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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.

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Old 02-28-08, 10:27 AM   #1
DCvision
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one month of commuting = ?$$

After about one month of commuting 3-4 days a week, the financial impact is evident...
Our credit card bill that we use for gas purchases was $150 dollars less than the previous
month. With gas prices estimated to increase .40-.50 this summer, the savings will continue to grow.
After just two months of commuting I will have saved equal to the money I paid for my bike
($140@craigslist) and the gear and clothing I have purchased... I don't think I have ever done
an activity that so quickly showed a return on investment- and that doesn't take into consideration
the health benefits.

A big "thank you" to all the posters here for their advice and information, and post how much money you think you save monthly by commuting...
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Old 02-28-08, 10:37 AM   #2
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Nice!

I've never owned a car, so I can't really make an accurate picture of how much I'm saving my commuting by bike. I can only guess that the money for gas + insurance + maintenance + parking would add up to quite the sum, which I am happily squirreling away for a rainy day (or a downpayment on a home).

The best part is, when I stop by the bike shop and ring up $50 in tubes, brake pads, and chain lube - I don't give it a second thought
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Old 02-28-08, 10:38 AM   #3
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I save about $70 a week given the mileage my Truck was getting. Impressive.

Now, if you sell your car you don't have insurance to pay, either, or registration every year! You can even take the money and invest it and reap real rewards from your activity!
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Old 02-28-08, 11:04 AM   #4
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I showed my logged days and mileage to my Insurance man, he removed my to and from work saved another $12 a month on insurance. At 40+ miles per day and 3-4 days a week gas, + wear (oil breaks etc) now + insurance saving a lot.
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Old 02-28-08, 11:32 AM   #5
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I save $8.50 a day between gas and parking and work 4 days a week. So $136 a month.

Since the beginning of the school year I have saved about $700. (figured in five weeks off so far- three for Christmas, two sick weeks driving)

Now I have to factor in (this years purchases):

Studded tires $200.
Lobster gloves $75.
Winer cycling boots $270. (well worth it!!)
Balaclava $25.
Shoe covers $30.
Misc clothes $60.
Better light $350. (part of it is a b-day present- so minus say $75ish)
Hand warmers for season $12.
Clip-in pedals $35.

So I've spent about $1000 so far this year. So in 2.5 months, I will break even. LOL

Cycling to work... Priceless!

At least I wont need to buy the above items again for quite awhile. Be glad you live in Florida!
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Old 02-28-08, 11:38 AM   #6
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Even if you break even with commuting you still have the exercise benefit. I like spending money on my bikes and my wife can only shake her head. I figure I'll break even after a few years and figure it's better not to count.
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Old 02-28-08, 12:30 PM   #7
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Jmaley,
Don't forget to factor in your savings of $30+/month for gym membership and driving to the gym. Add that to the roughly $1.00 a mile you save cycling, you should come about even in a couple years.
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Old 02-28-08, 01:05 PM   #8
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I save $76/mo. on a metropass by riding to work.
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Old 02-28-08, 01:10 PM   #9
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Wait until you factor in all of your bike related purchases -- tires, tubes, winter clothing, shorts, lights, etc. Then the cost of a new bike when you get the urge to upgrade. I doubt if I have saved a penny from bike commuting 3-4 days/week, but at least I am spending my money on bike gear rather than the gasoline.
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Old 02-28-08, 01:12 PM   #10
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Wait until you factor in all of your bike related purchases -- tires, tubes, winter clothing, shorts, lights, etc. Then the cost of a new bike when you get the urge to upgrade. I doubt if I have saved a penny from bike commuting 3-4 days/week, but at least I am spending my money on bike gear rather than the gasoline.
I wouldn't drive even if I didn't cycle, so I can safely say that commuting by cycle costs me a lot more than if I were to take public transport. Good think there is more to life than money.
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Old 02-28-08, 01:14 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by tarwheel View Post
Wait until you factor in all of your bike related purchases -- tires, tubes, winter clothing, shorts, lights, etc. Then the cost of a new bike when you get the urge to upgrade. I doubt if I have saved a penny from bike commuting 3-4 days/week, but at least I am spending my money on bike gear rather than the gasoline.
Well it's tough to sell your used gas, but a good used bike holds it's value pretty well.
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Old 02-28-08, 01:17 PM   #12
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Wait until you factor in all of your bike related purchases -- tires, tubes, winter clothing, shorts, lights, etc. Then the cost of a new bike when you get the urge to upgrade. I doubt if I have saved a penny from bike commuting 3-4 days/week, but at least I am spending my money on bike gear rather than the gasoline.
i would toss that extra $150 he is saving into a savings account and use only that to support the cycling. $150 a month is $1800 a year. with a little restraint he could easily afford all the incidentials and get a brand new bike every other year or so. and the best part is that he wouldn't even notice the missing money since he was spending it anyway.
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Old 02-28-08, 01:18 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Wait until you factor in all of your bike related purchases -- tires, tubes, winter clothing, shorts, lights, etc. Then the cost of a new bike when you get the urge to upgrade. I doubt if I have saved a penny from bike commuting 3-4 days/week, but at least I am spending my money on bike gear rather than the gasoline.
Yeah. Me too. But I would rather support the LBS than Chevron, so I've got that going for me. Which is nice.
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Old 02-28-08, 01:19 PM   #14
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I commute to work 5 days of the week and am saving about $120 - $180 in gas per month. I use to put gas in the car once a week its down to around once a month or every 3 weeks as long as I don't take any trips during the weekend.
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Old 02-28-08, 01:22 PM   #15
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I save ~$30-40 a week, in gas, factor in maintenance for the car on top of that (I buy the expensive oil, expensive tires, expensive brake pads, etc), and I realize just how much I'm saving, a lot!

Then if you factor what I've spent on bike stuff-- well the bike, lights, 6 tubes, extra bar tape, that was all free. The other stuff I use (shoes, helmet, clothing) I've had from when I used to race MTB's. The only thing I've actually paid for as of yet is a new seat (Koobi AU Chrono, gotta love it!). That was $21 on ebay.

So to me it has been a 100% savings.
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Old 02-28-08, 01:25 PM   #16
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I save nothing. It puts me in a shallower financial hole.
Instead my money goes to bike shops, specialized, pearl izumi, giordana, etc.
Much better than giving it to greedy oil companies.
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Old 02-28-08, 01:37 PM   #17
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I save about $50/mo in gas. Parking's free at work, so's my gym. So it's difficult to quantify my savings. But my riding and wife's walking to work allowed us to get rid of a car that had been paid off for years but was beginning to get expensive repair/maintenance wise. Probably about $1,800/yr in terms of gas, foregone R&M, insurance, etc.

My only bike cost $800 2 yrs ago, and I've probably spent another $800 on shorts, shoes, tires, etc. So a net gain in 2 years of bike commuting of about +$2,000.

Now the hard part is demonstrating this to the wife as I pitch for another ride this summer!
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Old 02-28-08, 01:39 PM   #18
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I save about $50/mo in gas. Parking's free at work, so's my gym. So it's difficult to quantify my savings. But my riding and wife's walking to work allowed us to get rid of a car that had been paid off for years but was beginning to get expensive repair/maintenance wise. Probably about $1,800/yr in terms of gas, foregone R&M, insurance, etc.

My only bike cost $800 2 yrs ago, and I've probably spent another $800 on shorts, shoes, tires, etc. So a net gain in 2 years of bike commuting of about +$2,000.

Now the hard part is demonstrating this to the wife as I pitch for another ride this summer!
just tell her what your first two paragraphs say...sounds like you broke it all down and still come up positive. should be easy!
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Old 02-28-08, 01:49 PM   #19
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Well, I've got 4 drivers in the house and only 2 cars. One more driver turns 16 this year, so it could get worse. Yet, I think I've head the 3rd car issue off at the pass, since I'm on the bike 'most every day.

Right now I'm saving about $35/month in gas. If I had a third car, it would cost me another (these are all guesses) $150/mo for an old car, plus $50/mo insurance and $50/mo maintenance. Total $235/mo savings.

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Old 02-28-08, 02:09 PM   #20
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In my previous life, I bought $2,000 of equipment to ride to work (basically as an excuse for extra training time). Now I ride a bike that I paid $200 for in 1998. Oh, I ditched my car.

Of course, I took all of my money that I saved on my car and plowed it into a house that is 3-miles from work instead of 33 miles. So I save nothing in real dollars.

But I can't wait to ride home!!!
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Old 02-28-08, 02:09 PM   #21
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Between my wife an I we bike enough that we've managed to avoid buying and maintaining a second car. I haven't run any calculations, but insurance alone probably covers what we send on bikes.
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Old 02-28-08, 02:29 PM   #22
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Unfortunately it won't save me any gas money until my wife starts commuting with me. We work in the same neighbhorhood, so she drives the same distance whether I ride my bicycle or not.

She says she wants to start commuting by bicycle with me when the weather warms up, so maybe then we will start saving some gas money... but only about $20 a month (if that) since our commute is only a 6 mile round trip.

Regardless of how much gas money gets saved, commuting by bicycle sure does contribue to my physical and emotional health. It also contributes a little to my wallet since I am a "Smar Trips" member. The Smart Trips card gets me good discounts at local bike shops, bookstores, resturants, etc.

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Old 02-28-08, 02:32 PM   #23
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Quote:
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Wait until you factor in all of your bike related purchases -- tires, tubes, winter clothing, shorts, lights, etc. Then the cost of a new bike when you get the urge to upgrade. I doubt if I have saved a penny from bike commuting 3-4 days/week, but at least I am spending my money on bike gear rather than the gasoline.
I haven't bought tires, tubes, etc, in a long while. I also haven't bought bike specific clothes in a long time. There's clothes I buy that I can wear at work and while I ride so basically, once you've got some extra tubes and tires laying around and a few tools, your bike related purchases go down. Unless you really really need that bike thing you can't live without, like the $50 I just dropped for pedals. Gonna give Powergrips a try so I can wear winter boots.
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Old 02-28-08, 02:33 PM   #24
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Old 02-28-08, 02:34 PM   #25
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I'm saving Anywhere from $40.00 to $50.00 a week right now on a one way 18-mile commute from work every day. Once I get my "bike legs" back I will be riding 36 miles round trip every day, and saving even more money.

Sure, I have a few more gear items I plan to purchase for my commuting, but at the rate I'm going, I'll save enough money to get them in just a few more weeks of riding.
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