Pinkbike Poll: How Much Are Name-Brand Components and Interchangeability Worth?

Mar 20, 2015 at 0:05
by Richard Cunningham  
Would you purchase a mountain bike based upon its performance only - if it wasn't outfitted top to bottom with name-brand components? Today, that answer would probably be "no," because the business model for the bicycle industry is completely dependent upon a name-brand supply chain that may be driving the cost of performance-level mountain bikes through the roof. Performance-level mountain bikes from the major brands are like supermodels - well recognized, sexy frames that, to a large degree, showcase expensive 'clothing' made by component suppliers like SRAM, Shimano, Fox, Renthal, Cane Creek, Mavic, and Enve. Bike brands have designers and engineers on board whose primary roles are to oversee that their frames are constructed properly in Asia and to ensure that they will interface with the latest and greatest suspension, brakes and drivetrain components, so their product managers will be unconstrained when they go on their annual shopping sprees to outfit them into complete bicycles.

Specialized S-Works Enduro 650 2015
Specialized S-Works Enduro 650: $9300 USD. Specialized is one of the most vertically integrated bike makers, relying upon name brands, in the case of the S-Works Enduro, only for its brakes, suspension and transmission components. Theoretically avoiding name-branded components should result in a comparatively lower MSRP, but that doesn't seem to apply here.



By contrast, the automotive business model emphasizes name brand components to a much smaller degree. For example, should brand X suspension maker dazzle enthusiasts with a pricey new fork that features a composite air spring and 32 clicks of compression damping, Honda won't rush to outfit its 450 with the brand X fork. Instead, it would work with its existing fork supplier to add 33 clicks of compression damping and either develop or license a composite air spring to remain competitive. It should come as no surprise that your money goes much further when you purchase a car or a motorcycle. Consider the massive amount of technology that goes into a Honda CRF450r motocross racing bike compared to what it takes to build a Specialized FSR S-Works Enduro with a similar MSRP and you may begin to question the effectiveness of how bicycle makers do business.

Honda manufactures major components, like the CRF450r's engine and chassis and assembles it in-house, but similar to bicycle makers, Honda also out-sources a significant number of its components - like electronics, forks, shocks, body-work, radiators, cockpit items and brakes. But that is where the similarity ends. The automotive industry is much more closely linked with their component makers and their designers work together to integrate parts to fit specific models. There is no expectation beyond tires, spark plugs and electric fuses that parts made for Brand A will fit anything on Brand B - and customers are OK with that, as long as they are assured that spares and service will be readily available.

Honda CRF450r 2015
Honda CRF450r: $8700 USD. Honda's close relationship with its suppliers and its reliance upon non-branded parts produces an elite level motocross racer at an MSRP that challenges the bike industry to restructure its business model.


Honda either owns its key suppliers, or it owns a significant share in their businesses, which ensures a degree of cooperation and product integration that is beyond the comprehension of the cycling industry. As a result, Honda's engineers are free to solve problems and innovate without being constrained by artificial standards imposed by component suppliers simply to make one part fit everyone's product. If they need to change the bolt circle of a brake rotor, or widen the rear hub, they don't have to argue with a drivetrain maker or seek media approval to make the improvement.

If Honda wants a seven-speed transmission, its gear supplier isn't going to refuse because someone over there thinks a six speed is a better idea. But, Shimano had no problem blowing off the entire industry when bike makers begged them for a one-by-ten drivetrain. If Trek owned 30 percent of Shimano, you could bet your ass that Remedies would be sporting Shimano one-by drivetrains with narrow wide chainrings. As it stands, Trek had to pony up for SRAM drivetrains. It could be argued that integrated supply chains and the lack of strict standards for interchangeability of components between brands are the engines that power the motorcycle industry's stratospheric technological evolution. It could also be argued that imposing such standards may have had the opposite effect upon the evolution of the mountain bike.

The bottom line is that both motocross and mountain bike customers are interested in purchasing performance. The motorcycle buyer has learned to trust the likes of Honda to assemble a complete package that will deliver the performance they want. Mountain bike makers, however, have failed to earn that trust, so they prop up their credibility with brand name components in an effort to assure their customers that their products will perform well. For example: when the RockShox Pike fork and Cane Creek DB Air shock arrived on the scene, bike makers didn’t run back to their existing suspension suppliers and co-develop forks and shocks which could compete with the performance of the new leaders. Instead, they threw their old suspension suppliers under the bus and showed up at the bar the next evening wearing Pikes and DB Airs. The short term benefit was that their customers got the fork and shock of the moment, but a year earlier, those boys were telling their customers that Fox was the best - another breach of trust, and a lost opportunity to maintain parity in the suspension marketplace and to suppress price increases by bringing their existing suspension suppliers up to a matching level of performance.

The up-side of our reliance on name brand components and universal standards is that they have become an insurance policy which ensures wary buyers who have been burned by lame product specs and fads fanned by media hype, that they could replace their OEM components or even the frame, with a better-performing product in a pinch. The cost of that insurance policy is hidden in the inflated MSRPs of enthusiast-level mountain bikes. We pay huge premiums for elite-level branded products so we don't have to second guess whether the bike maker has done a good job on a non-branded alternative. We forego potential improvements to the frame and suspension because we would rather have the option to return to older, tried and true components.
Cane Creek DBair Inline
Cane Creek's $450 DB Inline shock became an overnight sensation, appearing worldwide on elite level trail bikes.


As long as bike makers continue to follow the present business model, our reliance on name brands and component interchangeability may be as well founded as it is embarrassing. Honda has proven to its customers that they don't need to hedge, and its ability to sell a competitive motocross racer for the same money as a 160-millimeter-travel enduro bicycle could be perceived as a slap in the face and, at the same time, a GPS map showing an alternative route that the bicycle makers could take if they wanted to do a much better job of managing the costs and delivering on the performance of their elite and enthusiast-level mountain bikes. I've heard both sides of the story and I believe that using a strategy similar to the motorcycle industry, bike makers could drop the MSRP of their elite-level bikes by 30 percent without significantly eroding their performance or their profitability. They may not look as sexy, but you can't see the bike while you are riding it anyway. The real questions is: Would we trust them if they did?



If you could buy a bike with equal or better performance and reliabilty for 30% less money, would you forego name brand components and interchangeability?

This poll is closed







288 Comments

  • + 197
 Please don't complain about how motos are cheaper than MTBs. That SWorks enduro is pretty much the exact same one that Curtis Keene rides. For $10,000 you can have a carbon copy of bike that top professionals ride. For you to have the exact same bike as James Stewart or Ryan Villopoto, you'd easily be looking at well over $40k
  • - 167
flag GarlandPhotography (Mar 20, 2015 at 18:36) (Below Threshold)
 Alot of the bikes those guys ride in supercross arn't far from stock
  • + 92
 I'm not completely sure what kind of supercross you watch in canada but the bikes the riders ride here are far from "stock".
  • + 50
 I came here to say exactly this. Sure $10,000 is a shit-ton of money, and you can buy a MX bike for less. But let's compare apples to apples here: at that price you're getting the very best MTB that you can possibly buy, and the same thing that the pros themselves are riding. Take that same $10,000 to your Suzuki dealer and ask to buy the EXACT bike that JS7 rides, and watch how fast you get laughed out of the dealership!

That being said, I can see the point of the article, but I worry a lot about replacement parts if the MTB or bike industry in general goes this way... I've been burned too many times in the past by brands with proprietary parts.
  • - 40
flag ArnoldBabar (Mar 20, 2015 at 18:50) (Below Threshold)
 Try at least a $1mil to have the same bikes as them. Suspension alone on the factory bikes can cost upwards of $100k. In the 450 class some guys ride close to stock bikes, but they add A-kit suspension and an engine package. In the 250 class you need a modded bike to be competitive.
  • + 53
 Your example isn't apples to apples. There's a limited amount of technology in a bike compared to a moto. You can easily dropped those numbers on tuning an engine, nevermind the higher thresholds needed on every other component of a moto. The reality is you get a lot more product in a motorcylce for a lower ticket price. Obviously there are many factors at play there but that's what it comes down to. That doesn't mean i'm trading passions anytime soon, but it would be nice to feeling i'm not getting intimate with a zucchini when i look to buy another bike.
  • + 20
 $100k for suspension is a bit of a stretch, I know the factory kyb stuff JGR, is running is "only" about $25k a set haha. A-kits unnecceaary and with a good bike(Yamaha) you can qualify for 450 with a stock motor, pipe and valved stock suspension, too many guys are way over complicating it. Even 250 we have riders consistently making mains with valved stock suspension, a cam and pipe, its all rider.
  • + 18
 I could buy a Kayaba SSS fork for a grand, brand new.

Yes, some of the pack filler in supercross are riding off the shelf components, and other than suspension changes (so they don't die) there is not much changed from stock. Andrew Short just a year or two ago was riding a nearly bone stock bike he bought because he couldn't get a factory ride. It just shows how good stock mx bikes are now.

The dudes who are factory teams, yes those are highly modified. I think the only things that stays off the shelf are the frames and engine cases. And they switch out frames and engines every race, sometimes more, sometimes less.
  • + 61
 cont'd:


There are a ton of similarities between both mx bikes and mtbs. But to compare pricing will only cause you grief. I would bet money that there are more mx bikes sold in California alone than there are mountain bikes over $1000 sold in the same region. That number comes right outta my ass, but you get the point.

For mtb brands to benefit from lowering their overall prices, they need to slim down the number of options per model that they offer. I mean, some brands have 4 or 5 parts kits per model! That's just crazy! Then add in 3-4 sizes per frame and all of a sudden there are a huge number of sku's they have to make and sell.

Then it has to be factored in the number of changes they go through every year. MX bike companies generally operate on a 5 year full remodel on their bikes with some small changes year to year. Except the YZ250, which is now largely unchanged in ten years. MTB brands seem to completely revamp their lines every year or two. That's just plain stupid. Unless your current model truly sucks, then leave it for a while. MTB brands are constantly trying to introduce something new, like suspension platforms or something that gives them a foothold, but in reality, the lowly linkage driven single pivot is the best bang for the buck platform they could make.

Lumped in with that are the ridiculous amount of "standards" trying to be brought to market every year or two. This does not help with keeping prices low. It ultimate hurts consumers.
  • + 3
 A knew a guy whose kid was making the mains in supercross. He was on a satellite team with "cheap bikes". He told me they had almost $15,000 just in Ti hardware for the bikes.
  • - 1
 I would guess a pro supercross bike would be about $100K without salary for the techs and mechanics that build and maintain them, so mnorris122 makes a point, but that does not negate the articles point that the bike industry doesn't deliver allot of value for the money, or as much if they could by owning their supply chains
  • + 7
 if a pro moto purse was the same as a pro dh purse you would stop seeing 6 figure dirtbikes on the starting gate real effin quick. conversely, if a pro mtb race had that much $ up for grabs, i bet we would see more than a few mtbs that cost upwards of 30 grand.
  • + 24
 Very intelligent and interesting article. I enjoyed it a lot. However, as with many things, I think it's just not that simple of a solution with the bike industry. Automotive manufacturers like Honda and Yamaha are sooooooooo diversified, that their manufacturing and engineering power really cannot be compared to Anything in the bicycle world. Volume. If it were that simple, Cannondale should be running away with all the business with all of their in-house development and proprietary technology. By this theory, these proprietary-heavy bike companies should be killing the price point. But they are not. They can't do the volume of business or manufacturing, they don't have the resources, and they don't have the reputation to attract enough buyers to become large enough to truly go their own way and be runaway successful and change the modus operandi in the bike industry.
  • + 19
 Also, and of great importance, is that our industry is still trying to figure all this shit out and decide what the hell it wants to be. This shit is volatile. As soon as things go one way, they are already moving on to the next. Moto does not change courses that quickly. They figure it out and stick to their guns a while longer. Although I think it is coming into its own now that it's come full circle in the MTB racing spotlight, with the popularity of "Enduro", which in my mind is just a long trail ride over whatever terrain happens to define the region you are in. Except now it's a race. Which is how it all started. For the loooongest time though, we really only had XC and DH racing bikes. Neither of which were exactly the best tool for a long backcountry trail ride. The new crop of "enduro-ish" bikes are the most all around high performance, enjoyable, and practical everyday anyday anywhere mountain bikes.
Moto has had the racing and backcountry aspects figured out a lot longer. So they can really concentrate their firepower, whereas we have seemed to be firing shots in the dark and hoping it pays off next year when the new wave hits.
  • + 5
 i dont know about you Metacomet, but proprietary tech scares me away because then i cant replace or customize as easily. i feel that one of the reasons c-dale got bought out by pacific cycle/dorell was because they were too "self centered". that and the moto thing which now we have come full circle haha.
  • + 60
 I can't stand this comparison. I race moto. I demo'd a Yeti SB5 this summer with an MSRP of 10k with Enve wheels. I told them the MSRP was ridiculous; I don't care what it has for wheels (etc). The dealer who was present also rides a little bit of moto and somewhat knows the market.

He went on to tell me that Roczen's Factory 450 was worth 125k (he would have no real idea), but I was getting Graves' factory SB5 for 10k.

But I don't need Roczen's Factory 450 - none of us do. At the same time, KTM produces a Factory Edition version of their 250 and 450 - an absolute mind-blowing production bike with top-shelf parts. Yeah it isn't a full-on factory bike, but again, I don't want one and don't need it. The Factory Edition KTM is just shy of 10k.

I see some ramblings about suspension - OE suspension on any of the current motorcycles is so good, that almost anyone out there can get along very (very) well with the suspension as-is. Set it up for your weight, maybe swap springs if you need, but that's it. You're good. Professionals who race, are a different story, but many of the guys out there are on production BASED suspension with mods from companies like Race Tech, etc.

Say what you want, but you get a LOT more out of a motorcycle for 10k. I don't care what comparisons you try to make.

It's a fairly pointless argument - I love to do both, but I'm not spending 10k on a bike without a motor. Principle keeps me from it.
  • + 39
 if honda went back to making bicycles it would be game over for a lot of bike companies. think about it. they could force shimanos hand and make a top line bike for maybe 2 grand and still make $.
  • + 5
 In my book its more than just a name and brand. Its, reliability, durability, customer service, integrity, value, quality, etc...if you don't have those things going for you I'm shopping elsewhere.

Names/ Brands are useful because attached to those names are a reputation.

Its harder to trust something that isn't a name brand.
  • + 10
 Sorry. But that's a stupid comparison. I might not get RVS bike for 10k but I absolutely could get a bike I could win a GO CC or my class at the ISLE on. The point is that you get about 7 times the value in a moto.
  • + 18
 If only a moto manufacturer like Honda started making mountain bikes, the sport would never be the same again.
  • + 31
 this is gettin neg propped but i would love to see honda crush specialized at their own game. haha
  • + 13
 You mean, started making mountain bikes again. The RN01 has wona few DH WC's already. www.bike-trend.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/honda-rn01.jpg
  • + 3
 Love that bike. Would kill to have one.
  • + 8
 yea Honda your MX bike is cheap compared to our top MTB's and your business model is great so stop being dicks and make MTB's already!
  • + 4
 they could have their own wheel size and still kick ass. they could call it 450r.
  • + 1
 You make a good point. The new r1m from Yamaha is badass but its not an m1 ( motogp reference) and the satellite teams that use the m1 I'm motogp rent them for well for a million a year. Yes I said rent.
  • + 17
 the simple answer to the problem at hand is … pinkbikebuysell
  • + 7
 The problem is, you spend 3000$ on upgrades for your 6k bike and you gain 1 second on a race. I can only assume that you spend 3k on upgrading engine on A motorbike and you gain a lot more. If only bikes could scrub like Thomas Vanderham, 26" would be the bees kneees, but they can't so you may as well ride a 29er for those dead sailors Big Grin
  • + 7
 yeah, the gain in performance from a 2K bike to a 4K bike might be like 20% but the gain from a 4K bike to an 8K bike might only be like 2%. its just not worth it unless you have nothing else to spend your money on.
  • + 5
 You're also not necessarily ridding what the pros ride. The frame may look the same and wear the same badging but how do you know what has been tweaked for their ride. Guys are on black box parts etc.. That might not trickle down to the average consumer for years if ever.
  • + 4
 yeah but that stuff comes down to personal preference. their "secret weapons" wont make you a better rider at all. you might not even like it.
  • + 26
 I'd argue that this comment at the start of the article is incorrect:

"Specialized S-Works Enduro 650: $9300 USD. Specialized is one of the most vertically integrated bike makers, relying upon name brands, in the case of the S-Works Enduro"

Specialized don't actually "make" anything. They are a design/marketing company that outsources all their production to off-shore vendors.

Their 'vertical integration' is anything but vertical:

-they are using vendors to manufacture their frames
-they are using vendors to manufacture OE goods like Specialized branded stems, bars, tires.
-they are sourcing branded components for drivetrain, brakes, etc.
-who then all supply an assembly plant(putting the bike together and boxing it up)
-who then supply the boxed bike to their territorial distributors
-who then supply the boxed bike to their retailers
-who then supply the assembled bike to the end user (customer).

Specialized are not unique in this respect. Most of the bike "brands" are design/marketing companies, very few have their own production facilities or domestic manufacturing capability (Trek are unusual with their domestic 'Project One' line)
  • + 21
 This is without question the best article I've ever read in the MTB media. I wish I could give it 100 props. MTB prices are ridiculous. Comparing the mx bike to the mtb, which is an entirely fair comparison since the prices and therefore target market are so similar, exposes the facts. I'm not going to say we're having our pants pulled down because I don't think anyone in MTB is making any money (with exceptions of course) but one has to question just how our bikes have got so expensive.
  • + 7
 @kgamoto awesome, awesome post!
  • + 20
 very simply it boils down to this for me.... if i have 9 grand in my pocket im buying the 450 alllllllll day long. i dont give a shit what pro has the mountain bike and how i couldnt jump into the pro motocross league with my stock 450. im not sure how many of us are living in the clouds about this but having "what the pros have..." doesnt make you a pro or even better at the sport for that matter. i have an 04 crf450r and had it before i owned a mountain bike in my adult life. i paid more for my mountain bike at the end of the day than i did for the 450 by at least double. (i did get a great deal on the honda ill admit.) i love my mountain bike, ride it a ton and i built it to be reliable and handle more than i could put it through. and in the mountain bike world i spent less than the average bike costs. but dollar for dollar as far as the 2 go the 450 wins by a landslide. just my opinion
  • + 6
 I would say it's fact, not just opinion. Still, if you stick with zee and metal, you can get great bang for buck in an mtb
  • + 14
 Like dirt88 said, if I had $10,000 to burn, I am buying a KTM 500 EXC, not a bicycle. WAY more for your money, and it will be worth something in a year. Mountain bikes depreciate like mad.
  • + 12
 @jaame - thanks man.

@dirt88 - Yeah I have more in my Yeti SB95C than my KTM 250XC (2-stroke) as well. But as far as suspension goes, you would be surprised how much of the lesser-known pro motorcrossers (who are struggling to get from one race to another - the three-digit guys) are on stock suspension. Not many and eventually they'll have someone alter the internals, but I always hear about the privateer who "had to show up on raceday on a bone-stock bike". It happens. BUT, its very capable as-is.

Think about how much MORE is going on inside a motorcycle's fork and shock. A TON! I've done forks myself - both for moto and mtb. MTB forks (like the Pike) is so simple its insane. The shock may be a different story, but by-enlarge, my point still holds water.

Enve wheels for $2500. That's laughable. It goes on and on. But the mtb public is buying the products which fires up the companies and sets the bar for pricing.

I love this comparison as well: gear, more specifically, shorts. Take full-on moto pants for $119 (average price for mid-level pants). Compare them to super-flimsy, light-weight mtb shorts for $119 (and if you're lucky they come with a liner). Really? Come on!
  • + 11
 @ everyone. Guys $10.000 for something that lacks of engine and electronics is too much. That's a fact either you like it or not.
Personally, I don't care who is riding what and apples to apples bs. If you think that with a carbon frame you can go as fast as with a dirt bike then.....wake up
Several time in the past, when Pinkbike had an article related to expensive carbon bikes or components your reaction was like: 'With that amount of money I can buy a real dirt bike'.
Now, you, the very same people, are saying that: I can spend $10.000 for buying Minnaar's V10 just because can' t spend $600.000 for Block's fiesta.....
Guys get a life...
  • - 15
flag dyalnmtb508 (Mar 21, 2015 at 8:14) (Below Threshold)
 I really could give a shit less about all of this and just go out and ride my bike, instead of sitting here and arguring. But you know i think ill just go bum ur mum in da bum.
  • + 11
 Comparisons aside, I agree that $10,000 for a bicycle is way too much money. But complaining about the pricing on any top end products seems a bit dumb to me. It doesn't bother me that there are bikes that cost that much, I simply would never pay that much money for a MTB. Something like a Kona Process 153 for $3,900 is way more in line with what I would pay. New school geometry, Pike fork, dropper post, SRAM/Shimano drivetrain/brakes, WTB wheels, and Maxxis tires. All great stuff for less than half of the price of an S-Works Enduro. But are people going to point out that you could buy a Suzuki RM85 for $4,000, so what's the point of buying the MTB?

Tell you what, if you want a MX bike, f*cking buy a MX bike in your price range. If you want a MTB, f*cking buy a MTB in your price range. Then go ride and quit bitching about it.
  • + 5
 the thing is, this comparison is not at all fair. when you take into account the size of moto companies, a lot of which are also in the automotive industry, they have the man power and the resources to be vertically integrated.

A lot of mtb companies have fewer than 500 employees, so doing everything from frame to suspension design and manufacturing is simply not possible, so they have to rely on third parties, some of which might work with you and others might just shove their products down your throat.

Another aspect is logistics. The number of mtbs sold worldwide isn't even a grain of sand compared to the number of motorbikes. the difference is even bigger when talking about 3k$+ mtbs. that drives logistics and manufacturing costs through the roof, as producction runs and shipments are smaller.

Then you have the R&D costs, which you spread over number of mtbs produced, fewer bikes made, higher R&D costs per bike.
  • + 3
 Pedrosalas7@ moto is not bigger, at least not where I live! There're bicycle shops everywhere and the closest Honda dealer is an hour from me. This is a poor comparison!
  • - 7
flag jdotr (Mar 21, 2015 at 12:42) (Below Threshold)
 I race supercross, and my bike (id say) comes in at around 13grand. Sure I have loads on pre production kit on it because I'm pretty sick. But 10 grand for a piece of carbon that I could snap on a pretty tame section (I ride hard and fast, often too fast for mtb) is a complete rip.
  • - 1
 @thop00 I saw that article too, and all I have to say is they are so off the mark it's not even funny. RV's bike is full factory, his suspension is stuff you can't even buy, it is waaaay more than 10gs. On a bike like that you're gonna have at least 25k into suspension, some bikes are even higher then that. Also in their "special racing parts" they list it as 2 grand. With a pipe and hubs (which also cannot be bought and cost close to if not more then a grand themselves") you are already at 2Gs.
  • + 1
 Back before they had the production rule (1980's) bikes were totally custom from the wheels up. It was common to have bikes into 6 figures.
  • + 1
 You still get that in the GPs to an extent. Or you just do what KTM does and make an FE, charge 11k and only make 500 of em and then you get a new race bike whenever you want. Husky still has their exemption rule so it will be interesting to see what happens when and if they use it.
  • + 0
 Que una bici sea publicitada en las carreras por un ciclista profesional no significa que su precio tenga que ser elevado. El precio es una medida (ideal para el poseedor de la mercancía y falsa), que estima el tiempo de trabajo que requiere un producto.
  • + 11
 I have no doubt that there are more than plenty people happy to 10k for a mountain bike, if there are 10k road bikes which are much simpler in construction (save shifter/brake levers) and produced in larger numbers. The thing is, since several years bikes are not improving anymore, dropper post and N/W chain ring was the last thing to come up, everything else is just expensive white noise. So you can wait a bit... I put together a bike with decent carbon frame, ok carbon hoops, great 160 fork, Reverb, X0/XX1 drive train parts for around 4k, most of things bought unused or barely used, frame and wheels new on warranty. All one needs is careful observation of quality second hand markets and... patience. Those who want it NOW, and are deluded with reliability of first hand parts, pay 8k+ for such setup and God bless them, thanks to them I can have it cheaper.
  • + 0
 If anyone thinks that you can take stock suspension out on a supercross track you are living in a fairy tale. Mtb's are overpriced due to the fact that they have different molds being produced over and over again as stated above. Trying to keep up with the company that just had a "breakthrough". Moto bikes very rarely change frame geo etc. They have a good formula and different models for different applications. If the mtb companies limited their ranges of bike selection prices would come down. Companies like YT and Canyon might just bring down the pricing over time...hopefully. At the end of the day the people that are buying 10K bikes are the same people that are buying stuff like the Apple watch. They buy it to make their dick an extra inch longer. Most guys I know that have S-Works stuff aren't very good riders, they just want the best and somehow they can afford it so more power to them. But at the end of the day I still show them up on a Comp model aluminum framed bike.
  • + 6
 lostlunch nailed it. There just isn't enough there to justify the artificially inflated prices on this shit. A lot of the time the sick & twisted MTB industry with its prices, gimmicks & "standards" is analogous to a little kid being a brat just to see how far it can go, testing what the limits are & what kind of selfish nonsense it can get away with.

Double the price of a bicycle & you gain nothing. Nothing that really matters. Save a few grams of weight, probably sacrificing some meaningful form of strength or durability in the process. Double the price of anything with an engine, where things bicycle "engineers" don't have to deal with (& most likely wouldn't have a clue how) come into play, like thermodynamics & not only do you get a lot more for your money, you'll see substantially greater improvements.

Yeah MTB & FMB in particular is a relatively new sport, so chalk it up to growing pains if you want. I always considered that part of it was the myriad of companies trying to make bicycles. You have hundreds, yet only a handful that make motos. The ratio of buyers to manufacturers may be in the moto industry's favor but IDK. You still get what you get for the money you spend & that definitely favors the moto industry in a hugely disproportionate way.

Try to break the industry down with excuse after excuse after excuse & what you have at the end of the day is a bicycle. It's a few pretty simple parts which is all it needs to be & all it'll ever be. That's all we want it to be. It's a big reason why many of us like this sport. My dented, rusted, nameless 24" specific single speed hardtail with an old 66VF (with the arch broke off) & lots of BMX parts does all bicycling jobs 90% as well as any other & it never breaks. Take your names, your prices, your gimmicks, your "standards" & your excuses & shove 'em up your ass. You're not "excused". Either make it better rather than just different, or GFY.
  • + 2
 Ride.
  • + 5
 @freeride-forever

Liking your comment:

"Try to break the industry down with excuse after excuse after excuse & what you have at the end of the day is a bicycle."

Years ago when I had my bike company Bombproof, my business partner who made his fortune in financial services, used to remind me when I'd get overexcited about something "Its just a push bike" (not even a motorbike!)
  • + 2
 mass production 1 size fits all sizing a good business model
  • + 5
 Game - and most of those components don't come even close to technology necessary to manufacture a motorcycle. If you think about the engine then ENVE wheelset or carbon frame for same money, it becomes laughable. In short words: stuff like CK hubs or Formula R1 brakes may look waaay better than stuff on a motorcycle but I thought jewelry is for ladies Big Grin
  • + 3
 I thought our bikes were ladies. Mine is. Her name is dotty.
  • + 1
 @]mnorris122 and everyone else that thinks their 10K bicycle is an exact replica of the race winning bike their favorite racer is using

www.pinkbike.com/news/aaron-gwins-troy-brosnan-specialized-demo-prototype.html
  • + 1
 If you actually read the article you posted, you'd realize that the link does nothing except add a few grams and the ability to tweak your geo the tiniest bit, as well as make it a bit more progressive. Honestly, for average joes, it probably feels better being more linesr
  • + 69
 Mtb has so much more innovation than mx though... I'd pay millions for things like 27.5+ and boost 148!
  • + 25
 said no one ever....
  • + 11
 Oh man, I was so ready to type up a long, ranting, angry reply, 'till I got to the 27.5+ and 148 part
  • + 46
 im torn because i like building up bikes almost as much as i like riding bikes.
  • + 1
 i like building up older bikes and riding them way more than i like riding something brand new. nothing new out there impresses me at all.
  • + 4
 the thing about bikes is that you can build a bike FOR YOU. yeah, the components may not be for everyone, but they may be PERFECT for you. and thats the beauty. you can have YOUR headset YOUR suspension, YOUR wheels YOUR cranks, pedals, derailleur(s) shifters, grips, bar, stem, tires, saddle, dropper, dropper lever even... even the chain and BB and bearings. that bike can be as unique as you can afford it to be. idk if you should go "well this is almost as good" for something that is for you. idk. when i buy, i buy what i want to buy, not what i kinda want.
  • + 10
 im kinda happy that the market is so flooded. buying slightly used mtb parts is extremely favorable to the buyer. they are like used electronics so in that regard keep it up everyone that thinks they need the best shit every year!
  • + 1
 _delete_
  • + 33
 This is probably the best article PinkBike has posted in years - I would love to see two markets: complete bikes that follow the Honda model and the aftermarket that would focus on interchnagability - Specialized or Trek could put out a bike with its own standards and suppliers and a frame with some degree of interchangeability - This article should be required reading for all product managers
  • + 6
 I have been reading MBA on and off since 1987, and this is the best thing RC has written...
  • + 3
 Look at cdale with their pull shock and lefty fork. Thats as close as it get in the industry right now.
  • + 5
 Would love to hear a few rational rebuttals by a Specialized or Trek product manager.
  • + 0
 @ReformedRoadie - that's not hard when there were no good articles in MBA
  • + 31
 Only name brand stuff I want is suspension and the frame. All the other stuff like drive train, wheels, tires, I could care less. As long as it doesn't look like a complete turd and works like it should, I'm happy.
  • + 2
 Well yeah you have your big players with lots of money like Fox, Marzocchi, Rock Shox, Manitou, then you have the smaller ones like BOS, EVO, RST (lots of 3 letter acronyms eh?) X-Fusion, SR Suntor ETC. Name doesn't necessarily mean they are any better or worse though(usually). I do agree though that I pretty much always stick to the big brands in bike forks. But for Frames, depending on the reviews and history i would definitely go with a less popular bike brand but of course "not all bikes are created equal".
  • + 3
 BOS isn't a big name only because they're relatively new and are just starting to come to north america. Over in Europe and other parts of the world they're really popular. They have the performance, they just aren't quite as well know like Fox, RS, and Marzo who have been in the game for a while and have almost perfected the product(s) that they sell.
  • + 0
 you can build a moto just the same as a bicycle. different components or more interchangable than others but when it comes down to it you can go build whatever you want. i think that people, like myself, have a different outlook on this. i dont agree that every bike build is "the best it can be" for that frame or component set up just because the company thinks so. yes a lot went into the design engineering and component choice but some changes to the orginal engineering/set up may benefit some people and their riding, myself included. i would much rather look into the specific strengths and weeknesses of a product for my own personal use not what others have to say about it. im not them, i know what performance i want out of certain components and a lot of the time the most expensive or name brand thing out there is not the choice for me. sometimes it is. i think some people need to give the smaller maybe less popular names a shot and really give them the time of day instead of just going the safe route of buying what everyone else has. also, high profile riders have a bit more going on with the bike than just the stock 450 has going on... those bikes are worth well over 10 grand...
  • + 3
 And this is why they offer just the frame. So you can build it the way you want it. But, that cost's more since you would be paying more than what the bike companies pay unless you work at a shop or know some one and can get discounts.
  • + 1
 this is true but once you have a full rig set up it is easy to budget for an upgrade or change of parts, or maybe just get to know who you need to know Wink
  • + 1
 To bad they don't do the same with moto. Have a kawi motor in a suziki frame with a yamaha suspension.
  • + 3
 haha nice, i stick ktm for obvious reasons but suspension is custom set up through slavens racing, brembos, basically everything internal is aftermarket, 300 exc all day long. yall can say what you like but anything is pretty much interchangable on the motos as well.
  • + 3
 I like the husky's a little more. Almost the same thing but a little cheaper and it isn't orange. But, if I had the money, it would be either a YZ250 2-stroke or a KTM 500 EXC. Big Grin
  • + 1
 @bronco82
You wouldnt care about about shimano/ sram, drivetrain and brakes, maxxis/ shwables (spelling??) tires
  • + 1
 Sure. . With enough time and money and a fab shop, anything is interchangeable.
  • + 1
 @shom1 Not really. I don't have much of a preference. It does come into play a little bit when choosing parts, but cost is the main factor followed by good reviews. If some guy was building brake sets in his garage and they had good reviews I'd run them.
  • - 1
 @Bronco82 Bos is popular in europe? Ahahahahhaha That's a joke. Even in the biggest bike parks in europe seeing bos forks is a rarity. Don't pull out assumptions out of your ass please.

Bos has no cheaper models and almost no OEM. Plus a way lower marketing budget so fewer teams, pros and ads.
  • + 1
 @spaced It's more popular in europe more than over here in north america. But it still ins't as popular as one of the major brands like RS or Fox. And you need to not be a dick before you know exactly what some one is saying.
  • + 1
 @bronco82.
SRAM/ Shimano and other major brands have have the expertise to build good bike parts ( for the most part) and have refined their parts. Especially more conplex systems like shocks, forks
  • + 1
 @Bronco82 are you often in Europe? Sorry but you have no idea. Even in Morzine you get to see very few bos forks. I love them to bits but they are probably as popular in EU as DVO is in the US (ie. you are surprised to see one)
  • + 25
 Thats it I'm buying a dirtbike
  • + 1
 i have a 2009 crf250 and a whole bunch of bikes that retail 10k. i never understood what makes a bike worth so much. carbon? no, i make carbon wallets and china supplies ton of cheap carbon thats great quality. shocks? no, a dirtbike shock can withstand alot more weight, and is alot more durable and aruguably more complicated. dirtbikes have a engine with pistons, constant moving parts working in sync. and the best part is a bicycle cant go 80mph Wink also, if depression strikes, dirtbikes may still have some value unlike bikes that once were worth 10k.
  • + 19
 Cannondale and Specialized seem to have more non-branded components than most bike manufacturers (and some of the highest priced premium bikes). Do non-branded components really save the consumer any money? Parts like the like the lefty fork, pull-shocks, and brain shocks do perform well but they cost more and make it more difficult to customize or replace suspension parts if one chooses.
  • + 9
 A very fair point, and also brings up the major issue with proprietary parts: replacement part availability. I've been burned in the past by brands with proprietary parts, having to wait for months to replace something that I could have easily replaced with "universal" parts on other bikes. Rims with odd-numbered spoke holes with special spokes come to mind. LBS didn't have anything in stock and neither did the manufacturer. Had to wait for the next factory order from Taiwan! If it were a "universal" rim with J-bend spokes, I would have been riding in a day vs two months...
  • + 10
 Giant is a better example of vertical integration and the resulting cost reduction:

www.giant-bicycles.com/en-ca/bikes/model/trance.advanced.27.5.1/20508/80073

Carbon frame, carbon wheels, integrated dropper, stem, handle bar - all Giant. The rest, upper-end components, 46% less money than the Specialized cited in this article. The top-end is still 20% less $$.

People in MTB are giant suckers for paying for a brand. Kona/Norco make mean trail bikes too for good price-points but no references to be found...

I said yes to the poll - and I'll be buying a Giant!
  • + 5
 And look at how much you are paying for the privilege. I dont really want to spend 10k on a mountain bike that is what the pros run and needs constant maintenance, because they have a team that can do it in 5 minutes. Give me a bike with parts that I dont have to rebuild every Sunday night, and wont fall apart if I use them for more than a month.

I am not a pro. I don't have a sponsor that can just send my mechanic new parts overnight at no charge, and have them installed before I wake up. I do 90% of my own work on my bike, and that is that much less time I have riding. Give me something strong that can take a beating, and last a couple years. If its not the lightest carbon unobtanium part that is 2 grams lighter than the more durable, cheaper component so be it. If you can tell a part weighs 2 grams more, then you must have a team mechanic.

/rant I am gonna go ride my bike, drink a beer and maybe or maybe not clean it after.
  • + 1
 Work for a Cannondale dealer and kind of have a similar opinion. Anyone remember Coda brakes and 4 bolt rotors? Nope, and there's a reason for that...

Would be interesting to see if a company could make/have a part in most of the manufacturing and produce something both well functioning, reliable and cost effective, but as someone who switches out parts and likes trying different/new things (eg. tire junky), doing so at the expense of interchangeability would not be great (though with wheel sizes, BB standards, axle standards and everything else that's already becoming less and less).
  • + 5
 Parts availability is definitely an issue. If my 8 year old car shits the bed I can get it towed to the dealership or any decent shop and they can have any conceivable part shipped in within a couple days. I'm pretty much guaranteed to have the car fixed and back in my hands within a week. Bikes? Yeah, good luck. With a 5 year old bike you'll be scouring Ebay and PB classifieds to track down donor parts.

And that's not going to change any time soon since not even the biggest bike companies can afford to stock giant warehouses full of parts for every bike they've made in the past 10 years.
  • + 2
 @b-roc I have a Giant Reign 2, and it has loads of proprietary spec and i have not been disappointed at all. The first thing I am likely to replace are the wheels, but that's only when I can't true them anymore.
  • + 1
 @b-roc, compare apples to apples... Reign advanced 0 team $8250 vs s-works enduro $9300

A little more fair fight. Sure the Reign is 11%less than the Specialized but you could argue where that extra 11% is spent.

If you look at which bike has the best in slot for each part more points will go to Specialized for their build choice.

Sure Giant has a reverb, and guide rsc brakes, beating the command post (a debate for another day) and guide RS brakes.

But specialized boasts the better stem, bars, shock, and probably the biggest win in the wheel set.

giant gives you a under specd all mountain dt Xm 1501 all mountain alloy set vs the burlier wider, enduro level carbon rovals.

The point is there is certainly $1000 in upgrades to the enduro over the giant.

Both are killer bikes and both have their pros and cons. Both fit 2 budgets as well.
  • + 2
 @b-roc

Your example of Giant is interesting, because they own their aluminium alloy and carbon fibre manufacturing facilities for frame / rigid fork and rim manufacturing.

However, they do not produce their own finishing kit (bars,stems,seat posts,saddles,tires) or clothing,tires,helmets, etc. Its all outsourced to other vendors because it makes commercial sense.

They manufacture, as a contractor, carbon fibre frames for canyon and colnago. They manufacture carbon for their own Giant and Liv brands.

They manufacture, as a contractor, aluminium alloy frames for many brands including Trek.

The value of their own products reflects their more vertical integration and massive buying power.
  • + 15
 RC, Interesting article and a timely look at the workings of our industry versus another but I think you answered your own question by showing that Specialized and Trek out there aren't selling their bikes for cheaper even though they supply their bikes with a number of house-brand parts. In theory they could sell them for less than competitors (due to the savings on these parts) but in reality they will sell the bikes for as much as they can get away with. It really is going to take a hit in their profits from direct sales like YT, etc before they are going to change prices. What makes you think they would be so benevolent to drop their prices for consumers just because they've worked out an internal savings strategy?

Also, the large companies may have enough money and power to pull this off but the boutique brands that just make a couple of parts are the ones who either rely on or push the standards so that everything fits together. I like that this empowers small businesses to focus on a couple of pieces and keeps the big companies in check yet I know that this system has created the annual joke of the new standard that is 10% stiffer and incompatible with last year. I just wish I could see who is yanking the chain that creates this game of crack the whip.
  • + 2
 Absolutely. Whilst the big players may well be able to go down the proprietary road, the current (up to now!!) relative standardization of the industry allows a myriad of smaller/boutique frame and parts manufacturers to thrive.

And that is a good thing.

The UK's LTHT market is full of small independent frame makers (Cotic, Stanton, BTR etc) who benefit greatly from the ability of the consumer to buy a frame and go from there. As an example, I was at a race last weekend here in Japan on a Cotic BFe. At the same race series there are people riding Cotic Souls, Stanton Slacklines and BTR Rangers and no two are the same.

The industry does, for the moment at least, encourage users (who can see past the bling) to be more involved, and that surely is a good thing. Yes, it means there are segments of the market for the "more money than sense" buyers, yet we don't have to get involved at that end if we do not want to.
  • + 16
 Something needs to be done. The price of a decent bike in today's market is f*ing ridiculous.
  • + 9
 YT Industries, may have some affect when it comes to driving down other companies prices. I mean, 6400nzd for carbon, bos, and ton of other really high end components hopefully will make other companies, spesh, trek etc. lower the prices. (hopefully)
  • + 7
 Yep. YT is the only company that seems to be spearheading a change. Great bikes that cost less. Let's hope others follow...
  • + 5
 YT lesssss go!
  • + 2
 Yeah, heres hoping more will follow. Bikes are getting to be so much money, which i think turns people away from mtb.If companies would lower their prices more customers would come and enjoy the sport. Which would be good for the bike market anyway! Lower Prices!!!!!!
  • + 2
 YT: DO IT!
  • + 8
 This argument is so annoying. Yamaha, a 15.9 billion dollar company has the muscle to manufacture whatever they want. Trek is a 600 million dollar company world wide. that's a huge difference. bicycle are a niche market, mountain bikes are a niche of that niche. low production numbers + specific market = high cost.

Also, that brand name and interchangable parts allow room for the "little guy" that is making very limited frames, to have a bike that performed as good as the big dogs. there's countless frame manufacturers/ builders in the mountain and road bicycle world. yet very few choices in the moto world by comparison. I for one, like that parts can be changes around, that when my Trek Remedy is toast i can go buy a Santa Cruz Bronson, or a Knolly Warden and aside from maybe a new BB and fresh cables, that all those name brand parts i upgraded and blew my paychecks on , can be transfered over easily. try swapping a you Honda motor onto your Yamaha frame that easily.
  • + 7
 This discussion sounds good in this moment - until people end up with completely different dropouts, suspension mounts, headtube sizes, etc and you are forced to only have one choice (OEM) to replace your broken bits with . . . . . . and that is how you end up with a marginal fork replacement for hundreds and hundreds of dollars due to lack of competition.

The mountain bike world is pretty unique in that there are loads of different manufacturers creating similar items and competing with each other - but people - do not forget that competition is good for the consumer. Sure, you have the often cited $10k uber-bike, but on the other hand you have the $2k full suspension with loads more performance than a $3-4K XC hardtail from 5 years ago.

Competition is good . . . . . . . especially for consumers. And I know PB is full of commenters gawking and protesting at the prices of mountain bikes, but for every one of the complainers - there are a lot of us out there that are happy to pay to play. Sure, I thought $5k was insane when I first started biking, but now, I can't imagine (outside of long term financial investments) a better place to put that money.

SRAM, Shimano, Xfusion, Cane Creek, Race Face, etc - keep on doing what you do. It's a great world out there right now, and I love it.
  • + 6
 If bike companies supplied all their own components there would be far fewer companies available to choose from. Instead of focusing on just a frame, now they are looking into total design and way more R&D. This is okay if everybody wants a Trek, Giant or Specialized... the smaller players would drown.
  • + 3
 Your observation that vertical integration would mean few bike brands may also be part of the reason that MX bikes are cheaper - there are very few brands and therefore they sell in high volumes.
  • + 5
 Spesh and trek already work with shock suppliers to customize their suspension. They make custom hubs. They push press fit bb's. They want to do this like Honda. Everyone else plays nice, but possibly at the cost of innovation. How do you ask a company like knolly to spend money and time to come up with a new standard and ask a hubs supplier like hope to risk making a hub to match, knowing that neither can afford a flop. I don't think small companies could make it in a honda style market. There is a reason there are so few players selling motorcycles and cars. The same model would kill knolly, specialized knows it. New wheel sizes, hubs, and everything else contribute to that.
  • + 5
 Interesting however there is only one problem with this article. It talks about the amount of technology in an mx bike compared to a mtb. MX technology is basically stagnant and has been for over 10 years with only very small changes and refinements. You can be competitive on a 15 year old MX bike. You definately cant be competitive on a 15 year old mountainbike.
  • + 5
 with exception of fuel injection and some suspension upgrades you are right. That's part of the reason why moto is so rad, you can buy a shit ton of high end competitive parts for an older bike and race it.
  • + 2
 So true! My 2004 CRF is near race spec and it is quicker than my dads 2010 model...
  • + 5
 Mini-Pinner^^^Tear down the engine and transsmission, lay out all the parts on a clean table and then explain to me how insignificant Honda's technology is compared to a comparably priced mountain bike. PB readers have beeen crying for over a decade just for a gearbox. Honda gives you the gearbox and throws in a reliable 14,000 RPM engine for free.
  • + 5
 While you can buy the honda 450 stock and race it, most pros and high level racers (and subsequently a lot of people that want to look that part) modify their bikes with high end, name brand parts. You can also buy a big name brand MTB with multiple levels of specs, you can get them with low end parts or "G'ed up from the Feet up". I think the size of these manufacturers and the level of sales difference between the Moto and MTB industries should be taken into account when comparing them like this. It's unfair to assume that any one MTB manufacturer would have the ability to mimic an industry giant like honda when it comes to R&D and market competition. I'm personally thankful that there are so many different manufacturers of parts, it gives us riders and bike enthusiasts opportunity to personalize our ride. Also, without industry standards manufacturers would be the ones that see the negative side as they would be responsible for making multiple versions of the same part available to their customers, or limit their market.
  • + 4
 A highly sophisticated rant: part 4

However, I believe that the big three are exceptions not the norm, and to expect all frame makers to convert entirely to in-house products would either bankrupt them in R&D costs or ruin the brand recognition all together (*cough* Mongoose *cough*). And as exceptional as the big three are, even they have decided to leave highly specialized product manufacturing to companies such as Shimano, SRAM, and Fox.

Why would they do this? Especially if it meant lower MSRPs and more of that money back in their pockets. The answer is probably that the big three found out at some point that the increase in corporate in-house manufacturing resulted in a decreasing dollar/quality ratio (quality of the product decreased faster than the cost of manufacturing). Likewise, they also probably found that there was a similar drop off in dollar/quality on the other side of the spectrum with increasingly independent companies as well (cost of manufacturing increased faster than the quality of the product). In either case both the company and the consumer loses, because they must sacrifice either quality or money without a reasonable return.

The problem in my mind lies not with who is manufacturing what, but rather what are the consumers demanding and which companies are able to meet those demands.The companies that can know and meet those demands are those that will dictate the market. In the case of the bike industry the most innovative, and therefore, most crucial companies in cycling development are SRAM, FOX and SHIMANO. After that it's pretty basic economics. The consumer demands a bike that has X and Y capabilities, and companies A,B, and C create products that make it possible for frame makers to create these bikes (see example of RS Judy from before). This results in a really sweet bike for us, and a profit for both frame maker and parts manufacturer.
  • + 4
 If the bike industry goes the way of autos, I won't be looking forward to all the brand-specific tool sets for proprietary systems. Interchangeable parts make things a lot more fun for home mechanics. Or at least they did until 57 different varieties of bottom bracket came around.
  • + 4
 My experience with motorbikes has been there is a very strong brand name following. People buy a street bike for example on name (Ducati, Honda, etc) and then spend loads on performance parts like Ohlins suspension, Rizoma rearmost, BST carbon wheels, NCR Connecting rods, Termi Akrapovic, Hindle, or Yoshimura exhaust, Rental bars, etc. There are just a whole heck of a lot more motorbikes sold than mountain bikes. That has to account for some of the price disparity doesn't it?
Also, the motorbike industry does not appear to be completely reinventing the vehicle with every new innovation. The Mountain bike does
  • + 4
 A highly sophisticated rant: part 6

So rather than perpetuating the false dichotomy of interchangeability(independent manufacturer) vs price(in-house production), or raging at that incredibly vague but strangely omnipotent Orwellian Corporate Machine that is "The INDUSTRY", lets take some responsibility for ourselves and shift the focus towards the real issue that this poll it trying to address: namely, the relationship between Consumer(quality demands) and Manufacturer (price of production)

To steal from the article's final question, I'd would like to rephrase the poll to ask... "Would you trust an in-house brand to have the same product quality as an OEM brand?", and "Is the trust you have for an in-house fork the same as it is for an in-house seatpost?" When we know the answer to these questions maybe we, as consumers, can find a way to help orient our demands in such a way that every company from A to Z can make a profit giving us exactly what we want: FREAKING AWESOME BIKES FOR LESS THAN A USED CAR!
  • + 1
 You're on a roll!
  • + 4
 Part of the comparison MX to bike has to do with the fact that both are selling to people willing to spend about 10k on their favorite pastime. So no wonder there are bikes >2k because there is a market for it. It's not just rational performance.

As long as people are willing to pay $100 for a piece of aluminum with two holes in it because it says Chromag Ranger on it there will be companies catering to that market.
  • + 4
 I thought the story went, mountain bikes seem expensive or, are expensive compared to motorbikes because of the research and development costs and low build numbers in comparison to the motorbike. Has that changed?
  • - 2
 Don't think it has. People love to say the moto is cheaper because you get a bike + motor, but designing a bike for a motor is easy, it stays where it belongs, makes the same power under every rider and doesn't complain about suspension bob. So no need to design vpp, DW, hl etc, or go nearly as nuts trying to shave grams
  • + 6
 Interesting that this comes on the heels of a new SRAM fork with dimensions that will fit no exciting hubs.......
  • + 10
 which hubs excite you??
  • + 10
 Yeah, too bad it only fits the boring ones..
  • + 5
 ha.......exist.....
  • + 6
 Question is moot RC because it's not rational to trust any bike manufacturer.
  • + 3
 If Honda would produce a DH bike with Showa inverted fork and a gear box drivetrain that surpassed what we currently have, much like they did back in the day I would be game for whatever they had on offer. However, the bicycle industry financially isn't as strong as big red so keeping parts for a proprietary design they use for say, two years, on hand for the customers who bought them wouldn't be financially justifiable.
  • + 3
 95% of mx riders dont need a js7 bike, and couldnt use its potential.
95% percent of dh riders could use a alum. Spec. Enduro with the same results,
No need for the cruz v10 i bought and am moving to an enduro 6" bike.realizing no need for the carbon bling.
Bikes have crazy margins!
  • + 3
 I work for a bike company here in Switzerland and I personally think that compared to the Moto Industry,the Bike industry is ripping us off. My main focus is the Warranty Department and at the end of the day its hard accepting what prices the bike industry is charging for certain parts,frames,wheels etc.
Just do what I do every year..buy a frame set and add what you want to year. This day and age it doesnt really matter because the high end bikes are costing a fortune anyway. Full carbon frame in retail costs almost 4 x what the the customer will pay,suspension costs 3. x more...its a crazy business and somewhat a scam. Sometimes all they do is change the colour,add a better shock and change the stickers and it called an "upgrade"...what a joke. ATTENTION TO ALL BIKE/SUSPENSION/WHEEL MANFACTURERS - READ THIS ARTICLE.
We all expect cheaper Bikes in 2016!!
  • + 3
 The fact that you can buy a full 450 motocross for like.. A grand less than a mountain bike says alot about how overpriced our sport is.. I mean, yea the honda 450 is stock, but imo the dirtbike is worth way more than the pedal bike...
  • + 0
 So you bought a dirtbike instead of a mtb then?
  • + 3
 No.. I got a mtb that was reasonably priced and didnt cost more than my 2008 subaru impreza lol
  • + 0
 You bought the thing, that in your opinion, is the same price but worth WAY less? Makes perfect sense. Bit like the idea that it's only mtb companies that like profit.
  • + 1
 .. Re-read my comment lol. I said "reasonably priced mtb" i have a demo 8 ll 2012 built up custom and i paid 2700 canadian dollars for it. If that isnt reasonably priced idk what is, on top of it all, i even have the original reciept with the bike so i still have lifetime warranty on the frame
  • + 1
 Oh sorry. This was the comment I was re reading: 'the honda 450 is stock, but imo the dirtbike is worth way more than the pedal bike...'

Seemed logical to presume you bought one, since, in your opinion it's worth way more. It was no comment on whether you should or shouldn't have bought either. I think i thought you were on about a second hand purchase.
  • + 1
 Well no its just my oppinion that the cost of a pedal bike should br alot let or at leadt reasonably less than a 450 moto that can propel you to 90km/h plus and send you over 90 foot jumps without too much effort.. I mean.. I love mountain biking, i have since the day i first threw my leg over my first norco atomik, but to get high end mountain bikes nowadays cost an astronomically high amount of money.. I was saving up to buy myself the new 27.5 gt fury for the 2015 season at 8900$ and realized "shit.. I could just save ALOT of money buying this demo and be able to buy a car.." So naturally i didnt spend the 8900 on the gt.. And i wouldnt buy a moto living here in quebec because there are no good moto tracks here, there are 2 tracks in the entire province so theres no point in me owning one regardless of if i think the moto is a better deal
  • + 3
 Capitolism at its best and worst. We the riders dictate whether we buy the overpriced or not. I have never bought a big bike brand x uber cost bike. in 30 years of riding, NEVER! Can my 20 to 30 yr younger counter part say the same? ????
  • + 2
 These results baffle me. This article is skewed to make riders want to answer "yes." However, in reality, I think very few riders actually want that. People hate that Specialized bikes have proprietary shocks! How do you think people would react if the MTB industry actually went the way of the moto industry? Do you realize how much change would be required in the industry? People would be pissed. Bike shops we be required to keep even more inventory (overhead) in order to remain competitive. Distributors such as QBP would have to THOUSANDS more small part skews, and redesign their website quite a bit.

Many riders already hate the small bit of proprietary components in the cycling industry, why would we want to add more? Also, do you really think this would reduce the cost of a bike? How many bicycle companies are there, and how many moto companies are there? In some ways, the industries are similar; however, in regards to this article, you're comparing apples to oranges.

This article also skips a lot of points. Yes, and S-Works Enduro or top-of-the-line **insert bicycle company here** with carbon everything is ridiculously expensive, but you're getting the exact same that the greatest riders in the world ride and race on, as mentioned above. Just in moto, a top-level MX riders race bike costs tens of thousands of dollars more than their practice bike. What's missed, is that you can get a VERY similar carbon Enduro Expert for $3,400 LESS! And you can get the aluminum Enduro Elite for HALF THE PRICE of the S-Works. And this trend continues on to just about every other company in the industry.
  • + 2
 The question with making bikes cheaper is a bit silly - why would they? that's like saying Honda can make a CRF for 6K why does KTM charge 9+k for a similar bike. Is the KTM a better bike then the Honda...maybe, if you are a top dog racer and a good mechanic ...otherwise the simpler and more reliable Honda will likely be more then fine for the average to advanced rider. Same goes for bikes...do we really all need to ride the S-works edition or the ENVE spec'd full XX1 Nomad 3C....yep XX1 probably shifts a hair better then X1, yep them XTR brakes are a bit better then XT, but in the end does the extra 4-5 k spend on the bling really make you go that much faster or increases you fun factor by that much. Pretty much all bike manufacturers offer a bike spec' with mid range components - don't blame the bike industry for you wanting the coolest shit - they offer it ..you don't have to buy it Smile .....and as far as comparing the bike industry to the moto industry, well if the bike industry moved at the development speed of the moto industry, we would still be riding cantilever brakes on mid range models...Honda still specs drum brakes on their entry level bikes for the rear. Also lets not forget the momentous changes bikes have undergone in the last 10 years..now lets look at the off the showroom floor Honda CRF....don't think you can say the same.

We all love shiny shit, and we all want shiny shit - but heck its your choice to buy it - this argument would apply if the bike companies would only offer a specific frame as a one bling kit built. But pretty much all offer a low -mid-high and finally bling kit...your choice which one you buy....

Now as far as changing "standard" that shit drives me bananas....
  • + 2
 I ride a Giant, and I think that is what they are known for.......a bit less money for excellent (and even best in class in some cases) performance. I'm perfectly content with riding it too, even though it may not be the "sickest" bike on the trail. By the way, it is a '14 Trance 27.5 1. Smile I love it!
  • + 2
 One thing that also wasn't mentioned was economies of scale. I'd quite like to see how many motos Honda make a year versus a high end enduro bike from one manufacturer. Volume drives down prices, hence why you can buy car tyres are less than your market leading Magic Mary.
  • + 2
 @mcnorris For $10,199 you can get a 2015 KTM sx450f factory edition dirt bike, it might not up to the standards of the Pros (which bling racks up most of the price), but right off the showroom floor it is currently the lightest and most advanced of all 450s. KTMs and most all other moto brands come stock with either the latest technology or solid time tested quality parts.
This is unlike mountain bikes where there are multiple levels of performance for each model that offer different levels of component quality. You don't see people throwing aftermarket shocks or forks on their Yamaha, because their stock KYBs are extremely plush, perform flawlessly, and require little to no maintenance.
After all, it is companies like Fox and RockShox that are borrowing designs from moto suspension. Upside down forks and air springs have all been done by dirt bike companies in the 80s or earlier.
The only reason to dump the money on a dirt bike to reach the level of Ryan Villopoto is if you were Ryan Dungey or James Stewart.
  • + 2
 I spent 10 years in the motorcycle industry, and it took me a long time to stomach buying even a $2500 bike. As I delved deeper into riding and the industry, I caught myself dumping silly money into bicycles. It is difficult to compare my Remedy to my YZ450F, but I can tell you they cost about the same to buy and maintain. To be honest, if I could achieve the same amount of performance from non-branded components I would in a heart beat. Spending less on my bike would allow me to travel more and ride more trails. On top of that, spares would be easier to come across. But then again, I would still buy all kinds of crap for my bike... all in all it doesn't really matter lol...
  • + 2
 The problem with this article is it ignores the fact the the moto and mtb industries are in many ways completely reversed in their structure, and waaaaayyyyyyy different in scale. Honda is a massive company (roughly $62 B market cap currently), and that allows them to have internal R&D departments with thousands of engineers, a huge vertical supply chain, and a vast worldwide dealer network. That means the consumer ends up with cheap (in a purely dollar sense, not a quality one) proprietary parts that can be serviced pretty much anywhere in the world. No company in the bicycle industry, nevermind the small fraction that is mtb, has anywhere near the resources of Honda. The R&D departments of a bike company are anywhere from 1 to maybe 100 employees, responsible for the entire product range, and they can't be expected to deal with every exacting detail. I guarantee Honda has more people who work just on engine seals and nothing else, and as a result they get really good internal product development.

But why do we expect some dinky bike company to be able to follow that business model? Does trek have a couple of hundred billion dollars stashed somewhere to buy out a bunch of suppliers and set up a bunch of R&D labs? No? So naturally they have to turn to an external supplier.

When the bike industry is as big as the auto industry, I'll expect prices to be the same. For now, it's like any other boutique.

Just ride your bike. What you paid for it is between you and your wallet (and maybe your SO if you forget to hide the receipts).
  • + 5
 Honda started small. The difference is that Mister Honda dedicated his company to making reliable and affordable things for working people. Honda got it then and they get it now. They are big, but their divisions have to stay on budget and make a profit. What is important is that Honda can make a profit on that CRF450. And they manufacture them in quantities comparible to the elite moxdels of larger bicycle brands. Specialized can charge as much as it wants for its stuff. There are plenty of $200 T-shirts in the mall to support the concept of a free market. Its fair game, however, to challenge the bike industry to adopt a more efficient business model and give its customers their money'e worth.

Think about it. A carbon road bike and a carbon DH bike cost the same. But, somehow bike makers can give mountain bike customers a FOX 40 fork, a Cane Creek DB shock, Disc brakes, and a rear suspension mech for free? When asked, (I always ask) the answer always begins with, "You have no idea how much technology goes into a road bike..." As a matter of fact, I do. And, I think it's laughable. OK, $10,000 carbon T-shirts, I'm fine with that. Honda just makes the punch line hit harder still.
  • + 0
 Seriously dude, who gives crap? You are comparing two completely different industries and sports that the only thing they share in common is 2 wheels. So if you think mountain biking is too expensive then go ride mx, and the money you think you are saving you can go buy your fancy $200 t-shirt. Which I don't know were you are shopping at, but yea good luck with that.
  • + 1
 @RichardCunningham

I don't disagree road bikes are far too expensive for what they are, and that the level of tech does not justify the price, especially compared to mtb. I also don't disagree major brands are a ripoff, especially for complete builds.

I do disagree however with the idea that a company like Honda was a world-beater from Day One. Honda got its start by making cheap and reliable motorbikes. They did not attempt to compete on performance, and would not have had a snowball's chance in hell if they did. But they key point is that no one expected them to- they just wanted a motor bike to ride to work.

The same sort of perfectly functional bikes exist all over the mtb industry, they just don't get much press coverage. For example I can buy a SC Bantam for $2500 at my LBS (and a fair bit less online) that can shred 90% as hard as it's VPP cousin the 5010 that starts at a minimum of 1K more than that. The difference is that with it's carbon frame and advanced suspension design the 5010 to a large extent represents the absolute pinnacle of mtb technology available to anyone, anywhere today, and that is available direct to the consumer.

Basically, we as mtb consumers are spoiled. With some small exceptions (like Blackbox or RAD cartridges) it is possible for us to buy the absolute best mtb products available to anyone on the planet. If I wanted to buy the same moto that Ryan Villapoto rides (never mind that it's not really possible) I'd have to shuck out six figures, and the first digit probably wouldn't be a one. If I want to buy the same bike Jared Graves rides (minus the RAD dampers, maybe), the price tag doesn't even hit six figures. That's an order of magnitude difference- prices aren't the problem, our expectations are.
  • + 2
 The bicycle industry is still so young in comparison to auto and moto; the level of vertical integration and related cost savings will come when the market growth slows and the industry needs to look to other innovations to maintain revenues and profits. We're probably 20-30 yrs from that point in the industry life cycle. We're currently in the phase where there is sufficient organic market growth and techno "innovation" (relevant, valuable or not is arguable) to keep companies growing with opportunities for new entrants. Giant is arguably the leading edge of the industry life cycle (Spec, Pacific Cycles also in the pool), having grown, acquired, integrated and tapped various levels of market they have to look for cost reductions now and have the scale to do it… but the value is all going to be routed toward the mass consumer segment. We forget that we are a very small part of the bicycle market and, being premium/performance consumers there will always be a premium price on what we buy, regardless of vertical integration and branding. Ford makes a Focus, Mustang, Specialized makes a Hard Rock and an Enduro, The mustang and Enduro consumer will always pay more, the high volume is in the Focus' and Hard Rock's of the product line, so those lines will disproportionately see price savings as costs are reduced with the profitability of premium lines being protected through price increases instead of decreases. Some fringe benefit will be seen as the value of base premium models improves, a base Mustang is pretty cheap and has mostly generic stock components and still delivers terrific performance, whereas a Saleen model will be pimped out with Edelbrock FMS or Eibach springs or something similar.
  • + 2
 This model would also mean a completely different structure of the industry. Bigger companies could produce high-end bike for less money and smaller companies, that rely on name brand components could not afford to keep up. Their margins would be so low, to be competitive, that they could not be sustainable. Consumers of these larger brands would need to have their bike serviced at a dealer of that brand, because of the proprietary designs, much like a car or motorsports dealer.

I'm not saying this is a bad thing, but if you like the moto model, than you must also know of the things that go along with it. Less companies to choose from, specialized dealership/service (more costly), and a brand driven market, not consumer like we have currently.
  • + 2
 I don't believe it's a matter of in house parts that dictate the ridiculous pricing. I don't believe that for frames it's RnD we pay for either because suspension linkage design is no where near as important as shock quality and the linkage designs characteristics needed are well understood and achievable. I think it's the result of brands trying very hard to differentiate their products which essentially all do the same thing at very comparisons levels (look at all the positive reviews these days). More and more people I speak to on the trail realise that bike companies plug loads of money into marketing to convince us that the Specialized Enduro is so much better than all other options, when functionally and performance wise, it's no different to the YT Capra, especially under the average rider which make up the majority of consumers. If we as consumers could look past the advertising in the edits, racing, and logos other people's bikes and kit etc, we would all choose the cheapest option.
  • + 2
 Really good article. It does ignore "Price Points" a little bit though. Most people will not buy an S-Works. They will buy something further down the line and compromise a bit. A base model bike typically comes with terrible hubs or brakes or drivetrain. This is fine for bike people! Upgrading is fun, and it means you can build the bike that you couldn't afford over time. Without compatibility, you couldn't do this. It's just more fun to have options when upgrade time comes, and if there is a different set of specs for every manufacturer boutique aftermarket companies will have a hard time keeping up.

Parts spec at a certain price is very important to me. I am buying a bike this year. The Enduro Expert 650b fell off my short list because it has an unimpressive set of components for the price. I can buy a better-equipped Patrol for less money. Furthermore, I have become a huge fan of companies offering "optional upgrades" on new bikes to bridge the gap between price points. If I end up with a new Satan Cruz, I can select a Vivid Air upgrade or different brakes. Sweet! Choices are good, and no I don't trust the OEMs to get it right the first time. Except maybe for Transition.
  • + 2
 Following the "automotive" example is a recipe for driving small frame builders and parts suppliers out of business. Yes, you might end up with cheaper bikes for the masses, but if small frame makers can't afford to develop their own proprietary parts, and the parts suppliers are focused on proprietary parts for the big bike companies, I think you end up with exactly what you asked for: cheaper, shittier bikes for the mass market (Toyotas), and astronomically expensive performance bikes by the small makers (Ferrari). On top of that, unlike the car business, there's likely not enough volume for a robust business in aftermarket parts to 'soup up' the Toyota-bikes. Unlike in the car world, where I have to deal with the shitty marketing based decisions (BMW not offering limited slip diffs in non-M cars, or the general downward trend in the availability of the manual transmission), and band-aid fix cars using aftermarket parts, adapting parts from other cars, motor swaps, etc, my bike is a breath of fresh air, where I can pick and choose off the shelf parts to suit my needs and my budget.
  • + 2
 I don't think the Moto vs. MTB argument is without merit, rather it's not quite complete. Many people on here are also assuming that they can ride a 450 mx bike to its potential. Frankly if you aren't in the Supercross night show this evening then all this race bike conjecture doesn't apply to you, become a better rider first. I say this because I own a '06 YZ450 and it scares the hell out of me. Many of the bling-bling extras you can buy for dirt bikes cater to fitting riders of different statures, and that's what most of the customization of dirt bikes centers around; suiting rider preferences.

The example used in the article should have been that of KTM. This company produces the widest range of dirt bikes for the widest range of consumers in the industry. If you look a little closer you will be surprised to see that regardless of engine size etc. most of these bikes use the same shifter and brake pedals, and all big bikes use the same air filter. Triple clamps, linkage parts, forks, shocks, controls, clutch parts, wheels, brakes are interchangeable across most models. Oh yeah, and most bikes(except 125/150s which use magura clutches) use brembo brakes and clutches, so you're still getting the best spec in the industry without sacrificing parts availability. You can therefore buy a small bike as a beginner, do whatever modifications you feel are necessary(or look cool) and as you move into bigger, faster bikes you can still take most of your fancy parts with you.

The moto guys are not as concerned with flip-flopping brands to be on whatever color of bike won the magazine shootout this year either. They realize that any bike can go faster with more tuning or talent. Perhaps mountain bikers could learn something from that ethic since many people would sooner buy a new bike than get their suspension serviced/revalved.
  • + 2
 My Enduro is my hot rod. I get to customize every part. This is part of the fun of mountain biking. I think Honda is a huge corperation. Specialized is big but dwarfed by the size of Honda.
Also the bike industry is spread very thin compared to the hand full of dirt bike companies. How much carbon fiber and cold forged Al. do you find on a stock dirt bike?
Im paying for hand picked parts. I dont mind.
  • + 6
 still on a 26er f*ck the hype! Anyone want some snake oil?
  • + 3
 I agree completely BrandonG. After reading this, instead of that S-works Enduro I was gonna buy, I'm getting the CRF 450!
  • + 2
 Bicycle industry is much based in making users believe they (we) NEED whatever hot new product is out. I look back to when I bought my then flashy 2011 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR, and now it's an obsolete bike! 26 inch wheels, 68,5º head angle, 2x10... If I read any bike mag for a while I start to feel I NEED a new bike. But then I go out riding and forget about that.
  • + 2
 Maybe this is obvious but the loss of interchangeability would be a disaster for the consumer.

Imagine that some revolutionary product was developed by a different bike manufacturer and you had to sit, wait and hope that your bike manufacturer was able to reverse engineer it and offer something similar. That's nuts.

The loss of interchangeability limit consumer choice, would limit competition (because consumers would only be able to use products from one specific manufacturer - a monopoly type environment) and would discourage investment in the research and development of new product (because the number of potential consumers for any one particular product is inherently limited to owners of bikes which are compatible with that product). Further, only the biggest manufacturers would be able to invest the money needed to resarch and develop new components. This would make the market impractical for smaller manufacturers which would result in less bike consumer choice, less competition and higher prices.

Most cars sold today share parts made by the the same supplier. Transmissions, differentials, suspension components, electronic steering systems, etc... are all developed by specialized suppliers who sell to a host of manufacturers. Sure they work with the manufacturer to make sure it fits, but the overall product is substantially the same.

The loss of interchangeability would be a disaster for the consumer and the industry as a whole.
  • + 2
 This article doesn't make much sense to me. I don't see the problem in manufacturers choosing the best brand components for the time or for sticking with a standard so that it's easier for customers to repair, upgrade, and customize. I would think that it would cost more for a manufacturer to make a custom bike with custom components. Manufacturers already produce a lot of in-house components but you are always better off using a product from a company that specializes in that particular product type. Nobody can be great at everything. So, I don't care about brand names - I just want the best product I can get within my budget.
  • + 2
 Bottom line for MTB is that for a second mortgage on your house a flight to Taiwan, you can become an "internationally distributed" mountain bike brand. MTB is so expensive because the amount of competition for your dollars is unheard of and no MTB brand is really and truly forced to compete on PRICE!

In moto, the startup cost to "create" a brand and a bike and a presence is the cost of a hedge fund (not literally). Moto competes on price and you can't play. You cannot pick up a parts catalog, an engine catalog and place an order for 10k units of a 250 and slap your name on it.

The only way to DIFFERENTIATE brands in MTB is with HIGH END piece parts.
  • + 2
 Yes. But there has to be 100% reassurance and proof that the parts are as equal or better than that of big brand name ones. I don't want to buy cheaper ones only to realise that I prefer the big brand ones. Convince me and prove it to me and you'll have my money
  • + 2
 exactly, it'd be like honda vs yamaha, ford vs, chevy, with a smaller pool of aftermarket upgrades you can do. No thanks
  • + 2
 I don't think for a second the bicycle industry would pass a 30% savings through the supply chain on to the consumer. They would pocket the additional margin. The bike industry isn't interested in doing anything to benefit the consumer over themselves. If they were we would be stuck with this 1x10 1x11 bullshit in the enthusiast level where the biggest benefit of these systems is to the manufacturers due to the ridiculous rate at which chains and drive train parts wear out and have to be replaced.

One thing they could definitely take from the motorcycle industry is a drive train that at least has the potential to last the life of the bike its in. Kudos to Shimano for not folding to the 1x nonsense completely. Sure they launched 1x11 XTR this year but it comes with a detailed explanation why they think its less efficient than their 2/3x11.

Not only is it ridiculous a bicycle costs as much a dirt bike does considering how much more tech is in that dirt bike.Its moronic we continue to be forced to accept drive trains that are completely exposed to the elements because the bike industry tells us there is no other suitable option.
  • + 2
 I am originally from Bulgaria. Most of the MX guys know the track at Sevlievo, crowned as one of the best in the world. I have seen the WMX championship there many times. Most of my friends ride Moto be it 250 or 450 bikes and whenever they get a chance, they go to the track for a run or two and theypullof quite impressive times. Their bikes cost about 12-13K.
One of my best friends is the best in Enduro in the country and he beat the competition on a 2003 yz250... in 2009 til 2011. He was just determined to win and so he did, at all the races.
For +98% of the people on earth, the question "10K, bike or moto?" gets the answer "Are you serious, moto all day!"
Yes 10-13K gets you a pro bike more or less, but you can also get a Carbon pro bike from YT for 4K so there you go. A Canyon or Bergamont go for roughly the same. You dont have to go pro mode all the time. And it is a disgrace what we pay for our components, no my dad cannot get four tires for the Polo for the same price I get my old Glory! Car suspension costs the same as bike suspension, a Tune bike seat costs almost as much as racing bucket seats, I mean its not quantity over quality but, really?
I bought a hand made DJ frame from a forum for 60€, an old DJSL 05 for 60€, old wheels I had. Rear is a 8yo Formula E-Hub and I'm killing most trail riders here with their enduro Luftwaffen. Just get the 10K, get a carbon Capra and Tues and for the leftover money buy a 2015 CB350 from Honda
  • + 1
 I used to ride offroad motorcycles extensively in the mountains and enjoyed it quite a bit. Never felt the prices were out of line really either. As the years went on our OHV trails started to dwindle and now for the most part roads that you can drive a truck on is about all ATVs and dirt bikes have left other than moto x tracks in my area. There are now more single track trails for bicycles around here as well. That is my main reason for cycling vs motoing, not to mention cycling is safer an healthier. A crash at 15 mph is better than 50 mph.
  • + 1
 Many high end motorcycles are sold with branded components - Brembo brakes, OZ or Marchesini wheels, ohlins forks and shocks. Bionicon are one of the few companies to offer their own design of forks and shocks. But like computers bicycles and motorcycles are simply a collection of components that are made by different companies, some of these companies are better or more desirable than others and we make our choices when we part with our money.
  • + 1
 I don't feel comfortable selecting any of the answers. Moderate interchangeability is nice and I don't care about name brands, but products that have quality, value and performance. If it is going to perform well, last a long time and not cost an arm and a leg, I don't care who made it.

As for the moto comparison, I think you need to pay a little more attention to what goes on their. I have a couple moto bikes and mountain bikes. You should look at how many times the big 4 Japanese brands have switched back and forth between fork and shock manufacturers the last few years to get the latest and greatest. More so than most bike manufacturers. The benefit of the industry is that there is still only about 3-4 fork options total for all bikes made for adults. Not hundreds like in mountain bikes. THAT is where the low cost comes from. Hundreds of thousands of bikes sold with the same forks drives manufacturing costs down. In the moto industry, rarely do people buy aftermarket forks. Ohlins is the only real option outside of the $10,000 A-Kit factory forks. People are far more open to, and understand the benefits, of just having your stock suspension tuned by a professional for you. I can't put a Showa shock on my KTM, but I don't need to. Any competent tuner can get the same performance out of both, it is the tune that matters. Additionally, when I buy a dirt bike, I don't have to think about what travel I want. 80, 100, 120, 130, 140, 150, 160, 170, 180, 200mm. Blah, why so many options? Simplify it, make production numbers rise, costs lower, and just learn who to tune forks to work right.
  • + 1
 continued...
There is a fine line between a monopoly type situation where one brand makes everything so manufacturing costs are low vs many options driving competition which forces companies to discount for sales.

As for other name brand items in dirt bikes, they are generally LITTERED with them. And most of the time they are made in Japan or Europe, not Taiwan or China. Look at the component kits on bikes; Renthal, DID, FMF, Acerbis, Keihin, Nissin, Brembo, Braking, Excel, SDG, Neken, etc. Not house brands.
But again, there may only be like 2 Nissin brake options that come on ALL Japanese bikes and a single Brembo option for ALL KTMs.

Lastly, the botique aftermarket component manufacturers in the moto industry are FAR more affordable than the MTB world. That's where you see high prices in the MTB world. Moto aftermarket companies, making high end and custom stuff, still are able to make it in prices not out of line from OEM.
  • + 1
 It's plainly obvious a MX is far more complex and difficult to MFG than MTB. It has an engine, engine control systems, cooling system, and transmission. Stop niggling about race prep vs. stock kit and look at the situation with your real eyes . . . not your crazy eyes!

Suppliers for automotive + motorcycle + MX are under way tighter cost pressures than MTB. But US MX industry sold 81k units in 2014. Volumes could be a major differentiator in ability for MTB suppliers to price as efficiently as MX suppliers.

RC raises good points about reducing bike prices by reducing 3rd party OEM profit margins + branding / marketing costs + distributor price hikes when Tier 1 companies directly source components built-to-spec components from 3rd party suppliers. Can sales volumes can sufficiently dilute NREs to develop build-to-spec components?

The other aspect is demand function - what people are willing to pay in different market segments. Auto and MX are way tighter controlled based on competition and historical pricing. High end MTB hasn't been kept in check. MX should be more expensive than MTB.
  • + 1
 What is the volume of $10,000 super bikes being sold by companies? How many people purchase a complete setup from the manufacturer? I have a small number of riders in my area to base things off, but I only know one guy that purchased a complete setup from a shop and it was a last season leftover and he got it dirt cheap. He'd also been riding an old Fisher hardtail with Judy's. Most riders seem to purchase and piece together their bikes with parts from various outlets. I'm aware that many completes are purchased from manufacturers but what volume of people drop 10 grand and then drop 10 grand the following year to keep up with what certain pros are riding season to season?
  • + 2
 Instead of Specialized / Cannondale / Trek each making their own component groups/ accessories/ suspensions ect...
What if (SRAM / Avid / Truvativ / Rockshox) or (Fox / Raceface/ ...Shimano?) just made a bike frame?
  • + 1
 3 missing points oints here.

Pt1. There are 5-7 legit motocross companies. How many bike makers or brands are there? A lot more.

Pt2. Not enough money in bikes to enable the R&D to go full integration. Yeti relies on FOX for suspension and manufacturing for a reason. It can't afford to do it all in house.

Pt3. Cannondale did this back in the 2000 range. Most of their mtb's were spec'ed with their house brand components except the drivetrain. Didn't really grab the market then.

I like to customize my $h*+. Great in theory damn near impossible in practice.
  • + 1
 yupp..you can't compare motocycle company like honda..yamaha..etc..with bicycle company...

a big company like honda..yamaha..is like a giant octopus..with many tentacles..and in my country the tentacles has gripped our life...everyone from elementary school to graduate student..live with motocycle..thousands of motocycle sold per day...you can see in motogp there are several decalls written in indonesian language..such as "satu hati" (one heart) .."selalu di depan" (always in front)..the purpose is to raise interest of indonesian people...
and so many indonesian involve in motocycle industry..we cant live without motocycle...we cant replace motocycle with bicycle for everyday living..and then the company get a big profit...they can cut the cost..

meanwhile biking..especially mtb...has a spesific enthusiasts...with so many brands in there...

an mtb enthusiast..i think must have a bravery..enjoy the adrenaline rush...and i think only spesific people has it...and that spesific people also has enthusiasm to change..to upgrade everything on their bike...

so i think its unfair to compare between moto industry and mtb industry...but still this is a good and depth article that make us think about which is your soul in mtb....i choose no. 3..
  • + 4
 You also don't see motocross bikes changing their wheel size every 10 minutes.
  • + 1
 On example of a brand that provides the bast bang for your buck in Europe : Decathlon. B'TWIN cycle products work well and are cheap, so because they are cheap people think they are not going to work. Funny, isn't it ? Take a look at their website and the reviews in the net. You'll be surprised.
  • + 1
 There have been over priced bikes for ever. Think of a $3500 Klein Adroit in 1991 with inflation that's around $6500 in todays $$. Look at the fact that the klein had no suspension, just a frame and fork and XT components with cantilever brakes.... Considering what you're getting for your money, I'd say you're ahead of the game.
  • + 1
 Really stupid article. The main difference is volume. The main thing that must be considered is How many small/boutique motorcycle companies are there? Almost none. If you want to destroy the industry like the large motorcycle companies destroyed the motorcycle industry then support this stupid article. An evil company like Spesh would love to kill all the small bike companies and thats why they produce proprietry parts like the links on their shocks. They can afford to get the shocks made like that and they hope they are better to steal sales from smaller companies. Of course thats what companies do but as a customer you can make the decision now to support the big companies and help destroy the diversity of the bike industry. If you want only 3 or 4 companies running the bike industry like the way the MX industry is go ahead buy your specs and your canondales but if you love the fact you have choice DONT support them. Did Spesh pay for this article.
  • + 1
 For me right now there are a few key components that want from specific brands: Rims, Tires, and Suspension. Rims are getting close to a point where I won't care who makes them as long as they don't weigh a tonne and run tires tubeless, well, but right now a lot of companies seem to be stuck in the past with rim design. Suspension seems to be advancing quickly too, so I would be reluctant to buy from a company who didn't specify the details of their suspension if it wasn't branded. Frames, cranks, etc. etc. at this point most of it just works, so I have no problem buying a whole package, as long as I can replace parts easily.
  • + 1
 I think we're looking at this the wrong way. What would you say is a better product? When we clip into $10k worth of mountain bike are we really getting the same amount of engineering and fabrication as an MX bike? And how much more bike are you getting for an extra $6k?
If you break up the price structure of producing a mtb and put the procurement budget into R and D... imagine the kind of gear we'd have... imagine the pricing.
I think mtb should focus on technology, not leave the component manufacturers to decide whats easy to develop or not.
  • + 1
 The bike companies are out to make money not to make happy wallets for us. I think one of the main functions of the $10K mtn bike is to make the consumer perceive a $3000 mtn bike as being "not expensive" when in reality the base price keeps going up for bikes. There isn't a lot of $10k bikes being sold, but raising the price ceiling makes the lower priced bikes look like better deals than they are. It's just a marketing trick. Years ago $5k would have bought you absolutely the best bike out there. Not any more since carbon showed up.
  • + 1
 I believe that the price we pay for an mtb product or an moto product or a wind surf product etc is the about the same because, that is the price that the average Joe in the G20 countries can afford to pay for a mens luxury sport product. Also i beleive that an mtb costs less to manufacture and sell than a moto, so possible the unit profit overhead for mtb is higher. But mtb units sold are vastly less than motos so posibly at the end mtb companies make less money.
  • + 1
 I'll be the first to admit that I'm cheap with bike parts, but do any of the old folks here remember when 2,000 (in late 80's early 90's dollars) got you a high end rigid steel 26er with shitty tires and inner tubes, that were mounted on narrow rims that you rubbed bad break pads on, with short little cantilever brakes that were so weak you had to buy a "break booster". For 3,000 grand you can get a full suspension bike with tubeless tires on bigger and lighter wheels, that works as well as the 5,000 bike from a few years ago. Bikes are pricey, but for what you get they are actually getting cheaper.
  • + 1
 I was literally only thinking the similar Q to this article the last week or so mtb vs motorcycle costs.

Although you only have to look at KTM for example who don't fit the good bits needed as standard to get your bike to a readonable standard.

£500 for an Akra end pipe and £500 for a front + those carbon heat shield guards you'll need to fit the full system.

That's just the start, it really is endless with motorcycles just as it is with mtbs.

The branded companies all hedge their bets we'll dive under pressure of wanting the extra bits that should already come as standard on an elite bike.

I for one won't fall for that orange madness for ££££££££££ perhaps if they were working as they should from factory but that's a whole can of worms...
  • + 1
 Mmm, CRF450 wheelset £600, Hope MTB Wheelset £340, don't think MX parts are that cheap, Honda probably doesn't make much on the bike but probably makes a lot on spares if you have to go to them for the majority of the bits, possibly?
  • + 1
 So what happens when everyone has gone consumer direct, there's no bike shops to provide parts you need quickly and everyone's at the same (albeit lower) price point. Then Mr inflation comes along and prices start increasing again.
  • + 1
 sod it... i had enough of racing due to it costing an arm and a leg. i ride for enjoyment now... so much infact. ive sold my DH bike, booked my mtorcycle test and am looking at buying a Harley V-rod to cruise europe on! id prefer to go see the world on 2 wheels with an engine than have the stress and pressure of racing championships. race spec bikes have got stupidly expensive and unless you have practice facilities to gain the race skills you need OR have a rich daddy. we cant compete!
  • + 1
 I don't care about brand names as long as the parts work...and how am I going to know if the parts work if they are some unbranded generic item next to 20 others of varying quality? Probably the dealer will be able to tell me. Except we killed off the dealers in an effort to buy cheaper bikes.

I do care about interchangeability, very few players in the bike industry are big enough to make parts cheaper than the current offerings economies of scale are very, very real. You are looking at spesh, giant, cannondale, maybe one or two others. Have you tried getting spares for the weird propriatary sized seatposts on specialized bikes? You can't even find them in concept stores most of the time.
  • + 1
 RC I get what you are trying to say. The one thing that you did get wrong is the comparison. The Honda that you show or any Japanese moto that you could show is more like a 4 to 5k mountain bike. The lvl of parts on that bike are mid lvl at best and to make it into a full racing machine like the Sworks you would need to spend much more in aftermarket parts. For example exhaust, suspension, brakes just to name a little bit. It is two different worlds, and with moto it is not possible to buy a full factory race ready bike at the dealership, but I can go down to my local bicycle shop and buy an Sworks that is almost the same as what the pros are riding on. And that is rad.
  • + 1
 Those of you comparing mountain bikes to RACE SPEC motos, are missing the point. The average person riding on the weekend, as and enthusiast, does not need Gee Atherton's GT world cup bike nor does the average weekend moto rider need Ryan Vilapoto's Kawaski. As an avid motorcycle rider and mountain biker, I am constantly battling the justification of the cost of say a Santa Cruz v10, that I still have to drive to the mountain buy a lift ticket, or pay for gas in a truck to shuttle, to a Enduro moto like say a Suzuki DR 650 that is also street legal that I could ride around the world if I desired. The mass production of a company producing parts for their own bikes, and not using other companies specialty components, will drive cost down on entire built bikes from the factory, for the average rider. The amount of TECH someone is receiving in a base model moto far exceeds the TECH in a mountain bike, of any kind.
  • + 1
 I'm surprised he didn't mention Hondas mtbs....When they had a race team, didn't they have all their own parts, suspension and a secret gearbox? At the time people said they were the only team that could afford these levels of in house development and had a handy team of experienced engineers from the motor industry. If the worlds biggest bike manufacturers, Giant, Trek and Specialized have the capital, what they are missing is the experienced development teams needed to make these a reality. Having said that I'm sure they could find people to do this, but it would inevitably take a lot longer than an established team like Honda.
  • + 1
 very valid points made. Also loved the comparison with mx, I was always wondering how motorbikes dont look all like a big billboard with manufacturer names, unlike top MTBs. However I think it is not too bad yet, I feel that in MTB there is plenty of manufacturers with affordable components, that perform well enough, so one could easily buy an entry level stock bike and upgrade, or buy a good frame and fit it with "ok" components and still get an antirely reliable bike,
  • + 1
 You can't really compare the moto industry to the bike industry. Moto companies are much larger with way more resources and have a lot larger of customer base. When you get to street bikes all top street bikes are coming with more after market components like Brembo brakes, ohlins suspension, etc. and those bikes are well above the 10g. mark. Sure just like MX bikes you can get them for well under 10g, but they come mostly with in-house components. Well you can already save a lot of money on a mountain bike and buy a 'cheaper' version that comes with more in house components in the wheels/cockpit/seatpost, etc, with some crappy suspension and brakes. If that makes you happy then sweet. But for those that want the better performance all around, like the moto industry that is going to cost you. Finally, we have all had those bad experiences with bike companies and their proprietary in house made suspension and other in house made components, and I'm so glad that bike industry is so heavily dependent upon the specialist companies to make brakes, drivetrains, suspension, wheels, etc. So it really comes down to what do you want out of your mountain bike experience?
  • + 1
 Here's what I think the article misses. If I decide I want to try a new frame, I can just buy a new frame and swap over parts.

I don't want to have to buy a new complete bike every time. Can you imagine if you now had to buy bikes as completes only? No thanks!
  • + 1
 I don't think this can or should happen YET in mountain biking. There is far too much progress to make. Sit a current Honda motocross bike besides it's 20 year old equivalent and you have the same basic idea. Yes technological advances have been made but no major overhauls with regards to overall design. Sit any full-susser against it's 20 year old equivalent and, well, there isn't an equivalent. Stopping bicycle manufacturers from competing with each other is never going help progress the sport, much as we wouldn't improve our own abilities if we didn't have competitors, trying to go faster, further, harder, to aspire to.
  • + 1
 The big difference is.. There's about 20 global brands of motorcycles, each have quite a lot of dealers in our neighbourhood. Each brand has dealers, who have to keep spares for one brand. Which keeps things quite simple and parts availability is ok. The bicycle market however, especially here in BE, where every dealer has his own 'brand' plus 3 to 6 different international brands, doesn't work that way. If every manufacturer would develop it's own components, it would be impossible for dealers to help you out. I don't mind manufacturer-branded components on a bike, but pleeeeaaaase keep them compatible with the spares I can find on every corner of the street.
  • + 1
 Interchangeable parts are the Biggest factor for me. I custom build all my rides an am currently looking at a new DH frame. The frame I really love has BB30 and internal cables
So I'll wait until a new year model is released with euro an regular cable/hoses or
Just buy something else
  • + 1
 A highly sophisticated rant: part 5

Now before you go and grab your digital pitchfork and start mobbing through the forums, take a moment to realize that without the innovations of companies A,B, and C we would not have the sport we have today, and that the reason why they have the power they do is because no other company has offered a viable alternative to our demands as consumers.

In fact, the majority of our problems emerge when we as consumers forget that nothing is free, and that even our demands have a cost. Right now the cost of our demands have empowered drivetrain/suspension companies and have forced frame makers to conform to the standards set by those manufacturers in order to stay relevant with consumer demands. Imagine what would have happened to Trek if they'd never made their disc brake mounts compatible with SRAM or Shimano. They probably would no longer exist as a company.

In the end, we as the consumer, have the power and we have proven it in the past. Remember when Shimano introduced crapid rise? That was supposed to be a new standard. The next innovation is shifting technology. But it sucked,(I mean really really sucked) especially when paired with those horrendous XT integrated levers. And you know what happened? Well they certainly didn't cram it down our throats and force it to be the new standard. They would never get away with that. What happened, and all their corporate power be damned, is that we told them that the product sucked. They took another look at their product and agreed with us. And then they got rid of it. If 29ers, 650b, boost+ plus standards were really as horrible as everyone here makes them out to be then they would have gone away a long time ago. The truth is the tried something new. It worked, and our bikes are all the more awesome for it.
  • + 1
 but i love rapid rise
  • + 1
 Things were swell until carbon fibre came out. No durability and super high cost. When I see a $10K rig on the trail, I think, Meh...

I also crash a lot and still tend to keep my bikes at least seven years. That lifestyle is not for carbon anything. Avoid custom frames, avoid carbon, then what you have left is still affordable and reliable with the exception of decent suspension products. Add in all the unsold bikes from 2013, 2014 that are heavily discounted and it is not so bad out there shopping.

Why my car tires cost almost as much as mountain bike tires, that I'll never understand. Surely the cost of materials is not negligible.
  • + 1
 If you compared Specialised, Giant, Trek maybe to Honda, Kawa, Yamy, then the majority of other smaller players are like, Beta, HM, Sherco, GasGas, TM, etc many of who have many high emd aftermarket components, like Renthal, Ohlins, wheels, plastics even from Acerbis etc etc. I dont know if it could work the way the moto model is, and I do not think the cost is down to aftermarket brands, the cost is down to the brands themselves, Specialised and Trek are great examples of this, many of there in house shite, is that shite and Id argue is a higher price than aftermarket comps at a much lower performance point, then you also miss that many of the in house MTb brands at a lower price point are alot lower cost, and suit a budget where most of the LBs buyers price point is! could it be lower, possibly, but this argument or debate is not an apples for apples discussion and thats my point, and in fact over the last few days of posts, Id go so far as to say the integrity of the reporting is pretty off, if you dont like comments about Srams Boost then its off for a ride because the messenger got shite for remaining on the fence and so he she should do! If Sram or anyone else is now paying you guys as there press release and marketing division then you get what you get, I thought Pinkbike was independant or are you also saying they and others own this site, and these discussions are actually arbiturary BS to stir the pot, to deflect the bad press you dont like when the response is not what they or you like. Shite was given because a Journo should be reporting and also giving a representation of there experience and beliefs, whats missing as with most journalism in any medium it is lacking fact and opinion without bias or interference or pressure reporting by other interested parties that might help pay someones wages! Unfortunately MtB is in that cycle,
  • + 1
 As someone who goes to whistler almost every weekend and has a pass I would rather pay more for the initial purchase and interchangibily and if something breaks I can replace it that day and be riding again if my budget supported it of course.
What would you do if you blew a wheel and had to wait 2 months for a new one? There goes half your season......... No thanks I'll stick to interchangeable parts.
  • + 1
 To me bikes are like Lego. I want to be able to buy pieces that are interchangeable. The paragraph that mentions reliability and availability of spare parts really strikes a chord with me. The bike manufacturers cannot be trusted to carry spare parts for 10 years like many people would like. Otherwise our bikes would basically become disposable after a few years of use.

No sale thank you very much.

Keep the business model as is and quit changing "standards". To me, the manufactures that influence and dictate these new "standards" have no idea what they are doing if they are constantly changing things.
  • + 5
 I'd buy a honda mountain bike in a heartbeat.
  • + 1
 A highly sophisticated rant: part 3

This doesn't mean that the problems proposed by the article are wrong. We just need to consider both sides before making an assertion. As it stands now the problem is two-fold. First, if we put to many products under one hat we risk a rapid loss of quality, and secondly if we specialize product manufacturing to too many independent companies we risk a huge spike in cost. The solution, is simply one of balance, and I believe that this balance has already been found.

Lets take a look at the current bike industry. On the low end we will find frame makers such as Raleigh, Redline, and Diamondback, which all belong to the same umbrella corporation as product manufactures Avenir, and XTC. According to the assertions of this article these bikes should be your best bang for your buck. Unfortunately they aren't. Thus further proving my point that too large of an umbrella corporation results in a significant loss of quality.

Likewise if we look at the high end of the spectrum we will find many independent frame makers such as Santa Cruz and Yeti. Take a look at the Nomad and you will find it has everything you could wish for in both quality and brand name swag. However, the sticker price is significantly higher than comparably built bikes that incorporate a selection of in-house components. This observation is in agreement with the observations of the article.

And then, in the middle of the spectrum, we see the big three. These frame makers have been able to become large enough companies that they can afford to produce almost anything in-house that they want, and they appear to be able to offer the best bang for your buck.
  • + 1
 here is the biggest difference between mtb and moto. one market has about a dozen major manufacturers, and the other has probly 50 or more. the mtb market is flooded with so many brands. everyone wants a piece of the pie so they need to be unique and different in order to get your attention. when you shop a dirtbike for the first time, you look to the big 4. what do you do when you look for your first mtb? roll dice? there are so many good products out there but there also is a lot of circus shit. i am amazed that most of them stay in business. just buy from the companies that make the stuff that works.
  • + 1
 I think the current system of name brand component spec among bike manufactures is just how mountain biking has evolved. MTB products are much lighter weight and can all be broken, so when riders break components and frames word gets spread and riders avoid that product. So as consumers we're reassured by a name brands current gen products good reputation. So is it's the reputation that is more important to me. Don't forget dirt-bikes don't go anywhere without oil,gas,smoke and noise. Brapbrap.
  • + 1
 Parts on new mountain bikes aren't interchangeable anyway. Hubs, bars, brakes, drivetrains, bottom brackets, headsets, suspension, wheels, seat posts, and the list goes on. Show me a frame that two years later still has interchangeable standards on parts. Every year there is a millimeter of innovation that makes your bike obsolete. Corporations just want your money.
  • + 1
 A highly sophisticated Rant: Part 1

While this article makes some very astute observations and some very valid points, there are a few things I disagree with. To start, however, lets talk about how the industry has already made the proposed shift away from independent manufacturers to in-house brands/umbrella corporations.

Over the past 10 years nearly every bike manufacturer, (with the exception of low-volume manufacturers and boutique brand) has incorporated an in-house brand into their stock builds. Most prominently are the big three, Trek, Giant, and Specialized, who have been able to develop their in-house brands to a quality that I believe are on par with that of boutique brands such as Race Face, Thomson, Mavic etc.

This shift has already led to frame makers being able to offer their products at lower MSRPs. Just compare the builds of a Trek Slash, or Giant Reign with that of a similarly priced Santa Cruz Nomad. You'll probably have some sweet handlebars or stem, but will be lacking in suspension and drive-train components. In this case the article's assertion that more products being manufactured in-house will results in a decreased cost with a minimal sacrifice of quality/performance is true. The problem with this assertion is that it's calling for a change that happened years ago.

Nearly all frame manufacturing companies use an in-house brand already to provide easily manufactured items such as stems, handlebars, seatposts, saddles, grips, tires and even dropper posts for a few companies. In fact, with the exception of boutique brands such as Santa Cruz, and Yeti, nearly all bikes are equipped entirely with in-house products with the exception of three key systems: Suspension, Drivetrain, and Braking. Not surprisingly these three key systems have been the primary domain of cycling powerhouse companies: SRAM, Shimano, and Fox. But more on them later.
  • + 1
 A highly sophisticated rant: Part 2

Following the assertions of this article, one would assume that the next step in lowering MSRPs on Elite level bicycles would be for frame manufacturers to start producing in-house versions of suspension/drivetrain/braking products. However, history has dictated that this is not a good idea. For example many of the early woes of bicycle suspension were the direct result of frame makers producing their own in-house designs and standards that were unique to their bikes. Servicing these parts was a chore then, and its an even bigger one now.

This probably is why the RS Judy was so freaking awesome when it came out, and everyone wanted it. It provided a single product (that can still be serviced today) around which a frame maker could design a bike to meet the growing demands of consumers. It's true that suspension technology was in its infancy back then, and many naysayers would argue that today a frame maker could make their own in-house version of the Pike or the Fox 36 at a fraction of the cost.

But my answer to such logic is Specialized's in-house dual crown enduro fork. Sure it was light. Sure it was stiff, but compared to what was offered by RS and Fox at the time it just downright sucked. I still cringe when I see it. Luckily, we as consumers responded and Specialized quickly ditched that idea. The evidence, however, still remains to contradict the assertions of the article that a shift to an entirely in-house product line is what the industry needs. Primarily because when companies have tried to do this it has resulted in a noticeable decrease in quality.
  • + 1
 @Marlfox87-
I didn't really have a strong opinion about this one way or the other until you brought up that Enduro SL fork. Now, I have an opinion.

I had that fork; it worked ok...when it worked. When it didn't, since it was proprietary, I was forced to ship it to the nearest Specialized service center in SLC via my LBS, and three weeks later it would return, only to have something else fail. Specialized wouldn't train their own shop mechanics to work on them, so off it would go again.

I watched the majority of a beautiful PNW summer go by while my forkless bike collected dust. Never again. Bike companies that aren't well versed in producing suspension/drivetrain should leave it to others.
  • + 2
 @Marlfox87 I'd also like to add in that if every brand made their own forks, production quantities would drop immensely. Most people know, the higher the production quantity, the lower the cost. Low production runs are expensive. I don't think Yeti putting their own manufactured version of the new Push shock on their bike would help their MSRP any. A $500 mass produced shock will be replaced with a $1200 low production shock. Forks will be worse (look at the Foes and Avalance made $3k+ forks). If they made their own rims, they'd rise to Enve prices real quick, even when made in Taiwan, due to low production runs.

As for moto, despite what the author thinks, besides the frame and engine, most of the other parts are not house brands.
  • + 2
 Well said, both of you. @Kc348, your comment points out another difference between motorcycles and bicycles, namely the size of the industry. Unfortunately o don't have any hard numbers, but I believe its safe to assume that the motorcycle industry is much larger than the bicycle industry (especially of that industry is reduced entirely to mountain bikes). By the sheer difference in production quantity alone its not to unreasonable to expect the motorcycle industry to have a lower MSRP when compares to a bicycle.
  • + 5
 Bring back honda mountain bikes!
  • + 1
 Actually a number of points here are wrong esp on intechangeability and name branding for example, forget cost to manafacuture an OEM complete bike!

Fox and Rockshox could be comlared to Kayaba and Showa (I believe a division of Honda is part owned by them) Lke, Kawasaki and even Yamaha have interest in Kayaba, yet both Honda and Kawasaki can have either brand in that same year on different models!eg a 250 with a Showa fork and a 450 with a Kayaba fork, while to some degree its less than MTB the still choose the best they can in there price model for that bike.

Moto or Motorcycles accessories components are every bit as big if not bigger than MtB jn aftermarket, so myth one debunked, and Id go and say that Moto and Enduro guys spend a crap load on components just like, higher end MtB consumers regardless of skill level!

also a key difference in Moto is stds, and has been for many years, while you could find some examples of different stds accross the major players they all run the same stds and compatibility or upgradeability is not an issue to the acutall bike itself, plenty of aftermarket options on almost anything.

Cost wise on business model is smarter in Motorcycles, but take into account these brands produce, road bikes, dirt bikes, 4 wheelers on a scale MTB is not at, they have plants RnD like a car manafacturer even owned by same parent company, yet bike division is seperate and, manafacturing facilities are not spread accross the globe on a micro scale!
  • + 1
 our industry are goone completley mad!!
just imagine the enginering , testing etc etc of just the engine
and its made in japan or europe
now imagine a bicicle made in taiwan..
it could be exactly the same bike used by your favorite racer but no way a pedal driven cost as much as a 100hp 100kg motorbike
no way
someone is making 700% profit over the real cost.
guess o it is
  • + 1
 I think it would be difficult as the industry is still evolving no one can decide what decide is better than another. So for example some peoe prefer a single pivot some a vpp linkage is one better than the other? No idea but if you could only buy a vpp with a fork you didnt loke and there was little to no changability it would be difficult to buy a bike. Ir another example brakes, the big brands, hope, formula, avid, shimano offer little difference in performance but much difference in lever feel. This probably isnt such a factor in motocross because the speeds are much higher and the little feel elements are minimised but in mtbs brake lever feel is a massive thing
  • + 1
 To be fair, most stock motos need a lot of upgrades to perform at race level. Stock Motos come corked up and riders usually put on an aftermarket pipe and exhaust, get the suspension revalved, and then the motor needs work, valves polished and ported, etc. There's a ton of other aftermarket things guys get, like footpegs, chains and sprockets, seat, bars, grips, etc etc. In fact, a pro level factory works moto is far from stock and financially unattainable to most people, into the hundreds of thousands of $$, not to mention some of the technology will never be on a stock moto or available to the public. At least mountain bike consumers can buy products that are what the pros ride and it's not a hundred grand for a pro level bike. A pro level moto is way way more expensive and involved.
  • + 1
 motos are definitely made from the factory for your average everyday rider.
  • + 2
 P-dub-4@ have you been on any newer 450? I would guess not. Most people at local pro level can't ride them stock to their full potential! And wayneParsons@ you talking about trail riding or moto?
  • + 1
 Both, but mostly just dudes screwing around hahaha
  • + 0
 I'm not sure how much you guys know about MTB's but I assure you that pro mountain bikers bikes are far far far different then the stock ones you buy, no matter how expensive it is ! There are a tone of parts in their suspensions that are custom to them, and frame geometry ecc... it's a never ending story.... No you will not end up with a bill of 40k like a motocross bike, but then again that's the hole point that it should not cost as much in the first place ! I think the point here is that to buy one or the other just for a hobby not to blow your pocket, the bikes are far exaggerated when it comes to prizes
  • + 1
 And for God sake, mainstream companies have NOT the best products. Look at Syntace, german a, liteville and other little manufacturers, they are way better than the mainstream ones !
  • + 2
 buy used...or closeout...i just bought a real nice 2014 enduro expert carbon for 2300 shipped from another state..wouldnt have payed 6600 6 months ago thats for sure...
  • + 0
 I don't want to make any advertisements, but if you look at what YT Industries has done to prizes on bikes with out compromising on quality, you would be amazed how much money the other company's, and bike shops are making off of you ! Just look at the YT Industries Capra, for half the prize of a specilized enduro you can get the same bike or even better bike, in my opinion ! I think it's more about them making big money then a components loyalty problem here we are talking about, because normally if one changes components every time some one makes something better then prizes will drop not rise, because you need competitive prizes to keep you clients.
  • + 1
 Ive changed or upgraded most everything except the engine block and the mainframe on my dirtbike. Who cares,its my money and i think you officially ran out of things to complain about
  • + 1
 Now a bicycle seems more expensive than a motor cycle because the output of cycle is much smaller than motor, which raises its prime cost, however I believe that bicycle will be cheaper and cheaper in the future.
  • + 1
 For certain components like forks and spokes etc its a named brand all the way, for smaller components sometimes price is the deciding factor. Although it is nice to be all named!
  • + 3
 This is a really well thought out and put together article. And quite frankly, it is accurate. Superb job.
  • + 1
 Great article. Road bikes apply here as well, the most expensive bike in my quiver is a road bike, and it has the least amount of moving parts. It's boring to ride to boot lol
  • + 3
 This poll and article are so biased, there is no hope of getting anything resembling accurate opinion.
  • + 0
 This is a argument is pretty rediculous. The fact is when you buy a high end mtn bike it's pretty much the same bike the pros are riding. Yeah they are expensive but we can and do get the best of of the best. When you buy a high end Moto from the dealer. Your getting a bike that isn't even close to what the pros are riding. It's not even remotely close. Consider this the Fork on James Stewart's Suzuki is rumored to cost over $60,000. No kidding. Don't think for a second they stopped at the fork. His bike would cost well over a 100k to replicate. An over the top pro mtn bike build might run 12k.
  • + 2
 Totally agree with your point of view. As a MX rider and bicycle enthusiast myself, we need to follow their business model. Cheaper bikes and a loyal brand is all we need.
  • + 1
 I will never ride the Starbucks of bikes (Specialized or Trek) for this reason. I don't want to be locked into the standard they choose. 24mm axles, brain shocks, boost 148- the list goes on.....thanks but no thanks...
  • + 1
 Hi-end bicycles are over priced - the comparisons between motorcycles is valid. A motorcycle has many more precision made components than a bicycle, therefore it should cost much more to make than a bicycle.
  • + 1
 I for one hope the industry keeps up with these shenanigans, I keep building bitchen bike cause every else keeps having a pissing contest every new season...the newest shit won't make you faster you getting out riding will.
  • + 1
 Ill take the parts that have been working for the last couple years. I like innovation, but if its the latest and greatest, it might fail at a higher rate than the proven components, name brand or not.
  • + 2
 articles likes this are why Richard Cunningham is probably the best regarded journalist in mountain biking
  • + 2
 seriously?
  • + 4
 just build your bike
  • + 1
 Seems like the hip response is winning by a landslide, but I doubt people would forgo a Fox fork for a generic one instead. Saying and doing are two different things.
  • + 4
 Great article
  • + 1
 This is idiotic. KTM hs been the most profitable motorcycle company over the last 15 years and what do they use? Renthal, Brembo, Magura, FMF, Excel...
  • + 2
 Should probably just let Honda make us a mountain. Where are all the Japanese bike companies?
  • + 1
 Ya, Kuwahara needs to step it up.
  • + 1
 Everyone is taken in by who rides what too much! Who gives a shit if Curtis Keene rides one, doesn't make the bike any better!
  • + 1
 The interchangeability factor won't even matter soon with new "advances" like Boost148, just another way to screw people over for more money.
  • + 2
 RC this is your best article yet, even better than that bike testing bro handshake parody masterpiece.
  • + 1
 Personally I think DH and enduro bikes are over priced, but that doesn't mean I'm not buying one of each. Its just too much fun.
  • + 1
 yet you could find a really cheap one easily, but everyone wants the high end! this is subjective with no end
  • + 1
 Lets go gypsified and race horse n cart drifting whilst being chased by police in full faces avoiding the spray of rotten horse shite.

:-D
  • + 1
 Another point that makes the cost of mtb vs moto ridiculous: A moto is going to hold its value alot longer than a mtb.
  • + 2
 why are we lead to believe the 2 are mutually exclusive?
  • + 2
 BBBBRAAAAPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP!
  • + 2
 Am I the only one who doesnt read all this
  • + 1
 Ktm 450 factory edition $10500. and buy the way most mortal humans cant handle a stock 450!
  • + 2
 Personally I don't care but so many twats do XD
  • + 1
 Uhh it seems that you do . . .
  • + 0
 what? how does it, you ever met me?
  • + 1
 The fact that the bicycle industry has interchangeable name-brand parts means that each and every part we purchase for our bikes are placed directly under our scrutiny. If RockShox's Pike is deemed to be better than Fox's Float for whatever reason, customers will buy more Pikes, which means Fox will be forced to improve on their product. However in the motorcycle and car industry, if your Audi A8's suspension doesn't quite feel as plush and responsive as your E-classes then all you can do is complain about it. Seems to me that us mountain bikers have a much better deal. Oh wait... we all drive cars too!
  • + 0
 you probably dont care if a astroid hit the earth tomorrow either! its like saying who cares I off for a ride, or someone who gets injured until its you! apathy is alive and well...
  • + 2
 your chatting crap, I'm saying i don't care whether the products I buy are branded or not as long as they work and your just talking shite.
  • + 2
 I just like keeping peoples jobs... Its part of the cost
  • + 2
 The point is this article just made me want an mx bike! Ha Serious!
  • + 2
 Screw all this bike and moto talk lets get horses !
  • + 1
 do you really think a bike should cost you 10 grand? just go ride a bike!!!!!
  • + 2
 Excellent article. Very well done Richard.
  • + 2
 If that Honda was built like the Specialized, it would cost twice as much.
  • + 2
 What we all know is mountain bikes are highly overpriced.
  • + 1
 The argument comparing the value of motorcycle to mountain bikes hasn't gotten old at all. Yawn.
  • + 1
 Or you could buy a bike directly from a German manufacturer with name brand components for 30% less money.
  • + 1
 the point is - I could buy a moto at this price and it would preform at a high level.
  • + 1
 I don`t dislike the in house brands, it`s just that marketing is a bitch .
  • + 1
 Looks like a trek session
  • + 1
 I was # 666 for the "NO"! Sweet!
  • + 1
 This didn't take long to rack up a discussion or two
  • + 1
 Honda also did a dh bike...
  • + 1
 I think it's sad that bicycle is more money than that my bike
  • + 2
 YT!!
  • + 1
 Called the fuck out!!
  • + 0
 mountain biking is so bougie. $3000 for an entry level dh bike? c'mon.
  • - 2
 Look, life isn't getting any cheaper, you've got to pay to play..... On that note I'm going to ride my expensive bicycle
Below threshold threads are hidden

Post a Comment



You must login to Pinkbike.
Don't have an account? Sign up

Join Pinkbike  Login
Copyright © 2000 - 2019. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv65 0.166058
Mobile Version of Website