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PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2013 6:34 pm 
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Posts: 139
I'm a bit amazed at the pricing of some carbon road frames from certain manufacturers. Here is just a sampling, using retail prices listed by Competitive Cyclist, R&A Cycles and Wrench Science:

Bianchi Oltre: $4,999.99
BMC Time Machine TMR01: $5,199.00
BMC Team Machine SLR01: $3,999.00
Cinelli Strato: $3,500.00
Colnago M10S: $4,295.00
Colnago CX-1 Evo: $3,395.95
Colnago C59 Italia: $5,899.95
DeRosa King RS: $6,299.00
Merckx EMX-525: $3,825.00
Parlee Z5i: $4,000.00
Pinarello Dogma 65.1 Think 2: $5,300.00
Ridley Helium SL: $3,694.95
Scott Foil Premium Di2: $3,307.49
Storck Fascenario 0.6: $9,999.00
Storck Aernario: $4,599.00
Storck Fascenario 0.7: $5,750.00
Time Fluidity: $3,600.00
Wilier Zero.7: $4,999.00
Wilier Cento1 SR: $3,999.00

Contrast this with carbon fiber full-suspension mountain bike frames, which arguably require greater development costs due to the rear suspension design. These frames come with a shock, which for the most part should offset the fork being included on the road bikes:

Ellsworth Evolve Carbon: $2,994.95
Ibis Ripley: $2,899.00
Intense Carbine 29: $3,199.00
Intense Spider 29 Comp: $2,899.00
Look 920i: $4,999.00 (this one is a bit of an anomaly)
Niner RIP 9 RDO: $2,899.00
Orbea Occam 29 Carbon: $2,899.00
Pivot Mach 429 Carbon: $2,899.00
Santa Cruz Bronson: $2,899.00
Scott Spark 900: $3,307.49
Turner Czar: $2,995.00
Yeti SB-66 Carbon: $3,199.95
Yeti SB-95 Carbon: $3,200.00

There seems to be a sweet-spot for pricing ($2,900-$3,200) of carbon mountain frames that doesn't exist with road frames. I suspect that the reason the prices are so high on the road bikes comes down to the simple "because they can" reason.

1) Demographics for high-end carbon road bikes tends to be much older and more affluent than carbon fiber mountain bikes, I suspect.

2) There may be more road bike manufacturers doing in-house production like Time and BMC than mountain bike manufacturers, but I don't know. I have no idea who produces Storck frames, for example.

3) Many of the high-end road bike frames are from companies in Europe (Parlee, Crumpton, etc. are exceptions), whereas the high-end mountain bike frames come from companies in the United States. The European companies, in my mind, carry more prestige than the U.S. companies. I think of a Colnago road frame differently than I do a Yeti or Santa Cruz mountain frame, despite the fact that all three companies produce excellent frames. There may be an actual cost (overhead) difference as well, although for the most part, the frames I listed are all from Asia.

4) There seems to be more one-off, special edition type frames in the road world, thus higher price tags (BMC Impec Lamborghini edition, Look 695 flag editions, team colors, etc.).

No conclusions, really, just observations.

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Last edited by savechief on Thu Aug 29, 2013 7:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Posted: Thu Aug 29, 2013 6:34 pm 


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2013 6:58 pm 
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I think a lot of it is intentional gouging. Incentivising people to buy complete builds, and punishing those who just want the frame.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2013 7:34 pm 
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Combination of because of they can, attempts at halo products, and
probably a fair amount of mis-pricing and failure to maximise profit, albeit in a
growth market where life is easier.

Top end road frames have way outstripped inflation over the past 10 years,
and I very much doubt much of it is to cover manufacturing costs.

We don't have many frame manufacturers on the board. Wld be interesting
to hear from them :wink:


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2013 10:38 pm 
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Posts: 13
No need to incinuate, bikes are over-priced to an obvious extent. Kinda feels like that time just before Ti hit the frame world when everybody had to have purple things on their bikes, if it was the same weight-but purple-it was better. Now just put the word carbon in place of the word purple. People just spending to spend is what it feels like lately. Gotta have a $10k carbon piece of jewelry on your Audi A8.
Unfortunately for me I spend a lot more on bike stuff in this era than era's past. Sometimes I wish there were a lot less Dentists and Lawyers buying that jewelry, prices might come back to reality.
Something worth addressing: How manufacturers have preyed on the stereo-typical roadies' inflated ego to create these artificially high prices. I can imagine a lot of non-cyclists in the marketing world see the ego of road cyclists and know instantly how to exploit it, think diamonds/DeBeers. Price shouldn't be the only reflection of quality (it isn't!) but egos get stroked paying high prices, not sure why, some odd perception that you are better because you have something expensive? seems like an incredibly American approach.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 10:28 am 
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Paniagua. I'm not sure that could have been said any better!
Why do they charge so much? Because they can. If you were charging $20 an hour for your own services, but realized you could charge $30 for the same service and get no drop off in sales, what would you do? The funny thing is, whenever a company does come along charging what a carbon frame is really "worth", it gets ignored because everyone thinks the product must be inferior to the more expensive ones. Mind you, in a lot of cases they are, just not enough to justify the price difference.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 10:31 am 
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Paniagua wrote:
Price shouldn't be the only reflection of quality (it isn't!) but egos get stroked paying high prices, not sure why, some odd perception that you are better because you have something expensive? seems like an incredibly American approach.


Sorry, that's utter bullsh*t. You do realize that the United States of America, even when it was a series of colonial territories, is far younger than other countries and societies which do the EXACT SAME THING you are stating? You need to brush up on your history, my friend. Oddly enough in the previous sentence you mention DeBeers... which is headquartered in Luxembourg and definitely not an American company.

Not necessarily in defense, but more of a reflection that it has nothing to do with any nationality or culture: the high fashion industry does this all the time, and we both know full well that the majority of high end fashion brands are not American. :wink:

I do know that 'America' gets the blame for a lot of things - and as a matter of fact, only a small percentage of those blames stem from Americanism itself - but if you or anyone else continues to blame America for one failure of our societies or another, I'll readily answer your statements with a simple reflection of history... which will inevitably point back to you and then even further back in history than you realize is possible. To put it bluntly: whatever you are complaining about has been the case far longer than you can imagine, and our actions can be traced to the animal kingdom as well. Nothing is new, it's all happened before and everybody has done it. So let's ditch the crutch of blaming others for our own failures.

Thanks.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 11:10 am 
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Location: Natovi Landing
Totally agree it's not a nationality thing. It's capitalism, with all it's supportive BS marketing.

One thing I find a bit odd given all the lawyer / dentist talk is that although I ride with pretty affluent people (i.e. top 2% of population wealth wise) I don't see that many of the very top end machines - top end wheels and groups yes, but most people what know what's what steer clear of the £4k Dogma frameset, knowing Canyon do something just as good for less than half the price.

Maybe the answer is the dentists are all in cafes which I don't stop at but have Dogmas blocking the entrance?

Don't know. But for all the talk, I don't encounter many of these banker/lawyer/dentist Dogma riders, and live in a very affluent part of the world that is cycling mad.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 2:40 pm 
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Part of it is that the MTB crowd are way more open to just buying a generic Chinese hardtail frame for $400 because they aren't as worried about what others think. Also, the full suspension MTB frames have to compete with the hardtails and reality is that Carbon hardtails are only a little better/lighter than hardtails from other materials. Again you can get great alloy hardtail name brand frames for $400 or generic for even way less.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 8:53 pm 
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Dare I suggest that the same applies to clothing? The price of most bibs, jersies, not to mention premium winter jackets, is almost obscene these days. I thank God I bought stacks of clothing in the early noughties when it was all pretty reasonable (apart from Assos, obviously)...

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 9:13 pm 
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I guess you could call it an American thing, seeing as the American economist Thorstein Veblen first described the phenomenon of good becoming more desirable the higher the cost. The term "Veblen goods" was even named after him.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 9:45 pm 
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Paniagua wrote:
Price shouldn't be the only reflection of quality (it isn't!) but egos get stroked paying high prices, not sure why, some odd perception that you are better because you have something expensive? seems like an incredibly American approach.

It is really a "insecure moron with more money than brain" approach. But it just so happens that Americans have a large fraction of the money and a correspondingly larger number of "insecure morons". :mrgreen:

sawyer wrote:
Totally agree it's not a nationality thing. It's capitalism, with all it's supportive BS marketing.

But I am glad its that way. Insecure morons provide the "capital" with which corporations can develop and extend technology. You can just look at what the bicycles in non-capitalist countries are and imagine racing on thos bikes that are "equal" to everyone else's. ;)

Image
No BS marketing hype here!


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 9:54 pm 
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Zakalwe wrote:
I guess you could call it an American thing, seeing as the American economist Thorstein Veblen first described the phenomenon of good becoming more desirable the higher the cost. The term "Veblen goods" was even named after him.


Just because he described the phenomenon does not make the phenomenon itself originating from America.
That's like saying all gravity is British because Sir Newton first described it. :roll:

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 11:57 pm 
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@prendrefeu - "American Thing" was a generalization, I can apologize for that, funny I'm American. I live in America, in an area known for cycling. When I made that generalization I was referring to that stereo-typical MTV ethic, Ballin', Escalades on 28's, Ice....pretty much spending your way to being cool. The people that Thorstein Veblen reached his conclusion about. Some of these people are my customers and friends. Do these people only exist on MTV2? of course not they're all over the world, I'm sure there's "spinners" from singapore to scotland and "grills" in greece. Looks like I should apologize again for making stereotypes, sorry.

Also using deBeers as an example was meant to show a marketing machine artificially inflating the value of their product - Not to align that company with America or my earlier generalization that was a slight against American consumerism and it's connection to ego. So another apology for any mis-understanding(s) you might have had. I hope including the word "America" in that sentence didn't confuse the point I was making.

Kudos for your coming to Americas' defense! No need to cite the deep annals of American historical knowledge you posess.

@sawyer - please don't think I include dentists and lawyers in the top 2% of wealth holders, I do relate them to my earlier generalization about ego-driven consumers though, and I'm hoping it isn't unusual that my rich friends have nice bikes.

Back to the topic:

There are alot of people where I live puffin' up their chests on lots of carbon, I don't have anything against them, I did say "sometimes I wish they wouldn't" but I'm really only wishing that when I'm making those credit card payments :-)! I can see a contribution to progress when companies are maklng sales. I got carbon too! A Mercx/super record bike was $1200- (if you weren't getting a deal!) when I was young. Do-able for a kid working at the shop (me) back then but I don't know how some (not just the kid at the shop) afford their rides lately.

I still think prices (not all prices) are artificially high, and my broader point was trying to relate that to ego.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2013 10:26 am 
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prendrefeu wrote:
Zakalwe wrote:
I guess you could call it an American thing, seeing as the American economist Thorstein Veblen first described the phenomenon of good becoming more desirable the higher the cost. The term "Veblen goods" was even named after him.


Just because he described the phenomenon does not make the phenomenon itself originating from America.
That's like saying all gravity is British because Sir Newton first described it. :roll:



That was the point I was making, there's no tongue-in-cheek emoticon yet unfortunately.


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Posted: Sat Aug 31, 2013 10:26 am 


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2013 12:57 pm 
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Hmmmmmm....

S-Works Tarmac frame $3500
S-Works Epic frame $5500


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