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  1. #1
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    why are mountain bikes cheaper than road bikes?

    Why are mountain bikes cheaper than road bikes? the most current road bike, cheapest type, is usually more expensive than the most current mtn bike, cheapest type.

    why is that?

    is it just cause a bigger market in mtn bikes? im debating whether to buy a mtn or road bike now. been wanting a fixie but now im thinking it wont meet my needs.

  2. #2
    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
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    It really depends. A lot of it does have to do with the marketability although that's starting to swing towards roadbike a little bit more nowadays which explains why roadbike prices in the mid to low end are starting to come down. In the upper-midrange and high-end of the spectrum, MTB and roadbike prices are pretty much respectively on par with one another. My MTB cost as much as my roadbike. They're both upper-end models and have respectively the same level of componentry.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member redallerd's Avatar
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    I guess because of the frame materials and design? At least I always though that..
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  4. #4
    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redallerd
    I guess because of the frame materials and design? At least I always though that..
    I tend to think there's more innovation done in terms of frame materials and design for MTBs than for roadbikes. Many roadbike designs are "hampered" by the UCI rules. MTBs tend to have less restrictions imposed on them so there's more innovations in the MTB world. This is not to say that roadbikes are a stale and dead end design path but most of the stuff that goes into roadbike frames tend to be more refinements than groundbreaking stuff when compared to mountain bikes.
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  5. #5
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    I think road bikes cost more because it's an older, more affluent customer base. Mountain bikers are younger and probably have less disposable income. So, the manufacturers put in more bling and charge more for the roadies. And guess what - it works.

  6. #6
    Cherch!!!11!1!Juan!Juan!
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    Having just bought one of each within the last year...both being competent mid range bikes...i feel they are pretty evenly priced.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member vw addict's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by khuon
    I tend to think there's more innovation done in terms of frame materials and design for MTBs than for roadbikes.
    are u serious? Have you taken a look at some of the newer road bikes? The Cannondale/Specialized/Trek lines have a bunch of amazing and stupid light bikes. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

  8. #8
    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vw addict
    are u serious? Have you taken a look at some of the newer road bikes? The Cannondale/Specialized/Trek lines have a bunch of amazing and stupid light bikes. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.
    Are you serious? Have you ever looked at some of the newer MTBs? The Cannondale/Specialized/Trek lines have a bunch of amazing suspension systems. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

    Lightweight isn't always everything either. Take for instance carbon fibre. While the roadbike world focuses on using CF to make standard tube designs stiff and light, a lot of new CF innovations in cycling are actually borne from the MTB world's need for a CF material that can take impact. The latest trend is to use a low-polymer outer layer with a 90 degree weave because it's more impact resistant. Other things found in that realm of materials not found in roadbikes is to use a thermoplastic hot-coat or outer layer of thermoplastic CF because it is more abrasion and notch resistant.

    Another thing being done with materials in MTBs that aren't generally seen as much in roadbikes is the use of dissimilar layups or dissimilar metals within the same section of the frame. For instance, the chainstays on some full-suspension MTBs are and have been using pivotless flex points by employing short sections of CF or titanium.

    And as far as other materials technology goes in general, much of it goes into both types of bikes in parallel. However, as far as designs by means of shaped geometry, I think MTBs win hands down with regards to innovations. This is mainly driven by the needs of suspension designs which force bike designers to use radical frame shapes to accomodate the placement of pivot points and structure clearances of moving subassemblies.

    I tend to think that in the roadbike world, there's focus on micro-innovations while the MTB world tends to focus on macro-innovations.
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  9. #9
    Too Much Crazy
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    STI usually makes road bikes more expensive than their Tri bike and mountian bike counterparts.

  10. #10
    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curt Kurt
    STI usually makes road bikes more expensive than their Tri bike and mountian bike counterparts.
    MTBs also have STI. Incidently, the shifting mechanism of STI was first invented for MTBs in early 1990 and was offerred all the way from DeoreXT down to the entry level 200GS groups from the get-go. Then a couple of years later, the mechanism was turned sideways and mounted into road brake hoods to form the roadbike DCL/STI levers but this was only offerred originally on Dura-Ace and then shortly afterwards on 600. It wasn't until the mid-late 1990s that it became readily available for the other road groups.
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  11. #11
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    What bikes are you looking at...just some at your LBS? When you get to the good stuff it is ALL EXPENSIVE!! $3000-$5000 for a road frame set is not out of the question.

  12. #12
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    I'm trying to find a roadbike for my cousin in the $350-400 range. If he'd wanted a mountain bike, he'd have one already, like a low end Giant or Specialized. All of the roadbikes that I've seen in shops start around $500-$650, new. If he wants to go cheaper than that for a new bike, he'd have to go buy online or on ebay.

  13. #13
    Old School Rad mtnbiker66's Avatar
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    Whats a road bike?
    Like a circus monkey on a stolen Harley......

  14. #14
    Throw the stick!!!! LowCel's Avatar
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    Well one good thing about them is that they hold up a lot better than a mountain bike. An entry level road bike will last years. An entry level mountain bike will need quite a few parts on it replaced / upgraded if ridden on a regular basis.
    I may be fat but I'm slow enough to make up for it.

  15. #15
    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LowCel
    Well one good thing about them is that they hold up a lot better than a mountain bike. An entry level road bike will last years.
    Unless it's ridden like a MTB.


    Quote Originally Posted by LowCel
    An entry level mountain bike will need quite a few parts on it replaced / upgraded if ridden on a regular basis.
    Unless it's ridden like a roadbike.


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  16. #16
    Banned. Jason222's Avatar
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    I don't understand how anyone can compare the two. They are completely different beasts with different componentry.

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    Answer, They are not. Mountain bikes are now the mass market cheap bikes that casual bikers buy so this gives the illusion that mountain bikes are cheaper but it is not true. No one is making cheap road bikes anymore for casual road riders. The entry price for a really nice but not top of the line road bike is about 1200 USD nowadays.

    A really nice but not top of the line dual suspension mountain bike will be 1500 - 2200 USD.

    Cheap road bikes equivalent to Wal-Mart mountain bikes are not made anymore because they don't sell to average buyers. In fact, inexpensive road bikes equivalent to 300 dollar (good quality cheap bikes) are not even made anymore.

    An entry level road bike is about 600 USD and I think you would have to compare it to an 800 USD hardtail mountain bike or a 1200 USD dual suspension mountain bike in terms of it's quality and components for what it's intended purpose is.
    Last edited by Hezz; 08-11-06 at 09:24 PM.

  18. #18
    Bike Junkie roccobike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hezz
    Answer, They are not. Mountain bikes are now the mass market cheap bikes that casual bikers buy so this gives the illusion that mountain bikes are cheaper but it is not true. No one is making cheap road bikes anymore for casual road riders. The entry price for a really nice but not top of the line road bike is about 1200 USD nowadays.

    Cheap road bikes equivalent to Wal-Mart mountain bikes are not made anymore because they don't sell to average buyers. In fact, inexpensive road bikes equivalent to 300 dollar (good quality cheap bikes) are not even made anymore.
    I understand your point. Especially your point about the 'casual cyclist' (good observation). But let me add some thoughts that look at the picture a little differently. I think that the LBSs DO have inexpensive road bikes. Some of the low end hybrids are certainly intended for casual road use. The narrow tires, no suspension, and general design are not intended for serious off road use. They are today's casual road bike for the low priced mass market. I know they have a different geometry and appearance, but that's just evolution of the type.
    By the way, Target and WalMart do have inexpensive bikes that are called road bikes, complete with downturned handlebars and 700c by 28 tires. Target's sells for about $100. No, I won't buy one.
    Maybe the issue here is the definition of 'road bike' and 'mountain bike'.
    But at the end of the day, I agree with you that there really isn't much difference in price between road and mountain.
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  19. #19
    Bike Junkie roccobike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker66
    Whats a road bike?
    The bikes you pass up at yard sales.

    Where do you think I got my road bikes.

    PS, Try and find a good, hard tail, MTB with a front suspension at a yard sale or thrift shop.
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  20. #20
    member Yo MikeOK's Avatar
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    You can blame Lance.

  21. #21
    Throw the stick!!!! LowCel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeOK
    You can blame Lance.
    You can also thank Lance. Lance got a lot of people into riding thus getting more people off their butts and onto bikes. I consider that a good thing no matter what type of bike they are riding.
    I may be fat but I'm slow enough to make up for it.

  22. #22
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    There is a lot more need for a bike to be light when it is a road bike. Even a cheap entry level bike like my Trek 1000 weighs only 22 lbs. Go try and buy a cheap 22 lb mountain bike. You won't find one. So i think that road bikes are more because they need to be lighter, which makes the components more expensive.

  23. #23
    Bike Junkie roccobike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Portis
    There is a lot more need for a bike to be light when it is a road bike. Even a cheap entry level bike like my Trek 1000 weighs only 22 lbs. Go try and buy a cheap 22 lb mountain bike. You won't find one. So i think that road bikes are more because they need to be lighter, which makes the components more expensive.
    Interesting, My initial reaction was to disagree, then I read my own post, and it fits right in with yours. Inexpensive road bikes do exist, and they're heavy and low priced hybrids certainly weigh more than 22lbs.
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  24. #24
    Adios, Mofo J-McKech's Avatar
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    If you are looking at middle of the road road bike...probably right around 2500-3000 dollars. Now, if you look at middle of the road mountain bike or what I consider middle of the road, you are looking at the same price. Of course, I'm thinking about a Transition Preston as middle of the road mountain bike.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by J-McKech
    If you are looking at middle of the road road bike...probably right around 2500-3000 dollars. Now, if you look at middle of the road mountain bike or what I consider middle of the road, you are looking at the same price. Of course, I'm thinking about a Transition Preston as middle of the road mountain bike.
    I don't have a clue what you are talking about but I am pretty sure we aren't even on the same planet, let alone the same road.

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