Saturday, June 30, 2007

Plunk down $10,000 for this cycle

Brendan George with his Seven Aerios

What's the most you would pay for a bicycle that you would use to just tool around the neighborhood? How about $10,000?

According to a Lake County News-Sun survey of area bike shops, the Seven Aerios, which is assembled and on the floor for general purchase at Alberto's Cycles in Highland Park, is the most expensive ride that can be looked at and rolled out the door within minutes (assuming, of course, some form of payment is made).

The road bike, made by Boston's Seven Cycles, is specifically designed to be ultra light. Its frame is constructed of titanium, and according to Alberto's co-owner Brendan George, the entire bike weighs approximately 16.5 pounds.

Titanium frame itself costs $3500

The description of the bike on Seven's Web site says it is "a climber's dream ... a great choice for lighter riders and the weight obsessed."

One might naturally be of the opinion that anyone buying this costly of a bike would be using it for racing, long-distance or mountain riding, but George said that a bike such as the Aerios is "too expensive" for most racers.

"Bike racers," he said, "usually buy something perfectly functional in the $3,500 range."

That's the price of the Aerios frame and fork alone. George noted that most people would not risk damaging such an expensive bike in a race.

"This is a bike for someone who needs a nice, lightweight bike that they can ride all day," he said.

The Aerios on Alberto's showroom floor can be purchased as is, with all parts by the same bike maker. But it's more likely, George said, that whoever buys it will want it customized with mix and match parts for the seat, handlebars or stems.

"Our customers can cherry pick anything on a bike," he noted. "And I want to stress that anyone coming to our shop can get a custom-made bike for much less than this one."

There's also at least one that is even more costly. The Serotta Meivici, which is available via special order through Alberto's, comes with a price tag of $15,000. The store also has a Canondale road bike that approaches $10,000 in price.

The lone Aerios at Alberto's was put together and made available on the showroom floor as a bike that could be test ridden as well as purchased.

One might assume that a bike as pricey as the Aerios would tend to hang around, unsold, for a while. After all, you can get a very reliable car for that kind of money. But although the store is in no danger of adding a revolving door to accommodate sales of this model, it will, reportedly, move nicely.

George has been in the bicycle selling business since 1974, has been working at Alberto's since 1986 and assumed co-ownership of the business eight years ago, so he has a working grasp on what the high-end bike-selling business is all about.

"We're not super motivated to sell it," said George, "but I would estimate that it won't be on the floor more than 30 days. If it isn't sold by then I'd be surprised."


Source:- Suburbanchicagonews

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