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Old 08-30-11, 09:29 PM   #1
bostongarden
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The Consumer Thread

The notion of this thread popped into my head while thinking about (effective) "price increases" where price does not actually change; for example, the price of Charmin Basic toilet paper is unchanged, however, the number of 1-ply sheets per roll has changed to 264 from 308. In essence, price per unit has increased by about 17%.

We have the twitter feed, the geek thread, the music thread; and, the quiet time between this and next year's racing season will be here soon. So, why not, the consumer thread. Bring all your consumer kvetching, revelations and so forth. The Doctor is in.

Ya know, I think Bikereg should refund its fee when a race is cancelled.

Bikes fly for free on Frontier Airlines. Other airlines should follow suit!
JetBlue does offer free bike travel during the month of July (Tour de France month); JB should find a reason associated with every month to offer free bike travel.

Don't overlook Zappos when you need cycling clothing or cycling shoes next day.

I had a chocolate flavored gel (by Clif I think) for the first time tonight before the Tuesday nighter; not bad. It was a freebie from Marathon Sports. I was wondering why they said to try one for free; one of my son's noticed that the "best" consumption date -- not quite an "expiration" date -- was a few days ago.

Whole Foods has a decent sale going on for Clif Builder bars ($1.25 each). Now, all flavors taste pretty much the same; but, ya gotta love the 20g of protein (with 270 cal) per bar.

Why doesn't pbk have the 1/2 sizes for the Sidi ergo 2 carbon lite?

As I've adapted from Mr. Zaner, it's not just what a product cost; it's what it does for you (in essence, value).

Last edited by bostongarden; 08-30-11 at 09:58 PM.
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Old 08-30-11, 09:40 PM   #2
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better question: why can't PBK have those ridiculous sales on GP4000s again?
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Old 08-30-11, 09:46 PM   #3
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better question: why can't PBK have those ridiculous sales on GP4000s again?
Alas, it might be due to the weakness of the US dollar.
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Old 08-30-11, 09:55 PM   #4
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Rant 1:

A race worthy bicycle chain back in the old days used to be very cheap compared to freewheels. Back then it made a whole lot of sense to spend a lot of effort keeping a chain clean and to replace them often.

Now the prices of both chains and cassettes are getting high and the ratio (cassette cost)/(chain cost) isn't nearly as large as it was. Maybe the best $ strategy now is to let the chain go a bit longer and after 5 or 6 (or whatever is the optimal number) chains get a new cassette.

Rant 2:

Why does a less than one hour crit cost as much to enter as a much longer road race? The road race must cost much more to put on. (And it is a lot more fun, if you ask me.) Are the "critters" subsidising those of us that race more road races?
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Old 08-30-11, 10:01 PM   #5
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Alas, it might be due to the weakness of the US dollar.
well, it's hard to find it for less than 50gbp...

everything else on that site has also gotten expensive, and they are doing away with free shipping. I'm gonna be switching to ribble pretty soon...
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Old 08-30-11, 10:24 PM   #6
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Two very interesting rants.

Help me out with the optimality notion in rant 1: wouldn't a cassette last for a long long long time (I'll stop short of suggesting forever), were one to change the chain in a timely manner on a regular basis? Are you suggesting, assuming the same total mileage, that the cost of (the number of chains when changing chains relatively frequently -- maybe 7 or 8 chains) minus the cost of (sum of, say, 5 or 6 "bit longer" chains) is greater than the cost of a cassette? (With the numbers of 7-8 versus 5-6, indeed, the answer could be yes, depending on the prices of the chain and the cassette. You'd also want to take into account the "value" of shifting quality, which, I would assume is better, on average, in the "more frequently" chain changing method/approach.

I never thought of the issue raised in rant 2. Let's agree that product value and price are not necessarily directly-related to "production" effort or costs (e.g., first-class airline tickets are priced anywhere from 2-10 times of an economy ticket; however, I bet that the "cost" of providing the first-class experience is less than 2-10 times that for an economy ticket). I've never promoted a race and I'm not familiar with the cost structures. But, at its face, it would appear that a crit would cost less to put on than a road race. But, let's look at some other elements that go into determining price. Are payouts greater for crits? Is the "rush" (or whatever satisfaction one derives) from a crit greater than that in a road race? Hey, you might just be right on the subsidy notion!!! And, perhaps, lots of racers think "race" fee in general and don't even consider what you are suggesting. Very interesting!!
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Old 08-30-11, 10:45 PM   #7
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Those effective price increases are rampant right now. Apparently "new look!" really means smaller package.

If you thought Cliff chocolate gel was ok try GU's it's very tasty.
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Old 08-30-11, 11:07 PM   #8
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Those effective price increases are rampant right now. Apparently "new look!" really means smaller package.

If you thought Cliff chocolate gel was ok try GU's it's very tasty.
Thank you. They did have a Vanilla something -- orange maybe -- flavor GU for free too. It's "best" to consume by date said 2/11, 6 months ago!! I don't know much about the makeup of this product. Is it ok to consume given that date? Enthalpic, you strike me as someone who would know!!
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Old 08-30-11, 11:11 PM   #9
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better question: why can't PBK have those ridiculous sales on GP4000s again?
I know, right? Like $35/tire so I can buy 6 of them.
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Old 08-30-11, 11:29 PM   #10
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Thank you. They did have a Vanilla something -- orange maybe -- flavor GU for free too. It's "best" to consume by date said 2/11, 6 months ago!! I don't know much about the makeup of this product. Is it ok to consume given that date? Enthalpic, you strike me as someone who would know!!
I'd eat it, but don't blame me if you get sick.

With all the sugar and salt it's unlikely to grow bacteria due to the high osmotic pressure (honey pretty much never goes bad). The flavourings and additives like amino acids may be somewhat unstable in solution but I bet the main reason they put a date on it is because of texture changes, the mixture may "break" and leave you with crystals or oily droplets. Then again I'm no food scientist so this is all a guess.
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Old 08-31-11, 06:04 AM   #11
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I have listened and taken action. I just sent an email to pbk.

Dear PBK,

"Friends" of mine on BikeForum.com, who have ordered mucho from you, would like to see, at least for a brief moment, the Continental GPS 4000s clincher priced at $ (US) 35. They love you; they love the tire. Is there anything that you could do to make this happen? Perhaps a "secret" sale or coupon for these BikeForum.com members? Maybe, a "racing season is over, but we're here to take care of you" special? How about a "flash" sale that is on for only 53 minutes, or 11 minutes (53, 11, smile, get it)? I would be happy to help make this happen. Thank you!!

Best regards,

Bruce
Consumer Advocate for the People

P.S. You look absolutely marvelous today!!
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Old 08-31-11, 07:40 AM   #12
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I have listened and taken action. I just sent an email to pbk.

Dear PBK,

"Friends" of mine on BikeForum.com, who have ordered mucho from you, would like to see, at least for a brief moment, the Continental GPS 4000s clincher priced at $ (US) 35. They love you; they love the tire. Is there anything that you could do to make this happen? Perhaps a "secret" sale or coupon for these BikeForum.com members? Maybe, a "racing season is over, but we're here to take care of you" special? How about a "flash" sale that is on for only 53 minutes, or 11 minutes (53, 11, smile, get it)? I would be happy to help make this happen. Thank you!!

Best regards,

Bruce
Consumer Advocate for the People

P.S. You look absolutely marvelous today!!
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Old 08-31-11, 07:43 AM   #13
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If that doesn't work, I don't know what will!
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Old 08-31-11, 07:48 AM   #14
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Anyone know where I can find some enervit cheer packs? I haven't been able to find any for months.
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Old 08-31-11, 07:54 AM   #15
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I have a few gripes:

Timing chips: Around here, we have races that include timing chips, and we have to rent the chips for an additional $5. They never make this clear on the flyer either. Why not just include that in the race fee.

Day of fees: We also get to pay an additional $5 for signing up the day of the race. But if I pre-register, BikeReg or Pre-Reg, ends up charging me anywhere from $3 to $5 in fees, so I'm not really saving much money, if any. What's the point of pre-registering if I'm not saving any money?

As for the GP4000s, I get them from my LBS's for anywhere from $36 to $42, so I don't need the PBK order.
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Old 08-31-11, 07:55 AM   #16
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I have listened and taken action. I just sent an email to pbk.

Dear PBK,

"Friends" of mine on BikeForum.com, who have ordered mucho from you, would like to see, at least for a brief moment, the Continental GPS 4000s clincher priced at $ (US) 35. They love you; they love the tire. Is there anything that you could do to make this happen? Perhaps a "secret" sale or coupon for these BikeForum.com members? Maybe, a "racing season is over, but we're here to take care of you" special? How about a "flash" sale that is on for only 53 minutes, or 11 minutes (53, 11, smile, get it)? I would be happy to help make this happen. Thank you!!

Best regards,

Bruce
Consumer Advocate for the People

P.S. You look absolutely marvelous today!!
Nice. I think it has a shot

...but we're bikeforums.net
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Old 08-31-11, 08:02 AM   #17
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Quote:
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I have a few gripes:

Timing chips: Around here, we have races that include timing chips, and we have to rent the chips for an additional $5. They never make this clear on the flyer either. Why not just include that in the race fee.

Day of fees: We also get to pay an additional $5 for signing up the day of the race. But if I pre-register, BikeReg or Pre-Reg, ends up charging me anywhere from $3 to $5 in fees, so I'm not really saving much money, if any. What's the point of pre-registering if I'm not saving any money?

As for the GP4000s, I get them from my LBS's for anywhere from $36 to $42, so I don't need the PBK order.
can you do a group buy for the rest of us? If you live in the NE, i'll buy you a beer when i take delivery.
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Old 08-31-11, 08:06 AM   #18
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As a professional cheapskate, I only use gels that are freebies (I currently have a big box of 'em that I won as a prime, so I guess that isn't exactly "free").

Bananas are a way better deal than any energy bar you can find.

Also, it amuses me to see this thread topic in a bike forum... perhaps everyone should post the amount they spent for their current bike, hmmm?
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Old 08-31-11, 09:01 AM   #19
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Just don't fall for stuff like this y'all.

http://consumerist.com/2011/08/woman...d-of-ipad.html

Don't buy bike parts in sketchy places. Haha.

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Nice. I think it has a shot

...but we're bikeforums.net
HAHHAHHAHHA Ooops bg.

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Old 08-31-11, 09:17 AM   #20
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Quote:
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I have a few gripes:

Timing chips: Around here, we have races that include timing chips, and we have to rent the chips for an additional $5. They never make this clear on the flyer either. Why not just include that in the race fee.
In running races, many people just buy their own chips and save money.
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Old 08-31-11, 09:30 AM   #21
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I never thought of the issue raised in rant 2. Let's agree that product value and price are not necessarily directly-related to "production" effort or costs (e.g., first-class airline tickets are priced anywhere from 2-10 times of an economy ticket; however, I bet that the "cost" of providing the first-class experience is less than 2-10 times that for an economy ticket). I've never promoted a race and I'm not familiar with the cost structures. But, at its face, it would appear that a crit would cost less to put on than a road race. But, let's look at some other elements that go into determining price. Are payouts greater for crits? Is the "rush" (or whatever satisfaction one derives) from a crit greater than that in a road race? Hey, you might just be right on the subsidy notion!!! And, perhaps, lots of racers think "race" fee in general and don't even consider what you are suggesting. Very interesting!!
I'd like to see CDR check in on this one as he has more promotion experience than just about all of us put together, with a few exceptions. You know who you are.

The cost of putting a race on varies greatly with the venue. My take on it is that circuit races and criteriums in industrial parks would generally be the cheapest. The fewer the intersections, the better. The courses are short and most likely stay in one town. That cuts costs considerably. Criteriums in downtown areas are going to be a lot more expensive due to the barriers, safety requirements, pedestrian control, police and fire. Road races depend on the venue. I can tell you that for the road race that my club puts on, which goes through 8 municipalities, each with their hand in the cookie jar, we need over 425 registered riders to break even. When the State Police tell you that they want three officers at this one intersection at $400 per, you don't argue, you don't negotiate, you just do it. You have to feed and water the marshals, often in remote locations. Porta-potties cost about $125 each per day. Registration, timing and scoring, officials, lead cars, follow cars, wheel cars, the cost to prep miles of course beforehand, all this adds up.
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Old 08-31-11, 10:30 AM   #22
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From my promotions standpoint - Crits are f'n expensive. Really it's not the crit but the municipality that is. The one I saved the major expense was to the village. They didn't see it as a problem, and really it's kind of a bargain when you think of all of what they did provide, but it's just too big of a burden for a race. Then to listen to racers complain (like I do) about a $35 or higher entry....just makes you want to

My cost on Conti GP4000s is higher than what you can get from PBK when they're on sale. Raw material costs were cited late last year as an "explanation" for why tire costs would go up across the board this year. They have. Don't expect to see any pricing like what we used to see a few years ago ever again unless raw materials come back down.

For bikereg - the promoter has the option of absorbing the fee in the reg transaction. i even believe there is a discount for doing so. I have absorbed it in every race I have put on to date. By doing so a portion is kicked back to local association. Many of us believe there is more than just that one kickback going on, but meh...they do a good job and the fees aren't that high. Me-likey.

Difference for me is that I am not aiming to clear money from the promotions. So I basically don't give a ratt's ass about some of the costs as long as the event will break even.
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Old 08-31-11, 10:35 AM   #23
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BTW - I like the idea of this thread. I think it can be a much calmer place to discuss both sides of the transactional nature of this industry without all of the "OMFG THAT SHOP OWNER WILL END UP BUYING A FERRARI WITH THAT $30 HE STOLE FROM ME BY OVERCHARGING!!! HE IS A CAPITALIST DEVIL!" that you tend to get in the road forum.
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Old 08-31-11, 12:36 PM   #24
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As far as promoting, the cheapest ever crit I know about (the Bethel ones which I promote), the race churns through about $5k a week. $550 of it (I rounded up a few bucks) is the cop. Over 2009-2010-2011 years, where I tracked $ (because it was "mine" at that point - before that the race owned itself) I lost several grand over the 2009-2010 and made money in 2011. 2011 marked the first year in a long time (decade? more?) that a sponsor paid cash.

Entry fee for Bethel was $25 day of, $20 prereg, $15 if you did one race a week prereg (i.e. for 6 weeks), $25 for two races per week prereg (6 weeks). Basically if you commit it's $15 for a race. I think that's a real low price for a full fledged race, and $20 for one day, again, for a full fledged race..

I cannot imagine, not for a moment, trying to put on a road race. I think that RR promoters should get a good $50-75 minimum per racer, if not more. I know of one race's budget, it's in the low $100k range, for one road race, one day. I know another race's budget (not shovel's), I think it needs 400 racers to break even, and the promoter paid, out of pocket, about $40k in two years, almost $30k of it the in 2009, the rest in 2010.

Again, I cannot imagine putting on a road race.

The Hartford Crit lost $25k a year, every year. The club put on three cross or mountain bike races to pay for it. When those races started to shrink and when Hartford asked for $25k? more for police, that was the end of the race. There are a lot of crits that are gone now, the "real" ones, like Hartford, Oyster Bay, Nutley, Middletown, etc etc. It's very hard to raise the $10-40k necessary to put on a real crit.

Having said all that, I hope to put on more events for 2012 and beyond, not just the Bethel Spring Series. This is as much so I can race more as it is for any other reason.
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Old 08-31-11, 12:43 PM   #25
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There are a lot of crits that are gone now, the "real" ones, like Hartford, Oyster Bay, Nutley, Middletown, etc etc. It's very hard to raise the $10-40k necessary to put on a real crit.
Amen.
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