/ Are Cyclists Suckers ?

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GravitySucks - on 30 Nov 2017
Are Cyclists Suckers ?

And I'm not refering to 'wheel suckers' that's a debate for another day ;-)

Leaving aside the cost of the bikes themselves, I never cease to be amazed at the price of cycling clothing / accessories, I can appreciate that a lot of design has gone into creating these products and many of them are well thought out and very useful but the pricing of some (I would go as far as to say 'most') of these products are just insane. It would seem that by adding the word 'cycling' as a pronoun to a product effectively tripples the cost of the product, say, you can purchase a pair of socks costing £x or, the same pair of socks branded as 'cycling' socks sells for 3£x and so on.

I appreciate that cycling is trendy and linked with the mid life crisis brigade, for whom money is of no consequence when compared to a 'label'. I also appreciate that coming from a stingey climbing background the thought of spending a small fortune on what are essentially disposible items seems bonkers but who am I to tell people to do with their own money ? ;-)

We all like to emulate our hero's to some degree and one of the nice things about climbing is that even the lowliest of bumblies (such as myself) can buy the very same equipment as world champions / leading edge(sic) climbers, at pretty reasonable prices, I'm fairly sure the same can not be said of cycling.

I know a lot of you will counter with the fact that you only ever cycle in your grandad's string vest and school plimsoles but you only have to go out on the road to see that this is not the norm.

When a cycling jersey could cost almost as much as a jacket that will take you to the top of Everest I cant help feeling that there are a lot of suckers in the cycling world.

I was going to don my asbestos underpants but I spent all my money on these beauties :- http://www.triathlete.com/2013/09/gear-tech/the-519-cycling-short-why-assos-costs-so-much_83890

the sheep - on 30 Nov 2017
In reply to GravitySucks:

It depends, some folks like high end gear, I get most of mine from Aldi
felt - on 30 Nov 2017
In reply to GravitySucks:

> can buy the very same equipment as world champions / leading edge(sic) climbers, at pretty reasonable prices, I'm fairly sure the same can not be said of cycling.

Elite Custom Race Bottle Cage

"The number 1 bottle cage in the pro peloton, a true design classic which is also self-adjusting. These cages were used by over half the starting riders in the Tour De France, including Mark Cavendish, Thor Hushovd, Bradley Wiggins and Cadel Evans."

A snip at £6.78-£6.99
GravitySucks - on 30 Nov 2017
beardy mike - on 30 Nov 2017
In reply to GravitySucks:

Alternatively are climbers extremely tight when it comes to buying kit? Climbers in my experience tend to find the cheapest accomodation, flights, transport, kit, make things last 5 years past the point at which they're knackered etc. That's not a bad thing at all, just an observation that you are viewing cyclists as spending way too much. Personally I think the reality is somewhere in the middle. Look at it this way, if there was as much money in climbing gear (I don't include clothes in this as that's not really my field of experience) as there was in cycling, the amount of innivation going on would be greater. The simple fact is that margins on climbing hardware are smaller than pretty much any other part of ther outdoor market bar maybe skis, which means that shops don't want to stock it, manufacturers don't run in a surplus and as a consequence there is little wiggleroom for reinvesting in research and development. If margins were better, it would allow them to take more risks and bring out things because they can, not because it's a sure bet to make money. Look at Di2, carbon bars etc... none of that would have happened without the companies seeing that they will be able to sustain the market and make a profit. Personally I feel as though climbers whinge a lot about how expensive their gear is, when the reality is that you get more for your money than you ever have. Technical gear is being squeezed to the fringes because of discounts etc. and people having the general attitude that they resent paying for kit that potentially will save your life. If the customers gave manufacturers more wiggle room, they'd get better products and see more risks being taken in the market place. As it is, there is very very little really happening of any note. A new belay plate here, a redesigned biner there, is it any wonder that customers feel let down?
felt - on 30 Nov 2017
In reply to GravitySucks:

Yes, you'd be mad not to buy that one in preference.

To be fair, Bananaman has made a very tidy living pushing the idea that you can compete with the pros on bamboo frames and tyres made of marshmallow.
webbo - on 30 Nov 2017
In reply to GravitySucks:
With Cycling clothing it's a case buy cheap, buy twice. I have an Assos windblock jacket that's 15 years old and worn hundreds of times and still going strong. Assos shorts last me at least 5 years, my climbing shoes worn the same out of times last 9 months if I'm lucky.
I've bought cheaper stuff but it doesn't last. Just buy stuff in the sales or from the Assos outlet or Sidi shoes from the Sidi cafe there's always a deal.
The New NickB - on 30 Nov 2017
In reply to GravitySucks:

I disagree, in virtually any sport you can buy clothing at a wide range of price points. In cycling you can go to ALDI or Decathlon, or look on the discount rails at your LBS, or own brand stuff from Wiggle or Evans or whoever, your can buy the mid range stuff made brands like Endura and and Altura, or you can shop at Rapha and Assos. Loads of cheap stuff on line as well. I've got a mix of stuff, but I have a fair bit of Rapha kit that I have been bought as presents or I have picked up in a sale.

A bit like climbing really, but actually at the cheaper end, you often have less choice than you do with cycling. I run a most days, so have lots of kit, the pricing structure is the same, I can get cheap kit, mid priced kit and expensive kit. Have a look at ashmei if you want to see expensive running kit. The kit is actually more critical for cycling as well, when comparing road cycling and road running anyway.
Chris the Tall - on 30 Nov 2017
In reply to GravitySucks:

Are you referring to cyclists or Triathletes ? Having seen the prices to enter an Ironman I would say the latter are slightly more profligate with their money.

As with anything there is an zone at the top and the bottom of the price scale where you are just wasting your money, so most of us spend somewhere in the middle. Obviously the higher up you go it becomes a case of diminishing returns, but that's not to say there is no difference, and if you have the money and appreciate the quality, why not spend it on something you enjoy.

I have a mate who mocks me for spending £200 on a dropper seatpost whilst his whole bike only cost £400, cos they were selling off 26er HTs because all of a sudden no one wants to buy them. But there is a reason for that. And having a dropper really enhances my riding experience, so for me it's money well spent.
GravitySucks - on 30 Nov 2017
In reply to The New NickB:

Must be something in my genes (a Scotsman living in Yorkshire ;-) ) As a pretty poor but keen climber, it just stuck me that I can and often do 'go equipped to commit a climb' wearing exactly the same kit as say Adam Ondra (boots, harness, rope, draws etc) and yet as a terrible but keen cyclist I have 'never' worn any of the kit used by the top pro's Froome, Nibbles, Bertie etc ..... because i'm too tight / sensible ! ;-)
gethin_allen on 30 Nov 2017
In reply to GravitySucks:

Some people are just suckers whether that be for cycling of any other pastime they are involved in, Anyone remember the Accapi "Photonizer" water bottle? And when some people feel the need to buy this snake oil others drink from a paper cup.
I buy most of my cycling gear from cheepo brands like planetX and DHB. Shorts last me 3 years ish so not totally disposable and not bad for the money.
The New NickB - on 30 Nov 2017
In reply to GravitySucks:

The team kit is often heavily discounted at the end of the season. I don’t buy it, because it is just wrong, but there are bargains to be had.
The New NickB - on 30 Nov 2017
In reply to GravitySucks:

Ondra wears La Sportiva rock shoes, some of which cost up to £135 a pair, you can get rock shoes for £30.
LastBoyScout on 30 Nov 2017
In reply to GravitySucks:

I have to say that my Assos shorts are incredibly comfortable for long distance rides and therefore worth every penny of the roughly £125 I spent on them. I'm only gutted that I missed out on picking up a couple more pairs in last year's Black Friday clearout and they've discontinued that model, so I can't get any more.

Other than that, my cycling kit is a mixture of big brands bought in clearance sales/eBay and Aldi socks. My winter commuting staple is a pair of Castelli tights I paid around £90 for in a sale and an £18 Aldi softshell jacket that I don't mind getting trashed with a rucksack on - both bits do exactly what I want them to. On proper rides, I'll swap that for a much swankier Specialized top with an RRP of £150 that I picked up for £75 in a sale.

I genuinely do find that the better quality gear fits better and works better, making the experience that much more enjoyable. It also tends to last longer, so it's a long-term investment. I've got a few items that are many years old and still refusing to die, despite the amount of use/abuse they've had.

Sport Pursuit are about to get a chunk of my money for a couple of new winter cycling tops.
Aly - on 30 Nov 2017
In reply to GravitySucks:

> It would seem that by adding the word 'cycling' as a pronoun to a product effectively tripples the cost of the product,

The same could be said for adding the word "climbing" before a pair of trousers, "approach" before a pretty standard pair of trainers or plenty of other sports (ski gear for example).



> When a cycling jersey could cost almost as much as a jacket that will take you to the top of Everest I cant help feeling that there are a lot of suckers in the cycling world.

I'm not sure where you get your cycling jerseys but I'm assuming you don't shop here for your mountaineering kit:
https://www.arcteryx.com/gb/en/shop/mens/firebee-ar-parka
https://www.norrona.com/en-GB/products/lofoten/lofoten-ace-gore-tex-pro-jacket-men/
https://rab.equipment/uk/expedition-8000-suit

;o)



yesbutnobutyesbut - on 30 Nov 2017
In reply to GravitySucks:

Dumb thread.

In most sports that don't involve motors you can buy cheap gear or expensive gear.

Expensive gear may be more refined, longer lasting , or in some other way better but the cheap stuff will normally be ok for the job intended

Toby_W on 30 Nov 2017
In reply to GravitySucks:

Over the years I’ve been saving between 1500 and 3000 pounds a year cycling to work everyday and even expensive cycling stuff works out cheap in a cost per use analysis compared to something like my suit. Good clothing is worth every penny. I have Assos shorts and longs and they are some of my favourite things but I do ride in European mountains quite a lot and nothing else comes close in my opinion.

So to answer your question yes absolutely, though not for the clothing.

It’s the wonky square tubed dimpled frame with cross contoured helmet and aero seat post and each of these things make you 4 watts more efficient or 5min faster over 10km. I should be as fast as a bmw m5 by now. Oh and if it’s carbon or ti then I really need it and it will probably make me faster. But, then again I have saved a couple of thousand this year...... oooh shiny.

We all have our vices.

Cheers

Toby

Hugo First - on 30 Nov 2017
In reply to GravitySucks:

Replace 'cycling' with any other sport / hobby.

Does Ondra not wear any clothes whilst at the crag? And if he does, are they from primark? Or does he wear 'climbing' clothes.
captain paranoia - on 30 Nov 2017
Stuart en Écosse - on 30 Nov 2017
In reply to GravitySucks:

I'm not sure that it is so different from climbing. Go to any large gathering of mountaineering types and you can't move for Arcteryx and Patagucci.

Cyclists have always spent big, long before the road bike became the lifestyle accessory of choice. The cycling club I was in during my teens had a few older members who weren't flush and if they had a car at all it was invariably ancient and very cheap, but they all had Reynolds 753 frames, custom made by Roberts, M Steel or Bob Jackson and the like and it was a choice between Dura Ace EX7200 and Super Record, nothing less. And if you're too young to know what all that means, it's ££££s

nniff - on 01 Dec 2017
In reply to GravitySucks:

I think it’s a fair question - I struggle to reconcile my different outlooks on the price of cycling and climbing stuff. I had a disagreement with a car a few months ago and my bike needed a new pair of wheels. They were £600 (they paid)which is just mental for a commuter bike (40 miles a day). My new winter boots cost £360. For some reason that I don’t understand there was more soul searching over whether or not new boots were really necessary. I spent £60 on a new fleece for climbing and £120 on essentially the same thing for cycling. It does my head in. My sole justification is that the cycling stuff gets more regular use, but it’s a pretty feeble argument. Don’t even ask about how much the non-commuter bikes cost.
Fraser on 01 Dec 2017
In reply to The New NickB:
> Ondra wears La Sportiva rock shoes, some of which cost up to £135 a pair, you can get rock shoes for £30.

I don't have a problem spending 'a lot' on shoes - apart from your fingers it's the one part of you that comes into contact with the rock and can make a huge difference in determining success or failure. I started out in cheap shoes and very quickly discarded them in favour of a better pair. YMMV.
Post edited at 07:53
elsewhere on 01 Dec 2017
In reply to GravitySucks:
There are also cars, watches, climbing holidays, hobbies, houses, meals, fashion etc costing 20 times what I would pay so it's not particularly cyclists.

You can't take it with you so if you have the disposable income and it gives you harmless pleasure you might as well spend it.
Post edited at 08:37
GrahamD - on 01 Dec 2017
In reply to GravitySucks:

No more than any other occupation that has a lifestyle element to it - climbing being the obvious one. The amount of money you *need* to spend against what you *can* spend is staggering. At the end of the day people like to spend money on their hobbies and provided they aren't being duped into thinking they *need* Assos bib shorts, or Prana bouldering pants or Arctyrix Goretex anoraks, good luck to them.
Rigid Raider - on 01 Dec 2017
In reply to GravitySucks:

No. I happen to work 200 yards from the Lusso factory where I sometimes go to buy kit and gossip with the owner so I've a good idea how it all works. The bloke runs and heats a small old industrial unit where a dozen women stitch the garments together. There is nothing extravagant about it, the operation runs on a laptop and lots of scraps of paper on a desk and I'm amazed that, at the prices he charges, he can sustain a comfortable lifestyle and employ those women and run the place. The gear is good, well made and durable so it's not like he's turning out Aldi quality.

And coming from 21 years as a scruffy mountain biker in faded, repaired, worn-out clothing one of the joys of road cycling is the smart clean kit so I don't mind spending a bit of money on nice-looking, functional gear. I don't spend money on casual clothing, a new pair of M&S jeans once a year and a couple of work shirts so again, I don't mind buying nice cycling kit. As for the bike, my best summer bike cost £6000 and was worth every single penny of that; it gives me so much pleasure and will keep me fit well into my sixties.
The New NickB - on 01 Dec 2017
In reply to Fraser:

> I don't have a problem spending 'a lot' on shoes - apart from your fingers it's the one part of you that comes into contact with the rock and can make a huge difference in determining success or failure. I started out in cheap shoes and very quickly discarded them in favour of a better pair. YMMV.

I agree to a certain extent, you can say the same about certain bits of cycling kit, bib shorts being a good example.
TobyA on 01 Dec 2017
In reply to nniff:

I bet those wheels are REALLY round though! More seriously 40 miles a day is a lot. You must save a lot on petrol or season tickets for the train as well as being ferociously fit. I don't think anyone is going to begrudge you having nice gear for that commute.

Having said that, I have always got the majority of my cycling gear from Decathlon, and more recently Aldi and Lidl, and it works well for the cycling I do, even when I cycled much more than I do currently commuting.

Living now on the edge of the Peak, and doing some mountain biking, I'm fascinated by the gear I see the weekend warriors using. Let's say some of these gentlemen make me feel svelte, so I think once a week tops is likely. I think it's great anyone is getting out and enjoying the countryside, and I know I've got lots of fancy climbing gear so I'm not disparaging anyone, but clearly people are happy to spend a lot on their mountain biking, probably more than road biking requires.
Mr Fuller on 01 Dec 2017
In reply to GravitySucks:

Cycling varies greatly from area to area in terms of how much people spend. If I ride at home - Grimsby - the average rider is quite strong and spends nothing on kit. In Leeds where I used to live the average keen rider was strong and spent nothing on kit. In my current Cheshire cycle club somewhat laughably I'm one of the strongest riders - I wouldn't be top 30 in my Leeds club - and have on most rides the cheapest bike (a snip at 1300 quid).

Don't get me started on cycle clothing though- much of it is laughably bad. If someone combined the tech of mountaineering clothing with cycling they'd make a bomb.
Rigid Raider - on 01 Dec 2017
In reply to Mr Fuller:

They do and they do; look at any of the fancy Italian brands like Castelli or Assos or the British brand Rapha and you will find top-notch technical fabrics, which work fantastically well. In cycling the biggest problem is wind and rain proofing while the wearer is working hard and producing copious heat and sweat and the better quality gear copes admirably with this job. A £250 Rapha or Castelli jacket may look expensive but you will get years and thousands of miles of comfortable wear out of it.
Bjartur i Sumarhus on 01 Dec 2017
In reply to GravitySucks:

I was sat on the central line this morning, and yes, it was chilly outside....but I saw three people wearing Canada Goose parkas. Some people love a label (and I have been known to buy the odd one myself), but they must have been baking on the tube.
TobyA on 01 Dec 2017
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

> they must have been baking on the tube.

But lookin' chill, bruv.

Did anyone see that little video North Face put out for the 20th anniversary I think it was of the original Nuptse jackets? All DJs and club promoters talking about them as 'classics'. Quite fun in a way, and prompted me to go and get my 20 year old one out the attic.

Mr Fuller on 01 Dec 2017
In reply to Rigid Raider:

Don't worry, I wear all of the above and still disagree. Cycling clothing is about 10 years behind mountaineering, and while the gap has closed in recent years it's still pretty poor.
Rigid Raider - on 01 Dec 2017
In reply to Mr Fuller:

Well I'm no apologist for the cycle clothing industry but at the same time I haven't bought an article of mountaineering equipment for a couple of decades so go on, titillate me; what miracles can we cyclists expect in ten years' time?
nniff - on 01 Dec 2017
In reply to Rigid Raider:

Well Arcteryx reckon that they can get £560 for a waterproof jacket, but Assos and CHPT3 run out of nerve at £350 and Castelli at £300, so on that basis you can look forward to a lighter wallet.

I bet a DMM crankset would be light as anything and have metal missing in all manner of interesting places. A DMM stem would be good too.

Flipping the coin the other way, a climbing helmet that fits as well as a cycling helmet would be good, but the £200 price tag would not be as welcome.
nniff - on 01 Dec 2017
In reply to TobyA:

> I bet those wheels are REALLY round though!

The most impressive thing is that after being run over by a car, they were still round enough for 15 miles, albeit very dented and distressed-looking. Bike shop said 'We can true those up". I said they needed to look at the other side of them. " Ah, maybe not". 3T Discus, they are, and light too.
Mr Fuller on 01 Dec 2017
In reply to Rigid Raider:
I've been a bit harsh on cycling's clothing: the fit has improved enormously and their research into aerodynamics has been really interesting. The thing they aren't the best at - and where my interest lies most - is thermal comfort stuff, particularly for cold weather. This is perhaps because pro teams largely race and train in warm places? I'm not sure. Windstopper is still commonplace, Polartec Alpha is only just arriving, gloves and overboots are relatively ineffective... all sorts of stuff aren't yet as advanced as in other industries, but they're catching up fast. nniff's absolutely right though that price plays a big part, and would anyone pay £500 for a jacket knowing that with one off you'd ruin it? In future though we'll see more electrospun stuff, more hybrids, more use of clever insulation, and better accessories too. Imagine the amount of tech in a Scarpa Phantom Tech versus the best winter cycling boot you can buy: there's so much more that can be done. I'm no expert on footwear, but a full gaitered waterproof boot with aerogel lining where the gaiter finishes mid calf to deal with spray, big zipper, all sorts... would be a big upgrade. Having said that, cycling were way ahead of mountaineering boots when it comes to things like Boa. It's perfect for cycle shoes; Sportiva will be able to tell us if it's good for boots!
Post edited at 13:26
DubyaJamesDubya - on 01 Dec 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

> Are you referring to cyclists or Triathletes ? Having seen the prices to enter an Ironman I would say the latter are slightly more profligate with their money.

> As with anything there is an zone at the top and the bottom of the price scale where you are just wasting your money, so most of us spend somewhere in the middle. Obviously the higher up you go it becomes a case of diminishing returns, but that's not to say there is no difference, and if you have the money and appreciate the quality, why not spend it on something you enjoy.

> I have a mate who mocks me for spending £200 on a dropper seatpost whilst his whole bike only cost £400, cos they were selling off 26er HTs because all of a sudden no one wants to buy them. But there is a reason for that. And having a dropper really enhances my riding experience, so for me it's money well spent.

Had a discussion at work where someone was asking how you could ever justify spending £1000 pounds on a bike(???). A mate of his piped up and said what about your fishing rod? Turns out he'd paid £2000 for his fishing rod!
plyometrics - on 01 Dec 2017
In reply to GravitySucks:
Nothing wrong with people spending on stuff they enjoy I suppose.

Although I always find it amusing to see fat lads spending inordinate amounts of cash on kit for marginal gains, when not spending their money on pies would be more aerodynamic.
Post edited at 14:41
abr1966 - on 01 Dec 2017
In reply to plyometrics:

There's a guy I ride with occasionally.....don't even know his name but I usually bump.in to him on the cheshire lanes around Jodrell Bank and share a few miles together.....he's a big lad for sure but has just bought an EC130 from planetX ......which is their aero frame. His logic is that "every little helps"..... I love it, real marginal gains!

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