We’ve come a long way from bike tech of yore––steel frames, 3x9 drivetrains, 70mm mountain bike forks, caliper brakes. Thanks to the surging popularity of cycling over the past few decades, bike technology has reached a renaissance moment of featherweight carbon frames, 1x12 drivetrains, lightweight air sprung forks, and hydraulic disc brakes that essentially come standard on the most bikes, regardless of the price tag. 

This means it’s a great time to buy a value bike. The technology that goes into value bikes today would be considered high-end 20, 15, or possibly even 10 years ago. And all of the R&D that goes into perfecting high-end bikes trickles down into the entry level options, meaning you can score an exceptionally capable ride at a price you feel good about.

Here’s our list of favorite value bikes that go above and the price tag.

Mountain bikes

Specialized Rockhopper Elite hardtail mountain bike

Specialized Rockhopper Elite Hardtail Mountain Bike –– $1,150 for 27.5” or 29” build kit

The Specialized Rockhopper Elite offers one big bang for your buck. Built on Specialized’s durable A1 Aluminum frame, this hardtail mountain bike features the size-specific (80, 90, or 100mm) RockShox Judy air sprung fork, trail-ready Shimano Deore 1x12 drivetrain, and responsive Shimano hydraulic disc brakes. Choose from 27.5” or 29” sturdy aluminum wheelset with Fasttrak Control tubeless-ready tires. $1,150 for the highest-end Rockhopper build is tough to beat.

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Specialized Stumpjumper Alloy mountain bike


Specialized Stumpjumper Alloy Full Suspension Mountain Bike –– $2800 

Built with the same Rider First Engineered suspension design and geometry as its pricier carbon cousins, the Stumpjumper Comp Alloy offers incredible all-terrain performance and design legacy that punches well above its price tag. Specialized’s lightweight alloy frame is durable and responsive, delivering 130mm of rear suspension with the X-Fusion Pro R2 shock, and 140mm front travel with the RockShox 35 Silver fork. The SRAM SX 12-speed drivetrain delivers crisp shifting and a capable gear range, and the Tektro Gemini Comp brakes provide controlled braking in all conditions. The Tranz X dropper post and tough 29” alloy wheelset complete this ripping, trail-taming package.

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Liv Intrigue mountain bike

Liv Intrigue Full Suspension Mountain Bike –– $2600 

Ladies, get ready to tackle every trail on your list with the Liv Intrigue full suspension mountain bike. Whether you’re just getting into riding or you’re a seasoned two-wheeler, the Intrigue offers a suspension design and component spec to confidently carry you through any terrain and it won’t break the bank. The ALLUX SL-Grade frame is light and stiff, while the 150mm RockShox RL 35 Gold fork and FOX Float Performance DPS rear shock with 140mm Maestro suspension tuned for lady riders provide a playful suspension system for all kinds of riding. 27.5” wheels are quick to accelerate and agile for snappy cornering, cruising through rock gardens, or charging up technical climbs. The SRAM SX Eagle drivetrain and Shimano brakes keep the shifting smooth and braking responsive. 

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Road and gravel bikes

Specialized Tarmac SL6

Specialized Tarmac SL6 Road Bike –– $2700

The Specialized Tarmac is a legendary road racing machine that makes regular appearances on the world stage. With the Tarmac SL6, you get decades of top-level aerodynamic and speed-maximizing engineering at a fraction of the price. Built on Specialized’s featherweight FACT 9m carbon frame, the Tarmac SL6 is complimented by quality components including Shimano Tiagra 2x10 drivetrain and brakes, Axis Sport wheelset, and Specialized’s popular Power saddle. Get ready to master every road climb and descent on the Tarmac SL6.

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Liv Avail Advanced 2
Liv Avail Road Bike –– $2800 Advanced Composite, $1950 ALLUX SL-Grade

While the Liv Avail Advanced 2 is technically a road bike, it has larger tire clearance (up to 38mm), bump-dampening D-Fuse seatpost, and relaxed endurance geometry to handle off-pavement conditions with ease. And with its Advanced Composite frame, mid-level Shimano 105 groupset and hydraulic brakes, the Avail Advanced 2 delivers the performance and longevity of a high-end bike at a friendly price. It’s also designed specifically for women, offering the best in a comfortable, accessible, versatile all-road ride. For an even more wallet-friendly option, check out the Avail AR1, which offers the same level of componentry on an ALUXX SL-Grade aluminum frame for $1950.

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specialized diverge e5 gravel bike

Specialized Diverge E5 Gravel Bike –– $1300

The Specialized Diverge E5 offers the best of modern gravel bike technology including tire clearance up to 47mm for a 700c wheel and 2.1” for 650b, and efficient performance-oriented geometry at an accessible pricepoint. Specialized’s top-level E5 Aluminum frame is paired with the FACT 9m carbon fork for a light and lively riding experience. The Shimano Claris 2x9 groupset provides reliable shifting and the Tektro Mira mechanical disc brakes keep you in control on all surfaces. Ample rack and fender mounts mean you’ll be prepared for the longest, most rugged off-pavement adventures on the Diverge E5.

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Hybrid/Active bikes

specialized sirrus hybrid bike

Specialized Sirrus 4.0 or Sirrus X 4.0 Hybrid Active Bike –– $1500

For a carbon-frame bike that’s ready for you to hop on and go anywhere everyday, the Specialized Sirrus 4.0 offers exceptional value for a durable fitness-geared hybrid bike. The Shimano Sora Road components deliver reliable shifting and hydraulic disc brakes offer all-weather stopping. For a more gravel-ready option, check out the Sirrus X 4.0, which includes the bump-dampening Future Shock 1.5, 1x11 Shimano Deore drivetrain, and wider Pathfinder tires on an alloy frame with a carbon fork. Either way, you’ll pay the same low price for a bike that’s ready to take you everywhere you want to go.

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Find your bike at Basalt Bike and Ski

Whether you're just getting into mountain biking or a seasoned rider, value-priced bikes offer easy entry into a new rig. With the today's quality components and technology, it's more accessible than ever to throw your leg over the perfect bike. Stop into a Basalt Bike and Ski shop today to choose yours!

May 17, 2023 — Manasseh Franklin