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  1. #1
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    Why are nice bikes so frigging expensive?

    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!
    Are you really sure about that?

  2. #2
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    Why are nice bikes so frigging expensive?

    Not again...

  3. #3
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    I think this is the first time this topic has ever been covered. Thanks for bringing up a new thread about this! Let's all discuss it for 6 pages.

    Seriously though, You can get a really nice bike for about $1000 if you look for deals. Quit being a whiny B!@#$.

  4. #4
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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!
    Volume

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by moefosho View Post
    I think this is the first time this topic has ever been covered. Thanks for bringing up a new thread about this! Let's all discuss it for 6 pages.

    Seriously though, You can get a really nice bike for about $1000 if you look for deals. Quit being a whiny B!@#$.
    Never ceases to amaze me how often on internet DISCUSSION BOARDS, people will chime in negatively, commenting that the thread isn't necessary and then criticize the guy opening the thread? If you have no interest or have already participated in a previous topic like this, why not ignore it? How does tossing negativity and insults into the arena help anything? I've personally never participated in a discussion on this site about this. Maybe you spend hours and hours every day on the site, pouring over every thread and tracking frequency of topics ... chill out a little. Why waste your time on a topic you're not interested in? And, what exactly am I "whining" about? I'm simply putting out a comparative question of value. It seems odd to me that a relatively simple machine like a bicycle should cost as much as a snowmobile that has thousands of parts with far more engineering and durability built in than a bicycle.
    Are you really sure about that?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woozle View Post
    Volume
    Are you telling me that there are more snowmobiles sold than bicycles?

    Edit: Just looked it up ... appears that worldwide sales of snowmobiles last year was just around 50,000. Sales of bicycles JUST IN THE US was over 13 million.

    Consider that Apple is tracking to sell about 13 million iMac computers this year.

    13 million bikes qualifies as serious volume.
    Are you really sure about that?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSLKauai View Post
    I've personally never participated in a discussion on this site about this. Maybe you spend hours and hours every day on the site, pouring over every thread and tracking frequency of topics.
    Agree. Here is a convenience link to help;

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

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSLKauai View Post
    Are you telling me that there are more snowmobiles sold than bicycles?

    Edit: Just looked it up ... appears that worldwide sales of snowmobiles last year was just around 50,000. Sales of bicycles JUST IN THE US was over 13 million.

    Consider that Apple is tracking to sell about 13 million iMac computers this year.

    13 million bikes qualifies as serious volume.
    How many of those are$6000 bikes? You could have an identical thread of 'why are bikes so cheap?' I would guess that most of the 13m bikes sold are under $300. There sure as hell are not 13m Yeti carbon sb66 being sold.

  9. #9
    How much further ???
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    Something only costs what people are willing to pay.

    If marketing has convinced you that you need to adjust HSC LSC HSR and LSR settings on your suspension in order to enjoy riding your bike, or you need x wheel size to go faster, or you need carbon this or that to put a smile on your face, and anything less is just horrible and practically unrideable. Then that's your fault.
    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did." Mark Twain

  10. #10
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    Re: Why are nice bikes so frigging expensive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Woozle View Post
    How many of those are$6000 bikes? You could have an identical thread of 'why are bikes so cheap?' I would guess that most of the 13m bikes sold are under $300. There sure as hell are not 13m Yeti carbon sb66 being sold.
    Exactly.

    Volume as in high end bikes. Not cheap walmart specials.

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk 2

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSLKauai View Post
    13 million bikes qualifies as serious volume.
    Yeah, but the percentage of those that are "high end mountain bikes" is probably extremely small -- like 1%.

  12. #12
    I didn't do it
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    Let's eat Ted
    Let's eat, Ted
    Remember, commas save lives

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSLKauai View Post
    Never ceases to amaze me how often on internet DISCUSSION BOARDS, people will chime in negatively, commenting that the thread isn't necessary and then criticize the guy opening the thread? If you have no interest or have already participated in a previous topic like this, why not ignore it? How does tossing negativity and insults into the arena help anything? I've personally never participated in a discussion on this site about this. Maybe you spend hours and hours every day on the site, pouring over every thread and tracking frequency of topics ... chill out a little. Why waste your time on a topic you're not interested in? And, what exactly am I "whining" about? I'm simply putting out a comparative question of value. It seems odd to me that a relatively simple machine like a bicycle should cost as much as a snowmobile that has thousands of parts with far more engineering and durability built in than a bicycle.
    It never ceases to amaze me that people get their feelings hurt over a jab on an internet forum.

    Comparing apples to chickens is not a good comparison.

    Value, is what the public is willing to pay.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Douger-1 View Post
    Something only costs what people are willing to pay.
    ding ding we have a weiner!!! you sir get a cookie.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by EmbraceTheHate View Post
    Exactly.

    Volume as in high end bikes. Not cheap walmart specials.

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk 2
    My town has got about 7 bike shops, an REI and a Wal Mart. In the bike shops, bikes costing >$1,500 are AT LEAST 3 times more than the others. And at least 1/3 of the bikes in those shops cost >$2,500. REI has plenty of bikes well over $1,500. You can talk about Wal Mart all you want, but I rarely, if ever see those bikes being ridden on the roads or trails where I live. I do see a lot of >$2,500 bikes however. I see more >$5,000 bikes on the trails than I see Wal Mart $300 specials.
    Are you really sure about that?

  16. #16
    How much further ???
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    Quote Originally Posted by nvphatty View Post
    ding ding we have a weiner!!! you sir get a cookie.
    I'd like chocolate chip please.
    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did." Mark Twain

  17. #17
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    I like expensive bikes. Does that make me weird?

  18. #18
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    Here's an interest video about the costs of bikes. Although this video has to to with weight savings and the bikes are rod bikes, but it should apply to mountain bikes too:

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by moefosho View Post
    It never ceases to amaze me that people get their feelings hurt over a jab on an internet forum.

    Comparing apples to chickens is not a good comparison.

    Value, is what the public is willing to pay.
    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.
    Are you really sure about that?

  20. #20
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    Re: Why are nice bikes so frigging expensive?

    Quote Originally Posted by MSLKauai View Post
    My town has got about 7 bike shops, an REI and a Wal Mart. In the bike shops, bikes costing >$1,500 are AT LEAST 3 times more than the others. And at least 1/3 of the bikes in those shops cost >$2,500. REI has plenty of bikes well over $1,500. You can talk about Wal Mart all you want, but I rarely, if ever see those bikes being ridden on the roads or trails where I live. I do see a lot of >$2,500 bikes however. I see more >$5,000 bikes on the trails than I see Wal Mart $300 specials.
    Ok ok I get it. You live in the rich area of town.

    Next time try a little harder and search.

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk 2

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by EmbraceTheHate View Post
    Ok ok I get it. You live in the rich area of town.

    Next time try a little harder and search.

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk 2
    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.
    Are you really sure about that?

  22. #22
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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.
    It was a joke dude, chill out. We are obviously on the forum to discuss things.



    You could say the same thing about Motocross bikes that are worth over 100k. Those have to be worked on after every race.
    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.

    If you want to compare top end, leading edge of development products like a $10k bike, at least compare it to other top end products.

  23. #23
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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.
    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.

    If you want to compare top end, leading edge of development products like a $10k bike, at least compare it to other top end products.
    It doesn't matter if you're talking about a $300 wal mart bike, mid level $2,000 bike or a high end bike. They all are relatively fragile, need constant maintenance and are anything but bullet proof. Perhaps a SS is, but that's a tiny fraction of what is on the road. Consider the complexity and durability of a snowmobile. How many miles it can go with no service. How much punishment the suspension takes. The miles, the electronics. By comparison, bikes are far less complicated and a lot more fragile. 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. I've got a couple of high end bikes I got used and a couple in that 1-2 thousand range as well.
    Are you really sure about that?

  24. #24
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    I spend less in maintenance over a year on my mtn bike than I do from one track day on a motorcycle.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSLKauai View Post
    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'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

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