Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Food for thought

**First of all I just realized that my last blog entry is the for stopping censorship of the interweb. Its been up for way too long although it is still an important issue. So back to the same old stuff....**

I was trolling the Surly blog tattempting to entertain myself during a slow December morning at the shop.
I decided to show a co-worker Sov's post titled : 
Some answers to just about any bike forum post I've ever read
Its a good one, more so when you work in this industry. So good in fact that long time industry friend, BRose, took it a step further and got it tattooed on his back.
Thats a lot of little words...

Anyway, reading that post got me thinking which isn't possibly the best thing for me to be doing. More so if you follow my Twitter feed ramblings when I posted recently:
5 out of 5 friends agree: OEz needs to stop over thinking the stuff that doesnt need to be thought about. Just go with it & see what happens
(A post that doesn't really have anything to do with the bike industry mostly personal stuff but I digress...)

Back to the point.
Sov's post got me thinking about the questions that customers all ways ask. The big & often asked one being:
Why do bikes cost so much?
Then I remembered the little framed cut out from a magazine that the boss has behind the counter from the Bicycle Business Journal, March 1996.

Why Bicycles Cost So Much
  1. When was gasoline 32 cents per gallon?
  2. When were band personal loan interest rates 2.14%?
  3. When was bread 10 cents a loaf?
  4. When was coffee 10 cents a cup?
  5. When were American automobiles $2,995?
  6. When were American autos $595.95?
  7. Where were apples 5 cents each?
  8. When was a movie 75 cents?
  9. When were houses $8,995 new?
  10. When were televisions $29.95?
  11. When were stereos $10.50?
  12. When were car batteries $8?
  13. When was rent on a house $35 per month?
  14. When were quality shoes &7.50 a pair?
  15. When was gold $10 per ounce?
  16. When was a good pair of slacks $9.99?
  17. When was a plumber $2 per hour?
  18. When were good cigars 25 cents each?
  19. When was milk 39 cents a gallon?
  20. When did a doctor make a house call?
  21. When was ground beef 20 cents per pound?
  22. When did a metro bus ride cost 5 cents?
  23. Why do most Americans think a bicycle still cost $29.95?
  24. Why do most people think a bicycle mechanic should only make $1 per hour? 
The views and commentary written here do not necessarily represent those of this shop. But, please keep in mind that as the price of almost everything but grain and gone up in this country in the last 100 years, so has the price of the bicycle. Also note, items 10 and 11 have never been that low for a good quality piece of equipment. 
Thank You.

#23 happens almost daily in the shop. It seems that people have no clue that although everything else costs more these days, bicycles do too.
I had a discussion this week with a guy we was amazed that the 2012 Fuji Newest 3.0 road bike cost $860. He was even more amazed when I explained that the Newest 3.0 is considered to be an  "entry level" road bike. He was positive, based off the price alone, that it must be a high end race bike. Not so.
This is not to say that it is not a good bike, but in comparison to lets say Fuji's Altamira LTD Team Edition at $9049 (the bike Fuji's pro team rides) its obviously not race quality.
Beginner race worthy? Sure. Pro race worthy? Not quite.

To quote the Bike Snob : "Nobody asks their friend who plays pickup basketball if he's going to be in the NBA All-Star game. But for some reason people don't understand that professional bike racing is like every other professional sport in that it's highly competitive and the athletes are professionals."

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