Very true point with regard to how demand dictates supply, but I think that one element within the equation need be emphasized to a greater degree. What is currently most readily available, and showcased on the market, also precludes the trend in the purchasing choices. If there are no luged steel frames or toe clips in front of the consumer, and knowledgeable individuals to explain their merits, the public is not going to be seeking these as a option. Of course the few 'in the know' will keep on by adhering to the old ways, but new fashion often dictates public tastes, probably as much as the vice versa, perhaps even to a greater extent. There is influence from both the consumer and the manufacturer as to what is on the shelf, but it isn't necessarily a symbiotic relationship. Things flop. People started to put embroidery on their bell bottoms, so manufacturers offered jeans with butterflies on them. Oddly enough, that is what probably killed the trend. New designs and other innovations appear, and if it catches on, it becomes the ring through the public's nose, for better or for worse. With the high tech materials currently in favor, it isn't so much the guy with the work bench in his garage who is going to come up with the new ideas. Perhaps it never has been in the bike industry, except for maybe the drilled out hub flanges? The bike industry tooled up with all the tig welders for the aluminum frames, brought in cylinders of inert gas, trained people to do the work, they at least need to get a return on their investment, and milk the style for all they can, before they want to agree that 'steel was real' after all, and switch back to brazing. It isn't that industry is necessarily smarter than the public, but it does find it's ways to be persuasive.
Dennis Young Looks like a early spring in Hotaka, Japan
> Will the "bicycle industry" ever wake up to the fact that the "bicycle
> has always been the same as every other industry? It just shows how far out
> of step the bike biz is with reality to think different rules apply to them.
> As a buyer in the "sporting goods" industry, who has purchased at least 100
> dollars of sporting goods in the past ten years, I'll finally expose my
> secret formula:
> We buy what sells. The consumer, whether conscious or not, is always the
> most powerful
> influence on any industry. Yes, we buyers consciously try to get people to
> buy certain
> things over other ones for our/their own good, but in the end, it's the
> billions of choices
> made by the consumer that change things, for good or bad. The "industry" is
> to prevent this, the rules are set.
> The difference I see today is the customer. The golden rule today for
> selling anything
> is "game improvement". Golf clubs to tennis racquets, to bikes, everyone
> wants to buy
> their way to greatness. Why spend time you don't have at the driving range,
> learning to
> smooth out your swing, just buy better clubs!