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Anyone else hate how expensive Mountain Biking is?

RitchezRitchez Posts: 14
edited March 2015 in MTB general
For starters, a decent full suspension bike will cost well over £1000. A good hardtail will set you back £600 atleast.

Then you've got all the equipment (helmet, clothing, shoes, accessories). Can easily set you back a further £200.

Maintenance & tools (servicing, oils, lubricants, pump) will set you back a fair bit as well.

Bike rack and petrol money if you live far away from the trails.

Mountain biking is a very expensive sport. It's frustrating because I would have loved to do it when I was younger, but my parents could simply not afford all of the above. I was always jealous of kids that came from well-off families and could afford the above.

It was only recently when I started working full time that I saved up enough just to buy the basics.

Anyone else feel the same? Did you come from a well-off family and get all the best gear handed to you? Or did you have to work for your bike?
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  • RockmonkeySCRockmonkeySC Posts: 15,247
    Most sports are expensive. But they don't have to be.
    You can get a reasonable hardtail for £400. It won't be a high performance but it will do the job. The more performance you want, the more you have to spend.
  • russyhrussyh Posts: 1,375
    Well, you can buy second hand for a start and save yourself money if you really are on that tight a budget. Not to mention some of the benefits of something like the cycle to work scheme.

    I am in my mid 30's I work hard, bloody hard in fact. So I guess i'm of an age where I have disposable income. But remember MTB riding is a sport that require equipment, therefore there has to be an initial start up cost. But once you are over that start up cost its a relatively cheap sport. Trail centres and alike cost nothing to use, tyres last a good while as does the equipment. Also you have an asset that has a really good residual value.
  • TwellyTwelly Posts: 1,437
    Cheap second hand bike + 2 reasonable knobby tyres could be as little as £50. Lids can be had for £15. That's the essentials to go and ride a bike off road, some would say the helmet is optional. It's as expensive as you make it. Even if that is too expensive, I can safely say most people will know at least one person with a bike in the garage that never gets used - "Dave you know that bike you bought 6 years ago and rode once on that one warm day? Can I borrow it for a couple of hours on sunday?"

    Maintenance + tools? A half decent multi tool will set you back about a tenner and will fix 90% of problems with a modern push bike. The occasional things that need specific tools can be done at a good LBS for a few pounds.

    Bike rack? Boot.

    Petrol money? Seriously? If you don't think it is worth a couple of quids worth of fuel to go riding for the day than maybe its time to take up knitting.
  • BloggingFitBloggingFit Posts: 919
    You should have been riding 20 years ago if you think it's expensive now. Relative to the technology available now Mountain Bikes offer far better value for money than ever.

    You say about clothing. You ever bought a football or rugby replicate kit recently?

    For tools a multi tool will cover most aspects. Places like lidl and costco offer extensive tool kits for £20 which are decent value.
    Bird Aeris : Trek Remedy 9.9 29er : Trek Procaliber 9.8 SL
  • plugp7plugp7 Posts: 351
    Compared with say following a premier league at all there home matches, MTBing is not that expensive. A good hardtail with potential for upgrading, kit and a few tools will cost you a lot less than £1K if bought wisely. Your bike should last at least 3 years with regular servicing and a few replacement parts. Your kit need not be bike specific and can be gathered over a period of time and, you don't it all on day one, just a good helmet and padded shorts as a minimum.

    No, it need not be expensive to get a lot of excitement out of it.
    I don't compete, so for me it's not a sport, it's a leisure activity, but then, that's another argument!!!
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    What's wrong with opening the front door and riding?

    That is what we did in the 80s. No need to pay anyone anything.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • BriggoBriggo Posts: 3,823
    nicklouse wrote:
    What's wrong with opening the front door and riding?

    That is what we did in the 80s. No need to pay anyone anything.

    You stole all your gear back in the 80s then did you?

    Otherwise, without paying anyone anything how did you get your bike in the first place. :P
  • RockmonkeySCRockmonkeySC Posts: 15,247
    Briggo wrote:
    nicklouse wrote:
    What's wrong with opening the front door and riding?

    That is what we did in the 80s. No need to pay anyone anything.

    You stole all your gear back in the 80s then did you?

    Otherwise, without paying anyone anything how did you get your bike in the first place. :P

    So thats what happened to my Raleigh Activator with the smiley face rear wheel disc.
  • Man Of LardMan Of Lard Posts: 903
    TwellySmat wrote:
    Petrol money? Seriously? If you don't think it is worth a couple of quids worth of fuel to go riding for the day than maybe its time to take up knitting.
    Have you seen the price of wool and knitting needles these days? :mrgreen:

    You can make this as expensive as you like (or as cheap) - if you don't have all the tools, buy them as you need them. Buy them second hand... Scrounge them from wherever...

    The last bike that was bought for me I was in primary school - I've bought all my bikes since then (admittedly there was about a 20 year hiatus between university & taking it up again 3-4 years ago) - brand new hardtail MTB was under £250 in Edinburgh Bike Co-op sale - managed to wear it out after 3½ years of abuse. Probably could have repaired it but gave it to a bike recycling project for ex-offenders and buy a new (well new to me) bike from them for £180...
  • kirby700kirby700 Posts: 458
    Its ways been expensive but like someone said earlier it seemed much worse in the 1990s. My trek 830 was £330 in 1991 then I fitted a flexstem for £80. That bike although quite good was no where near the quality you get now. Helmets were £30 at least as were gloves and shorts. I guess in real terms its probably better now.
    GIANT XTC 2.5
    BOARDMAN TEAM FS - NOW GONE
    NUKEPROOF MEGA TR 275 COMP
    YT INDUSTRIES CAPRA
  • stubsstubs Posts: 5,001
    Bike £200 will get you a decent starter bike off ebay
    Clothing £60 will get you shorts top and a decent helmet, shoes what do you normally wear because trainers will do.
    Maintenance £10 for a multi tool £10 for a pump and youtube and google are free.
    Fig rolls: proof that god loves cyclists and that she wants us to do another lap
  • warpcowwarpcow Posts: 1,448
    As someone said it's as cheap of expensive as you want it to be. But, with that said, I doubt many parents with no interest in cycling themselves are going to place the whole £100-200 budget for their little one's b/day present into an ebay bargain that might be a censored . It's easy for us to know what to do from where we stand, but hopefully we also represent a decent amount of knowledge to help people make these choices.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    Careful buying you can get a good used bike on the trails with decent tyres for £120, that's what my sons first bike cost, cheap clothing from Aldi/Lidl and you could be in the trail for £160 ish.
  • dirkpitt74dirkpitt74 Posts: 518
    As others have said - it's as expensive as you make it.
    Pretty much any 'hobby' can be expensive.

    In the past I've done the following:

    SCUBA diving (Pretty much all my kit was bought second hand from various club members) still an expensive hobby but I was just as happy diving my local quarry as the Red Sea. Kit cost about £1K, weekly dives about £20, air fills, servicing, Trips to the coast, Holidays abroad, etc. would easily take £2K year.

    Karting - even 'budget' racing gets expensive as someone always has a bigger budget than you! I looked at a series called 'Easi Kart' which was supposed to level the playing field but as usual cash is king and if you could afford 3 sets of tyres for a weekend you were bound to be better of than those who made a set last 3 weekends. Same went for test days and engine rebuilds - some guys had rebuilds every couple of races others at the end of the season. You're looking at £10k start-up year and then £4-5K per season to stay competitive.

    Watch collection/buying/trading - don't even get me started!!!

    As for MTB - most of the guys I ride with have what you'd probably call budget bikes - Carrera, Voodoo, Rockrider and Boardman etc. But you know what? It doesn't matter - it depends on the riding you do. They all cope well with our local trails at Cannock - Dog & Monkey, Off-Piste and the likes Degla.

    I get most of my kit in the sales and some of it used. In the last 12 months, including buying my bike (end of season sale with BC discount and cash back on top so £600 bike for £380'ish) and getting all my kit, spares, tools, upgrades and a skills course (best £50 so far!) I've probably spent about £1k.

    Do I think that's expensive? Not really for a 'start up' year - my tools and kit will last a while and so will my bike (unless cycle to work tempts me for a Bird Zero....).

    Compare to most of the hobbies I've had it's cheap!! I suppose living next to Cannock Chase has the advantage that I can cycle to the trails.
  • peatpeat Posts: 1,242
    Look at it as Skiing that you can do 12 months of the year. But ultimately you spend as much or as little as you like.

    DirkPitt - I'm a seasoned karter and have reduced my calender massively to 'save money'. I just find i'm spending more on my bikes instead.... A work in progress.
  • markhewitt1978markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    Ritchez wrote:
    For starters, a decent full suspension bike will cost well over £1000. A good hardtail will set you back £600 atleast.

    Then you've got all the equipment (helmet, clothing, shoes, accessories). Can easily set you back a further £200.

    Maintenance & tools (servicing, oils, lubricants, pump) will set you back a fair bit as well.

    Bike rack and petrol money if you live far away from the trails.

    Mountain biking is a very expensive sport. It's frustrating because I would have loved to do it when I was younger, but my parents could simply not afford all of the above. I was always jealous of kids that came from well-off families and could afford the above.

    It was only recently when I started working full time that I saved up enough just to buy the basics.

    Anyone else feel the same? Did you come from a well-off family and get all the best gear handed to you? Or did you have to work for your bike?

    Yup, pretty much the same for road biking too - although 98% of my rides start from my front door.
  • Chunkers1980Chunkers1980 Posts: 8,035
    you mean back door. and 100%
  • markhewitt1978markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    you mean back door. and 100%

    haha. It is actually my front door as getting out of the back involves unlocking and relocking the back door then unchaining and rechaining the padlock on the gate, easier to carry the bike through the house!

    The other 2% are the occasional sportive or times when I take my bike to work with me.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    I do a ride once a week with the local club, out the door, two miles to meeting point, ride 15-20 miles on local singletrack, ride home, total cost is wear and tear only, cheaper than just driving to the gym (without even walking in the door).
  • Chunkers1980Chunkers1980 Posts: 8,035
    you mean back door. and 100%

    haha. It is actually my front door as getting out of the back involves unlocking and relocking the back door then unchaining and rechaining the padlock on the gate, easier to carry the bike through the house!

    The other 2% are the occasional sportive or times when I take my bike to work with me.



    Whoosh...... Perhaps it was too cryptic....
  • TwellyTwelly Posts: 1,437
    you mean back door. and 100%

    haha. It is actually my front door as getting out of the back involves unlocking and relocking the back door then unchaining and rechaining the padlock on the gate, easier to carry the bike through the house!

    The other 2% are the occasional sportive or times when I take my bike to work with me.



    Whoosh...... Perhaps it was too cryptic....

    If it makes you feel better, I got it.
  • MattharrierMattharrier Posts: 173
    If you're starting completely from scratch, and you buy everything new, it can be expensive. However, I've recently started and I've spent less than £300 on a bike (Rockrider 8.0 from eBay), a helmet (Boardman job from Halfords), a hydro ruck (a fiver off eBay) and a pair of fingerless gloves. I wear running gear and a pair of trainers, and I have no real issues other than those caused by my lack of fitness and conditioning.

    I could have spent £2000 on a Giant, £100 on a helmet, £60 on some Endura shorts, £50 on a top, and £80 on some Five Ten shoes, then added £75 for a Deuter backpack with Camelpak and £300 for some swanky Thule roof mounts, but it wouldn't make me any better at riding a bike along trails.

    If you're happy to put up with used kit, and to adapt things you already have (my glasses are actually a pair of DeWalt safety specs), you can bring the cost way down.

    It's a cheaper sport than snowboarding, which requires (for me, anyway) flying to somewhere with loads of snow - £650 for flights alone at half term, plus €36 a day for a lift pass.
  • Angus YoungAngus Young Posts: 3,063
    No. I wish it were more expensive. It would keep the riffraff off the trails.

    And if you think mountain biking is expensive, try scuba diving.

    And a while back, over a three year period, I spent 75K as a member of a supercar club. Mountain biking is loose change compared to that.
    All the gear, no idea and loving the smell of jealousy in the morning.
    Kona Process 134 viewtopic.php?f=10017&t=12994607
  • robertpbrobertpb Posts: 1,866
    My first real MTB was a Dawes Ranger bought in 1985 for £420 for a very basic bike, it just about had brakes.

    My second, which was a custom frame built in 1987 cost £1,500, remember this was just a rigid.

    The cost of living index would put the custom bike at £3,750 for the same bike today.

    When you realise that today you could buy this carbon Radon Slide http://www.radon-bikes.de/en/bikes/moun ... n-275-x01/ for £2,500.

    Things must have become cheaper.
    Now where's that "Get Out of Crash Free Card"
  • OkarnillOkarnill Posts: 20
    lol try horseriding! At least once you have the bike it isn't going to need a vet and run up no end of costs that way. Quick trip to the lbs and you're sorted.

    That said I know where you're coming from, as a complete newbie to all this I'm still searching for a new bike (and let me tell you as a woman it's ruddy impossible! The nice bikes don't come small enough, the small bikes don't have the spec I want (the next person to point me at something pink is going to hear about it!)

    I'm riding the 'ancient old push bike found in the shed' around local bridleways and hoping I can save up for a stronger bike before enough bits fall off this one to render it useless. That and getting fit around the roads so when I do get my shiny new bike I might have half a chance of not looking like a complete idiot on it.
  • BloggingFitBloggingFit Posts: 919
    Okarnill wrote:
    lol try horseriding! At least once you have the bike it isn't going to need a vet and run up no end of costs that way. Quick trip to the lbs and you're sorted.

    That said I know where you're coming from, as a complete newbie to all this I'm still searching for a new bike (and let me tell you as a woman it's ruddy impossible! The nice bikes don't come small enough, the small bikes don't have the spec I want (the next person to point me at something pink is going to hear about it!)

    I'm riding the 'ancient old push bike found in the shed' around local bridleways and hoping I can save up for a stronger bike before enough bits fall off this one to render it useless. That and getting fit around the roads so when I do get my shiny new bike I might have half a chance of not looking like a complete idiot on it.
    I don't know what sort of budget you have but try looking at Giant's LIV range if you haven't done so already.
    Bird Aeris : Trek Remedy 9.9 29er : Trek Procaliber 9.8 SL
  • OkarnillOkarnill Posts: 20
    Thank you BloggingFit - once I find a shop that stocks them and has one I can try.. budget is painful atm so I'm doing as much research as I can so when I can afford it I can go directly to the one I want.

    a lot of local shops don't stock smaller sizes much either it seems.
  • BloggingFitBloggingFit Posts: 919
    Okarnill wrote:
    Thank you BloggingFit - once I find a shop that stocks them and has one I can try.. budget is painful atm so I'm doing as much research as I can so when I can afford it I can go directly to the one I want.

    a lot of local shops don't stock smaller sizes much either it seems.
    Most shops will be able to order in a smaller size for you to try out if they don't stock it.
    Bird Aeris : Trek Remedy 9.9 29er : Trek Procaliber 9.8 SL
  • kirby700kirby700 Posts: 458
    What region are you? The a new giant shop just opened near my village and they have loads of Liv bikes in. (East Yorkshire)
    GIANT XTC 2.5
    BOARDMAN TEAM FS - NOW GONE
    NUKEPROOF MEGA TR 275 COMP
    YT INDUSTRIES CAPRA
  • Antm81Antm81 Posts: 1,406
    Okarnill wrote:
    Thank you BloggingFit - once I find a shop that stocks them and has one I can try.. budget is painful atm so I'm doing as much research as I can so when I can afford it I can go directly to the one I want.

    a lot of local shops don't stock smaller sizes much either it seems.

    You can also book test rides through Giants website, I think they may have some Liv models available.
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