Mountain biking is becoming an increasingly popular sport nowadays. Because it beautifully combines extreme cycling with the opportunity to witness the most breathtaking wonders of nature, more and more people are taking it up. However, with the costs of purchasing the necessary gear and equipment, as well as traveling to new locations, it can get rather expensive.
In spite of the initial costs, mountain biking doesn’t need to break the bank. There are plenty of budget-friendly alternatives for everything you might need, from the bicycle itself, to accommodation and back. You just need to identify where to look for them. Here is what you need to know about planning a MTB trip on a budget.
Buy an Affordable Mountain Bike
By far the most expensive part of mountain biking is the bicycle itself. Professional-grade ones can set you back more than $1,000 dollars at a time, which is undesirable when you want to travel on a budget. Fortunately, as MountainBikeReviewed explains in an article, you can also find quite a few reliable MTBs that cost as little as $300 dollars.
From this category, the website recommends the Schwinn S29 Men’s 29″ Wheel Full Suspension Mountain Bike, which clocks in at $330 dollars on the Amazon marketplace. Its full suspension aluminum frame comes complete with 29-inch wheels, making it a rather powerful bike for this price range. Even if it’s not the model for you, you should look for similar features.
Don’t Forget about Equipment
It might sound tempting to forget about equipment altogether and save some cash. However, when it comes to an extreme sport such as MTB, that is simply not an option. Luckily, you will find plenty of budget-friendly gear in shops if you take the time to look for it. And by far the most important item is the helmet.
The proper product will protect you against dangerous impact, reducing the risk of head and neck trauma. The only difference between a $40 dollar helmet and a $130 dollar one has to do with the overall weight. Cheaper alternatives hang a bit heavier, but they protect you just as well. Therefore, there’s no need to splurge on this item.
The same is true about clothing, shoes, gloves, and eye-wear. Expensive options are usually from the bigger brands, but your local athletic equipment store certainly sells some reasonably priced ones as well. Why spend hundreds of dollars on North Face, Nike, or Adidas, when you can get the same level of comfort and protection from smaller companies?
Always Travel with a Friend
According to the Adventure Cycling Association, traveling with a friend is the number one best thing to do when you want to save money on your MTB trip. The two of you can take turns on paying the fees, split the cost of food, and even book a double room at a local motel or hostel to get quality lodging for half the price.
Of course, it’s important to choose the person you take along with you wisely. Not only should they share your passion for the sport, but they should also be someone you enjoy spending time with. If the two of you don’t get along, falling out is inevitable under the conditions imposed by travel. Therefore, you have to be cautious in this respect.
Look for Free Accommodation
In most parks and reservations around the world, you can ride on the mountain bike trails without an entry fee. However, when you’re planning a full-blown trip to another state or country to pursue the sport, the issue of accommodation comes into play almost immediately. It’s no secret that staying at a hotel can get rather expensive.
In fact, depending on what your budget is, even hostel pricing can seem steep. Therefore, camping is the recommended option. You can usually put your tent up right there in the bike park, or even find free camping sites in the area. As long as you choose an affordable place to travel to, you should be able to save some cash as far as lodging is concerned.
If camping isn’t your cup of tea, another alternative exists for the frugal MTB nomad. We’re talking about couch surfing, of course. Plenty of people offer such services in virtually every city across the globe. All you need to do is look for the opportunity and know how to approach the owner of the house. As long as you are warm and polite, there should be no problem.
Although mountain biking is an expensive sport to pursue, there are budget-friendly alternatives to the things you will need for it as well. Focus on finding sturdy and reliable gear and equipment for low prices, look for free accommodation opportunities, and always travel with a friend. You will be amazed at how much money you will end up saving this way.
About the Author:
Amanda Wilks is a passionate writer, veteran MTB rider, and sports activist. She loves to travel and explore the world on a budget – always looking for new and exciting mountain biking destinations. Find out more about Amanda on Twitter.