Thursday, 25 September 2014

A shift in bicycle ecomonics

I friend of mine was after a racing bike and some weeks told me about some bike deals at Halfords which are indicative of an interesting trend in bike economics.  Take the Carrera below which is currently on at just under £250 new.


  • Exact Frame Size: 51cm
  • Frame Material: Alloy
  • Brakes: Tektro R312 Dual pivot
  • Number of Gears: 14
  • Chainset: PROWHEEL, AE-221C, STEEL 50/34T - 170mm
  • Frame: 7005 Alloy
  • Gear Shifters: Shimano Tourney, 14 speed

Its not going to win any awards for quality but there is something interesting here.  First is an alloy frame road bike with STI shifters, compact chain set and dual pivot brakes.  A few years ago the price tag on a 105 STI 9 speed shifters was about £250 however the 10 speed incarnations are now £130.  OK the shifters on the bike above are 7 speed and not nine speed but the interesting thing is that they decided what the entry level road bike price should be, what the spec should be and then created the components to fit the brief.  I don't know how it rides or how durable it is but its a challenge to a renovated bike for the same price.
The second thing is the 7 speed STI Shimano Tourney shifters provides opportunities to retro fit STI shifters to classic road bikes for those who do not want the L'Eroica gear shifting experience.  These shifters retail at around £60 and are probably better than the original 7 speed that occasionally crop up.  Its difficult to understand what the market would be for this,  any takers?
The bike industry will continue to push the price down for the standard entry level offering as long as cycling increases in popularity which I'm sure it will.  The quality will reduce but not significant to the occasional user.  Its the magic trinity of STI shifters, dual pivot brakes and compact chain set that people will be attracted to.  

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