Mountain biking is a resource-intensive sport. The following information gives you guidelines on what to expect to spend on equipment, team dues, and travel. The Drake mountain bike team makes every effort to be inclusive, so if the following approximate expenses are outside of what you feel your household can afford, then please check out our Scholarship program.
|Individual Fundraising Goal||250|
|Helmet and Shoes||200|
|Travel (5 races)||750|
Note that this estimate includes the cost of getting a race-ready mountain bike. If your rider already has a bike, then nearly half of the expense is already taken care of.
Team Dues and Fundraising
As a club sport, the team receives no school funding, so annual dues and fundraisers are the financial foundation of the team. We ask that each individual Rider be responsible for paying dues in 2017 of $350, and commit to individual fundraising efforts totaling $250. If the Rider raises less than $250, then additional dues must be paid to make up the difference. If the Rider raises more than $250, then that overage can be applied to reduce the dues payment (if of course the fundraising is complete before the dues must be paid, usually early December). Team Dues can be paid here, and fundraising details will be shared via the Team Director DrakeMTBDirector@gmail.com as soon as they become available.
If a rider does not already have a high-quality mountain bike, we suggest that you spend at least $1,000 on a used bike see http://www.craiglist.org or http://www.pinkbike.com for excellent used bicycles and $1,500 on a new bike. Most of the other racers will be on hard-tailed 29-inch wheel bikes, so this is a good configuration to look for; dual-suspension bikes tend to be heavier and more expensive, neither of which tend to enhance the cross-country racing experience.
Some of the parents are saying to themselves “my first used car was cheaper than that!”, which may be true… however, a rider spends an enormous amount of time on the bike, and these amounts try to balance how much you will spend for repairs and maintenance to keep your rider upright and safe on a cheap bike, vs the peace of mind and better lighter components found on higher-quality bikes. In general, spending more money gets you lighter bikes with longer lasting components. Sunshine Bikes gives the team a substantive discount on new bike purchases, and Mike’s Bikes often discounts bicycles for Norcal riders. This discount changes every year, so check in with DrakeMTBDirector@gmail.com for the latest information.
Each year, expect to buy a new set of tires ($150), replacement front and rear brake pads ($100), at least one new chain ($50), and some key bearings ($100), depending on how much rain northern California gets during the season. Every other year, expect to replace the entire drivetrain ($250 to $500), and have the front fork serviced ($200). Mileage will vary according to your rider, weather, and bike, but these amounts get you in the ballpark.
At a minimum, each rider must purchase his or her own Drake mountain bike team jersey, which usually cost around $70. Team jerseys are required for racing in the Norcal league. During the season, however, riders will likely need multiple sets of other cycling-specific clothing like jerseys, shorts, gloves, light jacket, arm warmers, wool socks, etc. If there is not another cyclist in the house, then there are opportunities to get this clothing at pre-season swap meets (ie, free!) and through cycling clothing donations through some of our sponsors. See what to wear to get an idea of what a complete kit might look like. And in general, it is usually a good idea to get a new pair of $30 gloves for your Rider every year, though in a pinch a $7.99 pair of construction gloves from the hardware store will work just fine if you are not too picky.
Helmet and shoes
Even wily old cycling veterans replace their helmets every two years. Helmets degrade over time, and to maximize safety and take advantage of the latest technologies like MIPS, we recommend a new helmet at the beginning of the year, and a new one again two years later. For shoes, we recommend any shoe that works with the pedals that your rider uses on his or her bike. Most mountain bikes have SPD pedals, as do the stationary bikes at Pelo, so we recommend this shoe/pedal combination.
Assume one night in a hotel for $85, food for the rider and family at $45, and gas plus other amenities at $20, for $150 per race weekend on average. For five races, that is approximately $750 in travel expenses.