Did you know, 19 of the 21 Madone racing bikes listed on Trek’s website are priced above $2000, with nearly half of those priced above $4000, and two models at nearly $9000? It’s beyond me to say whether or not those bikes are “worth” that much, but obviously somebody thinks they are or I wouldn’t see so many on the road, and Trek wouldn’t be doing so well in the marketplace.
The $9K Trek brings to mind the limited edition Leica Titanium M9 camera. Leica manufactured a limited run of 500 of these cameras, priced at $30K each. I figured they’d have a tough time selling through 500 at that price. Guess how long it took to sell out the entire run? One hour. Shows how much I know.
Just about any bike (or camera) will do in a pinch, but obviously, there’s a very wide spectrum of what people think is required to get a job done. It’s no different with transpo bikes. I have a friend who’s all about sub-$300 recycled bikes, and I have another friend who’s looking at a Co-Motion with a Rohloff hub as his first commuter. Who am I to say who’s right?
Many of the better commuter and transpo bikes fall into the $1K-2K price range. Sure, it’s possible to spend far more and far less, but if you’re looking at ready-to-roll, production commuters that will last more than a season or two, you’re probably shopping in that price range. I’m guessing that creates a bit of sticker shock for someone who hasn’t looked at Madone prices lately. But upon closer inspection, a $1K-$2K transpo bike that replaces a car and lasts 10 years or more appears to be a very good investment, particularly when the cost of owning and maintaining a car is brought into the equation (believe it or not, according to AAA, it’s nearly $10K per year). And just think, if you sell that car and take up bike commuting, you’ll save enough for a Titanium Leica M9 in only 3 years… ;-)