Why bikes will be more expensive this year

I’ve mentioned a couple of times how healthy the bike industry appears to be… Retail sales up in 2007, average selling price up, Shimano setting all-time sales records, Fox Forx trading on the stock market, and so on.

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Still, we are likely in a recession, and a deep one at that. Not to mention the weakening of the dollar, the rise in energy prices, and the run on raw materials. The grand conclusion? You might want to buy that new bike yesterday. Word from the Taipai International Cycling Show is that bike prices are likely to rise 8 to 10 percent next year. Steel is in short supply, China will be shutting down their bike factories during the Olympics (trying to avoid the bad international PR of how frighteningly bad the air quality is in Beijing), and the cost of butyl used to make tubes and tires, is up almost 50 percent.

Me? I’m stocking up on 700c tubes and patch kits, and planning to prove to my wife that one man can ride seven bikes.

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