If you’re a cyclist, you’ve probably wondered why bicycle groupsets cost so much. After all, they just contain a few small pieces of metal and plastic.
A common reason, and probably why you are here, is the story of someone that has an entry-level bicycle and is ready to upgrade their groupset. They then find after a quick search that most groupsets are totaling more than their bike itself and quickly give up.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the reasons behind the high prices of bicycle groupsets and find out why they are so expensive.
Bicycle groupsets are expensive for a couple of reasons! This is primarily because new groupsets are marketed towards avid cyclists, however other factors such as parts being purchased at scale and the fact that upgraded groupsets are built with high quality and engineering in mind play a big part in raising the average price of a groupset on a bicycle.
With that said, let’s take a deeper look into each of these, figure out what exactly a groupset is, and answer some other pressing questions you may have.
1. Groupsets are generally purchased by avid cyclists for high-end bikes
There are quite a few levels of bicyclists out there, and the vast majority of people that are looking to purchase a new groupset (rather than just get a new bicycle) are those that have already spent thousands on their bicycle, and this is just another component for them.
This means that manufacturers are mainly building high-end components, with high margins, and being sent to be people that know what they are doing.
Unfortunately, that leaves a big gap for those cyclists that are looking to enter into the avid cyclists market that may not be able to or don’t want to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on just a groupset (you can scroll down lower in the article to find out exactly what a groupset is).
2. Higher quality groupsets are engineered with high quality in mind
When you purchase a groupset, you’re not just paying for the materials and labor that went into making it. You’re also paying for all of the research, development, and testing that was done to make sure that it’s of the highest quality.
That is why you will find group sets that can even reach over $1000.
This is why bicycle groupsets from different manufacturers can have such a range in prices. Some manufacturers have been in the business for decades and have had time to perfect their craft. Others are newer to the scene and are still working out the kinks.
However, even the groupsets from newer manufacturers that aren’t as expensive as the established brands tend to be of high quality. This is because they know that in order to compete in the market, they have to offer a groupset that is just as good, if not better, than what’s already out there.
Thankfully, with that said, there are manufacturers starting to make less expensive groupsets to help out that entry level cyclist!
3. Bikes as a whole, are bought in large amounts by the retailer
If you have noticed that your bicycle with a similar groupset is about the same or even cheaper than the groupset on its own, this is likely because the retailer is able to buy so many of that bike (including the groupset), that they could sell it with a margin at a lower price than the groupset on its own.
The bicycle industry as a whole is a very large market, and because of this, retailers can buy in bulk and get discounts that the customer never sees (at least at the basic level).
It’s important to remember that when you’re looking at groupsets (or any bicycle component), the price that you see is rarely what the retailer paid for it.
On the flip side, if you as an individual go to buy a component like a groupset, you are a person, and you likely won’t buy that same part again. This means that the cost of acquiring you as a customer is higher and more difficult to retain. This means they need to charge a higher price, knowing this is likely the only time you will order from them.
What is a bicycle groupset?
A bicycle groupset is a collection of components that are used to build a bicycle’s drivetrain. These components include the following:
- Bottom bracket
- Derailleurs (front and rear)
- Cassette or freewheel
Essentially, if you are purchasing a groupset, you are looking to upgrade (or replace) your complete drivetrain. While many drivetrains have some backward compatible components, some people may want to replace it all to make sure it works extremely well.
SRAM vs Shimano
There are two main groupset manufacturers in the bicycle world: SRAM and Shimano. These two companies have competed with each other for many years and continue to push the envelope when it comes to bicycle technology.
While SRAM (their products are here) is often considered the more expensive option, they are also known for being slightly lighter weight and easier to work on. Shimano, on the other hand, is known for being a bit cheaper and more durable.
At the end of the day, it comes down to personal preference. Both SRAM and Shimano offer high-quality groupsets that are sure to give you many years of riding enjoyment.
Frequently Asked Questions
No, unfortunately, you cannot. The reason for this is that bicycle groupsets are not standardized, and each one is designed to work with a specific frame. This means that you need to make sure that you get the correct groupset for your bicycle. If you’re unsure of which one to get, you can always consult with a bicycle mechanic.
SRAM is one of the most popular bicycle groupset manufacturers. The company was founded in 1987 and its name is an acronym that stands for (Scott, Ray, And Sam”, representing the founders of the company.
Hopefully, this article has given you some insight into why bicycle groupsets are so expensive. While it may seem like a lot of money for just a few small pieces, there’s a lot more that goes into them than meets the eye. From the research and development to the engineering and testing, groupsets are made with quality in mind.