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American Price Leaders???(15 posts)

American Price Leaders???Trev84
Aug 9, 2003 1:10 PM
8/9/03

I've posted a similair topic before with no
reasonable reponse, but once again, here
goes:

"Trek," aside, why would anyone pay from $4K-$6K
for an "American" (In qoutes because some of -
these have a high Tiawanese pedigree.) bike??

A $10K "Merlin" please! A $6K "Ritchey"??
"Seven," nice bikes but...

I truly do not know, but, please(!) tell me how
many "Tours/Giros/Vueltas" has "Merlin" won??
Or even been in!??

When it comes to this stratosphere of spending
on bikes, it's just plain ego anyways, but at
least get a clue people!

People buy "Porsche" and "Ferrari" because of
their Racing prowess/pedigree = Excitement/Passion.
Sure, "Saturn Racing" exists, but would anyone
consider what's at the dealership the sports car
of choice??

If I may attempt an answer to my own query -

Maybe it's simply "Supply/Demand" People don't know
enough about cycling (This is a European sport.)
So they don't know of "Fondriest," "Pinarello,"
"Bianchi," et.al.

Say's a'lot about "Marketing and/or the lack thereof, huh?

Hence, "American" companies have a field day with
"Huge(!)" profit margins.

Please, let's discuss this, cause I'm stumped.

Ciao!

Gabe
Do you actually think BIKES win races?carpe_podium
Aug 9, 2003 2:17 PM
You wanted a discussion, and I'm semi heat exhausted so here goes (no flames intended).
Let's extend your logic: Chevy's and Ford's win NASCAR races so the cars you buy at these dealerships MUST be races cars too!
I'm going to let you in on a secret: Bikes don't win races. Keep this tidbit to yourself, you must not tell anyone.
Pro racers are paid to ride whatever brand of bike they ride. There are some exceptions, a few years ago Lance rode a painted Litespeed Blade, CSC used Look badged Cervelos recently, etc. This would indicate that the rider felt these particular bikes gave them some slight advantage. Just because some company ponies up the dough to sponsor a team doesn't mean their bikes are superior.
Cervelo painted Look's?CritLover
Aug 9, 2003 7:42 PM
Was this during the Tour? Which stage? Just curious since I am looking at the new Cervelos.

Thanks
Cervelo painted Look's?firstrax
Aug 9, 2003 8:20 PM
Last year the TT bikes were Cervelos with Look decals. This year they were Cervelos with Cervelo decals.
Why does it bother you?Dave Hickey
Aug 9, 2003 2:55 PM
If someone has the finacial means to buy a 7k to 10k American bike, who cares. Let them buy what they want. Just because European frame might have a pedigree, it doesn't make them better than a high end American frame(regardless of where it's built).

My personal preference is for French bikes. Yes they have quirks but I've grown very fond of them.

If someone wants to buy a Merlin, Trek, or Lightspeed thats great. That's what's great about this sport. The consumer has so many choices. Far be it for me, to criticize someones personal choice.
re: American Price Leaders???TNRyder
Aug 9, 2003 3:19 PM
A bit Eurocentric there aren't we Gabe ;). I think that many people are buying these bikes because there is a certain level of exculsivity to owning such an expensive piece of equipment. Consider it like this, Lots of people grive Licolns and Cadillacs and pay as much for them as you would for one of those European sports cars. They are not buying the car for performance, but for the "luxury".

Lets face it, many of these bikes are being marketed and sold as rolling works of art. They are luxury bikes, custom fit to that persons specs and tastes.

Not everyone cares about racing!
Profit Margin53T
Aug 9, 2003 3:52 PM
You use these business terms like you know what they mean, so I will assume you do. Are you familar with the cost structure of a bicycle frame? I say frame because that is the American part. I'm not a bicycle manufacturer, but I do know a bit about manufacturing. The big variable cost items I see in an American frame (CF or Ti) is the tubes, then the frame assembly labor, then the paint labor. Some of the biggest fixed costs (outside of tax and interest) would be a distribution network, advertising, and environmental costs associated with paint and metal work.
I think a lot of these fixed and variable costs are higher in the US, perhaps by 20% in most cases. More when currency strength differentials are factored in.

Are US gross margins higher? I don't know. I would guess that variable gross margin is indeed higher, but volume is higher for many of the Euro makers, tending to increase total margin in Europe.

Do you have any data to discuss besides MSRP?
I am working on a custom bike & buildpedalAZ
Aug 9, 2003 4:00 PM
and have been favorably impressed with the quality of some custom frames available from Europe for less than their American counterparts, including aluminum/carbon frames from Italian builders FRM and Denti, and titanium from Grey in Switzerland.

But, when you have a good custom builder in your hometown, where you can go over the intricate details of tube sizing, etc. for each part of the bike, that's worth some extra cash, and may well be where I end up.
I am working on a custom bike & buildfredstaple
Aug 10, 2003 2:13 AM
I am thinking custom too, who you going with to build your bike?
Haven't decided yetpedalAZ
Aug 10, 2003 1:59 PM
Prices and designs are still coming in from the builders listed above.

I'm a certified weight weenie, so I am attracted to Aluminum frames with carbon seat/chain stays, but for longer road rides I am tempted to go with the slightly heavier titanium. I've got an appointment with the founder of a top frame maker tomorrow to go over the options.
I am working on a custom bike & buildpedalAZ
Aug 9, 2003 4:01 PM
and have been favorably impressed with the quality of some custom frames available from Europe for less than their American counterparts, including aluminum/carbon frames from Italian builders FRM and Denti, and titanium from Grey in Switzerland.

But, when you have a good custom builder in your hometown (Titus), where you can go over the intricate details of tube sizing, etc. for each part of the bike, in person, that's worth some extra cash, and may well be where I end up.
Please, use more "" in your posts - it adds authority (nm)Kerry Irons
Aug 9, 2003 4:37 PM
re: American Price Leaders???Trev84
Aug 9, 2003 10:58 PM
Hey there!

Great Responses! Minimum Flak!

(I truly do like ""!)

True, "...BIKES(don't)win races.", but that's the Marketing and that's what the masses are led to believe.
People in Europe Do appreciate "LightSpeeds" and "Cervelos" though.

If you go back to the car comparison; Hey, I think that's why so many bumpkins bought '80s and '90s Camaros and also why "Ford"
(Who does have a racing heritage.) continiues to market "SVT/SVO" badges. By the way. Lincs and Cads, could be compared to some Bmrs/Benz, not "sports cars."

"Huge P.M.'s," YES! Been there, Costs of Operation, such as (especially, but not exclusively), taxes and environmental costs are way higher in the E.C. Pollution control and the costs that follow are years (Very Stringent) ahead of the U.S. Companies like "Trek" and "LightSpeed" are "mass producers" and do make their own tubing("Trek" High end - Road). Most European Mfrs. buy thiers from OEMs (i.e.: Deddaccai, etc.) Would this not increase costs??

What "Trek" puts out (production volume)in a year I would guess is easily more than twice that of, say, "Pinarello." Maybe that's the problem, "Advertising." Most E.U. Mfrs. do not. Again, that's why they have "Tours/Giros/Vueltas."

It just bothers me 'cause I was an Ex.Pat. who just returned to the U.S. and when I open a cycling mag here, the cutting edge review for new European equipment is rare. And it's not that I'm being necessarily "Eurocentric," but, c'mon(!) you wouldn't look for small block Chevy in Sweden. Instead you see constant "oohs and aahs" for the new "whatever laser etched Bike." I just believe people (The General bike buying public) have not been exposed to these other "Exotic" brands, if you will. You can't make a proper choice if you don't truly know your options.

There's a Big, Beautiful Cycling world out there (Isn't that why we're here!), We just need to explore it!

(Again, I truly like ""!)

Thanks!!

Ciao!

Gabe
If you're REALLY REALLY into european bikes only ...orange_julius
Aug 10, 2003 3:58 AM
then get a european bike mag. It seems to me that you're
buying National Geographic and expecting the kind of
porn that you get from Playboy or something. Get the
right bike porn magazine ;-).
re: American Price Leaders???paulw
Aug 10, 2003 7:03 PM
Who cares if the bike has been used in the TdF? Can you not evaluate a bike on its own merits? In this age of everything being produced overseas I really like the fact that some of the best bikes in the world are actually manufactured in America (not that I'm a jingoist or anything). Sevens, OCLV Treks, Landsharks and Calfees are at least as good or better than any of their European competition.