1998 vs 2018 Bicycle Prices


OK, a new compact crank has more range than my old triple crankset (see Triple vs Compact Crankset). And, wider tires will give me a more comfortable ride with less rolling resistance than my 700×28 tires (see Wide vs Narrower Tires).  But, with today’s bicycle prices, will I have to settle for less bike for my money?

I am back to doing the math. My old 1998 Trek 5520 had an MSRP of $2,200. Giving 3% for inflation over the last 20 years, that would be the equivalent to approximately $4,000 today. So, can I buy a carbon fiber bicycle with components equivalent to Shimano Ultegra for around $4,000? In addition, since carbon fiber was a technological advancement in cycling in 1998, I would expect similar advancements in what I would be purchasing today.

Well it looks like I’m in luck. I’ve been looking at the 2018 Trek Domane SL 6 Disc  and it seems to fit the bill with an MSRP of $3,600. It has a carbon fiber frame with road-smoothing front and rear IsoSpeed technology and Shimano Ultegra components with hydraulic disc brakes.

Wait, that looks like a bargain! How can I resist?

Ken Whittaker


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