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I’ll go for the Rocket Car and the Solid Gold House

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by armmewitharmony, Jun 6, 2018.

  1. armmewitharmony

    armmewitharmony Maximum Pace

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    Ok it’s a selfish topic. Dead straight, what’s a bicycle really worth?

    Would you get a performance bicycle or a brand new Kei car or a GIXXER 750 for example?

    $400 for a helmet, well 600-800 including shades? VS $6, 7 800 for a motorcycle helmet?

    $600 shoes?

    1K, 2K on a device that measures your power?

    2.5K to 6K for wheels?

    5, 6k jist for a frame?

    And this is just for the mass produced stuff! How do you even run into the conbini for a piss in that situation?

    Why are people accepting these prices?

    Where do you see things moving in the future?

    Maybe these aren’t the right questions maybe not thinking so clearly. But let’s have some fun with it
     
  2. saibot

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    Damn you must be pretty bored lately huh? ;)

    Definitely a expensive bike over a cheap car!

    If I had the money always get the more expensive stuff! :innocent:
     
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  3. Joe McCarthy

    Joe McCarthy Speeding Up

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    We like to ride bikes in the gap between bottom rung mamacharis and top of the range pro bikes. Everything on a TDF winning bike is designed and redesigned using different materials, mechanisms and aerodynamic profiles thousands of times for the most marginal gains, but the number of top level bikes sold is very small, so it's not surprising they're expensive. These bikes mostly just serve as advertising for the lower level models anyway.

    On the other hand we live in a country where you can get a perfectly functional bike for 15 thousand yen. It won't be fast or comfortable over long distances but it'll get you to the shops or to the station and will probably come with a basket and a rear rack and maybe even a dynamo light so you don't really need to buy any extras to go with it. It's just a tool, and people want to spend as little on it as possible.

    And then we're left in the middle wanting more than a mamachari but not willing to pay for a Pinarello Dogma F10. What's more, the marketing for 'hobby' products is designed to make you want better tech than you might really need for your original purpose. If cycling is just a thing you like to do then you could probably get a bike and everything else you need to be a casual rider for 60 or 70 thousand new or much less used, but people get sucked into a competative arms race for tech (myself included) and buying more stuff becomes a part of the hobby.

    I think it's worth remembering that the bicycle equivalent of a kei car is a mamachari, which isn't very expensive. You can buy Chris Froome's bike for just over a million yen, but you'd have to sell multiple houses to get anywhere near the amount of money needed to buy an F1 car. On the equivalence scale, you're probably riding a bike thatt corresponds to a high performance production supercar.
     
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  4. armmewitharmony

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    You know what I think you may be exactly correct in saying that - I think I am pretty bored!

    What I mean is, Facebook has been basicallly a newsfeed of cycling websites and the odd boxing / car racing / humour FB site, I don't typically post anything from my life (though I've tried a little from time to time) Instagram is getting "samey", a constant flow of beautiful photos of bikes and cyclists and cycling locales, each photo quite nice, amateur or professional alike but nonetheless samey. I don't read Reddit or any of those anonymous message boards don't know why or look at stuff like Pinterest etc. I fee like I've watched the whole of youtube, there's constantly new stuff but it feels like only more of the same.

    All I care about outside of the wife and my work is riding the bicycle and stuff related to that, and this is the only outlet available as far as I can see at least for the time being. I'm just trying to have a bit of fun here. We'll see if it continues to be that way. For now I'm enjoying myself.

    *edited for overuse of the word "really"
     
    #4 armmewitharmony, Jun 7, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2018
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  5. leicaman

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    Why do most Americans and Canadians always talk dollars here in Japan? It’s Yen, not dollars ;)

    Anyway, now that I’ve got that off my chest back to the question. How much is a bicycle worth? For me, I think a bicycle is worth a lot. It gives me so much pleasure. I spend a lot of time on my bikes. I don’t smoke, don’t drink, don’t go to fancy restaurants, don’t spend much money on clothes or other stuff so I like to spend my money on nice bikes. Yes, some stuff is pretty expensive but there are other options out there that are more reasonably priced. You don’t need to spend 700,000 yen on an F10 frameset. I’ve had three road bikes. My first was a Specialized Tarmac that I paid around 150,000 yen for (it’s nice when mates work for Specialized). I loved that bike. It took me on some great adventures. Worth the 150,000? Hell yeah!
    My next bike was a Canyon Ultimate SLX. Cost me about 550,000 yen if I remember rightly. Beautiful bike. Really nice to ride and light as a feather. Again it took me on some amazing adventures. Worth the money? Hell yeah! My current bike is a custom steel Field Cycles. Cost was less than an F10 frameset. This bike is my perfect bike. I love the thing. When I throw my leg over it, it never fails to make me smile. When I catch a glimpse of it sitting in the tatami room, it gives me a feeling that no other bike ever has. It mine, it’s unique and there won’t be another one made the same. The attention to detail is amazing. I feel like I’m riding a piece of artwork. It was certainly worth the asking price, and much more in my opinion.
    When I finally get around to replacing my gravel bike, I’ll probably go with another custom bike (not for a few years though).
    I’ve never bought any cycling related stuff and felt I haven’t got my money’s worth.
     
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  6. armmewitharmony

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    Yep I agree.

    But when you work out the ratios, say between a 15 grand for a mid level kei car and a Lambo and the 150 bucks for a mamcharii and a superbike I believe you'll see they're way out of proportion.

    My point is I believe the high end in bicycles is way out of control and I can't believe people are accepting that (paying for it sadly myself included) It's even more stark perhaps in Japan where out on the road and at my bike store at least I see those exact loaded up machines with shocking frequency. I feel like I somehow need this stuff but at the same time I can see how I really don't and its only a weird part of my ego or something that's forcing me to go and get it - I'm wrestiling with this internal thing these days.
     
  7. GrantT

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    My bike is a red one.
     
  8. armmewitharmony

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    Oops I did it again! Sometimes it's just easier when typing but I'm typing challenged as you may have noticed.

    lmao

    Red is the color that shall be, for what is red is that which colors all that is red.
     
  9. OreoCookie

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    Your argument just goes to show how expensive cars are: people buying normal cars are happy to spend in options what a decent to really great bike costs. In fact you probably need to spend as much as a decent bike just to keep a car on the road and running (mandatory inspections, insurance and gas). So if you use your bike for commuting and transportation, you can easily justify spending 100,000-200,000 ¥ for it — even more expensive bikes are cheap if you also use them for transportation. (And they are healthier, keep congestion out, etc.)

    The argument whether it is “worth” it to spend 800,000 ¥ instead of 200,000 ¥ is the same as whether it makes sense to buy a Mercedes E class instead of a VW Polo: you are buying the Mercedes because you want a nicer car, and for most people objective needs are not part of that decision making process. Nevertheless, in the grand scheme of things, bikes are a cheaper hobby, car people pay the price of a superbike just to have the right type of stitches on the leather and 18-way seats instead of 14-way seats, entertainment system and other bits and bobs.
     
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  10. armmewitharmony

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    I'm sure most of us are deep in the throes of work right now but I've got a second now and sorry this comment demands a much more nuanced response.

    No doubt our bikes have unique personal meaning whatever the market values may be.

    I don't know what it cost in (dollars and cents, lol) for your Field Cycles all in but let's just say it was in the neighborhood of 700,000 yen (seems low!). Not taking direct, relative costs of non-cycling related things into account, but that number or say even the 550,000 for the Canyon shouldn't be the mid-range but should represent the upper reaches of what you could pay for a bicycle. Sounds like you've got your dream bike, and that's great and you've paid what you feel is fair. I hope that every cyclist one day owns their dream bike too.

    In simple terms, 500,000, maybe 700,000 yen - that should be what a dream bike costs, not some middle of the road [Giant]. You start adding up a custom frame from a reputable builder, semi-exotic components, a CK hubbed ENVE wheelset and any top groupset and you're going way up over a million yen in no time. And maybe a dream bike is worth that I don't know. But an SL6 with di2 and OEM components is not that type of bike. That bike should cost 500,000 or less imho.

    I suppose some people say prices are prices because simply put that's what people will pay. Maybe that's it but then the question is why oh why. Why do (we) pay that much.
     
  11. MaxWeber

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    I would argue you cannot overspend on a bike. The health benefits outweigh the cost of any bike unless it is hanging on a wall.
     
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  12. OreoCookie

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    Why do you reckon these bikes should cost less than they do? A lot of higher-end components use carbon fiber, and manufacturing with carbon fiber currently cannot be automated in a lot of situations. BMW tried to do just that with the i3 and the i8, and at least for the i3 they seem to have reconsidered their approach, as that'll return to aluminum and steel from what I have heard. If you could meaningfully automate the manufacture of carbon fiber components at the same or higher quality than available now, that would push prices for those components. Add to that that by comparison, bike components are produced in much lower volume compared to cars. I don't think it is unreasonable or unfair that high-end bikes command the prices that they do.

    Now would I like them to be cheaper so that I could afford the components I lust for? Yes, of course! Do manufacturers fleece the affluent just like car manufacturers do? Yes, certainly. But that isn't really specific to bikes.
     
  13. Kangaeroo

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    I love this argument!
    I haven't been riding for long, and don't ride a road bike. I am still staggered that I spent 250,000 yen on a foldup bike and probably twice that on maintenance in the few years that I have owned it. Yet, it has been probably the greatest single purchase I have made of anything in my life. The sheer delight, joy and spiritual connection it has brought to me have been incalculable.
    But, having said that, now that the bike has showed me what bikes are capable of doing -- and I am capable of doing on bikes -- I'm pretty sure my next bike is going to be a 15,000 yen mamachari or something of similar ilk, especially when I see how far I am from being a real cyclist.
     
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  14. TokyoLiving

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    As you can see in my avatar to the right of this post, I have an expensive steel blue bike that I absolutely love. I had no regrets whatsoever. In fact I had +1 itis and bought an aluminum commuter bike and my recent purchase a carbon red and black one. Love them all for different reasons. The money I spent on them could have bought a pretty sweet kei car. But I am not a fan of cars...
     
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  15. leicaman

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    I don’t understand why you have come to the conclusion that a dream bike should cost around 500,000 yen all in? Of course, 500,000 yen will buy you one hell of a nice bike. Might be your dream bike, might not. Doesn’t make sense to me though that you think bikes shouldn’t cost more than that. Going back to my bike for a minute, the total cost of producing a handmade frame in the UK by a skilled worker will never get you a bike around that price (all in). If you start to source parts from countries with cheaper labour then the price will most probably reflect that.

    Most of these custom builders are most certainly not rolling in money. Take my builder for example, I’m sure he probably earns less than the majority of people on this board (apart from me ;) ). He’s an honest guy earning an honest living and feeding his family. After taking his overheads into consideration, I’m sure he doesn’t make much from each of the frames he builds.
    It sounds like you issue is more centred around bikes like the SL6 though. Is it overpriced? Possible, although I don’t know how much R&D went into the frame. Would I buy one? Nope. However, I could see why a lot of people would consider it their dream bike. If there were no alternatives to the 600,000-700,000 yen framesets made by the big companies then I could understand your argument but there are plenty of options out there. For many years, my Canyon was my dream bike. That was until my Field came along. That’s not to say the a Canyon is suddenly no good. In terms of performance (especially for climbing) it is probably superior to the Field but I just enjoy riding the Field more. At the end of the day, it’s all about enjoyment for me.
     
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  16. wexford

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    As long as you are happy on whatever you are riding and it makes you smile, then that makes you a real cyclist. If you hop on and go from a to b, with no emotion then ok - maybe not. But who cares about speed or being the fastest or the slowest? If you find joy in what you do, then you got it. We might laugh at the guy riding his million yen bike with time trial bars and disk wheels doing 20kmph down the river smoking a cig in full rig but if that guy is happy doing that, then that certainly makes him a real cyclist too. Lots of other bikes to choose from out there also that would make you happy in other ways also. Some times its just going through the motions, sometimes its nailing a corner or a segment, sometimes its feeling good in your kit, sometimes its the wind behind you, the company, a conversation, sometimes its a hare on the road, sunrise or whatever. I'll get a new bike someday and I'll go for something that talks to me and not worry too much about the investment. Enjoy your ride lads.
     
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  17. leicaman

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    Pretty much sums it up for me.
     
  18. armmewitharmony

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    I’m trying to articulate my thoughts as clearly as possible, but not sure how well I’ve done.

    Wouldn’t say I’m arguing a point as much as lamenting the perception (my own) that perhaps mass produced cycling stuff is overpriced, or (same thing really) that we as the consumers of these products are prone to willingly overpay.

    (In fact in some cases riders may actually be proud of how much they overplayed / spent - however you want to put it, a la middle eastern billionaires parading supercars in the streets of London. But again, I can’t emphasize enough that this is a separate issue to what I’m trying to articulate here.)

    That’s not to say the same for high quality handmade frames made with passion by skilled craftsmen. If anything what I’m saying is we should perhaps be paying more for those kinds of things and less for groupsets and MAVIC wheels.

    I don’t know how the discussion got around to Kei cars and the like, speaking for myself I only mentioned that in an attempt to illustrate a point about relative costs. I’m definitely not setting out to discount decisions any of us have made regarding bike related expenditures or the like.
     
    #18 armmewitharmony, Jun 7, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2018
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  19. TokyoLiving

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    DYOR, determine a budget, choose a bike based on your needs and wants. Keep it simple man!
     
  20. saibot

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    Dream Bikes are cheap!

    What’s really crazy is paying 36000yen for a pair of bibs! (You know he brand I’m sure)
    (I have a few pairs I know ...:confused:)

    I think I could have bought a 2nd hand dream bike for the price of my bibs :D

    Stoked about all new newer brand popping up lately... kinda like all the alternatives in bike land to the sl6, cigarillos etc
     
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