The Entry Fee For
Prices for mountain bikes range from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. Between these two extremes are
bikes listed at a mind-numbing number of price
points. So, how do you decide how much to spend?
Do you really need to spend until it hurts? Should a
new rider spend less than an experienced pro?
COST OF DOING BUSINESS
$99 to $499: These bikes only look like mountain bikes.
They are too heavy, and the components are not durable
enough for sustained off-road usage. If you want to try
mountain biking, you are better off borrowing a mountain
bike from a friend who is into the sport or renting a good
one from a bike shop. You will not enjoy true mountain
biking on a sub-$500 bike.
$500 to $800: Steer clear of dual-suspension bikes in
this price range, because to deliver rear suspension, the
manufacturer had to cut back somewhere else. Limit your
choices to an aluminum hardtail with a short-travel ( 3.1 to
Your guide to financial success
Give till it hurts: If you plan to go cross-country racing with
the intent of moving out of the beginner’s class, there is no
way around it: you are going to have to spend some bucks.
Competitive cross-country race bikes don’t come cheap.
Great start: A bike like the $899 KHS SixFifty 500, with its
27.5-inch wheels, 3x10 drivetrain and aluminum frame, is
a recommended choice. In our test (Mountain Bike Action,
December 2013) we said, “It is a real mountain bike that you
can ride ‘as-is’ or apply logical upgrades to without a guilty