So here we go – the next installment of some thoughts around what makes a ‘rational’ mountain bike price. I put the statement rational in quotes in an attempt early on to highlight the fact that, in my opinion, there is very little that is rational about this topic. The reality is that the companies that build mountain bikes do that for their customer base – i.e. if you do not like the price and features on a given bike, guess what others (large majority) do!
So with that in mind, the best thing you can do is decide for yourself what are the conditions that you will be experiencing and how will you be using the mountain bike you desire to purchase. Based on that you could develop a general guideline for the amount of money you need to allocate for your purchase. Here are some general rule of thumb considerations – based on riding you expect to do:
- Light use hardtail bike (i.e. no rear suspension): approximately $500
- Track and cross country hardtail (not racing): sub-$1000
- Race capable hardtail (for amateurs): $1100-$1900
- Hardtail with specialized components: above $2000
- Add rear suspension to the categories above — add on the average $500-$700 on top of the prices listed above in the corresponding categories
Then you can start adding big $$$ for special frame – e.g. carbon frame for mountain bike can cost you. Case in point the Pivot Phoenix DH Carbon – shown below – is a carbon based frame bike which with its bells and whistles still weighs only 31lbs (per pivotcycles.com)
Then you can also get a special set of brake pads for your disc brakes – yes, most durable and worth getting mountain bikes these days already come with at least mechanical if not fluid operated disc brakes. Tribull from Taiwan has developed Shimano compatible brake pads with integrated heat sink – quite a setup to see… Here is a snap from their web site:
And next to it is the compatible Shimano product – you can purchase from Amazon.com or just head to your pro-bike shop if you do not want to tinker;
At any rate, these types of options can significantly increase the price of your bike but they also come with significant benefits – lower weight and more maneuverable bike, better brakes, and so the list goes…
Like I said in my previous posting – even at $3000 a bike can be a good investment towards your health – just think – you will ride it for at least 5 years, therefore if you ride each Saturday and Sunday – that will amount to about 100 days per year — hence about 500 days — or as I said in an earlier article — that amounts to about $6 per day – almost as pricey as your cup of fancy latte….in your local coffee shop!