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Economic affects

Over the last ten years it seems like prices of cycling gear has skyrocketed. In part I attribute this to yuppies who have gotten into the sport. I seem to meet people all the time who just started cycling but instead of getting their feet wet with a reasonably priced bike they used their credit card or HELOC to buy an expensive wonder bike equivalent to what others who have been cycling for years and years own. Question: Will the economic climate the supposed changes in easy credit affect recreational cycling? Is the end of the USD$300 bib nigh?
 
Apr 1, 2009
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BroDeal said:
Over the last ten years it seems like prices of cycling gear has skyrocketed. In part I attribute this to yuppies who have gotten into the sport. I seem to meet people all the time who just started cycling but instead of getting their feet wet with a reasonably priced bike they used their credit card or HELOC to buy an expensive wonder bike equivalent to what others who have been cycling for years and years own. Question: Will the economic climate the supposed changes in easy credit affect recreational cycling? Is the end of the USD$300 bib nigh?
BroDeal,
Let me ask you, what kind of bibs of good quality can you buy that are less than $150 bucks? I use my stuff everyday and I start getting my behind ripped a part in 6 months if i buy crappy shut
 
Dr. Wattini said:
BroDeal,
Let me ask you, what kind of bibs of good quality can you buy that are less than $150 bucks? I use my stuff everyday and I start getting my behind ripped a part in 6 months if i buy crappy shut

I don't know. I wear Assos. :p But that doesn't mean I am too happy about the price.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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BroDeal said:
Over the last ten years it seems like prices of cycling gear has skyrocketed. In part I attribute this to yuppies who have gotten into the sport. I seem to meet people all the time who just started cycling but instead of getting their feet wet with a reasonably priced bike they used their credit card or HELOC to buy an expensive wonder bike equivalent to what others who have been cycling for years and years own. Question: Will the economic climate the supposed changes in easy credit affect recreational cycling? Is the end of the USD$300 bib nigh?

Here's the Deal BroDeal.

Our life-styles are about to change, dramatically. Big time, BroDeal. It will be a Global Phase Transition the will dwarf the "Great Depression." I'm not a "Doomer" by any means, but just look around and see what is happening. If you are in America the signs are everywhere. There are so many catastrophic financial conditions that are just teetering on implosion that it ain't funny. Unfortunately, most humans are in denial, big time denial, and that's why we see over 75% of Americans are up to their eyeballs in DEBT and continue supporting their financial addictions in their attempt to satisfy their insatiable desire to have more, more and more more. Think about it. On the average, 3 out of every 4 Amercian readers of this thread are in debt. Fortunately, I just happen not to be in debt, so, on the average, the next three readers that reads this post probably are in debt. It's not a pretty picture and it will get far worse (and I'm not going to even bring up how Fascism will dominate our landscape on a global scale...anyone out there living in the uk and not in denial will verify that comment).

Here's my suggestion. Get yourself a really top quality mountain bike. Follow that up with many extra parts for it. Because some day that bike will be your main transportation, if you make it through the "great die off."

Good luck and hope to see you on the other side.
 
The main reason that we are seeing this is due to the weakening of the US Dollar in relation to the Euro and Yen. Most cycling gear is manufactured in Europe or Japan and so as the Dollar drops in value it costs more Dollars to buy the same stuff.
 
BikeCentric said:
The main reason that we are seeing this is due to the weakening of the US Dollar in relation to the Euro and Yen. Most cycling gear is manufactured in Europe or Japan and so as the Dollar drops in value it costs more Dollars to buy the same stuff.

I don't think that is it. The exchange rate has been all over the place. The increase in price has dramatically outstripped inflation. You used to be able to get chains for $8. Now a brother has to pay fifty dollars. Replacement chainrings are a complete joke; you might has well buy a whole new crankset.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Economic effects?

Who's economic effects? Your's it seems like, you want/like the $300 bib shorts and think its over the top? Well it is all relative and mainly relative to your wallet (aka budget). It does not matter on the global scale what is going on, as it matters first what is going on in your local wallet. The economy is supposedly bad, but a vendor is trying to sell you bib shorts for $300. Just from that I can tell you that vendor is not doing too bad, to be able to push customers away by over charging for those bib shorts. If the economy was truly bad the vendor would get the best price and sell them ASAP instead of holding on to them for who knows how long till a sucker come up and pays the $300. You should offer what you consider to be the fair price and if the takes it great if not walk away and look elsewhere.

It's also the 21st century and there's an invention called the internet which you can use to search for the price you think is fair for the product in question, whether it be e-bay, amazon, or some on-line vendor the deals are out there, don't be lazy and just go to the local bike shop eat it, shop the 21st century way and get those deals! Just don't get taken by the shipping charges :rolleyes:, calculate those in the overall price before clicking buy.

I think I've put together the past two bikes that way, buying parts on-line here and there till I completed the bike, and payed way less than retail or MSRP.

Then there's the LBS advocates, I feel for them too but I feel for myself first, nobody is providing an economic bailout for the local customer.
 
Mar 11, 2009
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I'm with you Bro on this one, a few years ago you could buy an entire kit for the cost of a pair of bib's. At least the US dollar is stronger than our's we are at 65c! I usually end up buying over the net now although I don't want to.
The boom in cycling has taken the cost of gear with it, I just paid $300 for a headlight the other week!
 
ElChingon said:
Who's economic effects? Your's it seems like, you want/like the $300 bib shorts and think its over the top? Well it is all relative and mainly relative to your wallet (aka budget).

I am not necessarily complaining about the price. The thrust of my remarks is that it seems that in the U.S. a lot of the high end cycling market has been driven by the same class of people who bought houses they cannot afford. They don't actually have the money themselves to buy what they have bought. They borrow for everything.

For example the luxury car market was pumped up by people using HELOCs to purchase a nice ride and by ridiculous lease rates that financially did not make sense for the auto/finance companies. The number and price of luxury autos was artificially elevated beyond what the economy can support in the long term. The high end bike market may suffer a similar decrease.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Price increases

There are around 30 bike shops in this city with a population under 400,000. Almost no one carries the really high cost stuff. I don't think anyone carries Assos and I had a look at a bunch of Mavic's high end stuff at one shop. Technically this stuff is the bomb but at the prices they are asking the shop will only carry the lower end stuff. There is a good margin too but the fact is if you can't sell it you are not putting it on the hangars. A small shop has a tough time buying clothing. With all the sizes, colors etc. you cant get it wrong or you just wind up carrying clothes that get blown out at the end of the season.
Even the basics are ridiculous The Giro Ionos has gone up in price again. Added another $40 to the retail just this month. The economy might be bad but the prices for a lot of stuff just gets higher.
The other side is there is a price point where you get most of the good stuff and only miss the little features. I guess it is the point of diminishing returns and that is usually where I spend the bucks.
BTW $100 shorts usually last less than 1/2 the time that $175 shorts do. If you race and crash the $100 shorts are probably a better deal as long as you can stand the fit.
 
Mar 19, 2009
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Having a sore *** is part of cycling.

You need Corticoid creme to help:

Kenalog/Kenacort (triamcinolone). :)
 
Mar 18, 2009
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Could it be that the costs to make the items have increased in line with the wage and cost of living increases for those making the items over the last 10 years?
 
I think it's b/c cycling stuff in general has gotten out of control. The tech race is so bad now that every latest goofy gimmick (read: aero or lightweight or 11 [!!!] cogs) is another reason to drive the price up with no relation to improving performance.

I'm no fan of bargain basement Pearl Izumi, but I certainly can't afford to spring for Assos. I've been riding CapoForma stuff for a year now, and it's been okay--plus the price is right at ~USD $180 for a matching jersey and bibshorts.
 
BigBoat said:
You need Corticoid creme to help:
Kenalog/Kenacort (triamcinolone). :)
Who do you think he is, LA? ;)

The thrust of my remarks is that it seems that in the U.S. a lot of the high end cycling market has been driven by the same class of people who bought houses they cannot afford. They don't actually have the money themselves to buy what they have bought. They borrow for everything.

I think you've nailed it right there. And I think this stretches across the social spectrum. Take a look at all the books over the last decade on making yourself rich. None of them were about innovation, or true entrepreneurship - like starting your own business, or just working hard. They were all about "investing", leveraging, using OPM, and getting the value of your house to rise at a higher rate then your debt. A house "valued" at $400k, that cost about $20k in lumbar, electrical wiring, pipes, drywall, etc.

Thus, what's a pair of shorts made out of $8 of polyester worth? $200, if the customer will pay it. And when the customer is accustomed to the "investor" mindset that made them think their $400k house would be worth $800k in five years...
 
Apr 1, 2009
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Alpe,
I am having a blast with that last post. Nothing but true... I actually have seen several sets of Lightweight carbon wheels at the local races. An they were in the roof rack of a fancy car
 
Dr. Wattini said:
Alpe,
I am having a blast with that last post. Nothing but true... I actually have seen several sets of Lightweight carbon wheels at the local races. An they were in the roof rack of a fancy car

I saw a Tom Boonen World Champion edition Time Ulteam Worldstar on attached via bike rack to a Porsche. Not making this up.

I didn't even know they MADE bike racks for Porsches.
 
Mar 19, 2009
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lamborghini-gallardo-fietsenrek.jpg
 
Mar 10, 2009
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luxury_good

Branding: Valverde rides Pinarello; Cunego Willier; Boonen specialized; Sastre Cervelo.

Accessibility/Identification: People can actually buy the technology they see in action on TV. In case of soccer or NFL people buy shirts and other merchandise, but apart from the actual game ball there is nothing more. On the oter hand, when people see F1 racing, they can only buy merchandise, because it's hard to come by an actual F1 Ferrari.

Marketing 'brand+higher price is better quality': however due to the possibility to lowering labour costs by shifting to low cost countries, as well as increased efficiency and productivity, companies are able to yield huge profit margins. Don't Armani or Hugo Boss already produce suits in China? If they do, a suit costs probably less than 10$ but it sells for >1000$.. kaaaaaaching! (or cashing). If Specialized produces its carbon frames in Taiwan at a cost of 1/5 ot the retail price, lumped together with Boonen and a succesful classic season, people WANT the bike at all costs... Lower cost and higher prices also mean that more money can be spent on 'marketing and branding', mainly by signing high profile athletes. Isn't it funny that Tiger woods makes a lot of money just by having his picture taken with a fancy watch, or Beckham in CK underwear? People who consequently buy these items (worn or not) basically subsidize these athletes in purchasing a 5th home in LA or a 3rd jaguar...

Marketing and tech: Cycling is a pretty tech driven sport, so almost every product is 'scientifically developed'. A$$os does a$$ research and every nipple and spoke on a lightweight wheel set is nerdified by a team of nipple and spoke experts to 'prove' that they are the lightest, strongest and most durable nipples and spokes ever invented. Researchers are usually on the higher end of the pay roll.

On top of that, patents prevent competitors to use the advancements, so they do the same work again, and come up with a slightly different solutions to the same problem. Patents need to be protected, so a whole legal team is employed to sue each and every one who comes even close to sniffing the nipple and spoke. Lawyers also tend to be relatively expensive (but the money saved by employing Birmese children to put the nipple and spoke combo together fortunately off sets some of these costs... ie socialism for the affluent $)

That scientifically developed chamois that prevents your reversed cleavage from turning to ground beef after a 4 hour ride, is something they value at $300 (including lawyers charges) and which you are willing to pay...

congrats, you just hired yourself a legal team, employed birmese children and a geek!

On top of all this, some teams sometimes even use different material (not known to the general public) and spray paint the logo of their main sponsor over it. So while some believe a Giant is the best bike out there, it might actually be something else =)
 
Mar 18, 2009
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Sidi have apparently decreased their prices by 15%.

While some of this is along the same thread as the component weight thread, I don't think you came blame rich people for driving up prices. Cycling in North America sadly is not like Europe. I remember walking up the Col du Galibier for the 2005 TdF. A middle-aged French guy was cycling up on this old clunker with his daughter in the front basket. He was motoring up the mountain, talking to his daughter without a whisper of difficulty, and passing most people on high end bikes. Most Europeans also have no qualms about jumping on to any sort of bike in their street clothes to commute, shop, go out, or whatever. None of these things are either likely to happen or happen on a large scale in North America or Australia. The culture and infrastructure is not there. Assos bibs cost just as much in Switzerland as they do in Canada, but people in Switzerland are just as happy to cycle in any ol' pair of shorts whereas this is not the case in North America. Yes, cycling is the new golf for the middle class in North America and I certainly do not begrudge anyone spending money on cycling if they have the means. But it would be great if governments invested in infrastructure and we could change the car-orientated culture in North America and Australia so that there was not the real or perceived social stigma of riding any sort of bike in any sort of clothes. Cycling would be accepted as a legitimate means of transport and recreation by many more people of all classes if this were the case.