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Bikes to Become Expensive

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MAARSSEN, Netherlands – A booming aerospace industry is bringing bad news to cycling enthusiasts: higher prices for fancy bikes. This means bike makers along with makers of sailboats, lacrosse sticks, tennis rackets, jewellery and bone screws are paying 25 % more for raw materials and passing along some costs to consumers.

Bikes to Become Expensive

MAARSSEN, Netherlands – A booming aerospace industry is bringing bad news to cycling enthusiasts: higher prices for fancy bikes. This means bike makers — along with makers of sailboats, lacrosse sticks, tennis rackets, jewellery and bone screws — are paying 25 % more for raw materials and passing along some costs to consumers.
 
Makers of titanium golf clubs so far are refraining from raising prices since their mark-ups were already high before the specialty-materials crunch. Prices for high-end bikes could rise from 5 % to 25 %. Zsolt Rumy, chief executive of St. Louis-based carbon fibre maker Zoltek Cos., says he is trying to keep prices lower for bigger customers by raising prices for smaller ones, such as bike and golf-club makers, who constitute 15 % of his company’s business. "We really jack up the price" for smaller customers, he says. He has passed on more of the 60 % to 100 % increases to sporting-goods customers.Titanium, made by refining and melting an ore extracted from rutile sand found in Australia and elsewhere, can cost more than US$32,000 a ton at this moment.

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