Light bikes, heavy prices
February 11, 2004
So what’s the top of the line in bicycles these days? Well, that depends on a number of things, such as where you shop, the kind of cycling you prefer and how much money you are willing to spend.
If you’ve got $10,800, then the Hub of Aspen is ready to sell you a limited edition model (road or mountain) made by bicycle manufacturer Colnago and auto manufacturer Ferrari.
“The creme de la creme of mountain bikes is the Colnago for Ferrari,” said Hub employee Bob Penland. The bike comes with a carbon frame – light and strong. Its hydraulic disc brakes are more powerful and consistent, especially in inclement weather. The shocks are adjustable. And the wheels and gears are made by industry leader Shimano.
There are only 500 road bikes and 1,000 mountain bikes in existence bearing the Colnago for Ferrari name, and Hub owner Charlie Tarver says his shop has sold more – 10 – than any other in the United States.
Looking for a little less name for a little less money, but probably just as much bicycle? Then Aspen Velo has a titanium-frame road bike for a relatively modest $7,200. The components are made from magnesium, the wheels from carbon. The bicycle’s frame is just 1.9 pounds and the total package just 14 pounds. You can lift it easily with one hand.
If you prefer a carbon frame, then Aspen Velo has a hand-built Italian number just for you, made by De Rosa. It’s just $7,500. Aspen Velo’s top mountain bike is priced at about 40 percent of the Ferrari that’s sold by the Hub. Velo manager Chris Keating says that for about $4,000, he can set you up with a lightweight model by Santa Cruz. The adjustable shocks would have about 3 inches of vertical travel. It would have hydraulic disc brakes and Shimano components, just like the Ferrari. Keating noted that there have been some big technological advancements over the last year – the shocks on mountain bikes have more travel than ever before, and road bikes are getting lighter and lighter. And more is on the way. “The latest, greatest and coolest stuff is not even on the floor yet,” he said.
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And now for a reality check: At Colorado Custom Cycles in Rifle, owner Andrew Legg’s top-priced floor model is the aluminum-frame Wolf Ridge mountain bike made by Marin. Legg says it is a “big hit bike,” with 5 or 6 inches of travel in the shocks, made to withstand long drops off cliffs. “It’s a very cool bike,” he said. And it sells for about $2,000 – bottom of the line in Aspen.