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Why are Blue Bikes Cheaper than Pink Bikes? The Real Truth behind Sex, Cycling and the Price of Participation

Trigger (heh) warning:  This post is not going to go how you think it’s going to go.  This is me, after all.  You have been trigger (heh) warned.

I heard, on the Mitch Albom radio show the other night, one of his female engineers say it’s a given that “the pink bike costs more than the blue one”.  I called in to set the record straight because I know for a fact she’s dead wrong…

I own and love a 2013 Specialized Venge Comp that I’ve upgraded with just about everything I can to make it an S-Works except the wheels, and I’ve got my eyes peeled for that deal.  The sticker on the bike was $3,600 brand new, I paid $3,100 at the end of the ’13 season.  Keep that $3,100, better, that $3,600 original price at the back of your mind, that’s the important number, not the extra $1,900 I have into the upgrades…. ahem.

A year after I bought my Venge I bought my wife’s Alias, but I bought her bike at the beginning of the season so she’s got a 2014 (interestingly, my bike no longer makes the Specialized Archive and my wife’s is shown as a ’15).  It’s the “pink” version of my bike but designed with a better geometry for women who enjoy the occasional triathlon.  It also came with clip-on aero bars.  Her bike was $2,600.  The wheels were a touch cheaper and the brakes were inferior (Axis 1.0 compared to Shimano 105) but she got the aero bars and an 11 speed 105 drivetrain to my 10 speed 105 drivetrain.  In other words, apples to apples, her bike cost considerably less than mine.

This year for Specialized, if you go down the line, from high-end all the way down through the mid-grade models, the men’s bikes cost the same as the women’s bikes.  When you get down to the entry-level and low-end bikes, women have more options than men.  The same is true for Trek.  Women’s bikes don’t cost a penny more than the men’s equivalent.

The point, ladies, is this:  Women don’t pay more for pink bikes.  If anything, women get better deals than men do.  Also, another wrong that has been corrected (several years ago), women’s bikes are no longer smaller versions of men’s bikes with pink paint.  Women’s bikes are wholly designed from the ground up for women (at least in the big three – Specialized, Trek and Giant).

I apologize for luring you in with the click-bait title because you were likely expecting the standard narrative.  Alas, the truth will set us free; The blue bike costs just as much, if not a little more, than the pink bike.

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