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 Woodcreek 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.
|Helmet and Shoes
|Race Entry (6 Races)
|Travel (5 races)
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.
As a club sport, the mountain bike team does not receive school funding, so annual dues are the financial foundation of the team. Dues for the 2022/2023 season are $600. Half of the dues go toward league fees, and the rest help pay for food, coaches stipends and expenses, equipment, and activities. $300 is due upon registration of the team. The remaining $300 is part of the athlete's contribution through fundraising and sponsorships. See Where Do the Funds Go page for further details.
If dues are outside of what you feel your family can afford, NICA scholarships are available. We will work with you and NICA in order to secure any available funds that may be available. Click here for the application. Loaner Bikes are available through the team and also through NICA. To learn more about the NICA Loaner Bike Program, click here.
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-$2,000 on a new bike. If there is less than $300 - $400 difference between a used vs old bike, check with the shop, they may offer free services with a new bicycle, such as the first 2-3 services are included (average $100 each service). The difference becomes nominal in the long term. Most of the other racers will be on hard-tailed 27.5 or 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. We recommend a bike with a 1x drive train (only one gear in the front) and hydraulic breaks at a minimum.
When purchasing a bike, we recommend the bike be equipped with the following:
SPD Pedals ($50-100 if not already included) and Shoes
Tubeless Tires and Sealant ($50) will reduce the weight of the bike and prevent unwanted flats.
Water Bottles and Cage ($15) to stay hydrated.
Spare Derailleur Hanger ($10-20), Spare Chain ($40-75) will allow for quick fixes at the race or remove any wait time for ordering from the shop.
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. Woodcreek partners with a local bike shop every year and can typically provide you with a substantial discount. This discount changes every year, so check in with us 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 Woodcreek MTB Race Kit (Jersey and Bibs/Shorts), which usually cost around $110. 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 the What to Wear page (coming soon) 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 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. The Woodcreek MTB Team will be requiring helmets with MIPS or equivalent for any rider. 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 in the WHS Spin Room, so we require this shoe/pedal combination.
Miscellaneous Tools and Supplies
We recommend having the following items with you for any trail rides. Tools and spare parts are mandatory on any practice ride so that the rider can fix his/her bike.
Multitool with Chain Breaker ($25)
Master Links ($10)
Quality Bike Pump ($50) - it's important to have an accurate measurement of your tire pressure.
Pump and/or CO2 Inflator and Cartridges ($25)
Spare Tube in case your tire can't be sealed.
Our practice rides usually take us to locations that require a parking permit. A daily parking pass is usually $5 or $10. Most locations are run by the California State Parks and Rec Department where you may use your annual Poppy Pass parking permit ($120).
Race Entry Fees
The WHS MTB Season consists of six races. 5 Regular Season and 1 States Race. Each entry fee is $50, totally $300 for the season. It is the responsibility of the athlete and/or parents to register for the races prior to the registration deadline.
Assume one night in a hotel for $100, food for the rider and family at $50, and gas plus other amenities at $100, for $250 per race weekend on average. For four traveling races (and one local), that is approximately $1000 in travel expenses.