Off the top of my head, I can think of 3 very legal hobbies/sports which could spend a whole lot more than that in no time at all.
A $900 bicycle is inexpensive in the cycling world. $900 is a drop in the bucket in the equestrian world.
Imagine being a sportscar racer with a cocaine problem. You could really blow through some cash there!
Interesting but OT ...
Here are the top 10 most expensive hobbies according to Forbes:
10. Big game hunting
8. Mountain climbing
6. Cigarette boat racing
5. Hot air ballooning
4. Art collecting
3. Drag racing
Last edited by FlatSix911; 06-02-13 at 06:41 PM.
You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
the equipment for mountain climbing isn't so bad - it's the permits that cost you.
anyway, my point is, and remains, i'm not surprised sales were down, and will continue to go down as long as the everyman can't afford the absurd prices of a "quality" bicycle.
And this is true. It's about profit. Nike gets their shoes made in China for $5 to $7 in labor, material, shipping, and factory profit depending if the shoe is low or high end; then another $35 is added for R&D, warehousing, advertising, and Nike Corp profit; then the shoe is sold for $70 to $300. There isn't much difference in material cost of a cheap Nike vs an high end Nike! I think the same is true with CF frames, there's very little increase in the cost of CF frame material going into the cost of a $1,500 CF bike to a $15,000 CF bike; and the same can be said about the group sets chosen. So profits start to soar the more expensive the bike is; and in doing so it leaves the possibility of bike manufactures pricing themselves out of business, but I guess time will prove if this is correct. Americans like their hobbies, and like to spend money on their hobbies, and that alone could be enough to keep bike manufactures going.
The three I was thinking of, off the top of my head, were equestrian pursuits (#1 on the list above), motor sports (#3 on the list above, and other aspects of motor sports probably take up spots in the 11-20 range of most expensive sports/hobbies), and sailing (#9 on the list above).
And really ... $900 is not expensive, it is quite cheap, especially considering that if you take care of them, bicycles can last a long time. You can get a decent entry-level bicycle for that price ... I have one which I bought more than a decade ago.
If bicycles sales have indeed dropped (very hard to tell from a snapshot comparison of one March against another March in one country), my guess would be it's because people have simply opted to hang onto the bicycles they've got for the time being. Rowan and I haven't bought new bicycles in 16 months ... what we've got will work for now.
One of the issues that emerge in a discussion like this is that we talk about new bike sales. There is a vast trade in used bicycles going on all the time which is not included in the figures, because the bike business cannot track those sales.
Participation rates are probably a more reliable indicator of the health of cycling.
Dream. Dare. Do.
Twenty five years ago I needed an optically corrected wide angle lens to shoot aircraft cockpit layouts. Twenty five years ago a Zeiss 15mm lens in 35mm format was $3,500.
Twenty five years later I'm currently looking into a HED wheelset for about the same price. Maybe you should be happy it takes so little to put a smile on your face.
And are the stats in the March to March comparison for whole, fully-built bicycles? Or do they include all the people who choose to buy frames and build the bicycles up?
A few of our bicycles were purchased fully-built, but quite a few were purchased in pieces from various parts of the world (UK, Australia, New Zealand), and built up. I doubt those would be reflected in the OP's link.
Expense is relative like one poster mentioned. Back in 1976 I bought a brand new Trek TX900 with Campy Super Record components, the total price of the bike was about $900, after inflation today that bike would cost me $3,292. In 1984 I bought a brand new Trek 660 (frame and fork) and new Suntour Superbe component package that cost me about $1,100, after inflation that would cost me $2,478 today. But inflation did a nasty trick, today you can't get a bike with top end components for $2,478 or even $3,292, so something is wrong in the biking industry that far out accelerated inflation. Last week I took delivery of a 2013 Lynskey with just mid level components, though I did change the fork and headset to high end and the rear derailleur to the next level up but one down from high end, and it cost me $2,900 not including accessories. So basically I spent close to the same amount of money after inflation that I did in 1976 and in 1984 except I could have paid a lot more if I had upgraded to Shimano Dura Ace from 105, but Dura Ace level is the same highest level I got from Campy in 76 and Suntour in 84.
Due to that inflation and explosion in cost of bikes a $900 is not a very good bike for someone who rides everyday and rides quite few miles each time. A $900 bike today would have been about $220 bike in 1976, and you couldn't get much back then either. A $900 bike won't hold up for long, sure you could get maybe 2 years maybe 3 out if it if you're real good at maintaining it if you average 5,000 miles a year. But I learned a long time ago the last thing I want riding 50 miles from home is some inexpensive component breaking, and to get better components that have greater reliability.
Point is even with inflation adjusted you still can't get as good of a bike for your money today as you could have bought 35 years ago or so. And the even stranger thing is...most of today's bikes are made in China, 35 years ago it was America and you pay more for a bike today made in China then you would have 35 years ago made in America.
Golf is only expensive because greens fees are pricey. The equipment is relatively modest unless you insist on "upgrading" twice a year.
"No self-respecting man rides 70 miles and has salad at a pizza joint!" - PhotoJoe
In 1972 I bought a new Raleigh Sports with 3 speed coaster and Brooks B72 saddle for $82.
In 1976 I bought a new Raleigh Superbe with 3 speed coaster, Dyno front hub and Brooks B66 saddle for $135.
Those bikes were probably better all weather, low/no maintenance city bikes than anything sold today in the U.S. at any price.
Golf? Lets see, typically there are 3 woods, at least 8 irons, and a putter for a total of 12, 12 times $175 for his cheapest mentioned price range means a set of clubs will cost him $2,100 and he's willing to pay that much money for a bunch of sticks to hit a ball with but doesn't want to spend more then $900 for a bicycle? Obviously this guy is more interested in golf then cycling.