Spoked to Death
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Boulder, CO
Bikes: Salsa La Cruz w/ Alfine 8, Specialized Fuse Pro 27.5+, Surly 1x1
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Lightweight is harder to make. When you buy a steel frame, you aren't really buying steel. The steel is crap, its worth nothing, titanium, aluminum and CF are the same way, its not material that you pay for. Iron, titanium, carbon and aluminum are some of the most common substances in the earth's crust. What you are buying is the energy and time it took to design the frame, design the machines that make the material, make the machines that make it, and make the frame itself.
A mountain bike doesn't have to be all that light, people don't pay as much attention to the weight of a mountain bike. So you can use big heavy tubing that is easy to make. It doesn't even have to be butted! But to make something of comparable strength at half the weight... Now you are talking serious machines, and delicate tubing operations.
Well, that and marketing.
Mountain bikes are for x-treme kids who want to be in mt. dew commercials, and road bikes are for rich old guys who think their quads look good. Rich old guys have more money than x-treme kids, so you price accordingly.