Euan wrote:I agree that $1200 is a steep entry point, however for an adult looking for a reliable machine I'd suggest that spending more than $50 would be wise.
OK confession: my bike's a 2004 Avanti Blade, which cost me less than the $600 the glossy advertising brochure that BV put out annually said was entry level then. And because I'd just come out of commuting on a $300 MTB I annoyed the crap out of the beach road posers as I passed a few of them easily in my white runners and flapping T-shirt on occasional excursions there with friends - to the extent that one bunch tried to run me off the road. Since then I've probably got less fit as I have a better bike but still keep to a safe speed on the paths I commute along. I've also bought the click-in shoes and pedals, lights that would dazzle a christmas tree, panniers etc and various unnecessary toys for the bike and (sshh) some lycra for the longer rides I sometimes do. Probably the bike owes me $1000 now. But I'd been commuting on $200-$300 bikes for many years, quite happily, and do get very cross when pretentiousness takes over and people who might be interested in becoming a cyclist read Ride On to find that an entry-level bike itself costs $1200 before all the other very profitable extras are lobbed in to the equation.
BV used to be a cycling advocacy organisation; more and more I feel it's become an industry lobby group promoting the commercial needs of the importers and retailers of expensive bikes and accessories. Nothing wrong with that as such; my excellent LBS staff need to eat! But in attracting the insecure and pretentious folk who need to conspicuously consume lots of money in order to feel good they are also changing the type of person I share my narrow bike paths with, which takes some of the fun out of cycle commuting for me.
How old and grumpy does this make me sound?