• The Cycling News forum is looking to add some volunteer moderators with Red Rick's recent retirement. If you're interested in helping keep our discussions on track, send a direct message to @SHaines here on the forum, or use the Contact Us form to message the Community Team.

    In the meanwhile, please use the Report option if you see a post that doesn't fit within the forum rules.

    Thanks!

Have bike makers gone mad?

Page 2 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.
Most bike makers are not selling bikes, they are selling status. When the money bags move on to the next status symbol the price of bikes will come down again and balance will be restored.

This may sound like an alien concept but here it is: It is the rider not the bike.

The ultimate status is passing 2 riders on $7000 bikes on a climb while pulling you daughter in a trailer on your commuter bike. Their conversation about how the carbon wheels they ride make climbing so much easier grinds to a halt when your three year old yells "on your left"! You can ride because you own a bike or you can own a bike because you ride. There is no room on a bike for peacock feathers.
 
May 12, 2009
2
0
0
Visit site
There's also the law of diminishing returns. I have a 2008 Giant TCR Advanced 2. Love it. Just for kicks, I took a spin on the top-end Specialized Tarmac, an $8000 bike. Mine was appx $3600. I could tell virtually no difference. Sure it was lighter, but I throw some lighter wheels on mine, and I wouldn't be able to tell the difference. Above a certain price, you're just paying for the name.
 
May 1, 2009
149
0
0
Visit site
I find it ironic that the guys who pay $3000 more for a bike to be 300 grams lighter, seems to be the guys who are 10kg overweight. Always makes me laugh.

Give me $1000, and i guarantee in a month i can make your ride lighter by 5kgs in a month :)

Another thing that makes me laugh, is guys training on ultra light wheels. Umm, what's the point of making your wheels lighter? Apart from the fact you are just waiting to throw $$ into a pothole, it kinda negates the purpose of training if you make it easier.
 
May 12, 2009
7
0
0
Visit site
$11,000 Pinarello Prince

The original poster is probably upset that he (she) could not qualify for a 3% ARM Subprime Mortgage for a Prince.

Seriously, nobody is forcing anybody to purchase a Prince with these components.
 
Mar 18, 2009
745
0
0
Visit site
Black Dog said:
The ultimate status is passing 2 riders on $7000 bikes on a climb while pulling you daughter in a trailer on your commuter bike. Their conversation about how the carbon wheels they ride make climbing so much easier grinds to a halt when your three year old yells "on your left"! You can ride because you own a bike or you can own a bike because you ride. There is no room on a bike for peacock feathers.

LOL :D...the last sentence nails it!
 
May 12, 2009
1
0
0
Visit site
I think bikes are effectively the same price now.

In 1998 I spent about $2500 on an intermediate race bike. This spring I spent about $3000 on another intermediate race bike.

For effectively the same price, the new bike is much better: its lighter, more comfortable, the wheels are stronger & lighter and the gruppo performs better. Granted, it may be less durable since it contains much more carbon fiber.

But the Pinarello is a boutique bike and is probably not a fair comparison to the Hyundai. And like most boutique bikes, I'm sure all would agree the ride is not $9k (300%) better than most $3k bikes. It sure is beautiful though.

It seems to me that if I spent another $2k, I could have gotten really close to a "pro-quality" bike. But, for someone of my skill & means, the cost benefit just wasn't worth it. Plus, I race mostly crits where crashes are not uncommon and carbon aero wheels are not really needed. I've seen too many Zipps get mangled because someone can't keep their line in a turn.

Besides, I'm sure a pro on a $1k bike would still beat 99.9% of all amateurs on their $12k bikes.
 
Apr 29, 2009
18
0
0
Visit site
A buddy of mine and I have joked about this often. It seems like the lot of us have gone mad.

Here's a quick look at two products from the same company. One of them frequently goes 20mph a couple of days a week. The other one frequently goes 80mph every single day and lasts about twice as long. Ha!

Exhibit A

Exhibit B
 
May 12, 2009
1
0
0
Visit site
the Bike is our Drug....

Those of you addicted to the sport think you know what I'm saying and yes it is true this is an Addictive sport. And like all addicts we have to have our fix! Yes a $12,000.00 price tag is crazy. That’s why I started manufacturing bikes myself. So let's look at it in terms of our addiction. I am the OEM so I get free fixes in the form of R&D bikes. So let’s say it costs me $6500 to build a custom, super record equipped bike with custom wheels in a similar carbon/aluminum configuration to the prince. Like drugs they are grown (built), sold to a distributer, then to the dealer then to the bike junkie. And like drugs at each level it is "cut", ok so you get the picture. So I sell it for $7000 and make $500 profit, the distributer who has to store it and wait until some dealer orders it and has already paid me for it sells it to a dealer (shop) for $9000 and makes $500 profit after all his overhead. The dealer sells it to you for $12000 and Makes $500 after his overhead. So, the bike cost twice as much by the time it hits its "street value". Sucks I know but that’s the way the industry is......that is until I learned to build frames (any steel alum, carbon/alum, no full carbon ...yet) and decided to sell only direct! I also found ways to cut mu costs on the big ticket items now I can (and I’m not bragging) build a real Italian Bike (I am Italian) full Super record, custom speed dream wheels etc etc for $4K USD out the door and still make enough of a profit to live on and feed a big crap burger to the greedy, cold uninspiring corporate garbage that is being forced down our throats these days.
 
Mar 11, 2009
277
0
0
Visit site
Why do people buy SRAM Red when SRAM Rival works functionally the same and is only 200 grams heavier? It's all about status. We don't like to admit it, but the bike industry is the same as the fashion industry where name brands are what people are really paying for.

You want to know when bike component group pricing went crazy? Look no further than 2 years ago when SRAM Red came out.

Before that Force was the high-end group for SRAM and it was priced slightly less than Dura-Ace 7800, but was lighter. Still, people didn't buy it as much simply because it cost less. There was a perception that since it was priced lower, it must not be as good.

SRAM's solution was to put out an even higher-end group that cost $500 more than Dura-Ace and Force. SRAM Red! Shimano didn't wait long to realize that they just weren't charging enough for Dura-Ace. People were paying the obscene price for Red, so why not charge even more for the new 7900 group? Hence, you have the insanely overpriced Dura-Ace 7900.

But, why stop there... It's obvious that people still want to pay more. So Shimano doubled the price of 7900 and put out the Di2. Now for a mere $4500, you can own the best group ever made (according to price) and show all your riding buddies how great and successful at life you are.
 
Mar 19, 2009
2,703
3
0
www.ridemagnetic.com
Agreed nightfend, on the components tip. I'm guilty of buying Record, just because it's Record, when I know darn well that Chorus does the exact same thing with the addition of a few grams that doesn't mean squat in reality, and the fact that I'm not racing for a purse every weekend.

And I guarantee you that it doesn't cost Pinarello, Colnago, De Rosa, or any of the Gucci manufacturers anywhere close to what people might think to fabricate carbon, even top shelf models that are completely made in-house. The majority of the markup comes from satisfying exorbitant marketing budgets of the manufacturer, and the fact that you're paying for a name. The name brand markup for some builders exceeds 20% of the initial cost depending entirely on pedigree. As a result, the importer/distro, and shops make very little profit on the high end bikes, and the consumer pays through the teeth for it. Yes, the high price also is a result of technological advancement, there are pluses and minuses to that, but no more can a bright eyed 18 year old cat. 3 wanting to upgrade equipment has any chance in hell of saving up for his favorite pro bike that retails for 10k+, unless they've got a silver spoon in there back pocket. When Indurain was in the midst of his TDF streak you could buy a Banesto replica Pinarello for less than 2k, and Campy equipped mind you. A high school age kid that is racing could pay that off in a summer of part-time landscaping work. Could they do that today? No f-ing way, you'd have to be selling crack on the side.
 
May 12, 2009
6
0
0
Visit site
compare prices for mountain bikes...

My insurance company recently bought me a very high end mountain bike - an Ibis Mojo SL WTF. I had not been in a bike store for a long time, and I was flabbergasted at the price differences between mountain and road equipment.

As far as I can tell, the Mojo SL is one of the most advanced carbon fiber frames ever made, yet it costs less than $2500. "Me too" full suspension carbon mountain frames from Trek, Specialized, Santa Cruz, and Giant, for comparison, are all under $3000, and most are between $2000 and $2500. A super high end mountain bike fork such as a DT Swiss will run ~$1500, and the more common Fox, Rock Shox, and Manitou top end offerings for trail bikes are $800-$1000. So you'd be hard pressed to spend more than $5K for a frame / fork, and many arguments could be made that you could get "the absolute best" F&F for right around $3000.

By comparison, as noted by many other posters to this thread, road bike F&F prices can be $5000 and up.

When you look at the grouppo price differences, whether your preference is SRAM Red or Shimano XTR, the entire set is around $2000. Again, about half the price of the road bike equivalent. If you read your average mountain bike magazine, rarely do they test complete bikes costing more than $6000. They exist, but they're not common, unlike their road going brethren.

As a consumer of both, I think mountain bike technology is more advanced than road bike technology. Forks have complicated dampers, derailleurs are subjected to greater forces, etc. Testing reflects this, as well. For instance, the Ibis frame requires a 1300lb force to crack the headtube, and the downtube can be attacked by people swinging baseball bats and emerge unscathed.

My conclusion is that the price differences reflect the different markets, NOT the differences in technology. Road bikes are being marketed to baby boomers with deep pockets who want to look and feel vital. They can get into the sport with a $10,000 splash, and get into great shape, with minimal technical ability. If you could ride a bike as a kid, you can learn to clip into pedals and go for a ten mile road ride to start with some dedication, be doing centuries in 6-9 months.

Mountain biking is a different story. Unless you are incredibly gifted, it requires lots of time and humiliation spent on mastering the technical aspects (read - crashing and loooking like an idiot in front of your friends)before you can even begin to appreciate a bike like a Trek Fuel or Santa Cruz Blur. There is very little instant gratification, and after a day of riding through the mud, even a $7500 Ibis looks like crap.

Since high end mountain bikes can only be sold to "dedicated" cyclists, the prices better reflect the development and production costs. In contrast, high end road bikes can be sold and appreciated by anyone with enough financial wherewithal, so all the more power to that larger population.
 
May 12, 2009
2
0
0
Visit site
In response to Ovidius. I think all you said is totally right.
This is all about technology, and it’s also about having the expertise to know how to appreciate that technology, If you give a $12,000 bike to a beginner he would just not know the difference between a $1,000 bike and a $12,000 bike but if you consider yourself a cyclist then you should know the difference. Or maybe the problem is that you guys have never ridden before on a 12,000 bike in a worthy ride of 300 kms. To ride a 40 km distance you dont need a bike you need some good pair of tennis shoes.
These people saying bikes are expensive have just never asked themselves: Who said a bike should be cheap? ... If you don’t get this then you don´t know nothing about cycling, business and the importance of Research and Development which equals Technology advancements.
If you want some cheap sports equipment then I can get you a Soccer ball for 10 bucks! Hope you don’t think it´s too expensive for a soccer ball, but if it’s the case then you can go to the beach and get a coconut for free.
 
Mar 19, 2009
2,703
3
0
www.ridemagnetic.com
BIKETUM said:
This is all about technology

Yes, to a certain degree. The manufacturers have got really good at making you believe that. I worked briefly for a dealer that carries most of the big Italian names for the last 30 years, the clientele has gone from middle class early twenty somethings, to upper class middle aged docs, bean counters, and lawyers because they're the only ones who can afford the goods. Shame.
 
Mar 13, 2009
42
0
0
Visit site
gree0232 said:
Yes, I do think Pinarello has a fairly healthy profit margin based on the what it is selling. Let me give you some clear numbers to show why this is:

Colnago EPS = $6500
Pinarello Prince = $5500
Cervelo S3 = $4500
Ridley Dean = $3500

These are all high end bikes with mostly the same bells and whistles, but the two frames that show the most engineering attention to aerodynamics are at the lower end of the cost bracket. Interesting?

No, actually not. I'm not sure about the Ridley Dean, however Cervelo is cheaper in the US because it is made and paid for in US Dollars. Colnago and Pinarello trade in Euro's. In Europe Cervelo's are the same price as Pinarello and Colnago and more expensive in some cases (again due to currency differences).


Now some other prices for you.

Rosetti SL1 = $1250 (Same bells and whistles -- which is why I bought it for my wife)
The OEM manufacturer for some other high level bikes is offloading frames on Ebay, the exact same frames as the one with the requisite stickers for $500 and it is a fair bet he's pocketing some profit on the deal.

Is the high end 'name brand' frame using carbon that costs $1,000 a pound and the OEM manufacturer using carbon that costs $100 a pound for ... the same bike? (Again, not saying its Pinarello, just a high end name).

Actually, there are major differences here. Firstly, your OEM frame is direct from Manufacture to Ebay. This obviously saves costs. The product you buy has no support - no warranty, no return etc (a premium you get with a Premium product). There are also quality issues -Carbon is perhaps not that expensive to make, but difficult to quality control. I assure you, as someone who works for a company that has made carbon bikes - its exceptionally difficult. Now in most cases, this will be fine. With a Pinarello it is guaranteed. With an OEM Frame, it is not.

So, does Pinarello have a huge profit margin? The answer appears fairly obvious.

Once again, I assure you they do not. I know how much the bikes are costing them to make, as someone who sells Pinarello's, I am aware of their Margin and the Margin of the Distributor. The cut of Pinarello is not that big and versus their development costs, I think their profitabillity is fairly mild.


In the end, that guy dropping frames on Ebay for $500 a pop will have no problem slapping on his own label, my vote would be latin for 'Not quite so stupid', and sell for $1000 a piece. When he sells 100 frames for every one Colnago EPS sold, we'll see who is taking more money to the bank.

Regardless of how many frames one person can sell on Ebay. I severely doubt that he could sell 100 Frames for every one Colnago EPS. Not everyone is willing to Part with $500 for a product that doesn't have a Brand slapped accross its Downtube. I for one, would not.
 
Apr 28, 2009
26
0
0
Visit site
Wow a lot of you seem to be borderline delusional. You underestimate materials costs, R&D costs, and believe it or not the people making these bikes actually have salaries; sorry if they don't want to work for peanuts.

Production costs for quality carbon fiber are sky high. High modulus carbon fiber (I know most of you think this is just a marketing term, but it actually means something) has to be processed at over 3000 degrees C; you think that's free? High strength carbon fiber can be processed at closer to 2000 degrees C, and the crap you see on ebay probably lower. Not all carbon fiber is created equal, and there is currently a huge worldwide shortage of quality carbon fiber, causing the price to increase even more. The pinarello prince uses a structural aerospace grade carbon fiber. When was the last time you looked at the price tag on the space shuttle? An F1 car? A racing yacht? That's the kind of quality we're talking about here.

Many carbon fiber bikes are made by hand-laying and hand-wrapping individual plies. Imagine taking a bunch of sheets of paper and wrapping them into a bike frame shape. Tell me you wouldn't want to get paid much more for that than tig-welding a steel frame.

Carbon fiber is also a unique material in that its properties are anisotropic. That means that the strength, stiffness, etc change depending on the orientation. This allows for infinitely more possibilities during R&D when compared with steel or aluminum. More possibilities means more thought has to go into it which means more time and money. Of course you can buy cheap carbon fiber frames where the lay up, weave, direction, etc are all very standard and little to no extra thought was put into it. But then you miss out on a lot of the benefits of using carbon fiber in the first place. Maybe you've seen phrases like lateral stiffness and vertical compliance. Again many of you probably pass them off as marketing gimmicks.

To those saying that mountain bikes are much cheaper because they are directed toward "true" riders. Imagine an engineer and tasked with creating a road frame at 850g. Now imagine the same engineer is asked to create a mountain frame that comes in at around 2000g. Sure it's beefier, but with more than twice the material, it better be. And if a section is weak, just throw on some more carbon fiber, and let the frame be 2100g. No one will care.

By the way, if you're still one of those people claiming carbon fiber will break the first time you crash it, you're either a 250 lb monster or you're living in the late 80s.

I could go on for days...

My philosophy on expensive bike parts has always been that I don't want to have my gear holding me back. The only limiting factor I want is my own conditioning. I never want to use the phrase "if I had his bike I could..." So it all comes down to this: is the real world benefit worth the extra money to you? But seriously ragging on someone's gear because it's more than you want to spend is so '90s hipster that it's pathetic. Let them enjoy the sport.
 
Mar 13, 2009
42
0
0
Visit site
RDV4ROUBAIX said:
And I guarantee you that it doesn't cost Pinarello, Colnago, De Rosa, or any of the Gucci manufacturers anywhere close to what people might think to fabricate carbon, even top shelf models that are completely made in-house. The majority of the markup comes from satisfying exorbitant marketing budgets of the manufacturer, and the fact that you're paying for a name. The name brand markup for some builders exceeds 20% of the initial cost depending entirely on pedigree. As a result, the importer/distro, and shops make very little profit on the high end bikes, and the consumer pays through the teeth for it.

This is pure specculation though and misses the point completely. Pinarello, Colnago and De Rosa are tiny companies. As a Retailer that carries all 3 brands and is possibly the biggest for worldwide for one of them, the main issues for these "gucci" manufacturers is volume vs development costs. Marketing is not an exorbitant part at all. Giant sold what, 5million bikes worldwide last year? They own large factories in the cheapest areas of the world. Companies retail their bikes at 40-50% Margin. It made £820mil from this. Lets look at Colnago - I'm guessing, but I'd suggest they maybe sold 100k bikes in total? Quite obviously it is going to cost Colnago 20% more per bike, if not more to product.

I absolutely 110% guarantee that the $300 Giant is taking more margin than a $4000 Colnago. I'd also suggest that Giant and Colnago, regardless of size, both spend a similar budget on Road bike development. Colnago are also Italian, so probably Squander more than 20% of their profit on idleness and long lunches!
 
Apr 28, 2009
26
0
0
Visit site
Black Dog said:
The ultimate status is passing 2 riders on $7000 bikes on a climb while pulling you daughter in a trailer on your commuter bike. Their conversation about how the carbon wheels they ride make climbing so much easier grinds to a halt when your three year old yells "on your left"! You can ride because you own a bike or you can own a bike because you ride. There is no room on a bike for peacock feathers.

For some reason I got the image of Fabian Cancellara coming up behind you towing a Hyundai behind his bike... hehe

Seriously though, being in better condition than someone else doesn't make your opinion more valid, but your inflated ego certainly detracts from your credibility.
 
Mar 10, 2009
6,158
1
0
Visit site
I really get a kick out of the amount of people who hate the new stuff yet know every detail about it and its design not to mention price :D. They can write up a dissertation on the items and their supposed failings or cons.

If its so bad and state they will never buy it, yet why do they know so much about it?

(psst, its smells like jealousy :D :D )

New Stuff Fan! (heck I didn't know so much about the stuff till now, guess I'll have to buy it, maybe its reverse psychology? Hey! :D)
 
Mar 19, 2009
2,703
3
0
www.ridemagnetic.com
Anyone own or know about Museeuw bikes that use flax fiber in their layup? Benefit? Cost?
187.jpg
 
Mar 13, 2009
42
0
0
Visit site
Most of what I know is from the horses mouth (I talked to one of their reps at Eurobike).

I am not sure of the motives (more friendly production?), but Flax Fibre more natural, than carbon fibre. What they do is use Flax Fiber/carbon tubes with carbon lubs. I believe the result is more compliance compared to standard carbon frames - but without increased flex?

I think they look nice, I'm sure using Flax Fibers is more expensive though - due to lack of technical know how.
 
Mar 19, 2009
2,703
3
0
www.ridemagnetic.com
I wonder to what capacity Johan will be in the bike biz or racing. I can't see his bike company lasting all that much longer though, unless he sponsors. That bike would be sick with a tapered head tube. Had a chance to demo a Giant TCR Adv. last week for about a 60k. I'm a huge fan of the tapered head tube, especially on fast descents it makes the ride super stable.
 
Mar 13, 2009
42
0
0
Visit site
museeuw would make twice as much money if anyone could spell their name or say it.

I believe that they are quite popular in Benulux.

I have a Tarmac and a madone with a tapered headset and I totally agree. My Tarmac is probably the most balanced bike I've ever ridden, perfect weight, stiffness and geometry. Eventhough its the cheaper of the two bikes!
 
Mar 19, 2009
2,703
3
0
www.ridemagnetic.com
It's also great to see Guerciotti back in the pro road ranks again with LPR the last couple years, and now Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli. Whew!!! That was a mouthfull! I used to rep them a few years ago. Simioni's bike that was recently photo'd by CN is really nice.
picture.php