On Bogus Comparisons

One thing the bike industry is particularly good at is convincing people that they need new stuff. It’s even getting very good at convincing people that they need new stuff that looks very much like old stuff. It’s a sophisticated marketing dream, peddling (pun intended) a dream of escapism, reified in crabon.

I’ve paid good money for bikes before. If you dig deep enough on here you’ll find a evidence of expensiveness. I think I even wrote about it, comparing the cost per kilogramme between a Cervelo R5 and a Range Rover.

Nevertheless, amidst all of the talk of R+D, trickle down technology and assorted justifications for much expense, I came across this:


I couldn’t escape the sensation that surely, absolutely, this had to have a greater engineering provenance and cost value than his:


And that someone, somewhere, was having a laugh at the expense of golf manufacturers, mamils, and anyone seduced to such an extent by the sauciness of the bike boom that they felt compelled to spend nearly ten grand on a push bike.

6 thoughts on “On Bogus Comparisons

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  1. Very well written. There is NO REASON why “high end” bikes sell for what they do. Also some of the new “technology” is a pain. An example: I recently bought an R2 Bontager clincher tire that is “tubeless” ready. I had to take it back to the bike shop as I could not get the thing on my rim. It took three bike mechanics pushing on it all at once to get it on. Now, how on earth do I fix it if I flat out on the road???? I had the shop order me a few of the “old” new stock R2s and that “new” one is coming off as soon as I get them……..God help us……..

  2. Having played with a couple of those new Trek Madone 9.9’s in the flesh I must say if I was given the choice of any off the shelf bike we sell, this would probably be it (as long as it came with a free mechanic to work on it for me). It’s a true engineering masterpiece! Hardly a cable or wire on display and lines so clean. In fact, kit it out with SRAM eTap and it’d be damn near perfect!

    We’ve had a few nice Treks in this week. The sexy Team Issue Madone 9.9, the new Domane with “suspension” seat tube and a 4.65kg Project One custom! Personally I couldn’t justify spending more on a bike than my car, but for others it’s not as big an investment.

    1. It’s also ugly, I don’t care how it rides or if the gears change just by thinking about them or if you can remotely instruct it to come and pick you up from the office and take you to Richmond Park. It’s a bloody monstrosity,

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