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Are bikes and cycling gear getting too expensive? Plus we look at barriers facing women within cycling + more on episode 11 of the Podcast

Is an oversized pulley system costing £500 something to get worked up about at a time when you can spend more than that on a steak?

We’re now onto episode 11 of the Podcast in association with Cervélo, and among the issues we are discussing is whether cycling is getting too expensive. We’re also talking to Becca Charlton about women within the bike industry, and how it can be made more inclusive.

In this episode, George, Liam, Jack and Patrick compare the prices of very expensive bikes and components with luxury products from other industries in an attempt to reach a solid answer to the question of whether some bikes and parts have just become too expensive.

To give one example, is an oversized pulley wheel system costing £500 something to get offended about when a giant tomahawk steak at chef Salt Bae’s Nusr-Et restaurant in Knightsbridge will set you back £630 (or more than double that for the gold leaf version)?

Have a listen to what the team think about it, then please chip in with your thoughts by dropping us a line at podcast [at]


In what is, as ever, a packed episode, George also talks with presenter Becca Charlton about women in the bike industry, with the pair discussing issues such as how cycling can be made more inclusive, and who should be responsible for ensuring a beter gender balance in cycling, whether as a sport or a means of getting around?

The Podcast is available on Apple PodcastsSpotify and Amazon Music, and if you have an Alexa you can just tell it to play the Podcast – it's also embedded further up the page, so you can just press play.

What do you think of the Podcast so far, and what would you like us to discuss in future episodes? Comment below and/or drop us a line at podcast [at]

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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holtyboy | 2 years ago

Some commentary in this podcast that nails it:

 - bikes are in short supply

 - retailers are selling at rrp

 - deals are no longer available

 - at the same time prices have increased due to shipping, raw material pricing, new taxes

In some ways this is as it should be - as cylists we have benefitted from oversupply for many years with the significant discounting this inevitably leads to.

What I disagree with is the comment that some shops 'may' increase the price by, say, 10%. Any retailer doing this must be mad, and would soon get found out.

Bowks | 2 years ago

First time listening to the podcast. I have to say, the volume of the speech is very low, compared to the music. Based on episode 11, right at the start.

Christopher TR1 | 2 years ago
1 like

If all steaks cost that much, the world would be a better place!

rwoofer | 2 years ago
1 like

The issue with Absolute Black is not really the price, but the claims that are being made and whether they are true or not. The high price simply makes this question more pertinent.

If it was cheap, people would not worry about the claims so much, as no-one is going to lose much.

lonpfrb replied to rwoofer | 2 years ago
rwoofer wrote:

The issue with Absolute Black is not really the price, but the claims that are being made and whether they are true or not.

Using test equipment to measure the effectiveness where the errors exceed the alleged effect is engineering incompetence.

If they did work, they could not tell with any credibility. QED they probably don't, certainly not to a cost benefit justification.

Avatar replied to lonpfrb | 2 years ago
1 like

The accuracy of our measuring device is actually +/- 0.03W not the alleged 0.66W that the mentioned youtuber claims to be. So what we claim is completely true and we have the ability to prove it. He took an of-the-shelf sensor data sheet out of context and misrepresented the rest. What we actually have, is two completely custom made sensors with custom written software, that not only improved accuracy of the sensors, but also resolution by factor of 15. On top of this both transducers are calibrated by the manufacturer with equipment traceable to UK Physical Laboratory Standards. We also use a temperature compensation, in-line synchronised calibration of both transducers (linearization) and many other techniques to improve the readings. It's an extremely expensive equipment, custom build for this purpose, with great accuracy. What we show on our graphs is the real representation of the measurement with correct error bars. This is also reflected in the price of the product as the R&D costs for such a unique project are very high. 

mdavidford replied to | 2 years ago
1 like wrote:

... with incredible accuracy.

Possibly not the best choice of words, given the general tone of the reaction.

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