The price of our sport...

Questions about bike hire abroad and everything light bike related. No off-topic chat please

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by kbbpll

This has been a fascinating read. One person's valued customer is another's poseur. That hasn't changed much; when I worked in a bike shop in the early 80s our motto was "You can never spend too much on a bike".

If you always want the latest and greatest, for whatever reason, any sport is expensive. Backcountry skiing comes to mind as a comparison to cycling - think of the iterations of telemark gear over the last 20-25 years and how much you could have spent staying "current". Skis, bindings, boots, poles, clothing, peeps, shovels, avalanche breathing bags, etc, it goes on and on into bankruptcy. Cycling is no different.

I spent $600 in 1980 for a Raleigh Competition GS, Reynolds 531, Campy Nuovo Gran Sport, it was a _lot_ of money, and I rode that thing for 30 years. It still rides great. I figure it cost me less than $.01 per mile. The same money is worth about $1800 today, and think of what you get for that money relative to a 1980 bike. (On the other hand, check the WW listings for the weight of a 1980 SR crankset, and see how far we've progressed... :lol: )

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by ichobi

Every cyclists should read this article

A team of young cyclists tries to outrun the past.

From the New Yorker, bringing in some perspective.

I like that we have a thread like this, about the costs of the sport. I am from a 3rd world country (Thailand) where buying a Tarmac SL3 S-works costs about the same as 8 months worth of house mortgage. While I have the luxury of live and study in the UK now, I still treat the value of money the same from where I am from. For a £1 you can get 3 meals worth of delicious food. I want fully decked out Venge I really do, but I'd rather save up money enough to propose my gf and have a wedding, because it costs about the same..... It's all about perspective and how much you put value on the things you do. My friend moans when I tell her I buy a £500 mechanical watch, while she spent more on handbags which I wouldn't dream to . Value of things are very personal.

Road cycling is a sport that has high entry cost there's no way around it, especially for us. Of course this comes with any kind of sports rely heavily on equipment, you know unlike tennis where you can get the best racket the pro uses for £150, a high-end £60 tennis shoes and perhaps a polo and shorts, paying a bit of court fees and you can have a blast for hours. Thailand has a rather unremarkable road-racing national team. We don't get official support, nor that many sponsors because to have all the team car and support staff is a luxury that the country rather spend the same amount of money pushing 2-3 other sports on international level that have a better shot at getting goldies at the olympic or Asean game. Part of the unpopularity might of course due to lack of cycling history and tradition in the far east. The cost of the equipments does have real impact in some area that you might not think possible for soem nations.. but it does.

Like every countries, the best bike kits aren't found in the pro team and training, but in the amateur peoloton, sunday warrior. People who can pay, will pay for what make them happy, and believe me they pay as much as you guys, or more.

It's a bit sad however, to see new comers to the sport chase the latest and greatest gears without knowing WHY they need it. Because it's Red, it's better than Rival. Ceramic bearing is a pain to service, not to mention they don't last as long as the standard ones, yet people don't care about that, they care it's Red, so will save up and pay for it.

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by horse

There is a fair amount of cycling tradition in the far east. Particularly China. Brought on by the Dutch exploration of SE-Asia at the turn of the 19/20th century. The mass population adopted it in droves.
Their notion of the bicycle is one of practicality. To use it to get around, cheap, and complemented local socioeconomics. Don't forget what the bicycle also did for the local populations in the West.

What you see in Pro-Cycling is only a thin slice of cycling cross-section the world-over. Actually, this is not what cycling is about. The higher you go, the more unnatural it becomes. It is by far unconnected to anything you experience riding a bike for the first time.

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by bontie

J-Nice wrote:
andyindo wrote:The frame cost me £180 and the parts came off my old Colnago C40. I have as much fun on that as my mate on his Dogma with super Record.

No you don't. You only THINK you do. You'll need a Pinarello Dogma kitted out with Record EPS and a new set of Lightweights from Carbonsports to really get the full effect of Sunday morning Club-Level Elitism, which is what cycling is all about nowadays. :thumbup:

I say buy whatever you can afford if it's something you want. If you can't afford a particular item, save up for it. If it makes you happy and you're not hurting anyone, more power to ya.

I don't know if he has another mate with a Dogma and Super Record, but he is lying. I smile a lot more than him when we ride (assuming everyone smiles when they are having fun). They are all just bikes, and each has its place. I recently got a C40 and it makes me smile. But the Dogma is a great bike (heavier than others - yes, Blingy - yes,a good ride - yes) Who cares?

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by RTW

Murphs wrote:
RTW wrote:
Murphs wrote:Cycling has actually gotten cheaper in Australia, mostly due to our strong exchange rate.

But yet all of your bike shops are going out of business because of stupid government taxes / import duties. That really does the Australian cyclist a disservice.

You mean greedy distributors right?

If the Australian prices were only 15% more expensive than overseas that argument would be valid

No, if I had meant that I would have written it.

I mean stupid import taxes, and import duties, which means that distributors and retailers cannot compete, and yet the cyclist on the ground is the first to go to them when something goes wrong. As a high end brand, having a local presence is important - there is nothing high end about dealing with a different country, taxes, currencies for the normal user.

You also have to look at why the prices are more than the 15% import taxes (your figure, not mine) - the logistics of the country, cost of warehousing, cost of after sales service. So, if you are happy to pay 15% more, as you imply here, then lobby the government to cut the import duties distributors are subject to. Over time, economies of scale, increased turnover, etc would level the playing field for the Australian consumer, and prices would be close to those found abroad BUT with local market support.

I know of many brands who do not make ANY money on product sold to Australia because it is the only way they can have a local presence and support local cyclists.

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by dkwperth

There is a report out by Bicycle Industries Australia that they submitted to the productivity commission that states the advantage to overseas retailers is of the order 10-20%, comprising 10% GST and 0-10% duties. ... sub053.pdf" onclick=";return false;" onclick=";return false;

I think Murphs is pretty accurate.

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by Murphs

There are some brands which are in that 10-20% bracket, such as Pearl Izumi (just the first example I could think of).

The apparent trend of brands taking over their own distribution in Australia seems to be a positive one for all parties, except the existing distributors who have price gouged for long enough.

I will continue to support brands with realistic price structures in Australia, such as PI, but if it breaks my own personal 40% rule (if local is less than 40% more expensive, I buy local), I will buy online.

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