They call the “leading edge” the “bleeding edge”, which means that folks who buy a new product that was just invented nearly always pay a higher price than if they had waited a couple of years. This is expected with many industries and many products, perhaps the most notable, and radical, example being in the world of computers, which used to cost tens of thousands of dollars, but are now affordable for practically everyone. Many people like to have the absolute latest and greatest, and companies need to cover their initial design and creation costs, thus the success of the higher pricing paradigm for new stuff. This is normal business as usual, and we all understand it.
Until recently however, I just assumed the recumbent tricycle industry is somehow immune to this later reduction in prices, my experience being primarily with ICE trikes, which I have kept under surveillance since 2009. Inspired Cycle Engineering has consistently raised prices over the years that I have been active with their vehicles, which everyone just accepts as the way business does business in the real world, maximizing company profits. Who can argue? They make great recumbent vehicles, renown for their dependability. I saved up for my ICE Full Fat, and it was worth every penny because it allows me to pedal a tricycle places where standard street trikes can never venture. This is my second ICE trike since 2009.
I had no problem with the cost, because I am using it as a replacement for petroleum powered exploration of the backcountry. It is very inexpensive when compared to the Jeep Rubicon, for example, which is the ICE Full Fat’s comparison in the automotive off-road world. Entry level price for Jeep Rubicon is $33,095, whereas the entry level price for ICE Full Fat
is was $5,456. Both rigs allow rugged and remote backcountry exploration, but you can save $27,639 by using a human based engine rather than a petroleum based engine. With the ICE Full Fat, there are no expensive bills from automotive repair shops. There is no expensive yearly insurance premium. There is no need for a driver’s license. There is no need to spend thousands of dollars each year at gasoline stations. There are no toxic waste products from a tailpipe that destroy our air supply. There is no need for a huge garage or storage area to park it. It only weighs 49 pounds, a whopping 4,083 pounds less than the Jeep Rubicon, so a fit human powered engine is quite capable of accessing the Rubicon’s territory (and if you do get stuck, the trike can be readily pulled by hand instead of a dangerous winch). So I was good with the pricing! I am a happy triker.
Today, I congratulate Inspired Cycle Engineering for taking a step in making the Full Fat more affordable for more people. For reasons unknown to me, ICE has reduced the entry-level base price of the Full Fat by $521.06. Perhaps I am unaware, but I do not recall this type of thing occurring before. The 2017 Full Fat is actually notably less expensive than the 2015 Full Fat. The price has fallen from the 2015 level of $5456.06 USD, and is now £3912.00 / $4935.00 / €3807.00 (entry-level base prices on the ICE website as of this writing). My hat is off to ICE for going against the rampant tide of traditional corporate greed and price inflation, in taking a stand to put the customer first over profits! While some trike manufacturers hold the line on price increases, which is clearly commendable in its own right, it is indeed refreshing and quite a surprise to see a company actually reducing prices! I like this trend, and hope others follow.
Learn more about the ICE Full Fat HERE.
The Full Fat pictured is not the entry-level model, but this is not observable to the untrained eye.