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Old 05-15-09, 07:05 PM   #1
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2009 Bikes = Down-Graded '08 Models?

So, I've spent a bit of time researching which bicycle to purchase for commuting, and as I've seen 2008 models listed on Web sites, and begun looking at them, it's occurred to me many '09 models (i.e., comparable models made by the same company and sold for about the same price) are "inferior" to their predecessors. Am I right on this?

For instance, the 2009 Bianchi Milano Citta seems to be the current version of the 2008 Bianchi Spillo (Brillante or Rubino). While '08 gave us hub-powered lights and a chain-guard, '09 strips away those features. Non-I.G.H. Specialized Globe bikes, too, have lost their chain-guards.

Am I off, or is this really a way in which bicycle manufacturers are trying to cut costs?
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Old 05-15-09, 07:24 PM   #2
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No you are correct. Its actually been that way for decades now. Back in 1979 you could buy a cheap schwinn caliente for $167. About the same or a little more than their modern X-mart equivalents

Mid priced bikes in 79; like a puch marco polo 10 speed for $400, or a winsor proffesional for $650. similar prices as today.

High end bikes in 79' ran from $900 for a schwinn paramount to $1995 for a klein road racing bicycle. more of a difference here but not much

How do we keep similar prices after 30 years? On this year in particular with the value of the dollar goin down the drain? Some thing has to be cheaper, cost has to be cut somewhere, quaility has to drop on something. Some times its good because new better ways of production and design are created, but sometimes its not like that.

This is one of those times.
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Old 05-15-09, 08:36 PM   #3
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i was at the LBS not to long ago and saw a specialized Sworks hardtail from the very early 90's in for repairs (professional XC race mountain bike) it was thousands of dollars in its time. now you could find a bike that performed similarly for under 400 bucks.

some companies just change parts every year, some companies keep the same components and completlely revamp the design of the bike, that probably more common on mtb's than commuters
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Old 05-18-09, 01:43 PM   #4
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Yes,it's a cost cutting thing. My '04 Marin Pt Reyes is full LX/XT with Formula/Mavic wheelset and Hayes hydro discs. Current models are Deore,Hayes single pad adj mechs,and WTB rims. Alots of other bikes are the same;they drop the component level a touch here and there to try to keep the prices level.

C'dale BBU('05 and '09)/Super Six/Hooligan8and 3,Kona Dew Deluxe,Novara Buzz/Safari,Surly Big Dummy,Marin Pt Reyes,Giant Defy 1,Schwinn DBX SuperSport,Dahon Speed Pro TT,Brompton S6L/S2E-X
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Old 05-18-09, 01:54 PM   #5
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The dollar lost purchasing power from 2005 to 2009 so the imported had to either raise prices, reduce content or both.

When I ride my bike I feel free and happy and strong. I'm liberated from the usual nonsense of day to day life. Solid, dependable, silent, my bike is my horse, my fighter jet, my island, my friend. Together we will conquer that hill and thereafter the world.
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Old 05-18-09, 02:43 PM   #6
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There was a lot of discussion last year about the rising cost of production and to expect price increases for 2009 models. As you've seen, many manufacturers addressed this by downgrading their models to maintain their price points.
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