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Are bikes expensive in Madison?

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Are bikes expensive in Madison?

Postby WestSideYuppie » Sat Apr 30, 2011 11:47 pm

I mean in shops. Also, accessories and parts. Or am I just behind the times?
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Re: Are bikes expensive in Madison?

Postby HamsterArmageddon » Sun May 01, 2011 8:24 am

Loaded question. Try again.
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Re: Are bikes expensive in Madison?

Postby WestSideYuppie » Sun May 01, 2011 8:49 am

Even a loaded question has an answer, and I wasn't trying to start a formal debate. :mrgreen:

I was wondering if things like name-brand bikes, accessories, etc., are more expensive in Madison shops than in other locales.
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Re: Are bikes expensive in Madison?

Postby Dust Mite Rodeo » Sun May 01, 2011 9:44 am

As a person who's lived in the Milwaukee area before and as an avid bicyclist since the Louisiana Purchase, I cannot say that prices are lower east of here. Madison definitely has more per-capita bicycle store density than most places, so I'd guess that that competition keeps prices down.

So get yer wallet out and buy, buy, buy local, etc.
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Re: Are bikes expensive in Madison?

Postby jjoyce » Sun May 01, 2011 10:26 am

This would be an interesting test case of whether competition drives down price, as free-market adherents suggest. Of course, in Madison, we don't really have true free-market competition in the bike world. Brands don't allow just anyone to stock their gear and often come up with goofy rules so that Store X can carry a line, but Store Y can't.
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Re: Are bikes expensive in Madison?

Postby ArturoBandini » Sun May 01, 2011 7:24 pm

If you are handy, buy a new bike online, or buy a used bike on craigslist. Also, Dream Bikes off Verona Road has tons of used bikes, and they do repairs too. Not a race-oriented shop, but who needs that anyway? Also, the annual Cronometro bike swap is a good place to find deals on bikes and bike stuff.

Super inexpensive, good quality import bikes: http://www.bikesdirect.com/
(btw, virtually all new bikes are imported, even if the company is American. Some top-quality handmade bikes are made here in the US, or here in WI, but they cost a lot of dough and don't offer much additional benefit for the average rider, in my opinion)

I'm not sure if Madison's new bike shops are overpriced compared to new bike shops elsewhere. I would guess that they are competitive among other new bike shops, but they are definitely not competitive compared to used bikes, craigslist, or mail-order bikes, if you know what you're looking for. What kind of bike are you looking for?
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Re: Are bikes expensive in Madison?

Postby ArturoBandini » Sun May 01, 2011 7:30 pm

jjoyce wrote:This would be an interesting test case of whether competition drives down price, as free-market adherents suggest. Of course, in Madison, we don't really have true free-market competition in the bike world. Brands don't allow just anyone to stock their gear and often come up with goofy rules so that Store X can carry a line, but Store Y can't.

The free market doesn't have rules about private enterprises determining who their dealers are (or are not). It would be perfectly legitimate for a business to limit their dealer network in the best interests of the brand. They can't stop other brands from coming to town though...

Has free market competition driven down the price of bikes? It has certainly driven quality up, for mid-level bikes and above. On price, we could look at bike prices over time, and make some adjustments for increased quality.
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Re: Are bikes expensive in Madison?

Postby WestSideYuppie » Mon May 02, 2011 11:41 am

Well, problem solved, thanks to the Craig.

Kid #1 has a nice Trek that's a hand-me-down, and I wanted to get a nearly identical bike for Kid #2. I took a gamble on a bike that needed repair, brought it home, and fixed it in ten minutes with no spare parts needed.

The best part: Neither of my kids raised even the slightest objection to not getting brand new bikes.

+1 about Dream Bikes. Great concept.

+1 to Arturo about competition driving up quality. Remember when the only bike store in most towns was Schwinn?
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Re: Are bikes expensive in Madison?

Postby rabble » Mon May 02, 2011 12:55 pm

WestSideYuppie wrote:Remember when the only bike store in most towns was Schwinn?

You had a Schwinn store? All we had was Ace Hardware and Sears.
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Re: Are bikes expensive in Madison?

Postby Stebben84 » Mon May 02, 2011 7:44 pm

For what it's worth, I didn't find the prices that much different than other places when I purchased mine. I did end up going to Stoughton because the bike shop had an older model for about 100 bucks cheaper, but most other cities and interwebs I looked at had comparable prices.
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Re: Are bikes expensive in Madison?

Postby c02 » Tue May 03, 2011 2:13 pm

rabble wrote:
WestSideYuppie wrote:Remember when the only bike store in most towns was Schwinn?

You had a Schwinn store? All we had was Ace Hardware and Sears.


Schwinn, Yellow Jersey, BXC, Hawks(?) on Atwood. They were around or predated Willy when it was a hole in the wall just off of Willy street.
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Re: Are bikes expensive in Madison?

Postby Henry Vilas » Tue May 03, 2011 4:20 pm

I vaguely recall a Schwinn store (early 70s) in the 3000 or so block of East Wash. But I could be wrong. Wouldn't be the first time.
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Re: Are bikes expensive in Madison?

Postby Bwis53 » Tue May 03, 2011 8:28 pm

Henry Vilas wrote:I vaguely recall a Schwinn store (early 70s) in the 3000 or so block of East Wash. But I could be wrong. Wouldn't be the first time.


Yes, I got my first adult bike there.
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Re: Are bikes expensive in Madison?

Postby c02 » Tue May 03, 2011 9:04 pm

It was right next to the Chinese Restaurant that sits next to Cousins on East Wash (remember when the Cousins location was a Kelly's?). There was also a west side location at or next to what is now the Diamond Center across from West Towne Mall (Gammon).
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