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May 8, 2014, 10:03 a.m. -  Pete Roggeman

#!markdown I can tell you that companies are definitely NOT spending a greater percentage of revenues on marketing than they were in the past. Likely it feels that way because the internet makes it easier to see a greater percentage of what each company is putting out there. If anything, they spend less and are operating on thinner margins. Fuel surcharges and cost of raw materials are constantly being raised - often in the middle of the production cycle even when they were supposed to be 'locked in' - making it very difficult for manufacturers to maintain margins. There is no way your $1,000 Stumpy in 2000 was top of the line. Sure, it probably had some XT sprinkled on it (rear derailleur?) and a front fork, but it was also likely a mass-produced alloy frame that worked for racers but felt stiff as hell - am I right? Yep, prices are going up and it's not all inflation, but companies wouldn't keep putting out more and more expensive stuff if it wasn't being bought somewhere, by someone. Saying the media is just propping up out of reach products is being a bit unfair, IMO. I realize you're not deliberately being sensational and are in general taking a measured approach. And we think commentary and questioning is healthy too (we welcome it), but there's a reason why enthusiast magazines report on new, exotic, and interesting shiny stuff: otherwise you probably wouldn't look inside as often. I will end by saying that we are also interested in letting our audience know about products that aren't the most expensive in the lineup and work great and as has been alluded to, have a few bikes that meet that description being tested right now. We'll see how the view counts do on those reviews and then be the judge of their value to the audience 😉

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