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  1. #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.

  2. #152
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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)

  3. #153
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    I agree with all of that^^^ I love the old Schwinns.

  4. #154
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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.

  5. #155
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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.

  6. #156
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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...........

  7. #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.

  8. #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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  9. #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.

  10. #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.

  11. #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.

  12. #162
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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.

  13. #163
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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?

  14. #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.

  15. #165
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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?

  16. #166
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    $2000 and not a single moving part.
    Supply Side Jesusnomosist

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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?

  18. #168
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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.

  19. #169
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    Every sport/game has it expensive and inexpensive products. ****, you can even spend a crap load on darts.

  20. #170
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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?

  21. #171
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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?

  22. #172
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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.

  23. #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.

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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?

  25. #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?

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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

  28. #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?

  30. #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!

  31. #181
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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?

  32. #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.

  33. #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?

  34. #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; 06-12-2014 at 12:37 AM.
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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.

  37. #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.

  38. #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?

  39. #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?

  40. #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?

  41. #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?

  42. #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.

  43. #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.

  44. #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?

  45. #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.

  46. #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?

  47. #197
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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.
    Quote Originally Posted by ridelikeafatkid
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  48. #198
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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
    "MOMMY, I WANT TO RIDE LIKE THAT FAT KID!" true story.

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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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