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Interesting article in the Wall Street Journal about bike availability and pricing in

Old 12-01-21, 01:47 PM
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Interesting article in the Wall Street Journal about bike availability and pricing in

Interesting article about our favorite thing:
https://www.wsj.com/articles/is-infl...hare_permalink
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Old 12-01-21, 02:14 PM
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My take away- thankfully none of my bikes require a chip that automakers also want.

Based on this article(and a lot more), there is some real value in refurbishing an older bike, even when some components are in limited stock. Some new entry level drop bar bikes have been spec'd with Microshift or Sensah shifters, Sunrace cassettes, and various off-brand brake calipers as that reduces cost and opens up supply. In a similar fashion, maybe updating an older bike is a better decision right now than buying new since there is a good bit of availability at the 9sp or lower level.
Bikes that rely on computer diagnostics to set up or repair may have components may be in short supply, and I can see why costs have escalated so quickly for that segment, but not everything is that way.
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Old 12-01-21, 03:03 PM
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The average selling price of a new bicycle in the U.S. in September was $346, up 28% compared with 2020 and 54% higher than the average selling price of a bicycle in 2019
Wow- That is an insane amount of inflation! Then again- what the heck kind of bike were people buying back in 2019, for $170?
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Old 12-01-21, 03:14 PM
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In 1986 I bought a new Cannondale SR400 on sale for $3 more at $349. A good bike but not close to a high level.

However, had I not ridden it, I could probably sell the parts for much more than that today.

John
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Old 12-01-21, 03:21 PM
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A container from china used to cost something like $1500 and recently hit $20,000. I paid $1.50/gal for heating oil last Fall and over $3.00 this year and similar increases in diesel, which also impacts trucking costs of transporting bikes from the ports.
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Old 12-01-21, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
In 1986 I bought a new Cannondale SR400 on sale for $3 more at $349. A good bike but not close to a high level.

However, had I not ridden it, I could probably sell the parts for much more than that today.

John
This thread brings back memories: Back in the early 80s I bought a pair of Schwinn bikes - if I remember correctly they were about $180 each. An online inflation calc site says that would almost $600 today.
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Old 12-01-21, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by icemilkcoffee View Post
Wow- That is an insane amount of inflation! Then again- what the heck kind of bike were people buying back in 2019, for $170?
I suspect a lot of big box store bikes.
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Old 12-01-21, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
In 1986 I bought a new Cannondale SR400 on sale for $3 more at $349. A good bike but not close to a high level.

However, had I not ridden it, I could probably sell the parts for much more than that today.

John
Originally Posted by MNebiker View Post
This thread brings back memories: Back in the early 80s I bought a pair of Schwinn bikes - if I remember correctly they were about $180 each. An online inflation calc site says that would almost $600 today.
Don't forget that earnings have gone up since the 1980s, too. This is why it's useful to think in terms of real (rather than nominal) values.
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Old 12-01-21, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
Don't forget that earnings have gone up since the 1980s, too. This is why it's useful to think in terms of real (rather than nominal) values.
Additional there is NOS value, which typically defies logic in that an obsolete component is deemed more valuable merely because a generation believes it represents the pinnacle of manufacturing or design technology.

This over-valuation is generally done by the generation most closely identifying with the item.

Sent from my Nokia 7110.

John
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Old 12-01-21, 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
A container from china used to cost something like $1500 and recently hit $20,000. I paid $1.50/gal for heating oil last Fall and over $3.00 this year and similar increases in diesel, which also impacts trucking costs of transporting bikes from the ports.
Yeesh. Kind of makes one want to manufacture stuff in one's own Country.

Another thing that drives inflation is the continually increasing worthlessness of the dollar, a' la the weimar republic. The Federal Reserve's printing presses have run day and night for years making each previously existing dollar worth less and less. If anything, it makes you want to convert that cash on hand into a tangible - fast - like a bike!
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Old 12-01-21, 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by prairiepedaler View Post
Yeesh. Kind of makes one want to manufacture stuff in one's own Country.

Another thing that drives inflation is the continually increasing worthlessness of the dollar, a' la the weimar republic. The Federal Reserve's printing presses have run day and night for years making each previously existing dollar worth less and less. If anything, it makes you want to convert that cash on hand into a tangible - fast - like a bike!
These are some odd observations. By any historical or international comparisons, inflation in the US has been remarkably low for the past 40 years or so. But we shouldn't let facts get in the way of a paranoid fever dream!
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Old 12-01-21, 08:34 PM
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Those reports are not helping matters.

IMO; I say, "just wait until the end of 2022". Today's prices will look like a bargain. Buying power for the US dollar in general may be in for some unwanted & unavoidable shockers.
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Old 12-01-21, 09:18 PM
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The truth is, everyone wants to be an expert and none of them have a clue. And everyone can find something out there that supports their personal beliefs.

After the pandemic first started shutdowns, there were those predicting a real estate collapse.

Then everyone will be leaving the cities. Housing prices in rural America would soar.

A relative of mine took a $200k cut in price in the Summer of 2020 to sell a home. Had she waited to Summer of 2021 she would have added at least $200k to the original asking price.

As for bikes, who knows. And in a lot of ways who cares. If there were suddenly a flood of product, we might see year end clearances again.

John
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Old 12-01-21, 09:33 PM
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Originally Posted by icemilkcoffee View Post
Wow- That is an insane amount of inflation! Then again- what the heck kind of bike were people buying back in 2019, for $170?
It would be $225.

But it seems to indicate that the vast majority of bikes sold are extremely low-end.

Perhaps more indicative of the current state of affairs is the inflation on an Ultegra-level carbon or high-end steel bike in the last 10 years. The price for mine has doubled in less time than that.
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Old 12-01-21, 09:41 PM
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Fortunately it is the price in nearly worthless California dollars.
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Old 12-01-21, 10:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
These are some odd observations. By any historical or international comparisons, inflation in the US has been remarkably low for the past 40 years or so. But we shouldn't let facts get in the way of a paranoid fever dream!
New toyota in 1978 was $4200, gas was 60 cents a gallon, a Columbus SL fully campy bike was $1200, an oz of gold was $200.

40+ years later, just add a zero to all those prices.
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Old 12-01-21, 11:13 PM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
New toyota in 1978 was $4200, gas was 60 cents a gallon, a Columbus SL fully campy bike was $1200, an oz of gold was $200.

40+ years later, just add a zero to all those prices.
I added a zero to my salary, so what’s the point.

John
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Old 12-01-21, 11:20 PM
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Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
I added a zero to my salary, so what’s the point.

John
I responded to the silly post that there has been no inflation in the past 40+ years, proving otherwise. Good for you, many of us got mauled by inflation.
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Old 12-01-21, 11:27 PM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
I responded to the silly post that there has been no inflation in the past 40+ years, proving otherwise. Good for you, many of us got mauled by inflation.
Oh there has been a ton of inflation, not so much in the past dozen years or so (until recently).

As for me, to be honest, I didn’t do anything special other than make a total change to a different industry.

John
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Old 12-02-21, 02:57 AM
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11 December 2001 was a day of infamy and it changed the world for the worse.
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Old 12-02-21, 04:10 AM
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Originally Posted by icemilkcoffee View Post
Then again- what the heck kind of bike were people buying back in 2019, for $170?
Is anyone surprised that by volume, the big box bike stores are outselling the specialist bike stores by orders of magnitude?
Unless you get into it properly then to a lot of people a bike is just a bike.

I wonder if it includes kids bikes, too.
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Old 12-02-21, 05:18 AM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
I responded to the silly post that there has been no inflation in the past 40+ years, proving otherwise. Good for you, many of us got mauled by inflation.
That post reads “low”, not “no”.
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Old 12-02-21, 05:44 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
That post reads “low”, not “no”.
Which is why I quantified it with real numbers.

In the late 70's, freshly minted engineers started at 20-22K and in 2020, they start at $60-70K. 3x. Yet, prices of cars, homes, medical treatment, college tuition, has far outpaced income. In the 70's, it was not rare or should say it was fairly common for only one parent to work to support a family. Nowadays, I cannot think of anyone that I know with a single income family.

Inflation is sort of like entropy. Hard to impossible to put that genie back into the bottle. Look at wages of workers in the distribution centers, they have skyrocketed locally by 40-50% over the past year. How does an employer remove those costs? Sorry, Mr/Mrs. Pick and Pack, we need to lower inflation and you need to take a cut in pay. (Yes, I know Amazon uses robotics to pick, few do). The notion that what we have recently experienced inflation-wise is transitory is ridiculous. The days of being able to buy a $400 Shimano 105 groupset is gone, in the best case economic scenario. Several years ago, I bought a Cervelo S3 frame from a LBS for $2200. That frame is now over $4,000. I used to buy at least six Dura Ace chains per year at $36-37 each and now if you can find them, they are almost twice that (non counterfeits)

So, I would not characterize inflation over the past 40+ years as low. Inflation over the past 11 months is eyepopping.
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Old 12-02-21, 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
I responded to the silly post that there has been no inflation in the past 40+ years, proving otherwise. Good for you, many of us got mauled by inflation.
No one claimed that "there has been no inflation in the past 40+ years."

Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
New toyota in 1978 was $4200, gas was 60 cents a gallon, a Columbus SL fully campy bike was $1200, an oz of gold was $200.

40+ years later, just add a zero to all those prices.
I could easily give you three anecdotes to prove the opposite, but that's all rather pointless. The plural of "anecdote" is not "fact."

Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
I added a zero to my salary, so what’s the point.

John
Bingo. Median real wage rate is actually higher than 40 years ago - meaning that the typical person has MORE purchasing power.

Facts are stubborn things: they still exist, even when people refuse to believe them.
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Old 12-02-21, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
I responded to the silly post that there has been no inflation in the past 40+ years, proving otherwise. Good for you, many of us got mauled by inflation.
Well, if you factor out housing, food and fuel, inflation doesn't look so bad. This is clearly reflected in the price of cocaine and electronics.

Also, the median (middle) de-emphasizes the extrema:


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