By OnMain.Today Staff

With all these fabulous trails around how do you get to enjoy them? For some of us it has probably been a long time since we bought a bike, let alone a trail/ mountain bike. Be prepared for sticker shock! These bikes have come a long way and have lots of features from new suspension designs, high-tech parts, myriad accessories, and save budget for appropriate attire while riding. You need to look marvelous! So yes the process can be seriously intimidating as well as expensive.

In the beginning…what is your budget. There are some decent trail bikes available on Amazon (or at your local bike shop) in the $400 to $600 range. But the high-quality bikes start around $2,000 to $2,500, depending on what features you want, and prices go up from there. And for you DIY (mechanically inclined types) you can get a good bike for less but you’ll have to spend money to modify and customize. And don’t forget about riding shoes, helmet, and a pump, at the very least.

It might also make sense to do some simple math on your availability and intention. If you are going to be riding a lot then once you clear the initial investment hurdle trail riding (aka mountain biking) is pretty cheap. With good maintenance and careful riding these bikes can last for years. Additionally, there are dirt roads and trails everywhere you can ride for free. The trail riders seem to have an adage, once you are set up and shredding on dirt, you’re never going to go back to pavement.

Who makes trail bikes and how much do they cost? You might be able to get something that suits your needs for around $400.00. Then again you can easily spend well over $5,000.00. All of the manufacturers below offer different price points depending on whether you are entry level or a seasoned pro.

Cannondale Bikes

Giant Bicycles

GT Bicycles

Kona Bikes

Salsa Cycles

Santa Cruz Bicycles

Trek Bikes

Yeti Cycles

There is a lot to consider and many features (design, purpose, materials, suspension) can add significant cost. So it will make sense to properly evaluate where you are in your level of commitment and availability. Also remember that in late fall or winter most bike shops are making room for new inventory and clearing out stock at significantly reduced prices. There are also high quality used bikes available at Craigslist and eBay. And finally as with all things internet there are even a few bike “e-tailers.”

On the other hand, a great pair of hiking shoes goes for $50.00 to $150.00. Walking can be fun too and probably an even better way to experience the myriad flora and fauna surrounding you.