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Certain activities really attract the anti-capitalism crowd and mountain biking is certainly one of those.

In certain product segments there needs to be price controls, staple food items, essential health care, etc...

A totally optional top of the line bicycle with literally thousands of competitors is not one of those. If I was in charge of Spesh, or any bike manufacturer, I'd seek to maximize profits in these times, because it never lasts. You do that by providing class leading product, reducing operating expenses, and selling your product for the max amount that results in demand just outstripping supply.

I know this, not one whiner here would offer to pay extra for a bike or gear that is being sold at a loss because it's overaged, unpopular, or whatever.

The reality is that the market determines the value of these fancy toys.

Price controls lead to inflation and scarcity. This is an economic law demonstrated repeatedly since ancient times. It is almost always better to let commodities set their own prices by market forces than to impose an arbitrary price. This is one of the reasons (but not the only one, of course) that rent is so expensive in areas with price controls on rent. If you dictate prices which are often below profitability for owners, they will take the products off the market or come up with new ways to sell them to avoid regulation. The role of government should be only to regulate unfair business practices such as monopolies, collusion, and insider trading.

And truthfully, for almost everybody on MTBR bicycles are strictly luxuries. I'm not losing sleep over a ten percent increase in bike prices. I'm sure the market will head down next year.
 

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I was about to comment on that same bike, except I didn't buy one. I started drooling over it at $3,300 and have watched it go to $3,600 and now $3,900. Pretty sure I'll go direct to consumer if I ever decide to buy something.
I obviously don't know what you were looking at and when, however, Specialized did away with the Alloy EPIC in the current year when the redesigned it. As far as I know, its always been a close to $4K bike since it came out. Granted they killed the alloy/cheaper version that might have been a good fit for you, but their pricing of the current EPIC EVO isn't that different from most brands in a carbon frame.
I wonder if they are going to come out with an alloy version next year when they have better availability of parts?

DTC brands obviously have a bit of a different cost structure and you get more value there in components. I personally like my LBS and like to buy through them and have their support for problems etc.
 

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My '15 Epic Comp was around 3200$ new, and that was 6 years ago. I'm pretty sure it was available with a standard parts package, including the Reba and those Roval wheels with the horrible hubs.

For the record, I'm still a Spec fan.
 

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Didn't read any of this thread. Comp pricing seems a VERY good value compared to other brands builds at similar price points. Including direct to consumer model brands.

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Certain activities really attract the anti-capitalism crowd and mountain biking is certainly one of those.

In certain product segments there needs to be price controls, staple food items, essential health care, etc...

A totally optional top of the line bicycle with literally thousands of competitors is not one of those. If I was in charge of Spesh, or any bike manufacturer, I'd seek to maximize profits in these times, because it never lasts. You do that by providing class leading product, reducing operating expenses, and selling your product for the max amount that results in demand just outstripping supply.

I know this, not one whiner here would offer to pay extra for a bike or gear that is being sold at a loss because it's overaged, unpopular, or whatever.

The reality is that the market determines the value of these fancy toys.
I don't fully disagree, especially with your last sentence. I think that the market for cycling has fundamentally changed. It has been traditionally a working-class sport, or for broke kids or both. The guys that were riding clunkers in Colorado in the 70s, do you think they could afford a model year 2021 mountain bike? Hell no. On road bikes, its basically the Nascar sport for Europe...working class guys started the sport racing their commuters againts each other.

However, the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer, so I think it causes some friction when bike companies come to two conclusions:
-Poor people are too poor to buy their low end bikes, and they can't make money on a bike for cheap enough for poors to afford.
-Rich people can afford more expensive bikes than what they currently make.

The only option is to get rid of the cheap models that don't make any money and add features to the high end to grab more money from the rich. I firmly believe this is the reason for ebikes being pushed so hard by manufacturers, it gives them excuses to charge more for bikes.

Another note is that credit is very cheap right now. People that aren't poors but not rich's can take out loans to buy bikes. Not that its a good idea or anything, but its less of a bad idea now than it used to be a few years ago. I just cash out refi'd my multifamily rental property at 3.5%! From a banking perspective, this is the loan/property combination that would have the highest interest rate and I this is the lowest interest rate I've ever had. I'm going to do my primary next!

FWIW, this is in no way restricted to Specialized. All bikes cost a fucking fortune. I'm pretty close to tapping out and getting out of the sport.
 

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I don't fully disagree, especially with your last sentence. I think that the market for cycling has fundamentally changed. It has been traditionally a working-class sport, or for broke kids or both. The guys that were riding clunkers in Colorado in the 70s, do you think they could afford a model year 2021 mountain bike? Hell no. On road bikes, its basically the Nascar sport for Europe...working class guys started the sport racing their commuters againts each other.

However, the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer, so I think it causes some friction when bike companies come to two conclusions:
-Poor people are too poor to buy their low end bikes, and they can't make money on a bike for cheap enough for poors to afford.
-Rich people can afford more expensive bikes than what they currently make.

The only option is to get rid of the cheap models that don't make any money and add features to the high end to grab more money from the rich. I firmly believe this is the reason for ebikes being pushed so hard by manufacturers, it gives them excuses to charge more for bikes.

Another note is that credit is very cheap right now. People that aren't poors but not rich's can take out loans to buy bikes. Not that its a good idea or anything, but its less of a bad idea now than it used to be a few years ago. I just cash out refi'd my multifamily rental property at 3.5%! From a banking perspective, this is the loan/property combination that would have the highest interest rate and I this is the lowest interest rate I've ever had. I'm going to do my primary next!

FWIW, this is in no way restricted to Specialized. All bikes cost a fucking fortune. I'm pretty close to tapping out and getting out of the sport.

I'm not trying to be a jerk, but almost all of this is absolutely wrong.

In all reality we have seen a HUGE increase in bike companies pushing lower cost, budget friendly bikes. Want to know why?

Bike companies make WAY more money on lower tier bikes than they do top end bikes. A lot of that has to do with sheer volume of sales. S-works and the like bikes are sold at a very small fraction of lower tier bikes. Honestly I think most of them out there are in sponsored riders hands, also known as people that don't pay for bikes. They are statement pieces. Very few are sold.

E-Bikes are being pushed because it's simply a whole new segment, a segment that can take a lot of R&D upfront cost to bring to market. New segments = increased volume, it's based on the N+1 theory that cyclist tend to hold so dearly. The segment also opens up the cycling market to a lot of people who were physically limited away from it, or even too intimidated by it.

As for the poor getting poorer, not after this past year...

With MILLIONS of people on unemployment with a Federal boost that was paying out far more than many people made actually working, they actually had disposable income to start buying up goods, like fancy new bikes and bike parts.

Bikes costs have crept up steadily for a # of reasons, almost none of those reasons are because there are tons CEO's of bike companies laughing away on their yachts...

Bikes cost A LOT more to make than they used to. But guess what, they are far more capable, durable and advanced than even bikes from 5-6 years ago. People want better bikes till they see how much a better bike costs...
 

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DTC brands obviously have a bit of a different cost structure and you get more value there in components. I personally like my LBS and like to buy through them and have their support for problems etc.
I also like my LBSs - Ken's bike and ski in Davis and Foy's in Woodland. However, I cannot get a bike from them with the level of components I want for anywhere near the price of a direct seller - I'm retired and money doesn't grow on trees (nuts do - eat more pistachios and get that price back up!)

When I was looking for a new 27.5+, the tall boy or the specialized equivalent were my first choice. However, the price was already $1000 more than the Fezzari and I'd have to spend about $500 more to change out the sram brakes and rotors for XT and icetech. It just didn't add up.

PS: I personally have had very bad experience with Avid brakes which may or may not apply to newer SRAM brakes (how are your guides doing?) But, I developed a skin reaction to the rather nasty DOT 5.1 fluid and cannot use them anymore. Even my older spec FSRXC has shimano brakes after the avids failed once too many times.
 

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Bikes cost A LOT more to make than they used to. But guess what, they are far more capable, durable and advanced than even bikes from 5-6 years ago. People want better bikes till they see how much a better bike costs...
Why do they cost more? Alloy bikes shouldn't be any more expensive to make than they were five years ago. There were excellent bikes fifteen years ago. 2005 Enduro anyone? As I said earlier, in New Zealand a 2014 Enduro Comp cost $4500, now it's $8400. It has doubled in real dollars. Yes the new one is carbon, but are the forks etc more expensive to make than seven years ago?
 

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Why do they cost more? Alloy bikes shouldn't be any more expensive to make than they were five years ago. There were excellent bikes fifteen years ago. 2005 Enduro anyone? As I said earlier, in New Zealand a 2014 Enduro Comp cost $4500, now it's $8400. It has doubled in real dollars. Yes the new one is carbon, but are the forks etc more expensive to make than seven years ago?
Have you looked at the current rate of Asian production?

They are, gasp, asking for living wages and fair labor rates!

So, aluminum as a commodity cost more, labor cost more, shipping cost more, fancy licensed suspension designs cost more...

That’s just the frame.

Even basic level suspension blows away top suspension from your precious 2005 enduro nowadays. That. Cost. Money.

Drivetrains are more reliable, better shifting. Tires have more grip and durability, dropper post actually work and come onbasically all mountain bikes. Wheels don’t taco when you look at them wrong, hubs don’t explode after one muddy ride...

All of these things COST. MONEY.

Now, let’s get to the cost of sending stuff to New Zealand. Might as well as ask Musk to quote you how much it will cost to send a bike to Mars at this point. Shipping is insane and it’s a small market. It’s going to cost a ton.

Now wait, you’re also looking at a CARBON BIKE compared to when you purchased an Aluminum bike!

In the US, the Enduro Comp (yes, with a carbon frame) is $4,700.

That’s a fair price all things considered.
 

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All I will add is based on my own observations, pretty much everything in the USA has and continues to go up in price. But that can't be true! We are told inflation is in check... :rolleyes:
 

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...As for the poor getting poorer, not after this past year...

With MILLIONS of people on unemployment with a Federal boost that was paying out far more than many people made actually working, they actually had disposable income to start buying up goods, like fancy new bikes and bike parts...

This is just my personal observation but most people whose financial status improved with a government stimulus check are not really the demographic that bike companies are targeting. Some of the techs and PCAs I work with who were let go might have gone from about $800 a month in take-home pay to about $1200 but they're still not going to spend the surplus on a bike.

On another note, cycling is not just for rich people. We have a skewed view here on MTBR because most of us are real enthusiasts and will spend in excess of what we really need for two wheels, a frame, and enough components for a decent ride. There are some really good quality, reasonably priced bikes out there from the big companies which most of us would look at disdainfully but are great for people who don't make a lifestyle out of riding. Except for military rifles (which I have not fired in almost three years or even bought a new one since 2014) my only real hobby is cycling and I spend a great deal of time thinking about it, tinkering with my bikes, riding, planning rides, and generally spending disposable income on it.

It's also a cultural thing. In my native Louisiana, my rednecck friends think I'm insane doing the long-distance gravel rides. It's not something they've been exposed to or value, just like I have no interest in hunting.

(MTBR censors the word "rednecck." Wow. It's not an insult, believe me. Them boys are proud of the title. )
 

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Have you looked at the current rate of Asian production?

They are, gasp, asking for living wages and fair labor rates!

So, aluminum as a commodity cost more, labor cost more, shipping cost more, fancy licensed suspension designs cost more...

That’s just the frame.

Even basic level suspension blows away top suspension from your precious 2005 enduro nowadays. That. Cost. Money.

Drivetrains are more reliable, better shifting. Tires have more grip and durability, dropper post actually work and come onbasically all mountain bikes. Wheels don’t taco when you look at them wrong, hubs don’t explode after one muddy ride...

All of these things COST. MONEY.

Now, let’s get to the cost of sending stuff to New Zealand. Might as well as ask Musk to quote you how much it will cost to send a bike to Mars at this point. Shipping is insane and it’s a small market. It’s going to cost a ton.

Now wait, you’re also looking at a CARBON BIKE compared to when you purchased an Aluminum bike!

In the US, the Enduro Comp (yes, with a carbon frame) is $4,700.

That’s a fair price all things considered.
I get that stuff costs more to make...but the average person doesn't have more income than 5 years ago, so those more expensive bikes are a higher percentage of their income. Assuming that people have the moderation to not spend more than they should (a very dubious assumption I know), you're just changing who buys the bikes, moving up the income brackets and alienating people of lower income.

Eventually you're going to alienate all of the young people and you'll only be selling $20k ebikes to 60 year olds.

There are some really good quality, reasonably priced bikes out there from the big companies which most of us would look at disdainfully but are great for people who don't make a lifestyle out of riding.
I get that there are currently bikes that normal people can afford RIGHT NOW, but extrapolating out, will it be affordable in 5 years? 10 years? Will I need to finance my bike like I would my car? Lease for 299 a month? Sign and drive?
 

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I get that stuff costs more to make...but the average person doesn't have more income than 5 years ago, so those more expensive bikes are a higher percentage of their income. Assuming that people have the moderation to not spend more than they should (a very dubious assumption I know), you're just changing who buys the bikes, moving up the income brackets and alienating people of lower income.

Eventually you're going to alienate all of the young people and you'll only be selling $20k ebikes to 60 year olds.
Yes, the cost for top end bikes keep creeping up. But I feel like you're ignoring all of the expanding options that are available for lower prices. Canyon, YT, Vitus...

Then there is also the options that have been released by some manufacturers like Ibis (Ripmo AF and Ripley AF), SLX and Deore 12 speed from Shimano, NX and SX Eagle from SRAM. Marzocchi coming back from the dead from Fox...

As much as brands are pushing innovation and higher and higher end models, they are also putting a lot of effort into the lower tier market for. Budget full suspension has never been better, budget hardtails are available from TONS of manufacturers, all being basically just as capable as higher tiered bikes. Yes, there is a trade off that is usually weight. But it's amazing that you can get basically the same functionality from XTR to Deore from Shimano.

Just looking at Ibis, they offer the Ripmo AF, with DVO suspension, DW link suspension and 12 speed for $3,200. Ripley AF will be starting at $3,000 with proper suspension, DW link and 12 speed. That's from a brand that has never been associated with inexpensive bikes.

So yes, if you want the latest and greatest bikes and tech get ready to open your wallet. But if you want to keep it reasonable, there are a lot of options available and those options are proper mountain bikes.
 

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Didn't read any of this thread. Comp pricing seems a VERY good value compared to other brands builds at similar price points. Including direct to consumer model brands.

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I didn't read this post. Could someone let me know what he said?
 

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If you really look at it, you can build your own hardtail for a ridiculously low price and have a bike that would have been on the cover of Mountain Bike Action ten years ago as a "Game Changer" and "Quiver Killer." Drivetrains in particular are getting very inexpensive. I think you can get a SRAM SX groupset for less than 200 bucks. From personal experience, there is very little practical difference between XX1, XO1, GX, NX and SX.

Yeah, you're going to have to spend a little money but it is a hobby. The anger at bike prices comes from not being able to afford the more expensive stuff. There is certainly a difference between a $700 bike and $4000 bike in the same category but not enough to get angry about. Not to mention that if all you can afford are less expensive bikes how do you know the difference? They tell me that Kobe beef is really, really good but since all I've ever eaten are rib eyes from Kroger it doesn't bother me and I don't feel compelled to spend thirty dollars a pound for meat. I also don't lash out at people who spend that kind of money.
 

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If you really look at it, you can build your own hardtail for a ridiculously low price and have a bike that would have been on the cover of Mountain Bike Action ten years ago as a "Game Changer" and "Quiver Killer." Drivetrains in particular are getting very inexpensive. I think you can get a SRAM SX groupset for less than 200 bucks. From personal experience, there is very little practical difference between XX1, XO1, GX, NX and SX.

Exactly. In 2006 my Specialized Stumpjumper Disc hardtail was about $1,700. Today, I can still spend that on a new hardtail that’s infinitely better than that bike was...
 
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