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Why road bikes cost a lot more than mountain bikes?

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Why road bikes cost a lot more than mountain bikes?

Old 07-08-15, 10:18 PM
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Why road bikes cost a lot more than mountain bikes?

I thought mountain bikes cost a lot more because these have so many components.
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Old 07-08-15, 11:13 PM
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they don't
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Old 07-09-15, 03:05 AM
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Don't agree with the premise. You can spend equally big bucks on a mountain bike as you can on a road bike.
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Old 07-09-15, 04:43 AM
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In my mind, there is an equivalent variety of mountain bike types as there are road bikes types.

And, setting aside anything bought at a department or sporting goods store, for a mountain bike that is designed and equipped for rigorous use, the costs are about the same as for road bikes. For mid-to-high end cross country riding, with dual suspension and a carbon frame, you're looking in the $3k-5K range. That's about where the equivalent road bikes are. My former college roommate and good friend is an avid MTB-er. I think that his bikes are typically in the $3K range.

At the entry level, again, for working machines made for rigorous use, you're still in the $1500 range, just as with road bikes.

At the top end, I'm not so sure. I think that $10K road bikes are more common than $10K mountain bikes, but this may just be my ignorance...
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Old 07-09-15, 04:58 AM
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Its hard to compare apples to oranges. But, for mass produced road and mountain bikes I don't think there is a big difference in price vs features/quality. There are $5000 production road and mountain bikes. Where you see road bikes become ultra expensive is custom made frames. Something you don't see much of with mountain bikes.
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Old 07-09-15, 05:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Phil_gretz
At the top end, I'm not so sure. I think that $10K road bikes are more common than $10K mountain bikes, but this may just be my ignorance...
This is my impression also, that at the top-end one can more easily find road- and tri-bikes that are more expensive than mountain bikes. Mountain-bike pricing seems to top-out earlier.
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Old 07-09-15, 05:29 AM
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I do believe there are more 10k or more road bikes than MTBs, but that is not a big portion of the pie. The most expensive MTBs that I can remember are in the 12-13k range, and I have seen a few road bikes in the 15-16k range, talking about production bikes in both cases. But, again, these are rare bikes in the big picture. So, I do believe the premise is more false than true.
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Old 07-09-15, 06:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Wingsprint
Its hard to compare apples to oranges. But, for mass produced road and mountain bikes I don't think there is a big difference in price vs features/quality. There are $5000 production road and mountain bikes. Where you see road bikes become ultra expensive is custom made frames. Something you don't see much of with mountain bikes.
Actually...the most expensive are off-the-rack road race bikes from major manufacturers (say Specialized or Pinarello, both over $10,000), and only sometimes are they bespoke (say Trek).

It is cheaper to get a full custom from a smaller manufacturer and build it, than to shop the top-shelf off-the-rack bikes. Custom ain't the "ultra-expensive" thing in road cycling.
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Old 07-09-15, 06:30 AM
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yep, agree with the others, the simple answer is they don't.
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Old 07-09-15, 06:36 AM
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Perhaps the OP is talking about the low end...in which case he is right....as an example, a quick search found some new trek mountain bikes under $400...the lowest trek road bike costs $700.

My explanation: Market hype..., And brifters are more expensive than trigger shifters...
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Old 07-09-15, 06:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti
Actually...the most expensive are off-the-rack road race bikes from major manufacturers (say Specialized or Pinarello, both over $10,000), and only sometimes are they bespoke (say Trek).
You might not be aware that an off the shelf Yeti SB6 XX1 MTB can run over $11,000....

My point was custom road frames can run over $4000 (not all), you don't see a lot of that on the MTB side.
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Old 07-09-15, 07:15 AM
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There are definitely production mountain bikes in the 10k range. They're racing on the track at Ontario Cup and Canada Cup events, for example. I have a friend who competes in both and he and many other racers are on a Norco Revolver (https://www.norco.com/bikes/mountain...lver-9-sl-xx1/). Production, off the shelf.
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Old 07-09-15, 07:17 AM
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One difference is, there is much less performance difference between a $10K road bike and a $1K road bike than there is between a $10K mountain bike and a $1K mountain bike.
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Old 07-09-15, 07:41 AM
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I think another factor at play is that most people don't have an unlimited budget, and the typical middle class person that stretches their wallet for a high end road bike is going to baby it, not abuse it. Mountain bikes are meant to be ridden hard in less than ideal conditions.

The same guy who scrapes together $5k-10k, out of his $50,000 annual salary, for a high end road bike expects to get a lifetime of use out of it, and a lot of these bikes are only ridden in races or on nice days. The same person would have a hard time taking a $5k-$10k mountain bike through a muddy trail, bouncing it up and down rocks and stumps.

There are parallels in most hobbies. Lots more people buy Corvettes as "garage queens" for sunny weekends and car cruises, and I'd bet less than 10% of the expensive SUVs are actually purchased for off road use.

At the high end of the sport, the big ticket items are used as intended. Generally speaking, however, many of us buy way better equipment than we need for what we actually do. Forums like this draw a crowd that probably doesn't reflect the middle of the bell curve, where the profits are actually made.
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Old 07-09-15, 07:50 AM
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It all boils down to money. Mountain bikes are popular and they are produced at a higher rate, so have economies of scale.

OTOH road bikes are sold to racer boy wannabees that fancy themselves as the next Lance Armstrong, so will pay more. Bike mfg just take advantage of that fact. A fool and his money are soon parted.
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Old 07-09-15, 08:02 AM
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NB: there is No Wisconsin Made Madone MTBs..
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Old 07-09-15, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Texboy
I thought mountain bikes cost a lot more because these have so many components.
If you are talking 2nd hand, I believe that the answer is fashion.

20 years ago people around here wanted to have mountain bikes and you could get a very good road bike in a garage sale for very little.

Now the demand is for road bikes and 29" mountain bikes but you can get a very good 26" mountain bike for very little.
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Old 07-09-15, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by rydabent
OTOH road bikes are sold to racer boy wannabees that fancy themselves as the next Lance Armstrong, so will pay more. Bike mfg just take advantage of that fact. A fool and his money are soon parted.
I THINK you're trolling. I can't be sure though. Many people use road bikes as exercise and don't, at all, fancy themselves the next LA. Often times road biking is an alternative to exercise that's too hard on the knees (like running.) Many people don't live in an area that would EVER require a mountain bike. (Most of the US is actually flat...)


I think one thing that factors into this is the fact that most kids grow up with cheap "mountain bikes." It takes someone who really wants to get into cycling to depart from that mindset and say "I want to try out one of those skinny, light, fragile road bikes." Because of that, road bike manufacturers don't have to offer "below entry level offerings" You know, something in the $400 range. Where as "mountain bikes" can be found in almost all price ranges because that's what people are used to and will buy. People who want a road bike want a bike to ride on the road, and nothing else. People who want a mountain bike want a bike that they MAY commute on, or the MAY ride on gravel trails or they MAY ride on trails. Bike manufacturers therefore offer cheaper mountain bikes for those who don't want to ride on "trails" and only want to "commute." Even though a road bike/cross bike/any bike with skinny tires would be better suited for them.

You could almost compare it to "Mac (road bike) vs. PC (mountain bike.)" Almost...

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Old 07-09-15, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by OriginalFerbie
There are definitely production mountain bikes in the 10k range. They're racing on the track at Ontario Cup and Canada Cup events, for example. I have a friend who competes in both and he and many other racers are on a Norco Revolver (https://www.norco.com/bikes/mountain...lver-9-sl-xx1/). Production, off the shelf.
Even when the Canadian dollar trades at par, we pay much more here for the same bike as they do south of the border. The current exchange rate make it even worse. I doubt the same bike would be 10k in the US of A.
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Old 07-09-15, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by 12strings
Perhaps the OP is talking about the low end...in which case he is right....as an example, a quick search found some new trek mountain bikes under $400...the lowest trek road bike costs $700.

My explanation: Market hype..., And brifters are more expensive than trigger shifters...
Right, my guess is this is where the OP is looking, because that's where most new riders do.

When you can get a great road or mountain bike for under a grand, why concern oneself with bikes that cost 3 to 10(!) times more which most certainly are not 3 to 10 times better.
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Old 07-09-15, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick
When you can get a great road or mountain bike for under a grand, why concern oneself with bikes that cost 3 to 10(!) times more which most certainly are not 3 to 10 times better.
This. I got a 2012 Felt Z85 for ~$850 IIRC (I don't quite remember, I bought a lot of other things that same day.) at a year end sale. It has full 105 components. I'm not a racer, I don't need anything more than that. It shifts and rides beautifully.

On the OTHER hand, you CANNOT find a decent full suspension mountain bike for <$1000. (Decent as in one that has an air fork.) Hell, you can barely find a hardtail for <$1000 with an air fork. (The Tokul 3 is the only one I know of, and that's $999 here.)
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Old 07-09-15, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by energyandair
If you are talking 2nd hand, I believe that the answer is fashion.

20 years ago people around here wanted to have mountain bikes and you could get a very good road bike in a garage sale for very little.

Now the demand is for road bikes and 29" mountain bikes but you can get a very good 26" mountain bike for very little.
Yep: About 6 months ago, I paid $50 for a 2006 Specialized Hardrock Sport. It had a flat tire and needed a tube, but was otherwise fine. If you don't need a really light bike with a rear shock, you can easily find a good used 26" MTB for under $100 on craigslist.
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Old 07-09-15, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Texboy
I thought mountain bikes cost a lot more because these have so many components.
Road bikes cost more, depending on where the chosen frame & components are mfd.
Be a rider/consumer wanting Italian mfd: more from that nation be into road rather than into mountain frames.

Add of components: How often be the Italian C components on atb bikes, Those components always increase a bike's cost.
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Old 07-09-15, 11:15 AM
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I was thinking about the used market last night.

MTBs really became popular between about 1980 and 2000.
At the same time, the market for road bikes just about dried up.

So, for used "classics"... there are quite a few 1970's and early 80's 10-speeds... but very few from the late 80's and 90's.
At the same time... the market was saturated with cheap MTBs.

Part of it was the perceived durability of the MTBs.

I have noticed with some parts such as disc brake callipers, if there is a "road" and "MTB" version, the road version is about twice as expensive as the MTB version. Perhaps it is partly due to quantities sold.
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Old 07-09-15, 11:20 AM
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Because bicycles have an inverse price/mass relationship. The more that you pay for a bicycle, the less mass you get.
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