How Do You Justify the Cost of Your High-End Bike?

PoorInRichfield
PoorInRichfield Posts: 56
edited November 2013 in Road general
If you own a "high-end bicycle"... i.e., the most expensive bike offered by the brand you chose, how do you justify what you spent?

For example...

Trek Madone 7.9 - MSRP $11,549.99

2013-trek-madone-7.9-1024x742.jpg

Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R Superspeed - MSRP $11,699

Kawasaki-Ninja-ZX-6R-01-560x373.jpg

(I'm using Trek as an example... most bike companies have a bike in the same insane price range. I actually love my 2 Trek bikes, but neither cost anywhere near the price shown above. However, I do think that Trek bikes get extra-special-expensive as Mr. Lance You-Know-Who kept ~*winning*~ Tour de France titles, but I digress...)

Although I know there's considerable money spent on R&D and high-end bikes are usually the most technically advanced and the lightest, the price still seems unjustified. There are WAY more parts and materials used in a motorcycle, all of which need to be designed as well, yet the price is somehow nearly the same? How can that be? Heck, one of the two doesn't even have an engine!!!

Discuss... :wink:
«13

Comments

  • You only need to pick both up in the shop to see that the Kwak is a rip off. Even with some lighter wheels and a pair of tidds it will still weigh much more than the other bike.
  • StillGoing
    StillGoing Posts: 5,211
    I packed in racing motorcycles around the track, sold the bike and add ons needed for the track and bought my dream bike with the money. Far better than having a motorcycle sitting in the garage doing nothing but look pretty and lose money.
    I ride a bike. Doesn't make me green or a tree hugger. I drive a car too.
  • Bozman
    Bozman Posts: 2,518
    philthy3 wrote:
    I packed in racing motorcycles around the track, sold the bike and add ons needed for the track and bought my dream bike with the money. Far better than having a motorcycle sitting in the garage doing nothing but look pretty and lose money.

    +1 I've had R1s, ZX10rs, GXRs and RSVRs, in the end I just got fed up with not being able to use them to their full potential and as quoted above they spend most of the time sitting in the garage losing value, plus you spend a fortune on tyres, tax and insurance.
    The motorbikes went and the road bikes took their place, I finally got rid of my track bike last year and.....yes I bought another road bike.
    The road bikes get used at least three times a week all year round, I'm fitter, the wife is happier and when she's happier I get to get out on the bike more.
  • Never understand these posts. Why does anyone have to 'justify' anything? surely you spend whatever you want! It appears more like a chance to tell everybody else what you have bought? Sad really
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    Another one to add to the 'stupid first post list' :roll:

    Justify to who? You should not have to justify what you do with your money!

    If you can afford an 11 grand Trek I would have thought you could afford an 11 grand Kawasaki too.

    Why not compare with other 11 grand things like jewellery, Disney Land holidays and smoking. The bike looks a lot better value against those lol.

    It always boils down to good old fashion jealousy :lol:
  • MattC59
    MattC59 Posts: 5,408
    I don't try to justify my bikes. As long as the bike is suited to me, then cost is down to what I can afford.

    As for the Trek / Kawasaki example; economies of scale.
    Science adjusts it’s beliefs based on what’s observed.
    Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved
  • StillGoing
    StillGoing Posts: 5,211
    Well I had to justify to the wife why a £400 Halfords special couldn't do the job just as well, so maybe there is some merit in the post? Thankfully she saw my point of view.
    I ride a bike. Doesn't make me green or a tree hugger. I drive a car too.
  • Sold my Ducati 999 as I wasn't using it enough, and then had a big, unintentional power slide on it coming out of a corner, where I almost high sided it. That, and it not starting easily, was the final straw.

    Now I cycle far more, and don't really miss the Duke.

    I agree with the OP though. It's crazy that the Trek costs as much as the Kawa.

    The Trek has a relatively simple carbon mould frame, with DA group set (fixed cost) and unexceptional wheels.

    The Kawa has a multitude of forged and machined parts, expensive pistons, valves, electronics, suspension, etc, etc.

    Theres no way they should cost the same.
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 40,473
    Justifying nearly £8k for a Trek isn't possible!
  • slowbike
    slowbike Posts: 8,498
    Never understand these posts. Why does anyone have to 'justify' anything? surely you spend whatever you want! It appears more like a chance to tell everybody else what you have bought? Sad really
    Carbonator wrote:
    Another one to add to the 'stupid first post list' :roll:

    Justify to who? You should not have to justify what you do with your money!

    If you can afford an 11 grand Trek I would have thought you could afford an 11 grand Kawasaki too.

    Why not compare with other 11 grand things like jewellery, Disney Land holidays and smoking. The bike looks a lot better value against those lol.

    It always boils down to good old fashion jealousy :lol:
    MattC59 wrote:
    I don't try to justify my bikes. As long as the bike is suited to me, then cost is down to what I can afford.

    As for the Trek / Kawasaki example; economies of scale.

    Justify? Yes, everything has to be justified - frivolous expenditure just wastes money, so everything is evaluated.
    Ok - I don't have a £10k bike (or car) - I couldn't _justify_ buying a £10k bike - why? Because as much as I like riding my bike I've got better things to do with £10k and my lesser cost bike(s) is(are) more than adequate for my needs/ability.
    But, at the beginning of this year I needed to justify the purchase of my second bike and again in the summer I justified the purchase of my 3rd (replacing the function of the 1st) - it may not be an entirely financial decision (otherwise you would have to buy a £90 tesco bike!) - but justify I did and been proven right.
  • Pross wrote:
    Justifying nearly £8k for a Trek isn't possible!

    :lol::lol::lol:
  • I think you'll find that this

    17846314.jpg

    is the appropriate comparison. The kwak is aluminium, this is carbon. Hundred grand if the dealer's feeling kind. :lol:

    I so want one.
  • TakeTurns
    TakeTurns Posts: 1,075
    I've told myself that if I make it to 2nd cat in the 2014 season I'll build a Cervelo S5 with Di2. Helps keep the motivation up and is something nice to look forward to.
  • Mccaria
    Mccaria Posts: 869
    Inheritance tax is currently running at 40%, so if I didn't buy the bike only £4,800 would be available to the next generation. Accordingly an £8k bike at £4.8k is actually a bargain...........
  • StillGoing
    StillGoing Posts: 5,211
    oneiroi wrote:
    I think you'll find that this

    17846314.jpg

    is the appropriate comparison. The kwak is aluminium, this is carbon. Hundred grand if the dealer's feeling kind. :lol:

    I so want one.

    MV Agusta haven't been any good since the days of Ago and Phil Read. There are far better bikes out there for £100k and I find it hard to believe any MV costs that much. I'd sooner have a pair of Desmosedicis and some change.
    I ride a bike. Doesn't make me green or a tree hugger. I drive a car too.
  • seanoconn
    seanoconn Posts: 11,400
    You justify it by the amount of pleasure it gives you and whether you and your family can afford it.

    Is an £11,000 bike good value for money when compared with cost of parts/assembly of cars and motorbikes in the same price bracket? No idea.
    Pinno, מלך אידיוט וחרא מכונאי
  • Pross wrote:
    Justifying nearly £800 for a Trek isn't possible!

    :lol::lol::lol:


    FTFY
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • getprg
    getprg Posts: 245
    I think the OP makes a very valid point and some of the comments on here seem pretty defensive - too many guilty secrets in the bike sheds me thinks.

    The problem is that the OP asks us to justify the price when perhaps a better question to ask is - how can bike (and by inference component) manufacturers justify their prices versus motor bike (and maybe even car) manufacturers. It suggests that the current cycle manufacturing and distribution system is comparably inefficient and slow to adapt (disc brakes anyone?)- which has left the door open for more direct models - Ribble, Mango bikes etc etc.

    The defence that road bikes don't depreciate like motor bikes doesn't fit with prices on eBay. I have bought a succession of one year old road bikes at greater than 50% discounts to the new (already reduced end of season) price.

    Discuss
  • herb71
    herb71 Posts: 253
    The OP seems to have asked 2 questions, (or perhaps 1 asked ambiguously).

    -How can a bicycle, with minimal materials and limited components cost as much as a mid range motorbike?

    Clearly there is a margin difference. A high end bike will come at a premium and the manufacturer and retailer will take a higher margin from the high end 'Halo' model, so you are not comparing like with like.

    The motorbike in this instance is a mass market model, able to take advantage of significant economies of scale for tooling amortisation etc. The limited run of high end bikes, will have a higher proportion of tooling amortised into the price.

    The motorbike probably represents better value in its own market, but if you want value, Trek etc sell bikes for considerably less than $11K.


    -How do you justify spending lots of money on a bicycle?
    If its your own money, then you can spend it how you wish, and we all prioritise in different ways. I personally prioritise on expensive (relative to my budget) motorbikes, and mid priced bicycles. Perhaps that is why I am so fat!
  • You basically go for what you can comfortably afford. but....

    IMO you are seriously in the lad of madness buying a pushbike that gets over £2500-3000. Its a frame a two wheels you ride around on to exercise and have fun. There's plenty or really really good bikes under that and you would need to concentrate hard to notice differences. The manufacturers are quite frankly having a laugh when it gets into silly price land and for 99% of people out there you don't need it.

    There was a recent thread asking if a Canyon SLX was worth the £1600 more over the SLX (virtually the same spec) .. really??? - is it really £1600 more - no way.

    In recent times the bike world pricing has gone stupid and OP highlights that. Same goes for kit.
  • slowmart
    slowmart Posts: 4,480
    I wonder if the posters who suggest lack of justification are single, selfish or devoid of monetary concerns?

    It's all relative and the difference between value and cost.

    Me. I thinking of buying a new Aston.

    Wife. Why?

    me. Because I can. I don't drink, smoke or shag around. Arguably I'm a boring bastard but I love my engines.

    Wife. Why don't you wait until your older

    me. I might be dead.

    End result was a new Aston.

    Its a man thing. Our toys just get bigger, better and more expensive and they tend to break more easily but our horizons are usually limited as to what we can realistically acquire without taking food out of our loved ones mouth. That and we are gullible when it comes to our passions. The new stuff is always lighter, stronger better than last years but in the real world who could tell the difference?
    “Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime. Teach a man to cycle and he will realize fishing is stupid and boring”

    Desmond Tutu
  • You bought a new Aston, but you decided to save £500 between the Roubaix Expert and Sworks?!!!
  • MattC59
    MattC59 Posts: 5,408
    This is very simple, we're looking at two very different markets. As mentioned, economies of scale come into play, but the basic economic principal that the manufacturers employ is 'how much is the market willing to pay ?' It's not rocket science.

    As for individuals justifying buying one, that depends entirely on your circumstances.

    I don't race, and don't ride enough to warrant the ~£5k of titanium and carbon that I ride around on, but I get a huge amount of enjoyment out of every aspect of bicycles. That's plenty of justification for me. I suppose I could justify it further by saying that I don't drink much, don't smoke, have an affordable mortgage etc. etc. etc. but I don't and no one asks me to.
    Science adjusts it’s beliefs based on what’s observed.
    Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved
  • Slowmart wrote:
    I wonder if the posters who suggest lack of justification are single, selfish or devoid of monetary concerns?

    It's all relative and the difference between value and cost.

    Me. I thinking of buying a new Aston.

    Wife. Why?

    me. Because I can. I don't drink, smoke or shag around. Arguably I'm a boring bastard but I love my engines.

    Wife. Why don't you wait until your older

    me. I might be dead.

    End result was a new Aston.

    Its a man thing. Our toys just get bigger, better and more expensive and they tend to break more easily but our horizons are usually limited as to what we can realistically acquire without taking food out of our loved ones mouth. That and we are gullible when it comes to our passions. The new stuff is always lighter, stronger better than last years but in the real world who could tell the difference?


    absolutely. Like I said if you can afford it - why not in a way.

    BUT the Aston is worth the extra as its got a lot more parts, a lot higher level of design and engineering etc etc.
    I doubt that's the case over a £15000 road bike - the frame on the trek is the only unique thing and parts are thrown off production lines for pennies in Asia. Would anyone notice a difference sitting on a £2000 DuraAce bike and the $17000 DuraAce Trek with the same geometry???? OK you might, you might not - but is it worth it?
  • slowmart
    slowmart Posts: 4,480
    Value and cost!


    £4K for my first road bike was enough and its was the electronic gears that hooked me. Shallow I know :mrgreen:


    And since I know I'm shallow I knew I would look to upgrade.
    “Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime. Teach a man to cycle and he will realize fishing is stupid and boring”

    Desmond Tutu
  • MattC59
    MattC59 Posts: 5,408
    Slowmart wrote:
    I wonder if the posters who suggest lack of justification are single, selfish or devoid of monetary concerns?

    It's all relative and the difference between value and cost.

    Me. I thinking of buying a new Aston.

    Wife. Why?

    me. Because I can. I don't drink, smoke or shag around. Arguably I'm a boring bastard but I love my engines.

    Wife. Why don't you wait until your older

    me. I might be dead.

    End result was a new Aston.

    Its a man thing. Our toys just get bigger, better and more expensive and they tend to break more easily but our horizons are usually limited as to what we can realistically acquire without taking food out of our loved ones mouth. That and we are gullible when it comes to our passions. The new stuff is always lighter, stronger better than last years but in the real world who could tell the difference?


    absolutely. Like I said if you can afford it - why not in a way.

    BUT the Aston is worth the extra as its got a lot more parts, a lot higher level of design and engineering etc etc.
    I doubt that's the case over a £15000 road bike - the frame on the trek is the only unique thing and parts are thrown off production lines for pennies in Asia. Would anyone notice a difference sitting on a £2000 DuraAce bike and the $17000 DuraAce Trek with the same geometry???? OK you might, you might not - but is it worth it?

    That's entirely subjective and entirely dependant on how you quantify and define 'worth' or value.
    Science adjusts it’s beliefs based on what’s observed.
    Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved
  • slowmart
    slowmart Posts: 4,480
    Slowmart wrote:
    I wonder if the posters who suggest lack of justification are single, selfish or devoid of monetary concerns?

    It's all relative and the difference between value and cost.

    Me. I thinking of buying a new Aston.

    Wife. Why?

    me. Because I can. I don't drink, smoke or shag around. Arguably I'm a boring bastard but I love my engines.

    Wife. Why don't you wait until your older

    me. I might be dead.

    End result was a new Aston.

    Its a man thing. Our toys just get bigger, better and more expensive and they tend to break more easily but our horizons are usually limited as to what we can realistically acquire without taking food out of our loved ones mouth. That and we are gullible when it comes to our passions. The new stuff is always lighter, stronger better than last years but in the real world who could tell the difference?


    absolutely. Like I said if you can afford it - why not in a way.

    BUT the Aston is worth the extra as its got a lot more parts, a lot higher level of design and engineering etc etc.
    I doubt that's the case over a £15000 road bike - the frame on the trek is the only unique thing and parts are thrown off production lines for pennies in Asia. Would anyone notice a difference sitting on a £2000 DuraAce bike and the $17000 DuraAce Trek with the same geometry???? OK you might, you might not - but is it worth it?



    Sorry to disagree with you but technically Astons are behind the curve. The platforms are old, the build quality recently has suffered massively and sales are down.

    I was buying second hand and the dealership offered me a new Vantage in build for £3k more. In real terms is was a saving of over £20k on list. But set against a more modest car which gets you from A to B the differences are not so defined.

    However most Aston owners don't buy their cars with their head as it's a purchase based on emotions rather than the head, the design is pant stretching beautiful and it hides it's wealth well.

    As someone once said to me your here for a goodtime not a long time.
    “Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime. Teach a man to cycle and he will realize fishing is stupid and boring”

    Desmond Tutu
  • Monty Dog
    Monty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Because I don't have kids, don't go on expensive holidays 3 times a year and mainly because I have enough disposable income to afford it without going into debt!

    BTW if you try and justify such purchases based on the basis that it's an investment / resale value of the item, then you're doing it wrong - high-end Treks probably being a good example, as high-end bikes suffer sky-rocket depreciation.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 40,473
    You like something, you can afford it. Job done, all the justification you need whether it is a top of the range bike / motorbike or shoes. Who do you have to justify it to other than your wife / family? It's no different if you can afford it than for those of us who spent the most we could reasonably afford on a low - mid end bike.
  • GiantMike
    GiantMike Posts: 3,139
    Slowmart wrote:
    I wonder if the posters who suggest lack of justification are single, selfish or devoid of monetary concerns?

    It's all relative and the difference between value and cost.

    Me. I thinking of buying a new Aston.

    Wife. Why?

    me. Because I can. I don't drink, smoke or shag around. Arguably I'm a boring bastard but I love my engines.

    Wife. Why don't you wait until your older

    me. I might be dead.

    End result was a new Aston.

    Its a man thing. Our toys just get bigger, better and more expensive and they tend to break more easily but our horizons are usually limited as to what we can realistically acquire without taking food out of our loved ones mouth. That and we are gullible when it comes to our passions. The new stuff is always lighter, stronger better than last years but in the real world who could tell the difference?
    I recently did the opposite. Sold my racing car and the TVR I'd had for 15 years. To me the best feeling in the world is being able to live free of any guilt from having expensive stuff in the garage I rarely use. I've grown out of the 'toys getting bigger' mentality and I tend to buy things because I need them rather than just want them.

    My wife recently suggested I buy a £5000 Foil (reduced from £10k). I thought about it for about 5 seconds, before I remembered it would actually get used less that my current bike and it would just be a pointless vanity purchase and I hadn't wanted it until she suggested it. Didn't get it, don't regret it for a second. I feel the same way about fast cars. 650 BHP and never get above 90mph. Never sit in traffic thinking 'I wish I was in a faster car going nowhere'.