and it's going to need some ATTENTION, I don't care how high end it is.

    Quote Originally Posted by moefosho View Post
    Or formula1 or MotoGP. Millions of dollars are put into those cars and bikes, and they still need full maintenance after every race, and they still have failures during races.
    It's laughable to compare the technology in a high end road bike with a Formula one race car. Derailers haven't really changed that much since I was a kid. I guarantee you that if you put Nairo Quintana on a road bike that let's say Lance road back 15 years ago, he'd still be crushing it on the Tour. Put a formula one racer in a car from 1999 and see how they'd do on the circuit. The R&D dollars going into high end car racing is light years beyond what goes into bike racing and the technological improvements, especially with road bikes, has been minimal over the last 15 years. Mountain bike suspension has definitely come a long way over the last 15 years so that's a little different situation.
    Are you really sure about that?

  4. #29
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    Re: Why are nice bikes so frigging expensive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Circlip View Post
    I'd rather have the bike. To compare also to the other items in your earlier post (list copied below), I'd also rather have the bike than any of those items. That's the value to me, and why I pay the market rate (with what I hope are intelligent shopping choices) the expenses related to my chosen recreational activity.

    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
    Exactly, it is about priorities.
    I own a $700 refrigerator, but my bikes are $6-7K. Each.

  5. #30
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    It takes expensive engineers and expensive technology using expensive materials to make one of these expensive bikes.
    count your blessings

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by wizzer16 View Post
    It takes expensive engineers and expensive technology using expensive materials to make one of these expensive bikes.
    More engineers, sophisticated tools, sophisticated manufacturing processes and R&D than goes into a computer or smart phone? A TV? A motorized dirt bike? A Snowmobile? A nice stereo sound system?

    Bottom line is, bikes, especially road bikes, are extremely simple machines. Mountain bikes are marginally more complicated with shocks and pivots on the suspension.
    Are you really sure about that?

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSLKauai View Post
    Let's make it even easier ... How about a $5,500 Kawasaki KLR entry level dual sport. I could easily get on that bike and ride it from California to Florida and back, hit a bunch of off road stuff and I guarantee you the chances of having anything serious go wrong with the mechanicals is almost nil. Oil the chain, change the oil and keep on trucking. My mountain bike needs shock, suspension and fork servicing every 300 miles!!! 500 miles on real trails on a mountain bike and it's going to need some ATTENTION, I don't care how high end it is.



    It's laughable to compare the technology in a high end road bike with a Formula one race car. Derailers haven't really changed that much since I was a kid. I guarantee you that if you put Nairo Quintana on a road bike that let's say Lance road back 15 years ago, he'd still be crushing it on the Tour. Put a formula one racer in a car from 1999 and see how they'd do on the circuit. The R&D dollars going into high end car racing is light years beyond what goes into bike racing and the technological improvements, especially with road bikes, has been minimal over the last 15 years. Mountain bike suspension has definitely come a long way over the last 15 years so that's a little different situation.
    The point is, when you start talking about "halo" items, the costs increase in logarithmic fashion. Motorcycles, cars, bikes, wine, guitars, headphones, etc.

    These are all major luxury items. People have preferences. In america, people have lots of money. For many people 10k is nothing compared to the amount of enjoyment they get out of it.

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by moefosho View Post
    I spend less in maintenance over a year on my mtn bike than I do from one track day on a motorcycle.
    I've got a BMW F800GS. Bought it with about 5,000 miles on it. I've put 7,000 miles on it and in that time I've changed the oil twice, cleaned the chain 5 times (oiled it every 300 miles or so) and wash it maybe every 500 miles or so. That's it.

    My mountain bike, that I ride at least 4 times and 60+ miles every week for maybe 35 weeks a year needs to be washed, and lubed every week or it makes all kinds of creaks and groans. About once a month the derailer starts sounding clunky and needs some kind of adjustment. The recommended fork and shock servicing would be about every 6 weeks for me, wheels need truing every year and the suspension pivots are gonna need attention pretty much every year.

    I got my first "10-speed" when I was a teenager 30 years ago. My road bike that I ride today, which is a nice bike, is, when you really compare the two, very, very similar. Sure, my current bike has a stiffer frame, lighter parts, wider gearing and such, but it really hasn't changed much in terms of real innovation. For such small innovation, it's remarkable to me how much the prices have increased.
    Are you really sure about that?

  9. #34
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    your kidding yourself if you think the quantities are remotely the same. A bicycle is kind of a design nightmare. You have people who want exactly the right ride quality to weigh less while being able to do larger drops and survive worse wrecks.

    Look at the carbon bikes from a decade ago to now. you think that development happens for free?
    count your blessings

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by moefosho View Post
    The point is, when you start talking about "halo" items, the costs increase in logarithmic fashion. Motorcycles, cars, bikes, wine, guitars, headphones, etc.

    These are all major luxury items. People have preferences. In america, people have lots of money. For many people 10k is nothing compared to the amount of enjoyment they get out of it.
    Just to be clear, I love bikes and biking. I ride a lot of miles and have gone through a number of bikes, it's definitely one of my lifelong passions. Just when I compare it to my other lifelong passions (electric guitars/recording, skiing, surfing, motorcycles), the improvements and innovations to bikes over the years have been minimal compared to these other areas. A relatively delicate and fragile derailer is still the heart of the drivetrain (I do have a rohloff though and wish it would work well with a FS bike, but it just doesn't).

    I know how to work on bikes and my son and his friends bring their nice bikes over to my garage every week for adjustments and tweaking. i have years of experience at how much constant cleaning, lubing, tweaking a frequently ridden mountain bike needs in order to run smoothly and quietly.
    Are you really sure about that?

  11. #36
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    When I walk into a bike shop to purchase a bike, I look for the HIGHEST price tag and empty my wallet.

    I'm compelled to do so as to feel gratified and excepted by society as an accomplished citizen who looks to excel

    I ride with the anticipation that other rider's will ask what I paid for my bike so I can verbally unload this enormous $$$$$$ on them......everyone goes WOW your so successful.

    If you see me on the trail, I'll be the guy in full Cannondale spandex with un-scared legs just admiring my bike. An absolute testimonial to success I am

    Still hearing the echo's of " nice bike, dude your so cool " I reply with a arrogance .... YUP !!! paid cash.

  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSLKauai View Post
    Just when I compare it to my other lifelong passions (electric guitars/recording, skiing, surfing, motorcycles), the improvements and innovations to bikes over the years have been minimal compared to these other areas.
    Today's mountain bikes ride and perform noticeably better than those from the past. Does an electric new guitar today play much better than one from 10 years ago? I don't know surfboards, but are the markedly different from a decade ago?

  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by wizzer16 View Post
    your kidding yourself if you think the quantities are remotely the same. A bicycle is kind of a design nightmare. You have people who want exactly the right ride quality to weigh less while being able to do larger drops and survive worse wrecks.

    Look at the carbon bikes from a decade ago to now. you think that development happens for free?
    The bicycle industry didn't somehow "invent" carbon fiber technology and are, in fact, relatively small consumers of it. The real R&D, the expensive stuff, being done to create it is being done by other industries. A bicycle frame is a very simple thing when you really look at it. Look at a racing bike frame from 4 years ago to the bikes of today and the changes are minimal. The training, diet, supplements, doping programs have changed a lot, but the bikes, the geometry, the drive trains ... they're still very similar. A carbon frame is what ... 1-2 lbs lighter than a good aluminum frame? Big whoop ti do. That does not translate into a gigantic performance advantage. A small one, maybe. It's nothing like the innovation that went into giving motorcycles, over the last 35 years the kind of suspension and horsepower improvements we see. For $10,000, the cost of a high end tour level bicycle, I can get a street motorcycle that will go safely over 150mph with infinitely more technological improvements over the last 25 years than road bikes have experienced.

    Design "nightmare?" Bikes are very simple machines. They come in 4-5 basic sizes, are easily adjusted with a switch of stems, seatposts and handlebars to exact body types. 3 different wheel sizes is a design nightmare??? Are you kidding?
    Are you really sure about that?

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSLKauai View Post
    Just to be clear, I love bikes and biking. I ride a lot of miles and have gone through a number of bikes, it's definitely one of my lifelong passions. Just when I compare it to my other lifelong passions (electric guitars/recording, skiing, surfing, motorcycles), the improvements and innovations to bikes over the years have been minimal compared to these other areas. A relatively delicate and fragile derailer is still the heart of the drivetrain (I do have a rohloff though and wish it would work well with a FS bike, but it just doesn't).
    If you look at what technologies and improvements that have really taken off in the past few years, its pretty significant. The tapered head tube, thru axle, dropper seatpost and drivetrain (2x10, 1x11) are all pretty dramatic improvements. Then you look at the geometry of bikes. Head tubes are getting slacker while seat tubes are getting steeper in higher travel bikes which to me, is a game changer. They're closing the gap for people that are in between an XC and All Mountain bike.

    It is an expensive hobby? Absolutely, but so are most hobbies. If you're into the hobby, then its a small price to pay. Would you rather have a super nice mountain bike or a Gibson Les Paul Custom? Both will run you around $4000.

  15. #40
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    Just when I compare it to my other lifelong passions (electric guitars/recording, skiing, surfing, motorcycles), the improvements and innovations to bikes over the years have been minimal compared to these other areas.

    those things have seen larger improvements in the last 10 or 15 years? I don't know much about those other things but i would imagine they don't have the same kind of subtle tweaks that bikes do. Think about how much you notice a saddle adjustment of 2 mm or a heavier tire in the rear.

    Now design a full suspension carbon frame from the ground up. Ride the prototype for a while and make your changes. Do that last step a few more times. Now you have to price it to cover the costs of R&D while turning a profit and paying a sales and marketing team to show these advances to the world.

    I'm not saying that some of what you see if just last years stuff wrapped up in new paint but with so many new models coming out year after year I think the price is justified. If you have the money and the lighter bike is worth the extra 3k go for it. You can have just as much fun on the less expensive bike, but it wont be the same quality.
    count your blessings

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shakester View Post
    It is an expensive hobby? Absolutely, but so are most hobbies. If you're into the hobby, then its a small price to pay. Would you rather have a super nice mountain bike or a Gibson Les Paul Custom? Both will run you around $4000.
    I bought my first electric guitar in 1980 - a beat up Gibson Les Paul Deluxe -- for $800. In 25 years I have replaced the frets once ($175) and one volume pot ($30). I've played it thousands and thousands of hours and I could sell it today in a heartbeat for $2,500. Good guitars appreciate in value. Bikes depreciate QUICKLY. I've bought and sold a number of guitars over the years and have often made money on them. That's never happened with a bike, at least not to me.
    Are you really sure about that?

  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSLKauai View Post
    Good guitars appreciate in value. Bikes depreciate QUICKLY. I've bought and sold a number of guitars over the years and have often made money on them.

    How much do those smart phones appreciate in 25 years? Flat screen Tv's? Refrigerators? Snowmobile??? Sell your bike for god sakes, everyone has their own priorities.

  18. #43
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    7,000? Good bikes are 1,500 to 3,000 max, don't need all that fancy stuff. Buy last year's model from someone way richer than you with 8 rides on it. And marry a smart IT engineer like I did to support you. She loves my good looking legs too. Expensive hobby, you should try bourbon.

  19. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSLKauai View Post
    I bought my first electric guitar in 1980 - a beat up Gibson Les Paul Deluxe -- for $800. In 25 years I have replaced the frets once ($175) and one volume pot ($30). I've played it thousands and thousands of hours and I could sell it today in a heartbeat for $2,500. Good guitars appreciate in value. Bikes depreciate QUICKLY. I've bought and sold a number of guitars over the years and have often made money on them. That's never happened with a bike, at least not to me.
    So you're saying that in 34 years guitars haven't changed at all? Or is it that Les Paul Deluxe have a sentimental value to someone?

    A free market will tell you exactly what a bike is worth. Find me the Bike that is as good for half the money and ill buy it from you.
    count your blessings

  20. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSLKauai View Post
    I challenge you to go to any lift served (Whistler, etc.) and count how many Wal Mart specials are coming down the mountain? Show up at any of the better mountain biking trailheads and count the number of Wal Mart Specials vs. >$1,500 specialized bikes. Go out to anywhere USA where road bikers get together and go on group rides and tell me how many of those road bikes cost less than $1,500. Seriously, people buy their kids bikes at Wal Mart, but the bikes you see being ridden on the road and trails are typically pretty nice bikes.

    How many of the people you ride with are on bikes that cost <$1,000???

    I could buy a VERY NICE electric guitar, an amplifier a bunch of effects pedals and a computer recording setup for what a high end road bike costs.
    I COULDN'T AGREE MORE!!!!! whenever I'm in the nicer part of Anytown, USA nobody is driving a crappy car and everybody has new siding on their houses!
    go to your average suburban public park that isn't designed for mtb and most bikes there are <$500. it's all relative to where you're looking and what you're looking for. if you like a certain bike, you're more inclined to notice it. if you're in an area of higher income you're going to see higher income products i.e. bikes/cars. go to an impoverished area/inner city/ghetto/etc.... probably a higher % of people who own bikes, with an avg cost much lower than the bikes at whistler.

    you could argue cars are getting cheaper because of the technology available in a $12,000 Kia just as easily as you could argue they're getting more expensive because a new Bentley is $300k.

    and as other have said 10x over, something is only worth what somebody will pay for it. if nobody ever bought a bike for $5k, no bike would cost $5k.

  21. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Circlip View Post
    Today's mountain bikes ride and perform noticeably better than those from the past. Does an electric new guitar today play much better than one from 10 years ago? I don't know surfboards, but are the markedly different from a decade ago?
    Guitars, amplifiers, effects and recording equipment, as a result of the innovations from analog to digital have changed dramatically. Bands are literally recording albums on ipads these days. Surfboard sizes, thicknesses and designs have changed a great deal over the decades but I'd say it's probably comparable with mountain bikes in terms of frame and suspension. To be clear, I do think the biggest innovation in cycle design over the last 35 years has been mountain bike suspension/frames. That has changed a lot.
    Are you really sure about that?

  22. #47
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    and as other have said 10x over, something is only worth what somebody will pay for it. if nobody ever bought a bike for $5k, no bike would cost $5k.[/QUOTE]

    ...and nobody would be riding a bike as sophisticated as what is now available.
    count your blessings

  23. #48
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    ^ true. it's people's willingness to spend money on bikes that has allowed the industry to progress to where it is. pencil technology hasn't changed much because who the hell wants to spend $50 for a pencil. but if there were a market for it, there'd be some really nice pencils for sale

  24. #49
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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!
    It's really a very simple answer. We are willing to pay the price. Simple supply and demand. As long as there is demand at the price they are charging, they will continue to charge that much. There is no reason for them to charge $1,000 for a bike when just about as many people are willing to pay $5,000 or more for it. If nobody was willing to spend $5,000+ on a bike, nobody would be selling bikes for that price.

  25. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by wizzer16 View Post
    So you're saying that in 34 years guitars haven't changed at all? Or is it that Les Paul Deluxe have a sentimental value to someone?
    .
    Believe it or not, guitars haven't really changed that much, but amplifiers, effects, recording and electronics in general has. The original 3 guitar designs (Stratocaster, Telecaster and Les Paul) are still, 60+ years later the most popular styles by far. There are some very innovative guitars but they serve a pretty small segment of the market. Guitarists tend to be very image conscious and I think the old school designs just "feel" right for some reason. But, the analog to digital innovation has been major.
    Are you really sure about that?

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