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...at the local K-Mart are sold out. What will happen when these people stop riding these bikes. I wonder what the effects of the gas crisis is having on LBS bike sales. What will it mean to us as far as bike costs go? Do you think bikes will go up in cost?
 

· Overequipped, underlegged
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i think bikes are not a viable way for most people to get to work, or run their errands. the average human is a lazy loser who can't get off his ass (just switch it from the couch to the car seat), so i don't think demand for bikes is going to shoot up enough to affect prices, specially not road-bikes.
a few enthusiastic tree-huggers might buy and use bikes motivated by the gas crisis and their earth-loving conscience, but most wont use them for long after they discover how tiring it is.
It works in perfectly flat countries with small cities like the netherlands. In the US and most of the developped world have way too much traffic and people live too far away from work for bikes to be a viable alternative to powered transportation.
And in the rare case that bike sales did go up, even in the sportiest of cases it'd be just hybrids. Road bikes are a very specific niche where the prices are already jacked about as high as the market will stand, and i don't think it'll be affected by an increase in K-Mart bike sales or hybrid bike sales.
cheers!
 

· Adorable Furry Hombre
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hclignett said:
...at the local K-Mart are sold out. What will happen when these people stop riding these bikes. I wonder what the effects of the gas crisis is having on LBS bike sales. What will it mean to us as far as bike costs go? Do you think bikes will go up in cost?
All it might mean is that bike shops get a little extra dough. I doubt I'll ever see a waiting line at my LBS for bikes ever.

Prices might go up due to the increase on transportation costs and the cost of a;; petroleum based products, and the crash of the dollar--but not due to demand.
 

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I agree that it's unlikely bikes will go up due to a rise in demand. Much more likely that they'll go up due to increased material costs.

In regards to cycling never becoming a viable transportation method in the US.....
It works in perfectly flat countries with small cities like the netherlands. In the US and most of the developed world have way too much traffic and people live too far away from work for bikes to be a viable alternative to powered transportation.
In London, which is not a 'small city', not particularly flat, has notoriously bad traffice and last time I checked was part of the developed world:

"Over 480,000 journeys are made by bicycle every day. Since 2000, cycling levels on London’s major roads have increased by 83 percent." In addition new programs are aimed at increasing the growth of cycling by 400% so that 5% percent of all trips in London are made by bike.

I freely admit that London doesn't really compare to most US cities, but if they can make cycling a viable form of transportation there, we can do it in most cities in the US.

According to the League of American Cyclists:

According to the Nationwide Personal Transportation Survey, 25 percent of all trips are made within a mile of the home, 40 percent of all trips are within two miles of the home, and 50 percent of the working population commutes five miles or less to work. Yet more than 82 percent of trips five miles or less are made by personal motor vehicle.

If we want them to, cycling can most definitely become a viable mode of transporation. We just have to want to make that change.
 

· Failboat Captian
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I've seen/heard a lot of news articles recently, where bike shops are doing huge business. This is a real boon for them. My guess is that cheap dept store bikes go the fastest, because people generally don't understand what a decent bike costs. The people buying these bikes are not bike enthousiasts. I think it's easy enough for mfgr's to keep up with demand, because bikes can be made and shipped very quickly. So for any increase in demand, I see the decrease due to volume offsetting the increase. The increase for materals may have an effect, but I'm still guessing not. I think people have a pain threshold for the cost of a bike. For the people buying a bike so that they use less gas, and riding the 4 miles to work, I see that number at about $200 (I don't know where I came up with that.. Just a gut feel)
 

· Failboat Captian
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Rower said:
According to the Nationwide Personal Transportation Survey, 25 percent of all trips are made within a mile of the home, 40 percent of all trips are within two miles of the home, and 50 percent of the working population commutes five miles or less to work. Yet more than 82 percent of trips five miles or less are made by personal motor vehicle.

If we want them to, cycling can most definitely become a viable mode of transporation. We just have to want to make that change.
Except that those 1-2 mile trips are for shopping. Only the One-Percenters, like the people here, are going to take a bike to go shopping. You need a way to haul your stuff home, and the legs to be able to get home. A couch potatoe isn't going to haul home 75lbs of groceries with a bike, or take it to the mall to go clothes shopping, or haul 3 young kids and a spouse out to dinner.

That said, there are still a lot of short trips that could be made by bike.
 

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I don't think the kind of people who would buy a bike at K-Mart or Walmart are the kind of people who will shell out the money for even a poor quality road bike. They are the kind of people who know nothing about bikes and want the cheapest thing possible. They have given no thought as to what kind of riding they want to do. Usually, they're the kind of people who will ride their bike around the block a few times before decided it's too much effort. They will probably not ever buy a road bike. At best, they might by a mountain bike or a hybrid. They most certainly won't be serious bikers.
 
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