As with most commodities, every once in a while you come across versions that are extreme. In this case, we’re looking at extremely expensive mountain bikes.
I’m talking about mountain bikes that have features you won’t believe and that you can’t find in most other bikes e.g., the XX1 AXS electronic drivetrain and the FOX Live Valve (a live valve is an electronic system that adapts the suspension).
The FOX live valve uses sensors to adapt to the terrain. And some of these bikes are even fitted with precious stones for the sole purpose of increasing their value as a work of art.
Most of the bikes are made to fit individual needs. This makes the manufacturing process a tedious one and one that requires a lot of research.
That said, it’s always up to the buyer to decide whether a bike is worth the price.
Here’s a list of the most expensive mountain bikes in the world.
1. House of Solid Gold 24k Gold Extreme Mountain Bike
The most expensive mountain bike (alongside the Butterfly Trek Madone) is this half-a-million-dollar gem from the House of Solid Gold. What makes this bike so expensive is right in the name – the components are made of pure 24K gold.
It has this $500,000 price tag because it is rare – there are only 13 of these bikes in the world. Also, each one of them took 750 hours to make.
Those lucky enough to own one of the 13 bikes have likely bought the bike as a collectible—a valuable ornament to keep in the house.
The priciest bike has an alligator-skin saddle and comes with its own gold-plated bottle. As if that’s not enough, the custom logo on the bike is decorated with 600 black diamonds and 500 sapphires.
2. Butterfly Trek Madone
The Butterfly Trek Madone was custom-built for road racing cyclist Lance Armstrong. He rode it during the 2009 Tour de France, and the bike helped him celebrate his triumph over cancer and return to the cycling circuit.
With its hefty price tag of $500,000, it’s in a tie with the Gold Extreme as the world’s most expensive bike. Designed by Damien Hirst, the bike has real butterfly wings on the rim and frame, giving it its name.
3. Trek Yoshimoto Nara
The third most expensive mountain bike is a collaboration between bicycle brand Trek and Japanese pop artist Yoshimoto Nara. As with the Butterfly Trek Madone, this bike was sold at a Sotheby’s charity auction, this time for $200,000.
The bike has a unique design, especially the rear tire. It was built, once again, to celebrate pro rider Lance Armstrong and his triumph over cancer.
He also rode it during the Tour de France.
It’s a light bike, built with speed in mind. And at that price, it’s safe to say that it’s a high-performance machine.
4. Kaws Trek Madone
Yet another Trek Madone, this bike was customized by the artist, Kaws. It was unveiled at Nike’s Montalban Centre, and Lance Armstrong rode it during the 2009 Castilla race (Vuelta a Castilla y León race).
It’s priced at $160,000 and the paint job features Kaws’ signature chomper teeth design. The bike was used to mark the “Stages” art campaign as part of the Livestrong foundation’s fight against cancer.
The bike is mostly black and yellow. Lance Armstrong also rode it during the Milan-San Remo Cycle Race in 2009.
5. Aurumania Crystal-Edition Gold Bike
The hand-built, 24k gold-plated bike costs $92,000. It is the fifth most expensive mountain bike in the world and is studded with 600 Swarovski crystals.
It’s also part of a limited-edition series by Aurumania – only 10 were produced.
As per the Swedish company’s website, Aurumania means “preoccupied with gold.” The company designs products using pure 24 karat gold, though they do make regular-priced bikes too.
The bike features a Brooks leather saddle alongside brown leather handlebars. If an owner of this bike has any trouble with it, he/she has to take it to a private jeweler rather than to a normal bike shop.
The bike has a 10-year guarantee, and the limited-edition number of each bike is inscribed in the front of the leather badge. Aside from the 10 bikes, Aurumania also created 50 more units, though these have no crystals.
According to their records, the first buyer was a man from London who immediately placed it on his lobby wall, which is a sign that many people see these bikes as works of art rather than methods of transport.
6. Chrome Hearts X Cervélo Mountain Bike
This black beauty is one of the most extraordinary-looking bikes in the list of the most expensive mountain bikes in the world. The limited-edition bike is a collaboration between Chrome Hearts and Cervélo.
The latter is known for its time and triathlon bikes in the bicycle manufacturing industry; the former is widely acclaimed for its luxury goods.
The bike is equipped with CH motif plugs, a leather seat, and a silver cross, not to mention a stunning piece of artwork. All this results in a price of $60,000.
Aside from the pretty design, the bike is also highly efficient, scoring high in speed and performance.
7. M55 Bike
The M55 bike looks like a bike from the future. Coming in at $34,000, the seventh most expensive mountain bike is made to order by its Hungarian parent company.
Following the exploding popularity of electric pedal-assist bikes, the E-MTB has a motor unit that generates up to 2.2 kilowatts of power. It’s also fitted with a water-resistant carbon-fiber battery container for easy maintenance.
At top speed, the bike reaches 42mph compared to 15mph for most high-end E-MTBs. It also tracks your daily speed, distance in km whenever you ride it, average speed, date, time, and other units.
The E-MTB has an aluminum frame as do a good number of mountain bikes today. It also has air shocks at the rear and has a piece of formula one technology in the form of Brembo floating disc brakes.
8. BMC Fourstroke 01 XTR Di2
If you’re familiar with mountain bikes, you know how hard it is to ride a full-suspension bike in a cross-country race (hardtails are recommended). The BMC Fourstroke, however, was used by a rider who finished first in the Cross-Country World Championships.
As the eighth most expensive mountain bike, the Fourstroke has a price tag of $13,000 and excels at speed due to its light nature. The wheels are particularly light and are fitted with continental rubber.
An element that adds to its race-suited quality is the combination of BMC’s Big Wheel Concept (BWC) geometry and Advanced Pivot System (APC) suspension design. The mountain bike is fitted with high-grade 100mm suspension both at the front and rear.
The bike also has carbon elements and a Fizik saddle to add to its feature list.
9. Cannondale Scalpel – SI Black Inc
The power-efficient mountain bike from Cannondale comes in ninth place in the list of the most expensive mountain bikes in the world. The Cannondale Scalpel costs $12,500, on average, and, like the above BMC, is a light machine built for racing.
It features a super-light frame and is more trail-friendly than most racing bikes. It’s a full-suspension bike with 10mm no-holds-barred suspension at the rear and the front.
The bike features ENVE rims and a Chris King hub to add to the free-flowing carbon wheels. Because it’s designed to move uphill with extreme velocity, you’ll work with more upshifts than downshifts whenever you ride it.
For those who can afford it, this is one of the best racing bikes on the market.
10. Felt Virtue FRD
The tenth most expensive mountain bike is a light 26-pound bike with a price of $12,500. Most of its components are made of carbon which is responsible for its lightness.
It’s yet another full-suspension trail bike that features some high-end components. It has 130mm of travel at the rear shock and 140mm of travel at the front.
The mountain bike also has 29″ carbon wheels and hydraulic disc brakes. Other features include a dropper post, a RockShox Pike RCT3 Solo Air fork, Shimano XTR brakes, and an Equilink suspension design.
A significant feature of this bike is that it comes with a lifetime frame warranty alongside a one-year warranty for the components.
11. Bianchi Methanol 9.1 CV
The Methanol 9.1 CV comes from the Bianchi brand and has a price tag of $11,500. It’s a light trail bike designed for enhanced speed and control.
One of the main features of this bike is after-shock control. Having 180mm front- and 160mm rear-wheel travel, the after-shock control helps absorb the impact that comes with riding through rough trails and terrains.
The mountain bike also features the Bianchi CV which, as per the company, eliminates 80% of road vibration. This, of course, is something only the rider can confirm, but it does combine viscoelastic material with special carbon fiber architecture to enhance this feature.
Other features include 100mm of travel in the fork, SRAM XX1 Eagle AXS trigger shifters, and a 940g frame.
12. BMC TeamElite 01 XTR Di2
The twelfth most expensive mountain bike is another entry from the manufacturer, BMC. The TeamElite 01 XTR Di2 comes in at $10,600 and is another representative of an expensive lightweight mountain bike.
The mountain bike is made almost entirely out of carbon fiber. Compared to aluminum, even though both are light materials, carbon frames are lighter.
The bike is built with MTT technology to enhance its shock-absorbing abilities. Due to its light nature, without adjustments to its shock-absorbing qualities, the bike is bound to bounce a lot on rocky terrains.
It’s built for cross-country racing and has features that enhance this. This ranges from the 100m FOX float fork, the 29″ wheels, the Shimano XTR Di2 drivetrain, and the 17mm of travel at the rear of the bike.
An added feature is the Fizik Tundra M3 carbon saddle.
13. Yeti SB5.5 Turq XX1 Eagle
The 2018 release from Yeti Cycles hit the market with a price tag of $10,000. It’s a full-suspension bike with 140mm of travel at the rear and 160mm of travel at the front.
The mountain bike features a lightweight carbon frame, FOX suspension, hydraulic disc brakes, and a dropper post seat. To add to the seat post is the WTB custom saddle that helps provide even more comfort to the rider.
Thanks to the carbon fiber frame, the bike weighs only 12.8kgs. It has a tapered head tube, 29″ wheels and comes with a five-year frame and handlebar warranty.
14. Santa Cruz V10 Carbon
Quoting from the company’s official statement, the V10 is made for anyone who “steps up to the startline with eyes on a podium.” From Santa Cruz Bikes, this racing machine is the fourteenth most expensive mountain bike with a price tag of about $8,000.
As with most racers on this list, the Santa Cruz V10 Carbon has a light carbon frame to enhance speed. The bike features front suspension travel of 200mm and rear travel of 215mm.
It has wheels that start at 27″ and go up to 29″. It also has an adjustable chainstay length so you can optimize it according to the balance of the rear and front of the bike.
The Santa Cruz V10 Carbon has amazing performance, but as witnessed from the rest of the machines on this list, that comes at a hefty cost.
15. Budnitz FTB
Finishing off the list of the most expensive mountain bikes in the world is the FTB. The bike is manufactured by Budnitz Bicycles and costs $7,000.
It’s a sleek fat bike that can persevere through snow and other similar conditions e.g., heavy sand.
The frame of the FTB, uniquely, is made of titanium. This is a signature feature of Budnitz Bicycles as most of their bicycles are made of high-end steel or titanium.
The frame weighs just 2.3 kgs.
If you look at the design, you’ll see that this is not a regular old mountain bike; it’s one of the few that is built with the adventurer in mind (sorry racers).
The mountain bike features 4.8″ tires, 14-speed transmission, and light hydraulic brakes, among other stunning components. And, I’d say, it rounds up the list of the most expensive mountain bikes in style.
There’s such a wide variety of mountain bikes on the market, including in the luxury price range, and each bike has unique features that set it apart. Some of these features include Team XX1 SRAM AXS development, SRAM-level ultimate brakes, RockShox ultimate suspension, XX1 AXS wireless shifting, and a FOX Live Valve.
Most of these bikes also feature a dropper post and flip-chip design.
And, as is evident above, the more specific your needs are, the more you’ll have to pay. The prices also have to include shipping costs and the increasing wages of the manufacturers’ employees.
Some prices have gone down over the past year, but these luxury bikes remain quite unaffordable. So, unless you’re Lance Armstrong, you’re not likely to be buying one any time soon! Nevertheless, it’s interesting to see what’s out there.