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It just turns into a stack of 'might as well' decisions. Once you're headed towards a 40+lb bike, it's going to ride like a vehicle you're a part of more than an extension of your body, so might as well make it a more capable vehicle.
Cheaper but beefier wheels, steel cassette, coil springs - and yeah, more tire are all things which make it fun. If we could have 30lb bikes with parts that durable, we wouldn't bother riding anything else... slapping a motor on makes that 15lb delta go away a large fraction of the time it's in motion, so why not have more durable parts which require less maintenance?
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