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Why are Bicycles so Expensive

why are bicycles so expensive

Bike prices vary accordingly depending on the bike type and style. But overall, if you try to analyze the pricing, bikes are not affordable at all, especially to middle-income earners. But why is this so? Why are bicycles so expensive? Find out different factors that contribute to the price of a bike by reading this article until the end.

The Company’s Research and Development

Every bike company and manufacturer will spend so much money on their research and development. These companies will be spending a lot of effort researching to develop more advanced bikes.

In addition, all of these manufacturers will try to exert a lot of effort to develop the best available bike in the market today. In doing so, it also needs a lot of resources, including money, to come up with the best bike in the market. However, it will take years and a lot of resources to research and develop the best bike possible.

Please note that it will also take years for these companies to recover the cost of the research and development. All of the factors mentioned will somehow contribute to the high price of every single bike.

The Cost of Materials

If you ask me why are road bikes so expensive? One reason is the material cost. Suppose you think that material cost will take most of the expense; no, it’s not. It is actually the labor cost that will have the largest share of the material cost.

It is because bike parts using high-quality materials need human interference to be made. For example, high-end carbon bikes using complicated designs require human intervention to build them. When it needs manual labor, it will be more expensive than automation. Hence, the more complex the bike, the more time consuming it is to build them.

The cost of the bike frame material alone will probably cost around 15% of the total bike cost, while the bike components will contribute 20% of the components. So, if you try to ask why mountain bikes are so expensive, you know that the cost of the materials and labor greatly contributes to the high price.

why are road bikes so expensive

The Essence of Free Market

Expensive bikes have a market, meaning some people will buy these expensive bikes regardless of the price. So, if no people buy these expensive bikes, there will be no market at all. Once people buy these bikes, manufacturers keep on selling them at an expensive price point.

Remember, those bikes we purchase at a retail price also include the markup for the bike shop selling them. They are adding into the bike’s price their profit. It is the reason why it is much cheaper to buy in direct-to-market brands because they do not have a third party that adds markup into the price of the bike.

The Prestige of the Brands

The prestige of the brands is all about the high value for any manufacturer making the bikes. The brand, its look, its feel, and the name of the bike will hold a lot of weight on the overall value of the bike.

So, if you are buying a particular bike, you are also buying the bike’s name, which is the brand. Unfortunately, marketing the brand name requires a lot of resources and money. And the companies are putting their money to make their brands prestigious and desirable to the consumers. And this brand will eventually influence how the bike is priced.

The Market Economics

The price of a bike can also be influenced by market economics. If you analyzed, when a bike is too expensive, there is a possibility that it will only sit in the inventory while those affordable ones will not contribute much to covering the cost.

Every company usually has a market research team that largely determines the price of a particular bike type. However, finding the right pricing can be a trial and error for most of these companies. But, the majority of these companies have also established the price points of every bike type.

In addition, the pricing also tends to get high once the demand soars. A good example is during the course of the COVID pandemic issue, where so many people were buying bikes left and right for their mode of transportation. Naturally, the price of every bike went up by a notch because the demand in the economy was at an all time high.

Bike Customizations

One experienced rider told me that it is only during the first time you use the bike that it is cheap. What do you mean by this statement? Well, as you try to customize your mike, you will be needing more money, making it expensive compared to the original price.

Customizing a bike is not affordable as the more you customize and upgrade your bike. The more you will spend money. If you want to customize the bike saddle or choose your preferred handlebar, you will be spending more money as you try to upgrade your bicycle.


Why are bicycles so expensive? There are many factors that contribute to the high price of every bike. Remember that it is all about the value that a bike gives to you regardless of the cost. But in buying the bike, you will need to choose something that you can afford while also satisfying your biking needs.

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