Do you think bicycles are too expensive

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Re: Do you think bicycles are too expensive

Postby Clownshoes » Thu Mar 20, 2014 1:42 pm

If you were to do a comparisson of buying seperate bike parts and building one up from scratch, compared with doing the same for car parts (genuine dealer prices) you will find bikes are significanlty cheaper.

A few years back I was in a Nissan Pulsar car club and someone did an estimation on buying every part for a N14 Jap Spec SSS and if they were to obtain seperate parts and build the car up from scratch it was like over $400,000. Considering the RRP of the whole car (about $20k brand new) this is a much more expensive option, when compared to doing the same with a bike.

Always cheaper buying anything complete, and as many here have mentioned the price of spec'd out complete bikes are relatively low to compared to say, 5 years ago. A lot more competition and different economies of scale, not to mention more cyclists around....
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Re: Do you think bicycles are too expensive

Postby bychosis » Thu Mar 20, 2014 2:43 pm

Bikes aren't too expensive.

Garage (I mean bike house) space is too expensive.
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Re: Do you think bicycles are too expensive

Postby Nobody » Thu Mar 20, 2014 3:18 pm

Clownshoes wrote:If you were to do a comparisson of buying seperate bike parts and building one up from scratch, compared with doing the same for car parts (genuine dealer prices) you will find bikes are significantly cheaper.
But you are comparing proprietary, model specific parts versus the generic, size-matching nature of bike parts. Sometimes I think car manufacturers' parts pricing is just a matter of what they can get away with.
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Re: Do you think bicycles are too expensive

Postby stanzarallyman » Thu Mar 20, 2014 3:23 pm

The office block I am in is close to a bus stop. Once day a bike was found locked inside against the stairs. Its a cheap and nasty bike. Old, 5 speed rear frewheel, cotter pin cranks etc. But it does have alloy rims! I though that someone had ridden to the bus stop, locked it up inside out of the wheather, caught the bus and forgot about it. Gave it a couple of weeks and then got speaking to one of the people in the office complex. It turns out he had bought it from one of his clients for $100. Now my question is, whas this a cheap bike? It has not moved in over six months and in six months time I suspect it will still be there. So $100 for a bike that has never been ridden. Compare that to my siuation, I paid around $2,000 for a bike around 18 years ago. I ride it to work everyday, and my family sold its second car because we did not use it. The way I look at it, the $100 is VERY expensive and the $2,000 bike was VERY cheap. Context is everything.

If people are comparing a bike racing tyre to a passenger car tyre they have it all wrong. I've been involed in motorsport, rallying in particular and one single rear tyre for my rally car costs around $230. Obvioulsly I need two, plus some tyres for the front (they last a bit longer on the front, but not by much). The rear tyres will last one rally which is approximately 160km competive KM. So rear tyres $460 for 160km. Dont complain to me about the cost of tyres.
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Re: Do you think bicycles are too expensive

Postby lobstermash » Thu Mar 20, 2014 3:36 pm

There are enough sources of cheap, good and reliable bikes on the market to make the overpriced ones superfluous. I won't go into what I think is overpriced, because that is also superfluous - how much profit should be made per unit and how many should profit from a product is a judgement for the market.

Whether you credit Lawson or Humber with the invention of the safety bicycle, I am highly cynical about how much value we've got from bicycle R&D since 1868/1876...
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Re: Do you think bicycles are too expensive

Postby Dragster1 » Thu Mar 20, 2014 4:11 pm

Nothing is cheap these days if you think about, I try not to buy bottom line bike stuff anymore because I haven't had much luck with it. Its ok if you just ride a couple days a week but for everyday long kms you need something reliable. Just like the old saying " poor man buys twice "
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Re: Do you think bicycles are too expensive

Postby thejester » Thu Mar 20, 2014 5:26 pm

People are prepared to pay what I consider "stupid" amounts of money for 2nd hand bikes. I have seen 2nd hand bikes sell for more than a new one of the same model on sale from an LBS.
Wholesale prices in this country are also extremely high.
Momentum, Cell, Reid, Azzurri etc serve bikes that I consider reasonably priced and true value.
There is no way I would pay rrp for any bike. I know 15-20% is negotiable, especially in winter.
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Do you think bicycles are too expensive

Postby RonK » Thu Mar 20, 2014 6:42 pm

stanzarallyman wrote:If people are comparing a bike racing tyre to a passenger car tyre they have it all wrong. I've been involed in motorsport, rallying in particular and one single rear tyre for my rally car costs around $230. Obvioulsly I need two, plus some tyres for the front (they last a bit longer on the front, but not by much). The rear tyres will last one rally which is approximately 160km competive KM. So rear tyres $460 for 160km. Dont complain to me about the cost of tyres.

$230? Jeez, rallying must be cheap these days.

A coupla weeks ago my car complained it had a deflating tyre. I pumped it up and a week later it complained again. Just a slow leak, you understand. Found a small nail embedded in the tread.

Went to the local tyre shop to get a puncture repair. No way, I was told. The nail is within 40mm of the shoulder, so you'll have to replace the tyre. And the price of the replacement? $430 - that's right, four hundred and thirty dollars for one tyre.

Went to the local Bridgestone shop. Same story. This is BS I think to myself, and get on the internet to find a tyre shop in an industrial district. They said replacement wasn't justified, did a repair in 10 minutes, and charged me five bucks. I gave 'em $50 and told them to have a few beers on me.

And the tyre - a low-profile GT Radial Champiro HPY. A high-performance tyre for sure and not so common, but $430? Makes the price of a high performance bicycle tyre look like loose change.
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Re: Do you think bicycles are too expensive

Postby rkelsen » Thu Mar 20, 2014 7:03 pm

RonK wrote:
AP81 wrote:My opinion is that bikes in general are relatively overpriced, particularly because the market is prepared to pay for them.

Since the market is prepared to pay for them, surely this is an oxymoron.

The market gets it wrong too often. :P
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Re: Do you think bicycles are too expensive

Postby greyhoundtom » Thu Mar 20, 2014 7:09 pm

I would really like a Bianchi Oltre XR Dura Ace Di2 but it's just too expensive.

Are bikes too expensive? No probably not ........ just the one that I want :lol:
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Re: Do you think bicycles are too expensive

Postby thejester » Thu Mar 20, 2014 7:15 pm

RonK wrote:
stanzarallyman wrote:If people are comparing a bike racing tyre to a passenger car tyre they have it all wrong. I've been involed in motorsport, rallying in particular and one single rear tyre for my rally car costs around $230. Obvioulsly I need two, plus some tyres for the front (they last a bit longer on the front, but not by much). The rear tyres will last one rally which is approximately 160km competive KM. So rear tyres $460 for 160km. Dont complain to me about the cost of tyres.

$230? Jeez, rallying must be cheap these days.

A coupla weeks ago my car complained it had a deflating tyre. I pumped it up and a week later it complained again. Just a slow leak, you understand. Found a small nail embedded in the tread.

Went to the local tyre shop to get a puncture repair. No way, I was told. The nail is within 40mm of the shoulder, so you'll have to replace the tyre. And the price of the replacement? $430 - that's right, four hundred and thirty dollars for one tyre.

Went to the local Bridgestone shop. Same story. This is BS I think to myself, and get on the internet to find a tyre shop in an industrial district. They said replacement wasn't justified, did a repair in 10 minutes, and charged me five bucks. I gave 'em $50 and told them to have a few beers on me.

And the tyre - a low-profile GT Radial Champiro HPY. A high-performance tyre for sure and not so common, but $430? Makes the price of a high performance bicycle tyre look like loose change.

I got the same craps for my trailer tyre, cant repair, cant put in a tube. Went looking for a 2nd hand tyre at the 4th tyre centre the fitter says "nah mate we don't sell 2nd hand tyres either. Tell me, why don't you put in a tube?"
$25. Thanks mate.
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Re: Do you think bicycles are too expensive

Postby sankari » Thu Mar 20, 2014 7:52 pm

GeoffInBrisbane wrote:Added to that the fact that most cheaper bikes apparently have to at least pretend to be an mtb and thus have useless suspension. I think these two factors explain the gap somewhat. Also, the value sweet spot seems to be in the $1000-$1500 range which is too high really.


Maybe the arrival of the hipster will change that. I saw the weirdest thing while shopping today at Industrie, which is a men's clothes shop. On display at the front window was a $99 vintage style bike. Blue stainless steel, leather saddle, off-white tyres, cork colored handlebar grips, quill stem, single speed. At least I thought so until I saw the sign, "5 speed student bike". Then I realized it had hub gears. I assume this is to give it the vintage single speed look.

Then it got me thinking. I don't know much about hub gears, but I heard they're more reliable and user friendly. If you up the quality and reliability of parts on that bike, and target the $250-300 price range, it would make a great bike for a casual commuter. And not a suspension fork in sight :)
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Re: Do you think bicycles are too expensive

Postby Dragster1 » Thu Mar 20, 2014 7:52 pm

RonK wrote:
stanzarallyman wrote:If people are comparing a bike racing tyre to a passenger car tyre they have it all wrong. I've been involed in motorsport, rallying in particular and one single rear tyre for my rally car costs around $230. Obvioulsly I need two, plus some tyres for the front (they last a bit longer on the front, but not by much). The rear tyres will last one rally which is approximately 160km competive KM. So rear tyres $460 for 160km. Dont complain to me about the cost of tyres.

$230? Jeez, rallying must be cheap these days.

A coupla weeks ago my car complained it had a deflating tyre. I pumped it up and a week later it complained again. Just a slow leak, you understand. Found a small nail embedded in the tread.

Went to the local tyre shop to get a puncture repair. No way, I was told. The nail is within 40mm of the shoulder, so you'll have to replace the tyre. And the price of the replacement? $430 - that's right, four hundred and thirty dollars for one tyre.

Went to the local Bridgestone shop. Same story. This is BS I think to myself, and get on the internet to find a tyre shop in an industrial district. They said replacement wasn't justified, did a repair in 10 minutes, and charged me five bucks. I gave 'em $50 and told them to have a few beers on me.

And the tyre - a low-profile GT Radial Champiro HPY. A high-performance tyre for sure and not so common, but $430? Makes the price of a high performance bicycle tyre look like loose change.

Sound like crooks to me, I have fixed 1000s of flat car tyres over the years, you cant or shouldn't fix a flat on the side wall of a tyre but anywhere on the tread is ok.$500 for a performance road tyre is nothing these days
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Re: Do you think bicycles are too expensive

Postby The Cleaner » Thu Mar 20, 2014 9:31 pm

The Minister of Finance in my household definitely thinks that bikes are too expensive. One day she may understand the significance of saving 20 grams of weight.
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Re: Do you think bicycles are too expensive

Postby silentbutdeadly » Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:24 am

Easiest way to find out if bikes are too expensive these days is to look at the purchasing power of the average weekly wage today and compare it to its equivalent going back each decade until the 1930's.

By way of an example...the average weekly wage at the moment is around $1,100. Back in 1967, the average weekly wage for a bloke was around $60. I'm guessing that (based on this comparison) bikes are significantly cheaper these days...
Ours is not to reason why...merely to point and giggle
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Re: Do you think bicycles are too expensive

Postby Calvin27 » Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:39 am

silentbutdeadly wrote:Easiest way to find out if bikes are too expensive these days is to look at the purchasing power of the average weekly wage today and compare it to its equivalent going back each decade until the 1930's.

By way of an example...the average weekly wage at the moment is around $1,100. Back in 1967, the average weekly wage for a bloke was around $60. I'm guessing that (based on this comparison) bikes are significantly cheaper these days...


From that perspective, yes, they are more affordable and offer greater technology advances compared to the bikes of yesteryear.

The problem is not one of affordability, but rather distribution. How does the 'minimum 105/deore' bike compare with the equivalent back in the day, and how does the dura ace compare with the equivalent. My guess is they are about the same. What we are ranting about is a first world problem where we perceive the higher end as too expensive - when in actual fact it is meant to be too expensive. The issue is one of perception whereby the expensive bikes are more attainable than previously thus skewing our judgement as to what price range we perceive to be the norm. If we could never attain the higer end we would probably have perceived a more affordable market seeing that we don't associate with the higher end.

Like I said, I don't mind price differentials, as long as the technology trickles down. For road bikes, I don't see much of this (except di2). But for other disciplines (MTB, CX, fat etc) benefits are awesome.
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Re: Do you think bicycles are too expensive

Postby Dragster1 » Tue Mar 25, 2014 8:26 pm

Just like any thing really , the market forces of supply and demand
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Re: Do you think bicycles are too expensive

Postby Xplora » Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:33 pm

Calvin27 wrote:... as long as the technology trickles down....

You KNOW this happens. It trickles hard.
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Re: Do you think bicycles are too expensive

Postby rokwiz » Thu Mar 27, 2014 8:42 am

You get what you pay for. As far as value for money and technology is concerned I don't see much of it in road bikes. Most of the tech came from the MTB resurgence of the 1990's after the US space race decline. You only have to look at companies like (FSA) Full speed Ahead, Race Face, Ringle' , Bontrager etc now making RB components. (Oh my god I've got MTB bits on my bike) In my opinion bicycles have become more affordable over the years but have fallen in quality.
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Re: Do you think bicycles are too expensive

Postby human909 » Thu Mar 27, 2014 8:54 am

rokwiz wrote:Most of the tech came from the MTB resurgence of the 1990's after the US space race decline.

:lol: I hope you are kidding that they are somehow related! But you are correct that there have been significant improvements in MTB technology.

In road bikes there have barely been any real performance improvements in the last 30 years. Brifters have been the biggest change. Most of the other technology is marginal and more focused on wallet lightening than anything else.
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Re: Do you think bicycles are too expensive

Postby rokwiz » Thu Mar 27, 2014 9:59 am

I kid you not Human, a lot of small companies making components for the space industry did in fact go into the MTB market when their work dried up. Anyone remember the US$35 000 Berillium bike frame available at the time.
Its great to think Wilbur and Orvill the bicycle builders making flight, where it endlessly developed into ultimately, space and coming full circle back into the world of MTBking. There's a lot of good reading in 90's MTB action. I still have my collection.
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Re: Do you think bicycles are too expensive

Postby djw47 » Thu Mar 27, 2014 11:44 am

zues wrote:Bikes are definitely a luxury item.
If you compare the material, energy and technology that goes into producing a bike compared to a car -cyclists are being ripped off big time!.
Human 909 said ""You can buy a "new nice reliable bike for $450. or $56/kg. You can buy a new Toyota corolla for $20,000 or $20/kg.
It gets worse when you start comparing tyres :!:


That's a ridiculous way to measure value - being heavy is not an indication that something is worth more. If anything the lighter a bike the more expensive the materials used, and hence more expensive the bike - a steel scaffolding pole is probably dirt cheap to buy however a light weight but equally strong alloy or carbon fibre pole of the same dimensions would likely be much more expensive because it's lightweight and the effort required to research, develop and manufacture it is likely to be greater.

Bikes at the low end of the market are no way too expensive, could you pick up any other mode of transport for less than $200 and expect it to just work? In the higher price bracket, the price is fair for the components you get (try building a bike with similar components bought individually), particularly with the trickle down of technology that means that what you buy today would have been exclusively on top of the range models less than a decade ago. I do think that there is a point at which the law of diminishing returns takes effect though, is the difference in weight between a 105 groupset and an Ultegra groupset really that great? I don't think so for the overwhelming majority of riders and at this point I think it becomes more about marketing than any real tangible difference in performance. Having said that if money is no option, why not spend it on whatever spec of bike you want?
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Re: Do you think bicycles are too expensive

Postby djw47 » Thu Mar 27, 2014 12:21 pm

human909 wrote:
rokwiz wrote:Most of the tech came from the MTB resurgence of the 1990's after the US space race decline.

:lol: I hope you are kidding that they are somehow related! But you are correct that there have been significant improvements in MTB technology.

In road bikes there have barely been any real performance improvements in the last 30 years. Brifters have been the biggest change. Most of the other technology is marginal and more focused on wallet lightening than anything else.


That made me laugh, just imagining tens of thousands of US scientists and engineers being told "right, we've sort out those pesky Russians, let's get those damn mountain bikes working better".
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Re: Do you think bicycles are too expensive

Postby human909 » Thu Mar 27, 2014 2:55 pm

rokwiz wrote:I kid you not Human, a lot of small companies making components for the space industry did in fact go into the MTB market when their work dried up. Anyone remember the US$35 000 Berillium bike frame available at the time.
Its great to think Wilbur and Orvill the bicycle builders making flight, where it endlessly developed into ultimately, space and coming full circle back into the world of MTBking. There's a lot of good reading in 90's MTB action. I still have my collection.


Mountain biking, skiing, rock climbing, kayaking, mountaineering, sailboarding, tennis, you name it and there has been significant changes in technology in the last 20 years. Lots of it involving high tech materials and methods of fabrication. I'm sure you could find plenty of engineers who went to work for other companies. But to suggest a link is a pretty big leap!
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Re: Do you think bicycles are too expensive

Postby rokwiz » Thu Mar 27, 2014 3:04 pm

I not going to build you a watch but I'm conveying what I read in a pretty well respected technical MTB mag of the era.
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