Lee McCormack brought up an interesting question over on his blog yesterday: Why do high end mountain bikes often cost more than high end motorbikes (dirtbikes)? Are mountain bikers being given the shaft from greedy fat-cat bike manufacturers?
While I don’t know a thing about motorcycles I do know the mountain bike manufacturing business ain’t a picnic – companies go in and out of bankruptcy all the time (but that’s a different story). I’ll add that the apparent pricing disparity could be due to imports, or actually the lack thereof in the case of MTBs. It seems like most of the high end dirt bikes are Yamahas, Hondas, Kawasakis, etc. which are entirely designed and produced overseas for a fraction of the cost of a “Made in the USA” Trek or even a sexy set of wheels from Europe.
Not that there’s anything wrong with Made in the USA (or the EU for that matter). But in the MTB world it seems like this is more important than it is in virtually any other product category I can think of. If your bike frame was made it Taiwan you may as well be riding a Huffy. I mean, what do the Asians know about building bicycles anyway? There are only hundreds of millions who ride their bikes there every day 😉
Yet high quality MTB components have been known to come from overseas – anyone use Shimano components on their bikes? Even if bike components are manufactured in Asia they are often designed and tested in the US which can add to the price tag.
Fortunately if you’re a die-hard US-built bike rider there are still plenty of mountain bike choices from boutique manufacturers here in the states. Need help finding a US-made bike? Stop by our forums and get your questions answered!