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Colnago/Pinarello Mass Producers?(21 posts)

Colnago/Pinarello Mass Producers?ohmk1
Apr 30, 2002 4:57 AM
C40s and Princes are so freaking expensive, but yet they are mass produced. Aren't they?
I thought mass production is supposed to reduce cost.
I realize research and developement has a cost, but do you guys think that they're pricey because of the high cost of sponsorship, or is it something else.
its a prestige thingishmael
Apr 30, 2002 5:09 AM
thats what ive always thought..even if they were hand made by cute little italian men the price is still above what the rest of the market offers..
re: Colnago/Pinarello Mass Producers?grandemamou
Apr 30, 2002 5:37 AM
From an operational standpoint yes they probably do have higher costs. Marketing, R&D and cost of labor are probably pretty high. The price charged reflects what people are willing to pay for them. If no one would buy them they would adjust their prices, costs if necessary, or stop producing.

In a sense you "are" buying a name. The name has a rich history and has spent many years researching and building quality frames. To some people that's worth alot. To others it's meaningless.

If it makes you happy buy one. If you think they are overpriced then move on there are lots of options.
re: Colnago/Pinarello Mass Producers?EZRider
Apr 30, 2002 5:47 AM
They are marked up in the States compared to what you can purchase them for in Europe.
Price has very little to do with cost.Len J
Apr 30, 2002 5:54 AM
Price has everything to do with what the market will pay. This market price can be "artificially" inflated by sponsoring pro riders, which makes people want the bike more (and usually at a higher price), by the zoot factor, or by some perceived benefit that the consumer is willing to pay for. All's mass production does is make sales at a particular price more profitible (unless the company decides to use thier cost advantage to try to capture more market share).

C40's & Princes are so expensive becaues that's what people are willing to pay for them. If not, they wouldn't sell any.

Len is correct..Dave Hickey
Apr 30, 2002 6:55 AM
A car dealer once told me he'd rather sell 1 Lincoln than 5 Escorts because he'd make more money selling the Lincoln.
Price has very little to do with cost.elviento
Apr 30, 2002 9:19 AM
Try telling that to an economist, or even a ECON 101 student.
Ah, the magic of price elasticity of demandGator
May 1, 2002 10:10 AM
another b-school guy, eh?
Well, what does "mass" mean?djg
Apr 30, 2002 6:33 AM
They are both production framesets and neither Mr. Colnago nor Mr. Pinarello is going to touch yours at any stage of construction. But that doesn't mean that big machines churn out thousands at a time. These aren't ball bearings or twinkies. And it doesn't even mean that Mssrs. Colnago and Pinarello are uninvolved. Also, there's a fair bit of hand labor involved in building and finishing these framesets (and, indeed, in building and finishing considerably cheaper ones). In any case, mass production tends to lower production costs and--all things equal--sales price, up until a certain point, where it doesn't (economies of scale do not continue indefinitely).

Prices on these bikes represent materials and construction costs, but also r & d costs and substantial marketing costs (pro team sponsorship, for one thing). I'd be surprised if anyone on this board has the real cost of production as a factoid for you. In the US, these particular frames also include rather large distribution "costs." But yes, these producers run businesses and they do try to make money off their good names, as they should (and remember, they do more to build up their good names than just advertising--there's a certain amount of hard work and hard won success involved in building up these kinds of legends).

If you want a far less expensive frame that's nonetheless raceworthy, you have plenty of options. Whether that makes the premium brands a rip-off is really in the eyes (and wallet) of the beholder. Personally, I don't think so, but that's a decision each has to make for him or herself.
Not sure if its that simpleJekyll
Apr 30, 2002 8:42 AM
Much of Colnago's American pricing seems to reflect the wishes of their NA distributor-in-thief (TrialTir U.S.A.) rather than a balance with EU pricing.
If you look at some European web sites you'll easily find a C-40 with full carbon fork, carbon post and their version of the ITM stem for under $2,500, CT1 w/fork and stem under $2000, and either Dream Plus or MXL for around $1000 both with fork. (I am assuming EU pricing for the comparisons below)
Obviously they are still not the cheapest frames going but when compared to quality frames available from other manufacturers they seem to be pretty much in line.
For instance the CT1, in a battle of Russian Ti vs. Huffy's Chinese Ti Manhattan Project, is actually around $400-500 cheaper than the Airborne ($1999 without fork or stem) when purchased directly from Europe.
I am not sure what a Lemond steel frame costs but I have a feeling that with fork it would cost the same or more as an MXL. Most quality steel frames from Serrota, IF, Steelman, Strong, etc will set you back far more than the MXL.
The "custom" painted OCLV frame and fork falls into pretty much the same neighborhood as the C-40 by the time a fork, stem, and seat post are added.
The NA distributor seems to correctly assume that we will pay their extraordinary mark up. So long as we do, you will continue to see C-40's cost around $1400 more when purchased in the States vs. from Europe.
I understand that they provide warranty services, etc. to their NA consumers but warranty service is assumed in both EU and NA pricing and it hardly justifies the difference.
That said, I would agree that all of this stuff is ridiculously over priced. It is a theory of diminishing returns and it most probably does not reflect the actual costs involved. Then again, most products are priced this way. My M3 is hardly twice as fast as a Subaru WRX but it costs more than twice as much and too me well worth the difference. My speaker cables are hardly 20 times as nice as a $25 pair of Monster Cable, etc...
Is the Colnago that much "better" than say a KHS or an Iron Horse? I don't know. To some the obvious answer is yes to others no and since people freely chose to vote with their wallet I am glad to respect their choices.
Enjoy the ride..........
Very good pointspmf1
Apr 30, 2002 10:49 AM
The Colnago distributor, TrialTir enjoys monopoly rents in the U.S. Another reason not to buy one from a U.S. retailer. These bikes are comparable in price to Litespeed, Trek, Seven, or any other high end make.

One interesting thing about Italians is that they do not flinch at spending a pile of money on a bike. Average incomes are well, well below that in the U.S., yet you see tons of Colnagos, Pinarellos, etc out on the road. Prime time is Sunday before lunch (served around 2:00). In terms of their incomes, these guys are spending our equivalent of $7000 or more for a bike.

Agree that its a diminishing marginal difference. I've got tri-wired speaker cables. I like that WRX though.
True butmmaggi
May 1, 2002 5:24 AM
Most Italians ride Colnagos, Bianchis and Mosers and the most of them are aluminum or steel models. In other words, most Italians spend less than $2500 on their complete bicycles. At least that's what I noticed.

In all my years in visiting Italia (I'm there every couple of years and my brother is there every year) we have never seen a C-40. Plenty of Colnagos and Bianchis, but never a C-40.

Once in a while you'll see an Alberto Masi or a Derosa.
True butpmf1
May 1, 2002 6:18 AM
I don't think any self respecting Italian would be seen on a steel bike these days. A friend of mine bought a Fondriest steel frame there two years ago. They practically gave it away.

Still, $2000 for a bike is a hell of a lot more, in relative terms of income, than most of us spend.

And you can't be seen in last year's Mapei outfit either.
Not sure if its that simplefrank_freedom
Apr 30, 2002 3:40 PM

I like what you said about the difference in price between Europe and USA, in light of the high markeups of the distributors...

Relatively speaking, americans seem to have a lot more disposable income than many people in other countries.. It's blatant when you compare Canada versus USA salaries & disposable income. The distributors of high end gear (be it HiFi, Bikes, you name it) know that and seem to abuse their status.

In the end, americans will continue to buy more and more american, simple as that.

hey, good postgtx
Apr 30, 2002 7:57 PM
I still don't get the speaker cable thing--audiophiles will tell you one thing, engineers another. I'm still buying speaker cable at Radio Shack and trying to justify a pair of B&W 601s.
Speaker cablepmf1
May 1, 2002 6:24 AM
I would not have believed this either. Come on, cable is cable. Its just electricity flowing through metal. How can it make a difference? I recently bought a upscale set of speakers (Spendor FL9) and a tube amp. The guy who sold them to me loaned me some cables he sells for $5/foot (he considers them to be cheapies). So, I went to Radio Shack and bought some 16 guage low oxygen speaker cable. A friend and I swapped the cables back and forth repeatedly while listening to the same song over and over. My wife, sitting blindfolded on the couch, could hear a difference. I could to. She always knew one set versus the other (we didn't tell her and several times played the song twice through the same pair -- with appropriate sound effects of course). I was amazed at this. I later bit the bullet and spent $350 on a set of cables.
Speaker cablegtx
May 1, 2002 7:37 AM
Cool. I'm assuming the more expensive cables sounded better and not just different. I have those exact Radio Shack cables, but then it's cheap equipment--Marantz integrated driving old ARs. I really want a Rotel/B&W combo--I put those 601s up against speakers 2 or 3 times their price and I thought they sounded just as good or better--I think that's as much as I could justify spending. So maybe when I do that I'll consider better cables, too.
Speaker cableJekyll
May 1, 2002 9:37 AM
Better is a relative term. The thing that makes speaker/interconnect difficult is that different makes/models compliment different qualities in different equipment. Some cables (like MIT) in my experience are pretty mellow where as Audio Quest has always seemed a little bright to me. Kimber seems to be a nice balance with my equipment and I run them to the top end of my by-wired PSB Stratus Golds. I run MIT to the bottom end as they seem to provide better punch down low.
If you really want to go nuts, get into the world of "serious" (or should I say obsessive) high end audio. When you start getting into fist fights with people over the acoustic qualities of Blu-Tack dampening compound you'll know you're there.
BTW, the 601 IMHO is a hell of a buy.
Get a gripTifosiman
May 2, 2002 4:34 AM
"Huffy's Chinese Ti Manhattan Project"?!? Get a grip. That is an extremely nice frame and could even be better than the CT1. Have you test-ridden one? I thought not.
supply and demand...simpleColnagoFE
Apr 30, 2002 11:55 AM
if people didn't pay what they asked they would lower the price. these things seem to sell pretty well though so why lower the price?
Depends on what your definition of mass produced ismmaggi
May 1, 2002 5:17 AM
Colnago makes over 20,000 frames a year. A couple of years ago I read an article that stated they were looking to sell closer to 30,000. That's their goal (or any business' goal... sell more). They do this by sub-contracting their frame building and then the Colnago factories paint and ship. This is the case with their aluminum and steel frames. Not sure about their Ti frames.

I remember reading in that same article that they produce less than a 1,000 C-40s a year. The C-40s are made exclusively in Colnago factories (there are 4 of them in Italia). There aren't that many people in the USA who are willing to plunk down $2,500 for a frame and fork. In Italy, a C-40 will cost you anywhere from $1800-$2000. I can assure you that there are very few Italians who would pay that much for any frame let alone a Colnago.

Pinarello produces far less frames than Colnago. They're a smaller operation and have more of an artisan reputation than an assembly line. I don't know for sure, but my guess is that Pinarello produces less than 1000 Prince frames per year. I wouldn't be surprised to hear that they produce less than 500 Prince frames a year. We already know they produce 200 Prince LS frames per year. I wouldn't be surprised to hear that they produce less than 500 Pinarello Opera frames per year either.

Pinarello has a sister company called Opera that produces carbon fiber frames and Ti frames. They are not well known in the states (