(Last updated on April 14th, 2023)
Buying a bike is one of the smartest purchases, but it can still be a big investment. To get the most for your money, it’s a good idea to understand how much does a bike cost and the reasons behind the range of prices you’ll see online and at your local shop. In this article, I’ll break down the average prices for different types of bikes and offer useful tips so you can stretch your dollar.
Knowing how much to pay can seem overwhelming with so many bikes and brands on the market. By thinking ahead about the bike you’ll need and preferred features, you can narrow in on a few top models you can pick between. Keep reading to learn more about bicycle costs and make a successful purchase.
- How Much Does a Bike Cost?
- Tip #1: Spend Between $1,000-2,500 on Your First Bike
- Tip #2: Review the Bike’s Condition and Original Price
- Tip #3: Choose Modern Over Old-School
- How to Buy the Right Bike for You
- How Much Should You Spend on Your First Bike?
- Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Does a Bike Cost?
The cost of a bicycle can vary widely depending on factors such as the type of bike, its quality, and its features. On average, a basic new bike suitable for recreational riding can cost anywhere from $200 to $600.
However, high-end bikes with advanced features can cost several thousand dollars. For example, a professional-level road or mountain bike with premium components can cost $5,000 or more. Used bikes can be more affordable, with prices ranging from less than $200 for an older, basic bike to several thousand dollars for a high-end, well-maintained used bike.
Electric bikes are some of the most expensive because of their added tech, including the motor and large battery. There are highly affordable models, but it can be worth investing in a higher-end ebike that’s more efficient and reliable.
|Type of Bike
|Big box store road bikes and MTBs
|Cruisers or hybrid bikes
|New, entry-level road bikes
|New, entry-level MTBs
|$800 – $3,000
|Used, mid-tier road bikes
|$1,000 – $2,500
|Used, mid-tier mountain bikes
|$1,500 – $3,500
|High-end road/mountain bikes
Tip #1: Spend Between $1,000-2,500 on Your First Bike
If your budget allows it, I recommend spending between $1,000 to $2,500 on a bike that you plan to have for a long time. This price range is a sweet spot for a couple of reasons.
First, many models are available at that price so that customers will have plenty of choices. Second, bicycles above the $1,000 mark will have quality components from reliable brands like Shimano and SRAM built to last and be easily adjusted. Lastly, these mid-range bikes are impressively versatile. The bikes are great for entry-level riders just starting out and fast enough to match the pace as skills advance.
I remember spending around $1,250 on my first serious road bike. Before that, I had ridden a budget road bike with low-level parts— which was fine for a 13-year-old me— but I immediately noticed the difference with my new bike. The carbon fiber frame and fork, Shimano 105 groupset, and more aggressive geometry were perfect for upping my skills. Throughout years of heavy use, I never had to change the cables or overhaul parts— I even competed in several races during college with that bike!
Tip #2: Review the Bike’s Condition and Original Price
Buying used is a great, cost-effective way to shop for bikes, but it’s important to research before pulling the trigger. You could search for a specific bike and find it on second-hand marketplaces like The Pro’s Closet or stumble upon an interesting bike you need to read up on. Either way, the two most useful pieces of data are the bike’s condition and original price.
Well-maintained used bikes can save you tons of money, but it’s easy to overlook small issues that could lead to bigger (and more expensive) repairs down the line. Does the bike need new parts? Is the frame chipped or cracked? Is it simply dust from sitting in a garage?
Try to get information from the original owner or ask the retailer about the repairs completed to refurbish the bike. Also, look up what similar models are going for on the used market and the original price. How much is a bicycle brand new? Used bikes don’t lose value quite as fast as used cars, but you can expect a significant drop in price from the MSRP price tag.
Tip #3: Choose Modern Over Old-School
Another tip for getting a good deal is buying a bike with current or semi-current components. If you’re not buying new, a general rule of thumb is opting for bikes manufactured in the past 5-7 years at most. Bicycle technology advances rapidly, and there have been some big changes in the past decade. Newer bikes will be more reliable and easier to maintain at home or your local shop due to the availability of compatible parts.
While I’m all for refurbishing old-school bikes, those projects can quickly spiral into bigger challenges than expected. That journey is part of the fun, of course, but doing repairs and the cost of bicycle parts will require more time and money.
Some of the most tech-loaded bikes are full-suspension mountain bikes, but there are still some great deals on the market.
How to Buy the Right Bike for You
1. Determine Bike Type
To get the most bang for your buck, you should purchase a bike that’s tailored to the terrain or situations in which you’ll be riding the most. Think about what type of riding you plan to do, such as commuting, road cycling, mountain biking, or leisurely riding. This will help you choose the right type of bike for your needs.
2. Set a Budget
Determine how much you’re willing to spend on a bike. This will help you narrow your options and find the best bike within your budget. If you’re on a tighter budget, consider buying a used or second-hand bike in good condition. The cost is significantly lower and can give you access to cool tech that may be out of your price range on new models.
If you aim to spend less, plenty of well-priced, entry-level bikes are for sale. We’ve researched the entire industry and decided on the best budget mountain bikes, and— for motorized mountain fun— check out the best budget electric MTBs.
3. Consider Bike Brand and Components
Look at the quality of the bike’s components, such as the brakes, gears, and wheels. Higher-quality components may cost more but can provide better performance and durability. Stick to bikes from a well-regarded brand with a good quality and customer service reputation. Steer clear of low-quality brands with shoddy components that are difficult to adjust or repair.
Shimano and SRAM are the most popular componentry brands and offer a wide range of products to fit your budget. Read through this helpful article to learn more about the differences within Shimano’s groupset hierarchy for road bikes.
4. Test Ride Different Bikes
Take a few different bikes for a test ride to get a feel for how they handle and if they feel comfortable riding. This way, you can get real-time feedback on how the bike acts and how it fits your body. Your local shop may have several sizes of the same model available, but it’s a good idea to come in knowing your correct frame size. To calculate which size bike frame will fit you best, check out our article on bike size charts.
How Much Should You Spend on Your First Bike?
The amount you should spend on your first bicycle depends on your budget and needs. Typically, for a basic, entry-level bike suitable for recreational riding, you can expect to spend around $300 to $600.
If you plan to use your bike for commuting or longer rides, investing in a slightly more expensive bike with better features and components may be worth it. In this case, you may expect to spend between $600 to $1,200. Beyond $1,500 will get you a great bike that will perform well for years to come, ideal for riders looking to put in serious mileage regularly.
Ultimately, it’s important to balance your budget and the features and quality you need to ensure that your first bike meets your needs and provides a comfortable and enjoyable riding experience. With so many bike brands and distinct models on the market, there’s a perfect set of wheels out there waiting for you.
If you liked this article, you might also like:
- Best Beginner Mountain Bikes: 9 Great Entry-Level Picks (2023)
- How To Ride A Bike? Step-By-Step (With Pictures)
- What Is A Road Bike? A Simple Guide
Frequently Asked Questions
The cost of a bicycle can vary greatly depending on the category of bicycle, its condition, and its included features. On average, a new basic bike can cost between $300 and $600, while high-end bikes with advanced features can cost several thousand dollars.
Bikes can be expensive due to several factors, such as the quality of materials used in construction, advanced technology and features, research and development costs, and brand reputation. As we saw during the pandemic, factors like inflation, supply chain disruptions, and import tariffs can also impact the price of bikes.
The cost of owning a bicycle depends on various factors, such as the initial cost of the bike, maintenance and repair costs, storage expenses, and accessories. According to some estimates, the average annual cost of owning a bike is around $100 to $200. Remember, though, that there’s no paying for gas!
Bikes can save money in the long run by reducing transportation expenses, such as gas, parking fees, and public transportation fares. Additionally, regular cycling can also improve health, potentially reducing healthcare costs.
The value of an expensive bike depends on individual preferences and needs. If you are a serious cyclist or regularly use your bike for transportation, investing in a high-quality, durable bike may be worth the cost. However, a less expensive bike may be more practical for occasional use.
Building a bike can be cheaper than buying a pre-built one but it requires significant knowledge and skill. Additionally, building a bike can take a lot of time and effort, which may only be worth it for some. Ultimately, deciding to build or buy a bike depends on individual preferences and priorities.
Have more questions about how much does a bike cost? Comment below!
Jeffrey Brown is a writer, editor, and professional bike mechanic with over 7 years of experience working in full-service and community-based bike shops. As a bicycle educator, he has supported youth programs across the US that teach bike mechanics and life skills to prepare the next generation of cyclists.
Jeffrey began his professional mechanic career at his university bike co-op, so he recognizes the grassroots power of the cycling community. Initially self-trained as a mechanic, his subsequent positions as manager and lead educator gave him official training. He has won various awards and grants for his role as a bicycle and environmental advocate.