One for the Economists: inflation, road bike pricing, etc

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Luigi De Guzman, Aug 9, 2003.

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  1. I love google. It gives me new toys every day. I stumbled across an inflation calculator today:

    <http://www.westegg.com/inflation/>

    According to this, US$ 100.00 in 1979 is worth US$ 265.28 in 2002 dollars.

    So I'm curious--what did you oldtimers pay for 'good' road bikes back in the day? Have prices risen
    or fallen in real terms over the past twenty, thirty years? Or have they stayed even?

    If this fellow's calculator is correct, then, I've got some interesting findings:

    In 1979...

    A *mart special bike costs around $30.00 An entry-level road bike costs around $225.00 A racer or a
    tourer costs $336.00

    Fascinating.

    -Luigi "rerum cognoscere causas" -motto, London School of Economics & Political Science
     
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  2. S. Anderson

    S. Anderson Guest

    "Luigi de Guzman" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I love google. It gives me new toys every day. I stumbled across an inflation calculator today:
    >
    > <http://www.westegg.com/inflation/>
    >
    > According to this, US$ 100.00 in 1979 is worth US$ 265.28 in 2002 dollars.
    >
    > So I'm curious--what did you oldtimers pay for 'good' road bikes back in the day? Have prices
    > risen or fallen in real terms over the past twenty, thirty years? Or have they stayed even?
    >
    > If this fellow's calculator is correct, then, I've got some interesting findings:
    >
    > In 1979...
    >
    > A *mart special bike costs around $30.00 An entry-level road bike costs around $225.00 A racer or
    > a tourer costs $336.00
    >
    >
    > Fascinating.
    >
    > -Luigi "rerum cognoscere causas" -motto, London School of Economics & Political Science

    When I was a tyke, I saw a Cinelli road bike for $2200CDN..that was in about 1983 or so. That was
    probably a pretty good bike in its day, but it's also a pretty good bike today. I don't think the
    prices have risen that much in the last 20 years. When I first started working in a shop, also
    around 1983, the Raleigh Grand Prix was about $275 here in Canada. An equivalent bike today is
    probably around $350 or so. So the prices have risen, but overall, probably lower than inflation. I
    mean, think of the Giant OCR3. A GREAT bike for $700. 20 years ago, that would have bought a Miele
    Bici VII, probably the same level of bike, but the OCR3 works better. I would think off-shore labour
    has kept prices down, along with advances in automation.

    My CDN$0.02 worth (only worth CDN $0.012 in 1979...)

    Scott...
     
  3. Harris

    Harris Guest

    "Luigi de Guzman" wrote:
    > So I'm curious--what did you oldtimers pay for 'good' road bikes back in the day? Have prices
    > risen or fallen in real terms over the past twenty, thirty years? Or have they stayed even?

    In 1984 I bought/built up my current bike. It's built on a "Palo Alto Bicycles" Columbus SL lugged
    frame (made in Italy). Here is the cost breakdown:

    Frame/Fork/Headset.....................................$340.00 (Plus got a $34 coupon for my
    next purchase)

    Cinelli 64 handlebars.................................... 12.45

    Cinelli Model 1A stem................................... 16.50

    Campy SR crankset....................................... 89.99

    Campy NR BB............................................... 36.95

    Campy NR rear der........................................ 43.95

    Campy NR front der....................................... 24.10

    Campy NR DT shift levers............................... 8.99

    Campy der cables.......................................... 3.00

    SR LaPrade seat post...................................... 10.50

    SR Silstar Pedals............................................ 10.90

    Christophe Toe Clips....................................... 2.90

    Christophe toe straps...................................... 2.50

    Sedisport chain.............................................. 3.95

    Shimano Dura-Ace brakeset (incl levers)........... 48.50

    Concor Superleggera saddle............................. 22.50

    Campy NR hubset 36h...................................... 45.50

    Super Champ Arc-en-Ciel s/u rims (pair!)........... 23.20

    DT spokes...................................................... 15.90

    Wolber Invulnerable sew-ups (pair)................... 31.00

    Seat post binder bolt....................................... 2.95

    Benotto handlebar tape.................................... .99

    Sun Tour New Winner Freewheel (6sp)............... 18.90

    Total..................$816.12 (Minus $34 coupon) -
    34.00

    Grand Total.............$782.12

    Art Harris
     
  4. David Storm

    David Storm Guest

    "Luigi de Guzman" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I love google. It gives me new toys every day. I stumbled across an inflation calculator today:
    >
    > <http://www.westegg.com/inflation/>
    >
    > According to this, US$ 100.00 in 1979 is worth US$ 265.28 in 2002 dollars.
    >
    > So I'm curious--what did you oldtimers pay for 'good' road bikes back in the day? Have prices
    > risen or fallen in real terms over the past twenty, thirty years? Or have they stayed even?
    >
    > If this fellow's calculator is correct, then, I've got some interesting findings:
    >
    > In 1979...
    >
    > A *mart special bike costs around $30.00 An entry-level road bike costs around $225.00 A racer or
    > a tourer costs $336.00
    >
    >
    > Fascinating.
    >
    My first "road" bike with derailluer shifting was a 10-speed Motobecane Grand Tour purchased at Velo
    bicycle shop in Berkeley in 1975. I paid $210 and rode it for 25-30K miles on numerous centuries,
    tours, weekend rides, and commuting trips. The old steel horse still runs and I ride it
    occassionally.

    > -Luigi "rerum cognoscere causas" -motto, London School of Economics & Political Science
     
  5. Mark Jones

    Mark Jones Guest

    Luigi de Guzman" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > In 1979...
    >
    > A *mart special bike costs around $30.00 An entry-level road bike costs around $225.00 A racer or
    > a tourer costs $336.00
    The bikes are so much better engineered today that a comparison just on cost will be hard to do. I
    bought two new bikes last year and it was surprising how much the bikes had improved in twenty
    years. The last time I had seriously looked at bicycles was in 1982. If I had known how good they
    had gotten, I wouldn't have waited so long.

    I might even get one or two more as soon as I can build a storage area for this many bicycles.
     
  6. Folklore

    Folklore Guest

    1972: Raleigh Competition $250
    - 531 frame
    - Shimano Dura-Ace

    1972: Paris Sport 'Pursuit' Track $120

    1973: Raleigh Pro for about $600
    - 531 lugged frame
    - Campy Record components
    - Fiami red rims.

    1973: Schwinn Track for $300
    - Campy components
     
  7. Luigi de Guzman <[email protected]> wrote:

    > According to this, US$ 100.00 in 1979 is worth US$ 265.28 in 2002 dollars.

    > So I'm curious--what did you oldtimers pay for 'good' road bikes back in the day? Have prices
    > risen or fallen in real terms over the past twenty, thirty years? Or have they stayed even?

    Prices have risen much less than inflation, depending on how you value technological improvements.
    Keep in mind that the entry-level $300 bike is now a MTB or hybrid rather than a road bike, and you
    get more for the money now. The good old days weren't that good.

    I have a Consumer Guide bicycle book from 1980. A Raleigh Super Grand Prix 10-speed was $269. It had
    a high-ten frame and fork, barend shifters, Suntour VGT and Compe derailleurs, aluminum cotterless
    cranks 52/42, a Suntour 14-34 5speed freewheel, Weinmann center pull brakes, QR hubs and aluminum
    rims. If you stepped down to the Grand Prix at $239 you got steel rims and stem shifters. The Record
    Ace at $197 had steel rims, a QR only in front, and a heavy steel seatpost.

    This is about what I remember from my first real "10-speed", a Raleigh bought a year or two later.

    A Reynolds 531-framed Raleigh Professional with Nuovo Record and sewups listed at $925, a
    Competition was $499. Price points for other manufacturers listed were similar, although the
    Motobecane Grand Touring looks like a good deal relative to the Raleighs - for only $295 you
    actually got double butted Vitus 172 tubes rather than gaspipe.
     
  8. dlj0

    dlj0 Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, "Harris" <[email protected]
    m.sprynet.com> writes:
    >"Luigi de Guzman" wrote:
    >> So I'm curious--what did you oldtimers pay for 'good' road bikes back in the day? Have prices
    >> risen or fallen in real terms over the past twenty, thirty years? Or have they stayed even?

    As another point of comparison, in 1970 I paid $225 for my all-Campy Frejus. At that time, that was
    about what a good road bike cost. $250 would have been a lot. But, of course, a good road bike now
    is a lot better than then, but it does cost 10 times as much.

    David L. Johnson Department of Mathematics Lehigh University
     
  9. Jim Price

    Jim Price Guest

    Luigi de Guzman wrote:

    > According to this, US$ 100.00 in 1979 is worth US$ 265.28 in 2002 dollars.

    You would have done much worse if you had bought UK pounds for your Dollars and waited.

    > So I'm curious--what did you oldtimers pay for 'good' road bikes back in the day?

    I have very little idea of what a good bike would cost, as it was so far beyond what I could afford
    at the time.

    > Have prices risen or fallen in real terms over the past twenty, thirty years? Or have they
    > stayed even?

    I can still buy the cheapest bicycles for the same numbers. The more expensive ones have gone
    through the roof, though. The quality of the more expensive bikes has also increased beyond all
    recognition.

    > In 1979...

    I got my first bike - 108 UKP cheap tourer from Halfords (I can remember the price, but not the
    model name). A good bike weighed less than thirty pounds. Mine didn't. Now the price point is
    occupied by mountain bikes, not tourers, so its not straightforward to compare them directly, and I
    have managed to afford something a tad better.

    --
    Jim Price

    http://www.jimprice.dsl.pipex.com

    Conscientious objection is hard work in an economic war.
     
  10. Joe Potter

    Joe Potter Guest

    [email protected] wrote:

    > In article <[email protected]>, "Harris" <[email protected]
    > m.sprynet.com> writes:
    >>"Luigi de Guzman" wrote:
    >>> So I'm curious--what did you oldtimers pay for 'good' road bikes back in the day? Have prices
    >>> risen or fallen in real terms over the past twenty, thirty years? Or have they stayed even?
    >
    > As another point of comparison, in 1970 I paid $225 for my all-Campy Frejus. At that time, that
    > was about what a good road bike cost. $250 would have been a lot. But, of course, a good road bike
    > now is a lot better than then, but it does cost 10 times as much.
    >
    > David L. Johnson Department of Mathematics Lehigh University

    David,

    What was the average pay for teachers at Lehigh in 1970? What is it today?

    The bikes cost less today than then; you just pay more Dollars. It is the Dollars that are now near
    worthless.

    Read Rothbard for economics 101.

    --
    Regards, Joe
     
  11. In February 1974 I got a Lambert (!) 15 speed with sew-ups weighing in a 21.5 lbs for $115 less tax.
    By the end of the first month of riding it needed a new freewheel, new derailleurs, and the
    (non-tapered) crank spindles developed play and were soon unuseable. Derek


    On 9 Aug 2003 06:12:37 -0700, [email protected] (Luigi de Guzman) wrote:

    >I love google. It gives me new toys every day. I stumbled across an inflation calculator today:
    >
    ><http://www.westegg.com/inflation/>
    >
    >According to this, US$ 100.00 in 1979 is worth US$ 265.28 in 2002 dollars.
    >
    >So I'm curious--what did you oldtimers pay for 'good' road bikes back in the day? Have prices risen
    >or fallen in real terms over the past twenty, thirty years? Or have they stayed even?
    >
    >If this fellow's calculator is correct, then, I've got some interesting findings:
    >
    >In 1979...
    >
    >A *mart special bike costs around $30.00 An entry-level road bike costs around $225.00 A racer or a
    >tourer costs $336.00
    >
    >
    >Fascinating.
    >
    >-Luigi "rerum cognoscere causas" -motto, London School of Economics & Political Science
     
  12. [email protected] wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > In article <[email protected]>, "Harris" <[email protected]
    > m.sprynet.com> writes:
    > >"Luigi de Guzman" wrote:
    > >> So I'm curious--what did you oldtimers pay for 'good' road bikes back in the day? Have prices
    > >> risen or fallen in real terms over the past twenty, thirty years? Or have they stayed even?
    >
    > As another point of comparison, in 1970 I paid $225 for my all-Campy Frejus. At that time, that
    > was about what a good road bike cost. $250 would have been a lot. But, of course, a good road bike
    > now is a lot better than then, but it does cost 10 times as much.

    This is exactly what I'm trying to get at. Of *course* it costs more in nominal terms--thirty years
    of inflation will do that. But does it cost more in *real* terms?

    A quick look at the inflation calculator says no. A bike equivalent to your Campagnolo-equipped
    Frejus might $1,062 today.

    This would be a great way to teach kids about inflation and the consumer price indices...but of
    course, kids are too young for inflation to have any serious effect. I'm too young, for instance,
    (22) for any of these things to affect me all that much.

    It certainly does put things into perspective.

    -Luigi

    >
    > David L. Johnson Department of Mathematics Lehigh University
     
  13. >It certainly does put things into perspective.

    htttp://www.jimlangley.net/spin/bikeman.html#p

    --

    _______________________ALL AMIGA IN MY MIND_______________________ ------------------"Buddy Holly,
    the Texas Elvis"------------------
    __________306.350.357.38>>[email protected]__________
     
  14. Zoot Katz

    Zoot Katz Guest

    10 Aug 2003 01:01:44 -0700,
    <[email protected]>, [email protected] (Luigi de Guzman) wrote:

    >This is exactly what I'm trying to get at. Of *course* it costs more in nominal terms--thirty years
    >of inflation will do that. But does it cost more in *real* terms?

    In 1971, my first bike, a steel French 10spd, cost 90 dollars. I was working at general construction
    labour taking home $125 per week. My second bike, two months later, a Reynolds 531double butted
    French bike with alloy cranks and sew-ups, cost $200 while I was earning $80 per week at the bike
    shop. When it got stolen soon after, I built up a full Campagnolo Record Mercian for about $350 with
    two sets of wheels.

    Looking at bike prices in Sri Lanka last year, a lady's 7spd derailleur city bike with accessories
    cost the same as the average one month wage.
    --
    zk
     
  15. Peter Cole

    Peter Cole Guest

    "Benjamin Weiner" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Luigi de Guzman <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > > According to this, US$ 100.00 in 1979 is worth US$ 265.28 in 2002 dollars.
    >
    > > So I'm curious--what did you oldtimers pay for 'good' road bikes back in the day? Have prices
    > > risen or fallen in real terms over the past twenty, thirty years? Or have they stayed even?
    >
    > Prices have risen much less than inflation, depending on how you value technological improvements.
    > Keep in mind that the entry-level $300 bike is now a MTB or hybrid rather than a road bike, and
    > you get more for the money now. The good old days weren't that good.

    I still have my college bike from 1970, and my wife has hers from 1972. I also have a never-ridden
    Schwinn LeTour from the early 80's. New bikes are dramatically better. Old bikes are really not much
    fun to ride. Given inflation, they were shockingly expensive for the junk they were.
     
  16. Harris

    Harris Guest

    "Mark Jones" wrote:
    > The bikes are so much better engineered today that a comparison just on cost will be hard to
    > do. I bought two new bikes last year and it was surprising how much the bikes had improved in
    > twenty years.

    I have mixed feelings about that.

    On the one hand, modern bikes certainly shift smoother and brake better. Clincher tires have
    certainly improved. And clipless pedals were a giant step forward.

    But most road frames tend to have clearances too tight for even moderately wide tires, and stylishly
    short chainstays that do nothing to improve the ride. And try to buy a high end bike without exotic
    low spoke count wheels.

    The trends toward threadless (and now "integrated") headsets, and compact geometry, are not
    improvements IMHO. And do we really need 10 speed cassettes?

    The mid '80s sport touring bikes actually had a lot to offer for the typical recreational rider.

    The older bikes had an understated elegance and simplicity that is missing now. I've tried to
    combine what I consider the best of both worlds by upgrading my lugged steel frame with a modern
    drivetrain and brakes. I like the result!

    Art Harris
     
  17. Mark Jones

    Mark Jones Guest

    "Peter Cole" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:jIqZa.113194$o%[email protected]...
    > I still have my college bike from 1970, and my wife has hers from 1972. I
    also
    > have a never-ridden Schwinn LeTour from the early 80's. New bikes are dramatically better. Old
    > bikes are really not much fun to ride. Given inflation, they were shockingly expensive for the
    > junk they were.
    I recently gave away a 1982 Schwinn LeTour because it was so inferior to the two bikes that I got
    last year. It just wasn't worth keeping.
     
  18. Mark Jones

    Mark Jones Guest

    "Harris" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > The older bikes had an understated elegance and simplicity that is missing now. I've tried to
    > combine what I consider the best of both worlds by upgrading my lugged steel frame with a modern
    > drivetrain and brakes. I
    like
    > the result!
    I have a Raleigh SC40 for riding city trails and a Trek 1200 for street use. Both of these perform a
    lot better than the bikes from 20 years ago. It isn't just one thing that was improved, but rather
    everything seems to work a lot better.
     
  19. Peter Cole

    Peter Cole Guest

    "Mark Jones" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > "Peter Cole" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:jIqZa.113194$o%[email protected]...
    > > I still have my college bike from 1970, and my wife has hers from 1972. I
    > also
    > > have a never-ridden Schwinn LeTour from the early 80's. New bikes are dramatically better. Old
    > > bikes are really not much fun to ride. Given inflation, they were shockingly expensive for the
    > > junk they were.

    > I recently gave away a 1982 Schwinn LeTour because it was so inferior to the two bikes that I got
    > last year. It just wasn't worth keeping.

    I just bought mine for the frame. SInce it has horizontal dropouts, and is a 68 cm, it's wonderful
    for fixed gear conversion. I probabaly won't use anything but the frame, though (& maybe the brakes,
    with new pads & levers).
     
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