I honestly don't know how this improves. I run a lot of programs that involve high end engineering, product design and development. That costs a lot to do. The level of design we're asking of bike manufacturers does NOT come cheaply at all. The amount of design, test, and product support we expect is probably the biggest driver of these costs we're seeing. The days of Steve Hed, the tinkerer, and Ernesto, the lugged steel artist bringing us magically cool bike stuff are gone. We've got real, and very expensive engineering and design involved. It's hard for me to gripe too much or demand a cheaper bike when I know what these things cost to do well.
As an engineer myself, I agree with what you said.
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