5 most expensive mountain bikes and what you get for your money

Are they worth it?

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We look at the most expensive mountain bike available and what it offers for the money

Today we’ll answer the question, “What is the most expensive mountain bike money can buy?” And we’ll explore what that gets you. Exclusivity, technology, materials, and craftsmanship? And we’ll explore what makes these bikes cost so much and if they make a difference in the ownership and riding experience.

Of course, there are one-of bikes that are gold-plated or have a diamond-laced head badge which puts the price beyond $500,000. But we’ll stick to production bikes that are readily available for the buyer with a well-stocked bank account.

The BMC Fourstroke 01 is a fully optimized XC slayer with a frame integrated dropper post.

BMC FOURSTROKE 01 – $9,999

To kick things off, we’ll sneak you in under $10,000 with this BMC bike from Switzerland. It’s a purpose-built bike for cross country racing and it makes no apologies. It’s sleek, chic, and ready for you to don your skinsuit and shaved legs to shatter those Strava hillclimb records.

What you’re paying for here is the best cross-country racing rig that the Swiss engineers of BMC could create. It features their best carbon fiber lay-up on to a frame that is proven in World Cup circuits. Its purpose-built pedigree is pursued by a dropper post integrated into the frame for seamless looks and performance. It features the latest wireless shifting from Sram AXS, the finest components by Fox suspension and Mavic wheels, and optimized Vittoria tires.

And it delivers it with a weight of 10.5kg or 23.1 lbs

More info: https://us-en.bmc-switzerland.com/fourstroke-01-one.html

DT Carbon wheels and Sram wireless AXS bump up the price of this fine steed to $10,400.

Yeti SB150 EAGLE AXS CARBON WHEEL MOUNTAIN BIKE – $10,400

And then there’s the Yeti with its cult-like following. We picked the SB150 All Mountain bike but the other bikes in its line can be had in this ultimate, pricey configuration as well. The no-expenses-spared build is equipped with a set of DT Swiss carbon hoops that provide snappy engagement with minimal weight. Sram wireless AXS components and the best Fox suspension finish off this build. These are all packaged with a versatile frame that makes quick work of steep, technical terrain, and stays lively for smoother singletrack.

Mountain bikes are mostly excellent these days so Yeti had to separate itself from the pack by pushing the envelope. The SB150 is for racers and weekend warriors alike who can handle a very aggressive 29er that is slack and low. It needs to be pushed and the rider needs to move around the cockpit and manhandle this bull. With 150mm of rear travel provided by Yeti’s Switch Infinity suspension platform and a 170mm fork, the rider will be rewarded for years to come as they progress with this bike.

  • A dream-worthy trail bike built for all-mountain domination
  • 150mm of plush Switch Infinity eats bumps and pedals efficiently
  • Updated geometry is optimized for going up and down steep terrain
  • TURQ carbon construction drops grams and boosts stiffness
  • DT Swiss carbon hoops upgrade the ride with light, stiff, snappy engagement
  • SRAM’s XX1 Eagle AXS drivetrain wirelessly

More info: https://yeticycles.com/bikes/sb150

The Megatower is mega dialed like all Santa Cruz bikes are. Other Santa Cruz bikes can be had with this ultimate build option as well.

SANTA CRUZ MEGATOWER CARBON CC XX1 EAGLE RESERVE MOUNTAIN BIKE – $10499

The Megatower is a capable, modern-day bruiser from one of the most desirable brands in the mountain bike industry. It features their latest, lower link-driven VPP suspension derived from the V10. It can be a trail bike or it can be a downhill bike as a massive sweet spot is its trademark.

Like all Santa Cruz bikes, it’s about engineering and details. Lines are clean and all the foundation details like pivots and cable routing are engineered so well that they rarely call attention to themselves. And when a well-used steed needs some TLC after thousands of miles and smiles, everything is serviceable and supported by the mothership, Santa Cruz Bicycles.

To complement its sweet spot, a tidy and concealed flip-chip in the lower-link adjusts bottom bracket height and changes the angles, the height, and behavior of the rear suspension. A second flip-chip in the rear dropouts, allows for a 10mm fore-aft adjustment in chainstay length to dial in the rider’s rearward weight distribution. This bike is about options, not just a downhill beast that some might assume it is.

The bike can climb as well as it has a suspension platform that allows it to transfer power to the ground during heavy pedaling efforts. It’s still responsive to rocks too, making it ideal for rough, steep climbs.

More info: https://www.santacruzbicycles.com/en-US/bikes/megatower

How about automatic suspension that locks and unlocks using an array of sensors to understand and anticipate what you’re doing with the bike?

MACH 5.5 CARBON TEAM XX1 LIVE VALVE – $11,400

The Pivot Mach 5.5 Carbon Team XX1 Live Valve bike is all about craftsmanship and balance as it is designed to climb and descend most terrain with composure. The key to its sweet spot is a fully-integrated Fox Live Valve electronic suspension. Live Valve is suspension technology present in the most advanced vehicles, adapting to terrain changes and automatically adjusts your suspension to match them. We’ve ridden this bike for about 6 months in our local terrain and its performance and operation is almost seamless. Just turn it on at the start of the ride and you’re almost guaranteed a faster ride on your normal loops.

The DW-link suspension on the Mach 5.5 separates itself from other systems with square-edged bump supple compliance, coupled with excellent pedaling performance. It’s responsive, stays high on its travel, and remains active under heavy power or braking. Frame quality too is first-rate with carbon frames that have perhaps the lowest warranty rate in the industry, at less than 2%.

  • A progressive trail bike with the best components on the market
  • Fox Live Valve electronic suspension adjusts compression in real-time
  • Long, low, & slack geometry provides stability for descents and high-speeds
  • Sturdy carbon frame comes with a 10-year warranty & reliable oversize bearings
  • Carbon wheels and XX1 drivetrain provide lightweight, precise performance

More info: https://store.pivotcycles.com/en/bike-mach-55-carbon-1

$11,000 gets you a cross-country missile, paired with some of the best wheels in the market.

Trek Supercaliber 9.9 XX1 AXS – $11,000+

This bike is a delight indeed from the carbon fiber wizards of Trek from Madison, Wisconsin. They’ve tuned their best carbon materials to deliver seatstays that flex just enough to avoid pivots in this ultralight bike. It’s not a system for All Mountain bikes but they feel is perfectly suited for this application. Materials tuning and application is what they’re able to do with their experience with carbon fiber.

Couple that with some of the best carbon fiber wheels around, the Kovee XXX. These wheels are wide, light, and strong at 1290 grams.

Set up tubeless, this bike weighs under 20 lbs in Medium size. If you don’t achieve your hillclimb PR with this bike, the blame may not be on the bike.

There’s no dropper post so if you need one, the price tag goes up. And if you want a custom paint job from their Project One division, what’s another few dollars?

More info: Supercaliber XX1

Bottom Line

These bikes are pricey but they’re really not outrageous. The prices are pushed by automatic suspension or wireless shifting, wireless dropper posts and lightweight motors. These technologies are in their infancy so there is a premium for all that R&D. The bikes are all stunning as well, all sporting impressive craftsmanship, brand support and build details.

Are they worth it? If you have a fat bank account and you’re going to ride it a lot, with great appreciation, we think so. But also remember that the build and technology on all these bikes are available for half the price in their less exclusive, more value-oriented builds. So the buyer has good options today.


About the author: Francis Cebedo

The founder of mtbr and roadbikereview, Francis Cebedo believes that every cyclist has a lot to teach and a lot to learn. "Our websites are communal hubs for sharing cycling experiences, trading adventure stories, and passing along product information and opinions." Francis' favorite bike is the last bike he rode, whether it's a dirt jumper, singlespeed, trail bike, lugged commuter or ultralight carbon road steed. Indeed, Francis loves cycling in all its forms and is happiest when infecting others with that same passion. Francis also believes that IPA will save America.



Comments:

  • greg edwards says:

    You guys didn’t include Scott’s ultimate 900
    It’s by far better that those over priced American tanks

  • Solo Rider says:

    When did the norm become outrageously out of reach prices for a bike? If you really have that much dough to buy something like this good for you, just know that a good rider on decent bike will still be better than someone who dares not cross a stream cause it will jack up their BB or water in the electric engine on that high end ebike, yup I’m poor and sorry to hate on you wealthy people. Will keep loving my 600 bike. Let the bike industry take your money, they were poor at some point too. Kudos to you for ripping off the rich!

  • Andrew Stackhouse says:

    I’m shocked there isn’t a bazillion dollar all carbon dropperon the market

  • Craig says:

    The problem that most people encounter who purchase a bike in that price range is, all bikes lose more than half their value in less than two years.
    I hate to say it, but, bikes are an absolute horrible investment.
    I know this from personal experience,
    I to have had many bikes over the $7000 price range and after riding them for a couple of seasons moved on to something else.
    Each time I sold my previous bike I would be lucky to get 1/2 to possibly 1/3 of what I initially paid.
    With that being said, you have to ask yourself if spending $10.000 and losing $4000 to $6000 over the first couple of years worth it ? Basically you will be paying $1500 – $2000 a year for the pleasure of riding such an expensive bike.
    Generally the type of person that drops that kind of coin on the latest and greatest isn’t going to want to ride something that was “SO couple of years ago ” in a couple of years.
    Like I said , I have owned many very nice bikes and what I have discovered is ,
    a $10.000 sweet ride isn’t that much better than one that is $5000 less.

  • alphonso mcmoney says:

    stupid is what stupid does. by the way aluminum and carbon is inferior to steel.

  • Tony Clifton says:

    The list should have included one of the Specialized S-Works offerings.

  • Heiner says:

    If you have the money, don’t give a f**k what others say….I buy what I like and what I can afford, because it`s my passion.

  • BigLarry says:

    A $5K bike will get you most all of today’s advances in technology (disc brakes, excellent suspension, dropper post, light weight,…). As one goes higher, the added value is still there but diminishing.
    I custom built a $10K Bronson with top of the line wheels and suspension and XTR components. I added 3×11 Di2 electronic shift for a super wide gear range. But I’m not concerned about price and got all the features I really wanted.I tend to buy one bike rather than many. Since most newer bikes don’t allow 3X chain rings, I’ll be riding this Bronson for the next decade, just like my previous bike. I also purchased yet another $8K of parts to last me another decade or more on this bike.

  • Bertolucci says:

    Treat yourself..Don’t cheat yourself…YOLO

  • Hard Man says:

    I have bikes three Santa Cruz bikes ranging from 1 year, 10 years and 16 years old. They are all great bikes and the improvements are so overrated it is silly, Carbon frames are a little bit more muffled but carbon wheels….meh. It’s massive hype and people are always (for the most part) going to buy the most expensive vehicle/house/bike they can afford.

  • Loll says:

    Stumpy, levo SL, epic S-work?

  • midi says:

    S-Works epic hardtail goes up by £1000 every year and the full suspension version is now £10500. That is $13,779.44!!

  • Sean Birnbaum says:

    The thing I don’t quite understand is how a mountain bike can cost more than dirt bike. There is far more complexity in the dirt bike and yet they’re more expensive.

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