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Why are road and TT bikes so expensive?

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Why are road and TT bikes so expensive?

Old 09-16-20, 12:55 PM
  #1  
brunes83
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Why are road and TT bikes so expensive?

I have a couple of road bikes and a triathlon bike so I know how expensive my bikes are, and how expensive bikes can be. My road bikes are on the relatively cheaper end (2018 Specialized Roubaix Sport and a 2020 Specialized Roubaix Comp), each were less than $3000. My tri bike (2018 Cervelo P3 with Enve wheels...much more expensive).

I'm just curious on what bikes you have (I'm assuming we all have more than one bike because it's 'necessary' right?) and what you paid for them (if you want to divulge that), AND if you think that was too much.

I also made a video which goes into the expenses for making high-end bikes, you can view here if you like:
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Old 09-16-20, 01:09 PM
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If you take high-end bike prices from old catalogs and stick 'em into an inflation calculator you'll find relative pricing is unchanged. FWIW.

Personally, mine are always used, usually old, and pretty inexpensive as a result.
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Old 09-16-20, 01:10 PM
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I tried, but I couldn't make it halfway through the video. Honestly, if your perspective is that $3000 is a low-end bike, and you have so many expensive bikes that you're using an expensive TT bike as a trainer, the whole exercise seems like a chance for you to brag about the cost of your toys.


This is quickly going to degenerate into one of those "what's the right amount to spend on a bike" threads, AKA "snob vs. slob".
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Old 09-16-20, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by brunes83 View Post
I have a couple of road bikes and a triathlon bike so I know how expensive my bikes are, and how expensive bikes can be. My road bikes are on the relatively cheaper end (2018 Specialized Roubaix Sport and a 2020 Specialized Roubaix Comp), each were less than $3000.
They don't have to be that expensive though.
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Old 09-16-20, 01:35 PM
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Funny, from my perspective it seems that MTBs are expensive if you go from comparable levels. Probably because they're more mechanically complicated.
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Old 09-16-20, 01:38 PM
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If you think road bikes are expensive, try pricing a full suspension mountain bike. $3k is literally the entry level suspension bike from a major manufacturer. Mid-tier full suspension bikes $5-7k.
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Old 09-16-20, 01:52 PM
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TiHabanero
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Then compare the high end road bike to a high end motorcycle or car! Hot dam, the bicycle is a deal in comparison!
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Old 09-16-20, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by brunes83 View Post
I have a couple of road bikes and a triathlon bike so I know how expensive my bikes are, and how expensive bikes can be. My road bikes are on the relatively cheaper end (2018 Specialized Roubaix Sport and a 2020 Specialized Roubaix Comp), each were less than $3000. My tri bike (2018 Cervelo P3 with Enve wheels...much more expensive).

I'm just curious on what bikes you have (I'm assuming we all have more than one bike because it's 'necessary' right?) and what you paid for them (if you want to divulge that), AND if you think that was too much.
"Expensive" is a relative term. I don't think road bikes are expensive at all, but I understand the level of design and work necessary to make them. I'm sure some of the margins on selling new bikes is due to basic supply & demand, but I think very few bikes are actually over-priced (if they were, then someone would have come along and undercut the market). And as others have pointed out, $3000 (USD) is not the "cheaper" end of the road bike spectrum. Basically, I think your whole premise is flawed and that makes me disinterested in watching your video.
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Old 09-16-20, 02:25 PM
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My first "real" road racing bike was a 1988 Specialized Sirrus that cost $449. That was less than 2 weeks pay for the job I had at the time. When I last had a subscription to Bicycling magazine I couldn't believe they were touting entry level road bikes costing $2,000+ as affordable. I check local Craigslist every day and can't believe people are trying to sell used road and mountain bikes for over $3,000.

Bicycles have never really been a financial investment, but these days they are really not a wise thing to spend thousands of dollars on if a person is remotely concerned with resale value.
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Old 09-16-20, 02:42 PM
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He’s just trying to pimp his YouTube channel.
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Old 09-16-20, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by sarhog View Post
Hes just trying to pimp his YouTube channel.

I think you're right. He lost me at about the 90 second mark when I literally couldn't figure out what the point was supposed to be other than talk/brag about how much he was spending on bikes.
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Old 09-16-20, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric S. View Post
My first "real" road racing bike was a 1988 Specialized Sirrus that cost $449. That was less than 2 weeks pay for the job I had at the time. When I last had a subscription to Bicycling magazine I couldn't believe they were touting entry level road bikes costing $2,000+ as affordable. I check local Craigslist every day and can't believe people are trying to sell used road and mountain bikes for over $3,000.

Bicycles have never really been a financial investment, but these days they are really not a wise thing to spend thousands of dollars on if a person is remotely concerned with resale value.
From the inflation calculator $449 USD in 1988 equates to $986.50 USD in 2020. That's sounds about right for an entry-level road bike with cheap components. You could probably find such a bike at REI or similar sporting goods stores.

As for the $2000+ bikes being "affordable", well, they might be twice as expensive as the entry-level bikes, but they are not so expensive that only the super-wealthy can afford them. Hence, they are affordable for many people. And when you factor in an easy financing option like Affirm and similar companies that give decent interest rates, that $2000+ price tag becomes even more affordable.

Nobody in their right mind ever considers the resale value of their bicycle, so that point is completely irrelevant. The only people concerned with re-selling bikes are hustlers trying to "flip" bikes on ebay and Craigslist.
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Old 09-16-20, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by BoraxKid View Post
From the inflation calculator $449 USD in 1988 equates to $986.50 USD in 2020. That's sounds about right for an entry-level road bike with cheap components. You could probably find such a bike at REI or similar sporting goods stores.

As for the $2000+ bikes being "affordable", well, they might be twice as expensive as the entry-level bikes, but they are not so expensive that only the super-wealthy can afford them. Hence, they are affordable for many people. And when you factor in an easy financing option like Affirm and similar companies that give decent interest rates, that $2000+ price tag becomes even more affordable.

Nobody in their right mind ever considers the resale value of their bicycle, so that point is completely irrelevant. The only people concerned with re-selling bikes are hustlers trying to "flip" bikes on ebay and Craigslist.
We're getting a bit OT here (though I'm not sure this thread ever HAD a topic), but if you need financing and monthly payments to buy a new bike, then it's not "affordable" for you.
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Old 09-16-20, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
We're getting a bit OT here (though I'm not sure this thread ever HAD a topic), but if you need financing and monthly payments to buy a new bike, then it's not "affordable" for you.
No one said anything about "needing" financing, I said it is an option that makes a $2000+ bicycle more affordable. You might be in the privileged position of being able to lay out $2000+ frivolously, but many people prefer to keep their cash and amortize the cost of a purchase in that price range. And with interest rates being as good as they are, it makes a lot of sense to do so, especially if you can pay back the borrowed money faster than scheduled. It might not be your cup of tea, but it's still a good option for many, many people.
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Old 09-16-20, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by BoraxKid View Post
No one said anything about "needing" financing, I said it is an option that makes a $2000+ bicycle more affordable. You might be in the privileged position of being able to lay out $2000+ frivolously, but many people prefer to keep their cash and amortize the cost of a purchase in that price range. And with interest rates being as good as they are, it makes a lot of sense to do so, especially if you can pay back the borrowed money faster than scheduled. It might not be your cup of tea, but it's still a good option for many, many people.
Just to be clear, financing - even at 0% interest - does not make anything "more affordable." It just spreads out the payments.
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Old 09-16-20, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
Just to be clear, financing - even at 0% interest - does not make anything "more affordable." It just spreads out the payments.
That's a silly, semantical argument. If someone doesn't have the cash to buy a big-ticket item today, but they can buy it with financing today, then the item was made affordable because of financing.
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Old 09-16-20, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
Just to be clear, financing - even at 0% interest - does not make anything "more affordable." It just spreads out the payments.
Given how our financial markets work, being able to spread payments out into the future at no interest generally does make something more affordable. And not just in the sense that you can buy something before you would otherwise have adequate liquidity. Even if you have cash in hand to buy something now, you'll nearly always end up richer in the long run if you dump the money into reasonably-safe investments and then pay the cost of the item later.
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Old 09-16-20, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by HTupolev View Post
Given how our financial markets work, being able to spread payments out into the future at no interest generally does make something more affordable. And not just in the sense that you can buy something before you would otherwise have adequate liquidity. Even if you have cash in hand to buy something now, you'll nearly always end up richer in the long run if you dump the money into reasonably-safe investments and then pay the cost of the item later.
True, if you can handle the volatility. The last time we bought a new car, I went to the dealer with my checkbook. Then they offered me .9% financing for five years, so I took the loan and left the money in an S&P 500 Index fund. Over those next five years, the S&P 500 rose about 65%, so I made a nice profit on the loan. However, while the financing may be smart in such a case (and that won't always happen - I got such a low rate because our credit score is crazy-high, and I lucked out on the market...If I'd done this five years earlier, I would've gotten hammered), it does not make the purchase more affordable. Whether you pay the money up front, or make payments, that money - whenever you fork it over - means giving up other things. For example, without the monthly payments, you could be putting MORE money into those alternative investments.

And by the way: that's not semantics. It's just economics.
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Old 09-16-20, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
For example, without the monthly payments, you could be putting MORE money into those alternative investments.
That only means that it's not more affordable than not making the purchase at all. If you profit off of those alternative investments, the purchase is still more affordable than having spent an equal amount of cash up-front.
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Old 09-16-20, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by HTupolev View Post
That only means that it's not more affordable than not making the purchase at all. If you profit off of those alternative investments, the purchase is still more affordable than having spent an equal amount of cash up-front.
If you could explain yourself without using a double-negative, I might be able to follow.

But if you are arguing that somehow a new bike (or new anything) costs you less if you finance it, you've lost me. Even if you can invest your lump sum and earn a higher rate than you are paying on the loan, you are spending money and incurring an opportunity cost.
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Old 09-16-20, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
But if you are arguing that somehow a new bike (or new anything) costs you less if you finance it, you've lost me. Even if you can invest your lump sum and earn a higher rate than you are paying on the loan, you are spending money and incurring an opportunity cost.
My impression is that the scenario being discussed is a 0% loan of X dollars versus an up-front payment of X dollars. In the former case, if the money that you didn't pay up-front ends up making money in an investment while the loan is being paid off, you end up with more money than in the latter case. There's no "opportunity cost" compared with the latter case, since you didn't have any opportunity in the latter case: the money is all gone right from the start.
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Old 09-16-20, 04:49 PM
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supply and demand at work
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Old 09-16-20, 04:52 PM
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Trek Emonda SLR9 - $11,999 https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/b...e=bluedark_red

Honda CRF450R - $9,599 https://powersports.honda.com/off-ro...tition/crf450r

Some bikes are way overpriced. There is no way the cost of R&D plus manufacturing of a bicycle is more than a state of the art motocross bike.
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Old 09-16-20, 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by HTupolev View Post
My impression is that the scenario being discussed is a 0% loan of X dollars versus an up-front payment of X dollars. In the former case, if the money that you didn't pay up-front ends up making money in an investment while the loan is being paid off, you end up with more money than in the latter case. There's no "opportunity cost" compared with the latter case, since you didn't have any opportunity in the latter case: the money is all gone right from the start.
Sure, okay, as long as we acknowledge that this is far, far from BoraxKid 's scenario in which a person finances a purchase because he doesn't have the cash -- can we agree that does not make the purchase "more affordable"?

Now, in your scenario: Sure, that is exactly the outcome of my new car purchase example. However, the purchase did not make me money - the purchase did not make me a profit. That still entailed spending money that would have otherwise been in an investment fund earning a nice return. I made a nice return by financing the car, but (theoretically) I could've made a similar return by just skipping the car, borrowing money (say, through a HELOC, which had pretty low interest back then, or from one of the million offers I got to write a check, made out to myself, on a credit card at 0% interest for a couple years), and putting the loan proceeds into my investments. Bottom line: spending money on anything takes it away from other uses, and that entails opportunity cost. I didn't make that rule - it just is.
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Old 09-16-20, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
However, the purchase did not make me money - the purchase did not make me a profit. That still entailed spending money that would have otherwise been in an investment fund earning a nice return.
Sure, but I don't understand why the comparison with not buying something entered this branch of the discussion. What I originally responded to was a comparison in relative affordability between two options in which something was purchased:
Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
Just to be clear, financing - even at 0% interest - does not make anything "more affordable." It just spreads out the payments.
This is all that I was ever responding to.
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