Opinion: Do You Suffer From Bike Envy?

Oct 2, 2014 at 11:55
by Mike Kazimer  
Spinning Circles column Mike Kazimer

Housed in a single level, nearly windowless red brick warehouse, from the outside Pig Iron Sports didn't typically merit a second glance from the Connecticut suburbanites that drove by each day. But for me, an eager teenager with a full blown mountain bike addiction, this was my heaven at the tail end of the 1990s. It was my refuge from the awkwardness of high school, a place where I could easily pass the time lusting over the latest shiny rides from the likes of Fat Chance, Ibis, Spooky, Independent Fabrications – the top frame builders of the day. One afternoon, I walked in to see an Ibis Bow Ti frame hanging in one corner of the shop. I'd never seen anything like it – in my mind, this incredible titanium creation that could somehow deliver 5” of rear travel without the use of pivots was on par with a Lamborghini or a Ferrari, mountain biking's version of an exotic supercar. And then there was the price - $4,000 for the frame alone. That put it so far out of my price range that I didn't even need to worry about how I was going to get the money to afford it. I wasn't, end of story. But that didn't stop me from dreaming, and even when I began working at the shop (my endless pestering finally paid off), I'd still occasionally take a few minutes out of my day just to stare at that mind-bending titanium sculpture.

The funny thing is, after looking at the Bow Ti's price tag, customers would say the same things back then (nearly 20 years ago) as they do now when faced with what seem to be exorbitant prices for a bike or component. “That's ridiculous. I could buy a --- for that much money.” Or the classic, “Mountain biking's getting too expensive.” An interesting mix of emotions are generated by not being able to afford a product that, at least according to the ad copy, will make your mountain biking experience even better. There's a twinge of jealousy, a pang of disappointment, and a bit of anger. Not being able to afford the latest and greatest can even generate feelings of “How dare they – I deserve to be able to ride that bike.” What sets off some of these emotions is that for many, the highest end mountain bikes are almost within reach. $10,000 for a bike is huge sum of money, but it's much closer to being attainable when compared to the automotive world, where car prices can reach the millions, and the vast majority of people will never, ever even get the chance to take one for a test drive. The prices of those sports cars are so far in the stratosphere that they're somehow a little less likely to raise the hackles of readers perusing a review or kicking tires at a dealership – they're purely fantasy items, not a carrot on a string that dangles tantalizingly close.

Technology.

It's fun to dream about having the latest and greatest technology, but it shouldn't affect whether you have a good time on the trails.


However, with those top-of-the-line mountain bikes, there's an good chance someone in your town has one, which makes it easier to get wrapped up in jealousy, especially when neighbor Jim brings home his new carbon steed. For chrissakes, he barely knows how to wheelie. But does it really matter? Absolutely not. It's a matter of perspective, and getting angry or bitter isn't going to accomplish anything. Spewing and sputtering because you can't afford the highest level components won't help anyone, except maybe your doctor's bank account when he charges you for treating the ulcer you gave yourself. Remember, a few seasons from now, the high end technology that was once unattainable will make its way to more reasonable pricepoints, and you won't need to rob a bank or take out a second mortgage to enjoy it.

As fun as it is to drool over the latest shiny bits, it's the actual act of riding that's important, putting wheels to dirt and pedaling off into the woods in search of sublime singletrack. The elegant simplicity of a bicycle is part of its allure, and while highly refined suspension, hydraulic disc brakes and exotic frame materials certainly have their place, some of my best mountain biking memories took place aboard a cheap aluminum hardtail I cobbled together for next to nothing from parts pillaged from the scrap bin of the shop I was working at. I rode that bike, V-brakes and all, everywhere from Fruita's swoopy high desert singletrack to the wet, loamy and rooty trails of the Pacific Northwest. Would I have been happier aboard a fancier bike? I doubt it, and I certainly didn't waste any time pondering that question while I was aboard that inexpensive steed.

At the end of the day, actually riding is what matters the most – get out there and play in the dirt, do some skids, hit some jumps, but above all, have fun. And if you can convince some friends to join you on your ride, all the better. That's why we do this silly sport, right? There aren't too many other activities in the world that can consistently deliver such a high number of smiles and high fives. So forget about money, carbon, head angles, gear inches, and whatever else is floating around in your skull, and get pedalling.


267 Comments

  • + 87
 What I find frustrating is that the price of bikes keeps going up AND bikes now require WAY higher maintenance intervals. Fork oil changes every 25 hours, skinny little chains that break or wear out in half a season, etc. Everyone wants lightweight, but lighter bikes cost more to maintain. Gone are the days of bomber coil sprung forks full of oil that could be ridden for years without servicing.
  • + 129
 I am guessing your young? Now bikes actually work, Suspension forks don't blow every other day, Disc brakes are easy to fit and maintain, alot of suspension frames were crap and dangerous, frames snapped easily. etc. Try 1995/1996 when your Rock Shox Judy would break every week, elastomers crumbled etc. You young kids have it easy
  • + 37
 No I'm not young anymore. I am referring to the early 2000's when you could buy a $2000 bike with a super plush marzocchi fork and ride the piss out of it without worrying about burning a hole through your stanchions because fox has decided they don't need to put oil in forks anymore. I am still riding a heavy, but reliable 2002 kona stinky frame while I watch my friends break their brand new frames after a couple of seasons. And yes, I am saving up for a newer, lighter bike.
  • + 29
 Axle is comparing towards 2000-2005, while you are comparing to 1995.

Yes things have improved a lot since 1995. Even since 2005.

But Axle is right that nowadays there is a very big hype on lighter = better, where both the customers as the companies choose to have 200g less on a frame, even tho that will be the difference between a frame that lasts for less than a year or a frame that lasts for 5 years.
And I agree with him that often this lightweight hype goes too far, into a stage where strength gets sacrificed for a couple of grams.
  • + 10
 Its true what you are saying axleworthington, in my biking community loads of youngsters are getting really expensive bikes and not maintaining them properly ; Its painful to see a 14 year old on a demo carbon go past which has not seen a hose pipe for months.
Nowadays I feel that more and more people who are not seeking a couple of seconds are influenced too much by the pro's and focus way too much on the unnecasery benefits of small things like an extra 2 inches of wheel, carbon everywhere, titanium bolts, kashima coating, and slightly longer front end.
After all, in the end all that matters is having fun, and I have just as much fun on my old school XC bike as on my Custom DH bike because really
  • + 25
 I'm thinking the exact opposite. More durable frames and components are available now than ever before. Yeah, you can buy fragile, light-weight stuff but you don't have to.
  • + 20
 ^"It's painful to see a 14 year old on a demo carbon.. not seen a hose pipe for months."

I disagree. I love seeing dirty, scratched, and beaten frames. They're the ones that actually get ridden the way they were meant to be. No point in buying a carbon show bike, unless you just want to impress your friends @ the trailhead.

You work that 'hose pipe', bro. I'll be riding.
  • + 6
 yeah agreed - but im talking about the last 2 years when huge advancements in technology have not really been made. Manufacturers have ways of making the consumer think its better by changing little things, which often are almost exactly the same. Imagine a can of coke which said 'coke zero' on it but actually has normal coke in it; you would most definitely say it was not as good as normal coke, just because the name influences you so much...
  • + 8
 @Allmountin in a way yes, but then the parts will always wear out much quicker if they are not oiled and kept clean, frame wise its fine, I was more referring to the moving parts like transmission and brakes Smile
  • + 5
 Depending on what years you're referring to, I agree. Something like the old M950 8-spd XTR with those IG chains from 1997 was freakin' "bulletpoof" compared to a modern 10-spd drivetrain. You'd always get far less drivetrain wear for same mileage, and shifting reliability was better because of the wider indexing shifting wasn't as finnicky/susceptible to perfect hangar alignment or squeaky clean cables. Sure, it may have clunked occasionally on shifts or not be as quick or crisp, but it worked.
  • + 24
 I'm sorry but I'm going to have to side with new bikes being better, in every way. In 2001 my trail bike was pretty high end. However it didn't brake all that well, and I went through rims and suspension pivot bolts like you wouldn't believe. I don't like weighing in on the "bikes are too expensive" debate because they are not. There are just even better and better ones available these days. A $2500 bike from 2014 blows away a $2500 bike from 2004 in every single way imaginable. In fact it blows away much more expensive bikes from that era. Quite honestly who cares if $10,000 bikes exist when the $5000 kick so much ass. I build my bikes to ride well, be reasonably light and durable and I don't care if it's not carbon.
  • + 4
 I like my 05 norco bigfoot. Freeride hardtail crafted with beautiful Canadian construction.
  • + 3
 I still have my 03 Sasquatch. No longer my main ride but still works great! Many hard miles and the DJ3 fork still works fine and never serviced. $1350 back in 03.
  • + 1
 Mountain Biking is a hobby and if any of you guys know anything about hobbies they are expensive. Plus the market that were in isn't a booming market. Mountain biking is a underground sport so companies have to make money somehow. In my opinion I am seeing more and more bikes around the 3k range than in the last 6 years I have been in the sport. I see that as an improvement...
  • + 5
 I definitely would not say its still an "underground sport"... Rampage had a tv show this year.. It was underground when josh bender was hucking big shit
  • + 3
 Mountain biking is a small segment of the market. That's the point he was making saying "underground". Even compared to road bikes, mountain is small. If you are going to design and build a state of the art carbon mountain bicycle and make any money at all selling the # of units you will likely see, it's not going to be cheap.
  • + 15
 Sometimes I have reverse bike envy and get jealous of someone killing it on a cheaper bike thinking I have overspent. I felt that way when riding with a bloke on a used Mongoose with a Totem he built up for $1500 while my custom mostly retail Kona owed me $3200 in parts and labour on top of that. I got smoked a couple of months back by a guy on a Ti hardtail going Down Hill on a rough loose fire road and while he had some really nice kit on it that probably cost more than my current ghetto rig he was doing it with less bike.
  • - 1
 I don't know what kinda crap products you buy or how high your expectations are but I've never heard of people saying they need to service their bike and the parts on them that many times in a given season. The biggest pain in the ass I've experienced is the XO1 that I almost regret dropping money on because it requires tinkering after almost every ride but the rear derailleur has taken a good beating and still works. It seems that the higher-end model equipment is the most finniky so maybe that's why you have a sour taste in today's gear?

Yeah bike prices are going up but so is the tech. included and that's only true if you keep on wanting to buy the new, high-end gear.... go buy a used frame if you're money conscious. Bikes are built so well now that what's considered as lower-end or 4 seasons old is still an insanely good bike. The deals are there and you won't find them in a shiny new box.
  • + 14
 never had bike envy. only suffer from skill, playtime and zone envy. watching and reading content here on pb about all the amazing riders and places to ride provides equal amounts of stoke and suck for me. i've always put more emphasis on a quality ride than equipment, so, i usually buy used or closeout things. i try to buy/budget according to how bad my riding actually sucks at the moment and how much time i can actually get to ride. vulture mode is easier these days with a lot more people getting rid of stuff just for the sake of new stuff and nothing else. if i think i need a part i just go ride bmx at a track or pumptrack or watch you rock stars here on a pb edit and realize i need to work on skill and not work for parts! i still ride and dig that "old" wheel size and so bike envy is non existent for me.
  • + 1
 @Christiaan Yeah, he's talking about 90's and early 2000 era bikes, so he must totally be young!
  • + 3
 Anyone who thinks making a chain narrower (pin length) while all other dimensions stay the same (pin diameter and plate thickness) are weaker and more prone to stretching simply don't understand physics.
  • + 15
 the simple fact is that a $2000-3000 bike today absolutely crushes the durability, performance and fun of a $2000-3000 bike from 10,15,20 years ago. so much its not even funny.
  • + 4
 Bicycle prices are getting out of hand when you compare it to Moto prices. A 2014 yz450f msrp is 8995$ and that is still a grand less than a full fancy pants carbon dream bike. Sh*t is just wrong IMO...
  • + 5
 Agreed to most comments on here. Keep in mind, this is also about business as well. There's zero incentive for a company to make something that literally lasts 5, 10, 15 years, not with the current economic structure and huge publicly-traded conglomerates owning large shares of bike co's/mftr's. It's no different than cars, clothing, footwear, TVs, cell phones, etc.....they HAVE to get consumers to keep coming back, or else they run out of revenue streams. Such is the comment I always hear from old-timers, "they don't make'em like they used to"......uh, yeah, no kidding. The way business and investments work today wouldn't allow a company to do something like that.
  • + 3
 And a yz450f is nothing special. So that's the difference. That and take a look at how many they sell, and how big Yamaha is in general, the diversity of products they sell... ect. ect. ... the moto argument is invalid.
  • + 3
 I couldnt agree more - My first DH bike was a 2004 Stinky. I had that thing for about 5 years and only did one fork rebuild and no shock rebuilds. My new Operator (I love the bike) needed the fork rebuilt after 2 days at mt creek and needs the shock rebuilt after about 1 season. I only get to the resorts about 2x-3 times a month if im lucky
  • + 4
 What are the forks in question? Two days? Something went wrong... that's not routine service.
  • + 5
 I think lighter/newer bikes are totally worth the money. I recently replaced a fleet of 2010 bikes with a new carbon 6" steed and it does every discipline better than the dedicated bike it replaced. Not only that, it pedals so well that I can get twice as many laps in on my DH trails as I could when I was pushing to the top.

There is one thing you can't buy for any price, and that is time. But a bike that lets me ride more laps in the same time? Take my money!
  • + 5
 I agree with the moto argument being invalid. Your comparing best of the best dream mtn bike to bone stock moto. You want to see some money spent look at the motos in the super cross series... Big money!
  • + 10
 I personally agree with whoever it was that mentioned reverse bike envy. I'm just an average weekend warrior type rider and to be honest I would feel like a complete idiot rolling up to the lift line with an $11k bike considering my relative lack of skill. I would almost feel embarrassed to be riding that type of bike while people on bike 1/3 of the price are shredding twice as hard. I mean I have a nice solid bike, and I'm a decent rider, but its nothing ridiculous or anything that stands out because I really don't want to draw the attention to my (lack of) skill.
  • + 5
 Sino, that's why they offer the new Nomad in blacked out as well as bubblegum Smile fly under the radar

really though, everyone is saying superbikes cost $10k but they don't. Realistically, they cost 6-7. The fact that it is possible to spend another $4000 on carbon wheels on brakes and shifters that function identically but weight a few grams less (Saint, XX1) doesn't have anything to do with people that buy their own bikes.
  • + 8
 People comparing prices to moto...

How much is a high end, world cup performance moto?
How much is a high end, world cup performance DH bike?

Comparing the best mountain bike to your regular garden variety moto is hardly a fair comparison.
  • + 6
 @helm72 you are comparing apples and oranges

a factory works mtb is $10k, and avail to the public
a factory works dirtbike is $100k and not avail to the public

a factory moto gp bike is more like $500-$1m... those dudes spend a few thousand dollars in tires a weekend
  • + 2
 You guys keep comparing stock high end mountain bikes to factory supercross bikes. While even the best dh racers' bikes may still not be close to a factory sx bike, they are hardly the same bike you would walk into a dealership and buy.
  • + 4
 I built a bike at the beginning of this year worth around the $10,000 mark. Best decision ever.
  • - 2
 And when your bike claps because of lack of care, I'll be riding
  • + 6
 I love the assumption that if you can afford a nice bike, you can't possibly know how to ride it or care for it. I try not to be so close minded, every time I see a car I can't afford it would be easy to assume they can't possibly know how to drive that thing or appreciate it....but a lot of the time that is simply false.
  • + 2
 Very well put, especially that last part.
  • + 0
 and to echo the car analogy, just because you can't afford or justify a $250k sports car does not mean it should not exist, and it also does not mean that a $10k kia is somehow worse than a $10k car back in 2000, even though the kia might require more frequent oil changes and air filters.
  • + 3
 When people ask me what my expensive looking bike cost, I always say it was cheaper than a Bass boat. It's carefully built at what would be around a 5k retail value and I bet I can't tell the difference between it and the 10k bike, except my 10spd derailleur won't cost $300 to replace.

It is totally worth it, partly because I can afford it and mostly because it is far and away the best bike I've ever had, the closest thing I can imagine to having the sophistication and capability of my modern dirt bike in a bicycle. It is worlds better than the two-year-old bike it replaced and unbelievably better than the ten-year-old bike that came before that. I remain shocked at how much more bikes have improved than I could imagine and love my bike.
  • + 4
 No envy here because I ride mid priced bikes which are reliable and low maintenance

Both my bikes have carbon fibre frames; Road bike has ultegra 6700 and Fulcrum 5 wheels, Mtb has sram x0/xt and manitou fork

As a Bike wrench I have to work on customers bikes every day and the super bling bikes don't turn me on, it's just hardware, would rather be riding bikes than dreaming of bling!
  • + 3
 10 grand or not your bike needs service and care at least occasionally
  • + 1
 the point is that instead of paying $200 for a fork service, you could spend $30 on seals and $15 on fork oil and do it yourself in an hour.

same goes for bleeding brakes, replacing shift cables or frame bearings.
  • + 12
 An old marketing trick called "price anchoring" consists in making a super expensive line of product to justify an overpriced lower line. Those 10k bikes only exist to make you believe that you're being reasonable when buying a 6k bike.
  • + 5
 I have THREE carbon bikes and I don't give a f@ck. I ride the snot out of them and love and pamper them. Riding my bike could be the last thing I do, I'll do it well
  • + 8
 I could not believe it, the day that I saw a BIG sign in the window of my LBS that stated "We Finance". That one got to me, like really.......imagine watching some bloke's bike getting repo'ed.
  • + 5
 @marshalolson and for those who earn more than $50 per hour it is probably cheaper overall for them to get someone to service it for them who knows what they are doing and has the correct tools and oil recovery equipment. They could be spending that two hours "free time" earnign more money or riding during their precious free time (assuming that they have had their bike serviced during their work time). And if anyone is paying $200 for a fork service they are getting ripped off. We have some of the most expensive to lease $$ per square foot bike shops here in Whistler and even they would not think of chraging that much.
  • + 1
 My riding buddy and I both rode 00 and 01 Shivers. He was sponsored so his was the gold world cup version and I had the stock fork. We still changed our oil after every race and let me tell you, it made a difference. There's a reason they tell you to change oil. Just like your car it will last longer and work better.
  • + 1
 I had a friend that once put motor oil into his Marzocchi Bomber because he didn't want to pay for the full service... The result wasn't pretty, but it worked! (But not recommended). Big Grin
  • + 2
 @amrskipro - Couldn't agree with you more. I'm at the point in my life where I have money, but freetime is extremely limited between my kids and work. I generally drop off my bike at the bike store and pick it up on the way to the canyon when I need stuff done. It's a no-brainer to spend $15 on a hub service while it's done while I'm working and it doesn't take the 30 or so min of ride time it would cost me.

I have most of the bike tools necessary and work on my bike while I can, but for some stuff it just makes sense to have a bike store do it for me. I had them replace 8 spokes because I dropped a chain between my casette and spokes. Cost me $50 I think, would have taken me hours to fix and I don't think it would have been done as well. They even re-taped my rim wich would have cost me money for tape.

Trust me, I have skills when it comes to repairing things. I work for a high end european automotive manufacturer and work on 80-100k cars on the regular. I loose less money fixing a car while I pay my LBS to fix my bike. We both win in that situation.
  • + 1
 Utah you hit the proverbial nail. As far as my family and job are concerned, wheel time is wheel time whether I'm riding or wrenching. I'm way better off paying the shop to work on my bike while I'm at my day job making considerably more than a bike mechanic and saving my wheel time for riding.
  • + 2
 Haha, the article that gets everyone going! It sounds like there's a huge opportunity to make high end bikes for cheap! Have at her, start a company and offer them! If they are that good and that cheap, I'll buy one !
  • + 2
 YT Industries is what you just described. Completes available for prices that make you wonder how the hell they do it
  • + 1
 These whiners will still find that too much. But I hear ya, I tried to get one but no luck yet.. It'll be interesting to see what happens when they hit North America. I bet a lot of retailers are shaking in their boots!
  • + 2
 @utahbikemike

Funny because I have the same reason for the opposite behavior. If I want to take the bike to the shop it means somehow getting home while they are open (nearly impossible), or waiting for the weekend to take it in, then waiting at least a week to get it back. Add to that that the parts cost more, and take much longer to ship to the shop from distributor than from Jenson to me. It's just not practical, I'd never ride if I lived at the mercy of the LBS.

Instead I can order the parts, have them come the next day, and wrench when I get home from work around 9pm and have the bike ready for the weekend. So when saturday rolls around, I'm headed to the trail and not the shop.

Your way would probably be fine if I had spares bikes, but for now I only have one MTB so it can't have downtime.
  • + 0
 My bike only has downtime while I am in worktime. Sometimes it pays to plan ahead.
  • + 1
 @tttyyler - I generally replace my own parts. That's pretty straightforward and generally not time consuming.

I'm talking brake bleeds, anything wheel related (spokes, hubs, trues, ect... ) or special tool related (think PF BBs).

Drop my bike/part off at lunch and pick it up after work. When I need wheel work I usually strip it to the wheel and bring it in. Saves me a decent amount of money for the work involved and they usually get my wheel in and done in a shorter amount of time. I'm a fairly regular customer and they know who I am. They also know I'm a cheapskate by choice. Wink
  • + 36
 Bikes have gotten so OVERPRICED. Thank God for PINKBIKE second hand goods, n Ebay deals.
  • + 1
 Great article Mike Kazimer. I felt disavow wile reading about that Bow Ti.
  • + 18
 So my FOX 40 had a BASE cost of $200 for maintenance and it cost $30 to change the oil on my Toyota. Hmmmm

And yeah, amen on the "buy used".
  • - 1
 "$10,000 for a bike is huge sum of money, but it's much closer to being attainable when compared to the automotive world, where car prices can reach the millions". I hate when people make a blanket statement like this because it assumes too much. What you can afford is all relative. Someone driving a $25k car may not necessarily be able to afford a $50k car. For someone who scraped and saved for a $5k bike, $10k may not be realistic. Now I have to go back filling teeth so that I can afford my $5k bike.
  • + 3
 In 2008 I lusted after an intense uzzi frame but £2500 at the time was out of reach. 2 years ago managed to buy one freshly painted for less than £400! I think where the tech moves so quickly and depreciation is so huge that new parts seem too expensive.
Maybe the trick is to try and cut out the middle man when buying new - yt industries, superstar components etc.
  • + 2
 preach that may be the dumbest thing I've ever read. Changing the oil on your FOX40 is quite honestly more complicated than an oil change on a Toyota. Second, I assume, that $200 cover's more than an oil change. Third, at $30 car dealerships lose money on an oil change. They only do them that cheap to get you in the door and sell you other things. A bike shop does not have the volume to offer such things. They must make money.
  • + 5
 Unfortunately it's because there are 3 bike shops here in town and both refuse to work on shocks/forks so we have to ship them 1.5hrs away. You're at their mercy.
And...
I bought the shocks for $350 used. So $200 is just plain stooopid.
  • + 5
 Well that's why the difference. I may have been hard on you... that stinks that your lbs won't open forks. Oil and seal changes are easy, intimidating at first but once you do a couple it's like any other simple repair. Scope some you tube video's, buy some oil and have at it.
  • + 2
 preach- Changing your oil on a car is insanely simple... hell bleeding brakes on a bike is harder but yeah, your situation really sucks. Its like the camera industry where they have a high baseline cost to do any work or to fix an issue.
  • + 7
 @tremeer023 - I bet you loved that frame even though it was 4 years old at that point. I say, let the wealthy buy a bike to "give mountain biking a shot". Then, a year or two later, you scoop it for half the price when it still looks minty.
  • - 1
 @preach- you must be putting some cheap oil in your car I pay £65 for an oil and filter change on mine, I only use Mobile 1 full synthetic mind, takes about 5 mins and for 4 of them the mechanic doesn't even need to be there. It cost £99 for a Fox 40 fork full service from one of the best around so quality job and takes a bit longer than 5 mins for sure. Sound about right to me.
  • + 5
 If you do well with 2nd hand stuff you can actually make profit on it. For example I once bought a complete for €350, ridden it for half a year, only changed the chain for €20, and sold it for €500.
Also once upgraded my frame and made €180 profit on it (bought and sold as a complete, swapped all the parts over, and sold that one).

Only downside is when a part breaks. Then there's no profit to be made. But if it was cheap, who cares, just replace it with another great second hand deal.
I had several bikes worth about €2000, that I've custom built myself to my own specific needs, for €400-600 total with second hand parts. It shocks me when my fellow riders are talking about how great that deal on the new fork is, now that it only costs €800. That's more than I've spent on my whole custom bike, and often mine still even rides better.

Then again you need patience for this to find the right parts for the right price. Also you need a lot of knowledge about bikes and parts to be able to pull this off.
  • + 2
 Yea I agree on this. It used to be that a lot of manufacturers used to have lower spec'ed bikes which were affordable (sub 3k) but still good bikes. But now it seems that Giant are the only ones putting out good bikes at these kind of prices - all others are 5k plus. Pity I don't like Giants that much!
  • + 1
 For 3 to 4k you can get just about whatever you want second hand. It will ride just like the new one only thing is your wallet may be heavier. I like to ride a old bike that's beat up a little and smoke the chumps on the new shinny 10k rides then ask them why that state of the art bike is so slow.
  • + 2
 Bikes aren't too expensive. Tires are.
  • + 35
 the best revenge is riding like a superstar on a beater bike. Because we all know the value of the ride is in you.
  • - 7
flag properp (Oct 3, 2014 at 12:50) (Below Threshold)
 Fox blows! Snobby customer service. Over priced service parts. Fashion statement driver company. I prefer Rock shox n Cane Creek (ohlins). Both of these companies have always bent over backwards to help me get parts or teck info.
  • + 3
 And if you come across someone without skill riding a high end bike give him respect. He is the one supporting our industry.
  • + 0
 He is supporting rip off prices. I have been MTBing since the 80's. I have always thought this stuff was way OVER PRICED. For 10k I can get 2 450 dirt bikes last year models off the showroom floor. Regardless how much factory smack is spouted I will never believe it costs 10k to make a bike. As long as FOOLS pay these high prices they will never change. How can a sport progress when %95 of people are priced out of it. Maby its a good thing that the trails are not full of squids with no skill blocking everyone's line. No I will not support goods that are not valued right and don't respect the ones who do. Just my opinion not to piss in anyone's Wheaties. Good riding to all.
  • + 1
 Also this is why I prefer second hand goods. I like to support riders not Fat Cats behind a desk shopping for yachts and exotic cars and houses. Telling everyone how great their overpriced stuff is.
  • + 30
 Start pedaling? Every pedal stroke apparently makes me slower... I just don't know what to do...
  • + 12
 do a mullaly
  • + 18
 You aren't doing enough speed wheelies.
  • + 8
 You also aren't doing enough slopestyle tricks.
  • + 13
 gotta use your rear suspension fork
  • + 6
 Gotta hit the charging lines
  • + 4
 at least norby wasnt robbed this year
  • + 5
 Luckely the suspension does all the work for you
  • + 5
 You must have more trickery in your run!
  • + 6
 or front nose manuals
  • + 16
 This is not a cheap sport. Nobody ever said it was. At least we don't have $80-100 greens fees every time we climb in the saddle. Have some perspective guys.
  • + 9
 Speaking of perspective, we don't have green fees but every single ride still costs a fair deal when you break it down. I went indoor rock climbing the other day, a sport that is dirt cheap. They charged me about 17$ for a session and I found it somewhat expensive for what it is. Got curious about how much a single bike ride costs so I ran the numbers.

I figured the average mtb price is 4500$ or so for something more than decent but nothing spectacular. Add a dropper post and some modifications, you're probably close to 5k. I guess it depends on where you live but the average rider probably does around 25 rides a season? With those numbers, if you compare it to a rock climbing session, you would have to keep your bike for about 11.5 years for your rides to cost you 17$ each. That doesn't factor in gas, maintenance, repairs, upgrades, trail access fees and the such.

Hardly anybody keeps their bike for 11 years, so the actual price per ride is a lot steeper. I'm not trying to say it's not totally worth it (because it is) but I'm saying that if you didn't have to buy a bike but you had to shell out 40-50$ everytime you get to the trail in order to ride, a lot of people would think twice before going and wouldn't go as often.
  • + 12
 25 rides a season!? You're not getting out enough, £1500 hardtail including new chains etc, been out on it at least 300 times over the 2 years I've owned it, £5 a ride and getting cheaper. The smile on my face after a ride, priceless. As you say, perspective.
  • + 4
 Everytime I try to help a person to get into this sport, it puts the cost into much better perspective.
  • + 6
 @doug13 I'm talking about the average rider. Your numbers are really impressive but let's face it, you're an outlier.

The bike season here lasts about 5 months so getting 150 rides in is pretty hardcore. Most people I know will barely break the 15 rides mark... if they do. As far as I'm concerned I'm probably going to get slightly over 50 rides this season which I find pretty good considering the crappy weather we got but then again last year I got like 15 rides in due to a broken collarbone so my $/ride ratio took a serious hit that year hah! There's a million variables to take into consideration, I just tried to calculate using an honest average from my observations.
  • + 2
 It is not a cheap sport but it doesn't have to be an expensive sport. Dedicated DH rigs are expensive but a lot of people are happy and having fun on $500 hardtails. That's only $20 a ride for your first season and free from then on (assuming your 25 ride season). You can spend a lot of money on rock climbing just like you can on mountain biking and have marginal improvements. My brother used to go through pairs of expensive rock climbing shoes, ropes and harnesses, karabinas, chalk etc for a pass time. At the end of the day, if you have the money to spend on doing what you love then it is justifiable, if you don't have the money it is not going to stop you from having fun.
  • + 2
 Nobody ever said hobbies were cheap. Look at any hobby and you will see that it will cost you.
  • + 1
 Ha ha ha, PLC. I did the same sort of numbers on what it cost me to snowboard a 23 day season a couple of years back. Yes, I bought a new board and new boots that season, but it worked out at $238 a day. So I consider mountain biking cheap in comparison!

I love looking at expensive bikes, but with age comes realism, I'm not a good enough or frequent rider to justify having a $6000 or more bike in my garage (unless it has an engine). But it doesn't mean that I don't go out and have a smashing time on my low spec alu bikes most weekends in the summer.
  • + 4
 @PLC07 i was doing the same math the other day, i recently rebuilt/upgraded my bike after 3 years on it with an average of 80 rides/year. All said and done ive put roughly $5k into my bike over the years, that breaks down to $21/ride as of 2014.
With the rebuild I'll get another season on it in 2015 and hopefully this brings the overall investment down to the $16/ride, not factoring gas (though im lucky to live in the mountains with over 80 miles of trails accessible from my front door).
Not a cheap hobby indeed.
But then I think about the health benefits, it keeps me sane, in shape, and promotes a healthy active lifestyle.
Suddenly, the costs drop significantly.
  • + 6
 Anyone who buys a $5K bike and rides it only once every 2 weeks (this assumed 25 times a year that got tossed out there) is not really a mountain biker and is not allowed to complain about bikes being expensive.

How about 3 times a week? One mid week ride and both days on the weekend? That's still not enough in my books, but let's try that assumption. Let's also assume you take 3 months off a year for winter, visiting the inlaws, healing your broken ribs, working on your relationship or whatever, and you get 117 rides a year. You buy the bike for $5K and ride it for 2 years, then sell it for $2K. In those 2 years you spend $1000 on tires, pads, lube, grips, drivetrain and popsicles. Cost is $4K/234 rides = less than $17 a ride and you get a new bike every other season and get to keep it in tip top shape at all times. That's about the price of 6 pack of beer and a bag of chips, and about 1/4 the price of a round of golf. Bargain. And that's a $5K bike. Surely if you're price conscious you can get away with less. Anyone who doesn't have a lot of money and doesn't service their own forks isn't allowed to complain about maintenance costs either. It's not rocket surgery.
  • + 2
 PLC what you failed to factor in is re-sale value. Your bicycle if properly maintained and not ragged out will have a re-sale value. you can't get back anything on what you have spent on session's at a climbing gym.

Furthermore if you're basing your bikes on how much it costs per ride vs. how much enjoyment per ride you are getting out of it then you're doing it completely wrong.

For me, I know I wouldn't have nearly as good of an experience on a $500 hardtail as I would on a dialed $5-6k full suspension. If someone out there can have just as good of a time then more power to them. I myself value performance.
  • + 4
 I don't own a boat. I don't own a jet ski. I don't own a 4-wheeler. I don't own a hot-rod. I don't have a wood working shop. Etc Etc. What I do own is an N+1 bicycle that is way more fun and way more healthy for the long run.
  • + 3
 @g11rant87 100% on the additional benefits, physical and mental health. There are not many hobbies or dollars I can spend that get me away from everyone, super glue a smile to my face while shouting WEEEEEE, and puts me in the middle of a painting that changes colors through the year. Don't necessarily need to drop big coin to achieve any of those benefits but if the new stuff gets you excited and gets you out there, it's worth it IMO (as long as your not going in on credit >Wink . The dollars are going towards extra years on the tail end of your life, because you'll be fit and sane, and probably smashing rock gardens like you are 20 with your new $30,000 carbon nano-tube frame with a Tesla micro battery powered magnetic suspension with on the fly computer calculated spring rates based on the sensors mapping out the approaching trail. Too far?
  • + 3
 Some of the math in this thread is depressing. The more you ride, the better the numbers get, unless maintenance starts to stack up. What really kills me are the costs associated with riding. When I add in gear, gas, food, post ride beverage(s), it really starts to add up.
I rode the McKenzie River trail last weekend. Over 180 miles of total driving was over $30 just for gas!
  • + 5
 @Kramster,

Mountain biking is not about how much or how often you ride, it's about whether or not you ride.

Back in high school and college, I could ride 3/4 times a week. As you get older, your free time diminishes and you only get out maybe 1 time a week.

My 20 years of riding on everything from fully rigid to now riding carbon full suspension is what makes me a mountain biker.

Save the quantity debate for the strava types.
  • + 1
 @saidrick

Agreed. I could ride once midweek and on both weekend days, but only if I quit my job, want to get divorced, or both. And I don't even have kids! Of course, my typical rides are 3-4 hours with up to 2 hours of driving each way. If I stuck to the local trails and cut rides to 2 hours or less it would be a different story. Too much variety in Oregon to only ride the nearest trails. It's a curse.
  • + 2
 Hey Saidrick, fair enough, even though it sounds like you're riding double what I used in my example. I guess living in a place where even parents of new borns get out more than once a week has skewed my perception, and it appears we are the lucky ones. There's nothing wrong with riding only twice a month and buying a $5K bike if that's what floats their boat, but I don't believe they should complain about the cost of the sport. My comment about whether or not they are actually a mountain biker was out of line, and you're right, its not about numbers. But I wouldn't be so quick so say as anyone gets older their time diminishes, as while that is the case for some due to the choices they have made, it is not for all. Examples to the contrary are in abundance.

Thrasher, why wouldn't you squeak out for an hour, or even less if that's all you can fit in, on your local trail once midweek, to supplement your weekend ride? Sounds like you work too hard Smile
  • + 2
 @Kramster

Hmm, interesting logic. I have 3 bikes, DH, AM and a road. Total retail cost for all 3 would be about $20k. Right now I'm kinda lucky to get in ONE ride per week due to full time school, and a growing family with a 4 year old. In the summer I was getting at least 4 rides per week. And mentally I'm fully invested in riding - I love seeing the new stuff, keep track of the trends, etc, etc.

Funny how you classify how much of a "real" rider someone is by how much they can get out. Does'nt seem to me that someone needs to be the bike equivalent of a surf bum to be considered a real rider.

I hate not riding and watching the fitness I gained over the summer fade away, but when I'm done with school I'll be able to afford those $10k bikes (maybe) because I made a sacrifice now.

So go ahead and take a step off your high horse and think about the possibility of different situations for every rider out there.
  • + 3
 @kramster, could not agree more. If I only skied five days a winter, I wouldn't go out and buy top-line equipment out of my price range and then turn around and complain about how expensive it was - yet that's almost exactly what a large amount of PBers do with bikes. I don't care if this is perceived as 'out of line' - you know what else is out of line? Top-voted comments on 90% of PB articles whining about price.
  • + 5
 Putting a price tag on creating happiness sort of kills the incentive, no? There was an article in Bike a few years back about the author & his buddy. They were riding the latest & greatest, wearing the current fashion, struggling to make a huge hill. Once at the top, taking a rest, their uber ride was eclipsed by a guy riding a Walmart special, wearing jeans, tank top & a cheap cowboy hat. The icing on the cake of this picture was the fact that this guy had the biggest shit eating grin & was having the time of his life. I always remember this story every time I curse at my ride & lose perspective on why I'm out riding. I had just as much fun on my junker CCM 25 years ago as I do on what I ride now, just wish I had my 25 year old reflexes.
  • + 1
 @TRE3TOP I didn't calculate resale value and a whole lot of other factors because I wanted to keep the math simple. The point is not to calculate with actuarial precision but to offer a different perspective on bike costs. Honestly, I love my bike and I plan on keeping it for at least 5-6 years as it fits my needs perfectly. It's taking quite a beating in the process, so I'm not really banking on a high resale value to minimize the costs.

@kramster In my area, the trails are pretty much useless from mid october to mid may if you're lucky. Add up the constant rain we've been getting this summer, getting 100+ rides is only attainable for people who entirely focus their life on mountain biking. The point was to use likely average numbers to come up with an average figure. Of course, you can buy a 500$ hardtail and ride it 365 days a year to minimize costs but that's not very realistic if you keep the average joe in mind. Not everybody lives in an area where you can ride all year long and most people have obligations and don't get to ride as much as they want. From what I've seen, the average person probably gets about 2 rides a week. An average of 3+ rides a week is for the dedicated.
  • + 2
 @intensemack10 I guess you missed my follow up post. May have been hard to see atop that horse of your own. But you are correct, number of rides per month doesn't make or not make a mountain biker. I regret saying that, as I already mentioned. Of course you and saidrick are guys who used to ride a lot more, and just aren't now due to circumstances, so there's a history there that helps you identify with the sport on a different level, and have an understanding of the relative value of things. It's not fair to judge, but my reference was in regards to people who stumble upon mountain biking on the TV, go out a drop $5K on a bike, and ride it twice a month having never ridden before, going on to complain about the cost of it. Maybe they'd refer to themselves as mountain bikers, and I suppose I was wrong to say they are not. Although I wouldn't classify myself as a skier since I don't get out enough to really identify myself with the sport. "not really a mountain biker" was meant in the same way that I, personally, am "not really a skier". I do a bit of skiing (about 15-20 days a year) so perhaps you would say that I am. I sure don't know enough about the tech, or the sport in general, to comment one way or another about whether it's fairly priced or not, nor speak with any kind of authority on the subject at all. Had I skied all my life, at some point with dedication, but couldn't as much these days due to having kids, I would probably still identify with it and say that I am a skier who wishes they could ski more.

I'll stand by one comment: anyone who spends $5K on a bike and rides it twice a month has no right to complain that the sport is expensive.
  • + 1
 That's a very slippery slope. If you buy a 2k bike and ride it 20 times a year can you complain? 4k bike and ride 20 times a year do you get to complain too? If you get a 6k bike and ride 50 times a year can you complain? And if you buy a 10k bike and ride it 150 days a year, do you get to complain too? Where do you draw the line?
  • + 2
 MTB is as cheap or as expensive as you want it to be. Like you said, you can get a $500 hardtail and ride it 365 days a year.

My point is, nobody should be complaining because you can pick a bike to suite your budget, and you get way better value now than years ago. A quality bike that will do the job quite well is not that expensive.

If you ride once a year or 500 times a year it doesn't matter. If you waaay overspend on what you actually really need, then go out and complain, you are a fool. $5K or $1K or $10K, spend whatever you want and ride it as little or much as you want. Just don't complain. Too expensive? Get a cheaper one; problem solved. People seem to think they deserve a world cup ready bike for peanuts around this place, but high tech has a cost, and for every person complaining, there's a line up of people paying it because they see the value in it.
  • + 1
 Yep, that's the whole point of my initial post, buying something according to the use you plan on making of it. Personally, I'm happy the whole enduro marketing shitstorm happened. 3 years ago, you could hardly get a decent spec burly trail bike below 6k. Now there are quite a bunch of options around 4-5k that I would consider a fair deal.
  • + 2
 Another kind of cost---regret for choosing cheap/affordable rather than what you really want. Two years ago I choose a bike for the great to price; a 2012 GT Force Carbon Sport, 150 mm travel, dropper post, 26 inch wheels complete on clearance for $2300 new! I really wanted a Santa Cruz Nomad Carbon---$2899 frame only. The GT is great when it works. But starting from the second ride, I have been battling a badly creaking suspension pivot; full maintenance then ride, starts creaking again after 2-10 miles! Worse than a nagging wife. There's nothing quite as expensive as buying something you don't really want.
  • + 1
 PLC, your analogies based on your location are skewing your examples. You compare climbing at an indoor climbing gym (independent of weather) to riding a bike in the woods (weather dependent) and then say that from october to may you can not ride a bike. it's apples to oranges.
  • + 1
 Well, you can bike year round in some locations but in a lot of places they have some sort of winter or off season. Never rode in the desert but apparently its a pain in the ass during summer since the heat is really bad. Correct me if I'm wrong but there aren't all that many places where you can ride 365 days a year. I used my location because well, that's where I live and and they don't sell us the bikes cheaper because we only get to ride half the year.

The only reason I compared it to rock climbing was to establish a reference base cost. An arbitrary 17$ a ride would make sense I guess (assuming the initial gear investment was minimal) so I wanted to calculate how much you'd have to ride a bike to get down to a 17$ a ride. The answer is: much more than most people actually ride.
  • + 12
 I don't give a poo about "latest and greatest" technology so the prices doesn't affect me much. I do believe that it's not necessary to change components every time that something new is launched. Go back one or two generation and you'll get all you need for 1/3 of price with basically the same quality and durability.

I rather spent the money on trips to the mountains instead of buying new stuff and staying on the flat lands.
  • - 2
 I totally agree with you R35P3C7
  • + 10
 I'll go so far as to say I don't even want top level spec'd bikes anymore. If a bike comes with XX1, I'll get something else. It's not that it's not great kit, but they are wear parts that aren't worth their replacement cost. Same with XTR stuff. I'm going to use XT level gear and 1x10 by choice, so no envy for me. I don't know, because I've never been one, but it must suck to be a weight weenie. Everything has to be carbon and top spec to save a few grams. I'd feel enslaved by a self imposed sentence.
  • + 3
 My only piece of advice with that is DO YOUR RESEARCH FIRST. I bought a bike that was a few model years back when I returned to the sport but didn't really read up on where the industry was as far as some of the standards and technologies before making the purchase. My intent was to upgrade the thing as I started getting back to where I was riding-wise. My lack of research has left me with a frame and components that I can't do too terribly much with, so I'm just back in the market for another ride.
  • + 3
 Exactly! My top components are XT and I don't need or want to change them unless I broke them in half. If you choose wisely you can buy Deore cranks instead of XT and save a lot of money adding a bit of weight. I'm using Shimano Deore FC-M590 for two years now and it's still working just fine. Even thought I've been riding mtb for years I don't think that I could feel that difference in stiffness between Deore and XT that justify spending more money especially when the design uses the same assumptions Smile

MTB (sadly) is expensive but it doesn't need to be extremely expensive (happily) If you: think twice, do your research (just like Facingtraffic wrote above) and of course you don't belive in marketing bullshiiiiit :>

So stop spending your money on bike components and start visiting The Mountains more often. That is much more enjoyable and s
  • + 0
 I like to think of myself as a weight weenie on a budget. I do my research and get the best parts for the best price, mostly new/like new parts.
  • + 9
 This is such a great debate. There's nothing wrong with coveting parts/other bikes. We do it in ALL areas of life whether we like to admit it or not. I'm updating my 2007 Big Hit this autumn and to me, its still going to be the bike my 12 year old self wanted so badly, but never could afford until adulthood (I'm 31 now ffs!). It might be worth 'nothing'to the guy with the Session/Demo/Intense etc but its MINE. And I will ride the shit out of it. Fun costs less than you think. People need to remember this.
  • + 2
 Well put nickkk. Blow past the guy on the 10K bike and the smile gets even bigger.
  • + 13
 MTB= mountainbuying
  • + 1
 OR

Money & Time = Bye-bye
  • + 11
 Riding: the best cure for being wrapped up in your own head.
  • + 6
 I ride a 15 year old Raleigh (but its more apt to call it Frankenstein since nothing is original) which I won in a sales contest. I have never bought a bike. Nor do I have the money for it when a house, kids, wife all come first. My bike is an aluminum hard tail and I dream of rear suspension and disc brakes. I dont have exorbitant dreams, just two things to make my ride that much more enjoyable. I dream of things like Nukeproof and Santa Cruz to return back to reality and my duct taped gear shifters.
Its fun to dream. Sometimes it pisses me off lol, but once I am on the trails, the smile comes out. Cheers. Great post.
  • + 5
 Take note kids. If you like expensive hobbies, stay single!
  • + 6
 I like having bling on my bikes. its the reason I keep them around for so long. But at the same time I like to buy expensive stuff only if it is a high quality long lasting part. In other words, I don't think I would fork up enough money to go out and buy a carbon frameset, when I can buy an alloy frameset and get a set of king hubs, hopetech brakes, and full race face turbine 30. I'm a bike mechanic so building up bikes custom speck is all part of the fun. I still own 3 sets of king hubs that I've had in my possession for well over 6 years. They just keep getting transferred from bike to bike. this to me is timeless bling but with functionality and longevity.
  • + 6
 The most fun I ever had was seeing a dual slalom race by pure coincidence and getting annoyed with all the posers. I borrowed a kids' BMX from the crowd. It had no tread or brakes, but I entered and beat a fully body-armoured muppet on a DH bike. I gave the kid my prize money, and he was stoked, but not as much as me. MTB is overpriced - for dirt jump stuff, MTB prices are consistently higher than BMX for the same products. Get good and beat, no humiliate, people on expensive bikes. That's where the fun lies. Until of course I'm the proud owner of a Custom Evil Undead - Cancer Fundraiser bike...
  • + 3
 Just got a quote from a lbs across the street DT comp $3 a spoke. Limited lengths available.
Ordered $0.50 per spoke, nipple included, from a BMX store. They cut them to whatever length you need.
Hope BMX will start carrying derailleurs and sus forks sometimes soon...
  • + 5
 Sometimes i get a bit Enve-ous and l want some carbon frame wonder rig. Then i stop and look at my T2 and thank the Lord that l am blessed to even have a bike like this. But there is hope. Thanks to the emergance of Chinese carbon frames and parts you can have nearly all the latest and greatest for a great price! I Love my Chinese 29er and road bike and my LB carbon rims are awesome!! I'll probably get Ebola in a few months so none of this will matter.
  • + 5
 problem which I see is that some bike brands stop producing their economic models and just keep elevating prices as a consequence.

For example, Santa Cruz nowadays only offers the v-10 carbon, which is pretty expensive.... but about some years ago you could buy a santa cruz bullit which was a more economic option
As well transition can be an other good example... why did they stopped producing the Blindside. I mean, that bike was awesome and I say this because I owned one.
Right now I am roding a tr 500, which is a good bike as well but way more expensive than the blindside.... and we can see that if this "economic bikes" production is stopped therefore bikes prices are raising since there is no other option for buying a bike but the most expensive
  • + 0
 they stopped offering them because people stopped buying them.
  • + 1
 maybe its true that most people stopped buying those bicycles but that doesn't mean that there was no body who bought them. If you stop producing this economic bicycles the sport will get more expensive than it is anyway (by the way downhill is already an expensive hobby)

So my point is that these type of bikes should still be in production so any rider out there who doesn't have the cash to afford the most expensive bike of a brand in certain discipline (dh, xc etc...) could still afford one that is more cheeper and still have the same purpose
  • + 2
 The bullit wasn't exactly an economic model. It still was a $1200-$1500 dollar frame. With the Nomad, Bronson and 5010 in the lineup... there isn't much room left for the bullit. With that said it was a great bike with a long run, I rode one for 6 years.
  • + 3
 plenty of companies (diamondback, airborne, specialized, guerrilla gravity, yt, etc) sell sub $4k DH bikes and sub $2k dh frames.
  • + 3
 $800 buys a brand-new hard tail with a frame that will last, components that work, disc brakes, and a weight that back in the 90s would have been considered highly competitive. Back in the 90s, an equivalent amount (figure in inflation here, so quite a bit less than those $800) would have bought a bike that today would be considered barely acceptable for Walmart distribution. That's a bit like buying a Honda Fit - reliable transportation, and even fun.

$2500 buys you a very nice quiver-killer trailbike - fully suspended, 2x10 drive train, components in the Deore or X7 segment. These bikes are more capable than anything available at any price a little as ten years ago. That's a bit like buying a reasonably entry level Honda Accord or Subaru Outback - pretty damn plush, considering what was available for similar money a decade ago.

And yes, you can spend 10 grand on a bike. And yes, that's one hell of a ride; downright technical master piece. Almost piece of art level. Beyond aspirational, for most of us. But hey, it's out there.

A little bike envy is fine - always good fun to dream about cooler toys/bling/whatever. But "mountain biking is too expensive" is a bunch of BS. There are very few sports that can beat the smiles per dollar ratio of mountain biking. Yes, you can make it as expensive as you want. Yes, you can spend all your disposable income on it - and then redefine "disposable" in looser terms. But that's not a feature of the sport, or the industry - that's a personal choice (and, if it drives you nuts, a personal pathology).
  • + 3
 In my opinion, there is a point of diminishing returns as the price goes up. The performance difference between a $4K bike and a $10K bike is typically not that significant, while the difference between a $2K bike and a $4K bike can be significant as far as basic performance and reliability. Good deals can be found (markups are high), and I can spend between $3-4K and have a great ride that I am proud of -- one that doesn't break down, performs well, and that I enjoy riding. Heck, I probably get the most enjoyment out of riding my steel Sawyer that was barely over $1K. If your priorities are having fun riding, you can do that without spending a lot of money, as the author says. If you like to show off or have money to burn, go ahead and get that $10K bike, it's your money. I am a Pinkgeezer that is lucky and old enough to afford it if I wanted to, but I didn't get to this point by making silly choices.
  • + 1
 This is so true.
  • + 3
 Around 6 months ago, I managed to put a great DH/FR bike together. 2012 frame with a CCDB shock, brand new (somehow) Bomber 66RC 2005. Everything on my bike is brand spanking new, but the frame, which is in immaculate condition. In the end, it all came to exactly 999Euro, yes 999Euro!
The bike rides brilliant, never have I had such a compliant ride, with tank components, yet weighing exactly 18kg with Big Betty tires and MTX39 rims.
Around me it is full of youngsters who can't ride for s#it with 8000Euro bikes. They keep giving me pointers on how to ride, yet can't jump over a 20cm log in the forest or do a drop of the same height and keep making fun of my bike, which looks the part in my eyes, because I chose everything that went on it. I do envy them, but not that much, I just envy them for having such an opportunity, where they can just buy/get a 4/8000 Euro bike. If I had the money, I'd spend it more wisely I guess. That is the only thing I envy because most will not ride for fun, will not just go around the city with some shorts on and a t-shirt and can't go in the woods without that crappy Kashima X0 with the chainguide on the rear brakes.
But hey, those are the times we live in, people get amazed by marketing schemes of brands with a bitten fruit on them and love it when it goes in balls deep. I prefer getting dirty the old-fashioned way, riding a bike in 63.8 inches of mud Smile
P.S. This is what I put together: www.pinkbike.com/photo/11158023
  • + 3
 A large number of pinkbikers would do well to print the last paragraph out, stick it underneath their computer screens, and reread it whenever they get the urge to post a comment. The drama levels on this site would go down tenfold overnight.
  • + 3
 I think this sport has same problem with my job now.
I'm a professional commercial photographer in my city.
Every kid in my city now can use DSLR camera because DSLR camera is cheap now ($200-$300).
What i want to tell you all here is i must admit i have jealousy for them deep in my heart.
My first camera is nikon F1 back in 2000.
Now kids can have Nikon D3000 at age 10 years old.

I can buy my first bike back to 2005 with my own money.
Yes, i'm that long enough in MTB world.
But, if i must talk reality now these days, i can avoid it.
Their parents has loads of money, it's their choice to buy their kids whether it would be an expensive bike or not.

Until 2013 i had 5 bikes, now i only have 2. A downhill (2014 YT Tues 2.0) & the so-called enduro bike (2015 Canyon Strive CF 9.0 Team).
Yes, i had to spent $10k for these bikes.
I can guarantee you'll tell me "You're not supposed to be here", etc.

What i want to tell you is, if think you can buy your dream bike buy it.
But, buy it after consider your economic situation.
If you can still pay for your every day expenses, buy it.

If not, don't buy it.

And, i suggest you to buy from a direct sell company.
If you want to buy bikes from my country, you can consider Polygon (one of the best company), United, Thrill Agent, Wimcycle.
And, if you want to buy from famous companies that also use direct sell method, it's your choice.

Conclusion.
Buy it, if you think you can.
If you can't, just ride your beloved bike.
Go out there, pedaling uphill, test your mental going fast on downhill track.
And don't forget, HAVE F.U.N.

Best regards.
  • + 7
 Still want some enve wheels Frown
  • + 1
 I think you mean derby. it is known that enves are weak. You could probably buy Derby's right now if you broke free of marketing hype.
  • + 2
 Lets be honest: "Yes, I do suffering from bike envy."

Nothing wrong with bike envy. I love it and do it everyday. While I wait for my kids to grow-up and start their own lives, I will continue to ride my $1400 entry level bike and $2k used DH bike. One day, I will own that $10k+ bike with all the "blings".
  • + 1
 I'm at the point in life now where I have a 10k bike and absolutely love it. It's great to wrench on, a friend in the woods, and pretty to boot. But I also have my old 1991 Cannondale turquoise M400 that I scraped and scratched and reached to buy and I love to ride this bike too. It's nostalgic and still fun. However I'm a hell of a lot better rider on my newest bike. I can't wait for you to get there. It feels just as rewarding as you think it's going to be to accomplish those bike envy dreams.
  • + 2
 Inflation invalidates a lot of these arguments.

$2500 in 2014 is equal to;
$2316 in 2010
$1804 in 2000
$1352 in 1990

To use the example given, the Ibis BowTie frame which was $4000 in 1990, would cost $7392 in 2014 if you account only for inflation. Add in the $2600 for parts (2014 dollars) and lo-and-behold you have a $10,000 dollar bike.
  • + 2
 Dirtrag just ran more or less the same column, lecturing riders not to complain about rising bike prices. The message would carry more credibility if it weren't coming from people whose jobs depend on bike industry advertising.
  • + 2
 Still rocking my 2009 $900 hardtail, sure almost everything has broken on it and been replaced, and yeah some days the brakes decide they don't want to work that well, but its still ridiculously fun despite my bikes mood swings.
  • + 2
 I work my ass off being out of country for half the year but it lets me ride some great bikes that i never could have dreamed of when i was younger. We all have to start somewhere though and its possible to have just as much fun on Halfords/Wallmart etc..
  • + 3
 Yes, 2 brand new Nomads and 1 Bronson all with ENVE rims. I was really hoping not to see them in my smallish town. At least my awesome base devinci troy with a pike didn't cost much more than the msrp of their stupid rims.
  • + 2
 I LAUGH! I SUFFER FROM "NOT ENOUGH TIME" ENVY. At 50yrs old I cannot find enough time to ride either my trail bike or freeride more than once a week. Between full time work, Honeydoo lists, teen sons, sports events taxi runs, house fixits and just plain old "damn I ache from living". I sometimes at night sneak out and pedal the beasts down the street hoping my week-end can allow me 2 - 4 hours on the trail or even a drive up for a day trip at Big Bear etc.

90+ percent of you will not even care about "bike envy" when your my age, because you'll have quit long ago or be so outta shape you will then only have "those were the good ol days" envy. LOL!!!

Until then, (ride fast, ride often, JUMP, drink good swill and repeat)!!!
  • + 1
 If you are still looking at your bikes and wishing you could go out for a spin then you haven't quit, you just let the domestic life take too big of a chunk of your me time sir. If your sons are in their teens they hand feed themselves. You Sports Evens can be a "bike event" once in a blue moon, the house fix could be a bike tune up once in a blue moon... catch me drift?

I get where you are coming from and I dread reaching a point in my life where I am no longer able to go out for a spin at least twice or three times a week.
  • + 3
 Dirtchurner, I'm about to turn 50, I still haven't grasped what happened to 40. My brother in-law gave me the best advice when I was in my early 20s, "When you're facing death in whatever form it comes in, you will look back at your life. The one over riding thought that won't be running through your mind is...gee I wish I had spent more time at work, working on the house etc.etc.". Life goes by far too quickly, spend time with your family but just as important, spend time on yourself. The days I blew off an OT shift or yard/ house stuff to go skiing or biking were invaluable, I don't regret any of it for a second.
  • + 2
 We have unfinished drywall in our living room.(5 plus years) Only half our house has siding.(10 years) But I get to ride whenever I want. At 46 years old my advice is to choose you wife wisely.(26 years)
  • + 1
 Thanks to all for kick in the ass. Went out early this moring and ended up pushing out 12miles on my SCOTT for 4hrs with a fellow Academic friend. Wife giggled at me walking back in the door all dusted up and smiling like I just got laid. Took all out for burgers, tots and indulged in several brew ha has, tossing the wife the keys to designate driver me home.

Hugged the boys all swilled up, got the ol you crazy psycho look, laughed out loud at the world! Best of; wife said with a purr, I need to do this more often. She my friends, is getting a treat from tiffany's for that. I am going to Snow Summit Next Week for 2 days to play in the dirt!
  • + 2
 I have several other expensive hobbies as well as a family/mortgage/etc to take care of so obviously i need to maximize my dollar anywhere i can. I ride a old sc bullitt ive built/upgraded with parts mainly found in the PB buy/sell. Its not the best ride ever but its no pos and it leaves me $$ to enjoy my other hobbies like dirtbikes/rebuilding vehicles. Would i like a top end bike? Sure but i Have a rule that i dont go into debt for toys, especially ones that depreciate as fast as a bike
  • + 2
 I'm no happier on my Carbine shod with Pike XX1 etc than i was back in the day on my LTS2000, but I work hard and i'll spend what I want on my hobby, not what some knobber on t'internet thinks I should spend. Expensive sexy bikes get me more aroused than the Mrs nowadays, and that is priceless at 37.
  • + 2
 hard to have bike envy when you spent every penny you had and built your ultimate dream bike! and besides!!! their TOOLS NOT JEWELS YO!!!! some people are so caught up in the bikes themselves they forget about the riding. which is sad. really really sad.
  • + 5
 I own the bikes I was once envious of, therefore I do not envy you, my bitches
  • + 2
 WAAAAAAAAA I CAN'T BUY THE NEWEST MOST SHINY AND AWESOME BIKE ON THE MARKET!!! ITS NOT FAIR!!!! I JUST HAVE TO SETTLE FOR ONE OF THE AWESOME 2K-3K BIKES ON THE MARKET THAT RIDE BETTER THAN ANY BIKE MADE 10 YEARS AGO!!! LIFE IS SO UNFAIR!!! #OPPRESSED #TOOEXPENSIVE

buncha f*cking little whiny brats here... get some perspective
  • + 2
 It's good to dream about having that perfect ride. I dreamt of having the ultimate bike...save up, look after your money and you can make that dream a reality. It can take time but it'll happen if you want it to! And if you're having fun in the meantime then win win!
  • + 2
 Dont think so. As far as everything is working fine, there`s no need to have the top end components. I`ve never really bought something just because it is the best thing available, I always go for the one that offers more bang for the buck.

IMO, 90% of the riders can`t even reach 70% of their components performance. The great majority of the riders dont really need boxxer wcs, carbon rims, 6 speed transmissions, all they need is something that works fine. The MTB World is way too much about the "How it looks". If you see someone riding a 5000$+ bike, you assume they ride the hell out of it. It almost never works that way. I know some guys who "needed" a boxxer wc, but if you change it to a boxxer rc, they wont even notice. So stop complaining. If you can`t even properly ride a Mongoose (no hate here, just an example) why do you think you need a V10 Carbon?
  • + 2
 I manage to have decent bikes. I will luck out with a full XT or XT/SLX mix and walk out the door only spending 3.5-4k. I can't complain because these bikes have held up really well. Maintenance is a choice I make. I choose to take my bikes to get tuned and repaired on a regular basis. If you don't the potential for mechanical disaster is too high so I would rather spend the money On maintenance even though it may not be warranted, rather than to fork out hundreds for a broken part and or bike. Now that I am older and have a better job it is easier but not so much when I was younger.
  • + 2
 And pretty much only one ever really needs SLX... unless you REALLY want free-stroke adjustment. Outside of less exotic materials (for a slight weight penalty), there's actually almost no difference between SLX and XTR. It isn't even like 80% of the performance for 50% of the cost, it's like 99% of the performance for 50% of the cost.

In saying that though, sometimes it's hard to find bikes specced out that smartly. Generally if you're buying a bike with SLX or X.7/9, it's also going to come with some lower end suspension... which is something that many people can feel the difference of. Still though, there's some brands that make awesome kits... look at the Transition Patrol 3... full SLX/Deore with a Monarch/Pike combo for $3499. If I ever need to replace my bike and I can't find anything in the used market, that's definitely what I'll be looking at.
  • + 5
 I'd rather look boss on a cheaper bike with a boat load of skills, than a doobie on a $6k rig!
  • + 3
 It doesn't help that lately a majority of the PB reviews have been on bikes that are on very top of the price spectrum. See if you can't have some of the manufacturers send you some mid-range bikes to see how they hold up.
  • + 0
 I don't think they get to pick.
  • + 1
 Probably true.
  • + 1
 I have a 1992 Cannondale 1000. That was main bike for years. When my 2012 Ready 8 swing broke this summer I used the CD for a ride. Awful... Bikes have come a long ways since I started in '89. They are really way too expensive and I am sure the companies are setting hyper inflated prices mongst themselves. I don't care what people ride as long as they it don't act like posers. At 51 I ride the mountain trails around Calgary and generally go for 25 to 35 km. Going up hills I pass people much younger on silly priced bikes. Rocky Mountain has $11,500 bike. Ridiculous....
  • + 1
 I don't so much envy the bikes that I see online or other MTBers riding so much as the time that certain people have to ride. I see certain guys on instagram (like basqueMTB) and they post a riding picture just about every single day. They are captivating images and I love them, but they get me thinking, man, I wish I could ride everyday!

Then it's not just the fact that they ride everyday, but the place(s) they are riding. Some guys in Whistler, others in NZ, these awesome mecca's that God created for mountain bikes to rule and here I am living in Houston. Trust me, I don't hate on people for living in these awesome locations, I just envy them from time to time because that's what I want to be doing. Hopefully soon...
  • + 1
 I have one of my dream bikes, and I love every minute of riding it. It may be aluminum. It may be from 2003. And it may have had more than 3 owners, but it was built during a time when builders were saying "Lets just add more aluminum and more gussets." It works, it isn't light, but it works. I'm speaking of a 2003 Banshee Morphine.
I still get bike envy when I see all these Nomads and Mojos, but I get to throw my leg over my overbuilt steed, and laugh.

Moop. Doop.
  • + 1
 Cutting edge stuff that is super expensive give you the opportunity to be the guinea pig and the results of these users influences where the rest of the market goes. If you dont want to be part of that, then wait a year or two until the good ones stick around and the bad ones die out.
  • + 1
 it's all relative.
I know guys with £10k V10s but they still live with their folks and drive a £500 van. Whereas if you have a mortgage, kids, car loans etc and only ride seriously once or twice a month (if your lucky) you can't justify that.....I do like it when the dude and his £10k rig sneers at my £3k machine on the trail and then I see him in the car park packing up into his Saxo as I load my 'inferior' bike into my £50k Audi...hahahahah!
  • + 4
 Remember how fun it is to pass someone with a more expensive rig then you Smile
  • + 1
 You mean "Remember how fun it is to ride with someone whatever is rig is more expensive then your " I suppose?
  • + 3
 Then get passed by someone else with a carbon wonder bike...
  • + 1
 I think if people went about their bike purchasing a bit differently, these crazy expensive steeds would seem a bit more attainable. I look at an 8000 price tag on a bike and go holy crap I can't afford that. But you know what I can afford, the 3000 frame after I save for a few months, and then the 1000 fork after another few months, and over the course of the year I have saved enough, worked enough side jobs and saturdays and scoured for deals to build that 8000 dream sled in an affordable, manageable way. How many of you go out and drop 30k on a new truck, you don't you spread it over 5 years, so why not spread out your dream bike in the same manner.
  • + 1
 I did suffer from bike envy until I assembled the one I ride now. It took about 4 months (in winter so I wouldn't ride anyway) but I carefully selected every single part (I remember that I ordered a $12 titanium headset bolt from USA and was waiting for about 2 weeks to have it delivered Big Grin ) and I can finally say that I have the bike I wanted. And I bought most of the parts from eBay so the whole bike was about $3200 - with Rocky Mountain frame made in Canada, Fox 36 Talas RC2 fork and RP3 shock, Crossmax SX wheelset, complete Sram X0 groupset, Hope brakes, Thomson stem+handlebar, Continental tires made in Germany, etc.

Of course there are other bikes I'd prefer, but mostly exotic handmade brands such as Nicolai with the Pinion gearbox and similar.
  • + 1
 I hear ya!
  • + 1
 a tick off topic of bike N V.


prices --- they're all relative ---

My mother's first house she bought was $32,000...
My dad's first brand new car was $3200 (about a dollar per pound).
My first "real bike" built with Campy Record was I think $1100ish


Pooformance (not to be confused with the big-box bike store who hire but teenagers who know jack shit about bikes, working there just for the discounts and to punch a clock). Pooformance value is a gajillion times better.
** ever buy yourself brand new Deore canti brakes --- you could dial them in all day long, canti brakes were no where near as strong as Vbrakes, Vbrakes no where near as strong as disc.

even the cheap disc brakes are pretty good these... there was a time you had to spend top dollar to have a set of disc brakes that were worth a hoot.

How about SPD pedals? holy crap did they suck when they first came out -- you'd often look like a stuck turtle, trying to get out of your Onza SPD pedals, Shitmano weren't that much better. Pedals haven't changed much but man, they're way better.. I have been using the same pair of Time Z's for over 7 years now --- still smooth as silk.

suspension --- BAAAJillion times better --- man, that's a hot topic. the shit they made 10, 15 years ago, man it sucked compared to the stuff today.
  • + 1
 I have to admit that when I saw the price tag on a new carbon V10 I shit a brick. $10K for a bike?. But knowing that the bike was way too much for my riding and only pro's and rich kids would be riding them, it put it in that stratosphere of lust worthy bikes. I think price tags can be a reality check for most and we come back to earth. Now I just drool and don't shit my pants anymore.
  • + 1
 If people are ranting about price ie money then welcome to the focking america capitalism !!!!! Sorry dude to burst ur bubble nut yall modern slaves !!!!! Go check buy sell. They got great deals !! The point ..... Look at the ground and stfu !!
  • + 1
 I buy the latest and greatest mtn bike...........once every 10+years. Ride the piss out of it, maintain it, fix what breaks etc. So, I suppose I go from being envied (lol, for a bike!!!!) to being 5-6 generations behind for each bike I buy. Super chic to old school to dinosaur is my life cycle...rinse and repeat. Of course getting to "dinosaur" stage only takes about 24 months now so I ride a dinosaur for a lot longer.
  • + 4
 I don't get bike envy, I do get bike skills envy. Some top shredders out there, I'm not one.
  • + 1
 I would have to agree with you. I've been in this sport too long and these little whipper shredders just make me look like I'm standing still...sometimes it's like I'm moving backwards. ( Which isn't so bad, since it's a flat land BMX trick.....but still )
Those little bastards are FAST!!!!!
  • + 1
 10 Years ago I purchased a new Santa Cruz Blur (now referred to as "blur classic"). I looked at the receipt the other day and it cost $3,600 all built up. 10 years later, having replaced all of the components on the frame (3 drivetrains, 3 forks, 2 wheelsets etc) I'm retiring the frame. I have a deposit on a Tallboy LTc. The frame alone is $2600. However, moving some of the stuff off the Blur should keep my out of pocket costs to about $3600 total after I sell off some of the stuff on eBay. I'll ride this bike for another 10 years. Some of my friends buy new bikes for $1500-$2000 every other year. I'd rather drop some major coin every 5-10 years and ride the hell out of my bikes. BTW, the Blur frame is going on the wall of the garage.
  • + 1
 I don't want the most expensive bike, or the latest and greatest components. what I want is a solid performing reliable bike at a reasonable price.
I tried mountain biking on a hardtail with very loose rocky terrain. It was not fun, and I quit. I have since saved enough to buy a full suspension virtual pivot type bike and I am in love with the sport. But I question if this will be my last bike. I got a deal because it was a higher end bike that was made out of AL and had 26" wheels. Next bike will need to be another complete, but I'm not sure I'll be willing to spend $5K every few years to get a low-end component version of a good bike.
  • + 2
 Having a capable rig, being in the wilderness with Friends and family, shredding together in the great outdoors while getting great exercise and positive mental clarity. Priceless!
  • + 1
 Mike this article is soo well deserved in this community. It doesnt matter what it costs. It is what it is and complaining about it isnt a factor in that final number. But for arguments sake the $2k-10k range is about the same as many other hobbies anyway! Dirtbikes, Quads, Paintball, Skydiving, Gokarts, Computers, Musical instruments, Tools for working on cars or woodworking, etc...
Everyone has a point of diminishing returns for their dollar. Keep your head in check with your wallet and you'll enjoy $500 steed as much as the $5000 one you may buy years later. I know I still enjoy my $500 kijiji bike just as much as my +$5000 carbon race bike depending on the day!
  • + 1
 Hey i'm just thankful that at nearly 48 yrs old i'm still fit enough to ride and enjoy it, true it can be exspensive but like the guy said it's also a business. And that's where all the 'tech' and development comes from, we would all like a new bike every year, and all the latest kit, but this is the real world, and by keeping our 'feet on the ground' and weather you're a pro or a weekend warrior. It's our love of riding that's the main thing here, besides having the latest bike and gear won't make you a better rider anyway. That comes from years in the saddle, don't get bike envy, get bike happy!!
  • + 1
 suspension --- BAAAJillion times better --- man, that's a hot topic. the shit they made 10, 15 years ago, man it sucked compared to the stuff today.


I used to N V this one guys Trek Y -- ha ha ha --- I worked on one the other day, it was in near mint condition...took it for a little spin... bla ha ha ha... what a piece of crap.


I used to sell this brand called "Hardland" -- I still have the banner --- it was cutting edge stuff back then but they went belly up. I don't know whatever became of them.. Mountain Cycle was the same --- they were in and out of bankruptcy --- the stuff the put out was pretty bad ass (back then).

it sure is easy to drop some serious coin on a bike these days but compared to other sports, I don't think it's all that bad..

$300, $400, $500 gold club? what?

fishing gear can be quite pricey..

guns.... hello...

like I said, it's all relative
  • + 1
 It just feels like kids these days are just so bloody entitled! "WAAAAAA I can't afford the latest fancypants superbike, Mountain Biking is too expensive, I s*#t my pants..."

I remember riding as a teen (bikes were fully rigid back then for most of us), and just being stoked to be out and riding, sometimes even catching a whole 2 foot of air off jumps (we were lucky if we landed without our wheels collapsing a'la Kelly McGarry) but we never felt envious if someone lucked out and got a new bike with a suspension fork, an aluminium frame or even if it had Deore LX parts (XT and XTR were definitely made of unobtainium back then). It would be awesome to just be able to get out and ride with them.

Sure we used to dream of trying out the full suspension rigs we read about in MTBA or whatever magazines we could get our hands on but we never felt like we HAD to have them to have fun. Mountain Biking was about being outside riding bikes offroad with your mates. When did such things as "bike envy" even become a thing?
  • + 1
 Theres definitely a limit that exceeds a bike's worth in my head. For me its about set-up, not cost. I want the wide bars, narrow wide ring, dropper post etc and the size and tyres need to be good. But for example I will never buy a santa cruz because the price is unwarranted... Ive just spent £2000 on a Trek remedy and thats about my limit for a trail bike. Instead of spending more on slightly lighter bikes, just improve your fitness a little and take the kids on holiday instead... Even if i was a billionaire I wouldn't spend over £3000 on a bike.... (I don't think... blatantly would haha!) I have as much fun on a £1000 bike than a £3000 bike, as long as the set up and important kit is there.
  • + 1
 There is a certain amount of pleasure to be had in getting farther/faster through a rock garden on a 26er hardtail with a coil/MCU fork than a dude on a carbon FS 29er. That being said, I wouldn't say I envy what other people have. It just sort of puts the equipment into perspective. I'm in the market for a new bike at the moment and that perspective is making it a good bit easier for me to pay more attention to bare necessities as far as construction/standards rather than niceties.
  • + 1
 I don't get bike envy as such, but the few upgrades I have made have been worthwhile. I am in a position to buy my first brand new bike and I am not taking the decision lightly. It is more my needs that have changed than anything else and Im going to replace my ride with something more suitable. That said, I personally think my 'dream bike' is quite modest. At the end of the day, I don't make enough to be replacing expensive parts when I break them, instead sticking to mid level stuff so I can replace and ride, rather than save up for that expensive derailleur whilst my bike sits idle.
  • + 3
 I only find I get real bike envy in winter when I can't get and ride a lot. When I can ride I forget to care about all this crap and just get shear pleasure of riding.
  • + 2
 Im an avid mountain biker but honestly its really getting too expensive. Especially now i got a family of my own. bikes costs up to $10,000. You can get a new car for $15,000. Just sayin..
  • + 16
 You are comparing the Ferrari of bikes to the Kia of cars. Apples and oranges there bud. Did you read the article? You don't need the 10 grand bike, you want it. You can still get a lot of performance for 2-3k off the showroom floor.
  • + 1
 I find it really funny to see where mountainbiking is going.. Last weekend I participated a marathon.. and as usual in the marathon discipline everybody is a weight weenie(me too, but I can't afford it as much as other people do) Everywhere 40 year old guys with the most expensive S-Works Epic bikes and stuff like this, staring at you with your 2500€ Canyon Hardtail with that look of despite in their eyes. Well, end of story is that on the first climb I've overtaken all of them. So hell yeah, equipment and your bike makes you happy, but at the end of the day it's you that is sitting on that bike.. you alone decide how much fun you have Wink
  • + 1
 It is horrible to compare prices of way more complicated and heavier (more valuable material) motos and bicycles. There is definitely something wrong in the pricing. luckily U can get good parts as used, and even do some yourself.

A clever guy without the cash finds always ways to stretch the penny.
  • + 1
 Personnaly, i never was able to buy a downhill bike before i turn 23-24 because $$. Can't believe my eyes theses days when i see a 16 years old kid with a brand new dh bike. I'm now 28 and all i can afford is a 2500$ Basic 2012 Spec Demo.
  • + 1
 it's all about buying the latest most expensive over hyped stuff you can taking it to a "trailcentre/bikepark" and paying for a lift to the top of a trail and riding it over and over again along with a hoard of other like minded individuals
  • + 16
 Call me what you like... But just add some beer and that sounds like a bloody good day.
  • + 2
 lol props!
  • + 1
 I've got a little over 2 grand invested in my Hardtail Trek X-cal 9 after a few upgrades. It is a great starter bike for me but now that I have been going to the bike park on it for a year. (we have a year round bike park here) My skills are good enough to make the jump to a FS. I am thinking about getting the Pivot Firebird 650B or the Pivot mach 4 carbon.

My goal was to spend 2 years on my hardtail 29 to get my skills up. In 2 months I got bored riding XC and found free ride trails. Now my bike limits me to how I ride because I want to go bigger than my bike can do. I dont feel comfortable hitting huge drops on a hardtail 29. I stick to the smaller shit for now. I am in the process of upgrading
  • + 1
 Not sure why this topic was really open...But is like this in every single domain, you will find different prices for different quality stuff...Some of them can be pointless considering the price difference...Welcome to World of consumer society !!!
  • + 1
 I think that geeking out over equipment and riding the fancy stuff is fun, but it's absolutely not necessary to enjoy riding. I enjoy riding high-end bikes because it motivates me to go out and ride more, knowing that I have only the engine to blame for a poor performance. The only thing the price tag of the bike indicates is the rider's disposable income and how much of it s/he is willing to spend on their hobby. It never has been, and never will be, a measure of riding skill.

The idea that you need to "earn" a high end bike with anything other than the ability to afford it is ridiculous. Often times, the higher-end stuff is more reliable and more fun to ride. I've got a new SC Nomad on the way, and I assure you that I've got a long way to go to build the skills to push that bike's limits. If that upsets you when you see me on the trail, guess what? I don't care. I'll just keep riding it with a big grin on my face, and if your ego feels better because you don't think I deserve my bike, then I guess it's a win-win. Have a nice day.
  • + 1
 I bought my new bike last September and am enjoying it SO MUCH that I don't even try to upgrade anything - got no time for that, need to RIDE MOAR! Some bikes are just super fun! Now I think that if one wants to change the bike or make upgrades every week, then he's got wrong bike. I was there, now I'm happy!
  • + 1
 There is huge difference in perspective amongst the comments in this post.
I think bike envy comes from the massive wave or consumerism we get drowned with. Be it from pro circuits or from the marketing department of each brand. I am 31 and my disposable income is nor more or less than the average person in the UK. I am realistic about what I can and cannot afford as well as what I want vs what I need. My bike upgrades usually come every 4 to 5 years, normally due to componentry being ridden to destruction or because there is a significant enough technological advance to maybe justify a purchase. For those reasons, I put money aside but over the years I have learnt to be a sensible consumer. I have taught myself not to buy into the PR and marketing thing and to wait for products to be "beta tested" by average Joes, those who have perhaps more disposable income and can take a hit from a bad product purchase. I have also discovered that "value" is a very ambiguous term and that today's £900 suspension fork, will be tomorrow's £450 reduced fork or that if I have been keeping my saddle in the same position for 30 years without any problems, " do I really need that £300 dropper post...?"

Like someone said above, the worth comes from the emotions and memories your bike gives you and not from the grams/pounds/kilos or the intricacies or simplicities of your rig.
  • + 4
 As a college student, this couldn't be any more on point. Go ride your damn bike
  • + 1
 ill agree with that, recently had to downsize to a hardtail, but its the riding rather than the bike. as long as u can take the time to get out for a bit thats what its all about
  • + 1
 Wow, LOTS of comments here!
1)There are plenty of more expensive bikes than mine
2)There are plenty of less expensive bikes than mine
3)There are plenty of riders more capable than I am
4)There are plenty of riders less capable than I am

I don't suffer from bike envy, I'm totally happy with my bike. I stuffed 3k into it very carefully and the only bike I can think of that might even cause a twinge of envy is a TR250 with a FOX van 36 RC2. Even then, I'd have to keep my entourage around in case it couldn't induce the same shit-eatin grins.

The shop I work at is continually giving me shit for turning up my nose at gucci components because they aren't "Blue-Collar"

You don't have to be rich to have a nice bike and enjoy it.

YOU ARE NOT YOUR f*ckING KHAKIS
  • + 1
 For the last two years I cycled with my pal, me on a bike I put together for around £1000 and my pal on a top spec carbon nomad around 4k
At the end of the day did he have more fun? No we were both stoked!
Having said that I have now upgraded to a carbon tallboy take from that what you want
  • + 1
 Surely we all benefit from the trickle-down effect from the production of high-end bikes and components? Formula 1 cars gave given plenty of technological advances to road cars through the ages, and top of the range bike kit does the same.
  • + 1
 I'll use the Ferrari analogy again. pay to play or don't. nobody cares about the whining of 15 year olds with paper rounds. nobody cares that you can't afford a boutique bike. or if you're faster than an old guy on a $10k bike. this debate is entertaining, but it will change nothing
  • + 1
 Believe it or not I don't suffer from "bike envy" although I can occasionally suffer from "component envy" haha like if someone has a nicer fork or nicer rims. However, it's small and it doesn't really bother me.

Since I'm quite happy with my current bike I tend to not want any other bike. However, if I spotted someone on the trail riding a Scott Genius LT Tuned 2014-2015 model I'd then be GREEN with envy for sure. haha
  • + 1
 I do have a few dream bikes but even though my current ride is nothing overly 'fancy'; we have spent a lot of time together on the trails and experienced some crazy shit so I wouldn't trade it in for anything.
  • + 1
 The only time I feel envy is when I'm pushing up the hill for laps and some lycra-gents push on past. That soon dissipates when I realize that those bikes are terrible for DH.
  • + 1
 I just saw that the new Yeti 5C frame is $3800. I am a Yeti Fan but at that price I will never own a new one. It is getting ridiculous. But than again people have been saying that for a long time as the article states.
  • + 1
 Really happy with my purchase this year. 2014 Transition transAm build 2, under $2000 and no need for any upgrades.
I think in fact the dollar value to quality has improved with time.
  • + 2
 Nothing better than blasting past some muppet on a bike you envy on something 1/4 of the price!
They can have my bike envy but iv got thier skills envy!!!
  • + 0
 Mountainbiking IS expensive.
"At the end of the day, actually riding is what matters the most" tell me how can I ride when a decent tyres (50€ @LBS for a High Roller that will only last for 3 months!!) cost as much as a week of food or a MX tyre that will last. And please don't tell me "because they sell less tyres than mx one".
  • + 11
 When my car tyre is less than my bike tyre there is something wrong....
  • + 1
 @Hammm what is your car???!!?
  • + 6
 Well lets not go there..... basically the cheapest shit box i could find to thrash about in and wreck doing shuttles hahaha still the tyres cost less than my bikes tyres!
  • + 4
 Could not agreed with you more! It's not just MTB'ing, but all of cycling. Michelin sells some road bike tires that sell for more than the price of steel core, DOT Approved/Certified, tracked/seriel number, automotive tires they make that last upwards of 30,000 miles. What wrong with this picture? There's no legitimate argument the bike tires are more laborious or have more materials, because they don't. It just comes down to what the market is willing to pay. We are all fools for paying it. If we refuse to pay, prices will naturally fall/decline.
  • + 1
 This is ridiculous. Some facts:

A Maxxis high roller isn't a "decent" tyre, its a high end tyre. A decent tyre would be something like a Michelin country mud tyre, which costs about $14 on Chain reaction and would likely last a good 12 months with a hard compound. Not the best tyre, but equivalent to a "normal" car tyre.

The most expensive MTB tyre on Chain Reaction is the Maxxis Maxxlite, which costs about $180 and would probably last for about 3-6 months. Its made for xc racing, The most expensive car tyre in the world belongs to the Bugatti Veyron (the carbon V10 of the car world?) and this costs $10,000. For one tyre. That's $40,000 for a set. And they last 2500 miles.

I bet the Bugatti forums are not full of people complaining about the price of a tyre...
  • + 1
 @witica Some other facts?
A 10 years+ old tyre isn't an high end tyre anymore.
Chain Reaction isn't a LBS.
This is not the Carbon V10 forum.

Another fact with YOUR exemple?
Consider a Bugatti Veyron: 1 000 000$ with Michelin specific only for this particular car: 10 000$
Consider a ultra high end xc bike: 10 000$ with Maxxis Maxxlite specific for... any xc bike: 180$
mmh... looks like an "8" should be a "0"...
  • + 1
 @fracasnoxteam

A High Roller selling today is not the same tyre as ten years ago, despite it having the same name
I don't see what relevance chain reaction not being a local bike shop has, we're talking about what price you could buy something for, not morally where you "should" buy it from
It's not a carbon v10 forum, but we're commenting on the price of high end bikes, of which the V10 is a perfect example

As I was talking MOST expensive, the base price for a Bugatti Veyron Super Sport is actually $2.7m. According to your logic the Maxxis Maxxlite should therefore be $270. So at $180 it's actually a steal!

As they say in France...touché!

But the point is, as other people have said, that a 10k bike is a professional top of the range piece of kit. Those bikes allow progression in the industry. A similarly expensive bike in 2002 was this:

www.specialized.com/us/en/bikes/archive/2002/2002enduro/02enduroprofsr

If it wasn't for £10k bikes, we'd still all be riding around on something like that. Which by the way was amazing at the time, it's just to prove a point. In 12 years time it's safe to say that a bike with technology equivalent to a carbon v10 from today will cost very little. And that's what we all want.
  • + 0
 To set the price of an item, you have to calculate the cost of development and the cost of manufacturing and spread that across the number of items the market will likely consume. Material cost is close to or near fixed per item sold. For large volume items, material is a significant part of the cost. For smaller volumes, such as high-end bikes and bike parts, material is less significant. Math, check it out sometime.
  • + 2
 SLX/XT/X0/X9 drivetrain (with XT brakes of course), maybe some asian carbon rims on there, dropper post, and bike envy is gone. Money saved for road trips.
  • + 2
 The only time I get bike envy is when Kazimer pedals past me on a climb. If I could only drop a few grams, and maybe if I had more gears...
  • + 2
 eat more pineapple, its got an enzyme that's a natural anti-inflammatory. it wont make you go faster, only let you go harder without having to risk an ulcer.
  • + 4
 at the end of the day it doesnt matter what you ride, as long as you ride.
  • + 0
 I wouldn't call it bike envy, per se. I do get irritated when I see people rocking expensive big wheeled bikes that make it easier to ride, but they don't even try. They roll on Enduro 29ers or other such things and don't even try to clean that uphill. They take the gravel, or they ride the easy go arounds. With their fancy everything and matching kits, they don't ride. They just spend money and talk about it. Scenesters.
  • + 2
 Being from FL the only envy I suffer from is 'Elevation Envy' or more commonly known as 'Mountain Envy'.
  • + 2
 Ditto
  • + 1
 Yesterday I saw a brace faced 16 year old on a mint Bronson Enve wheels xx1 drive train the works. Yes I was envious of this spoiled little ____.
  • + 1
 Frankly I have skills envy rather than bike envy. I am constantly amazed at how much skill development has taken place in the sport over the last 10 or more years.
  • + 1
 No kidding! That's why I'm spending $8K on a bike and $2K on some lessons. Smile
  • + 2
 "won't help anyone, except maybe your doctor's bank account when he charges you" - LOL not in Canada.
  • + 0
 If your improving your health by actually riding it......who cares what it costs. Even at 10k........how much long term health will riding bring. In the long run that 10k will be meaningless
  • + 1
 When the latest bikes come into the shop we are all excited. The love of riding doesn't mean I have to own those bikes. All the new stuff is just icing on the mtb cake.
  • + 1
 The bike you can get for $3K these days is more than enough to go out and enjoy the hell out of riding. I think about the bike I sunk $3K into 20 years ago and today's entry-level drivetrains and suspensions would probably outperform it.
  • + 1
 I am cool with my neighbor's bike, but I am really dying for a Dixon, and I get a little envious when I see one.
  • + 3
 I like boobs
  • + 1
 My bike envy is currently overridden by tractor envy. ....time for more chickens!
  • + 2
 If anyone wants to see an expensive hobby, just look at car racing.
  • + 4
 Q: How do you make a small fortune in racing?
A: Start with a big one
  • + 1
 Horses, cars, motorcycles, sailing... Hell, there are lots more expensive hobbies. $10K might buy you a set of tires for your race car, or if you sell your house you could buy a racing sail for your boat.
  • + 1
 Just go ride and enjoy what you have! Atleast you have a bike...some people can't even afford one.
  • + 0
 In agreement with the first comment: I have a marzocchi 66 on one of my bikes that hasn't been serviced since 2008. You wouldn't believe it if you felt it.
  • + 2
 should tell myself - stop thinking and go fucking ride
  • + 1
 I have my favourite bike. Am I envious of the fact that peeps ride better than me? Nope makes me try harder.
  • + 1
 The only envy I suffer from is sleep envy .I hate people that get loads if sleep.just saying.
  • + 0
 Hello!
  • + 1
 as long as i'm faster than people on more expensive bikes, i'm satisfied
  • + 1
 So you need to be faster than them to feel better? What about the guys who can afford the bike AND are better than you? Do you just go home and sulk? Why the hell would you care what anyone else is riding and whether they "deserve" it?
  • + 1
 apapun sepedanya, yang penting sepedaannya
  • + 1
 common people we all have that one dream bike... thats bike envy
  • + 3
 I had a dream bike. Then... I bought it. XD
  • + 0
 Crybabies
  • - 2
 Get a Turner frame and just be done with it. Stop supporting companies making pressfit BB frames.
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