what the heck happened to the pricing of frames/components? (i am shocked and awed!)

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by ThrillBilly, May 28, 2004.

  1. ThrillBilly

    ThrillBilly New Member

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    or, why do bikes cost SO-MUCH more than 10 years ago? :confused:

    i am returning to cycling after a 10 year layoff due to work/travel. i was riding approx 250 miles per week then, and had a "decent" bike. my frame is narrow 7-speed, and im looking to upgrade to 9or10-speed.

    i am absolutely SHOCKED and AWED by the current pricing of stuff !!! :eek:

    when i built that bike: nice prestige steel frame with ultegra and record hubs with mavic rims; i spent aprox $800. i seem to remember that a new comparable "nice" ultegra bike was ~$1200 at the time.

    now, i go to the LBS and find $1200 wont even buy a nice 105 bike!

    and a nice ultegra bike is probably more in the $2.5 range.

    i DO understand that CF and Ti is nice, and is not cheap, and that a nice wheelset is a nice wheelset, but COME ON !!!

    i used to buy beater tires for approx $10, and spent maybe $20 for better tires for faster rides, but it now seems that i can shod my car with tires for less $ than "good" 700 clinchers.

    has the performance (and thus the pricing) of bikes and components increased the enjoyment experience that much?

    or, am i just CHEAP? :rolleyes:
     
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  2. kgatwork

    kgatwork New Member

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    I feel the same way:mad: Prices seem to have really skyrocketed. I can't believe some of the pricing for groupo's. Case in point, would you pay 600+ for a crank, give me a break thats more than I paid for my entry level racer (Ultegra Level) back in 85.

    Only reason I'm looking is that I recently discovered that I wore out my old Vitus 979 frame (way too much bottom bracket flex). At first I thought I would just get another frame and move the components and upgrade to 9 or 10 speed STI, but now I think its cheaper to get the entire package. I figure I might find some carbon seat stayed Ultegra grouped bike for 1100-1500 (on the internet), really wanted DA (as thats what I run on my CF bike) but thats way out of my price range now:(

    I'd love to get a DA or record equiped TI bike but I don't have 5k or more to burn on a bike that might only get at most 1k miles per year.
     
  3. DAGonabike

    DAGonabike New Member

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    For once US prices do seem higher than in UK.

    Paid £550 (that's about $850) for my 105 based bike.

    Just check ads in ProCycling to see comparisons.
     
  4. trekrider

    trekrider New Member

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    I was told once that the price of road bikes skyrocketed over the last 10 years because of simple supply and demand.

    When the bicycle market went crazy for Mt. Bikes in the late 80's / early 90's it really took the rug out from under the mid priced road bike market. As the demand dropped the $$ went up.

    Now that many folks have found that it is more fun to have the "right tool for the job" and that if you are going to ride the road then get a road bike and for dirt do the same I wonder if road prices will ever come out of the stratosphere?

    Anyway... that's just what I was told a while back.

    :)
     
  5. fushman

    fushman New Member

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    its called being old, cheap, and bad at understanding economics, get a grip
     
  6. drewjc

    drewjc New Member

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    I personally feel that bikes have changed with the times. Think of what else that same dollar amount could have bought u a few years ago? i think it would be a lot more than it is today. I am quite happy with the pricing of bikes at the moment (well atleast not as unhappy as u seem to be) but this may be partly due to the fact that i have only been in the workforce a couple of years and have realised that bikes arent as far out of my price range as i once thought. When i was 12 (10yrs ago) $1000 was my life savings, now it is only a months work after paying for board (at home) and fuel for my car.
     
  7. nutbag

    nutbag New Member

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    I agree. There's stacks more riders out there, mainly due to the increased popularity of mountain bikes, and to a slightly lesser extent, triathlon. These guys eventually wonder what it would be like on a 'real' bike, so over they come.

    I have another theory that the larger tubes used these days look a lot sexier that the old stuff, therefore attracting buyers.

    Another theory: the increased coverage of the Tour de France, due the success of LeMond and Armstrong, has encouraged some of us to go buy one o' them bikes.

    So, increased demand = increase $$$.

    Jezz I'm good at stating the obvious
     
  8. gazolba

    gazolba New Member

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    There are plenty of incredible bargains if you dont have to have the 'latest and greatest'. I have bought ecvcellent 10 and 12 speeds in thrift stores for $10. All they needed was new tires, saddles and lubrication. You can also buy a brand new bike at Target, Kmart or any chain store for $60. I dont know how they do it, the tires cost almost that much! If you insist on the latest and best you will pay thru the nose and you deserve to.
     
  9. Doctor Morbius

    Doctor Morbius New Member

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    I've noticed the same thing. 10 years ago a decent road bike could be had for cheap comparatively speaking, as mountain bikes were all the rage. However, today those trends seem to have reversed.

    Surely part of this is due to the success of Lance Armstong and the growing popularity of road cycling.

    Another thing to consider is what you get for your money today, such as improved STI shifting, lighter frame materials, carbon fiber forks and rear stays, improved ergonomics, etc., etc.

    I would venture to say that an entry level Trek 1200 with an MSRP of $830.00 is perhaps more bike than a high end Trek sporting Dura-Ace components of 10 years ago. So in that respect you're getting more for your money.

    You also need to look at the cost of bikes in relation to other necessities ;) , such as medicine, health care, housing, education, automobiles & gas, yadda yadda. Basically everything important except for our paychecks has increased dramatically due to outsourcing and downsizing (thanks corporate America).
     
  10. Wilson

    Wilson New Member

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    I think you just have to work a little harder...Here's what I dug up in the last year: <1> Schwinn FAstback Comp Med AL Compact frame with full Shim 105 group and Ritchey Pro parts. $700 at Supergo...this deal was around for about 3 months...clearly advertised on their Website. <2> Just finished building a custom: K2 Mod 5.0 '03 AL/Carb frame, DA 9 speed Shifter/FD/RD, SRAM chain & cassette, FSA Compact Crank/FSA Plat Pro Ti BB, Easton Carbo Seatpost, SLR saddle, 3T OS HB, Custom Velocity Wheelset built by Spinlite Cycles in GA (via Lyle's website), Kenda tires ($10 a pop at Supergo and not crap!), old school 105 brakes (OK I had these in a box o' parts so I cheated here)...total just a couple bucks over $2k. Now it took some digging and lots of Ebay and surfing, but this bike is totally up to date and at this price is only $200 more than what my 1994 Bottecchia SLX, Campy Chorus bike cost back in the day...and that dosn't count what I've put into upgrades along the way, or adjusting for inflation. I take the position that most LBS are charging more because of their business models...read brick and mortar and inventory, employees etc. They cannot or choose not to discount when it is entirely possible to find bikes effectively less than 10 years ago. I don't get it and most of the LBS in my area subsequently don't get much of my business. I watch every dime I spend and when to spend it...(WAIT FOR THE SALES!!)...which alas is still a lot...such is the price of passion and a budget, but as you can see IT CAN BE DONE!
     
  11. Mr_Potatohead

    Mr_Potatohead New Member

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    Get a bike from a high volume mail order shop like Supergo.

    You can pick up a full Ultegra road bike for $899. They even have a few physical stores you can go into to kick the tires.

    Your local mom and pop bike shop doesn't do the same volume so they can't offer the same deals.
     
  12. madmike

    madmike New Member

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    I purchased a Steel frame bike with Shimano Ultegra 600 8 speed with STI levers in 91 for $1100US

    Last year I got new wheels for bike on eBay, Mavic Ksyrium SSC, ($300US). I then replaced the bike with a new one. New bike: Merlin Cyrene Ti Ultegra 9 speed, ($2200US). I swapped the wheels because the new ones weren't as good.

    Here is the comparison of the two adjusted for inflation, (money reported as 2003 value) BTW: In ten years things cost 35% more than what they did.

    Old bike: $1486.
    New bike and new wheels: $2500

    For a difference of $1014 I got a titanium bike with much better components, more gears, a CF fork, CF seatpost, better saddle and an awsome wheelset.

    I know I could have gotten two bikes for the price I paid but those two bikes wouldn't be as good as the one I bought.

    Technological advances aren't cheap.

    I do have to admit that buying components i.e. levers, cranks etc. is very expensive.
     
  13. BIANCHI_EURO

    BIANCHI_EURO New Member

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    I agree with Wilson. If you look a bit further the price is going down. However ThrillBilly (it's in a name, haha) is right that prices have gone up. Over here in Europe I have a rough estimate that the difference between an ordinary shop and some specialized race shops is 50 Euro a piece. With small pieces (like bar tape etc) there's little difference and with a frameset the difference can go up to more than 500 Euro. But average I reckon with 50 Euro difference a piece.

    Another issue. Cycling manufacturers act as if carbon composite is a sort of modern gold. I have been manufacturing windsurf boards for many years. Did you know that a square meter of carbon cloth (180 grams/ keper woven) has a retail price a only 40 Euro? Now how many square meters will go into a bike, right?

    Now I am not sure if Europe is a test case for the European cycling manufacturers an if the rest of the world is to follow. But prices for some European framesets have gone up enormously over here just the last year.

    If you buy a De Rosa Dual or a Gios full carbon now it's several hundreds of Euro's more expensive than last year. Really strange since it's exactly the same frame.
     
  14. ItalianStallion

    ItalianStallion New Member

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    Really?

    I found that a manufacturer's bike (Trek, Bianchi, etc) is always cheaper in the US. This is for retail price, of course, no special offers. I assume you paid £550 from a mail order, where they put together the bike at your own likings. At that point I'm sure buying it like that in the US would still be cheaper.

    Comparing bike prices simply by the groupset they have is a bit of a wild guess.....
     
  15. Aztec

    Aztec New Member

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    $800 in 1993 is the same as $1,107 now at 3% inflation (38.4% cumulative). An $1100 bike today is a heck of a lot better machine than what you bought in '93. I'd guess that it's about 2 pounds lighter, too. Check out the bikes on Supergo... full Ultegra for under a grand. THAT'S cheap.

    Note that income taxes are lower now as well, so in theory, you should have more disposable income than in '03, making today's bike even cheaper in real terms.
     
  16. kgatwork

    kgatwork New Member

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    Offtopic:
    Oops, looks like I was wrong about the worn out frame, :eek: . Just removed the wheel to replace a broken spoke and found I had broken the rear axle.:eek: Hopefully, the races didn't wear out too badly because I can't seem to find a rear Freewheel hub in any of the catalogs I have in my possession. :(

    Ontopic:
    However, I've been searching and have found a new Merckx TI frame and Ultegra configured bike for a little more than 2.3k shipped and other TI frames (China made) with Ultegra for about 2k. Still, quite a bit of $$$ for poor me and not so easy to hide from the other half :( .
     
  17. ThrillBilly

    ThrillBilly New Member

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    thanks for the responses. as with any topic, some great, some not.

    i have checked supergo, and from what I could find, i would say that a full ultegra is approx $1500, and not available for shipping, in-store pickup only.

    the best value that i have found locally is the Spec Allez Elite for $1000. AL frame, CF fork and seat post, 105 drivetrain and "decent" wheels, avail in double or triple.

    im thinking that 105 is fine for my needs, and probably is better than my old-school ultegra drivetrain, and would rather use the $ difference to fund a trip somewhere nice to ride than to simply sit at home on the couch looking at the nicer components on the bike.

    BUT, it is still hard for me to understand that the pricing of the components "appears" to have roughly doubled in a period of 10 years. i DO understand that they are lighter, stronger, more gears, etc. and that the best/latest stuff is always big $, BUT, for consumer grade items (ultegra and below), its only gears, shifters and brakes. should it REALLY take the better part of a $1000 bill to control the basic functions of a transportation vehicle that does not utilize a powered engine?

    i gotta tell ya, i also ride motorcycles, and you can buy one hell-of-a-nice used sportbike for under $5000. the performance of motorcycles have shockingly increased over the past 10 years, with dramatic weight reduction also, but the pricing of MOTOR-cycles has not increased anywhere even NEAR the rate that the cost of BI-cycling components have.
     
  18. Aztec

    Aztec New Member

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    Bull. I see ads for Ultegra groups for under $600. How much was that back in the early 90s? Probably not that much less.
     
  19. Mr_Potatohead

    Mr_Potatohead New Member

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    http://www.supergo.com/profile.cfm?LPROD_ID=24415&lsubcat_id=7618&lcat_id=7605&referpage=

    $929

    Scattante (house brand) frame, Ultegra components, can be shipped for ~$35
     
  20. ThrillBilly

    ThrillBilly New Member

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    mr-potatohead, thanks for the link.

    i had looked at that model but the triple was not avail, and didnt see the double. i then moved on to the felts, which are approx $1500 for ultegra.

    the bike you linked seems like good value for the $.

    aztec, the upgrade would also require a new wheelset for my current 7-sp setup. so... $600 + wheels + install would take the better part of that $1000 bill i mentioned. no bull found. your mileage may vary.
     
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