GCN Show: Are modern bikes a rip-off or actually worth their price tag?

Si Richardson and Dan Lloyd look into why prices of modern bikes have become so extortionate and ponder whether or not this is justified

Clock12:10, Wednesday 8th November 2023

Lotus stole more than the occasional headline this week as they unveiled their brand-new Type 136 e-bike. It mirrors their successful track bikes from the Olympic Games but costs an eye-watering £20,000. Its launch comes at a time when it feels like high-end road bikes are getting ever more expensive and pricing the regular consumer out of the market.

Read more: Up close with the Lotus Type 136: Space tech at the heart of ultra-light ultra-expensive e-bike

Last week on the GCN Show, the question was raised as to what had caused the current crisis within the bike industry, and many of our viewers actually pointed their fingers squarely at the prices of bikes these days.

The Lotus Type 136 is not alone in charging a pretty penny for its services, indeed when adjusting for inflation, the flagship models in today's Specialized and Trek line-ups are far more expensive than they were just over a decade ago. It appears that something has changed for bike prices to rise across the board, and in turn, consumers are increasingly finding themselves incapable of affording such luxuries - especially given the current economic climate.

In this week's GCN Show, Si and Dan discuss why prices have risen so drastically and we hear the insights of industry veteran and one of the founders of Cervélo, Gerard Vroomen.

He tell us that not only is bike manufacturing more expensive nowadays, due to innovations such as electronic shifting and hydraulic disc brakes, but consumers are not actually buying the cheaper options either.

This is a topic with plenty to unpack though, so make sure to check out this week's show above to discover the truth about cycling's spiralling costs.

Elsewhere, the guys talk about Puma's new indoor-specific cycling shoe called the PWRSPIN, which features a carbon plate and an ultra-weave mesh. Si is particularly interested by a swathe of artsy bike racks that have been popping up around The Woodlands in Texas, and there's a chance to take part in our new Wahoo competition where you could win a brand-new KICKR MOVE. Entries close at 10:00GMT on Sunday 12 November.

Hack/bodge

See what Dan and Si thought of this week's submissions and don't miss your chance to vote on them in the GCN app by clicking on the links below. If you have a great a hack then submit it via the app now for your chance to be featured on next week's show.

Global Cycling Network
Global Cycling Network
Global Cycling Network
Global Cycling Network

On the channels this week:

  • Our guide to bike lights - everything you need to know about the different types, best mounting positions and more
  • A look at Science in Sport's fuelling strategies with Ineos Grenadiers dietician Marc Fell
  • Grail vs Grizl - Canyon's gravel bikes go head-to-head
  • Hank and Conor tackle the Dutch Headwind World Championships - even though it was cancelled due to too much wind!
  • The Taiwan KOM challenge

Coming up on GCN+

  • Track Champions League has its grand finale in London on Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 November
  • Cyclo-cross continues with the Superprestige Niel on Saturday November 11, while the third round of the World Cup takes place in Dendermonde on Sunday 12
  • GCN+ has a new film called 1992: Following El Diablo where former pro Mitch Docker traces the route of Claudio Chiappucci’s crazy solo breakaway through the Alps to a stage victory in the 1992 Tour de France

Note: Territory restrictions apply on all our race coverage.

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