A recent feature and video here on road.cc looked at how the price of bikes and other cycling-related products have risen sharply in recent years, outstripping the rate of inflation. Plenty of discussion ensued in the comments beneath the article –prompting us to take a closer look at the subject in the latest episode of the road.cc podcast.
> The rising cost of cycling — when will this crisis stop!?
Host George, as well as Jamie, who penned the original piece, are joined for the episode by Colin Williams of FLi distribution, who talk through the issues involved from an industry point of view.
While it’s tempting to interpret the price increases as being down to brands, distributors and retailers aiming to maintain or increase their margins, and thereby their profits, Colin talks through some of the difficulties the industry is facing and which mean that the bottom line of companies operating within it is getting squeezed as never before.
And many of those issues are ones over which businesses operating in the sector have absolutely no control – for example, the disruption to the supply chain and manufacturing brought about by the coronavirus pandemic, which also resulted in a huge surge in the price, worldwide, of shipping containers, forcing costs to soar.
For the UK, Brexit has also had a huge influence in forcing up the price of products imported from the EU – and bikes are no exception.
That may seem counter-intuitive to many people, given the role of the Far East as the powerhouse of global bicycle manufacturing.
But as Colin explains, the fact that many brands service the European market through distribution operations within the EU means that typically products will arrive in the UK from the bloc – adding on not just administrative burden but also costs for distributors and retailers here, with at least some of that additional expense passed on to the consumer.
Given the cost of living crisis, which as has been highlighted by a number of retailers and brands within the cycling industry is forcing people to defer or abandon altogether planned discretionary purchases, it’s not the most uplifting podcast episode we’ve done – but it is one that helps explain what if leading to those price increases we’ve seen.
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The bit that bothers me is the simple T shaped joint into the down tube. There is a lot of bending moment on that joint. It just looks unwise.
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I put a bet on Ganna for P-R at the start of the season which guarantees he will DNF!
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ARGGGGHHHHH This. This is why people don't cycle.
To give the council their due the consultations were torrid affairs. Part of me thinks that they might have been a little less, had they done a...
Or - for the more far-out - a lizard warning (beware reptilian overlords)?
My family have 3 See.Sense Aces....
door mirror not wing mirror ?
Love mine too, albeit I only have 11 spd :-(.