Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

View Poll Results: Commuters: How much do you spend per year?
less than 100 12 14.46%
100 to 250 15 18.07%
250 to 500 25 30.12%
500 to 1K 20 24.10%
1k to 2K 7 8.43%
2K to 3K 2 2.41%
3K to 4K 0 0%
4K to 5K 0 0%
5K to 10K 0 0%
Over 10K 2 2.41%
Voters: 83. You may not vote on this poll

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 05-16-05, 07:48 PM   #1
steel_is_real
Newbie biker
Thread Starter
 
steel_is_real's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 246
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
How much do you spend on commuter biking per year? I can't vote because I only just started, but I'm curious as to what most people spend on average.

I have spent 1K in the 6 months since I started but that includes getting set up from scratch (my bike only cost $175), but I am pretty sure it's not going to be this much every year, at least I hope not!

Last edited by steel_is_real; 05-17-05 at 02:51 PM.
steel_is_real is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-05, 07:55 PM   #2
dee-vee
vegan powered
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Chico, Ca
Bikes:
Posts: 385
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Ive spent a couple hundred this year already since i bought my pannier/rack/lights and stuff. Im sure it will be cheaper next year.
dee-vee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-05, 08:16 PM   #3
Rogerinchrist
Senior Member
 
Rogerinchrist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Plymouth,WI
Bikes: TREK-520 & 830
Posts: 724
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Yeah, here too. Normal years under $100. This was the year that the good ol tax refund went to tires, good wind pants, wool knee warmers and the like. Mostly stuff so I can ride in colder weather.

Last edited by Rogerinchrist; 05-16-05 at 08:18 PM. Reason: punctuation
Rogerinchrist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-05, 02:17 AM   #4
StartledPancake
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Bikes: Dale r500, Balistic Exocet II Dahon Helios P8
Posts: 20
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
With all the extra food and drink and bike wear and tear youd be doing well to get under 500 a year. I commute everyday by bike (about 20Kms) and train and the rate of wear on the bike over the winter was amazing. So was the amount of sausage rolls I ate.

Dont forget to include depreciation of the cost of your bike in the calculation.
StartledPancake is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-05, 03:56 AM   #5
AverageCommuter
..
 
Join Date: May 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 349
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by StartledPancake
With all the extra food and drink and bike wear and tear youd be doing well to get under 500 a year. I commute everyday by bike (about 20Kms) and train and the rate of wear on the bike over the winter was amazing. So was the amount of sausage rolls I ate.

Dont forget to include depreciation of the cost of your bike in the calculation.
No fair counting training, he asked how much you spend on commuter biking, not all biking

Let's see, I've got a 1.5 mile commute, so...

extra food - 80 calories for the round trip... about the equivalent of one egg... 5 eggs per week... so a dollar per week for 5 eggs (they're less than that but it makes the math easier).
$52 per year

wear and tear - 3 miles a day total... 15 miles a week... 750 miles a year (2 weeks vacation)... so the cost of a few dollops of grease, a few drops of oil for the chain, a fraction of wear on brake pads and tires...
$10 per year

depreciation on the bike... well actual funtional depreciation, as opposed to tax depreciation, can only be calculated once you know the useful life of the object, which you don't until it's permanently broken. - Calculating as if the bike was magically broken in the morning... 97 Fuji Odessa... $300 retail... Bought on clearance for $220... 8 years of use...
$27.50 per year

A grand total of $89.50, well under $500.

Ooops, forgot about not needing the extra food for those 2 weeks of vacation, so make that $87.50.
AverageCommuter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-05, 06:00 AM   #6
Crash Dummy
I get hit by cars
 
Crash Dummy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Washington DC
Bikes: Fuji Team Pro '05 / Ancient Bianchi commuter
Posts: 111
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by dee-vee
Ive spent a couple hundred this year already since i bought my pannier/rack/lights and stuff. Im sure it will be cheaper next year.
Ditto for me. I picked up a rear rack and a pair of grocery bag panniers as well as locks and lights, but (in theory) those costs won't figure in any more. All I'll have to pay for is probably a set of tires, a few tubes, a few batteries for my lights and some minor maintenance. That'll probably cost me around 200 or so. Maybe more. You never know when the "upgrade bug" will bite.
Crash Dummy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-05, 06:06 AM   #7
BraveSpear
Senior Member
 
BraveSpear's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Bikes: 04 Gary Fisher Advance, 96 Schwinn Frontier GS
Posts: 147
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I seem to go through a bike a year. Had a 96 Schwinn Frontier GS that I started commuting with last year. I had not seriously ridden before so the bike had been sitting for several years with very little miles put on, so I spent $50 getting it tuned up. I also spent $40 on a rack to go on the back. In the first 2 weeks had to get new tubes ($14 for both) because I got flats on the old tubes (I was kinda expecting that because the tubes were appx 8 years old). After 2 months I spent $10 on new nylon pedals because I absolutely shredded the old ones. Then 3 months later (after shredding the SECOND pair of nylon pedals), I popped for steel BMX pedals ($20). Got another flat, so got another tube ($7). Around November I started getting broken spokes in the rear tire, so I paid to have the broken spokes replaced ($10 for the spokes and labor). A couple weeks later got *more* broken spokes and decided to pop for an upgraded rim (can't remember the brand off hand, but I paid $55 for it). By this time the Schwinn is really showing the pounding I give it day in and day out. I put appx 100 miles per week on the bike, and had put over 4000 miles on the bike by this time. The crank had appx 1/4" horizontal play in it (not sure what the correct term to use, but you know what I mean -- when I grabbed the cranks and wiggled them they moved appx 1/4"), so while I was getting the new rear rim, I had the LBS perform another tune-up on the bike ($40, because I have been such a good customer), and they tightened up the cranks. After another couple months, the cranks start loosening up again, the chain rings are getting severely worn down and the metal is actually ripping. I went back to the LBS for a checkup on the bike and they said the crank-set was worn out and needed to be replaced (appx 3/4" play), along with the rear cassette, cables, etc.. They quoted a price of $175 for repairs. I thought to myself, for that price I could get a new bike. Hmmmm... So I started looking around for bikes and got a 2004 Gary Fisher Advance (silver color) with kick-stand for $230 (was retail for $320). Had the rack and pedals transferred to the new bike, and the only money I have actually spent on this bike was $12 for a can of GT85 lube/penetrant/water displacer. And I finally broke down and bought a pair of Nike cycling shoes ($80), but no clipless pedals yet. The grand total I have spent in the last 14 months on bicycling has been:
Original tune-up: $50
Rack: $40
New tubes: $14
Nylon pedals: $10
BMX pedals: $20
Another tube: $7
Spokes/labor: $10
Upgraded rim: $55
Tune-up: $40
04 Gary Fisher Advance: $230
GT85 lube: $12
Nike cycle shoes: $80

Grand total for commuting in the past year: $561

[EDIT: Forgot to add front and rear lights that I originally bought, $20, so the grand total increases to $581]
[Another EDIT: Forgot to add the cost of a rain jacket, too.. $25, so the grand total I have spent on biking is $606, and I'm pretty sure thats everything]

The moral of my tale is that I have spent around $600 since I have been commuting, and at this rate, I will own a new bike every year.

Last edited by BraveSpear; 05-18-05 at 05:37 AM. Reason: forgot another cost
BraveSpear is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-05, 07:44 AM   #8
DerekU2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Boston, MA
Bikes: 2005 Orbea Dauphine, 1997 GT Timberline
Posts: 467
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I can't vote in the poll because I'm a new commuter, but since I began commuting three weeks ago, I've spent about $150 on gear. I'm getting another $150 or so worth of stuff as birthday presents next week (Here comes my Arkel Bug!!) and will probably drop another $50-$100 on fixing up the bike and upgrading some components (tires, clipless pedals). Once I finish that up, the costs should come back down to earth a bit...

That is, until I realize next year I just need a better bike
DerekU2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-05, 08:12 AM   #9
BenyBen
winter is comming
 
BenyBen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Lachine, Quebec, Canada
Bikes: Mikado kensington 2003, "commuterized" 8yr old Mongoose hilltopper SX, Baycrest Hurricane 10 speed
Posts: 531
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by dee-vee
Ive spent a couple hundred this year already since i bought my pannier/rack/lights and stuff. Im sure it will be cheaper next year.

I told myself the same thing last year.
BenyBen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-05, 08:20 AM   #10
Eggplant Jeff
45 miles/week
 
Eggplant Jeff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Bikes: Jamis Aurora
Posts: 2,020
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I can't believe I'm only the second person who put $1-2K... Of course some people are more frugal than I .

One of the nice (or scary) things about Performance is that if you're a member of their Team Performance (I.E. you got their card) they can always tell you exactly how much money you've spent there (they send you a $10 coupon every $100 you spend, so they keep track). I've spent just over $1000 so far...

That includes:
Bike
bags
fenders
tubes, patch kit, misc
clothing (gloves, jersey, helmet)
new pedals (@#$* Giant rubber useless factory pedals)
probably some other misc.

I bought the bike and everything for the express purpose of commuting so I'm including all the items.

I could argue that next year I won't need to buy it all again, but I still haven't gone through a winter so I anticipate still buying:
Warmer cycling clothes
rain clothes
different tires (probably get some semi-knobby tires for when there's snow)

And of course, I'm already thinking about how a road bike would really be better than my hybrid.
Eggplant Jeff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-05, 08:35 AM   #11
Miracle Whip
The Alternative Dressing
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: In the condiments section of your local grocer
Bikes:
Posts: 169
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by AverageCommuter
No fair counting training, he asked how much you spend on commuter biking, not all biking
Train, you dolt. You know, choo-choo...............
Miracle Whip is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-05, 08:38 AM   #12
Monument Man
Senior Member
 
Monument Man's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: NYC
Bikes: Seven Cycles Odonata
Posts: 902
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I spent $110 on a jacket last week

the week before I spent $150 on new tires and a bike overhaul after an accident

the prior week i picked up two jerseys at nashbar for $60

you get the drift. I need all this stuff because it's my first year and I had to buy EVERYTHING so i tried to space it out over a few months. The only thing i still need to buy is a nice pair of tights but want to wait until the fall to buy those.

so after that i will need to pay only for maintenance. 37 miles each day adds up, things get bad on teh bike and need to be changed.
Monument Man is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-05, 08:42 AM   #13
theden
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 167
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I am around $250 or so a year, total mileage is probably 3,500. 7 cents a mile, not including increased food costs. But hey, in reality we save a ton of money in future health care costs and improve our quality of life now - what is that worth?
theden is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-05, 10:03 AM   #14
RonH
Life is good
 
RonH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Not far from the Withlacoochee Trail. 🚴🏻
Bikes: 2001 Litespeed Tuscany and 2014 Cannondale SuperSix EVO Hi-Mod
Posts: 16,659
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 178 Post(s)
I didn't vote because the amount varies every year.
When I first started commuting I had to buy lights, rack, panniers, shoes, etc.
The next year I bought jackets and vests.
Now that I have everything , I only buy replacemnt stuff or bargains I find on sale.



Except last December. I spent $1250US for my new commuter, rack, tires, 8% Atlanta sales tax , and a few smaller items.
Since the bike purchase all I've "needed" to buy is a smaller light to repalce the NiteRiders I use in the dark months.
I've also replaced my old warmer weather commuter shoes with new ones. They weren't worn out, just an older style.
I also pick up "new" products that BF members brag about. I got these a few months ago after reading about them here. Didn't need them, just looked like a good idea for riding in the dark.
__________________


The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. - Psalm 103:8
RonH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-05, 06:01 PM   #15
Romulus
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Bikes:
Posts: 160
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
About 3 weeks on the bike...

Not much, as do my own work, trued the wheels, the cost was starting cost, new helmet, couple tubes, clipless pedals, shoes... So far 125 for the bike, 100 for stuff... Probably will end up getting new tires with Kevlar belt... Will see..
Romulus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-05, 06:35 PM   #16
Stubacca
Senior Member
 
Stubacca's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Oztraylya
Bikes: '03 Fuji Roubaix Pro; '03 KleinGi Attitude; '06 Soma Rush; '04 Surly Cross-Check; '06 Soma Rush; '07 Scott CR1 / Chorus
Posts: 2,677
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Too hard to vote...

A couple of the different costs I encounter for my 25 mile round-trip, which I get to do whenever I'm not travelling with work (less than half the year)...

New bike: $500-1000... Every couple of years I buy a new bike for commuting... not really because I need it, but just because I feel like change.

Gear: $200-300... I'm also continuously adding or changing gear, so I'd guess about $200-300 per year of added/replaced clothing, bags, helmets, shoes etc.

Servicing: $100... In an average year, wear and tear would see me replace one tire, chain, bar tape, and probably 3 sets of brake pads. Add a bit of cleaning equipment and the odd wheel rebuild, and it might even break $100.

New stuff: $200... On top of that, there's the odd new component (e.g. brakes, wheels).

But... getting two good rides in per day? Priceless...
__________________
Stubacca is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-05, 08:07 PM   #17
Boudicca
Conquer Cancer rider
 
Boudicca's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Toronto
Bikes: Fun bike, city bike, Bike Friday, Brompton (also fun bikes)
Posts: 5,998
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Does it actually matter? Each week that I go in by bike I save $20 on the subway fare, and I gain something in fitness too. So if I spend $20 a week on bike-related non-necessities that's absolutely fine by me. This week I almost bought a $60 wind lightweight vest that would be absolutely perfect for the in-between weather we've been having here right now. But I saw reason at the last minute, on the logic that I really won't need the vest as soon as the temperature climbs up to where it really ought to be at the moment. So I actually saved $60, in some convoluted way.

Having said all that, this year's costs are $2 for a new tube after I got a flat and $50 to get the bike serviced for the start of the year, and I suspect I will need new tires before too long. But writing that down is probably asking for trouble. Something is bound to go seriously wrong on the ride in tomorrow.
__________________
Zero gallons to the mile
Boudicca is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-05, 09:52 PM   #18
AverageCommuter
..
 
Join Date: May 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 349
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Miracle Whip
Train, you dolt. You know, choo-choo...............
The way the sentence was structured it could have gone either way.
AverageCommuter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-05, 10:06 PM   #19
azesty
Hot in China
 
azesty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: China
Bikes: Giant Lava
Posts: 961
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
As a new commuter, regearing from scratch I have high spending this year.

Still gearing up for cold weather, but have now arrived a replacing my first consumables. I asked the shop to swap the knobbly standard tyres on my new boulder for some sothers. They put cheap tyres and the back now has some flat spots, and a split.

I have worn out the front brake pads as well, this is 13 weeks of a 25 km round trip.

a
azesty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-05, 11:29 PM   #20
atombob
It's full of stars...
 
atombob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Oregon
Bikes: Trek OCLV mt Bike, Diamond Back Sorrento (stolen), Cannondale 4000, KHS fixie, Giant Butte commuter work horse
Posts: 298
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
bike $25.00
bike commuter ready $200.00
Rain Jacket $40.00
Rain pants $50.00
Helmet $50.00
Lock $30.00
Pump $25.00
Tube, Irons, Kit, $25.00

Still need:
Bags $80.00
Misc crap I forgot. $40.00

At 2.30 a gallon, it'll take some time to cover all i've spent but I think with the health bennies, I'll break even pretty quick.
atombob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-05, 02:00 AM   #21
cyclezealot
Senior Member
 
cyclezealot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Fallbrook,Calif./Palau del Vidre, France
Bikes: Klein QP, Fuji touring, Surly Cross Check, BCH City bike
Posts: 13,172
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 395 Post(s)
I think 'average commuter' is closest to the mark..all the start up costs to use my touring bike to commuting...well...zero.. it is bought and paid for...
i bought the bike for touring, but double backs as a commuter...the panniers, clothes, food..I don't count that...buy, it for my recreational biking anyway- outside of commuting...
only costs commuter biking costs me...
two sets of tires about 60$.
one chain... $30.
a tune up $40.
1 bottle lubricant $7
depreciation. (3 cents mile) $26. total =$163.
much cheaper than driving...

Last edited by cyclezealot; 05-18-05 at 02:10 AM.
cyclezealot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-05, 07:30 AM   #22
gibbain
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 16
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have kept meticulous records of all of the expenses I have had over the past 8 years. I know, it verges on obsessive compulsive behavior, but it is also interesing.

I have commuted full time since July 1997.

Total spent (including $800 Trek 1220): $3688
Total # of days commuted to work: 1408
Total miles ridden 35,382
Cost per day commuting $2.60
Cost per mile $0.10
By way of comparison, public transportation would cost me $8.80 per day for a totoal of over $12000, and if I bought a car and parked, etc. it would have been over $65,000 over 8 years. Not to mention that it is faster and more fun.
gibbain is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-05, 07:37 AM   #23
max-a-mill
aspiring dirtbag commuter
 
max-a-mill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: philly
Bikes:
Posts: 2,121
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
i have no idea but i DO think it is less than i'd spend riding the bus each day.

and as others have said the fitness and sense of self-satisfaction is priceless.
max-a-mill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-05, 08:34 AM   #24
I-Like-To-Bike
Been Around Awhile
 
I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Burlington Iowa
Bikes: Vaterland and Ragazzi
Posts: 24,098
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by gibbain
I have kept meticulous records of all of the expenses I have had over the past 8 years. I know, it verges on obsessive compulsive behavior, but it is also interesing.

I have commuted full time since July 1997.

Total spent (including $800 Trek 1220): $3688
Total # of days commuted to work: 1408
Total miles ridden 35,382
Cost per day commuting $2.60
Cost per mile $0.10
By way of comparison, public transportation would cost me $8.80 per day for a totoal of over $12000, and if I bought a car and parked, etc. it would have been over $65,000 over 8 years. Not to mention that it is faster and more fun.
Any breakdown on why a reliable car bought and used only for commuting 35,000 or so miles over an eight year time span should cost over $65,000 and $1.83 mile?
I-Like-To-Bike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-05, 08:49 AM   #25
Jessica
cut my gas use in half
 
Jessica's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Sacramento, CA
Bikes: walmart beater, Dahon boardwalk, A bike, schwinn tandem
Posts: 324
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I count EVERYTHING that I buy bike related as commute cost... clothing (esp. rain or hi-vis), lite rail tix, new bags, the bikes (of course), the racks and fenders and bags, lights, repairs, etc. so my total is high for a cheap bike set up...

but I agree, the stress reduction and benefit to the environment:
PRICELESS.

and compared to the price of a second car, insurance, repairs and gasoline:
A REAL BARGAIN.
Jessica is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:40 AM.