The Bike Industry and Inflation

I didn’t vote for either of them lol. I just like how Trump bucks sounds. They both gave them out, so it’s not derogatory towards either party.

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The EX has always been a trail bike, the TF an XC bike. Just because the new TF geo is closer to the old EX doesn’t make them comparable from a price and equipment standpoint, the TF was and is an XC bike, and the EX was and is a trail bike. The Supercaliber is meant to bridge the gap between a TF and a Procaliber, not to replace the TF in the lineup.

Also think Biden Bucks sounds more catchy :joy:

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Fair enough. No judgement either way, I just find it funny how American politics is so polarizing. Ours is boring here in Oz.

Anyway, back on point. I ride Campy equipped rim brake bikes and do all my own mechanical work. Started hoarding 11 speed parts as soon as 12 speed was announced and by the time COVID hit, had enough stock in the garage to ride a brand new cassette, chain, brake pads, tyres and multiple tubes every year for the next decade.

Option 2: sell it all and make bank.

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Don’t believe everything you read. If you actually ride the new Top Fuel it rides a lot like an older Fuel Ex. There’s a reason the pros are all racing the Supercal. It’s a nice bike for what it is, but it’s definitely not the pure XC rig anymore in the way the older model was.

My buddy has a 2020 TF in the same size my fuel ex was and it rode nice, but I prefer my EX, granted it’s been years since I had my 2015 so I can’t remember what it rides like so I’d be lying if I said otherwise. I still don’t agree with the model parallels you draw but we can agree to disagree. However I think the addition of carbon wheels (whether our opinion says they’re mediocre or not) does warrant a bit of a price bump. Personally have the Line PRO 30 from my 2018 on my EX and not an issue with them to speak of. My 18 frame broke so I got a 21 frame and shock through warranty and reused everything else so my bike is kind of a hodgepodge of parts at this point

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It definitely depends on the terrain you ride. I notice we’re in different parts of the country, when I’ve been out that way a bit bigger of a bike would have been nice. Here in Wisconsin you basically want a gravel bike with suspension for our cross-country trails. Our races are basically won or lost on smooth climbs or open double track that’s in between sections of fairly easy single track.

I’d love to own a current gen Fuel Ex, I think it’s a dope bike. It just wouldn’t really be the best option for XC racing for me and I unfortunately can’t afford a whole stable of mountain bikes.

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MMT has more holes than a sieve. thanks for the podcast on literature I am more than familiar with, though.

My opinion is prices will either continue to go up, or at best stay level, I don’t see things coming down anytime soon, for bikes and other industries. For a lot of folks 2020 was not good when they lost their jobs, but for others it was a year of forced savings as they continued to work (in my industry I had MORE work and MORE overtime) but were unable to spend due to lockdowns. There is also still a supply shortage affecting many industries, so when people want to spend, but there is a limited supply, it creates bidding wars and there is no reason to discount things. My friend was recently shopping for a new SUV, the RAV4 was completely sold out and a Kia Telluride was marked up $3,900 from MSRP because they can’t keep them on the lot as soon as they come in they are sold.

Personally looking at a gravel bike that costs $4000 and I can have in November 2022 as quoted, I would pay 10% more if it meant I could get it today, so imagine what will happen once stock is back and consumers are itching to buy, you’re not going to see discounts, most likely mark-ups, and hopefully those mark-ups keep local bike shops afloat and help make up for lost 2020 revenue when they had no product to sell

Prices won’t come down until the bubble bursts….I still expect that to happen at some point in 2022.

There is a lot of duplicate noise in the demand right now as suppliers are jacking up forecasts / orders to get anything they can.

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People are also forgetting the multiple issues contributing to higher prices:

Trump’s pissing match with China over trade was the first bike increase. I’m sure lots of manufacturers started look at Vietnam and Taiwan for factories.

supply chain disrupted by covid

high demand of exercise equipment due to covid and lockdowns

US dollar has also declined 10% against other currencies over the last year (look at the DXY chart)

US stock market at all time highs - when a rich person’s portfolio has gone up $100K in just a year, $15K for a new S-Works looks like a good deal

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My only beef with the original headline is that there are certain interest groups out there who are extremely motivated to find evidence of catastrophic inflation any time the economy reaches something approaching full-employment. It’s almost as though the real goal is to keep American workers in as precarious a position as possible in order to exploit them.

The fact that bike prices are surging is an interesting topic of conversation; that it’s a sign of looming inflation is political propaganda with an aim to gin up support for a set of damaging policies.

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I’ve been searching the used market relentlessly the past year and there is zero indication that the folks who bought bikes in 2020 have begun to unload them. I’m just not seeing it. I’m curious though if/when that changes.

I think it will take a bit longer. Remember that probably less bikes were produced and sold in 2020 because of the disruptions. Those guys that buy a new bike every year, even if they procured one in 2020, are having a hard time buying one in 2021 so they probably aren’t selling. The person that bought during the pandemic will probably stare at their unridden bike in the garage for a few years before they sell it.

I had been wanting a new road frame but I think I’m going to just ride the current stable (road, mtb, gravel) until something breaks.

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Raw materials may be sourced elsewhere but most bike companies AFAIK have been making bikes in Taiwan before 2016

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I just bought a bike (Vitus) that was manufactured in Cambodia. First time I’ve seen this.

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Bike-o-nomics.pdf (284.7 KB)

I think several factors will lead to even higher prices this year and next.

Demand at the high end of the market for frames, bikes and top shelf components is relatively inelastic meaning that there higher prices are absorbed by the consumers with little change in quantity sold.
Demand for midrange is more elastic and this segment is the largest. It will see the highest rise in prices overall.
The lower end of the market (entry level/department store) is the most elastic part. Much of the demand was driven by the lock downs and entourage effect of friends wanting to try riding bikes as an leisure (not yet lifestyle) activity. Maybe some of those will convert to midrange consumers, some are out of the market.

The midrange and high end consumers will increase their appetite as racing comes back. As far as induced demand, watch ad spending and product launches for bikes and bike clothing and accessories.

People have money that they want to spend on bikes but can’t find them. If they can’t get one this year, do they spend the money on something else or does it roll over to next year as savings?
Anecdotally, I have seen local department store coming back. My LBS says that I can have an $12k S Works in a few days, but anything else will be a while.

How many people out there are going to want to sell a $500 bike that they paid $800 for for $300 anytime soon? You can change those numbers around any way you like. But there will be a lot of people out there that are not going to let go of a bike that they over paid for when the values drop back to whatever normal they do drop to.

I paid $4500 for a brand new bike with an $8500 MSRP a couple years ago. It was the end of model year, supply and demand. People want the latest and greatest so they slashed the price of the bike, and I was able to pick it up for barely over wholesale. Bike prices are going to follow supply/demand. When we reach a point of excess supply, you’ll be able to haggle again.

In many industries, companies have adapted to avoid US-China tariffs. This includes a return to Taiwan for many.

Just wait until all those who bought bikes in 2020 and 2021 because they couldn’t go anywhere or do anything find out that pedaling is hard. The used bike market is going to be great in 2022-3.

You couldn’t buy cross-country skis last winter either - all shops were out of stock. And it wasn’t because they didn’t receive any - most stores sold in less than 2 months what they normally sell in a year.

As to whether this is inflation or not: I don’t think it will be sustained. Demand will drop. Same for RVs, whose prices have shot right up. And plane ticket prices, which are rock-bottom now, will go back up once demand has recovered.

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You are looking at one small piece of the market….the high end.

The bike industry, as a whole, is much much larger than that. Don’t let one small segment color what is happening in the overall market.

(And I am not saying people are or are not unloading bikes they bought last year…just that enthusiasts tend to think their industry view is shared by the majority when it isn’t even close)

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