Comments on: The economics of second-hand bikes http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/08/19/the-economics-of-second-hand-bikes/ A slice of lime in the soda Sun, 26 Oct 2014 19:05:02 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.5 By: simonwheeler http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/08/19/the-economics-of-second-hand-bikes/comment-page-1/#comment-29180 Wed, 03 Aug 2011 03:11:50 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/08/19/the-economics-of-second-hand-bikes/#comment-29180 A long time ago, houses and cars define the wealth of a person, but no more; bicycles also demand its share of the rich cake, but truly the price of a second hand bike depends on what’s on it than its age.

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By: Observer http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/08/19/the-economics-of-second-hand-bikes/comment-page-1/#comment-5712 Wed, 19 Aug 2009 22:06:54 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/08/19/the-economics-of-second-hand-bikes/#comment-5712 Out here in Portland, we have advanced to what I would call a Stage II bike economy, where they have ascended to the category of status goods. Every lowly bike messenger tries to impress her friends with the fancy shifters and toe clips and most importantly, the custom built frame. They still get you from Point A to Point B about as fast, and to be honest the custom stuff is finicky and needs a lot of maintenance.

But as a result we are seeing an explosion of innovation as the wave of status-driven purchases drives money into the local industry. A veritable Tin Pan Alley of local bike makers has sprung up, madly trying to beat the others for style and engineering. This ranges from effective refinements that benefit everyone to local oddities like the high-risers which have two or even three bike frames welded together. You are perched on a regular seat and have regular gears, but you’re 6 feet above the pavement. It takes special effort to mount one of these gizmos and they’re pretty dangerous to ride in regular traffic because it’s hard to dismount and you really can’t brake and stop. But they are part of the bike zoo here now. Also a great many variations on carriers, just sitting on my front porch here typing this someone rolled by with a kind of boxy three-wheeler suitable for a pretty large load of groceries.

I’ve been in London, Amsterdam and Copenhagen in the last year and have the impression that while there is a high-end segment there too, they are in Stage III of the bike economy where it’s basically just transport. Especially in Amsterdam the average is an old beater with dented fenders, the back one with a strip of scuffed white paint for safety. Bikes in A’dam are often stolen and many end up in the canals or rusting away at the giant bike park next to the Centraal Station. There are people with €5,000 bikes but they keep them discreetly hidden. In Stage III cities, a bike is really only a way from Point A to Point B.

Jeff Mapes, the political reporter for the Oregonian, our decaying dead-trees daily, has written a very fine book called Pedaling Revolution which covers both bike policy, history and current developments, of course focusing on Portland but also Davis, California, Amsterdam and so on, and an especially good section on bicycling in New York that I know you will appreciate, Felix.

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By: GenghisKhan http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/08/19/the-economics-of-second-hand-bikes/comment-page-1/#comment-5703 Wed, 19 Aug 2009 19:28:45 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/08/19/the-economics-of-second-hand-bikes/#comment-5703 Ultimately, though, whether expensive or inexpensive, the key to a bike is getting out and riding it!

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By: Rob Cyran http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/08/19/the-economics-of-second-hand-bikes/comment-page-1/#comment-5688 Wed, 19 Aug 2009 17:40:56 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/08/19/the-economics-of-second-hand-bikes/#comment-5688 Sorry, forgot to state that the bike you linked to had a rather cheap set of components.

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By: Rob Cyran http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/08/19/the-economics-of-second-hand-bikes/comment-page-1/#comment-5687 Wed, 19 Aug 2009 17:39:07 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/08/19/the-economics-of-second-hand-bikes/#comment-5687 You have to make sure you are comparing apples to apples. A large chunk of the value of a bike lies in the components – they break and give users far more trouble than a frame typically does, so it makes sense for people who ride often to avoid the lowest-end gear. That said, bike geeks typically go overboard and buy ridiculously expensive components for no reason other than conspicious consumption. (see this link for an amusing piss take on the style excesses of cycling) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vn29DvMIT u4).

$495 for an old frame with new components doesn’t sound like a ripoff. It may even be a bargain. And the bike you (Felix) link to looks like a reasonable price. But they aren’t the same thing at all.

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By: Mark Beauchamp http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/08/19/the-economics-of-second-hand-bikes/comment-page-1/#comment-5686 Wed, 19 Aug 2009 16:34:32 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/08/19/the-economics-of-second-hand-bikes/#comment-5686 Hah! Two comments, written at the same time with the image of riding a bike in the Southwest USA in July in them! Synchronicity!

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By: Hiland http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/08/19/the-economics-of-second-hand-bikes/comment-page-1/#comment-5685 Wed, 19 Aug 2009 16:33:10 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/08/19/the-economics-of-second-hand-bikes/#comment-5685 The one thing that is missing here is the overall quality of the used bikes or cars. In areas where there are going to be more bikes, there are going to be more qualified mechanics that can take an older bike and turn it into something not just ride-able, but a quality ride. Hence the increased cost of a used bike.

Check out the NYC Bike Snob- he keeps a “Pista Index”- the Pista is a single-speed track bike made by Bianci that retails for $400, yet people on craigslist reoutinely ask for upwards of $1000 for it- mostly because of it’s “cool” status in parts of Brooklyn.

It’s actually just a great example of value differences in across the country. Thanks for the post.

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By: Mark Beauchamp http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/08/19/the-economics-of-second-hand-bikes/comment-page-1/#comment-5684 Wed, 19 Aug 2009 16:32:30 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/08/19/the-economics-of-second-hand-bikes/#comment-5684 Probably not a coincidence that cities where a bicycle commute would be hellish is where the cheap bikes and expensive cars are.

Seems tied to some personal preference though- I would much rather ride through Death Valley in July than dodge traffic on wet asphalt in Seattle.

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By: dvictr http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/08/19/the-economics-of-second-hand-bikes/comment-page-1/#comment-5683 Wed, 19 Aug 2009 16:29:08 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/08/19/the-economics-of-second-hand-bikes/#comment-5683 riding a bike through the sprawl of phoenix in the month of july, is like protesting global warming in new hampshire -in february

if you include tax, registration, and smog/emissions CA fees the data is useless

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