To the surprise of many novice riders, mountain bikes can get pretty pricey. It’s not uncommon for new models to cost a few thousand dollars or more.
In fact, a handful of high-caliber bikes cost upwards of $10,000. This can be a huge shock to new riders expecting mountain bikes to be in the same price range as simple street or hybrid bikes.
Despite the sticker shock, there’s a good reason why bikes are priced the way they are. While a lot of it does come down to brand names and flashy accessories, a higher sticker price ensures a better riding experience. Here are some reasons why mountain bikes cost so much.
The frame is the foundation of every bike. The quality can essentially make or break the design and have an effect on performance. For many decades, the go-to material for frames was aluminum. However, advances in technology have allowed bike manufacturers to incorporate something a bit more modern and resilient: carbon fiber.
Carbon fiber bike frames are incredibly strong and shockingly light when designed and built correctly. Bike makers can scrutinize every measurement of the frame to shave off as much bulk as possible.
This helps reduce the weight of the bike as a whole without sacrificing strength. The end result is an outstanding bike that can dominate any trail. Unfortunately, carbon fiber bike frames are on the upper end of the price spectrum.
There are a lot of misconceptions in the minds of consumers about carbon fiber due to the material’s utilization in a variety of products. Truth is, making carbon fiber bike parts is very difficult and takes a lot of time.
Not only that, but creating parts often requires great skills. Many steps have to be done by hand rather than a machine like many people envision. There’s a lot that goes into making carbon fiber parts, such as materials, molds, and time.
Luckily, carbon fiber has an amazing reputation, so bike enthusiasts can rest assured that their pricey new bike will outperform a standard aluminum option. While the price may be alarming at first, carbon fiber and composite frames are giving riders better performance, more reliability, and better longevity.
Bikers that have been investing in the sport for decades will be the first to tell you that the price of bikes has increased over the years. Even in the last decade, prices are noticeably higher. However, this is because of changes in modern designs. Bikers are expecting a lot more from the bikes they buy, resulting in a constant evolution in design from manufacturers.
In the past, mountain bikes had the bare minimum. Models were heavy and quite clunky. Despite that, riders made it work. As the sport grew in popularity, more and more people began investing in mountain bikes. The consequence of this is improved design.
Manufacturers had to adapt to the growing customer base. Today, even entry-level bikes are equipped with better parts than the couped-out model of yesteryear. Modern riders have higher expectations in terms of safety and performance.
Unfortunately, this drives up the price tag of bikes across the board. More expensive components are being designed and used on a regular basis.
Bikes today do indeed cost more than they did a decade ago. However, you’re getting a lot more bang for your buck. Modern bikes will leave older models in the dust.
Better Riding Experience
With an expensive bike, you can expect to have a superb riding experience. High-quality bikes often have top-notch components installed to make the ride a bit smoother and safer.
This includes everything from wider tires with durable wheels to high-class brake systems.
One of the most common components used with expensive bikes is a suspension system with high travel distances. These full-suspension bikes have a number of advantages compared to hardtail options.
While hardtail bikes do provide riders with a number of important skills, investing in a full-suspension bike allows riders to tackle more challenging trails than ever before. When paired with other expensive components, bikes are more than equipped to handle the tough terrain.
When riders purchase an expensive bike, they are making an investment. As you get higher in price points, bikes are noticeably different in terms of performance, safety, and durability. With better parts and improved designs, buyers know that they’re getting a quality bike. By buying a cheaper model, riders are essentially putting off a pricey upgrade. This is why many bikers opt to save for an expensive model that will provide years of riding.
Ways To Save
If you’re looking to get into the world of mountain biking but don’t have thousands of dollars to spend on the flashiest model at the bike shop, don’t fret. It’s possible to get a high-quality bike without breaking the bank. The key is to focus the investment on areas that need it. The best way to save money is to build a mountain bike from scratch. A custom build gives you ultimate control with the design and price range.
Another alternative is to focus on bikes that have solid essentials rather than going with the fully-loaded model. While those models can be enticing, they’re not always necessary. Riders can get by with a high-quality frame, wheels, fork, and brake system.
Hardtail models are also great for new bikers that want to work their way up. They’re cheaper than full-suspension bikes and teach riders how to control the unit safely. With a bit of research, you can find bikes with solid essentials. They’ll provide a great ride while saving thousands as you work your way up the price ladder.
All in all, mountain bikes aren’t cheap because they provide bikers with the best ride possible. They use high-quality materials and components to make your trip down the trail a fun and safe one.
Manufacturers put a lot of time and resources into developing the next great mountain bike. Designs are constantly changing to enhance the sport and provide better riding experiences.
While the newest model is beautiful to look at, it’s also good to know that it’s packed with the best components the industry has to offer.