It seems like every month I’m reading a letter about someone being upset
about you reviewing expensive bikes
and canceling their subscription. I
don’t know if I’m on the short end of
the stick here, but I don’t mind seeing
them reviewed or reading about them.
I ride a Yeti SB- 95, and while it didn’t
cost $7000, it wasn’t cheap, either. I
know you do a rider survey every year,
The largest group of riders ( 17
percent) spent between $3000–$3999 on
their new bikes. Surprisingly, next up
was $5000+ bikes at 13 percent. That
was followed by $2500–$2999 and
$400–$800 bikes tied at 12 percent.
$4000–$4999 and $1500–$1999 bikes
were tied at 10 percent.
PRICE WARS II
I agree, the cost of high-end bikes
has gotten crazy. It is the kind of
money I could never afford, but some
people can, and those bikes are for
them. I think the different wheel sizes,
while maybe not necessary, give us
options, and don’t we all like options?
I can understand people’s frustrations, but I hope it does not prevent
them from having fun on their bikes.
I started trail riding in the late 1980s
on a Murray, upgraded in 1995 to a
Trek 950, and just this year replaced
that with a Specialized Hardrock with
26-inch wheels. As you can see, my
income has never allowed me to consider a high-end bike, but over the last
20 some years I have enjoyed every one
of my bikes and the opportunities they
provided me to get out in the woods
for a few hours, get some exercise and
just have fun. And isn’t that what it
should be about?
PRICE WARS III
There are recent complaints about
those darned “$7000 high-end bikes”
and how they’re destroying the sport.
I feel they have it upside down. High-end bikes are good for us all, even if
you don’t have a sack of gold to spend.
I have a 2008 Giant Trance XO; the
same bike with a similar component
spec today would cost me just over half
the price in 2008. Every year the bikes
in my price range keep getting better.
In reality, there are valid reasons
for such pricey steeds of pleasure.
Many have compared the cost of
high-end bikes to dirt bikes. Not done
the research, though. I bet there are
more dirt bikes made than high-end
mountain bikes. Manufacturers must
spread their significant R&D across the
expected production sale. It would not
surprise me to learn they are not
ripping anyone off.
Even if their profit is high, they are
being smart. I like smart providers of
toys; they make better toys. The point
is, they could not sell at such prices if
someone out there wasn’t buying them.
Bless you who create a demand for
Same holds for whining about yet
another wheel size. I’m proud of the
industry continuously pushing the
edge. You’d be hard-pressed to find
another sport experiencing such long
and dramatic R&D development. That
takes passion and commitment. Thank
Thing is, it’s never been about the
bike; it’s with whom, how often and
where I ride that matters. This year’s
local non-sanctioned race series winner
( 39+) was on some sort of big-box, no-name hybrid—rear rack and all.
Those of us on pricier bikes were left
breathing hard and cursing our luck.
Maybe someday I’ll actually see a
high-end bike in my garage. One has to
dream to live. Pedal hard!
Morgan County, Georgia
While enjoying an epic southern Utah ride, I felt the need to drop my seat-
post. When I tapped the return lever, nothing! Now, over the years, it has
always amazed me the amount of stuff that accumulates in my hydration pack.
One little item that I had been schlepping around for a decade or so was this
little hose clamp. So I placed it around the seatpost and, what do you know, it
held the post up long enough to make it home. It’s always the little things. My
shock pump is now back in my pack, right next to an empty GU pack.