Perhaps not all CR listmembers are aware of the fact that 5 figure bikes
are sold and have been for a number of years. Both new bikes, as well as
vintage ones. You can check out a few vintage ones here:
Witness what the true Herse randonneur bikes with complete Herse componentry go for...
As an example of how high prices, as suggested by Don do presently work in the bike business, think about the Colnago President. It sells for more than virtually any other Colnago bike (which are already at the top of the market with regards to price), but it is not considered the top of the line in any performance category (stiffness, lightweight, comfort, durability, handling...) People are therefore solely buying the prestige of the price and the finish of the frame, as nothing else would set it apart. Hundreds have however been sold in the US. Their sales are also not limited to the hightech millionaires and the like. Having spoken to a number of the buyers, I know that they are just as likely to be people who have just begun to ride, as they are experienced riders who are splurging on their 'last' new bike at retirement. The fact that Ernesto can get away with this does not however translate into the same possibilities for our American KOF framebuilders. Ernesto has built up this part of the market over decades.