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Old 08-11-10, 03:34 PM   #1
lhbernhardt
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Cycling Boom Amongst the Affluent

This just in from UK's The Guardian,
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environmen...ng-boom-survey

The Mintel report, Bicycles in the UK 2010, finds:

"our research suggests that nowadays a bicycle is more a lifestyle addition, a way of demonstrating how affluent you are," said Michael Oliver, who wrote the report for market researchers Mintel.

His research reveals that bike sales are being driven by 35- to 45-year-old family men. Where this age group might once have treated themselves to a sports car in an attempt to hang on to their youth they now invest in a luxury bike instead.

The report dubs the upsurge in cycle sales among this demographic as "the noughties version of the mid-life crisis".

Men of a certain age now pride themselves on their bicycle collection. In a documentary last year, Alan Sugar showed off the full-carbon Pinarello machines he has bought for his many residences at a cost of many thousands of pounds each."

Is this an explanation for the list of bicycles owned in the signature blocks of many of the people who post here?

Also, I love the term "noughties," as in "the Naughty Noughties" (years 2000-2009) - leave it t the British to come up with this term!

- Luis (nobody knows what bikes I own, but if I had a sports car it would be listed here!)
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Old 08-11-10, 05:32 PM   #2
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Interestingly I saw the documentary about Alan Sugar(the founder of Amstrad), it's true that he has three top spec. Pinarello's at each of his residences.
However it's also true that he has been a keen cyclist since he was a kid and still rides three times a week now even though he runs a big company and sits in the House of Lords.
He is a millionaire who likes cycling, is that a mid life crisis?
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Old 08-11-10, 05:38 PM   #3
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If buying and riding a fine bicycle is the outcome of a mid life crisis the world has indeed gotten to be a better place.
Indeed many of us have more bike(s) than we need but as long as it keeps us riding and working to improve it is a good thing. It's they guy with the $8K bike who takes it around the block once a month that needs to worry.
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Old 08-11-10, 06:59 PM   #4
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I just hope that the popularity of bicycles with the 'Rich and Powerful Set' doesn't drive prices up and out of the reach of the common man.

I still can't believe the price of a Harley and I secretely blame the 'Business Professionals / Weekend Road Warriors' for driving those prices into the stratosphere, perhaps wrongly so but I blame them anyway.

Call me a pessimist if you want, but remember...A pessimist is nothing more than an optimist with experience.
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Old 08-11-10, 08:01 PM   #5
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I'm 58 and in a mid-life crisis? Wow, that's actually pretty good news.
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Old 08-11-10, 08:12 PM   #6
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Will I live to be 122? The more bikes I get the longer I might live? Maybe not.
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Old 08-12-10, 03:36 AM   #7
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Wonderful...............now the factories will concentrate on $7000 bikes.
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Old 08-12-10, 05:37 AM   #8
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This is nothing new. The bike manufacturers knew this going in. It really doesn't have to be the super wealthy.

Its true about wives who would rather have their husband get a high end bike rather than a sports car. Besides, new bikes might also mean new vacation trips to Europe and even other far away places.

No small wonder that Specilaized is located in Morgan Hill, near Silicon Valley.
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Old 08-12-10, 07:02 AM   #9
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It's true. I'm 46 and already planning to buy myself a hand-built lugged-steel rando bike from a local framebuilder as a midlife-crisis present to myself. I can't afford either a mistress or a 1964 Austin-Healy 3000, so that will have to do.
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Old 08-12-10, 07:13 AM   #10
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I'm hoping one mid-life guys gets his sports car and one of his high end MTB's shows up on our local craigslist. Wait!, did I just say I need another high end bike?
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Old 08-12-10, 07:34 AM   #11
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I just hope that the popularity of bicycles with the 'Rich and Powerful Set' doesn't drive prices up and out of the reach of the common man.

I still can't believe the price of a Harley and I secretely blame the 'Business Professionals / Weekend Road Warriors' for driving those prices into the stratosphere, perhaps wrongly so but I blame them anyway.
I read where Harley Davidson is considering leaving Milwaukee due to high union labor costs. This is really affected pricing. In recent years, they've courted affluent buyers by building great looking stores because the business professionals have the money to buy the machines. If anything, I think yuppies have helped them keep the doors open while staying in Milwaukee.
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Old 08-12-10, 07:38 AM   #12
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It's true. I'm 46 and already planning to buy myself a hand-built lugged-steel rando bike from a local framebuilder as a midlife-crisis present to myself. I can't afford either a mistress or a 1964 Austin-Healy 3000, so that will have to do.
I'm 70, and planning for my mid-life crisis in the next few years - any suggestions as to what it should be?
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Old 08-12-10, 08:07 AM   #13
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US stats (from industry trade group):

- bike sales dropped more than 30% in 2009
- 73% of all bicycles are sold at mass merchants, at an average price of $78
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Old 08-12-10, 08:27 AM   #14
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I just hope that the popularity of bicycles with the 'Rich and Powerful Set' doesn't drive prices up and out of the reach of the common man.

I still can't believe the price of a Harley and I secretely blame the 'Business Professionals / Weekend Road Warriors' for driving those prices into the stratosphere, perhaps wrongly so but I blame them anyway.

Call me a pessimist if you want, but remember...A pessimist is nothing more than an optimist with experience.
I'm hopefully the opposite will be true - with more bikes being produced the price will go down - "economy of scale." Okay, maybe the esoteric uber-fancy bikes will rise in cost (Harleys), but the midrange and enty-level bikes (Suzuki, Yamaha) will stay reasonable, hopefully offering better equipment for about the same price. But what do I know? I'm not an economist and I don't play one on TV.
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Old 08-12-10, 11:10 AM   #15
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I've found that in any sport, there are true participants and there are collectors of the paraphernalia. In cycling, the weight of the rider usually does a good job of indicating who's a rider and who's a collector.
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Old 08-12-10, 11:34 AM   #16
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I've found that in any sport, there are true participants and there are collectors of the paraphernalia. In cycling, the weight of the rider usually does a good job of indicating who's a rider and who's a collector.
I weigh 235. Rider or collector?
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Old 08-12-10, 11:36 AM   #17
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What was it the character Glennis Yeagar said in the movie The Right Stuff? "I never could stand a 'remember when', those bitter guys that sit around talking about the old days."

I think back on the bicycles we rode in the 60s and 70s. Today's bikes are far, far better - and much less expensive. I mean, come on: I multiply what I paid for my Centurion Le Mans in 1972 by the change in the CPI and it puts me on a 2011 Kona ***** Tonk, a lighter, stronger bike with better brakes, wider and tighter gears that shift practically by thinking about them and with vastly improved paint and component aesthetics.

BTW - last time I checked (2009 model year) the lowest MSRP street legal motorcycle on the American market - that wasn't manufactured in Asia and wasn't a motorscooter - was a model from Harley-Davidson. Just like bicycles, against either inflation or wages it is less expensive than the Harleys of old despite offering better performance and more features.

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Old 08-12-10, 11:46 AM   #18
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I've found that in any sport, there are true participants and there are collectors of the paraphernalia. In cycling, the weight of the rider usually does a good job of indicating who's a rider and who's a collector.
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Old 08-12-10, 12:04 PM   #19
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IMO, a good thing. At least these guys might get a little exercise. And in terms of consumption, a first rate bike is still pretty modest in comparison to, say, a high end motorcycle, sportscar, boat, watch, or stereo.

How much can one person put into the cycling thing before he or she gets to a point of rapidly diminishing returns. $5,000, $10,000? One would even be hard pressed to spend that kind of money on a fleet of bicycles. The limiting factor with a bicycle, sort of a reality check is, performance on the bike can only improve so much unless the rider puts in the work. No amount of money spent on a bike will make an overweight 50 year old executive a TDF winner.
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Old 08-12-10, 12:40 PM   #20
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A similar trend I have seen and read about is cycling becoming the new golf in some companies where the boss takes up bike riding and so all the suckups get bikes too and start riding to show the boss how similar they are. Not entirely a bad thing, but kind of amusing and yet distasteful in a way. Not to say that everyone who golfs or rides bikes with the boss are being suckups but you know that some are.
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Old 08-12-10, 01:04 PM   #21
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Maybe it's because I always rode bikes and didn't play golf that my corporate career stalled in my early fifties.

Probably should have done a little of that sucking up stuff.

OR maybe HR Departments just hate gray hair and don't care what you do for fun.
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Old 08-12-10, 01:25 PM   #22
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I hate that term the "Noughties" and surprised you don't have it.

3 types of bike shops over here- The basic "We sell bikes" type The LBS that we are all trying to find and the exclusive ones.

The exclusive shops and you have to be looking at the more expensive type of bike to be recognised by the sales assistant. We have a couple locally and I only ever go in to look at the stock. Pinarrelos- Cervelos and Top end specialised and Cannondales. Same with the clothing and that is all top end.

Then there is my LBS type. Always a friendly greeting- no repair is too small and although they are busy- they will always find time for the urgent repair. And they will listen to what you say and sell you the bike you want----And the upgrade next year and for years after.

I know where I like to buy and get repairs done and it is not the Shop where I am looked down on as a mere mortal with insufficient funds to bother about.
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Old 08-12-10, 02:03 PM   #23
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I hate that term the "Noughties" and surprised you don't have it.
Yes, I've never heard the term used in Canada. But then we don't use the word "nought" either. And the only time I hear the word "nil" is when the Canadian sportscaster is reporting soccer scores. We use zero, goose-eggs, or zip. I don't think we have a term for the first decade of the 21st century yet. I imagine they'll have to call it something when they start doing "The Decade in Review" around December, 2010.

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Old 08-12-10, 03:24 PM   #24
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I'm no affluent but I do have the desire for addtional bikes. End of year
clearance sale is fast approaching so I'll keep an eye on good deals, this time
a road bike to compliment my hybrid collection.
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Old 08-12-10, 04:13 PM   #25
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I think as a society we have a "fad" facination that shows up in any hobby, sport or passtime. The other thing that seems to happen is when people get to the point where they can afford better then better becomes the standard they measure things by. Go to a forum about astronomy telescopes or Binoculars and check out the FAQs. Much like in these forums entry level to people into astronomy sounds expensive to the beginner. People are just as bad about cell phones, Just look at the lines for Iphones and Droid X phones.

When I first got back into cycling I at least knew to give a LBS a try before I bought a bike. The big box stores had better prices but they didn't know anything about their product nor could they repair them. I took one look at the raod bikes on the top racks and figured someone had misplaced a decimal point on the price. My wife and I suffered sticker shock. My first bike was at the very entry of what some in these forums have suggested should be entry and it was still a lot more than a Big Box store bike. After riding for a year or two with others that had Tarmacs, and Madones, one day I decided a new bike was in order. Suddenly the road bikes on the top rack didn't seem that far out of line.

I don't believe I have seen that many more cyclists than I did a few years ago but I do see more midrange bikes on the road, but that could be because that is the kind of bike I am looking for so that is what I notice.
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