It's not about breaking the bank

Sure, all of us here at mbr love to ogle the latest and greatest mountain bikes out there, but we value cheap mountain bikes just as much, if not more. In fact, our 2015 bike of the year was the Calibre Bossnut, which will set you back less than £1,000.

>>> The best cheap mountain bikes

We can’t all afford the latest £10k trail shredding machine but that doesn’t mean our riding has to suffer. In fact most riders you come across will probably be rolling on an affordable or even second hand bike. Here’s why we think that’s great:

You can ride it wherever, whenever

A bike packed with personality (Fowler)

Bikes are made to be ridden, not looked at. When you drop a lot of money on a nice bike there’s a temptation to keep it gleaming and pristine, but if that holds back your riding what’s the point? Plus any damage it does suffer is going to add up to a hefty repair bill.

Your cheaper bike may get scratched and scuffed but what does it matter when it’s guaranteed to provide you with more than enough smile miles to pay itself off.

It feels great when you keep up with someone on an expensive bike

Giant Stance 27.5 2 riding

People may expect cheap bikes to be ponderous but if you find the right one it can be more than capable of being a demon descender or a cracking climber. There’s nothing better than catching someone on a more expensive bike then catching the look of disbelief on their face when they see what you are riding.

And you can be sure that when you claim that KOM, there’s no chance of anybody turning around and saying “yeah, but it was just the bike.”

They’re better than ever

Thanks to the trickle down effect of technology, cheap mountain bikes are better than ever. The kit that was at the very forefront of the sport just a few years ago (such as 650b wheels, progressive geometry and 2×10 groupsets) can now be found on budget bikes.

Whereas in the past a cheap bike would have been more likely to put off a rider and stay rotting in the garden shed, you can now find a capable machine to keep you hooked and push your boundaries.

Every upgrade feels amazing

Bird Zero.3

The mountain bike market is full of diminishing returns – the jump between a £1,000 bike and a £2,000 bike is much bigger than between a £2,000 bike and a £3,000 bike. After all most cheap bikes will share a frame with their more expensive counterparts and just have a slightly less capable spec.

This means that you will instantly feel the impact of any upgrade you do decide to make on your cheaper bike… and it will probably be cheaper to upgrade it in the first place as well!

You have more money to spend on other stuff

Cheap bikes riding shot 1

The mountain bike experience is about so much more than the bike. If you blow all your spare cash on a nice bike then you’re going to miss out on racing, booking a mountain bike holiday or just spending that little bit extra on a slice of cake after each ride.