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Is Mountain Biking Expensive? (Average Starting Budget)

I decided to start biking because I needed to lose weight and mountain biking seemed the most fun outdoor activity, but then the question that popped into my head was: How expensive is mountain biking?

In general, mountain biking is more expensive than other outdoor sports because it is very gear dependent, you need a good MTB, riding gear, maintenance tools, and bike accessories. MTB’s prices vary in the range of 300-10000$, depending on the features and the type of terrain it’s meant to be used on.

This article will examine how expensive mountain bikes are, how much should you spend to get a decent mountain bike, and the most expensive parts that raise the price of a mountain bike. So keep reading!

Man looking at MTBs

What Is a Decent Budget to Start Mountain Biking?

On average the cost of starting mountain biking is around 2000$, this includes a decent mountain bike and the minimum gear and accessories you need. For the more technical rides, you will need better equipment that will raise the budget needed to start mountain biking.

We discussed earlier the budget you need for a mountain bike, and now we need to discuss the price of all the gear and accessories you need.

The minimum equipment you need for mountain biking is:

low-end (price)good (price)hi-end (price)
MTB Helmet20-30$50-70$150-200$
MTB Glasses15-20$35-50$70-150$
MTB shoes40-60$100-150$250-550$
MTB gloves12-20$25-40$60-100$
MTB jersey20-30$30-45$60-100$
MTB sorts20-35$50-75$100-130$
Protective pads for knees and elbows45-72$120-180$200-280$
Total172-267$310-610$890-1380$

To start mountain biking we need to spend 172-267$ for the minimum equipment, but this will be low-end equipment that will break easily and will give you the minimum comfort. To achieve a good riding experience you need to spend from 310 to 610$ only on equipment.

Now that we know what is the approximate price of the equipment that we need, we have to determine what is the price of the bike accessories.

As a general rule to start mountain biking you need the following accessories:

  • good air pomp – around 35$
  • multitool – around 20$
  • water bottle – around 15$
  • flat tire repair kit – around 20$

Now we have the big picture complete, good equipment will cost 310-610$ and the minimum accessories will cost around 90$. If we take into consideration the price of a mountain bike we can easily say that if you what to start mountain biking you need a budget of at least 2000$.

How Much Does a Decent Mountain Bike Cost?

On average a hardtail mountain bike with an aluminum frame, hydraulic brakes, front suspension, and a good transmission (1×12 or 1×11) will cost around 1400$. A decent full-suspension mountain bike will cost around 2500$.

Mountain bike

When deciding what is a decent mountain bike, I took into consideration the following criteria:

  • Frame material: should be at least aluminum (carbon is more expensive and is considered premium).
  • Transmission system: 1×12 speed is ideal ( a good all-around system that will give you all the gears you need on limbs, country roads, trails, and descents).
  • Brakes: a hydraulic brake system even if it is low end will perform much better than a mechanical or v-brake system, even in sweet conditions.
  • Wheels: avoid 26′ the industry is moving away from them, 29′ are good for speed and 27.5′ wheels will give you more maneuverability.
  • Suspension: you need at least a front suspension with 100mm travel (120 is desired but 100mm is decent), if you have the money a full-suspension bike will give you a smoother ride.

Now you just need to look at the manufacturer size chart to determine the correct size for you, if you are in between sizes: choose the smaller one if you what more maneuverability or the bigger one if you what more comfortable rides

A good example of a decent mountain bike is the Trek Roscoe 7:

  • frame: aluminum with good geometry and dropper post routing
  • transmission: SRAM SX Eagle, 12 speed
  • brakes: Shimano MT200 hydraulic disc
  • wheels: 27.5′ or 29′
  • suspension: RockShox Judy SL, Solo Air spring, 100mm travel (upgradeable to 120mm travel)
  • weight: M size – 14.84 kg / 32.72 lbs (with tubes)

What Features Have the Most Impact on the Price of A Mountain Bike?

The most expensive parts of a mountain bike are the frame and suspensions. Carbon frames are lighter than aluminum ones but more expensive. Air suspension will give you the best comfort and stability but will raise the price of the bike, the more travel you what the bigger price you need to pay.

If your rides are not very technical, like country roads and forest roads, 100 mm travel on the front suspension and 90 mm on the shock will be just fine. The more technical your rides (jumps, technical descents, etc) are the more travel you need and the more you need to spend.

The frame and suspension will determine around half of the price of a mountain bike. The other half is made by the transmission system, braking system, wheels, and other components (like the saddle, seat post, handlebars, etc) that don’t have such a big impact on the price of the bike as the components mentioned before.

A transmission 1×12 is the best one of all I tried, you will have all the gears you need on trails or to climb a big hill. This is a more expensive system but trust me it is worth every penny.

If you what a decent mountain biking experience then you need to get a bike with a hydraulic braking system and a decent suspension fork is gonna be just enough for the majority of people. The four-piston breaks are made to give you the maximum stopping power and are suited for the most technical rides and the heavier riders.

The more expensive wheels have carbon rims and good tires. If you don’t have a big amount of cash just sitting around, you will be just fine with normal aluminum rims that don’t break your bank. The price of a carbon wheel can vary from a couple of hundred dollars to more than a thousand dollars.

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I started mountain biking many years ago to improve my overall health state. After my first ride, I fell in love with the sport. Now I spend dozens of hours a week researching and training to compete in local XC and Enduro events.