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why do these things cost so dang much?
How much does a top-of-the-line fishing rod and reel cost?....How much for two tickets to your favorite sporting event and food while you're there?....how much for a computer, printer, etc. ...new bike wheels?....a set of new disk brakes?...

For a couple hundred dollars you can get a decent two light set-up for your bike and extend the fun you now only enjoy during the day. Heck, I spend $70 a month just on cable tv. :rolleyes:

Now if $200 is too much you can go the cheap route a buy some torches or a cheap D/X MS clone. There are always cheaper options.
 

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just a Newbie
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I somewhat like the higher price. Not because I enjoy paying more money, but more in terms that the higher price from certain vendors leave some wiggle room for the lower price competion. I look at it as a check and balance system. The higher price vendor leaves enough of a price gap such that the Asian market have space to develope new lights with the latest offerering. Then after the bugs are worked out and the design are solid, then the higher price vendors can gives us their offerring. There will be quality issue with the lower price stuff, but it is not like something we are force into buying.
 

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why do these things cost so dang much?
They don't! $100 will get you a great Chinese made light. Hell you can even get a nice $50 flashlight and tape it to your helmet if you want. The Magicshine, BikeRay, and Gemini lights are all very good products although not without some drawbacks.

Like anything, if you bump up to the "premium" level like Light and Motion, NiteRider, and Baja Designs you're just going to get an overall better product. Their products are custom designed with a lot of R&D and a higher level of QA. They often have a better warranty and a better support team in the event that something does happen. And of course, products made in the USA or European countries vs. China/Taiwan are just going to cost more.

In the end, I didn't want to drop $300 on a light so purchased a Magicshine for $85. It was a good product and has worked well, but now I am without a battery due to the recall and LONG timeline for replacement. I bought a second Magicshine about a year later so I would have even more light and a backup should one fail. I'd like to be able to drop $500 on a comparable setup from L&M, NR, or Baja...but that extra $300 is going into other bike upgrades!
 

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OP. You have come to the party late enough that you clearly don't remember when crappy halogen lights used to cost $300 and compared to today's lights, looked like utter crap.

You also don't remember when HID lights, with their jittery beams, spotty performance, and expensive propriatary bulbs used to cost $450, and have less light,worse reliability, and a HUGE battery, then a $89 Chinese LED light.

Remember when a 42" SD Plasma TV would cost you $13,000? Now you can get a 42" set for $500, but its 1080p, comes with an HD tuner, and weighs 1/5th what the sets did 10 years back.

And someone probably wonders why $500 LCD TV's are so expensive.

Its all in your perspective.
 

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Posted by RandyHarris:
I wonder why it is that some people will rail against high quality lights that are not inexpensive, yet I don't often see people making the same judgement about a several thousand dollar bike when there are far less expensive options available.
Yeah, people will go out and buy the latest cell phone that cost hundreds and never skip a beat but the thought of buying an expensive bike light or torch they don't understand. :rolleyes: When the people I work with see my bright torches they are very impressed but when I tell them how much it cost they think the $30 is WAY TOO much for a flashlight. :lol:
 

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No, not really. But $500 is.
Who told you that you need a $500 light?
Grab a couple $45 lights, and be happy. Forget the guys that pay ridiculous amounts for their lights. That's their problem ;)

Last night I rode with a guy that has a nice $300 light and says he's upgrading to a $600 Lupine.
Meanwhile I have two lights ($90 and $45) and I'm doing the same group ride as him, on the same trails, at the same pace, and having the same amount of fun.........:confused: Doesn't make sense to me, but for some reason it's important to some people to have name brand stuff and pay a certain amount of $, as if they aren't serious mtn bikers if they don't. Whatever.
 

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No, not really. But $500 is.
Do you know it costs almost $15,000 (not a typo) to do a clutch change on a Lambo Gallardo (not the MT but the SMG-style version)?

What's my point?

Nobody forces someone to by a $150,000 car that has service bills that high. Just like everything else. Expensive is an opinion, not a fact.

A Bugatti will cost you a 1.25 million dollars. There are a lot things out there more expensive then a $500 light, and nobody says you must but a Betty.

Curious what kind of bike you ride. Because unless is a full carbon Ibis with XTR or SRAM XX, why do you feel the need to buy the absolute top of the line?
 

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Mtbr Founder
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Agree with JonJ.

Some things i heard from legitimate companies:
- Research and Development
- certifications UL & UN
- Tooling - plastic molds can be very expensive.
- Marketing/advertising/materials/website/outreach/shows
- Real salaries, benefits/etc

fc
 

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$500 too much ?
well , it is amazing , to see $3000-4000 bikes, and when it comes it lights,
the penny pinching starts. mostly with the starters, the more experienced ones,
usually have some decent lights, and have extra batteries.
while some others, with some single lights and not big enough battery with no extras,
usually ride out at the tail end, with no lights,...
so get your flavor, but get also some extra batteries and chargers.
2x handlebar light 1x helmet, plus extra juice , should get you there,...
I mean , some spend $500 just for a Battery, not including the charger,...
for a reason,....
So , next time you put that El-Cheapo, maybe rain but not waterproof light,
on your carbon fiber handlebar, ask, why are the bikes so expensive ?
Do you have a huffy, or do you have a decent bike ?
another one, a long time ago, racing ,and riding 2-3 per week,
must have spend $1500-2000 plus easy, in pizza and beer, not counting racing fees etc,....
all in all, in 10years+, that makes for a new car ,.... not even counting , bikes, parts, wheels , tires, etc
what else, at least 2-3 plus sets of tires, that's 200 bucks in a season.
on the other end, see, plenty, on the road, not even with a blinky flasher !?
back to the $500, make that 2x $500, 1x handlebar, 1x helmet light, plus spare juice.
cheers, Rob
 

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why do these things cost so dang much?
This is a good point. I think you may be addressing the first thought that occurs in a lot of night riding beginners. I know the majority of people have the same reaction. You may not be getting the same reaction here in the forums (as evident by the replies) because you are asking the question to people who are night riding veterans and enthusiasts.

People generally think that electronics are cheap and they are right. Electronics are in fact really cheap. However, if you look at the electronics around you.. they are made in large quantities for the mainstream market. Mountain biking isn't mainstream (even though it should be :rolleyes:). You then have a small percentage of those MTBers going night riding. So lights are definitely not considered as high quantity items for electronics manufacturers (board makers). Rightly so, it shouldn't be compared to the household electronic item. Economies of scale (or lack there of) is the direct cause a $500+ light. But not exactly the way you would think.. More on that later. Going onto my next point, the cycling industry.

When a product is placed in the cycling market, you might scratch your head thinking "bloody hell that is a lot to pay for.."- it is true, the price you pay is a lot more than it costs. Here's why:

Rule of thumb: Retail price divide by 3.4

Retailers (bike shops, online retailers) take 100% markup.
Distributors take 70% markup.
Manufacturers take 30-40% markup. (Yes, manufactures take diddly squat margins.. but they also sell the largest quantities).

For products to 'work' in the cycling industry it needs to follow this business model. Everything you see in the bike stores experience a multiplier effect totaled to 3.4.
Every little bit of extra cost the manufacturer incurs, gets multiplied by 3.4 to you, the end user. The reason why these markups exist: scaling within the chain of sale. Bike shops sell few quantities but have high costs. Labour, rent, marketing etc. They usually have it bad and you should feel for these guys. Distributors are the business sharks. They collectively serve all bike stores and tack on a hefty margin for it. Their job is by far the easiest and their costs are also usually lower in relation to their operations. They move what is wanted to the people that want them. Virtually no marketing is needed and manufacturers and bike stores both need them to place orders (you can't ask to stock up on 5 more units from a manufacturer). But manufacturers have it bad too. They spend tonnes of money on R&D, tooling costs, capital investment, marketing the brand and of course production costs - all to gain a small percentage. In the grand scheme of things where person A needs a good or service from person B. That simply doesn't happen. The item needs to go though C & D before it gets to them.

And all you Magicshine haters have it all wrong. Their lights are cheap to make yes, but so is the cost to make everything else.. including products in USA. DIY people know all about it, thats why DIY exists. The high pricing comes from the the passing of hands not some technology or the facade of 'god-like' quality. Magicshine and all the other cheaper lights do not follow the traditional business model formed by the cycling industry. Their lights go straight from manufacturer to retailer, and even still.. mostly online retailers where costs are lower.. not your local bike shops. And for those who argue quality, yes you do achieve quality with $500+ lights, and as you should, but its still not worth the price tag because of the multiplier effect. What would actually cost an extra $20 in manufacturing improvements to the product ends up costing $68 extra to you. You see the markup.

So next time you flame on cheaper products.. think about it. You are ruining the competition that is actually favoring you and benefitting you in the long term. I for one could never afford to night ride before the cheaper lights like Magicshine, Gemini and BR existed. And I'm sure I'm not the only one. Bang-for-buck always wins the majority hands down and it's the only logical way to measure worth.

We should all have the mentality to share the night riding experience with everyone whether people rock Lupines, Bajas or Magicshine. No need to be snobby. If you think its worth buying a top dollar light good for you, but you don't need to bash what others might see as gold.
 

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Justifying bike light purchase

It is not too difficult to justify (rationalize :confused:) a light purchase. Like a computer, buy the best you can afford. Answer the following questions to get into the right mindset:

1. What costs more: a Lupine Betty or coronary bypass surgery? ;)
2. Have you ever purchased a quality bike accessory that you later regretted?:cool:
3. Will your co-workers stare at you in disbelief when you tell them that your headlight costs more than their bikes?:eekster:
4. Is there anything more surreal than riding under a moonlit sky when everyone else is sleeping? :D
5. Whose responsibility was it to grease Wheezer?:rolleyes:
 
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