I recently read a great book, Leading Out Retail by Donny Perry, about how bicycle retail works. It’s a fascinating read for anyone who follows the industry, and I learned a lot.
One of the chapters talks about how bike selling works, and Donny says, “Any time someone ventures into cycling for the first time the purchase will always be frugal. Instead of spending $2,000 on the bike they probably need, they’ll spend $500 on a bike just to test the waters.” [Emphasis mine.]
He goes on to say, “When people start anything they start small, determine their style and preferences, then come back and buy what they feel is best for them. This is the human element of how people shop.”
My own experience certainly fits the mold; the first real mountain bike I bought was a $200 used Bridgestone MB-5 hardtail on consignment at my local bike shop. Before that, as a kid, I owned a sad parade of sub-$100 department store mountain bikes that kept breaking for some reason.
So I’m curious: have others followed the same path into mountain biking? Whether it was your first bike ever, or just your first mountain bike, we want to know how much you spent when you first started mountain biking.
Understanding that most folks (myself included) start small, it’s definitely changed my answer for friends who casually asks how much they should spend on a mountain bike to get into the sport.
What do you think?