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View Poll Results: Commuters: How much do you spend per year?

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  • 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%
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  1. #1
    Newbie biker steel_is_real's Avatar
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    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.

  2. #2
    vegan powered
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    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.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Rogerinchrist's Avatar
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    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

  4. #4
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    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.

  5. #5
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    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.

  6. #6
    I get hit by cars Crash Dummy's Avatar
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    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.
    The Pessimist is always either correct or pleasantly surprised.

  7. #7
    Senior Member BraveSpear's Avatar
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    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
    If we weren't meant to eat animals, why are they made out of meat?

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    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

  9. #9
    winter is comming BenyBen's Avatar
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    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.

  10. #10
    45 miles/week Eggplant Jeff's Avatar
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    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.

  11. #11
    The Alternative Dressing
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    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...............

  12. #12
    Senior Member Monument Man's Avatar
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    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.

  13. #13
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    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?

  14. #14
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    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.
    My bikes --> 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---2013 Cannondale CAAD 10 2 (5) "Racing Edition"

    Life is like a 10-speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use. ~ Charles Schultz

  15. #15
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    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..

  16. #16
    Senior Member Stubacca's Avatar
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    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...

  17. #17
    Conquer Cancer rider Boudicca's Avatar
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    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

  18. #18
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    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.

  19. #19
    Hot in China azesty's Avatar
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    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

  20. #20
    It's full of stars... atombob's Avatar
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    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.
    1980's KHS fixed l 1999 Trek OCLV mt bike l 2003 Canondale R3000
    This is your life, and it's ending one minute at a time.
    My Bike Commuter Blog I My Photo Blog

  21. #21
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    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.

  22. #22
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    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.

  23. #23
    aspiring dirtbag commuter max-a-mill's Avatar
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    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.
    - the revolution will not be motorized -

  24. #24
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    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?

  25. #25
    cut my gas use in half Jessica's Avatar
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    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.
    And I am sure there are other choices I haven't thought of, yet...

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