I got an email yesterday about a kickstarter that just came up for Trailine Bikes. I thought it was an interesting premise that I actually find myself talking about with other riders a lot. The idea is that the cost of entry into mountain biking has gotten too high and that often scares off people that would otherwise really enjoy the sport. When you look at the cost of even entry level bikes these days, you are in for at least $1,500 to get something that is actually rideable and then you haven’t even picked up any gear yet. The cost of mountain bikes has definitely gone up over the years. How many riders do we lose to cost of entry?
The guys over at Trailine Bikes decided they were going to tackle the problem. What they ended up with is a AM style hardtail that they say can take just about any trail for the price of $699 at the retail level ($649 for the early bird kickstarter). What you get is a 29er HT with a 135mm fork, hydraulic brakes, 780mm bars, short stays and slack geometry. This isn’t your typical steep XC race inspired frame that we are used to seeing in HT specs. To me, it looks like they tried to give enough “rear suspension” characteristics through the 29er wheels and geometry but still have it great for longer rides.
This is all to create the bike that they claim is “…the bike we all wish we had when we started the sport”.
Is this the do it all bike for the beginner? I don’t know. I’ve never ridden one but I do know that even I look at the pricing of mountain biking these days and wonder how we got here. Technology, materials and other factors play a large part in pricing but I can see where some potential entrants into the sport might be put off by the cost of everything before they even get started. We do need more entry level bikes to get people out and riding that are complete piles that you wouldn’t want to ride yourself. On paper, this appears to be a good example of what we need to get more people introduced to the sport.
As with most startups like this, they need funding to get going so they went to kickstarter.com to look to get this bike to market. One of the larger hurdles they are really going to have is attracting their potential buyers to a Kickstarter campaign like this. Most of the people that will see the campaign will be mountain bikers…not potential ones.
I do love the idea though and I really like the crew’s attitude about wanting to get more people out there riding. We need to look for ways to lower the barriers of entry so more people can enjoy the sport. Even an entry level Vassago frame is now 600 before you even start building the bike. That used to be the ones everyone gravitated towards for a low budget build. Click the link below to check out more on the campaign and the bike.