I’ve never bought that whole ”mountain biking is too expensive” argument, although I am well aware that I probably don’t have the best perspective of value these days. I mean, the last couple of bikes I’ve written about cost around $10,000 USD, and my current stable of carbon fiber review rigs doesn’t look much different. To be fair, we do often request the mid-priced model for testing, only to find the XTR and carbon-everything model when the box is opened… You can imagine my disappointment. But lately, it’s been feeling like an attitude adjustment is in order, or maybe a field trip of some kind.
While last year’s Field Test review series was full of high-end dream bikes, Kazimer and I recently traveled to Sedona, Arizona, to ride and film the upcoming value-focused Field Trip review videos. The idea with both Fields is to test the latest and most relevant bikes, but Field Trip saw a price limit of $3,000 USD imposed, with the least expensive bike going for just $1,400. That’s $600 less than the drivetrain I’m currently charging, and you get an entire bike that definitely doesn’t suck.
I’m not supposed to give too much about Field Trip away yet, but the gist of it is four trail bikes that cost under $3,000 and four that cost under $2,000, with an even split between direct-to-consumer and those you’ll find at a bike shop. Two of those were hardtails because, well, you can’t ignore them in this price bracket, and all of them were metal in order to come in below the self-imposed cost cap.