Johnny Rad wrote:
Clarification - My original point about the auto industry was to point out that there's a disproportionate amount of profit delivered front the lux / hi-po offerings. I refuse(d) to say whether they're "worth it!" No, sir. No way, Jose. I can't win a personal preference argument! Ha.
Yes, auto rags clearly publish 0-60mph/100kph times and skidpad ratings. If the average Joe drives two cars with dramatically different results (like your example of a hypermiler diesel E vs hot rod AMG E that costs x2 more $), it's not hard to believe they'll appreciate a difference. If the two are closer, I'm not confident they can really and truly appreciate 4.5sec vs 4.9sec to 60/100 or .84g vs .88g around the skidpad?! Is it "worth it" to have a car that's faster, better handling, more luxurious, etc?! Auto mfgs want you to think so because they make more money selling them AND probably bring in buyers for their lower-end cars. I also think the auto industry controls the rags, but that's another story.
Back to bikes. Remember laterally stiff and vertically compliant ad nasueam?! Ugh, we all do. Like my car comments above, I'm not confident the average cyclist can really and truly appreciate subtle differences. I agree with your Tarmac Pro vs Tarmac SL4 example being too close to call for many of us! Is it "worth it" to have a bike that's marginally stiffer yet more compliant, made in a particular country, hand-painted, etc?! Bike makers want you to think so for much the same reasons as car mfgs, right?
Sure. I get what you mean and I agree. What my main point is this, is that hi-mod vs non hi-mod (or 11r vs 10r , etc) is that these arent engineering feats to be appreciated, nor differences to be recognized beyond whats on paper.
It is by all means a convenient shortcut to maximize a base design, fabricate artificial differentiation, and cover varying price points with minimal effort.
unlike transforming a base Porsche 911 to a 911 GT3 RS, it's akin to swapping a shift knob, programming +10hp to the ECU, and calling it an xxth anniversary limited release. (And in some examples, a product is intentionally engineered down - rather than up - to create apparent differentiation)
I've been waiting for a cycling magazine to do this review article. Take each of the big manufacturers that have hi and low mod versions of the same bike, remove paint/distinguishing marks, and then test them head to head.
Any mag editors out there paying attention? I'm sure we'd all love to read this article...
Seen an old magazine comparing steel makers who crafted 7 variants of a model using different tubing. differences were minimal.
Here's a similar one by Josh Poertnerhttp://www.slowtwitch.com/Tech/Thoughts ... _4571.html