What is with American bikes being so dang expensive?! $1000 for a freaking bike? That is pure madness. I can get an excellent bike here in Japan for $200, and it would blow away anything that you could ever get back in the states. Riding bent over is NOT comfortable. Ripping your pants when they catch on the whatchamakalit sucks. I could really go on for a long while as to how much better an average run of the mill Japanese bike is compared to the best bike you could get in America, but I'd rather not piss off the OP any more than I already have.
ajohnmeyer: Sorry for tearing into your bike. I just really am blown away when I see these exorbitantly-priced bikes for sale in America. It is ludicrous. I have bought cars for less money -- that ran perfect and kept going for 10s of thousands of miles. Good luck with trying to sell your bike though. There are plenty of rich people out there...
I dunno what the markup on those nice Japanese-made Nitto parts are over there, but over here you can expect to shell out $180 for a lugged Nitto stem.
Given, it's more jewelry than bike part, but still.
Same thing can be said for many different things over here in the states though, I can't fathom paying the US average of $50/month for a cell phone, but plenty of people are falling all over themselves to do so.
"I got 350 heads on a 305 engine. I get 10 miles to the gallon. I ain't got no good intentions." -The Drive By Truckers
I have adopted a "less is more" approach to life. The less you have, the more you appreciate what you have. This can apply to things from cars to food to heating and cooling.
I pay roughly $20 per month for my cell phone over here in Japan. You can't get a better plan, short of sticking with the same company for a loooong time.
I am not into biking, so I don't really know what Nitto stuff would go for over here. Not many people are into biking here though. Most people do own a bike, but it is usually a three speed, with a friction powered light, splash guards, comfy seat, upright sitting design, bell, basket, and a lock, to name the first things that come to my mind. Bikes are designed to work in place of a car pretty much... and THAT is exactly how I use mine. Too bad it would cost more to ship one back to the U.S. than it would to actually buy the things in the first place. Oh, that and America (at least where I live in Michigan) is too spread out to make good use of a bike.