What's the price of "happy face" after my 18 mile commute ? My fuel is coffee, juice and oatmeal, pretty good miles per gram. So , no I really don't have a budget. I have 8 bikes, I just need one more
Using 50 cents per mile saved in gas and maintenance, this year's commuting mileage is just now equal to what it cost me to put my new bike together. From here out it's just profit.
Switching to bike commuting allowed me to get rid of one of two vehicles, which amounts to about $750 per month of payment, gas and insurance.
My current commuter, if I were to build it fresh (rather than using some parts that I had on hand) would cost me $3k or so, plus my "fair weather" bike at $2,500 or so. I was dead even after 7 months.
We're now going even more car-lite with an older paid off car so we can sell our other financed vehicle. All told, getting rid of out two financed cars (nothing fancy, $17-20k each, used vehicles) will free up a total of over $1150 per month in costs. Cool.
At that point the cost comparison is more in line with the OP's - now my points of reference are much lower (annual car maintenance, cheap insurance rate, gas, transit pass/tickets, etc).
Currently one bike: Singular Gryphon do-it all bike with Nuvinci N360
Coming soon (winter project) Ciocc Designer '84 mod build
Temporary (on loan from a buddy): 1985 Raleigh Prestige
My point exactly (if not clearly communicated!)
Unless your alternate scenario is walking, bike commuting is essentially free over almost any non-zero time period.
I definitely don't bike commute to save money, at this point, though that is where I started. Today I used my bike to 'save' $4.50 in parking cost at metro, which was what made me decide to start bike commuting, when I was severely under-employed, and money was really tight. I still do that a couple or three times a month (like today). For that purpose I spent ~$80 on the bike itself (a used Kona NuNu circa 1999 or so). And I spent around $100 getting it overhauled by my LBS. Oh, and I spent ~$20 last month putting fenders on said bike because I wanted my rear end to stay clean on that short ride to metro. I'll have to put some money into maintenance soon, but for now she rides pretty well, and if that was still my daily routine, she'd more than pay for herself.
But that's just one of my bikes; mostly my back-up, park at metro, I won't cry if it gets stolen, ride with the kids, take to the beach, etc... bike.
Then there is my usual commuter, for which I paid $600 as a year end close out. Plus lots of money for accessories, like a rack, panniers, bell, airzound, GPS mount, phone mount, pump, fenders, locks, lights, reflective decals/tape, clipless pedals etc... - probably ~$350-500? Much of this stuff was bought used, on clearance, etc... but I probably have twice as much of it as I 'need' (but don't tell my wife, because I promise her that I 'need' all this stuff, and that it saves us money when I bike commute).
Now, not completely a commuting expense, is the cost of clothing, shoes, helmets, etc... I'd guess at another $500-600? Oh, and then there's the rack I use when I multi-mode using the car for part of the commute ($160 between two used racks), but I also use that when I take bikes on vacation, go MTBing, or such, so I should probably get to allocate a portion of that cost...
Then there's the road bike that I do not plan to use for commuting very often...
Of course, now that Congress has cut the transit subsidy well below my monthly transit cost (if I used it every day), I'm back to 'saving money' by biking for real, if you don't count up how much I've spent...
Let's see: my transit cost is ~$10.50/ day on metro (I could add another couple of bucks if I took the bus to get closer to home...), and I go into the office 4 days a week, so that's $42/ week, or $2100/ year (figuring two weeks/year vacation) My transit subsidy covers all but $600 of that. But if I didn't have a bike, I'd either have to pay for parking, pay for aforementioned bus, or spend an extra 1/2 hour walking each way, so I can claim somewhere between another $400-900 a year using the 'hard' costs.
If I drove to work, using $.55/ mile, it would be $5500, but I'm not carfree, so I can't possibly claim that as savings. Gas allocated solely to commuting would cost me roughly $2200 of that, but if I back out my current multi-mode days, I can probably only count $1500 or so of that.
But if we back out the cost in therapy that I'm not getting, and the blood pressure and cholesterol meds I'm not taking, and the heart attack I haven't had, etc... I think cycle commuting saves me an enormous amount, right?
Just do push ups while you are riding. The more aggressive riding position the better. Just watch out for traffic.
I'm going for return on investment this year. I just bought a new $1500.00 touring style bike, with the hope that the better ride will make the long trips more comfortable, and the higher quality will last longer without repair.
This thread is making my head spin. No disrespect intended, but Y'all sure love to crunch the cycling numbers around here. I get why, I just don't bother. My data is blowing in the wind.
I've got to go feed my unicorn under the rainbow now.
Found a beater in a friend's basement when helping them move and they gave it to me. Lubed, adjusted, carried a patchkit, pliers and 2 screwdrivers(to use as tire levers ) in a backpack. Saved alot of money and got progressively better bikes, gear and accessories as time went on.
Where I save money on gas I usually spend it on accessories and or gear. Feels better.
1) Yeah, what can I say, I like to think in absolute terms. Our tandem is really just for fun but I threw it in since we do commute on it from time to time. I guess it is more of a total biking cost and not just commuting specific.
2) I drank the SSFG kool-aid. I've been riding my SS for about 4 months and like it far more than my geared hybrid. My cheap SSFG won't last long so I want a quality SSFG and will make my current one my rain bike. Also, I wasn't saying the new bike would be an upgrade, I was saying new bike plus upgrades. Namely gatorskin kevlar tires and thorn resistant tubes.
3) Mistake, this was for myself and girlfriend and rounding to nearest $50. We do get a lot of flats though, see upgrades in 2).
4) I plan to ride the new one for a very long time now that I've been doing this a while and know what I like. Hopefully it lasts 10 years!
Thanks for checking my math!
Howdy, first post, joined this site recently been lurking for awhile!
I recently started commuting on my bicycle again with great joy! The life of a union sheet metal worker isn't bicycle friendly generally, it's hard to get a 600lb gang box on a Singlespeed!
Is it me or are these budgets really high? I purchased a redline monocog 29er 3 years ago for 400$, I've logged almost 2200 miles on her commuting when I can, my jeep gets 14mpg so in gas alone I've saved over 600. Other than the crappy stock pedals I changed out the day I bought the bike, I have literally not changed a thing, stock tubes and all with about a dozen patches in them! Odviously it has paid for itself!
I recently picked up a 2011 SE Draft lite Singlespeed for 200$
He was today's ride home
I'm a bit of a minimalist so I don't deck it out with racks and bags, just strap a backpack on to carry my lunch, pump and repair tools in. Looks like I will be working local and will have favorable weather for the next few month so this bike will pay for itself in 12 weeks if gas stays above 4$ a gallon, after reading this thread I guess it makes me the minority, but I love riding a relatively heavy Singlespeed, I love the simplicity of the bike, virtually no maintinence, and the heavy bike gives me a better workout!
Also, taking your bike to a shop for maintence is a joke! Those "mechanics" have virtually no training, the bicycle is one of the simplest machines on earth, with the exception of a spoke wrench and a crank arm puller I can take an entire bike apart to a bare frame in less than an hour with $20 worth the tools from harbor freight! How the justify charging those hourly rates for college kids to work on bikes I will never understan.
If there is something you don't know how to do, google it, I promise someone on YouTube has posted a how to video, so save your money and DIY!
DayAfter2morrow, what app is that you're using, if you don't mind me asking?
I'm sure someone's going to suggest a trailer for your 600# tool box, and not even be joking!
I agree that most of the budgets are high - especially annual maintenance. I think a lot of people also confuse what they "want" to do with what they "have" to do. I spend way too much $ on my bike hobby, but little of it is required maintenance due to commuting. If you have a long, often wet commute I can see going through a couple of chains and a couple of brake pads a year - that's barely $100. A decent set of tires should last over a year, but even if you are a hard core 5000 miler, one set a year is another $100.
We need more people representing for the "minimalists," proving you can get by with a lot less expense than most people assume.
My job has a pre-tax benefit for commuting but it's only for mass transit and... car parking I think the govt allows $35 a month pre-tax for bike commuters but my employer is not doing that. The car parking allowance is something like $250 a month or something, and $35 for bikes, ridiculous.
IIRC, the pre-tax parking benefit allowance is $240, the transit allowance is $125, and the biking allowance is $35 or $40. Aside from most employers not even offering the bike benefit, the rules say that you can get the parking AND the transit benefit together if you use both, but if you get the biking benefit then you cannot get ANY OTHER benefit. So if you multi-mode commute, or bike on nice days and bus on rainy days, or in the winter, you are out of luck.
I know you are in New York, but I've seen things in California where your employer gives you the money that they would pay for parking if you are riding/walking and don't use the parking spot. Not sure if there is anything like that there. Car spot buy-out or something.
That £110-odd that would get me 3000 miles or so on the bike would get me about 600 miles in my car (less in city traffic), or less than one month's season ticket to get into central London.
ETA: Last time I bought a monthly season ticket into central London (end of 2008) it was costing me something like £140/month. So if I bought a £1000 bike/accessories combo and allowed an extra £200 for maintenance in the first year, it would effectively have paid for itself within 9 months.
Last edited by contango; 02-29-12 at 11:28 AM.
"For a list of ways technology has failed to improve quality of life, press three"
By my estimate, I've spent $810 over the last three years on two bikes (recouped $100 when I sold one), including accessories. I've ridden them about 4000 miles so far which put the cost right about 20 cents a mile. Clearly, I need to ride more! *This mileage does include rec riding, so it may not be a fair comparison.
You should have no trouble staying within that budget for the year.
2012 Pake C'mute. Fenders, rack, 32c tires, bags, etc.
SS Hardtail MTB 26er. So much fun.