Pet Peeve

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by rdr0912, May 11, 2007.

  1. Scarantino

    Scarantino New Member

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    Is there something I said in my original post that made you come off like such an asshole? I simply said that bike products were overpriced, and you responded like a typical troll. Looking at your post history, it seems like you have quite the e-attitude.

    I hope it's just an online persona you have, and you aren't such a huge dick in person...

    I'm not going waste my time explaining my opinion to you, it seems like you've got it all figured out. Have fun!
     


  2. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    Golly, princess, you read every single one of my posts so that you could form an accurate opinion? What, no? You just picked and chose what you wanted to read?

    Princess, you're a doddle to figure out. Kisses!
     
  3. Scarantino

    Scarantino New Member

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    :D

    No, I just looked through a few pages, and a good deal of your posts seem rather negative/harsh, with a strange sense of humor for someone in their 40's (calling other men "princess" and whatnot) but that's cool with me, doll. ;)

    However, I also (recently) learned that you have a BS in Physics, which means all is forgiven. I have some friends who study physics at CalTech here in Pasadena have made me realize that in order to really love physics and astronomy in the first place, you've gotta be a little bit off the deep end. :D :p

    If you really want an answer to the post that started all of this (and I still don't understand why it got you so defensive) I guess you're right, I really can't give it to you. Since a comparison between cycling and *insert non-cycling industry here* really isn't applicable, nor is it econimcaly relative, I guess I have no argument.

    My only point (since I have no actual figures on bicycle companies labor rates, tooling and equipment costs, R&D/testing costs, etc.) was to comare bicycles to something else that is often considered overpriced, such as another two wheeled machine, like a Motorcycle... maybe a Ducati? Their prices are compareable (you can easily outprice a Ducati 749 with a high-end bicycle)

    Where do you think the justification for a $1,400 pair of brakes or a $2,500 aero bar is? I know that raw materials (especialy carbon fiber) have gone through the roof, but it doesn't seem like that much. Do you think that the price is actualy nessecary to offset the manufacturers cost, or are they charging that much simply because they can? I'm actualy asking this as a question, not posing it as an argument.

    I'm also the last one to think that a privately owned company should ever need to justify their costs. I'm just curious and still hold the opinion that, for what they are, bicycling products are overpriced. My opinion could be swayed, though.
     
  4. janiejones

    janiejones New Member

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    Yes, I see your point - but look around at the amount of money people are spending on alcohol, tobacco, big cars, Maccas, petrol, sex, clothing, houses....so spending, maybe three grand for a nice bike and some excellent quality gear is pretty nice, healthy and really, rather cheap.

    Think about it, you could by spend $5000 (US) on an Eddy Merckx AXM and get one of the best bikes you could possibly own. Spend that on anything else like a car, boat, motorbike, jetski etc, things that some others people do for hobbies, and you'll probably get junk for that money.

    I went from a $200 bike to one seven times as much and the difference is worth it - so I'm saving to do it again.

    JJ.
     
  5. Scarantino

    Scarantino New Member

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    I agree 100%. The thing is, I was never arguing againsed cycling in any way. Like I said, I have no problem spending money at all. I have an expensive bike, and I love it. I have NO problem with people who spend $20,000 on a bike (I wish I could afford that)

    I would much rather drop $9k on a bike than anythign else.
     
  6. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    First, while you can piece a bike together that costrs more than a Duck 749, it is far from the norm. If you want to compare that way, then you need to compare motorcycles built with high end parts--aka race parts--to bikes built with high end parts. In that light, the high end bike is much cheaper. Race motorcycles get very expensive quickly: magnesium wheels; titanium exhausts; EPROM chips; engine mods; light weight/top end brakes. In 1997 I put $12,000 into a motorcycle I raced. That far outpaced any bike that could have been bought back then.

    In reality most bikes sold aren't anywhere near Ducati 749 territory. Most bikes sold are in the $500-$1500 or so range. Also, motorcycles can be priced lower given the volume with which they are made and the fashion in which they're made: on an assembly line. High end bike parts aren't assembly line products. By high end parts, I mean AX Lightness brakes, AX Lightness seatposts, THM Cranks, LEW wheels, Lightweight wheels, ADA wheels, Zipp aero bars, or even Oval aero bars. All are done by hand, in labor intensive processes. This drives price up significantly. The places that make these pieces have to support themselves, so given the relatively small market for these pieces and the relatively high demand for these pieces in that small market, economics says the price will go up. It's also important to remember that the skill set needed to make these parts isn't small, either. It carries value that adds to the cost of the part. It's also not uncommon for a small manufacturer to raise prices to prevent a giant waitlist from forming. This is a tack that LEW Racing has taken with their $5000+ VT-1 Pro wheels. They've said that the price is high, in part, so that they will blunt some demand until their production process is optimized so that they can manage a larger demand.

    I hardly think that bike makers/parts makers are just charging what they can. None of them are getting rich, and I'd wager that a lot of whatever profit they are making is funneled back into R&D and capital improvements. If nothing else, I'm sure that it takes quite a while to earn back the monies to cover just the startup costs/initial investments. An example at the extreme end would be in the defense industry: right now, it takes Lockheed Martin approximately 15-20 years of aircraft production to earn back the money spend developing said aircraft. While not necessarily comparable to bikes per se, it does show that initial investment costs can be comparitively huge for a company.

    THM has a 30+ week wait time for their $1200 cranks, so how many do you think they're making a year? AX Lightness brakes can definitely be hard to find. And LEW is now producing a total of 2 wheels a day.
     
  7. Scarantino

    Scarantino New Member

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    I actualy agree with all of your points, especialy when in context with the companies you've listed (LEW, Lightweights, THM, AX, etc.)

    What do you think about the big companies, such as Specialized & Trek? They are without a doubt running on much larger profit margins than the smaller, privatlely owned companies. My opinion is this: They could probably produce high end frames, like the Madone or Tarmac SL, charge much less than their competitors, and sell enough of them to make a large profit. I think (again, my opinion) they don't do this for fear of tarnishing the image of their high-end frames/components. Is that a possibility? It would almost be like an esteemed chef selling his food for a low price... he could probably make it just as money by attracting more customers from a broader income range, but it would also "tarnish" his name.

    As a business owner, I think that a company should charge whatever price they feel their product is worth, and if they are able to make a profit doing so, more power to them.

    BTW, thanks for an honest and intelligent post.

    And on the subject of motorcycles, a friend of a friend (this was a few years ago) wrecked a $40,000 limited edition 999. It belonged to the shop he worked for. He kept his job, but I can't imagine the sh*t he caught for it.
     
  8. rdr0912

    rdr0912 New Member

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    Wow...I didn't expect this to get into a full blown Economics lecture...haha. The points brought up are all valid points. I was riding my father's old Motobecan that he built back in the early 70's when he worked in a shop. This past fall I fell upon a deal for a Scott S-20 that I couldn't pass up (being fresh out of grad school, I had very little spare money at all, let alone a bike that retails for about $1600-1700). The differences between the two are obvisouly huge, and I think the $1000 that I paid for it with only having like 300 miles on it was worth every single dollar I paid. I think the craftsman ship is very good and I would pay full price for a new one if I actually had the money.
    That being said, I think that there are companies that are doing one of two things. Either they are taking full advantage of the whole supply/demand theory and/or they do not want to tarnish their image as someone previously mentioned. Could you imagine going into a Wal-Mart (or anyother sporting goods store in the USA/world) and picking up a tour ready bike? I think not. Even if the quality is the same, I do not think that these top notch companies will want to have that image. I agree with idea that if they simply lowered the price, the bike (and indirectly cycling) would appeal to a larger population. I also think that quality bikes at decent prices could possibly have an effect of the percentage of obese and morbidly obese children and adults in America, however I think that is a post for another day.
     
  9. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    Don't start putting down sex and alcohol. Is nothing sacred? When will the madness end?
     
  10. janiejones

    janiejones New Member

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    AAAAHHHH no I am not putting down sex and alcohol - I'm just saying people spend a lot of money on their "hobbies" and in comparison bikes are not that expensive - and believe me I have more than one hobby, sex and alcohol sounds pretty good to me.
     
  11. CoppiRidesOn

    CoppiRidesOn New Member

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    From MotorcycleDaily-check out Spaniard Ruben Xaus: Yikes![​IMG]
     
  12. Wurm

    Wurm New Member

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    Let's face it: to a large extent, it's about selling "image". Cycling sometimes has the same mentality I've found for example in high-end audio. I can justify a certain level of expense and quality and R&D, but at some point it becomes overkill and you reach the point of diminishing returns.

    Sure, if you have the money/energy/time to do it, owning "The Best" is nice; or trying to determine what is really today's cutting edge has its own rewards. But something "better" is always coming tomorrow, so it can become an endless loop. Been there, done that.

    I think for mere mortals (and those that want to keep some measure of sanity), the trick is finding that point where you're satisfied and further expense is not useful, then you have to discipline yourself to avoid that which is beyond, and be happy.
     
  13. Cycler6n

    Cycler6n New Member

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    Shouldn't you guys be out riding?:rolleyes:
     
  14. bicycleman1956

    bicycleman1956 New Member

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    :cool: When it distracts from the fun of riding & becomes a chore, then we've missed the whole point of cycling. Keeping up with the Jones' or just enjoying being out there? Will putting a second mortgage on the house to pay for the upgraded clothing & equipment make you happier? Not at all.

    Unless one belongs to a racing team, IMHO, individual style rules over any marketing that the cycling community is attempting to sell to bicyclists. Feel free to explore & find your own unique twist(s) in clothing & gear...

    Just have fun! What else is there?:rolleyes:
     
  15. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    Boopie, I ride every day.
     
  16. JSWin

    JSWin Member

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    Well there is a greater portion of the world that is into brands and how much you spend on things. Cars, clothes, houses, watches, and so forth. I think they call that materialism. Flash in the pan, superficial and over the top. It's all in how you look at it. The people it is important to are the ones it impresses the most. If we look at this closely at the end of the day it means nothing. Especially if you are not a real genuine person. I like some things to be nice or expensive myself. I don't need everything that way. It is sort of ridiculous i you ask me. It depends upon what it is or what you need it for.
     
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