Why are road bikes and cycling accessories so expensive? or, where can I get more affordable ones?
So I've been getting into cycling lately, and I'm experiencing a bit of sticker shock as I start to upgrade my bike. Currently, I have a cheapo Walmart-style hybrid bike, which I bought in 2002 for $100. I'm looking to get a low-end road bike that's just a little bit nicer, but I'm finding that there's pretty much nothing in the $200-$300 range. For road bikes, everything starts at $400 minimum, even in the used section (and that counts as "cheap"). I'm not looking for anything fancy or lightweight, just something that works and will get me to my destination maybe a little bit faster than my current tank. On the other hand, there's plenty of low-end mountain bikes
you can get new
for less than $300.
What gives? Can the manufacturing process really be that different, even on the low end of the scale? Most mountain bikes also have some kind of suspension, which I imagine would add to the cost, but a simple road bike with no suspension at all is still hundreds of dollars more. Why?
To my dismay, accessories seem to suffer from this malady too. A set of bike lights at REI
, for example, costs $70 for what's essentially a glorified flashlight and some LED's -- that's more than half the cost of my entire old bike! Even for a rear bike rack, which is just a piece of metal with no moving parts, the going price is around $40
. Prices at local bike stores I've visited are similar.
What's going on here? Do these things really cost that much to make? (Again, I'm not
looking for anything fancy, just the bare minimum that works.) Or should I just be looking in a different place?