Our guide to financing your mountain bike hobby
Anyone who has a passion for mountain biking knows that it isn’t exactly the cheapest hobby. When you spend your weekends flying down mountain trails or racing over rocky terrain, you need to be confident that your kit is up to spec – one loose connection and you’re done for.
If you are serious about your mountain bike hobby, you need to figure out a way to finance it so that you are never in a position where you need to choose cheap parts over safety, or miss the next big race because it’s overseas.
If, like me, mountain biking is a huge part of your life, you need to figure out a way to finance it. This is how I’ve done it…
1. Rainy day fund
You never know when you will have to shell out for a new set of tyres or an expensive repair. I started a rainy day fund for this very reason. Every week, I put aside at least £20 in a dedicated savings account and didn’t touch it until I absolutely had to.
Look for a savings account which allows instant access and won’t penalise you for withdrawing 90% of your savings with no prior warning. Try to find a good savings rate - 2% or more – and look out for accounts which offer incentives for regular deposits.
When you love biking, it’s tempting to just blow all your money on accessories and trips – the glamorous stuff. But realistically, most of us can’t afford to throw thousands of pounds into our hobby on a whim, so you have to be able to prioritise.
For me, that meant safety first, performance second and appearance third. So for instance, if you have a grand to spend on new kit, start with a great new helmet (safety), then upgrade your tyres (performance) and finally invest in some new racing clothes and shoes (appearance).
3. Invest in quality
For any biking enthusiast, there is one huge and unavoidable expense: the bike itself. Your bike is supposed to last for years and see you through harsh racing conditions, bad weather and long trails. There is no point in looking for a bargain when it comes to your bike – this is an investment, and it is worth investing in quality.
When I bought my first bike, I did it with the help of a short term loan which helped me buy the best model on the market, and pay it off in my own time. Before applying for the loan, I made sure that I’d be a good candidate by using Experian CreditExpert to find out my credit profile and work out my chances of getting the loan I needed.
Getting a good credit report should be the first step for anyone who is planning to invest in an expensive hobby such as mountain biking. Once lenders know that they can count on you, you will be amazed at the types of loans and financing opportunities that will become available to help you really get the most out of your mountain biking hobby.
Within a couple of days I had my first semi-pro mountain bike, and I haven’t looked back since.