Paper of record on the Campy Record crowd

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by Frank Steele on Nov 10, 2006 at 6:18 AM

New York Times | You Paid How Much for That Bike?

The New York Times looks at the high-end bike market, especially in Manhattan.

The article focuses on boutique custom-bike shops, one (Signature Cycles) whose fitting studio is open by appointment only.

The current top end of the top end, according to the times, is about $23,000 for a carbon time-trial bike sold at Signature Cycles that comes with handmade German wheels at $5,500 a set. Judging from the Signature site, above, I’m guessing that’s a Seven Diamas, but who is making $5,500 wheelsets? Even the pro-level Corimas, Zipps, and Rolfs seem to run circa $900/wheel or less.

The lead is a woman who bought a $9,000 bike as she neared 39 so she could learn to ride. First question: Who doesn’t learn to ride a bike as a kid? Second question: Isn’t that a beautiful leap of faith?

The Hugger ethic even makes an appearance:

Dr. Levine bristled slightly when it was suggested that people like him may be a little, um, obsessed with what is, after all, just a bicycle. You do feel a connection with it, he said. But I don’t think anyone in our group takes it to a psychotic, unreasonable extent. He paused. But my wife might disagree with that.

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Comments: 4

Lightweight Wheels (used to be ADA).  They are the wheels you see the pros usually ride in uphill TTs and mtn stages.  The thing is…they don’t do sponsorships, so the pros actually pay for these $5k+ beauties.  The disk is $4k on its own.

http://www.carbonsports.com/

I love the (hopefully ironic) comment from the TA guy: “Cycling is the new golf.” And I’m Happy Gilmore.

NYTimes, WSJ, bikes featured on the Office, cycling is having a good run in the media this month.

Speaking of wheels, check what Reynolds is doing with their updated line, including carbon clinchers!

This post reminded me of the old bike shop joke about having a marriage counselor in the back for the expensive bikes and why separate bank accounts are good for cyclists.

Yes, cycling is getting some press.  I just hope the result is more positive and makes people (read: drivers) more aware of us and kinder to us on the road.

Also, there are plenty of reasons why people don’t learn to ride a bike as a kid.  For example, my brother had a really bad accident one of his first times learning as a kid and it turned him off to learning until he was in college.

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