Monday, August 20, 2018

Fashion and the cost of bikes and trikes

For a number of health related reasons, I am thinking of acquiring a recumbent e-trike. If you look at the catalogues of the four major recumbent trike European manufacturers (AZUB (CZ), Hase (D), HPVelotechnik (D), ICE (GB)) you quickly realise that these vehicles are not cheap. It is not surprising since the trikes are hand built and in very small numbers. If you are looking for a fully equipped e-trike you can expect to shell out at least 7000 Euros, maybe a thousand or so more. If you take delivery of a trike and then tell the neighbour that you've just coughed up the price of a newish secondhand car for a funny little vehicle, he will think you are off your trolley. We have a car we bought secondhand when it was 4 years old. It cost us 8000 Euros some years ago.
However if you look at the prices of high end bicycles, that are built in similar numbers their prices are similar to trikes. The TITICI Gravel bike frameset, i.e. just a frame, no wheels, no cranks, no gears, no brakes, etc costs about 4000 Euros in the UK and I suspect even without buying diamond studded cranks converting the frameset into a bicycle will cost at least 1000 Euros if not more. However if you buy this Italian handbuilt frameset your neighbours will think not that you have more money than sense, but that you are a man who knows his own mind, a man of distinction, who is prepared to spend money to get what he wants. It's a funny old world. (BTW the way I have used the male form, because I think men are much likely to spend this kind money on this kind of bike.)

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