The cost of bicycles

  • #1
Ivan Seeking
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Okay, I knew that bikes today are far more advanced than they were back when I was a rider, but this is ridiculous! A buddy of mine is having a new bike built as his older one doesn't fit him well. Cost: $10,000.

This includes a carbon-fiber frame and an electric shifter.

Jeez. If I had ten grand to drop on a bike, I would be on my way to Russia to fly a Mig! Screw the bike.
 

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  • #2
berkeman
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Okay, I knew that bikes today are far more advanced than they were back when I was a rider, but this is ridiculous! A buddy of mine is having a new bike built as his older one doesn't fit him well. Cost: $10,000.

This includes a carbon-fiber frame and an electric shifter.

Jeez. If I had ten grand to drop on a bike, I would be on my way to Russia to fly a Mig! Screw the bike.
How much is it going to weigh? That sounds like a professional racer quality bike. Sweet. (but yes, way more than I would pay myself)
 
  • #3
Ivan Seeking
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How much is it going to weigh? That sounds like a professional racer quality bike. Sweet. (but yes, way more than I would pay myself)
I think he said the frame is 2.5 Lbs, and the wheels [combined] are ~ 1.8 Lbs. I don't think he mentioned the final weight of the bike.

The shifter mechanism alone is several grand.

This guy is in his late sixties and can keep up with people in their twenties! True on the ski slopes as well. He is quite an impressive individual.
 
  • #4
Moonbear
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Did anyone tell him that for that much money, he could get a decent used car and save himself all the pedaling? :biggrin:
 
  • #5
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Last year I bought a new bike for $800 to replace the aging junk I had. It has hydraulic breaks, and heavy duty suspension. I went to Moab with it and it performed extremely well. But boy, you gotta be fit. Nevertheless it is the best investment I ever made to enjoy the outdoors.

But $10,000 grand for a bike? yikes. :surprised
 
  • #6
Chi Meson
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I just splurged for my first new bike since 1993:

http://www.evanscycles.com/product_image/image/568/da5/84a/41207/product_page/specialized-tricross-comp-2010-cyclo-cross-bike.jpg [Broken]
just under $2000. That was, and I use it for my daily commute.

$10,000? Sorry dude, that's flamboyant.
 
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  • #7
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I'll buy myself a nice Specialized one of these days. I am just too lazy to do the pedaling.
 
  • #8
Borek
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From what I know $10k is ine the price range of pro bikes used in Tour de France and similar races.
 
  • #9
Chi Meson
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From what I know $10k is ine the price range of pro bikes used in Tour de France and similar races.
That's the low-end these days. In 2003, I think, Tyler Hamilton's Phonak team were riding $20,000 machines.
 
  • #10
Borek
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I remember hearing about 30k PLN (~$10k) bike used by Sylwester Szmyd in last years races. I remember because that's almost exactly what we paid for Marzena's car (brand new Fiat Panda) five years ago.

Which doesn't mean you are wrong.
 
  • #11
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I think he said the frame is 2.5 Lbs, and the wheels [combined] are ~ 1.8 Lbs. I don't think he mentioned the final weight of the bike.

That's not all that extraordinary. A low-end road bike might have a 3 lb frame and 3-3.5 lb wheels.

A big question in my mind is whether going to such extreme lengths as building a custom $10,000 bike has any effect on performance. Most serious competitions require bikes to weigh at least 15 lbs. My $600 Trek weighs 20. I think I can make it 17 or 18 with $300 of upgrades. Not that I have any desire to do so, because I'm not a competitive cyclist and I need to lose a lot of weight myself before I start splurging on the bike.

BTW, all those racing regulations seriously limit innovation. Forget weight. Road bikes of this day have aerodynamics of a brick (Cd ~0.9). Surely there are ways to cut that substantially by adding some lightweight composite fairings. Alas, those are banned...
 
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  • #12
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That's not all that extraordinary. A low-end road bike might have a 3 lb frame and 3-3.5 lb wheels.

A big question in my mind is whether going to such extreme lengths as building a custom $10,000 bike has any effect on performance. Most serious competitions require bikes to weigh at least 15 lbs. My $600 Trek weighs 20. I think I can make it 17 or 18 with $300 of upgrades. Not that I have any desire to do so, because I'm not a competitive cyclist and I need to lose a lot of weight myself before I start splurging on the bike.

BTW, all those racing regulations seriously limit innovation. Forget weight. Road bikes of this day have aerodynamics of a brick (Cd ~0.9). Surely there are ways to cut that substantially by adding some lightweight composite fairings. Alas, those are banned...
completely agree. i have a collegiate class license, but i've seen some cat 1 guys, and their bikes are insane, but $10,000 seems quite a bit exorbitant even by racing standards, especially when you consider that unless you're cat 1 or above, you probably aren't good enough for most of what you're paying for to have any effect.
 
  • #13
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If you are riding a bicycle for exercise, then doesn't getting a more efficient bicycle defeat the purpose? If you are using it for transportation, then are you going to leave a $10,000 outside when you get to your destination?
 
  • #14
Ivan Seeking
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If you are riding a bicycle for exercise, then doesn't getting a more efficient bicycle defeat the purpose? If you are using it for transportation, then are you going to leave a $10,000 outside when you get to your destination?
And if you are over 60 and trying to compete with 20 year olds, you need every advantage you can get. :biggrin:
 
  • #15
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If you are riding a bicycle for exercise, then doesn't getting a more efficient bicycle defeat the purpose? If you are using it for transportation, then are you going to leave a $10,000 outside when you get to your destination?
people who spend more than $750-$1000 on a bike don't buy the bike for exercise or commuting. they buy it for the sport.
 
  • #16
Borek
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people who spend more than $750-$1000 on a bike don't buy the bike for exercise or commuting. they buy it for the sport.
What sport? Cycling, or bike buying?
 
  • #17
Chi Meson
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What sport? Cycling, or bike buying?
Actually, I participate in the sport of bike-weighing.

Seriously, there is a huge jump in the quality of the frame and components when you go from $1000 to $2000. It's mostly in the components. The function isn't linear though. You have to spend twice as much more money to get "just a little better," and so on.
 
  • #18
turbo
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Over a decade ago, I spent almost $300 on my mountain bike. I thought that was a lot of money then, but that was the price-point I had to meet to get quality shifters, good brakes, etc. When you're bashing a bike around on rough trails and logging roads, you want something that will hold up, so you can ride it back out, not walk it back out.

A friend of mine in college 40 years ago had a Peugot road-bike that cost well over $300 back then. It was a PITA, because he had to take it apart and lug it up to his room every night so it wouldn't get stolen.
 
  • #19
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people who spend more than $750-$1000 on a bike don't buy the bike for exercise or commuting. they buy it for the sport.
My ex-boss spent a few grand on a bicycle and he only used it for exercise/commuting. He figured riding his bike to work was good multitasking.
 
  • #20
Chi Meson
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people who spend more than $750-$1000 on a bike don't buy the bike for exercise or commuting. they buy it for the sport.
I spent $1890 for my bike (see p.1), almost exclusively for commuting.
 
  • #21
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I spent $1890 for my bike (see p.1), almost exclusively for commuting.
when i said people who buy expensive bikes do it for the sport i wasn't considering people who spend money on the bike that really isn't necessary. as you said in your previous post, the cost isn't linear. since the ability to bike well is dependent on your fitness, the bike is much less important than your body as you begin to spend more on a frame. (there is a huge difference in what a cyclist can get out of a $300 vs $1200 bike, but a relatively small difference between a $1200 and $2100 bike, especially if you aren't an excellent cyclist). it's the same as someone who only commutes to work buying a ferrari. sure you can, but thats not exactly efficient shopping. don't get me wrong, i like my bike to have the best frame and components it can, but really, wheels, hubs and the bottom bracket are the only components that REALLY make a difference. i mean, i compete, so i know my bike pretty well, and my competition's bikes. i can say with certainty that most people purchase bikes that are out of their physical range. you don't need a carbon fiber frame when you can barely pull 20 m/h up a hill.
 
  • #22
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The magic point is around $1000. Probably a bit more if you want to venture off-road.

If your exercise involves riding more than 10 miles on one day, you want to have a road bike with narrow tires and road handlebars. I remember the first time I tried to go 25 miles on my old mountain bike. That was painful! On my road bike, I went 50-60 miles a couple of times, with much less suffering.

The cheapest brand new road bike you can find in the United States will set you back $500-$700. With some extras and upgrades, you can get closer to $1000. Road bikes are sold in places like Wal-Mart, but those are of inferior quality and will not last nearly as long.

If your exercise involves riding mountain bikes off-road, you may want to have suspension on both wheels. A good pair of off-road forks will raise the retail price to $1000 too.

Any money spent beyond that is either conspicuous spending, or an effort to shave some seconds off your time if you're seriously into bicycle racing. E.g. making sure that your bike weighs exactly 15 lbs. Installing lightweight tri-spoke wheels instead of standard wheels (cuts on weight as well as aerodynamic resistance.)
 
  • #23
Borek
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We have discussed it earlier somewhere. Road bikes - while good on the road - won't get you far on the backroad (although those lightest models you can take as far as you like - on your back). Mountain bike - while perfect in rugged terrain - are heavy to ride of the road. There are intermediate models (trekking bikes) which are IMHO best choice if you are planning to ride here and there.

At least that's what works for me for daily runs in the 25-60 miles range on mixed roads.
 
  • #24
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actually, for general commuting with possible off-road conditions i would recommend a cyclo-cross bike (sometimes referred to as a "cross bike"). they're designed for special type of off-road racing. they're sturdy, lighter than a mountain bike, can do remarkably well against road bikes, and because they're built for off-road, you don't have to worry about jumping curbs or rocky areas.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyclo-cross_bicycle
 
  • #25
Borek
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Just don't forget to buy fenders for general commuting.
 

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