31 January 2012

Tuesday random thoughts

Little man, big focus. Somebody's getting pulled back...

Phil Gil's BMC. Sorta tight...

Eddy can still pull 'em. ''Hello ladies. Would you like to see why they call me The Greatest of All Time?"

So yesterday, Campagnolo finally released pricing for their new EPS (electronic) groups. Sit down before reading the pricing...I'll wait...

Retail pricing is as follows: (using currency rates as of 31 January 2012)

Record : 3140GBP = $4900(ish) USD
Super Record : 3800GBP = $5950-6000 USD

Add an SRM, carbon wheels, and a big name carbon frameset, and you'll quickly find yourself damaging your children's college fund.

Call me whatever you like, as I've likely heard it before, but this is just fucking stupid! Campag said the group pricing would be 'on par' with D/A Di2. They missed the mark by a LARGE margin, especially when you take Ultegra Di2 into consideration.
It just follows the idea that certain manufacturers are simply pricing things in such a way that is killing the industry.
$6000 groups? $600 shoes? $600 jackets? $400+ bibshorts?
Unless you just have 'fuck you' money, these prices are asinine, at best! Sure, some people DO have 'F you' cash, but they are the same people buy a Viking stove to heat their tea kettle.

And please don't think this is me being a hater, because it's not. Spending money on bike stuff is a hobby of mine. Spending too much money on bike stuff is just _____________ . You can fill in the blank.


Junk said...

Development tax. The first three years will be somewhat recoup of development dollars, then we'll see the $$ drop a little bit. It won't be until the next new thing that these guys will ever closely be considered cost effective. It's the same complaint from Zipp stating 'we spend the $$ studying and designing...China copies our IP and mass markets it'. Industry will soon figure out that IP is a commodity, then we'll see what country they'll drop their manufacturing roots. It's pretty evident if you manufacture your stuff in China it's almost guaranteed your IP will be across the country in the span of a week. Then where's your development dollars? Poof.

MM said...

Marketing tax as well. Campag flew people all over the World, built special Dogmas, and has advertised the shit out of the groups.
I understand the IP argument with Zipp, but with Campag? No one is going to copy the product in their case.
And the parts are already made in the Third World...Romania.
Sure, they've probably spent a pile o' cash on development, but they've priced themselves out of the market here.
As for Rapha, Assos, Sidi, et al., those guys are charging those prices because they know poser douchebags will buy the shit. You CANNOT make the argument that a pair of bibs should cost $400. It's freaking lycra!

Junk said...

I understand Rapha, Assos, Sidi, Giant that they're marketing the design and materials are superior. Yes, it is in some ways, but not at the prices they are going for initially. Truth is when you start seeing the products go on sale. That's when the margin is cut down to the point where they are still making profit, just not as much as they'd like.

MM said...

Oh, we've had this conversation before. I loves me some $200 Capo bibs, but I'd never pay $200 for them. Superior materials DO cost more, but in certain circumstances, the value is perceived. Is a pair of $400 Assos bibs actually worth 2x as much $ as the Capos? Hells No!

I think too, that people who buy certain things are tricked, psychologically, into thinking that the product fits/rides/performs better because they spent so much scratch on it.

The Southern Warhost said...

You have to consider that Record is on par with Dura Ace Di2 and SR is above, because it is. Break down the facts and it makes sense. Is it ridiculous, sure. But it makes sense.

Also, I happen to know for a fact that all EPS parts are made in Italy. Not Romania. Romania is for their lower groups.

Don't pretend to know what's up, if you don't know what's up because the only thing that's up is your head in your ass. No offense, but if you don't work in the industry and see the price comparison sheets and talk to the manufacturers...then you don't know that no one is getting rich off of these prices. By a long shot.

MM said...

Point 1- I really don't give a damn what Record and SR are on par with. Paying $4500 for Record and $5500 for SR is stupid, period.

Point 2- It's made in Italy FOR NOW. How long until it's farmed out? Do you really believe that Campag is going to continue to spend the $ on Italian labor?

Point 3- I worked in 'the industry' for a long time, and understand margins better than most people who currently own/manage shops. Regardless of what the margins may, or may not be, paying prices that are being asked by some manufacturers is, in fact, stupid.

I understand that boutique shops sell all of this stuff, and thrive on the attitude that it's better because it costs more.
If you have the money, and don't mind over-paying, then good for you.

Let's be perfectly honest. This stuff isn't going to make anyone faster unless they hold a UCI license. For the overweight 50 year old Podiatrist who will pay retail, it's just really cool, expensive, lightweight shit.

The Southern Warhost said...

Point 1- Mark, you should give a damn because your complaint is faltered if you don't recognize where the hierarchy in the model lines are. You don't by a Hyundai model GS and expect it to perform or weigh or cost as mush as the GLS Limited, do you?

Point 2- Campag will always make their top of the line parts in Italy. That's their commitment and it is what sets Campagnolo apart from any other Italian, let alone any other vendor/brand/business in the bicycle industry. You pay more for a handmade, American made bicycle then you would an Asian-sourced frame of similar materials, geometry, etc. Right?

Point 3- I realize you worked in 'the industry' for a long time, but you obviously don't understand the margins very well. Just because you have a QBP account (lord knows why they let you) and write a blog, doesn't mean you know more than the next guy. I agree prices are getting extreme, but they will continue to do so as long as there remains an elite (rich) class that will pay these funds. Whether it's a tiny dick complex deal or what, they will. Think for a minute of the less expensive counterparts (Rival, 105, Veloce, Athena) ...these parts have come miles from where they were 5 years ago. If you don't want to pay for the extra 200g in weight savings or carbon fiber this-or-that then you don't have to. The bike will still roll and the gears will still shift, but saying that it is over priced is inaccurate. It is expensive, really expensive, sure. But not overpriced.

Do you know what the cost of raw materials are right now? Specifically carbon fiber? The rough increase in cost has gone up about to nearly 20% in less than 18 months. So, do you REALLY know the margins?

I agree with you, this stuff won't make anyone faster but do the drivers that own a a car with heated leather lumbar supported seating go any faster in their cars than the vox populi? No. There is a market for it and I'm sure if the shoe was on the other foot and you were the overweight 50-year-old Podiatrist you would pay retail, for really cool, expensive, lightweight shit.

Rather then bitch because you can't or won't afford it, you should be praising the 20+ years of development that Campagnolo put into this product. It's a milestone. I think it's an admirable achievement. Will I ever afford it, no. Is it expensive, yes. Is it overpriced? No.

MM said...

Couple things...

Don't know where you get your news, but I DO NOT have a QBP account. Never did...

Elitist attitudes, like yours, are the reason the industry is changing at this point, and people are buying online. No one wants to listen to a shop employee, be they owner, manager, or $6/hr flunkie, tell them why their purchasing decision isn't sound because of budget.

And you're completely wrong about the 'if I was the...podiatrist...' comment. I still wouldn't spend $15k+ on a bike, especially a frame built in the Far East, as nearly ALL carbon offerings are these days. It's dumb...nothing more than vanity. The only way I'd drop serious coin on a frameset anymore is if I were buying a custom steel rig.

And don't worry about what I can afford. I can afford to go spend as much as I care to at the shop, or online. I choose NOT to drop cash just because I can. Maybe that's why I still have a good sized pile of it...

The old, "why does a dog lick his balls?" argument means little to me...

I still ride 7800 D/A because it WORKS. Does one NEED another reason?

And I do appreciate the tech that has gone into Campag's development of EPS. I'd really like to play with it for a while. Di2 is very cool, and if the myriad reviews are correct, the EPS should be good/better stuff. Dollar for dollar though, I'll rock the Ultegra Di2 all day, every day, over the EPS.

The Southern Warhost said...

I was made aware that you had a QBP account by locals, so maybe I shouldn't have opened my mouth. I can admit my mistakes.

To say that I am an elitist is far from the truth. I go out of my way to provide junior racers with equipment they or their parents can't afford. My goal is to help the kids whose parents are doctors a chance to race on equipment that they otherwise wouldn't come across. It's not to say I think they all deserve Super Record, but they deserve functioning, safe equipment. If anything, everything I do is anti-elitist.

Dollar for dollar, you should rock Ultegra Di2 everyday. It's incredible. Functionally better than DA Di2 at the moment. But going back to your argument, it's made in the Far East and not within the hands of craftsman in Italy. So if you'd drop cash on a custom made steel frame, to me that means you would also drops cash on the Chorus EPS if and when it is ever revealed.

Anyways, I think you're missing my point in all of this and I think there are/were loopholes in your argument that needed to be pointed out.

In the end, we're all riding bikes and that's what matters whether it comes off an Asian assembly line or from an artisan's workshop. The battle shouldn't be about how much it costs, rather, how many are on bikes.

See you around.

MM said...

That's the problem with listening to locals. Most of them have no idea of what they are talking about, and should keep their mouths shut.

And I'd probably stay on Shimano/SRAM...sorry. Too much Shimano stuff floating around my little Universe.

And I'm in full agreement about riding. Doesn't matter who, what, where, how, why to me...just ride.

The when matters...I'm not getting up to ride at 5 a.m.!!!