Vintage, yesteryear and retro biking
We must remember that these are new bikes. Second hand bikes generally are very good value. I terms of price, it would be fairer to compare one of these Taiwanese Cooper bikes with some mass produced alloy or carbon Taiwanese road bike. Consider which one is likely to last longer, and be more reliable in the long run. Its my understanding that the Cooper frames come with a lifetime warranty. If someone I knew was in the market for a new bike and did not intend to race, I would seriously recommend a Cooper. For value, take for an example the Reims. The saddle and the hub alone (both items from which one could expect a very, very long service life) would cost at least $400 if one was to purchase these separately. It's rare to see second hand Sturmey Archer 5-speeds let alone on a double butted 531 frame.
Regarding new vs. second hand, I personally would always struggle to justify buying a brand new bike when there are such cheap second hand ones, however not everyone is like this. I suppose that is why there are so many shiny new cars and bikes on the road when there are perfectly functional or close to functional cars and bikes going to the wreckers and being chucked out. Who'd buy a $30,000 Commodore, when you can buy a $3000 Kingswood? Lots of people. In fact more than would buy the Kingswood. Does that mean that the Commodore is better value? Not necessarily. For getting from A to B is the Commodore still better value than a $200,000 BMW? Most definitely yes.
I honestly believe that for the average rider, it is very hard to beat a chromoly lugged frame with either single speed or hub gears if trouble free, reliable, and enjoyable riding is the object. It is great to see that Cooper has taken a step in this direction by producing these bikes. For those who want to go to a bike shop to buy a new bike, I am glad that through Cooper, they now have an extra choice.
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