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Old 05-17-07, 10:43 PM   #1
Tom Bombadil
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When a $1700 bike is not a $1700 bike

Had an interesting experience checking out some bikes today after work. A Madison LBS carries a great selection of Treks. With Trek's HQ just outside the city, they sometimes get very good deals on closeouts, overstocks, and occasionally, odd custom-built bikes.

I was checking out their FX fitness bike line when I came across a few bikes that were nothing like Trek's published specs. These had 7.7 FX frames, but every other component of the bike was downgraded.

7.7 FX Spec vs Odd bike Part

Carbon Fork ... Aluminum Fork (odd shaped aluminum fork)
Ultegra Group ... Deore LX group
Shimano Triple ... Bontrager Triple
Shimano 105 Cassette ... Shimano Deore 11-32 cassette
Carbon Fiber seat post ... aluminum seat post
700x28 Race Lite Hardcase Tires ... 700x35 Invert Hardcase
Shimano 431 brakes with Avid FR-5 ... Shimano 421 with Shimano levers

They were advertising it as the regular price being $1699, on sale for $1149.

However this bike is nowhere near a $1699 bike. A fully equipped 7.7 FX retails for $1699. But this bike was essentially a 7.7 FX frame with every other part coming from a parts bin that would have been used for a $600-$700 hybrid. I believe that the components were a bit behind what one would get on the $749 Trek 7.5 FX.

The 7.7 FX frame does have carbon seat stays, but the 7.5 FX has a carbon fork, which this odd bike lacked.

So while they thought it was aggressively priced at $1149. I think it is overpriced by about $400. I think it might be okay to pretend it's a $1200 bike and put it on sale at $750-$800. But a price tag implying its a $1700 bike is very misleading.

At first I thought it was a great deal, a 7.7 FX at nearly 30% off. I'm glad I know something about components and didn't get suckered in.

NOTE: Trek wasn't trying to pass the bike off as a $1700 7.7 FX. They had them made up for some reason and was clearing them out through this shop. There was also an odd "7700 SLR" bike that was an upgraded 7700 hybrid with a carbon fork instead of a suspension fork. It was fun checking out the odd bikes.
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Old 05-18-07, 04:22 AM   #2
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It pays to do your homework and know what you are looking at.
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Old 05-18-07, 05:54 AM   #3
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I'm just gald that store is not within reasonable driving distance for me. The temptation to visit regularly would just be too much to overcome for me. Nothing like a bargain to sucker me right in.

Wait.......I'll be up that way this September. On no!!!!
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Old 05-18-07, 10:15 AM   #4
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Trek has to do something with all those leftover parts.
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Old 05-18-07, 10:27 AM   #5
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Isn't this part of that customization program they have? You can be the envy of your riding group by having a bike that is one off.
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Old 05-18-07, 11:33 AM   #6
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It seems to happen all the time- where the manufacturer lays out a spec at the beginning of a year and as the year progresses- parts become discontinued- unavailable due to high demand or the price goes up making the listed part uneconomical. Bit of a bummer though if you buy a bike, expecting a certain spec, only to find that the spec has been downgraded.

This though sounds like a factory clearout of all the old parts that are lying around so put out as a special. Maybe a cheap bike but not a good specced bike.
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Old 05-18-07, 11:40 AM   #7
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That wouldn't be so bad if it they were up front about it. Its the sale price on the better bike idea that smells.

So who's cheating, Trek or the shop?
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Old 05-18-07, 11:55 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maddmaxx
That wouldn't be so bad if it they were up front about it. Its the sale price on the better bike idea that smells.

So who's cheating, Trek or the shop?
The shop is. Trek's a huge multinational company. If they bother to play the shellgame with components (they probably don't) it's done in an above board manor. I'd say the shop is forced to, to guard their profits.I've here in posts concerning a member choosing between a particular model but iffy on the parts.
In responce read several members stating : "no problem dude, get 'em to swap-out the 105 for the Ultegra, that's what I do"... the LBS is robbin' Peter to pay Paul".. quite simple ,when someone "wins" someone else loses. 80 to 90% of the cost of any bike under $2,000 is in all OTHER than the frame.
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Old 05-18-07, 11:58 AM   #9
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This is one of the things I actually REALLY appreciate about my LBS: The fact that they will customize the bike to your spec. I often wonder how much longer the mainstream manufacturers will be able to compete w/online configurators. On a macro sales level, I would think that a mfr would be able to overcome the initial component level volume/price issues in short order but...since they dont really do this on a large scale, its a real value add that the LBS will make these changes when you ask. (Edit: Im talking about for a charge here)

We are pretty lucky when it comes to LBS in Wisconsin (at least in my area). There are MANY terrific shops up here.

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Old 05-18-07, 12:21 PM   #10
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I think the shop was having some difficulty in pricing it, and someone there put too much emphasis on the fact that the frame boldly proclaimed it was a 7.7 FX, normally a $1699 bike, without giving adequate consideration to the fact that not a single other piece of the bike came off of a 7.7 FX. The guy told me that they got a big discount on the price from Trek.

Clearly it wasn't Trek simply substituting a different, but close equal, component. None of the components were standard and none of them were an equal swap. The fork is one that Trek doesn't use on any of their bikes, so I don't know where that came from.

It would be a nice deal if they priced it at $700. And someone would have a really nice nameplate for that price.
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