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Six Ways To Make Mountain Biking Less Expensive

Feb 8, 2023 at 9:40
by Seb Stott  
Mountain biking isn't a cheap sport. In fact, the amount you can spend on a bike is almost comical: a Specialized Kenevo SL costs $15,000 USD. or a Yeti SB160 frame costs $5,000. And the bike is just the start. There's clothing, protection, tools, spares, repairs and more. It's almost enough to make you switch to a cheaper hobby like motor racing or high-stakes gambling.

But there are ways to save a whole load of cash by being smart. Here are a few suggestions.



photo
The Privateer 161 is no lightweight, but it climbs surprisingly well.

Don't worry about weight

The main difference between a mid-range and a top-of-the-line bike is its weight. Sure, there'll be a few extra knobs to twiddle and usually nicer paint, but realistically, most of the extra money you're spending is going into carbon fiber and more precisely machined components which save a little weight. Typically, a bike with an aluminum frame and workhorse components will be around a kilogram (2.2 lb) or so heavier than the top build with a carbon frame and flagship parts.

That may sound like a lot, but a bit of math tells us this makes a surprisingly small difference when climbing, and at worst, doesn't matter when descending. For climbing performance, it's important to look for a bike with a steep seat angle, an efficient suspension design, and reasonably fast-rolling tires. These traits are more important than saving a few pounds and don't necessarily add to the price.



photo

You don't need a "quiver" of bikes


We'd all love to have a fleet of bikes for every situation. But unless you're regularly competing in XC, slopestyle, and downhill, you really only need one bike. Modern trail and enduro bikes are so capable uphill and downhill that one bike really can do pretty much anything.

In a recent test, I found that a 170/180 mm travel "superenduro" bike wasn't any slower uphill than a shorter travel trail bike - so long as both bikes were on the same tires. At the same time, the shorter travel bike wasn't exactly struggling to keep up on the descents. The point is, so long as the tires are appropriate, most modern bikes in the 130 to 170 mm travel range will tackle most types of riding with aplomb. One bike with a spare set of tires (or a second wheelset) to suit conditions should have you covered for most types of rides without leaving you at a disadvantage.




Learn to work on your own bike

When you start out, it's tempting to take your bike to the shop for every issue. But learning to fix things yourself will save you money in the long run and give you a better chance of making repairs when you're out in the middle of nowhere. Every time you attempt a job yourself you'll learn something new, and one day, you might even find yourself thoroughly enjoying taking your fork apart, cleaning out all the gunk and putting it back together.

These days, it's easier than ever to find instructions on how to carry out even niche jobs by yourself. Instead of rifling through old issues of MBUK to find that guide they once published on how to service a KS Lev seatpost, you can just search for it online. Park Tool's Youtube channel has video guides for most jobs and our own Tech Tuesday series has some in-depth tutorials too.



Start at the valve hole

Keep on top of preventative maintainence

I'm sure you've heard this before, but a stitch in time really can save nine. Keeping your drivetrain reasonably clean and well-lubricated between rides will help it last much longer, and transfer more of your precious watts to the rear wheel too. You don't need to meticulously degrease it; just run it through an old rag to wipe off the crud before re-lubing will make a world of difference.

Check your spoke tension regularly and adjust before any spokes work loose, and check that all the bolts are tight every few rides. Keep on top of your suspension service intervals too. Forks and shocks tend to need servicing at least once a year, and more often if you ride a lot. Once you learn how it's not so hard, and it will dramatically improve performance as well as prevent expensive damage.



Views: 34,909    Faves: 52    Comments: 12

Here's a young Mark Zuckerberg explaining how to measure your chain stretch.

Replace your chain before it "stretches" too much

Here's a classic tip. As your chain wears out it will get slightly longer, not because the material is actually stretching, but because of changes to the bushings and pins. If it stretches too much, it will start wearing out the cassette and chainring teeth at an ever-increasing rate. So to avoid this, it's usually recommended to replace the chain before it stretches by 0.5%

A pair of chain links should measure 1" exactly. So either use a chain wear checker tool, or just measure twelve inches from any chain pin, and if the pin closest to the 12-inch mark is more than 1/16" beyond that mark, it's time for a new chain. Replacing the chain before this milestone should ensure your cassette and chainring last for two or three chains. Leave it too late, and the new chain will skip on the cassette and chainring that have worn with the old chain, so you'll have to replace them too.

Bonus tip: get yourself a steel chainring. They cost less, last longer and carry a negligible weight penalty (see point 1).




Consider buying second hand

While buying used can be a minefield, the potential savings are huge if you do your research. The rate of genuine innovation and improvement in bike design is slowing, so a bike from a few years ago probably isn't going to perform much worse than the latest model - provided it's in good condition.

Before parting with your cash, it's worth having a good look at a bike in person if at all possible. Worn-out drivetrains and brake pads are to be expected but a damaged frame or suspension component is a huge red flag - if you have to replace one of those you may as well have bought new.




Author Info:
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Member since Dec 29, 2014
314 articles

373 Comments
  • 585 4
 I think avoiding Pinkbike may be the most effective way to really save money on mountain biking. I'm obviously not very good at taking my own advice, though...
  • 63 0
 *This is just a friendly reminder to check your saved searches in buy/sell. We see that you have not checked within the last 10 minutes, and a courtesy email has been dispatched.*
  • 30 4
 Exactly. They get paid to advertise the expensive stuff to us. American society is built on consumerism. There is no escape unless you pull yourself away from it. But alas I'm here too...
  • 39 0
 @TheDirkDiggler: I'm not telling anyone what to do here but this is what worked for me: I unfollowed all brands that I had been following on social media, now I just use it strictly for friends. I buy less. I waste less time. I keep in touch with friends. Who knew...
  • 13 0
 @flattoflat: That is a good idea. I'm not really on social media, but I do check PB news daily and indulge in YT more than I would like to admit. However, I will say I spend less because I'm always broke. Inflation has been a mofo.
  • 26 60
flag NYShred (Feb 10, 2023 at 9:42) (Below Threshold)
 Step 1: Learn how to build and maintain your own bike(s)
Step 2: Don't buy plastic bikes, ever. Double the price with a lifespan of 4-6 years or one single gnarly crash to compromise it's integrity. Bonus, when it's no longer rideable it gets tossed in the ocean.
Step 3: Just skate instead and watch MTB culture jock the shit out of you. It's cheaper and far more inclusive than the elite snobbery found in MTB culture.
  • 4 0
 Just rotate 3 chains & you’ll be fine
  • 12 1
 @NYShred: Badminton is cheaper. Just saying. Ha!
  • 48 2
 I'm glad no one mentioned not drinking 4 beers after every ride. That line item in my budget is non-negotiable.
  • 3 0
 @TheDirkDiggler: I'm only here for the Friday Fails...
  • 3 5
 @TheDirkDiggler: Inflation has also been a blessing.
  • 9 1
 @NYShred: you know you can fixed carbon bikes right?
  • 10 3
 @NYShred: why are you even here then?
  • 3 2
 Stop CRASHING. Dr. bills, recovery time, bike repair can easily exceed the cost of Kenevo SL. Not riding for months is a high price to pay.
  • 12 0
 @HuckminsterfullerAF: drink 10 beers the night before a ride and you wont even go. saving you fuel, tyres, brake pads etc etc.
  • 4 0
 @NYShred: I do both. Problem or problems solved.

Also. My plastic bike comes with a 10 year warranty on the frame. Any future problem also solved.
  • 1 0
 also if manufacturers stops shoveling money to PB. Ask PB how much an ad is.
  • 256 3
 I find the best way to cut down on maintenance and overall costs is to ride less. That way my bike doesn't get dirty, my components don't wear out, and I'm not bothered by my heavy tires or aluminum frame. I'm a busy guy with an important job and family responsibilities, and this also helps me maximize my time for the important stuff, like the comments section.
  • 7 0
 Amen brother!
  • 12 0
 Always good to see someone who has their priorities in order.
  • 3 0
 Truer words were never spoken. When we have company over I get a kick out of showing them my awesome mountain bikes, I never tell em I almost never ride. Just have a couple of pics I saved off of pinkbike to show em how rad I am.
  • 12 0
 LOL! Some people don't get irony if it hit's them with a hammer. I am totally with you, just bought another bike to ride the 3 I had less. Wife says she is moving out and taking the kids if I don't sell at least one and boss will fire me if I show up late for work because I was riding my bike just one more time. Seems that my priorities are getting sorted pretty soon, too.
  • 3 0
 This comment is awesome. Well done.
  • 2 0
 sweet!
  • 2 0
 You know, there is some truth to that. In the snow and mud season, I ride my hard tail to minimize the wear on the bearings on my fs.
  • 1 1
 @mrkkbb: In the NBA, it's called "load management "
  • 86 1
 ride 1x11. I got chains for less than 20 bucks, a gx 1x11 derailleur for 30 bucks, a cassette for 70 bucks and so on
  • 48 0
 I ride 1x10 and it's even cheaper.
  • 34 0
 @fartymarty: I ride 1x9 and its even even cheaper
  • 105 0
 @fartymarty: 1x1 cheaper still.
  • 1 0
 @rileyhrlevich: Nice - less is more. What size cassette?
  • 4 0
 @DJ-24: It is. I've done a bit of SS and quite enjoy it. The only problem is trying to keep up with mates who aren't on SS.

Stainless steel both ends and it lasts forever.
  • 37 0
 @DJ-24: Might I interest you in riding chainless? Even cheaper and does wonders for suspension performance.
  • 3 0
 @jsnfschr: if I was regularly riding uplifts I would be keen.
  • 12 0
 I'm riding 1x12 and 10-52 cassette because I'm weak.
  • 5 1
 @fartymarty: It's actually so fun (if you're riding lifts or shuttling). We do a few toonie DH races at our local trails throughout the season and there is always a chainless category. 10/10 most fun.
  • 12 0
 @fartymarty: Stride -bike here with no gears or chain at all, even cheaper. Although my shoes wear out faster...
  • 8 0
 Personally, I like 1x11 better. Range is still very good. I am not fond of 52 tooth cogs.
  • 2 0
 @fartymarty: I find I'm much much faster on the climbs as I have to keep spinning fast to keep the momentum on SS, but I'm fully out of breath at the top lol
  • 9 0
 @voltagerider: 11-42, 30t, Zee mech, XT shifter - best drivetrain ever.
  • 1 0
 @asdfg3: ditto but can't keep up in flats / down
  • 1 0
 And it's safer...
  • 2 0
 @fartymarty: I used to run 11-36, 32T Zee mech, XT shifter... I didn't know you could go to 42 with the zee!
  • 7 0
 Agreed! And for the same $$ 11 speed shifts better too. I’ve ridden both GX and XT 12 speed (new, adjusted correctly) and I still think 11 speed XT outperforms both over the long haul… Paired with a Sunrace or shimano 11-46 cassette and a 30t chainring it will be plenty of range for most folks.

Also- depending on where you live and how you ride, don’t overlook a good modern hardtail. My SS hardtail is a dream when it comes to upkeep Smile
  • 3 0
 Take the derailleur off and ride no chain. Super cheap and never rip my hanger off!
  • 2 0
 @DJ-24: Winner.
  • 2 0
 @basic-ti-hardtail:
Agreed, but my slack hard tail goes everywhere my full sus enduro rig went- just not quite as fast on the downs. It’s all good.
  • 2 0
 @captaintyingknots: you can but you need to get your chain length bang on. I run this set up on my HT and FS.
  • 1 0
 @fartymarty: Saint shifter, 11-48 Microshift 10 sp. cassette, XT derailleur, 32T and 11 sp. chain. Another great variation on the theme.
  • 1 0
 @tadabing: purely sarcasm on my part. These threads are funny
  • 3 0
 So much this. The drivetrain is easily the least interesting thing on the bike compared to things that actually change the bike's feel (suspension, frame, tires, wheels, contact points) Sure AXS feels nice, and I'm sure the new direct mount from SRAM will have some great sales pitch.

Shimano Deore 11 speed drivetrain with chain goes for around $175. Same range as 12 speed but less maintenance, cheaper chains, and no special chainring (although Raceface now makes a $20 one at least). MicroShift 10 speed is great too but I dislike their clutch design as it doesn't instantly engage and gave me chain suck on my Stumpy Evo. If they changed to a friction clutch like Shimano I'd be back on MicroShift in a heartbeat.
  • 66 2
 MTB is still cheaper than a stripper problem or a bass boat.
  • 36 0
 Former coworker with $80k in his truck, trailer, and boat: “You spent how much on your bike?! I guess if you’re gonna use it a couple of times a year…”
  • 23 0
 @pmhobson: that's cheap.... 80k barely gets you a new truck here.
  • 20 0
 This way you can still afford a stripper problem
  • 18 0
 Forget about bass boats. Have you seen wakeboard boats? An easy way to spend $200k+
  • 25 94
flag hamncheez (Feb 10, 2023 at 10:45) (Below Threshold)
 Just ask Hunter Biden!
  • 57 8
 @hamncheez: keep politics off this site. we come here to get away from it.
  • 4 2
 its not a stripper problem, its funding local education. those dineros are going to support young athletic women on their journey thru community college hair stylist and nail design courses. as for bass boats, if you own one in western canada its because you are allergic to financial security. same goes for mtn biking, just less so.
  • 9 1
 @jsnfschr: Any boat is expensive. As the saying goes, “A boat is a hole in the water you throw money into.” “The two happiest days in a sailor's life are the day he buys a boat and the day he sells it.” I can attest to this because I have owned a boat. Boats are still cool though. Lol.
  • 20 0
 @tacklingdummy: I have never owned a boat, nor do I have any intentions of owning one, but can confirm I've never had a bad time on a boat. Having friends with boats is the move.
  • 16 29
flag hamncheez (Feb 10, 2023 at 13:20) (Below Threshold)
 @adrennan: Politics? I'm talking about the famous artist
  • 3 0
 I'm a former sailor (ship mechanic), and a friend had a wake board boat that he bought not long before he retired from the service.

It was nice having a friend with a boat. It was less nice working on a government boat (and ships). I have zero interest in owning my own.
  • 9 17
flag obee1 (Feb 10, 2023 at 14:47) (Below Threshold)
 @hamncheez: and apparently he decides what you are allowed and not allowed to talk about. which is, ironically, a very political issue these days.
  • 2 1
 my MTB addiction isnt cheaper than my Boat lol.
  • 11 0
 Better to have a friend with a boat and a stripper for a friend
  • 2 1
 Reading this thread has helped me realize two things, I "need" a one piece carbon bar and stem combo. Its been too long since I visited a strip club
  • 7 0
 @tacklingdummy: And then there's sailing, which is like "standing in a cold shower ripping up $100 bills". Husband sails and I mtn bike: RIP dreams of early retirement. :/
  • 4 0
 @Joolz802: ugh I feel your pain! My wife is an equestrian. We have to pay room and board for her ride. Not to mention how many carbon mtn bikes you could buy for the cost of her giant animal!
  • 7 1
 And golf…when will golf courses give way to massive pump tracks???
  • 2 0
 @Cowboy13: There is plenty of land for both. However, one course in Reno, NV (Northgate) went under and they turned it into a MTB park would probably make you happy.
  • 1 0
 @tacklingdummy: if it didn’t suck so bad I’d agree, but a terrible pump track is not much better than a defunct golf course.

Reno struggles to do trails right, so much potential, too much suckage
  • 56 0
 I think PB missed #1

.....be happy with what you have
  • 3 0
 Could not agree more! Got a Kona Process (which was not cheap) 8 years ago and never even considered getting a new or second MTB.
So it's only spares and if you are looking for good prices they really don't cost a fortune.
  • 52 3
 Tip Number 1. Stop buying high end suspension parts when you have absolutely no idea how to set them up.

If you don't really know what you're doing (most of us), you can get a better setup with mid range parts, no kashima and a little knowledge and, ya know, trusting engineers to know how to roughly set that HSC for you.
  • 13 0
 This ^ . I reallllly wanted a top spec bike and then thought... wait I send my suspension to be rebuilt periodically, my guy usually sets to factory settings and I adjust it HOW, and WHEN? Oh yea, I don't... proper sag, proper tire pressure for conditions, bled brakes and a lubed chain... very few trailside blunders or mechanicals and save money to boot...
  • 5 0
 Yes, just learning this the hard way with my Fox 36. Went for the build with the Performance Elite, now spending a lot of time working out how to get it working properly. Should have gone with the base model.
  • 6 1
 @BarneyStinson: Check to see if one of your local shops rents out a shockwiz. Every time a get a new bike or fork or shock, I use the shockwiz and generally love the settings it comes up with fore me. Has also taught me a lot about what and how the adjustments work and I'm now much more confident when I feel like I need something a little different depending on the situation and how to tweak it.
  • 7 10
 @BarneyStinson: but... there are like 3 dials + air pressure. How hard can it be? Can you count pass 10?
  • 11 0
 @valrock: 4 dials, air pressure and tokens. All of which interact with each other.

Compared to my old Pike which had Rebound and Low Speed Compression and a lockout switch.
  • 3 0
 @islandforlife: actually I was chatting with a riding buddy about getting one second hand.
  • 1 2
 @BarneyStinson: I guess you are right, adjusting LSC should not change HSC
  • 2 0
 I think this is why I liked my DVO Beryl more than my DVO Diamond....
  • 4 5
 Yup a mid range Rockshox shock is easy to setup and works great, and decent priced! Avoid Fox, the mid range stuff sucks cause it's way under damped and you can't adjust it. The top of the line stuff works great after you spend 3 years fiddling around trying to find a good setup.
  • 1 1
 @ponyboy24: 6 months in so far…
  • 3 0
 @BarneyStinson: @BarneyStinson: Don't bother trying to set it up until it's been serviced.

Tight bushings, dry seals and foams and gigantic negative spring grease tokens will make it feel like shit, no matter where your dials are.

New doesn't mean correct, ever.
  • 2 0
 My PR from a near identical bike with a bottom of the line suspension (Yari) to top of the line (Ohlins) netted me only a few seconds of speed over a several minute long downhill.
  • 4 0
 @BarneyStinson: I think there should be a mathematical formula that states the more adjustments you have on the suspension, the less you'll be happy with it.
  • 1 0
 @islandforlife: Who rents it on the island? I'm curious to try it out.
  • 4 0
 @noodlewitnosteeze: there’s a rule for life there; more choice =/= more happiness.
  • 6 0
 @BarneyStinson: I work in sales, when I started I used to give a lot of options. Needless to say I sucked at sales until I figured that out.
  • 39 3
 Mountain biking overall is actually relatively cheap - Only costs are bike depreciation and maintenance. Most sports/hobbies have recurring costs (pay per play) that make the total annual expenditure much higher.
  • 15 8
 Lift tickets are expensive and at best a yearly cost. Obviously you don't need to go to a resort to bike, but it is arguably one of the best experiences in the sport.
  • 12 0
 MTB is pretty inexpensive. Buy a hard tail and ride it for free. Maybe disc golf is cheaper. Nothing more or equal fun is cheaper.
  • 5 1
 Tires. Tires are probably my most consistent cost, outside of unneeded upgrades.
  • 4 0
 In about 10 years of riding I have yet to sell a frame or wheels for a very significant fraction of their original cost. Through a combination of being wildly out of date and dings, scratches, other damage depreciation has pretty much killed all value. To be fair I've ridden something like 14k miles...
  • 4 2
 Be glad we aren't all into wake boarding!
  • 2 0
 @Babytoejam: It's also usually the best way to go through parts/consumables in short order. That needs to be factored in.
  • 1 0
 @grgsmith: the same for me.

I can’t in good conscience sell my old bike. One of the press fit cups for the bottom bracket is ovalised, and a few years ago a rock cracked the gel coat on the downtube and I bodged a repair. I *know* it’s probably fine because I’ve ridden loads on it since, but anyone buying it doesn’t.
  • 2 0
 what if you race?
  • 2 0
 Fuel is my biggest expensive by far.
  • 4 0
 I did a life cycle coat analysis one time on a bike. Between purchase, maintenance, occasional lift ticket, and some gear costs it ran about $20 a ride. This was 7 or 8 years ago so add inflation that’s probably around $25-30 now. Worth it to me but seems like the sport is getting much more expensive.
  • 2 0
 @ldhbaker: how long did you keep it for?
  • 2 0
 @ldhbaker: That doesn't actually sound too bad to me. I mean, I wouldn't call it cheap (with my income), but it isn't that much different from other sports or hobbies. Around here a single visit to a larger gym is around 20€ - sure it's cheaper in monthly payments, but not that much if you end up going maybe once a week. I took an archery course a couple of years back, with the price per session not being much different. (Would I have continued, shopping for gear would've been one thing - also a question of aluminium or carbon - but also there's a membership fee to use the space.) Should you go do some crafts courses (woodwork, pottery) the price per lesson is again pretty much the same, plus you need to pay for the materials.

Yes, there are a lot of cheaper alternatives, like running and mainly needing to pay for some good shoes. But cycling isn't alone in this expense range. On top of this the not-specifically-bikes-related costs vary a lot. Up here we mainly ride on natural trails available anywhere, so you don't need a car to take you to the trails, just ride your bike to the nearest forest. (I don't even have a license myself.) My gravel bike is used for fun, but also for commuting, saving money on public transport.

Still, I'm definitely not arguing the fact this stuff (too) is getting more and more expensive and I'm not liking it.
  • 1 1
 @donimo: I did work out a while ago that running was a more expensive way to travel than just the fuel in the car! Shoes run to well over £100 for a decent pair, and you only get 500-750 miles out of that. Fuel price going up has closed the gap, but running isn't necessarily the cheapest sport (at least per mile!)
  • 3 0
 @mountainsofsussex: Not saying running is _the_ cheapest sport, but I'm pretty sure equipment-wise it's still _cheaper_ than MTB. Of course you can also compare how much distance you like to cover doing either and all that. I'm not sure what comparing running as a sport/ hobby and driving a car has to do with this at all, though.
  • 4 0
 I used to like action shooting, but with ammo costs it becomes frustrating to have to spend like $100+ each time I went shooting.

That being said, I recall mentioning the costs to a shooting buddy and he laughed and said he also had a boat and plane, so compared to each of those shooting is a rounding error.

Mtb, like any hobby, you can spend almost as much as you want (trips to whistler, garage gull of tools, etc.), nut you can get away pretty cheap compared to most hobbies of you want to ride. I have a buddy on SSDI, and with a bit of help from his friends (like me working on his bike), he makes it work.
  • 39 12
 I'm sorry, but stop buying crazy expensive santa cruz, trek and specialized etc . Stop paying for name.. do you really need a top fox 40 or something? the average mountain biker does not really benefit from the high-tech suspension that is designed for a racer.
  • 31 1
 This is it right here, buy a Norco or Giant and your experience per unit money will be great.
  • 8 0
 but I need a bling bike to put in my bling rack on my bling car. My bike never actually leaves the bike rack...think of it as an accessory.
  • 17 2
 I would agree somewhat , but , i recently switch from my first fork which was a rockshox 35 to a Zeb ultimate . And my brakes from some XTS to a pair of hopes and I defiantly enjoy my riding more with the refined experience. The maintenance and upkeep is all part of the love and pleasure of owning a nice bike .
  • 36 0
 @no-good-ideas: Trek and Specialized have excellent low end mountain bikes.
  • 12 1
 @jaydawg69: agreed, the Trek Fuel ex8 gen 6 is only* $4200 and is every bit as capable as the 9.9 thats going to cost over $10k. *I realize $4200 isnt in everyones budget but for a brand new high end bike from a dealer with strong support this is pretty good.
  • 8 2
 Hot take: Fox rhythm feels better for most people than Fox factory. And names so silly (in unrelated news, don't check my buy and sell)
  • 4 0
 @jaydawg69: my brother in law just got a specialized status with pretty decent components for like 2500 bucks which is pretty insane.
  • 1 0
 @jaydawg69: agreed. Didn’t say they didn’t.
  • 9 1
 trek is expensive... whut? The top of the line yeah, but each model has like 5 - 6 configs and 2nd from the bottom is usually pretty good value. Same for Specialized, I wouldn't go Alloy, but Alloy Comp with recent price drop is a very sweet bike that most of PBikers won't be able to use to full extend.

Also right now you can get top of the line Fox 36 2023 all Kashima and GRIP2 for 1000 CAD. Yeah 1k is not cheap for fork, but that is like 40% off MSRP, and as long as you do not care about carbon that is a pretty sweet bike for about 5k in beaver money
  • 3 0
 @adrennan: yeah, but it is park bike, it climbs like shit. But for everything else pretty good yeah
  • 3 0
 @valrock: can attest it climbs like shit, but great at falling down the hill.
  • 2 0
 I bought a high end Spec Enduro years ago. If you consider how much I have enjoyed it spread out over the years, it's not so expensive. Definitely cheaper than those who buy a new, less expensive bike every year or two.

I had the bottom of the line version a couple years before that (same generation) and the performance was surprisingly close though. So you don't have to get the bling version.
  • 1 0
 @valrock: It does climb like shit, I was mostly running it with a 27.5" front wheel to make it 'normal'. I sold mine for what I paid during the covid bubble. Crazy times. Was a fun bike on the right trail though.
  • 5 1
 I don’t think you’re necessarily just paying for a name by buying Trek or Specialized or even Santa Cruz for that matter. Until you get in the upper stratosphere, they all have really good bikes at a competitive price point. They make good products, and by and large are worth what you pay. I’ve never bought a bike because, “oh it’s a Specialized.” But I have bought a bike because, “That Enduro is a pretty good bike, I like how it rides, and it’s competitively priced.”
  • 4 0
 TBH, I don't really care how much it costs, if its something I really want. That being said, the problem is finding the money to pay for it LOL
  • 28 1
 They didn't mention single speed hardtails, jump bikes, or klunkers. I promise your local xc trail is MORE FUN on a shite bike than it is on a modern ful susser
  • 17 3
 Everyone I know with a single speed hardtail has dumped thousands upon thousands of dollars into them. Titanium frame, insane carbon wheels, top of the line custom valved fork, XTR brakes, titanium bolts everywhere, different gearing setups for different terrain, etc etc They're sick bikes but it's a very slippery slope
  • 9 0
 Word - Hardtails are fun. Plus you can ride them when it's shitty and not worry about pivots and a rear shock.
  • 5 0
 Can agree. I refurbished an old 2001 Gary Fisher hardtail, put riser bars on it, made it single speed, and it's so much fun on the local XC trail. Just the perfect amount of sketch to make it fun. I call it a BMXC bike.
  • 3 0
 @sjma: I see where you are coming from, but imagine how much those same type of people would spend on a geared full sus
  • 2 0
 @sjma: + physio and massage from the continuous beatings your body takes.
  • 1 0
 @pink505: yea but that's offset by the fact that crashes are always tame as you're never going more than 15 mph :-)
  • 1 0
 I broke out my old 1995 Kona Kilauea hardtail (overforked w a old z1 bomber and SS) super fun on green/blue downhills
  • 2 0
 @overconfident: the guys I were referring to have seriously blinged out Pivot 429s and Evils. They’re in deeper than I can imagine
  • 2 0
 @sjma: you should check out the klunkers the over mountain cycles guys ride! No parts, man!
  • 1 0
 Exactly, the real scam is full suspension, those pivots.
  • 2 0
 @sjma: oh yea, I know these people exist, I don't ride with them irl, but I'm in facebook groups with them

$100 Boone titanium cogs, E-Wings, etc...

Fortuantely I haven't slipped that far down the slope. But I may spend £5000 on a ti gearbox hardtail in the not too distant future...
  • 1 0
 @fartymarty: except I can replace my bike's bearings easily. My body on the other hand... (Not a problem when you're 20 years old)
  • 2 0
 @overconfident: a British ti gearbox hardtail rider has to be a Pinkbike bingo
  • 2 0
 @Mac1987: touch wood I'm still good on a HT at nearly 50.
  • 19 0
 N+1
  • 9 0
 If the number is even, divide by two.
If the number is odd, triple and add 1.
Continue until you reach the lowest odd number.

N+1 is sooo simplistic...
  • 22 1
 D-1 where D is the number that makes your wife divorce you.
  • 9 0
 @mikaeljc: N+1=(D-1)^W

W is Winning when you are no longer married to a person who doesn’t respect your need for bikes!
  • 3 1
 @VtVolk: Is W a binary number. Like W=0 when lost, W=1 when won? That's an interesting one. If you lose, N=0. If you win, N+1=D-1 so N=D-2. Unless D=3 or more, you won't have a bike (even when you win).
  • 6 0
 @mikaeljc: I divorced my wife. Now I have a girlfriend with 3 bikes.
  • 1 0
 @mikaeljc: D+1 if you really don't like your wife and can afford it
  • 2 0
 Is this a thing in certain cultures, that the wife has any influence on how many bikes you have? I don't even have a wife, does that matter? Is this something that comes with marriage and if so, what if someone has a husband instead? Either way, my girlfriend isn't bothered one bit with me owning several bikes (and a unicycle). She just appreciates that I can help her maintain her bikes and the kids' bikes too Wink . She may just not appreciate me bringing certain larger guitar amplifiers in the living room. And I get that. My Peavey Bandit already doesn't do living room friendly volumes.
  • 1 0
 @mikaeljc: i like that one!
  • 11 0
 One thing I think is cool is the focus on learning and possibly enjoying doing work on your own bike. Its nice that this is something Pinkbike is promoting fairly regularly, and has recurring articles on. I would argue, and others do too that maintaining, repairing and understanding the things you use makes them more meaningful to most people and increases our satisfaction in using them. This isn't the direction that most consumer goods are going in our society, so its positive to see its a topic that engages riders. If reparability is something that companies selling bikes can see consumers want, its more likely to be something they provide to us.
  • 11 1
 Don't need a quiver of bikes?.....cmon, 1 bike these days unless bottom barrel quality is 3k+. No one is worried about maintenance here and there. Its the fact that it costs people multiple months of rent or mortgage just to get their foot in the door.
  • 4 0
 eh. you can get a used aluminum stumpjumper for like $2k. that's perfectly fine for 90% of riders. or even cheaper, get a used aluminum 140 hardtail.
  • 13 0
 Nice one Seb, I see Levy used to cut his own hair!
  • 6 0
 That caption about "...a young Mark Zuckerberg..." under the Levy video got a good laugh out of me Big Grin
  • 12 3
 Good tips. Also cycling gear, look to other sources. I switched to Mechanix Wear gloves years ago, and they last longer and provide both better protection and better thin padding. The Framer style is my three-season go to for six years. If you ride flats, stiff-sole hiking shoes work fine on the bike and even better if you have to carry or walk a section. Skip multi-tools that usually don't perform well and carry the Allen and Torx needed. Some big box offerings like hydration packs work just as well at half the cost. DON'T scrimp on inner cycling shorts.
  • 3 1
 Building site gloves are like £3.50
And miles ahead with fit and protection
  • 33 5
 Camelback? Toolbelt. Oakley goggles? Lab glasses. Goretex jacket? Bin liner. Overshoes? Bin liner. SWAT frame box? Bin liner. Allen key? Bin liner. Zip tie? Rolled up bin liner. Duct tape? Bin liner
  • 12 0
 I say skip the fancy inner cycling shorts. Taint calluses are free.
  • 8 1
 @VtVolk: Seriously though, if you ride a couple times a week and your rides are within that 1 to 3 hour window, I see no need for an mtb diaper. I retired the gooch a few years ago and haven't looked back. Free the taint!
  • 5 3
 @islandforlife: your PP will not work soon and you will regret that restricted blood flow
  • 3 0
 When I saw you mention mechanix gloves I was gonna chime in and say the framer ones, but you beat me to it I see. As soon as weather is warm enough that's what I wear.
  • 5 0
 @valrock: The PP appreciates proper saddle setup
  • 2 1
 @TimmyCheese: there is no proper saddle setup if on one ride you get 40 min nonstop climb, 15 min chunky descent and 1-hour flat ride to and from a trail - unless you stop and re-adjust seat to "proper" settings in between each.
  • 3 0
 @valrock: I dunno, I don't think it's crazy hard to find a setup that works for all of those and doesn't grind into your gooch. I'm referring more to saddle nose up/nose down.
  • 1 0
 I experimented with skipping the bike shorts on the MTB. It didn't work for me.

But I mostly wear my retired road bike shorts (I bike commute) underneath whatever shorts I have. Right now I'm wearing swim trunks with a cat drinking some sort of mixed drink out of a pineapple when I ride. Also wear work gloves too (also my career). Whatever Tshirt I wore to work since it is already dirty (mostly tech shirts I got from running races/triathlon). So now it's mostly just the helmet and shoes.
  • 2 0
 @valrock: I use a great ergon seat, but that's a bit of a busted myth as well, as long as you're using a fairly good seat and it's setup fairly properly, plus, you move so much on an MTB and descend a lot, you're not losing blood flow. I actually think baking your nuts in that mtb sweat bag.. is worse if you care about your reproductive potential. Free the taint!
  • 1 3
 @islandforlife: do you even climb, bro? I agree with you on descending part, but bikes can also be pointed up Big Grin
  • 4 0
 @valrock: My local can sometimes be described as the descents having more climbs than the climbs... so ya, I climb, a lot.
  • 1 0
 What this person said^
  • 4 0
 @valrock: but infertility, assuming it leads to someone being childfree, will save a massive chunk of cash
  • 9 0
 Some bike brands have very low resale value,even though they are quality bikes.Can easily pick one up of a buy sell page.Orbea comes to mind £7k bikes less than 2 year old for less than £2k.
  • 4 3
 You could also buy exclusively dented bikes which all without fail "aren't at all affected" by the huge ding in the aluminium, or carbon, downtube, or seat stay, or my favourite, fork stanchion covered in felt tip pen
  • 3 1
 @browner: you can stay away from “custom “ build bikes and once owned by … (fill in as required) as well.
  • 3 0
 Devinci and Marin also seem to fall into this category and are awesome.
  • 11 1
 My pro tip is marry someone not into cycling. I did the opposite and everything I buy I have to buy two of.
  • 6 1
 Don't use the CC-2, with enough force it will give you inaccurate readings prompting you to replace your chain early. CC-4 does it all, and is very accurate. Also how young is Levy in that video? He looks like he's 12 and just had a dozen donuts.
  • 3 0
 Rohloff Caliber 2 Wear Indicator all day!
  • 3 0
 Also no Tats yet for Levy.
  • 1 0
 @funkzander: i'll have to check it out!
  • 2 0
 @funkzander: is it now usable for SRAM chains too? The old ones were not. Only Parktool..
  • 1 0
 better early than late Wink
  • 3 0
 Seems like the answer there is to not use too much force
  • 1 1
 @pmhobson: the problem is that there's no way to tell when you've use enough pressure. Plus the cc-3.2 works better and is less than half the price
  • 3 0
 @cosbot: It's pretty intuitive, IMHO. Light pressure until it stops.
  • 3 0
 CC-2 is perfectly fine for anyone without ham hands. lol. CC-4 can still be forced in by those same neanderthals if you push hard enough. I think the take away here is that anyone that is going to fuck up the use of the CC-2 is likely to also fuck up the use of the CC-4. You can't fix stupid.
  • 1 0
 @cosbot: How expensive is a 12" ruler you already have in a desk drawer?!? A big problem is that we're made to think we need special tools for our bikes and even then a lot of places have bike co-ops that will let you use their tools.
  • 3 0
 @Mtbdialed: I agree that the amount of outrage over the CC-2 is overblown and I actually thing the CC-4 is worse. Thats why I like the 3.2 because it's stupid easy to use, has very little room for error and its the cheapest chain checker on the market
  • 7 1
 i dont know man... last 4yrs iv been on 100mmXC bikes, 130mm alloy trail bikes, and 150mm alloy trail bike. the XC bike is waaaaaay faster up. but not that anyone on here cares about XC, or going up hill anyways haha
  • 7 2
 The first five are well reasoned; the sixth, not so much. Buying used introduces all kinds of issues around buying someone else's problem. Instead, you're better off finding a closeout bike with a full warranty - in the pandemic boom, that was impossible, but now that's a thing again (yep, there are closeout sales again).

Other things missing:

Buy alloy bikes rather than carbon - they're cheaper to begin with, and often come with lifetime or at least very long frame warranties. Carbon is great - but comes with more risk of early (and expensive) failure.

Buy solid (so not cheap, but good value) parts - high end stuff is expensive for not much performance upgrade. Cheap stuff, on the other end, is cheap to buy and then costs you because it wears out too fast or breaks too easily.

Ride your bike for a good long time - bikes don't develop as fast as they used to, and bikes that were great three or four years ago are still far from obsolete today. Hell, if you need to, get an angle set the next time it's time for a new head set so you can get your geometry updated if you must.

Invest in skills rather than bike/parts upgrades - it's amazing how much return on investment you can get on some coaching. It's really hard to get a noticeable upgrade in performance and enjoyment by going up one or two notches in bike spec - but it's really easy to get a very noticeable difference spending the same amount of money on a good coach. Bonus - you end up becoming a smoother rider, breaking less stuff.
  • 5 0
 Having bought mainly second (or even third) hand bikes with no issues - and having been able to sell those forward again - that's the one bit I disagree with. Of course there are more risks, but if you know what your looking for and how to check for some obvious issues, it's a great choice. (And a more sustainable one, instead of making new bikes for everyone all the time, says the eco hippie in me.)

Everything else is absolutely spot on.
  • 4 0
 @donimo:
My 2 bikes and my sons bikes were all purchased used.
No complaints at all. Sometimes you benefit from other people’s upgrades as well.
My used Patrol came with a full Xo1 drivetrain and kashima 36. Components that I couldn’t or wouldn’t pay for on a new bike.
  • 8 1
 but what am I supposed to be outraged about then? headset cable routing can’t get me through a whole day
  • 12 1
 I came here pre-triggered
  • 5 0
 Despite my stable of bikes that I've spent way too much on, my mountain biking addiction is way cheaper than wake boarding habit. It's the most expensive hobby possible....except horses!
  • 11 0
 and horses ruin trails more than ebikes Smile
  • 6 0
 You've made me curious what the most expensive hobby is. Launching oneself into space like the bald amazon guy did has got to be up there in terms of expense!
  • 6 1
 Aviation
  • 9 0
 Someone hasn't competed in the World Cup of sailing.
  • 12 0
 @kcy4130: planes, boats, and race cars all are extremely effective at reducing stress caused by too many commas in your bank account statement
  • 1 0
 @sjma: yup added up my motorcycle racing losses and realized I could have bought a second house mortgage free.
  • 35 0
 You don’t know expensive until you’ve tried to teach your horses to wakeboard
  • 3 0
 @VtVolk: only ever figured out how to get my horses to water ski, wakeboarding was too hard for the big dummies
  • 3 0
 @kcy4130: Since space tourism is his new "business", I'm sure his trip to space was used as a tax write-off.
  • 2 0
 @kcy4130: anything that flies, floats or f*cos is expensive.
  • 3 0
 @BarneyStinson: your horse wakeboards, too?
  • 2 0
 @VtVolk: Yes. He’s a floating f*cker that occasionally flies.
  • 1 0
 Horses aren't terribly expensive, depending on where you live. I live in the worst possible place in America to own one. But he's a rescue and still cheaper than a therapist, or so I tell myself.
  • 3 0
 @VtVolk: Try teaching your horses to wakeboard IN SPACE
  • 8 0
 WoW Mike Levy with no tattoos. I will leave this here!
  • 7 0
 Surprised no one mentioned avoid crashing. One injury could cost more than most bikes and that is with insurance.
  • 5 1
 I still use my 2005 Cannondale Prophet and my 2013 Specialized Enduro 29er ... I will never take these bikes to their fullest potential and only need to have them maintained to their best and I can enjoy all my fave enduro type trails and some DH runs ... these bikes are fully capable for all I do and will replace them when they are irreparable. Enough is enough with the sales pitches ... I can afford to spend $7500 but wont ... gimme a break they shouldn't cost more than MX motorcycles minus an engine.
  • 1 1
 I completely agree, my youngest son paid a tic over $5K for a lightly used 2020 CR450F Honda...
  • 4 0
 "Typically, a bike with an aluminum frame and workhorse components will be around a kilogram (2.2 lb) or so heavier than the top build with a carbon frame and flagship parts.
That may sound like a lot..."

Written that way, it actually does NOT sound like a lot. Anyone outside of our ridiculous sport would laugh at that weight as being a consideration.
  • 3 0
 Also consider the fact that people will spend $200 to shave 50g off some component and then go and put a 2 lb bottle of water on the downtube every ride.
  • 5 0
 @vitaflo: not really trying to justify a $4/gram weight saving budget, but I think that argument is a little flawed, as the bottle is going to be there regardless of what the rest of the bike weighs
  • 4 0
 @vitaflo: Consider the 'fact' that people will save a kg of weight by not taking water on a ride and then feel like shit and ride slower because they get dehydrated.
  • 3 0
 Reduce my pizza and beer intake to lose 2.2 lbs for the win-win. Carrying a pony keg around my waist then blowing a thousand extra to save 2 lbs seems a bit illogical.
  • 3 0
 I'm going to have to buy used, even with a good income justifying the cost of a 3,4,5,or 6 thousand dollar bicycle is very hard to do, especially when the US economy is as close to another depression as it is. The last bike I bought was a Yeti SB66 end of season for under $3K in 2013 ~ had it not been for the wheel size wars I'd never think of buying another (good tires in 26" are getting more difficult to find).
  • 4 0
 i'm kinda tired of people wining about expensive bikes, sure they are expensive, but then don't buy them! if you keep your priorities strait you don't have to spend an arm and a leg to ride.
  • 3 0
 I just recently bought my 2nd, 2nd hand road endurance bike, couple years old, Told it was mint and done bugger all but once i got it all sorted needed new cassette, chain & RD and new tyres,
In total NZD was pretty much anther 1/2 of the price i paid for the bike. - This is why i dont usally buy second hand, who knows whats lurking in these bikes.no warranty or anything.

When i started buying new cars it was the best thing i ever did to be "worry free" same with bikes.
  • 3 0
 My tip: Don't be seduced by new stuff. Unless you're racing, most MTB stuff will last at least 10 years before it starts to become obsolete (if it ever really does) and durability has come on loads with trickle down tech from racing. This tip helps to save the planet too.
  • 7 1
 Can't afford nice mountain bikes? Easy solution is to start an only fans.
  • 3 0
 Highly doubt anybody want to pay for watching an ugly man like me naked..but then again,these are mad times
  • 2 0
 @lenniDK: reverse stripping?
  • 1 0
 What about the guys?
  • 1 0
 Or start an only fans account and send people pictures of your twig and berries until they pay you $14.99 to stop. Get rich!
  • 4 0
 Buy aluminum. Buy Last years-ish model. Ride stuff until it's actually worn out. I don't do second two cause I'm dumb, but if I was smart I would.
  • 1 1
 Even better, buy that aluminium last yearish model (barely) used, from someone who does need to have the latest ones - in their quiver of bikes so they really don't have time to ride them all before updating, so you can then wear them out. (This is the only way I've been able to have some pretty nice bikes actually considering my budget, well worth of maintaining and even upgrading bit by bit as things wear in use. Okay, the first one was a brand new last season hardtail for a ridiculous bargain, but the ones after second hand. I'm still on my first gravel bike, 2018 model bought used in 2019. I'd be able to put in wider tires in a newer model, but that's about it, totally not worth it.)
  • 1 0
 @donimo: These are the real geniuses.
  • 4 0
 This was an excuse to post a 'straight man' Levi talking about chain wear. At some point there was a slack chat 'how can we get this video on the homepage again?'
  • 2 0
 One thing I've learned the hard way: buy more durable rims then you think you'll need. Pushing the limit of how light of an aluminum rim you can use has been a recipe for dinged rims and never true wheels for me. The weight penalty for a more durable wheel isn't huge and (IMO!) carbon can be worth it. Especially if it lasts for 5-10 years.
  • 3 1
 Promoting working on your own bike is good for a lot of reasons but not really to save money, beyond the basics. First, there are specialized tools that, while maybe not 100% required, turn a really hard task (where you might do expensive damage) into a trivial one: lower fork service, replacing drivetrains, TRIGGER WARNING: internal cable routing through the headset, bearings, anything where you are cutting something. Also, a lot of tools are specific to the make & model of what you're working on. Finally parts can be really hard to find and/or stupid expensive. Looking at you Sram/ROCKSHOX. Unless you really enjoy it or value your time at zero I say do the easiest & most common things yourself (ex: tune-up, brake bleeding, tire changes), then find a LBS tech you like & trust and pay them to do it right.
  • 2 0
 Buy metal bikes. Buy externally-routed bikes. Buy coil shocks. Buy reliable mechanical drivetrains. Do your own work. Repeat n+1 times.

I'd rather own a modern, lightish trail hardtail and a bombproof steel enduro sled that each shine on opposite ends of the spectrum, instead of a $12,000 carbon "QUIVER-KILLER" that does nothing particularly well.
  • 2 0
 Being your own mechanic can save a ton. And if you work on your buddies bikes, fixing stuff, and installing upgrades, you often times are rewarded (or paid) with used bike parts. Used frames and components can be found cheap, just have to know what you're looking for, and have patience. I built TWO Canfield framed, DVO suspension bikes for less than half the cost of ONE new one. All used parts found on PinkBike, Ebay, and my local FB market place.
  • 2 0
 I’ve started working on my bikes, not necessarily to save money, but cause I honestly don’t trust LBSs. Last few times I’ve brought it to them, they’ve messed something up. I changed the entire drivetrain on one bike and when I brought it back cause it wasn’t shifting correctly, the guy said I had to pedal hard when I shifted and “shift with force.”
  • 1 0
 Same here. I’ve had too many bodged jobs done by them.
  • 2 0
 Another good option is upgrading the weak points on the bike you currently have. Hi end custom tuned suspension is not what some would consider "less expensive" but it can definitely be a cheaper option than buying a whole new bike with the same or marginally better dampers than ones current bike. Most people we work with are very surprised with how much an exceptional suspension set up can transform a bike they thought they knew the potential of.
  • 2 0
 So, leaving to the side the irrelevant suggestions to work to maintain your bike, the advise boils down to: buy a cheaper aluminum one and don't buy a quiver!

A better advise might be to get an aluminum trail oriented bike, it saves around $1500, and then try to recover the extra weight by shaving off weight from the wheels, tires, and components, or better yet invest the difference in a better fork and shock

And forget super-enduro if you want to save money. A heavy 170 travel bike does not climb even remotely as easily as a XC oriented one. No matter what pseudo-tests people do on pink bike. You do not see people using a super enduro bike at XC races, even at the local level ... or really on trails that do not involve ultra-ragged tarrain or monster drops!

If you go with the cheapest option, that is picking an aluminum frame with a low end gruppo, you end up with a bike that is $4000 lighter on the wallet, has ok fork/shock, and is about 3 Kg heavier. You can still have a lot of fun with it.
  • 3 1
 I like the "give up mountain biking option". Please!! From waht I see atour local trailheads - that's get most of the debris off the trails.

Especially with trails now infested with $12k motorcycles masquerading as "emtb's". And so many overamped 13yo 50yo blowhards & their flabbyass buddies coasting down the climb road cuz they 4got to charge the friggin battery (read "fuel"). Or are broke down on the trail - and without resources, expect that soon will come a real mountain biker to get them on their way - while they stand there enveloped in a stinking cloud of tobacco smoke.

Mountain biking has become overwhelming enuf that to truly enjoy the trails & enjoy the fellowship of other serious mountain bikers - one must ride before or after weekend "prime time", or ride the little-used epic trails that exist everywhere that emtb's are not, e.g.; decidedly non-park groomed flight-zones, with real obstacles that require real skills to negotiate smoothly, or in the most entertaining case - negotiate at all.

Can't believe that so many people have willingly: 1. Convinced themselves that they're weak & have no inner strength, and that manual bicycling is just to harrrrrrd, and thrn; 2. Prostrated themselves in a bike shop full of real bicyclists - publically acknowledging that they are in fact weak & without a smidge of toughness. Basically..., willing to degrade themselves as one of the hoards who value instant mediocrity over all else & are convinced that IM somehow proves them to be worthy of being called a "mountain biker".

Then tossing everything into a jacked-up under-muffled over-tyred one-ton crew-cab long-box 4x dresser pickup that requires a short stepladder just to enter, that has never ever hauled a load weighing more than 250lb (all ebikes), or ever ever been in 4WD, or been driven on a road more challenging than a two-lane daily-graded gravel road.

Motorsports for those guys. Go get a real offroad motorbike & revel in the realization that instant mediocrity isn't worth a hoot, as you feel the slow inevitable hi-speed tree-bashing.

Or take an ax to your "investment?", pick up a non-designer trail-worthy alloy-framed hardtail, trade in your embareassment pickup for a normal 10yo pee-cup - and use the savings to: ride more, find trail systems that exist more than 10 miles from where you live, learn that yes - pain really is a sure sign of weakness leaving your body.

If you really like bikes & not so much interested in the most recent fad - you'll stay with it, make friendships based on more that common mediocrity, and get genuinely hard - physically and mentally.

And fer chrissakes - quit staring at yourself through your rose colored glasses. All you're doing is getting in everybody's way, and making a fool of yourself.
  • 2 0
 Not a fan then?
  • 3 0
 basic tech, alloy frame, external routing, Stop expanding seatpost and handlebar sizes, keep standard sizes for more than 2 years lol
  • 1 0
 YES! YES!!
  • 3 0
 I wish manufacturers made bikes and components for third-world countries. honestly, we can't afford the bikes and maintenance.
  • 2 0
 So awesome how Seb backs up his thoughts and points with other articles and studies he's done. Great writing! I would love if pb had more well thought out articles like the ones Seb does.
  • 5 0
 Keep your bike longer than a year.
  • 4 0
 Getting the advent calendar winners their prizes would be a good way for them to save money, too.
  • 4 0
 But you do need a quiver of bikes, right? Otherwise life isn’t worth living
  • 5 0
 "You don't need a "quiver" of bikes"

I feel attacked.
  • 1 0
 I have the greatest idea ever to make bikes less expensive for manufacturers !
Make the cables pass through the headset !
like that no more hard to build tube in tube tech and complicated carbone tread to rigidify the drilled frame zones.
servicing will be a bit harder but the frames will look cleaner and will be easier and way cheaper to produce !
It’s a win win !
Wait …
  • 2 0
 Not at all what i wanted to see, i wanna know what the industry can do to become more affordable. For the individual its always gonna boil down to buy less new/expensive stuff.
  • 1 0
 Buy lightly used entry level bikes and upgrade them with take-off components. You get discounts and get the benefit of picking/choosing what to upgrade and you get to learn how to work on bikes while still having a bike thats nearly brand new. I've been doing this since I was like 12 lol.
  • 1 0
 Common sense tip that applies to anything, but just set a budget and stick to it. I use Mint.com for tracking this. Any leftover goes into a designated account each month, or if I overspent my budget, I pull money out of that account back into the general fund. If I want to buy something big, I have to save up for it. The system sets my priorities are set for me: having a functional and maintained bike is #1 top priority, so I can ride. Safety gear next. Upgrades come third. Fancy bike clothes are absolutely not on the list.
  • 2 0
 10 speed, 35+ psi in your rear tire, quarter turn your pivot bearings periodically and regular suspension lowers service without changing the seals. I'd say it's still a cheap hobby if you want it to be.
  • 1 0
 Wait until fall 2023 when the demand on bikes will finally be through the pandemic bubble, and many of those buyers are selling. Swoop into shops or the used market and hit up the good deals. Bound to happen with the glut of bikes that is appearing now and with bike manufacturers struggling due to high inflation and a recession. Kind of like the stalwarts reward for making through the totally messed up market for the last three years.
  • 2 0
 Things are crazy right now. I’m gainfully employed and biking has long been my thing, but I still wouldn’t want to pay for what some companies charge for their base models. Not really an accessible sport anymore.
  • 1 0
 All good advice tbh. I love having a quiver though and totally disagree on having one do it all, but certainly correct in saying you don’t NEED that.

Not caring about weight, buying used, and doing your own basic maintenance will make the sport very accessible to most.
  • 1 0
 @ldhbaker: This is the math to be done and taken! How much you ride a year vs how much you´ve spent.
"The most expensive bike is that you don´t use"
So, for my 9k HT, with ~150 rides on it´s 1st year, it costed me $60 per ride. After 2nd year, maintenance and spares started to count, but the bike value will now dillute over the next 5 years I hope to keep it. So, in the end, the ride cost will be about this $20-30 mentioned before (a movie ticket?).
And, when you arrive home after a 3-6-9 hour ride this $ have really paid the happines!
  • 1 0
 @tipsword: I know it seems expensive, and it might be! But we still gotta think our sport is a niche. How many CR450F Honda´s were built and how many all models Specialized (just a brand example), I think there should be more Honda´s, which should share parts with theirs smaller and bigger sisters. How can a bike brake pad cost the same as a car brake pad which weights 20-30 times more? It is not just the material weight, but also the technology on it and, once again, the amount produced, which lower the prices.
  • 1 0
 No offense, but the technology hasn't radically changed to support your argument. The shear number of bicycles relative to any other form of locomotion is staggering. The only niche here is to support the focused use of MTB. The general numbers of bicycles made worldwide is 17-20 million sold in the last year. 364,000 bicycles are produced per day. So, let's follow the money and see that it supports a small segment of developers and then into the pockets of people that should they choose, could substantially reduce the cost if they wanted to. Sadly, these prices at the end reflect what people are willing to pay without exerting any prudent thought into the matter. If people weren't so eager to pay obscene money for their toys those toys would indeed be less (whether bikes, motorcycles or yoyo's...) I see this trend everywhere, I'm very involved in the VW camper community and what once was a $2K bus is selling for $20k now due to the mythos surrounding "van-life" It's all ridiculous.
  • 1 0
 "Typically, a bike with an aluminum frame and workhorse components will be around a kilogram (2.2 lb) or so heavier than the top build with a carbon frame and flagship parts."

This may have already been posted already, but in my experience, the difference is generally 5-8 lbs - not 2.2
  • 1 0
 Saying Mountain Biking is as expensive as motor racing is overly exaggerated. Yes the bikes and components are expensive but they last pretty long. For car racing, you need at least one new set of tires per day ($2000-$3500). Even go kart racing needs one new set a day at least ($250). Tires for mountain biking cost no more than $160/set and last for a long time.
  • 1 0
 I will be taking a hard look at alloy frames next time I buy a new bike, not only for the cost but for greater durability and much smaller carbon footprint. I'll have a much harder time giving up carbon rims!
  • 7 1
 An Aluminum Bike with Carbon rims probably makes a lot more sense than Vise Versa. Saving weight where it counts
  • 2 0
 Get a Banshee and don't look back.
  • 2 1
 You know that episode of Atlanta where Darius trades a phone for a sword, then a sword for a dog, then the dog for $2000? That's basically how I got my bike. It's worth about £7k, but it only cost me £1500.
  • 2 0
 To the first point, unless you're already at 6% body fat, you can most definitely lose 2.2+ lbs off your person, for free, to the benefit of your own health.
  • 3 0
 how about about: 1) dont name massively overpriced products 'product of the year'. E.G. $100+ valve stems...
  • 1 0
 Naming something 'product of the year' is free. If you start your own YouTube channel and get a lot of bot followers, you can even make money by naming some overpriced products 'of the year'
  • 2 0
 Exactly why I own 1 ride...I upgraded significantly but good to go...minimal spare parts as needed only...spare pads and 1 set of tires!
  • 3 0
 Can we get non "yeehaw" units in future articles for us European folk? That will be highly appreciated Smile
  • 1 1
 The most expensive bike is always going to be cheaper than open heart surgery.

Buy the best bike you can afford, ride it as often as you can. Upgrade when parts wear out and always buy close-out / discontinued models for the most cost effective savings.

P.s. Only professional bike riders seem to think that weight doesn’t matter on a bike. I would argue that the more average of a rider you are, the more you notice those types of things on a bike.
  • 1 0
 Save money by...
- Super hard compound tyres (warning, you may crash more)
- Long lasting metallic brake pads (warning, your friends will stop inviting you on rides cause of the noise)
  • 1 1
 Great article, gotta say i think a miss here is that the issue of having multiple bikes is speed. Sure, you can pedal a 180 mil bike up and along xc climbs/trails and it can be just as fast. But which one is going to be more efficient and way more importantly which one is going to be more fun. I only have one bike but I gotta say I dont think the appeal to a quiver is only speed, its the fact that a 180 mil bike will be fun in the park but a 130 mil bike will feel quick snapy and dare i say playful on diferent terrain, same with xc bikes hardtails etc.
  • 2 0
 @BarneyStinson, not sure but a 50 does I was curious if it would work and had some extra GX parts and a SunRace cassette so I gave it a go.
  • 2 0
 Everybody and their mother are jumping their bike's now. Entry level through high end. Makes it a little more risky to buy a used bike
  • 1 0
 Similarly, trails are getting progressively more technical to keep them interesting as bike technology evolves.
  • 1 0
 getting it right first time round would make things less expensive when doing a custom build. tho i’m hesitant about whether carbon riser bar with 9 degrees of back sweep will stop my fingers going numb.
  • 1 0
 So are you tryna say a heavy trials bike is ok? or a heavy slopestyl/dj bike/bmx bike is alright bruh not all bikes are good at heavy you know what i mean like not that heavy but not that good to be little bit heavy
  • 4 0
 Abstinence works best.
  • 4 1
 No carbon. Less integration. Coil suspension. Mid range drive trains.
  • 6 0
 Deore is the way to go and avoid sram sx
  • 1 1
 Coil is really not any cheaper than air. What is your point there?
  • 3 0
 @bman33: Coils shocks generally go a lot longer between needing to be serviced.
  • 1 0
 @kcy4130: Fair point there. Was thinking initial cost, which is about the same
  • 1 0
 @bman33: way longer running time without service, less chance for defects
  • 3 0
 have companies lower the price. immediate savings.
  • 3 0
 get a Polygon and you're set
  • 1 0
 Preach
  • 2 0
 I love cycling. Endless fun. Fitness. Mental restoration. Competition. Good friends. Beers. Best use of $$ in my life.
  • 4 0
 Microshift AdventX
  • 1 0
 ha, thats an old video, when i didnt use to like mike "how is this kid my own age and has a cool job on the interwebs on such a cool website?"
  • 3 0
 buy a budge commencal and have it crack 3 times in your first season lol
  • 2 0
 A healthy used bike and parts market goes a long way into finding affordable ways to get into the sport.
  • 4 1
 STOP BUYING NEW BIKES YOUR 2014 BIKE IS STILL GREAT
  • 2 0
 ....but the comments said it was unrideable
  • 2 0
 I am surprised they didn't do: 6 Ways to Live Dirtbag Cheap and Fund Your Overpriced MTB Habit.
  • 2 0
 2 tips for making mountain biking cheaper. Don't spend as much and fix it yourself
  • 1 0
 Has this author ever been a bike industry product manager? or ever made any products? Or is just an article based on fantasy?
  • 1 0
 #7 would be to win something of value, like in the PB advent calendar contest for example….. but we all know that’s a pipe dream.
  • 3 0
 Did that really happen, or was it just a dream?
  • 2 0
 Another way: stop buying top spec anything. You don’t need it and it’s not going to make you ride better
  • 2 0
 Also if you ride regularly, don’t buy bottom spec anything either, it’ll wear out too quickly and will need replacing.
  • 1 0
 @BarneyStinson: used top spec!!!
  • 2 0
 Yeah, XX1, XTR, Ultimate or Factory won't make you faster. But they sure as hell make the ride more enjoyable.
  • 1 0
 I'd recommend scouring Friday Fails for those riders who have recently retired from mountain biking. Gonna be some killer deals to be had there!
  • 2 0
 My dad used to say, “it’s a better deal if you don’t buy anything at all”.He was an amazing man.
  • 1 0
 Buy El Roy HT from some guy who bought new during Covid and sold on Kij for $1000 less. Brain bucket, decent shoes and a pair of MB shorts. Ride, giggle, rinse and repeat.
  • 2 0
 We started our company for this reason. Used bikes are just as fun as new ones. And a heck of alot cheaper
  • 2 0
 I bought a house. I don’t have any money left to spend on bikes. It works really well
  • 1 0
 Me (15yr old with no income and my parents don’t buy me bikes at this point) does all of this then goes and buys a top of the line 18lb XC race bike but races enduro
  • 2 0
 Wait until the cycling industry bubble burst……. Oh wait!
  • 2 0
 Buy a stooge sell all other bikes
  • 2 0
 Ignore all the latest gadgets and doodads.
  • 2 0
 Enter contests and win stuffs. Wait, bad idea.
  • 1 0
 I would like to think that the winners of the Advent Calendar saved some money, if and whomever they are!! #stillwaiting
  • 2 0
 I'm still running my chain with two temporary master links. Lol.
  • 1 0
 Wrong. I need at least three bikes. My currently two just isn't cutting it.
  • 1 0
 Spend money on good tires and good suspension. The rest can be mediocre. Riding experience will still be very good.
  • 1 0
 I'm fairly certain, #1 is do not go anywhere near this website, Vital etc...
  • 1 0
 "Here's a young Mark Zuckerberg explaining how to measure your chain stretch." Meta's got your chain. How did we miss this?
  • 2 0
 Best way to afford mountain biking… don’t be not rich.
  • 1 0
 built up a run bike in my size, I go thru more shoes but the bike lasts forever
  • 1 0
 Cheat code around not having a quiver of bikes. Get a wife with a hardtail that you ride more than she does.
  • 1 0
 3k-9k is the sweet spot. If you are paying more than that you are out of your mind.
  • 1 1
 If you purchase an ebike at all, you're out of your mind. Or (with the exception of those who truly need them, just the opposite occurs), simply proving that you're weak.
  • 1 0
 And a couple days later they have an article on a titanium run bike... WTF bruh
  • 1 0
 Couching may be a cheaper sport until your arteries clog and need a forklift to get you to the fat farm.
  • 4 3
 Choose a cheaper sport, like off-roading.
  • 2 0
 yep! hahaha
  • 5 0
 The quickest way to feel you haven't overspent on your bike is to look at how much you spent on your overland gear.
  • 3 0
 Funny, 20 years ago I went from BMX to MTB cause it was way cheaper than moto and off-roading, now it's the opposite. Rebuilding a King or Fox 2.5 cost less than servicing a dual crown fork. Only downside is you usually have 8 of them. MSRP on The 23 Honda 450x is 9800 bucks. Full face MTB helmets cost the same or more as a moto. Hmmm 600 for Carbon full MTB or 600 for a carbon full face moto.
  • 1 0
 The most important is missing, shut pinkbike buysell and marketplace
  • 1 0
 First way: find another sport.
  • 2 0
 Marry a dentist
  • 1 0
 This article is complete Bollox…..
Live in the real world
  • 1 0
 I thought mtbers are rich
  • 1 0
 Don't buy new bike crap during a pandemic.
  • 1 0
 Best advise: just ride the bike you already have.
  • 1 0
 "You don't need a "quiver" of bikes" - what is this blasphemy???
  • 1 0
 Rubs eyes to title of article.......
  • 1 0
 step one: stop advertising on PB.
  • 5 5
 And……. Give up Mountain biking, pick another sport
  • 2 0
 Like . . . badminton.
  • 1 0
 Great article!
  • 1 2
 I got a great idea. Get a better paying job or work two. If you really love the sport, you’ll find a way.
  • 1 0
 N+1!!
How dare you!
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