Full suss – has it had its day?
The main problem, as I see it, is that people rate their bikes relative to a top-of-the-line model. In the Good Old Days, a top of the range mountain bike would set you back £3000, maybe £3500 for something very exotic. Even if you couldn’t afford a £3k bike, at least you could get half way there with a £1.5k bike. Whereas now the top end bikes are stuffed full of carbon fibre Kashima-coated Ti-machined SRAM XX components that no one actually needs and they’re approaching £10,000, so the bar is set higher. The half-way mark is now £5,000. People now think their common garden variety aluminium-framed, SLX-equipped bike is no longer aspirational. So we now think bikes are getting more expensive.
Bike manufacturers aren’t stupid. They realise that if they build it, some people will buy it. And even if people don’t buy the most expensive model in a range, they’ll aspire to an XTR drivetrain and one day might splash out on at least XT bits.
We’re on the edge of a precipice. Take the car market, for example. Taken at face value, the Ford Focus is all things to 99% of men. Unless you need a van, more-or-less everyone could make do with a Focus. So why on earth can you buy a car that costs fifty times as much? Imagine taking that logic and applying it to mountain bikes – What if there was some niche boutique brand that offered £50,000 mountain bikes for people with far too much money? As mountain biking becomes more prominent and more middle class, people worry less about being that all-the-gear, no-idea guy. Someone, somewhere, would buy one. And a lot of us would be lulled into thinking that our £2000 Specialized Stumpy was a cheap piece of tat.
Which, of course, is stupid. £1000 will buy you a better bike now than it ever has in the past. If we could ever stop looking at stupid ‘aspirational’ £10,000 bikes then we’d realise we’ve never have it so good.Posted 5 years agoNorthwindSubscriber
teamhurtmore – Member
Ok happy to stand corrected but that is still 9.6% CAGR and well above inflation on a rapidly depreciating asset (ignoring maintenance).
And that would be a good point, if it weren’t for the fact that you’re also getting a product that’s enormously better. Today’s high end bikes can’t be realistically compared to 2000’s high-end bikes, but if you look way down the price ranges today you’ll find something more similiar.Posted 5 years agoampthillSubscriber
Superficial very well but
The relative thing does present a risk. If people feel they can’t afford the kit they might well move on.
I gave up windsurfing partly due to cost. My perception was that you really did need different kit for different wind speeds. When I rented kit abroad i found it really was more capable than mine.
So although the boards and sails got better and more flexible with time most peole seemed to end with more stuff. Those who didn’t spend were left bobbing about while the cheque book brigade shot past.
MTB isn’t like that, but I wonder if it feeks like that if your passed by some one on a carbon wonder bikePosted 5 years ago
NW – I accept the points and perhaps I am overly influenced by (1) the three LBS that I use all claiming that generally prices have gone up while specs going down (in the SR) – similar to your apples and apples idea but working against the consumer, (2) the fact that the bikes I am tempted to buy, jumped massively in price 2010-12, (3) the fact that discounting of 2011 models is so big that gives a little bit away, don’t you think?
Plus, I have to smile when I read multiple £k bike reviews with comments such as “suitable for upgrade” or buy mid range components as they are just as good but last longer. (Yes, I understand…but there is a certain irony there!)
Triathlon is the same/worse and probably about 2-3 years ahead of MTB in the BS pricing game. But at least bike events remain better value that tri’s.
At least, car park envy at a race soon goes when you pass the bikes out on the course!! 😉Posted 5 years ago
the three LBS that I use all claiming that generally prices have gone up while specs going down (in the SR)
That is true for mainstream manufacturers to be fair, the value peaked about 3-4 years ago when a top of the line Rockhopper was £1000, came with Reba forks an SLX/XT group, Juicy 5s etc. However, what we now have is Boardman, Cube, Canyon etc, who are knocking out better value bikes than Trek/Spesh et al ever managed.Posted 5 years agoampthillSubscriber
The 20 year trend is for better value
the trend over the last few years has not, due to a weak pound. That has hit lots of other things like photography (lenses in particular)
But hard tails are cheaper to run but no less crazy expensive at the top end
Litespeed guaranteed until it cracks anyone?Posted 5 years ago
Hence my disappointment at getting of a brilliant epic demo recently and then being told the price (that was the £4k one!!)
But you could get a Canyon with better spec for a lot less. Certain brands have got more expensive, but others have either got cheaper, or new ones have appeared lower down the spectrum.Posted 5 years ago
Njee, Canyon dont do a XC 29 FS do they? I looked at the site this morning and thought they only do a 29 HT. Like others, I am feeling the need for some suspension for my old body!! What’s the closest Canyon bike to an epic or anthem 29er? (I am sold on 29ers!!)Posted 5 years agoahwilesSubscriber
teamhurtmore – Member
Njee, Canyon dont do a XC 29 FS do they? I looked at the site this morning and thought they only do a 29 HT. Like others, I am feeling the need for some suspension for my old body!! What’s the closest Canyon bike to an epic or anthem 29er? (I am sold on 29ers!!)
have you seen the Rose Dr Z?Posted 5 years ago
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