11.10.2005

The Price of a Bike
better yet...
What people feel they should spend on a bike

people have no issue with 100 dollar bottles of wine, a 100 dollar tie, several hundred dollar sweaters, thousand dollar suits, and righteously expensive meals
but when it comes to buying a bike people don't want to open their wallet
well.... when I talk about people... I am referring to "non-cyclists"

in the used marked people are always looking for that 25 or 50 dollar bike
something that may or may not exist
when people ask for me to find them this twent-five to fifty dollar bike I try to break things down...

"a set of tires with tubes will cost you roughly fifty dollars... how do you expect to find a running bike for that much?"
then there are other sales talk approaches were I talk about the economics of a bicycle
comparing the price of a bike versus a gym
the price of a bike (theft aside) breaking down to a per use over the next many years etc.

non-cyclists can be very cheap when looking to buy a bicycle
what shocks me most is that people can understand the breakdown of quality when it comes to the tools of their hobby or sport....
but they can not transfer this to the bike

a rower may know that you can not row without buying an elite hand crafted skull
yet they may buy a department store bike
a car buff may drive a Mercedes or a top of the line Beamer... but when shopping for a bike... they go right to the industry start point of two hundred and fifty bucks


well
a friend at work recently approached me with the excitement of his new bicycle purchase
I asked him what he had bought and where he had bought it

there was question of why he did not "support his local bike shop"
then there was the question as to why he bought a Dahon folding bike
I held back and did not try to snuff out his excitement

he did not purchase from his local bike shop which happens to be my team sponsor because they did not have folding bikes...
and because he did not like their response when they tried to redirect his interest to non-folding bikes

when he was in the shop
after this he decided that the "niche" shop that had folding bikes, recumbents, and tandems was a better shop after our discussion he agreed the shop is not better that other shop is just directing thier interests and their stock to a different clientle with a different set of needs
but what I did not get into was my lack of excitement for his folding bike purchase
this man is a few years older than myself and pretty fit he works out in the gym and he roller blades passionately
he travels for races and he does long endurance events

he also commutes from time to time on his skates

in my mind I questioned how he would feel if I tried to buy some "shoe skates"
then try and use these in the same way that he uses his skates how can his knowledge of quality can exist for one sport and its tools but not to another
he is not alone
it is an oddly common dilema for some reason people get stuck in thinking that they do not need to spend "x" amount of dollars on a bike

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