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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
    No. Just No.
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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
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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
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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:
    <iframe width="640" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/NF4MIEkIBZs?feature=player_detailpage" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

  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.

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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

  26. #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.

  27. #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.

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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?

  29. #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.

  30. #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

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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?

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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.

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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?

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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

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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?

  36. #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.

  37. #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?

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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?

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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.

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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

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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?

  42. #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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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?

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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

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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

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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.

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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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    Quote Originally Posted by anchskier View Post
    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.
    That logic only works if you are the only manufacturer in town. As soon as someone realizes they can take your customers by dropping their price they will.
    count your blessings

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    Quote Originally Posted by MSLKauai View Post
    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.
    I'm not looking to be argumentative at all. Merely discussion based questions. I'm curious what the cost of those advancements has been. It would seem to me that you could take the exact same technology from one electronic to the next.
    count your blessings

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by anchskier View Post
    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.
    Yup. Simple economics. Supply and Demand.
    People don't say, "I really want a bike, but that bike is too expensive. I will buy a high end refrigerator instead." Also, High End bikes are very much a luxury item with a high IEoD.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wizzer16 View Post
    That logic only works if you are the only manufacturer in town. As soon as someone realizes they can take your customers by dropping their price they will.
    I actually think we're getting very close to the point where weight, components and frame dynamics are nearing a point where improvements will be harder to come by and the real innovation will turn toward competing better via value and pricing. It would not surprise me at all if in the next few years, more companies come out with an absolutely fantastic, light, well built line of bikes that are a lot cheaper. This happens all the time after a stage of meaningful improvements (mountain bike frames) and huge media generated attention (the Lance phenomenon). When some company puts out a line of FANTASTIC mountain bike frames at $400 a pop, it's going to change the industry a lot.
    Are you really sure about that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by wizzer16 View Post
    I'm not looking to be argumentative at all. Merely discussion based questions. I'm curious what the cost of those advancements has been. It would seem to me that you could take the exact same technology from one electronic to the next.
    No worries, you don't come across as argumentative. There is definitely an old school tone segment of the musician/guitarist world that is attracted to incredibly expensive, old technology ... but more and more of the market is migrating to the much more innovative and inexpensive digital side of the equipment realm. There are old school one dimension vacuum tube amps that cost $3,000+ (some much higher) and there are digital amps that will sound very close to many of the classic amps for $500. Of course the old school snobs will say the tone of the new stuff is not that good. But nearly everyone is recording with the highest quality digital electronics they can afford.
    Are you really sure about that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MSLKauai View Post
    When some company puts out a line of FANTASTIC mountain bike frames at $400 a pop, it's going to change the industry a lot.
    They sell for that on close out all the time, every year and it hasn't changed the industry one bit. Every year bikes get more expensive because enthusiasts are willing to pay the price, although your example of 7,000 dollar bikes is but a very small segment of the entire market.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MSLKauai View Post
    I actually think we're getting very close to the point where weight, components and frame dynamics are nearing a point where improvements will be harder to come by and the real innovation will turn toward competing better via value and pricing. It would not surprise me at all if in the next few years, more companies come out with an absolutely fantastic, light, well built line of bikes that are a lot cheaper. This happens all the time after a stage of meaningful improvements (mountain bike frames) and huge media generated attention (the Lance phenomenon). When some company puts out a line of FANTASTIC mountain bike frames at $400 a pop, it's going to change the industry a lot.

    Exactly! The technology of todays expensive mountain bike will tomorrows base line bike. The people who are buying 7k bikes are paving the way for the 2-4k bike market.

    I do think we have a lot to see from electronic shifting and droppers. Apparently the new XTR DI2 will shift the front to keep the proper chain line and ratio.
    count your blessings

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    Here's where I'm going to throw a wrench into your opening post, and pretty much every other post you have in this thread. It's exactly because innovations are nearly tapped out - especially with road bikes that are relatively simple from a mechanical perspective - that the cost of incremental improvements needed for the bike companies to justify selling new models each year becomes exponentially more expensive (R&D, etc.) to keep churning out fighting against the law of diminishing returns. As consumers we (willingly) pay the cost. Or don't, if that's your choice and you want to make a statement with your wallet.

    Quote Originally Posted by MSLKauai View Post
    I actually think we're getting very close to the point where weight, components and frame dynamics are nearing a point where improvements will be harder to come by and the real innovation will turn toward competing better via value and pricing. It would not surprise me at all if in the next few years, more companies come out with an absolutely fantastic, light, well built line of bikes that are a lot cheaper. This happens all the time after a stage of meaningful improvements (mountain bike frames) and huge media generated attention (the Lance phenomenon). When some company puts out a line of FANTASTIC mountain bike frames at $400 a pop, it's going to change the industry a lot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tiretracks View Post
    They sell for that on close out all the time, every year and it hasn't changed the industry one bit. Every year bikes get more expensive because enthusiasts are willing to pay the price, although your example of 7,000 dollar bikes is but a very small segment of the entire market.
    Hmm??? I sure haven't seen that. Are you talking about the frames that are on >$2,000 bikes in bike stores today? Are you saying that brand new Specialized Epic, Instense Tracer, Salsa Horsethief, Scott Genius/Spark, Trek Fuel, Cannondale Trigger, Pivot Mach, Niner Jet, etc. frames are selling somewhere for $400 right now? If so, where? Point me in that direction and I'll by 100 of them today. What was the last really good FS mountain bike frame you saw on sale for $400 brand new?
    Are you really sure about that?

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    Bike prices have steadily gone up because mtn biking popularity has steadily gone up. Actually, in past 5-7 years it's increased significantly, at least where I live. As long is the demand is there......

    I tend to agree with you. But sometimes, pricing of a particular type of product never makes sense. In 1978 I bought a new chainsaw, it costs $300. Brand: Jonsered. 16" bar, 49cc engine. Today, a chainsaw like that is pretty darn close to $300. I think a big part of the explanation there is: demand.

    Have you ever watched any mtn bike auctions on eBay? I think there are roughly 3 times as many mtn bikes on eBay as road bikes. Popularity. The most expensive mass produced bike is Specialized's S-Works Epic. Around $10,500 new I believe. Who would pay that!! .... people say. But go on eBay and sort on mtn bikes> brand:specialized >frame material:carbon. Another used s-works shows up on eBay almost every day!! And they're almost always less then 3 years old. There are a lot of people out there who have no problem pay over 10K for a bicycle. So that's another reason for the high prices.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MSLKauai View Post
    But nearly everyone is recording with the highest quality digital electronics they can afford.
    Hmmmm, pros using top of the line equipment in order to get the best results?

    Quote Originally Posted by MSLKauai View Post
    I actually think we're getting very close to the point where weight, components and frame dynamics are nearing a point where improvements will be harder to come by and the real innovation will turn toward competing better via value and pricing.

    People were saying the exact same thing 30 years ago about road bikes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    People were saying the exact same thing 30 years ago.
    Truly, I wasn't paying any attention to the bike market 30 years ago, so you very well might be right. And maybe another superstar like Lance will emerge and bring so much attention to biking that it goes through another big leg up in popularity ... the future's hard to predict. I do think, though that, given the prices today, a couple of bike companies are going to see there's one heck of an opportunity out there to produce really high quality bikes at much lower prices and they're going to enter the equation with good marketing, image branding, etc.
    Are you really sure about that?

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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.
    Sounds like you found a good deal on a guitar but its the same as finding a good deal on a bike. Truth is, you don't have to spend $6000 for a nice bike. You can find a "nice" bike for $1000-$2000. I bought my Gibson Les Paul Studio 10 years ago for about $1200 brand new. I sold it last year for $1000 since it was just a guitar I played at home so it was babied. So I understand the depreciation that bikes have compared to certain things.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MSLKauai View Post
    Truly, I wasn't paying any attention to the bike market 30 years ago, so you very well might be right. And maybe another superstar like Lance will emerge and bring so much attention to biking that it goes through another big leg up in popularity ... the future's hard to predict. I do think, though that, given the prices today, a couple of bike companies are going to see there's one heck of an opportunity out there to produce really high quality bikes at much lower prices and they're going to enter the equation with good marketing, image branding, etc.
    I think Enduro is already doing that for the mtn bike scene.

    There are companies doing that. Airborne for one. If you are in Europe you can get a YT Capra for $4750 USD that is literally a top of the line spec everything Enduro bike with a carbon frame.
    Capra CF Comp 1-20141900

    Soon that will be coming to the states.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shakester View Post
    Sounds like you found a good deal on a guitar but its the same as finding a good deal on a bike. Truth is, you don't have to spend $6000 for a nice bike. You can find a "nice" bike for $1000-$2000. I bought my Gibson Les Paul Studio 10 years ago for about $1200 brand new. I sold it last year for $1000 since it was just a guitar I played at home so it was babied. So I understand the depreciation that bikes have compared to certain things.
    I did get lucky with that Les Paul and have lost money on other guitars and made money on others. The most I ever spent for a bike was $3000 and that was a used carbon FS bike, from a Team racer for Kona on a bike that was selling new for about $7000. My other bikes are all in that $1,500-2,500 zone and I always look for lightly used bikes. I really can't see myself ever buying another road bike unless the frame on my current one breaks, which I seriously doubt will happen anytime soon. Mountain bikes are a little different. If you ride em hard in real dirt, they wear out a lot faster.
    Are you really sure about that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MSLKauai View Post
    Truly, I wasn't paying any attention to the bike market 30 years ago, so you very well might be right. And maybe another superstar like Lance will emerge and bring so much attention to biking that it goes through another big leg up in popularity ... the future's hard to predict. I do think, though that, given the prices today, a couple of bike companies are going to see there's one heck of an opportunity out there to produce really high quality bikes at much lower prices and they're going to enter the equation with good marketing, image branding, etc.

    For me, it was Bernard Hinault that made biking popular for me. Hinault and Lemond.

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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.
    I bought my first mountain bike in 1986 - a year old Specialized Stumpjumper -- for $150. I estimate $50 per year in chains and tires for the 5-6 years I rode it. If I had that bike today it would be worth over $2,500 (vintage bikes are something of a collector's item today).

    As far as advances in technology, there are too many to list. The '86 SJ had caliper brakes mounted under incredibly long chainstays. It had a threaded headset which needed adjusting almost every ride. Cup and ball bearings that needed much more attention than today's cartridge bearings, just to name a few.

    In 2007 I built up a Surly Karate Monkey for right around $1000. Still ride that thing today. This past winter I bought a Surly Krampus for $2,500 including tax. That one was a little over-priced, maybe, but I do respect the level of design/engineering that goes into their fat bikes (just don't call the Krampus "fat").

    All that being said, I do see the point in your original post. Bikes are expensive. Some are over-priced, but I personally don't think it's as far out of line with other sports as you say. I live in a ski town and a full set up of "high-end" ski equipment on the market today would probably be around $2,000 (skis, boots and poles); and then it would still cost $100 per day just to ride the lifts.

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    Re: Why are nice bikes so frigging expensive?

    Quote Originally Posted by MSLKauai View Post
    I actually think we're getting very close to the point where weight, components and frame dynamics are nearing a point where improvements will be harder to come by and the real innovation will turn toward competing better via value and pricing. It would not surprise me at all if in the next few years, more companies come out with an absolutely fantastic, light, well built line of bikes that are a lot cheaper. This happens all the time after a stage of meaningful improvements (mountain bike frames) and huge media generated attention (the Lance phenomenon). When some company puts out a line of FANTASTIC mountain bike frames at $400 a pop, it's going to change the industry a lot.
    Check out YT Industries. Great value for what you get. Cutting a middle man and buying direct is another way how to offer lower pricing.
    Www.yt-industries.com

  69. #69
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    I think a lot of the top dollar costs and even lower end model prices are due to shops charging MSRP for everything on the bike..I will grant some are focused mostly on a name the frame has on it despite most all of them are made in the same factory at the same costs...Bikes direct sells a Dawes haymaker 1500 with deore components for $500.00.

    So what do you get from a local bike shop for $500.00?

    You get the bottom of the line shimano tourney derailleurs and shifters...you get tektro mechanical disc brakes..you also get the same Suntour XCT cranks or shimano altus cranks..you get bottom of the line parts for a premium price.

    Im sure many feel the name on the frame means the world but in all honesty it means crap..if bike shops would stop being so greedy they may sell a larger percentage of the market..They could only dream to have the contracts walmart and target has when it comes to moving volumes.

    I own 3 bikes from all ends of the spectrum...A walmart bike, a mail order bike and a soon to be "local bike shop quality" GT Avalanche frame that I paid $140 dollars for shipped brand new..If I put the same low level parts on it ill be far from the 550 dollars a local bike shop sells one for..but ill be able to put on much better parts for my 550 dollars.

    I agree high end bikes are a small percentage but in some cases it doesn't always mean you got a great deal or cant do better for less money in general.

    I paid $349 dollars for a mail order bike with Hydraulic brakes..a very well built quality frame with sram X4 everything shifting wise and get the same XCT cranks and forks the bike shop models get...There can be good deals but bike shops as with any business want to make as much as they can for something they paid a lot less for.

    Its the walmart bikes that get more and more people into riding bikes..not the local bike shops..Despite the belief a walmart bike will fall apart as soon as it hits a trail or goes off a small jump it us just simply not true anymore..technology has trickeld down quite a bit with some models

    You can get 1-1/8 head tubes now, double wall rims, 3pc. cranks, front and rear disc brakes..the same shimano tourney derailleurs you get on a 500 dollar bike shop model.Alloy pedals on some models, some great full suspension geometry on some models...I predict in 5 yrs sales on walmart bike will double as they improve while bike shops struggle more and more as they charge more and more for a bike


    if you feel its the frame that makes a difference I can agree but only to a certain point

    What entry level 500 600 dollar bike is made for 5 ft drop offs or 10ft dirt jumps?..None of them are as walmart bikes aren't either...they are intended for light duty trail use but more so with some upgrades..Sorry but none of the walmart bikes ive owned have ever broken a frame from riding trails and having fun with it..Would I try to take 5ft drops on one..no I wouldn't but I wouldn't on a 600 dollar bike either.

    So cost will always be high as long as bike shops continue to charge as much as they are legally allowed to.

    Super high end bikes I leave out of this because none really start off riding on a 5k 6k bike..they buy the cheap 200 dollar walmart bike or the lowest cost LBS bike.

    Some models I can see cost justified as your life can depend on whether or not you have the best technology out there..but for the entry aspect the bike shops are losing the war to walmart and target and sears and all the department store bikes.

    You would be amazed at what some are doing to some of those cheap models and beating the crap out of them but sorry ,no stories of broken frames or stories of near death experiences because it was a cheap bike..Some of the frames are solid as a rock and light trail riding is no more of a risk than it would be on a more expensive model.

    Anyway, just my feelings on all of this..I like all my bikes depite the cost..none have fallen apart and they all do the same thing for me,Give me exercise and fun.

    Im not saying go out and buy a walmart bike if you have the money for something nicer but, if all you can afford is a walmart bike don't let it scare you away thinking its total crap..A few upgrades and your as reliable as anything else costing hundreds more.
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  70. #70
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    Why are nice bikes so frigging expensive?

    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.
    Yeah!

  71. #71
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    Re: Why are nice bikes so frigging expensive?

    Quote Originally Posted by MSLKauai View Post
    A carbon frame is what ... 1-2 lbs lighter than a good aluminum frame? Big whoop ti do.
    Ti? Why did you bring that up now?
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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzanova View Post
    Check out YT Industries. Great value for what you get. Cutting a middle man and buying direct is another way how to offer lower pricing.
    YT Industries ? Home
    Thanks for the link ... checked them out ... looked nice, but definitely not inexpensive bikes.
    Are you really sure about that?

  73. #73
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    Re: Why are nice bikes so frigging expensive?

    Quote Originally Posted by MSLKauai View Post
    Thanks for the link ... checked them out ... looked nice, but definitely not inexpensive bikes.
    You ate right, they are not inexpensive, but an equivalent bike from any other high end manufacturer with the same group of components would be about 30-50% more expensive.

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    Re: Why are nice bikes so frigging expensive?

    Why are you whining anyways? If you dont like spending the money go spend it elsewhere.

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk 2

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    Quote Originally Posted by MSLKauai View Post
    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!
    Aloha,

    The problem(s) as I see it would go something like this. Mountain biking (and cycling) has gone high end/popular. It's a sport (activity) that almost all the big companies have to do some serious marketing to keep up with the other companies. Add to that the fact that all the big companies seem to think we need something new every year (more marketing). Kind of like the drug companies (and other areas like golf clubs), the manufacturers need to recoup their "research" and "advertising" costs as fast as possible so because they're needing to develop new and "better" stuff every year and want to make you think you need it.

    One more ingredient to the mixture. Someone/something's got to pay for all that media stuff like X-Games and Red Bull. They are spectacular for sure but though those companies put out the money, we as consumers pay for it whether it be with Red Bull or any of the companies that are part of the traveling show.

    This is the same reason why NBA, NFL and other products associated to those media things cost so much money. Why do basketball shoes cost so much money, especially if they had that "Jordan" name on it????

    OK, last part. Our economy has tanked (here in the US) so our great US dollar sucks against many places like China and Japan where all the parts/pieces and bulk of manufacturing comes from. Then here in the states our cost of doing business has gone up HUGE amounts..............

    Anyway, my take on what I see..............

  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by EmbraceTheHate View Post
    Why are you whining anyways? If you dont like spending the money go spend it elsewhere.

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk 2
    ^^Couldn't a similar question be asked of you? Lot of threads on here to choose from...

  77. #77
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    Re: Why are nice bikes so frigging expensive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zowie View Post
    ^^Couldn't a similar question be asked of you? Lot of threads on here to choose from...
    Seriously, its a mountain bike forum. This guy is on here whining about the cost of them....sounds like he needs to find a new hobby.

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk 2

  78. #78
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    Because....Mountain biking is a really classy sport and we want to discourage riff raff types

  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by EmbraceTheHate View Post
    Seriously, its a mountain bike forum. This guy is on here whining about the cost of them....sounds like he needs to find a new hobby.

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk 2
    How exactly am I whining about the price of today's bikes. I love bikes, ride them every day, love the improvements made, especially to mountain bikes and hope they get better and better. All I'm doing is making some relative observations that bicycles, next to other products seem priced very expensive given how simple a machine they are. You can easily spend more money on a bicycle than a motorized dirt bike, that is far more complex, heavier duty, built to last longer over more miles and to take far more abuse that has an engine and often complex electronics. How is that whining, actually? It just seems that bicycles enjoy a pricing premium over many other products that, from a distance seem like they would cost far more.
    Are you really sure about that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ricko View Post
    Because....Mountain biking is a really classy sport and we want to discourage riff raff types
    Um well, how do ya' argue this....after all it's about image

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSLKauai View Post
    I actually think we're getting very close to the point where weight, components and frame dynamics are nearing a point where improvements will be harder to come by and the real innovation will turn toward competing better via value and pricing. It would not surprise me at all if in the next few years, more companies come out with an absolutely fantastic, light, well built line of bikes that are a lot cheaper. This happens all the time after a stage of meaningful improvements (mountain bike frames) and huge media generated attention (the Lance phenomenon). When some company puts out a line of FANTASTIC mountain bike frames at $400 a pop, it's going to change the industry a lot.
    Nope. They're going to add electronic shifting now. Just XTR for 2015, buit XT and SRAM for 2016. Prices will continue to rise.

    I spent $1000 on my first mtb in 1991 it had 21 speeds, and a rigid steel fork.

    What does $1000 buy you today? Hydraulically damped front suspension, a much wider range of gears (I had a 12-28 out back in 1991) and hydraulic discs if you shop well.

    Sure you can drop $10k on a bicycle, but you can also drop $250,000 on a car.
    Supply Side Jesusnomisist

  82. #82
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    I have 28 bikes at my house. Everything from a Giant Anthem Advanced 0, Borealis XX1 to vintage bikes that are only worth what I feel they are. All of my bikes are fun to ride and have unique personalities but the high end bikes are easily the better bikes to ride, in every respect. Worth every penny.
    I'm a mountain bike guide in southwest Utah

  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silentfoe View Post
    I have 28 bikes at my house. Everything from a Giant Anthem Advanced 0, Borealis XX1 to vintage bikes that are only worth what I feel they are. All of my bikes are fun to ride and have unique personalities but the high end bikes are easily the better bikes to ride, in every respect. Worth every penny.
    That cop money seems too good to me.
    Supply Side Jesusnomisist

  84. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmats View Post
    Aloha,

    The problem(s) as I see it would go something like this. Mountain biking (and cycling) has gone high end/popular. It's a sport (activity) that almost all the big companies have to do some serious marketing to keep up with the other companies. Add to that the fact that all the big companies seem to think we need something new every year (more marketing). Kind of like the drug companies (and other areas like golf clubs), the manufacturers need to recoup their "research" and "advertising" costs as fast as possible so because they're needing to develop new and "better" stuff every year and want to make you think you need it.

    One more ingredient to the mixture. Someone/something's got to pay for all that media stuff like X-Games and Red Bull. They are spectacular for sure but though those companies put out the money, we as consumers pay for it whether it be with Red Bull or any of the companies that are part of the traveling show.

    This is the same reason why NBA, NFL and other products associated to those media things cost so much money. Why do basketball shoes cost so much money, especially if they had that "Jordan" name on it????

    OK, last part. Our economy has tanked (here in the US) so our great US dollar sucks against many places like China and Japan where all the parts/pieces and bulk of manufacturing comes from. Then here in the states our cost of doing business has gone up HUGE amounts..............

    Anyway, my take on what I see..............
    I tend to agree with you that a lot more of what we pay for with a product like a mountain bike goes to sales, marketing, promotion, paying for race teams, special events, etc. than most people realize. The actual cost to manufacture these products is probably a lot lower than most people imagine. But, in order to build the image, hoopla, hype, desire, lust, etc for these products all kinds of marketing plans, costs and employees are needed. It probably doesn't cost incrementally that much more to manufacture a $5,000 bike than a $1,500 bike, but when you throw in all the stuff that just creates desire in the market place, then you get crazy prices to cover all that marketing.
    Are you really sure about that?

  85. #85
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    OK, I have a story here that kind of illustrates the old vs. new and companies that came out with "new stuff" every year and its potential effects on a company's life.

    Back in 1997 or so I was riding a Mongoose Amp - a 23 lb full suspension bike. My gripe? It flexed a lot going through turns. I spied (through my friends) a new bike (then). The Psycle Werks Wild Hare. It had 4.75" of travel with a 5.25 lb frame. This was a super bike and so ahead of its time back then. Well, after riding a "small" version, I just thought the bike was a bit too big for me so I emailed the guys there and they were willing to help design and build a XS version. One of the owners there felt that size bike could fit his fiance so after exchanging emails for about a year, I got one of the first two XS Psycle Werks Wild Hares built. That bike again built into a super 23.5 lb go anywhere, ride everything trail bike. This was a good 7 years or so before the 5 Spot. All bikes from then until around 2005 really didn't come out with a "new" design improvement. Psycle Werks was also a small company without the big "race team" and "advertising $$". Well, they eventually went out of business because they fell off the "popular" bikes like all the other bigger brands and "boutique" brands that came out with "new models" almost yearly.

    Why am I stating this? Because my 1998 Psycle Werks stayed with me until I built up a 2005 5 Spot because it took that long for a good enough replacement was available. In spite of all the marketing hype and so on, there just wasn't anything out there that was as good. All the frames were heavier with no improvement in travel or suspensions. The 5 Spot to me was the first bike with a reasonable weight that could replace the Wild Hare. I gave that bike to a friend who had a really bad brush with luck and built up a 2007 Spot. So essentially I've been riding that same bike from 2005 until this year of which I built up a 2014 27.5 Flux. Meanwhile companies feel the need to bring out "new" bike every year. You can see it with "new catalogs" with new colors and whatever "improvements" they say year after year after year. So like I said up above, like the drug companies, there's a big rush to recoup these costs before the new year comes where they come out with new stuff. After all, it's a vicious cycle to sell as much of the "new stuff" now before it's obsolete and no one wants it and won't pay top dollar for it.

  86. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by wizzer16 View Post
    That logic only works if you are the only manufacturer in town. As soon as someone realizes they can take your customers by dropping their price they will.
    That must be why Bikes Direct and Price Point have been sooo successful with storming the market....

    The reality is that it's not quite that straightforward, unfortunately.
    Quote Originally Posted by ridelikeafatkid
    "MOMMY, I WANT TO RIDE LIKE THAT FAT KID!" true story.

  87. #87
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    unless my car's engine died, i prefer a nice bike to anything on your list. now i can justify dropping 6k this year!

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    TLDR

    I dropped 3k on my new bike last year. I laughed as i rolled it out the door thinking about what else i could have purchased for the same $. I feel like it was worth every penny.

    Bike prices are as high as they are because we continue to pay.

  89. #89
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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.
    You'll have to excuse Moe....he has a little more Testosterone, than the rest of us...

    I paid $3500 for a $7800 MSRP bike. I'm losing MORE weight on it, than spending $15,000 in gym memberships over the course of five years. I look forward to every ride on my MTB...than I do arm curls, while watching a bunch of hotties on treadmills.
    "This is a male-dominated forum... there will be lots of Testosterone sword-shaming here" ~ Kenfucius

  90. #90
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    A lot of the posts on this thread, when boiled down, pretty much amount to:

    I paid a lot of money for my bike, I'm not stupid, so bikes are not that expensive and they're worth it ... because ... once again ... I'm not stupid.

    As much as I suspect we all love mountain bikes and the improvements in design and function, the fact remains that far more complex, technologically advanced products that require far more manufacturing steps and complex parts cost MUCH LESS than mountain bikes That fact that you can buy a very nice motorized dirt bike, with AN ENGINE, heavier duty EVERYTHING, electronics and much greater durability for the same or less cost as a high end mountain bike is, at least to me a strong validation that pricing, in the higher quality end of the biking spectrum, is out of whack.

    But, as stated, as long as people are willing to pay it, they'll charge it. But don't make the mistake of believing that it costs the industry 5x as much to make a $5,000 bike as it costs to make a $1,000 bike, because it doesn't, not even close.
    Are you really sure about that?

  91. #91
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    It's a crazy world. Personally I think it's nuts to spend $400 on a plastic ipad or $7000 on a box to keep beer cold, or any amount of money for a jet ski but people are free to blow their money however they choose.

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    Last edited by Roanoke4; 06-12-2014 at 05:44 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roanoke4 View Post
    Hey man (OP), I'm not particularly trying to get involved much in this debate, but I would suggest that you to read up on or study basic economics, which will then give you better clarity as to why particular things are priced where they are, why things increase/decrease in price, and such. I'd suggest "Economics in One Lesson" as a primer. It's a quick, easy, and dare I say somewhat fun read.
    If you would like to have a debate about economics privately, please let me know. I've owned 3 businesses, have hired over 200 employees and have paid a lot of taxes. I actively trade currencies and futures and would happily discuss with you (not on this forum) various economic theories, capitalism, corporatism, price fixing, the relationship between debt, inflation and prices, how advertising/branding and image building influence consumer perception of value, how true cost is generated and the relationship between R&D, manufacturing and sales and marketing expense, etc.. I spend more time on a daily basis reading global economic news than most people spend in a year (are you aware of the global impact of Draghi's news conference this morning regarding the ECB rate decision and possible asset inflation options?) Any IDIOT knows that supply and demand drives a big component of the pricing equation. Obviously, some people are clearly willing to pay a high premium for a perceived quality/performance advantage. That's obvious.

    What's NOT SO OBVIOUS is how did the biking industry generate this pricing premium when obviously their products involve far less engineering, R&D and manufacturing costs than far more complex products.

    And, if you'd like to compare your current financial situation with mine, bring it on in a private message. Before you casually toss out insults on an anonymous internet forum, I'd suggest you consider you may be wrong about your guesses as to the knowledge of the people you're interacting with.
    Are you really sure about that?

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    Last edited by Roanoke4; 06-05-2014 at 01:10 PM.

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    Volume has a lot to do with it. I work in the aerospace world, now that is expensive! Also, we are suckers for MTB short videos, and love to see our products promoted. That costs an awful lot of money!

  97. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSLKauai View Post
    What's NOT SO OBVIOUS is how did the biking industry generate this pricing premium when obviously their products involve far less engineering, R&D and manufacturing costs than far more complex products.
    I think you would be surprised how much their costs are, especially advertising costs. I think the manufactures still have pretty dang high margins on most of the bikes they make. And then the shippers get a cut, and then the LBS get a cut.

    I for one hate the super high prices and will probably never spend more than 3k on a bike. I only spent $1200 on my current new bike because it was a closeout and about 65% off.

    But I really do appreciate the amount of R&D that companies are putting into their bikes these days. Hiring Forumla 1 suspension designers to develop a rear suspension. Super light Hydrolic brakes that have amazing modulation and dont have brake fade. The list goes on. It makes Mountain biking that much easier.

    I am happy that some CEO can keep buying $10k bikes so that companies keep innovating and the technology trickles down to me.

  98. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSLKauai View Post
    If you would like to have a debate about economics privately, please let me know. I've owned 3 businesses, have hired over 200 employees and have paid a lot of taxes. I actively trade currencies and futures and would happily discuss with you (not on this forum) various economic theories, capitalism, corporatism, price fixing, the relationship between debt, inflation and prices, how advertising/branding and image building influence consumer perception of value, how true cost is generated and the relationship between R&D, manufacturing and sales and marketing expense, etc.. I spend more time on a daily basis reading global economic news than most people spend in a year (are you aware of the global impact of Draghi's news conference this morning regarding the ECB rate decision and possible asset inflation options?) Any IDIOT knows that supply and demand drives a big component of the pricing equation. Obviously, some people are clearly willing to pay a high premium for a perceived quality/performance advantage. That's obvious. What's NOT SO OBVIOUS is how did the biking industry generate this pricing premium when obviously their products involve far less engineering, R&D and manufacturing costs than far more complex products. And, if you'd like to compare your current financial situation with mine, bring it on in a private message. Before you casually toss out insults on an anonymous internet forum, I'd suggest you consider you may be wrong about your guesses as to the knowledge of the people you're interacting with.
    Wow I suspected a db, this may have confirmed it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by moefosho View Post
    I think you would be surprised how much their costs are, especially advertising costs. I think the manufactures still have pretty dang high margins on most of the bikes they make. And then the shippers get a cut, and then the LBS get a cut.
    .
    Actually, I 100% agree with you here. I said in an earlier post that the overall sales, promotion and event marketing costs in the bike industry must be absolutely astronomical and have a big impact on pricing. I seriously doubt it costs that much more to manufacture a $7,000 bike than it does to manufacture a $1,500 bike. The amount of people willing to pay to go to SEE a bike event/race in person is tiny compared to, for instance car racing, and, as such, the races, special events, etc. are really just promotional costs to sell bikes, parts and accessories. All that cost does nothing to really improve the product, it simply adds additional cost that's built into the product.
    Are you really sure about that?

  100. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiretracks View Post
    Wow I suspected a db, this may have confirmed it.
    DiamondBacks are not the best bikes...

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